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unicornChump Lady,

Please help me respond to well-meaning therapists or friends who say hurtful things like “You need to do self examining to see what it is about you that allowed yourself to be treated that way.”

Have heard this way too many times I need a good response! The best I could come up with is “No, I don’t accept any blame for his awful actions,” but that was not satisfying and made me feel like I was just trying to convince someone it wasn’t my fault. I need a good answer for these people!

Thanks!

Frustrated Chump

Dear Frustrated Chump,

It’s a valid question — “Why was this relationship acceptable to you?” is a different question than “What did you do to make them cheat?”

Of course, I have scant details to go on here, but did you stick around while this person continued to cheat and devalue you? (See 5 Things That Keep You Stuck with a Cheater.) Knowing your worth and what your deal breakers are is essential work after chumpdom. Admit spackle crimes. Do better. Learn from it.

But if these people are blameshifting his shitty abuse on to you? (How can you “allow” what you don’t know about?) Get a new therapist and friends.

****

Dear Chump Lady,

WTF. Why is Monica Lewinsky in the news cycle again?

Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

I don’t know. It’s like those 17-year locust plagues. Only this kibble creature loses some weight, gets her hair blown out, and finds a new Netflix host.

Monica Lewinsky is no different than the average mistress who writes me every week with a deep sense of outrage and faux solidarity that she too is a chump. (That never ends well.)

Whoa, Tracy! Where are your feminist credentials? 

Right there with Betty Friedan, who called Monica a “little twerp.”

We try to avoid being political here (please don’t). Yes, Bill Clinton is a serial cheating horn dog. (And I can’t go much farther than that as I can’t be political for my Job job) — but OW I can write about.

Every time Monica has a new Monica (handbag Monica, Jenny Craigs spokesperson Monica, LSE Monica, Fox dating show contestant Monica ) I snark about it, here (2015) and here (2018).

However another chump sent this interesting article: A Creepy Footnote to a Presidential Scandal Gets Its Own Audiobook, Kate Nason was married to a man who had an affair with Monica Lewinsky—before Lewinsky had an affair with the Commander in Chief.

Lewinsky often volunteered to babysit her two children, and Nason naively thought she and Lewinsky were great friends: “I enjoyed Mallory’s bawdy humor. She always made me laugh, and always made me blush.” Nason even shared her suspicions about her husband’s marital infidelity with Monica, especially after Lewinsky scored the internship and began calling her daily from D.C.: “She was always reassuring. ‘He would never cheat on you, Kate. He loves you so much.’”

Okay, Lewinsky is sorry. But not as sorry as YOU should be for judging her. And nothing says sorry like a celebrity junket.

****

Dear Chump Lady,

Did you see this Oprah video? I think it’s hopium — I would love to know where things stand with this couple now!

 

Rosalie

Dear Rosalie,

They’re still together says a public records search. Fifteen-year double life, three affairs he’ll cop to, but hey, Suzie wasn’t meeting his needs. (Dance, Suzie! Dance!) His biggest realization: his affair hurts him too. More even!

Sounds like bliss.

Don’t be Suzie.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • It’s possible both to recognize that Monica was given outsize blame for her affair with Clinton for political purposes, while also holding her responsible for engaging in it in the first place. I don’t know why this is so hard for people, other than the common need to make every victim of societal ills such as misogyny into an innocent.

      • Yup, Monica was a whopping 22 years old when she got together with Clinton

        The average 22 year old isn’t really equiped to be in the White House and have the president making moves on her. IMO

        • So at what age do we give affair partners a pass? Was there a chapter in “Leave a cheater…” ? I missed it. How old do you have to be to know that having an affair with a married man (regardless if he’s the President or janitor) is BAD?

          • I’m sure there was a heady (haha I made a funny) mix of excitement and thrill at having the most powerful man in the world show you attention as a 22 year old nobody. Not making excuses- just saying even with maturity that would be exciting to anyone.

              • They’re both creeps, and so is that guy in the Oprah video.

                It’s great how much clearer the defective character is when you objectively look at the behaviour of someone you aren’t attached to and don’t find attractive.

            • But.He.Was.Married. No one put guns to their heads. Choices/actions have consequences. I can’t believe people on this thread are making excuses for affair partners.

              • Exactly, CactusFlower. I don’t understand it. We read Chump Lady because we were Chumps. Having Chumps defend a cheater or their APs is unimaginable to me. Adultery is wrong. Adultery is abuse.

              • As the person who is married they have more responsibility to maintain their boundaries, their commitments. Its their choice to seek outside the marriage and its on them for cheating, the ap is just the outlet.

              • No “pro Monica” argument from me, but I’ll concede her youth and his position – never mind marital status and age, his POSITION makes his behavior as bad and dare I say it, worse? Getting a BJ while the leader of another nation is outside your office door waiting, MAY sound exciting to a teenager fooling his parents, but—good grief.

                But never mind that.

                I saw the Oprah episode with the serial cheater recently (oddly recent, actually) and heard his “insights.” He realized he HURT HIMSELF the MOST. WTF?

                Um, no you sociopathic POS, you hurt HER and YOUR KIDS way more. He has 2 sons and I hope they saw thru their dad’s crap. They saw their mom’s pain for sure. She’s hooked on hopium, I fear.

                I’m not saying no cheaters ever feel remorse and I do believe unicorns exist BUT if they do, it’s not after serial affairs and it’s sure as hell not exemplified by this asswipe.

                I’m pissed that Oprah failed to follow up on that utter bullshit. I never heard him say how sorry he was for hurting HIS WIFE or breaking his vows.

                Oprah needs to help CN change the fucking (pardon the pun) narrative.

            • The reality is that it was a VERY unusual situation. Him not just being her boss, but the MOST powerful man on the planet

              He wasn’t just her married boss at the car dealership

              I won’t condemn anyone that young who is in that incredibly bizarre situation

              • In reply to Drs. Wife:

                “I’m not saying no cheaters ever feel remorse and I do believe unicorns exist BUT if they do, it’s not after serial affairs and it’s sure as hell not exemplified by this ass wipe.

                I’m pissed that Oprah failed to follow up on that utter bullshit. I never heard him say how sorry he was for hurting HIS WIFE or breaking his vows.

                Oprah needs to help CN change the fucking (pardon the pun) narrative.”

                I agree with all this. Come on Oprah you are better than this. If any one has the power and influence to make a difference for victims it is Oprah. Wonder if she has ever been betrayed like this. If not I guess it goes back to the rule, that if you haven’t experienced it, you just don’t know the depth of the pain, and the breadth of the betrayal.

                My guess is Suzy is living in constant pain, I hope for better for her; whatever it takes.

              • Also in reply to Drs. Wife (sorry, can’t figure out how to stack this response)

                It’s pretty obvious to me that Oprah herself is a victim of this kind of fuckery. She can’t emotionally afford to condemn this POS–cognitive dissonance and all that.

          • It’s not “giving her a pass” to acknowledge some mitigating circumstances, or to remember not to focus on the AP to the exclusion of the cheater.

            As they say in Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Cool motive. Still murder.” The former can exist without completely negating the latter.

            • That’s it I am going to start watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine even though the series finale was apparently broadcast last night.

          • I was a teenage intern in a very high-stakes, creep-filled industry. I worked along side quite a few 20-something and 30-something sidechicks who loved to unload their steamy confessions on an inexperienced, captive audience.

            From my adolescent vantage point, even 21 can be crusty if there’s enough meanness in them. As far as whether they’re victims, yes in a way, but that’s relative to the fact I believe serial killers and dictators were once victims too. That doesn’t mean I’d give a pass to the bent and creepy adult but I can acknowledge that hurt people hurt people.

        • It has been my sad experience that there are women who deliberately target married men in order to have the pleasure of “accidentally” revealing all to the wife. Two good friends and I were all targeted by one of these. So Monica was 22? How old was she when she was babysitting and cheating with the father in that house? When do these nasty women begin their careers? I do not in any way absolve Monica of her guilt in the scandal. She’s a sack of feces in my opinion, and I don’t even like Hillary.

            • I am a retired ob /gyn. The woman in my comment went to work for the ob/gyn in the office across the hall from my office. Right after she was hired, our radiology tech came in all scandalized and said “She claims she always works for doctors, always has an affair, always gets caught out by her husband and made to quit”…and I thought, THAT MUST BE A JOKE. WHAT KIND OF WOMAN WOULD TELL SUCH A STORY ABOUT HERSELF? Well, I found out, about two weeks later when I ran into her coming out of her employer’s sleep room at the hospital, freshly fucked. I made a mistake then: I didn’t tell the spouse, who was an acquaintance. If I had told Kathy, she’d have had that woman out of her husband’s office ASAP. Stupid me, I minded my own business. When that doctor got tired of her, he passed her on (not knowing she’d already contacted Kathy) and she was passed around the married men in the professional building. When she called the next doctor’s wife, there was an immediate divorce and her employer accused her of stealing and fired her…and then she came to my office and I was female, so she undertook to have a relationship with my husband, who was my office manager. Having four children, I did not tell my spouse I knew but instead relocated my office and strongly hinted to him that she was interacting with me inappropriately (she stalked me, I think by means of a tracking device on a cell phone I kept in our car console) and I also made it nearly impossible for him to go anywhere without me. My “burnout” does not refer to my profession. It refers to my marriage. I basically live with my spouse as a hostile roommate. You see those boys on the Ophrah video? I don’t want my children to ever feel that way, and I think I’ve done a good job of hiding it from them. Oh, and Kathy persuaded her husband to pay around $40,000 for her son’s wedding, then divorced him the week after (take that you cheating creep!) and Dawn divorced her husband before Kathy and I ever knew what was going on. We discussed rondathehonda at length later. I wish I’d spoken up as soon as I ran into her at the sleeping room. She’s a sick bitch and lives to cause pain to other women. Oh and she got her “rondathe honda” title from the men in Security at the hospital who tracked her all over the hospital on security cameras, slipping in and out of call rooms, closets, offices after hours. Everybody’s junk has been in her trunk.

              • She sounds like several of the ex wives of male chumps who post here

                I wonder what the compulsion to tell wives was about. Did she think she was performing a serrvice like a hacker demonstrating where the gaps are in a company’s cyber security?

          • One of the morning radio shows that I listen to has a segment called “Dirty Little Secret” where you can call in and confess different things. And these ‘things’ could be anything. Yesterday it was a woman that was calling in to confess that she’s going on a work trip and plans to seduce her coworker that she knows is married. She gives zero fucks about this man’s spouse. And the radio hosts tried talking her out of it and the woman actually says that if he turns her down it’ll just make her want him more and that maybe he’ll realize he isn’t happy in his relationship and will break up with his wife to be with her.

            And she was excited about it. Excited to buy pretty lingerie and excited to try to fuck this married man. Giggling and everything.

            This. This is the shit I can’t wrap my brain around. My STBX purposely got involved with a woman who admitted to having multiple affairs with married men. She goes after them all the time and STBX had NO qualms about getting involved with her.

            They deserve each other. I have enough issues with HIM, and I fully blame HIM for his actions. But knowing that this is a regular thing for the OW? WTF is wrong with this woman? I SO wish I knew the name of her AP prior to my STBX (I’ve heard the whole story – and he broke up with her after a years-long affair because they ‘didn’t work together anymore’. Obviously, he’s a serial cheater as well because his APs have to work where he works. ) because I would 100% try to find out who his wife is and out them both. I think about this stranger and his wife often because she deserves to know what’s being done to her behind her back. I want this OW to have to suffer SOME kind of repercussions for purposefully targeting other women’s husbands.
            Fucking skank.

            • My spouse not only cheated with a woman he knew had been cheating with two other married men who mysteriously ended up divorced mid-cheat (she was telling the wives), but he also failed to use a condom and brought home an STD to me (a working ob/gyn) and to this day denies the affair even after I told him she’d phoned me (she did). I think all that is necessary for some men to cheat is the opportunity to do it. That woman was nowhere near as attractive as me, just available.

              • Same here. Took me almost 10 months to find a picture of STBX’s Troll and, once I found it, I was even more offended. Knowing what kind of person she is and then finally having a face to put with the name and the stories…..I was annoyed that I spent so much time obsessing over his piece of Trash. I’ve never been one to think that I’m better than anyone else. Until now. I understand, now, that it wasn’t because she was prettier, smarter, better in bed, etc., etc., etc. It was because HE is deficient and SHE is as well…..and she was available and lacking in character and morals to the point that he knew she’d be an easy score. And I know damn well that I AM better than that. Him, her, the whole situation. He and I have had issues for years and I NEVER entertained the idea to cheat on him just because “things weren’t going well”.

                You know, 20 Years ago I had a crush on a coworker. We were never anything more than friendly and he was never inappropriate in any way. The day I found out he was married?? That was the day my crush went away. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Done. I didn’t know his wife at the time but that had nothing to do with it. He was married so my crush on him dissolved instantly. It NEVER crossed my mind to be sneaky and go after him anyway because I had RESPECT for his marriage and for his wife. Later on I did get to meet his wife and several of us couples used to get together regularly.

                And I’m still friends with both of them to this day.

                There is something inherently wrong with someone that literally goes out of their way and targets someone that’s already in a relationship. It’s up to the married target to shut that shit down, yes. But the complete lack of concern for someone else’s marriage absolutely blows my mind.

        • Yes true.

          And also a that time the Military was being wracked with claims of predatory behavior. I worked for the Navy at the time and we had to go to classes, rules were being put in place that prohibited certain activities. Career military men and some women were losing their careers for doing the same thing Clinton was doing.

          Yet folks made excuses for him and blamed the party who really had no power. He was in the position of power.

          I think the “metoo” movement has gone back and righted some of the wrongs in terms of the way Monica was treated by the press, she was accused by Hillarie’s advisors of being a stalker. It was nasty.

          Yes it was in part politics and both sides in these nasty situations just do and say stupid things. But, for me; she was young and foolish, and he had the power of not only his age, but his position of power.

          Yes she was responsible for her behavior, but he was the one with power over her. Whether he used that power or not, really doesn’t matter in terms of the rules and laws re that kind of behavior.

          Putting all that aside and in the past, what amazes me today is that so many men are still pulling the same shit, when they have to know they are going to get caught.

          My own fw included. He had been fucking his employee for several years, lying to everyone. How could he no know that his house of cards would fall.

        • I used to think exactly like that. She was a stupid kid and he was the president. I felt sorry for her more than anything.

          But she’s done it more than once AND she’s one of those total psychopaths who plays pretend friends with the wife and tries to get close to the children?! She’s just like my ex husband and his sick fucking friends. And people don’t grow out of personality disorders. She’s evil and she got off on what she did.

          • This 100%. People don’t realize how common this stuff is. There is an adultery sub reddit that has hundreds of thousands of cheaters giving each other tips. Google “women who target married men”…it’s a thing that floats around among normal people, like a secret toenail fungus, unseen but there.

          • Absolutely. She’s a SOW (serial other woman), not sorry about the harm she inflicted, but that she experienced consequences for her behavior.

            Anytime Lewinsky goes on one of her public spiels about her suffering in the aftermath of her affair with Clinton being exposed, I remind people about how she also betrayed and manipulated Kate Nason prior to her White House shenanigans. Lewinsky has never apologized either to Kate or to Hilary for her mistreatment of them.

        • By the time I was 22, many married men had made moves on me, some of them influential and powerful. Not anything special about me, just the circles my father moved in because of his work and where we lived and the school I went to, and the obscene level of entitlement of many men–young women were just a convenience to them. I did not take up with any of them. 22 is plenty old enough to have developed a moral compass, not to mention the ick factor regarding the age difference. I am not much older than Monica Lewinsky, and have always thought she deserves no pity at all. In fact, her saying that she has some place in the Me Too movement seems like a travesty to me. I read through many transcripts of her refusing to take no for an answer in that affair. I think the only reason her name is being dragged up again on FX is because they are trying to create a false equivalency with Trump’s impeachable offenses.

      • Spot on, David. Thanks for spelling it out so clearly. Shining a light on one bit of BS doesn’t automatically conflate that bit of BS with everything it touches.

        And people who abuse their power for personal gain are definitely bits of BS. No doubt about it.

        And that problem is MUCH bigger than one AP. It’s well-known and openly admitted that it’s rampant in the environment. This one was caught and exploited, not out of altruism or moral compass, but as a political move, and an example to others, and a scapegoat to protect the powerful, and nothing has significantly changed since all those years ago. That problem still needs a massive solution, regardless of what anyone thinks of any individual who was involved.

        Appreciate your shout out on that very cogent point.

    • Monica has a book coming out so that’s why she’s in the news cycle. I had an interaction on twitter with a woman, well here’s her response to someone that said they were tired of hearing about Monica:

      “That’s completely unfair and ignores both the power dynamic & the fact that BC is the MOST charismatic sexual predator I’ve ever seen. I worked the ’92 campaign, I’m 5 years older than Monica, not str8 & would’ve said “yes” @ the time. He’s THAT mesmerizing.

      He was the first truly powerful male narcissist I’d met (though I didn’t know the term at the time), and he’s no clumsy one, either. He isn’t outwardly cruel like TFG, so the flies come to the honey. I honestly think he was too deluded to see a connection between sex & politics.”

      Monica was YOUNG. The most powerful man on the planet, a charismatic predator, set his sights on her. She was one of many that came under his spell.

      The blame is on him as the cheater.

      Also, we the people should’ve never known the sordid details. There was way more going on politically that exposed that.

      • “Impeachment,” the third installment in the Murphy/Falchuk-led “American Crime Story,” just premiered Tuesday night. The producers, including Lewinsky*, and a variety of cast members have been making the press rounds for weeks.

        I don’t have much to add beyond what’s already been said. All I’ll say is that at 22 years old, I would likely have made some of the same choices. I’m not only a Chump, but the product of an affair (and those APs – my parents – are still married after 40+ years…close your eyes and imagine my therapy bill!) so my feelings around infidelity were ambiguous from the jump. Combined with the imbalanced power dynamic and her lack of real-world experience back then, I’m not here for the AP-shaming with this one. The NYT had a fantastic interview with her recently, for anyone who feels like checking it out: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/arts/television/monica-lewinsky-impeachment-american-crime-story.html

        * Ryan Murphy approached Monica, not the other way around, fwiw

      • I’d agree with you if there wasn’t another affair where she pretend befriended the wife because she got off on it.

        BC may be the biggest piece of shit who ever lived. Monica is still a piece of shit too.

      • I knew years before I was old enough to date that it was wrong to get involved, have a fling or whatever with a married person. I have no sympathy for Monica especially since she apparently learned nothing as a result of her previous affair with a married man. I am not excusing either guy here; I just have no use for people who deliberately try to come between a committed couple, those people who do not care who gets hurt. No use for cheaters either. Monica knew these two men were married. It seems like the notoriety has worked well for her. Glad I am not her parent or BC’s either. How embarrassing for all the family members in such situations.

        • I guess some people are trying to spin it that Monica was the victim of a child predator without realising it in her first affair and that mindfuck set her up for her subsequent situation. If so, and I know zilch about her FOO, it gave her a sense of personal power and attractiveness that she continued to look for in her future situations. I think that’s the turn on for a lot of these OWs, they don’t have a lot of personal agency in the world and somehow tgat translates into a sense of entitlement especially towards the wife – oh she’s just a spoilt bitch, she’s got the resources in life to get over it, they objectify the innocent parties as having more than them, give themselves a little dose of self pity and permission. Monica probably thought, oh Hillary , she’s the most powerful woman in the world, how could it hurt her tgat little old me fucks her husband, I wouldn’t care if I was in her position. Just my theory anyway, it’s the personal power dynamic that’s really at work.

          • And the fact that the king of the world/someone whom I admire, admired me ego boost. I know that’s simplistic though.

      • She was a child in retrospect in the earlier babysitter affair and the prey in the clinton affair.

        She took the lion share of the blame and pain and unwelcome notoriety. Still does.

        I don’t envy her.

    • The power imbalance in both instances is disgusting. I get being young and dumb. What I don’t get is the continual hucksterism around the experience. The celebrity, the handbags, the continual questing for relevance. It just seems like another kind of toxic kibble.

      • Let’s be honest. For some of these girls there is a hucksterism involved in their involvement in cheating. They don’t want to do the hard work of being a partner helping your spouse work their way up. They just want to be there to reap the benefits of your work. So while the power imbalance was horrible, she has proven that her character sucks!

  • Why we allow it is absolutely a valid question. I allowed myself to be treated like shit for a long time before I even knew about the ex gf.

    A close friend of mine told me I shouldn’t have needed to know about the ex gf to dump ex. ..his treatment of me otherwise was enough.

    She was right.

    As for Monica, she’s just a garden variety slut. My feminist card directs me to support strong, independent women….not cheap opportunistic whores.

    • I am somewhat sympathetic to Monica. Women who become embarrassed, and publicly condemned, behave differently because they are so ashamed of themselves. She can’t have a normal life. She’s going to live with this for the rest of her life and I found that sad because he’s gotten off free. I know someone who’s met him personally and she said he is so charming that you are enthralled with him immediately. That’s scary as hell. Washington DC is Sodom and Gomorrah 40 times over. People who go there with great ambition to do good become slimy. I don’t know what happens to people when they get around power but they become pieces of shit. That’s why I want term limits so we can get rid of those idiots.

      • I can understand the power imbalance, and I don’t even need to meet BC to see that he’s charming. That’s part of what makes him such an effective politician.

        And he’s hardly the only person in power to abuse the position this way.

        Having said that I knew when I was 20 not to fuck married people. If we’re going to cut her some slack we really have to do it for all much younger schmoopies because there’s always a power imbalance with a large age gap. True you average scumbag cheater isn’t the president but what about CEO’s? Managers? Any kind of power position can have a similar effect, and a much older person has emotional manipulation tools as well. I’m not comfortable cutting all much younger AP’s slack and I don’t know where you’d draw the line of accountability for them.

        • To me the line is if the powerful side of the fuckfest has life power in terms of job or basic needs over the weak side of the fuckfest.

          If Monica had been a school teacher, and not involved in an internship, different story.

          I don’t dispute ML was a slut, he was the person in power over her, and he was doing what many DoD men and women were getting fired for. He walked away fairly unscathed. Even whenever she tried to talk I would read so many nasty comments about why doesn’t she just go away and shut up. Yet when BC/HC or any of their handlers talked about it, those same folks thought it was just fine.

          Slut or whoremonger, each has his/her side of the story and the slut has just as much right to speak out as the whoremonger.

          I know everyone has their own view of things like this, I respect that.

          I have never read any interviews, books watched any documentaries on the situation. I only know what was in the news at the time. It just isn’t that interesting or unusual. But I will stand up for ML or him or Hillary to speak up about it anytime they want to though. As long as I can turn the channel.

    • My kids said this to me too – what wasn’t his shitty treatment of all of us enough to leave him. Pathetic really that it took a 3 year affair with his 20-years-younger assistant to make me stand up to him.

      • In a way I’m glad I found out about the whore ex gf. It’s what gave me the push I needed to leave.

        If not for that I might still be there, still last on his priority list behind his snotty grown daughter, his ex wife and her family, and his image management.

        He didn’t treat my kids that well either so they’re happier without him. He wasn’t abusive….just a miserable phony who was too cowardly to address things that bothered him so he’d do nasty, passive aggressive things and walk around pissed off from feeling powerless.

        • You speak for me, too. If I hadn’t learned what I did about my then husband he might still be my husband instead of my ex, and I am far better off and far happier with him as my ex than I was for far too long when I was married to him.

          • Same. I would have stayed loyal and true to someone who was actively destroying my soul. I had so many physical health issues the last few years of my marriage and was becoming so depressed and anxious from the constant gaslighting, etc.

            • I actually told our MC that I was willing to put up with a lot that I shouldn’t have for someone I thought was honest and loyal.

              Once I realized he wasn’t that was it for me.

              Our MC was also my IC; I’d offered to get another one for MC but he was fine using mine. I suspect he just didn’t care because he went grudgingly to shut me up and hardly participated.

              Asshole actually commented to the counselor that I must enjoy being there. She pointed out that I was fidgeting in the corner…hardly the behavior of someone having a good time. No response from him.

              She told me privately that she seldom had a spouse sit across the room from the other spouse during therapy like he did and I was wasting my time with him. I’m thankful she wasn’t part of the RIC.

              Yet he fought the divorce.

              • This. I tolerated being minimised and taken for granted/used as a caretaker for adulting because I thought he was loyal and trying but limited. No he just didn’t care but wasn’t clueing me in on that because it would inconvenience his lifestyle. Until he found what he thought was an upgrade.

      • Preach.

        The APs were the glorified “wake up call” but the abuse was there all.along. As in I got DARVO’d (‘ed?) earlier this week. Parenting coordinator FINALLY saw what I’d been explaining for months. She told him that his narrative was not welcome and if he continued, then the session would end. Could not believe it. Someone in AUTHORITY saw the shit and the vitriol and the anger…and called him on it. I returned to NC and guess what…about 20 minutes after session (telemed), I realized the DARVO was in full effect. Then, I took a long (3mi) walk listening to ambient chill vibes (LOL) and gave myself a pat on the back for not sinking into the previously unstoppable depression. My kids and I colored and laughed and sang songs and I looked at them with wonder–and that knowing of “yeah, I’m fucking done with that. Fuck that guy. He really does suck.”

        Oh, and as to ML–even a 22 year old star struck woman knows that fucking someone else’s husband is not ok. I was 22 once (ahem) and I didn’t. He is the OG wrong-doer. Period. She’s just an opportunist. Whether you care for Mrs. Rhodham-Clinton’s politics or not, she’s one of us. She was gaslighted, blamed, projected on, vilified and reviled–and not just by her neighbors. THE WHOLE PLANET. 7 billion people knowing my worst fear had come true? Yeah, no.

        And fuck that guy.

        • Way to be mighty LOS. Yeah I’m no spring chicken but I’m finding Lo-fi music very therapeutic atm. Yeah just imagine if your personal situation was the biggest news on the planet? I don’t live in the US but I do have sympathy for Hillary despite being aware she has many detractors, she had to process all the human emotions of public betrayal while everyone expected her to take the high moral ground because of her position of power and privilege. Private citizens get messy and shoot people or slash tires or suits, Hillary was expected to above such base emotional reactions.

      • I’m with you. I wish I had set boundaries and refused to be treated like garbage before D-day. I remember one time he was talking me into going with him to the gym to work out. And his argument for me going was so I would be healthy and we could see our 50th wedding anniversary someday. And I remember thinking, dear G-d I hope one of us doesn’t make it that long. Because the idea of 50+ years with him was awful to contemplate. I mean, I didn’t wish him (or me!) dead, but when he said it, the idea in my mind of putting up with his crap for 50 years was torture. It really was. Any why did I THEN not say to myself – hey, you need to end this crap and live a good life without him. I just kept spackling. But the idea of 50 years with him sounded like a prison sentence. I remember thinking that murderers spend less time in prison than that. And I was too chumpy to leave. I still kick myself.

        • My spackel was “I’m sure he will be more tolerable once …the kids are grow/his business is more successful/if I go back to work full in the blank. That is how I tolerated the bs and the future I thought we’d have. Pathetic that I didn’t demand better

    • Just come off a therapy session. My therapist is always very careful to distinguish between why I allowed myself to be treated as I did for so long (another ex gf true love, soulmate schmoopie) and blaming myself, criticising myself, beating myself up about why it was all my fault and if I had just [fill in the blanks] the ending would have been different. The ending would not have been different because I was not the FW in the marriage. My decisions were based on not having anywhere near all the facts (affair still denied) and doing my uninformed best to be a loyal, honest, loving, caring, supportive spouse. Ex was, may still be who knows, an alcoholic with issues that I no longer care to unravel. I can repack my baggage to make it lighter and that’s helpful. He tried and for 26 years succeeded in getting me to carry his mess of baggage too. My baggage is easier to assess now that his has gone 😃

      • “for 26 years [he] succeeded in getting me to carry his mess of baggage too. My baggage is easier to assess now that his has gone.”

        Absolutely true for me, too, although it was 35 years of carrying his baggage.

        • I am so sad that you had to go through it for even longer. There are so many of us around. My baggage is actually ok, entirely manageable. His was just too much!

    • Kim,

      This was my situation too. He was horrible to me for a long time and I was addicted to the hopium that things would change.

      The affair? Absolutely awful, but somewhat liberating as I knew THAT was a deal-breaker for me. Frankly, I didn’t think he had the balls to do it (little bitch that is he).

      So when I found out I was able to sever all ties, thus liberating me from the horrible relationship.

      I then spent a long time contemplating why I stayed. I reconsidered what was a deal-breaker and what was my requirement for a relationship. It has resulted in my being better with my boundaries, me being quicker to leave (to the point where others criticize me for leaving ‘too quickly’ these days *eye roll*). It also means that I have to think through why I didn’t have higher standards and better boundaries in the first place. This exploration has brought me right back to my FOO and the realization that I have never, ever been treated well and really didn’t know much better.

      I fought, oh yes I fought, for better treatment – so I must have known on some level. But why I stayed and endured?

      Well, and frankly a lot of that had to do with the goals of marriage, family, and a father figure for my kid.

      I really felt a lot of shame and disappointment post-relationship IN MYSELF for allowing that to go on. I vowed to never be in that situation again – where I would feel complicit in my own abuse.

  • My comment to my therapist was that I was raised in a normal family, and I had no idea about personality disorders

    I had no prior knowledge that my values of trust, understanding, and forgiveness could be used as weapons against me

    By the time many of us get old enough to start accepting that our spouses are abnormal we are also knee deep in kids, careers, mortgages, illness, caregiving.

    Life in not simple

    And I know plenty of therapists who have shitty personal lives, much worse than mine

    • I love this answer. Sometimes, because I was raised by great parents, I feel like I ought to have been equipped to notice my EX was a jackass. But, as you point out, the facts worked the other way for me as well. Because I was raised by people who have great character, I thought integrity was more widespread than it is!

      • Such a good point. I was under the impression for the longest time that certain (I know now they were dysfunctional) people just didn’t understand or could not see the light when they or others engaged in or accepted bad behavior. I now know, yeah, they understood perfectly they just flat out didn’t care or mind those or themselves deviating from social norms.

      • People from shitty families don’t know any different and people from great families project their own values and Benefit of the Doubt themselves to death. This stuff needs to be taught in school or a year of free counselling given to every high-schooler to straighten things out or warn them. Basically truth-mongering for both cases – this is what fucked up behaviour looks like, whether you are living it or on the lookout for it.

    • I was raised in a dysfunctional family. I was talking with a group of friends the other day, and the subject was how her younger sister had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in her teens, and how caring for this sister changed the course of life for all the other family members. I commented that at least her sister had been diagnosed, and they knew what they were dealing with. I am sure my father had some type of personality disorder, and I believe I now know which it was, but I am not a mental health professional. At the time I was growing up, we were not allowed to question any of his actions, no matter how crazy they were.

      I believe living with this cognitive dissonance makes YOU a little crazy. Living in an environment where you are expected to “take the blame” for things you had no control over damages you. I am not sure what a “normal” family looks like, but CL is correct in noting the difference between causing someone else to do something, and accepting that they do. In my FOO culture, men were given a pass on many bad behaviors (alcoholism, domestic violence, gambling, cruelty . . . ) because they were JUST men. Actually, I find that insulting to good men. But I know that “acceptance of bad behavior” and taking the blame for things I could not control damaged me. It took me years to work through the root causes of why I put up with it, and to do the hard work of changing my own outlook and behavior. You are not the reason he cheated, but why did you tolerate it, or think you could fix it (Pick me dance), and why would you want to continue a relationship with someone who betrayed you?

      You have to deal with this to change your life. It is not blame for another’s actions. It is the only path that will lead you out of the dysfunctional thinking that can keep you trapped and miserable for years!

      With regard to Monica. I think she is an entitled opportunist. I know she was young, and many young women make errors that later haunt them, but she is trotted out and used to bring attention to other issues all the time. She continues to allow this, and she continues to focus on her past behavior and the subsequent public criticism as if she is seeking a pardon for her own bad behavior. Predators will always look for vulnerable prey, but most prey tries to run and hide, and not participate in their own demise. She put herself out there and agreed to all the terms of secret and scandalous behavior. She got caught. The political machine used her for their own purposes, but she was a voluntary pawn. I am very tired of her story. I believe that if all the illicit relationships and bad behaviors that occur in Washington DC were exposed that there would be very few good men and women left standing unscathed in BOTH parties.

      What cheaters and their affair partners actually do when they are carrying out their “affair” is criminal, in my opinion, but the lies cause the most damage. We have no legal process to protect us from this damage, but we can divorce and take ourselves out of the dysfunctional cycle. We can choose to live a life without a FW in the picture. It may be very hard to do, but in my case it was well worth it.

  • My dearest friend’s husband’s 1st marriage ended due to his serial cheating wife – he was a chump.

    Finances are tight because of my divorce & I live in my mortgage free home. Friend’s husband made a comment that because I still live in the home I shared with ex, I’m not moving on. WTF? He was never my favorite person but I felt a sting. I replied that I like my home of 28+ years & will consider moving when retirement gets closer in about 10 years. Jerk!

    • I cite the frog in the kettle of water story. It’s a gradual thing.

      FWs inch over boundaries so slowly that we don’t see it. What would be totally unacceptable in one big gulp is hardly noticed because they gradually accustom us to their bad behavior over time. They consume us with nibbles at first, and then when we get used to it, the bites get bigger until even we can see it. By then a lot of us are shadows of our former selves. They have extracted the maximum value from us.

      What they don’t count on is the moxie in us here in chump land. It may be stifled and buried, but it’s still there, and when we find it again, we are mighty and they have cause to tremble.

      • Yes, this. What I find deeply inspirational about the people here is their bravery in searching, eventually for what is true. We all had a come to Jesus moment where, aside from the betrayal, we chose to look at the truth and deal, and do the hard work of excavating ourselves and asking why many of us chose for a long or short time to tolerate the intolerable. We sorted through our own shit instead of offloading it onto someone else or burying it with numbing pleasure seeking activities. For many the betrayal was the culmination of a lifetime of buried issues that we were suddenly asked to look at in the harshest light possible, sudden revelation. And we did it, we looked and then we acted, no excuses. That to me is mighty.

    • I didn’t own, but I stayed in the apartment I had shared with my ex after he left. I didn’t want to make a big decision in a state of shock, and I also knew that it was the place I felt most at home. I wanted and needed that, especially since my sense of “home” had previously been my ex.

      I repainted two rooms I could afford to do (I would have done more, but money was tight), and I bought new sheets and put my old bed up instead of the one we had shared (which I made him take away), Changed out pictures and art, etc. There are ways to “reclaim” a home and “move on” without moving out, in my opinion.

      A couple of years later, I had a boyfriend and he eventually moved into that apartment. We were there together for two-ish years. We had been looking for a nicer place but hadn’t found anything better than that place that we could afford, so we stayed. Then there was a fire in our building, and we were literally forced out in the middle of the night. Thankfully, we eventually found a new place we liked and could afford and moved in there a few months later.

      All that to say, Hurt1, that I think what he said isn’t true. I don’t think whether someone is moving on is directly linked to where they live. People can move and still not have moved on emotionally. And people can stay where they are and reconstruct their lives and rebuild from the rubble.

      Maybe you will want to move somewhere else one day, but if that’s the case, you’ll know you want to when the time comes.

        • I’ve gotta say…my FW was insisting that I sell the house within a year, etc. etc. (He also told me not to touch his pension.) So I figured out a way to buy him out of his half of the house. It has been hard at times being here (strangely lots of great memories 🙂) but I wanted the kids to not have to move out until they were ready. Anyways…house prices have jumped dramatically in the few years since the split and the house has appreciated more than the total amount that his total ‘pension’ (actually mutual funds that have tanked) was worth. I’ll take the good karma!!

          • I’m planning to buy klootzak out of the house. It’s stability for kiddo but I also have poured my sweat into making it great over the years. And one of my best friends lives on the same block as well as my child’s best friend. And after suffering so many military moves, I’m so done with moving and watching my things get damaged.

            When my child moves off to college, I might sell and downsize a little because the extra money will allow me to retire a few years earlier. If he is good with moving before that, I might do the downsize before he enters high school. I am always looking at houses online and daydreaming but I also know that I am one bathroom renovation, some new carpeting, and a new driveway away from my dream home. My location is such that I am near hospitals, car repair shops, grocery, everything including art galleries, yoga, restaurants, you name it. It’s a super walkable area but it is a bit of city hustle and bustle that I would like to leave behind one day.

            None of my calculations about staying, downsizing, or anything have anything to do with klootzak. He exists in it now but I don’t see the house being associated with him particularly. I will repaint some rooms that he insists on having in ugly colors and repurpose them to bring me joy but beyond that, when he’s gone, he’s gone. I won’t be driven from my house by people’s perceptions based on the fact he once lived in it. Pfffft. Who cares?

    • Who is he to judge your personal housing decisions? Pfffft!

      I also live in my mortgage-paid-off home of 29 years. I fought for and won this house in the divorce, I love my house, and feel good that I certainly achieved meh while living here even though DumbAss ex had lived here too (married for 25 years, divorce final in 2007). My hard fought and expensive divorce was final in 2007. He really tried to screw me and the kids over, but I’m still here. He’s not. He’s rotting a thousand miles away. I’ll probably sell and move when I retire, since this house is really too large for one person, but so what! My life, my choices! And certainly nobody else’s business.

  • I didn’t know Monica had been involved in other affairs before or after Clinton. That does change my perception a bit. I might have been inclined to cut her some slack for being impressionable, young, stupid, and too inexperienced to have developed empathy. Maybe she has matured since then? Well, maybe not. I am not hearing much sympathy from her for those she hurt beyond (I would like to apologize) and she still seems to be stuck on the pain of having suffered her own karma. That begs the question. “What did she really learn?”. Being a serial cheater doesn’t help her cause.

    I am still pissed, however, that Bill Clinton threw her under the bus, took no responsibility whatsoever, and suffered no consequences. He is still revered as a great president in many circles including among many women. Really? Who cares if he was an adulterous sexual predator and possibly a rapist? He did good things for women’s rights. So a few women were sacrificed along the way. It wasn’t me, so it all good. And no, I am most definitely not a republican. This isn’t political. Bill Clinton is just a shitty person (as is Trump).

    • >suffered no consequences.

      The scandal itself was a consequence. Clinton getting grilled publicly over the details was a consequence. Arguably, that Starr report was painful for a lot more people than Clinton, but still, it was a horrible consequence. Not to get into all that much, I just think that “no consequences” is an unhelpful exaggeration.

      • Did Bill Clinton get ostracized? No he continued right on being the charming outgoing person he is. He was invited to all the best places, and paid for speeches, and as far as I can tell he’s had a pretty happy life. I don’t see that for Monica.

        • That’s unfortunately how it is with people of power.

          Those in his circle still had use for him so they were willing to overlook things. If he hadn’t been of use he would’ve been ostracized.

          This attitude is common to all sides of the isle

        • He didn’t get ostracized from where I stand. Not only does he clock fat checks for his speakers fees, but I’m pretty sure he’s been able to do quite a bit of fundraising.

          I’m not apologizing for or defending Monica Lewinsky.

          I’m just sick of guys getting a slap on the wrist while the women burn.

        • What I find far more disturbing than BC’s affair with Monica was his sexual assault on several women and his flying monkeys making them out to be nothing but trash.

          • You’re right, KB22. And what I wonder about is how many more women are out there that have refused to come forward because they were afraid because of the flying monkeys.

          • Bill and Hillarie’s flying monkeys trashed ML.

            I get HC being able to say it as the betrayed, but she should have said what she wanted and told her flying monkeys to shut the hell up. Same with Bill. Same with any other politician left right or in the middle when they get their genitals caught in the cookie jar.

            The whole sordid mess was drug back out when Metoo hit the news. I will say though I can’t remember the specifics of who and what they said, there were a lot of folks who admitted they were wrong in the way they treated ML.

      • So what? Nobody cared. He suffered minor embarrassment but there wasn’t really anything revealed that was a shock to anyone. Everyone already knew he was an adulterer and let it slide. The only consequence was that he couldn’t maintain plausible deniability when nobody really believed him anyway. Most people seemed to write the whole thing off as Washington politics. Monica, however. Oh, she was a whore who deserved to have her whole life upended. All of the real consequences fell on her.

  • You are so correct. Life is not simple. I stayed because I loved my family and on the outside, we looked great. Not very many people witnessed his treatment of me, his disrespect, his lack of “adulting”. My coworker commented post affair “But you always seemed so happy”. My response was that I didn’t know that I shouldn’t be happy. Once the affair was uncovered, I was told by my psychiatrist that my ex was a Sociopath. So, that’s what all those red flags were pointing towards.

    I did switch therapists after she stated that “I should be over it” after two years post Dday. I was with my ex for 42 years and married 36.

    Regarding Monica, I did not know about the other affair. I do fault Bill Clinton for their affair as he certainly took total advantage of his position of power. If it wasn’t Monica, it would have been someone else. Just sad that this event ruined her life and had no impact on HIS.

      • Good question! A serial OW who knew what she was doing and went after those men shamelessly. Yes, there are consequences when it such info comes out.

      • Good question. Many chumps here have 19-25 year old OWs. Many chump’s FW were/are people in power- doctors, lawyers, professors etc. Why is MC different?

      • It irks me that the OW in my situation is a registered clinical counselor who has had no repercussions. I would NEVER seek advice from someone like her. How the hell is she qualified to tell anyone how they should be living their life? I would want to know if my therapist had self-esteem so low that the best she thought she could do was snagging a cheater. Just saying…

  • For Frustrated Chump, it does hurt to realize you have issues too. No, it’s not your fault your were cheated on, but yes, it’s an issue if you don’t value yourself enough to set healthy boundaries. That was my problem anyway. I didn’t get better and finally leave until I realized I had issues I needed to deal with. My Xhole is who he is, an abusive, lying cheater, but it was my choice to stay 20 years with him. Thus I didn’t love myself enough to know I was worth more.

    My Mom and Dad’s marriage has always been abusive. He started off hitting and spitting on her. They both are violent. Not sure if he cheated or not, but he sure didn’t mind my X cheating on me. Anyway, after 65 years together she is now his caregiver. He’s not nice, still threatens her, but she won’t leave. She’s stuck in her own prison, still talks about how he hit her over 50 years ago. I could have been her, but I got help and got out. I hurt for her because she will always be a a victim and co-dependent. It’s a horrible way to live.

    I think your therapist wants you to realize what’s wrong inside of you that would not expect more from your spouse. Not that you caused the cheating. You are worth so much more and once you realize that and set boundaries, you will find someone worthy of your love.

  • Very few parents relish the idea of potentially losing 50% of their chidlren’s childhood years

    And there are many of us who did not trust the FW to look after the children safely without us there

    • This was my own rationale. Even before learning of the affair, I sometimes contemplated divorce when my conscious mind acknowledged that something was not right, that I was unhappy, that my husband was moody and often mean to me and to the kids.

      But when the thought of divorce crossed my mind, I panicked that I couldn’t let my young children be alone with him 50% of the time. I rationalized that I was doing what was best for my family.
      I survived on breadcrumbs. Thus we stayed married for 35 years. If I hadn’t learned of the affair, I’d still be married to that man. In a weird way, the affair saved me because it forced me to leave an abusive relationship.

      p.s. As I’ve said here before, my adult kids wish I’d left him when they were in elementary school. I sometimes wonder how that would have gone. To this day, I think they needed me to run interference. I don’t know.

      They have no contact with him now. I’m sure he thinks it’s because of the affair (or, as he put it, his “one lie.”). That he was able to cheat and deceive for so long surely affects their decision to go NC, but the roots of their aversion run deeper than he’ll ever know or acknowledge. He’ll go to his grave arguing that I poisoned them against him. He doesn’t see that his past behavior with his kids sucked. He contends that he “was a great dad.” He’s good at denial, too.

      • ‘one lie’ – We all know that an affair is hundreds/thousands of lies. But their denial minimizes that number to “just 1”.

        And his denial makes him blind that his actions poisoned them against him. Revisionist history.

    • This is exactly what keeps women stuck.

      I’ve also thought I was needed to run the interference. I’m holding out hope as mine get older they can manage this relationship on their own.

    • I have been and am in that boat. The child is in elementary school now and I keep telling myself it will be OK. I don’t want to give up 50% of my child. It’s tearing my heart out to think of it. But staying with klootzak another 12 years, waiting for kiddo to go to college is not an option. My resolve is strengthened by those of you who say your kids wished it had ended earlier or were happy when it did. While he is with both parents, klootzak is controlling of us both. So if I have my child 50% of the time, that means kiddo gets 50% of freedom from klootzak. I’m praying he can be with me the majority of the time but I’m realistic about how the court works. My sadness at losing half of my time with my child is a punishment for other freedoms. I don’t know how I’ll bear it but try to focus on all that can be gained on the other side.

      • Right there with you. It’s the absolute worst thing to face. Especially sad bc I know mine doesn’t want to do it nor is he capable. My kids are young but they know something is off, with dad. I just cannot model this “marriage” for them, it’s so f-ed up.
        I try to think of it as being some sort of equality for all the time he ran off with whores or hobbies.

  • Ok, so I just watched the entire Oprah show. Here’s my takeaway:

    The cheater admits he got high on the deception (the deception was the drug) AND that he only felt bad about everything because he realized that *he* could be hurt by it. He could lose so much: wife, children, colleagues. So even his copping to his cheating and hoping to reconcile was *all about him*. The entitlement and scumbaggery is strong in that one.

    Kids feel the pain. My heart really goes out to the adult sons who were clearly adversely affected by the cheating. By the way, I felt the dad was lying when he said he couldn’t remember that his son had asked him whether he’d had an affair while they were at the fishing cabin. That’s not a conversation I think one would forget.

    As for Suzie, well, I’m glad she got a book out of it. But I worry she’s still in denial.

    My spidey sense tells me that this dude continues to cheat. Maybe Suzie will write a sequel.

    • This was the take away:”he realized that *he* could be hurt by it”. Suzie, do you hear what he is saying?!?! He isn’t upset that he caused so much pain to Suzie and his children its all about him!

      The amount that his one son was hurt just was heartbreaking, and I don’t recall seeing as much as an expression change on ole’ Burton’s face, Suzie was the one that got up to hug him. I agree with you I think he was lying and absolutely remembered that conversation with his son, he just didn’t want to have to discuss it, that was an easy out.

    • I watched the whole thing also. EVERYTHING that Burton said, the afterword about the deception, all of it, is exactly what the exFW has said.

      I am the opposite of denial-Suzie. I dumped him because he was too good at that deception and also because he revolted me as soon as I knew. blechhhhh. I could never touch him again.

      The exFW also said he could never cheat again, and he did dump the OW. And then started a new relationship in which he moved in with her after only 2 months. (While still trying to get around my blocks to contact me). Will he cheat on the new relationship? idk, he may not have an opportunity as he is getting older. But if he gets the opportunity? Yes, he will cheat again.

    • Yeah, he was lying for his own benefit. I saw an email my husband sent to another woman after a night away from home. It read: FORGET ME NOT. When I confronted him, he said he couldn’t even remember such an email. I don’t believe that for a second. He remembers it, draws it out and relishes it like a serial killer’s souvenir.

      • So true.

        For me, why would anyone want to reconcile with someone who enjoys the feeling of deceiving others, for whom deception is enjoyable?

        No amount of marital therapy and prayers can erase that fact.

        • the exFW was all about getting off on the deception. I think it was because he failed at getting into to FBI. He was always looking for his next thrill.

          To know that betraying me was a thrill makes me disgusted. Which is why I dumped him immediately. Sick bastard.

    • I noticed that as I was just watching it. He never that I recall said anything about the horrendous pain he caused his wife. He gave a perfunctory statement about the fact that his sons were hurt.

      That quite frankly I think is a very common thread. The cheater can not feel the pain of the betrayed spouse because for whatever reason; they flat out don’t care. If they did, they likely couldn’t have done it.

      And yes, I think he is still a cheater. It will be deception on overdrive now. Suzy has swallowed the shit sandwiches, and will continue eating them. At least for a while.

    • Spinach@35 and Longtime Chump –

      That was EXACTLY what I thought. That smug douchebag did a bit of math and realized that his life with the big house, retirement, and all the material toys would be half what it was. Suzie herself admitted that she didn’t want to know the details about any of the affairs. Double-Life-Douchebag has now learned how to hone his 15-years of treachery and skills (besides the secret phone, post office box, etc) in taking his affair(s) even further underground, since this show aired in 2004).

      What I also noticed is that he replied with mostly short sentences and looked a bit frustrated and almost bored with the whole interview. (The other husband in the audience – the one with the story that we didn’t see – had that frozen deer-in-the-headlights look and seemed ready to bolt out at any second. My guess is that their marriage imploded for good not long after the Oprah show).

      Just because Burton and Suzie are still “together” absolutely does NOT mean that they are happy. Book sales will fall flat if the again humiliated author has to admit that the unicorn (with 3 strikes already) was all a delusion.

      • Suzy Farbman also wrote a 2nd book published in 2012 about her uphill battle with uterine cancer.

        My heart breaks for her regarding the heart-breaking Life Event challenges she has faced, all in a relatively short time.

        For her sake, I am so hoping that Burton actually did turn out to be that rarest-of-the-rare mythical unicorn.

  • Burton is no unicorn Suzie! Their grown sons are talking about how much it hurt them that their father cheated on their mom, one even in tears and this asshat of a man says how the affairs really hurt him?!?!? Are you kidding me?! I don’t sense any genuine remorse from that guy. I did hear how Suzie blamed herself, and her focus on her career and the children causing the affairs. I remember doing that too, oh I focused too much on the kids that caused my FW’s dick to just fall into his ho-worker.

    I remember crying night after night when I had the big d-day, and my husband almost drunk over the power of how much it hurt me, I remember him saying how he had no idea how much I cared. Oh really, jack ass?!

    While I am stuck its not due to hopium or denial, maybe inertia. I do all the things that keep the kids and the house going, he just drops in like always to play “happy family” for a bit then goes off and does whatever he likes. This will not be his reality when he has custodial time. And he will have to part with more precious money. Turing out like Suzie or his mother is my nightmare.

    • “I don’t sense any genuine remorse from that guy.” Exactly. “ME. me, me, me, me.” He’s just trying to save his own ass. He did the calculation and realized he has too much to lose by carrying on affairs. This guy comes across as incredibly selfish and entitled. Doesn’t Suzie see this?

      Longtime Chump, I wish you all the best in overcoming your own inertia. You deserve better.

    • “I remember crying night after night when I had the big d-day, and my husband almost drunk over the power of how much it hurt me, I remember him saying how he had no idea how much I cared. Oh really, jack ass?!“

      They have no idea how much you care and how much you could be hurt because they don’t care that deeply about you and have no comprehension of the harm they are causing. Then, to find out how affected you are is just intoxicating kibble proof of their awesomeness.

      • “They have no idea how much you care and how much you could be hurt because they don’t care that deeply about you and have no comprehension of the harm they are causing. ”

        Exactly, they just don’t feel deeply about anyone. It is hard for the chumpy brain to comprehend, kind of sad that people actually live their whole lives like that.

        You make a great point that then then when they can’t really understand that we feel so deeply it becomes, because they are so wonderful. Makes perfect sense when the narcissistic lens is applied!

      • I remember this also (my XW being surprised that I wasn’t instantly buoyed by the idea of divorcing her and destroying our family), but I don’t think my XW particularly enjoyed how distraught I was. She wanted to get away from me, and my obvious pain, as fast as possible. She was so enraptured with her AP and her soon-to-be-consummated life with him that she literally couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy that our family was imploding; because *she* was happy, she somehow thought that the kids and I would be happy too, and my obvious unhappiness was too direct a contradiction.

        • Yes, my cheater-ex was also quite surprised that I wasn’t happy that he was happy with his schmoopie. They truly believe that as long as they are happy, everything else should be okay. This also leads into the whole bullshit thinking that they parent better when they are happy, so cheating is therefore just good parenting.

          And they dislike watching chumps cry and be distraught because it cracks that delusion. So it becomes ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt me’ because it’s a downer to be around someone who is crying and devastated.

      • And even if they did have an idea how much you care they don’t care, except for feeling that they’re so great that they deserve your love.

  • I really did not know about my husband’s secret sexual life. Were there some instances where his behavior didn’t match his words? Yes, but all for minor things, and not different from what you see in normal people. In my experience even the kindest, most ethical person has bad days or bad moments. I thought my husband was an honorable man. That is why, when the mask comes off and you see the cold, dead shark eyes and complete lack of empathy and come to realize that this is a very disordered person, that it is such a shock and feels so unreal.

    When I was reeling and traumatized one of the few things that gave me comfort was reading about women who’d been married to serial killlers or rapists or con artists…all men with secret lives…where the woman didn’t know anything. There is overwhelming societal pressure to believe that the wives knew, and many women who proclaim that they would know, and to blame the wives for keeping the secret. But I have come to understand that in many cases, these liars were so very good at deceit, that the women simply did not know. Because I didn’t.

    For me, the bad treatment came after Dday. It was so unreal to me that I wondered if I had died and perhaps this was hell. When you find out that the person you loved and trusted above all others is a fake and has no concern for you, you have to..at least I did…go back and look at everything and every relationship and assess whether you had been fooled and whether that person really loved you. I always thought the past was a closed book, but when you are betrayed by someone you love, you have to rewrite your past in the light of new knowledge (and your present, and your future.) In one video, about a girl who found out her father was a serial killer, she had to rewrite all her memories and examine every one. When her father was kind to her, was that real? When he bought her a much-wanted kitten, did that mean he loved her at least a little? Or was she just a prop? What was real, and what was fake?

    Navigating all this with a traumatized brain is hard work, and at first may be impossible work. I’ve faced death a couple of times, was raped as a young girl, was once stalked and shot at in the woods. None of those experiences even comes close to the shock of betrayal. I believe that many of the decisions we Chumps make in the aftermath of Dday are artifacts of a traumatized brain. In a very real sense, we are like soldiers in a terrible war, who are shell-shocked. And probably only fully understood by other soldiers. So when you get home from the war and some civilian, sitting in a comfy chair sipping tea, wants to ask you questions about how you made it through, they don’t have the frame of reference to understand a thing you say, or even their own questions. There is a revolutionary divide between you, and communication across it can only every be partial. I don’t even try.

    • “the cold, dead shark eyes and complete lack of empathy”
      That is exactly what the guy on this Oprah clip exhibited, while everyone around him is talking about the devastation he wreaked.

    • I also had no idea. No “sixth sense” “gut feeling”. No clue. Looking back all I could find as far as clues were text messages from when I was away and busy in which he was telling me what he was doing (which was his cover for what he was REALLY doing). But nothing in those texts ever brought any suspicion. He was just keeping in touch with me while I was working or helping at school things.

      I’m so sorry for all of the trauma that you’ve had in your life. Through all of that, that the betrayal is the one that brought the most devastation is telling. It reminds me of how when I was emotionally abused in marriage I wanted him to hit me, because that would be a physical manifestation of the abuse. It’s also how I came to understand why people cut.

      I never knew that betrayal would cause such trauma. It’s almost a year since D-day and I can finally say I am at Tuesday. Once I get past the “anniversary” of D-day – in 3 weeks – I will be completely free.

      • Dear CNM:

        Here’s to your upcoming Tuesday, and all the hard work and pain and planning that you did to make it through. You are mighty!

    • Also, there is another thing too. Those of us who grew up in the hellscape of an abusive family have a much different perception of what is supposed to be “normal” than someone from a loving, supportive family. It takes a long time and a lot of growth to change that, not to mention therapy of some kind.

    • I can relate to most of this PrincipledLife. There was no real Dday for me. Just a Dyear. A very painful 2 year discard with increasingly confusing behavior from exFW, including 3 months of announced separation where we were living under the same roof and I didn’t recognize the person I was living with. It is a scary feeling, with 2 little children, not to know the person you were supposed to be able to trust. Then the work of looking back at everything in our married life, which took about a year. Once everything started to click and painfully fall into place it didn’t matter anymore that he had cheated on me. The real deal breaker was how disrespectful he had been to use me that way, and the entitlement it implied. On top of the cruelty and the total lack of empathy. I just didn’t want anything to do with this person anymore at that point.

      I agree there is no way to explain the trauma caused by this amount of betrayal. There’s no way to convey how much rewriting of one’s history happens. There’s a before and an after, and you’re not the same person anymore. In one way it’s a good thing, but it’s also something that happened to you and that’s hard to get over.

      • Hi FTS:

        You are so right that there is a before and an after, and we are not the same. I feel like we have all been forged by fire, and we come out…if we are lucky and survive…with the base metals burnt away. And so we are stronger, and thank God for that. But sometimes I miss that funny, playful, trusting woman I used to be….the man I thought my husband was…and the safe, ethical world I thought I lived in.

        • PrincipledLife — yes, yes, yes — I miss the person I used to be … and the world I thought I lived in. Very well said. And earlier you talked about the loneliness of not being able to explain to other people the experience of betrayal trauma — yes, that is why we are all here on this website. We feel less alone with each other here.

    • Principled Life: Very good post. “raped”, “shot at…”, etc. and none of this comes close to being betrayed. I think this puts it in terms anyone can understand. No comparison to anything when you are betrayed by someone you trusted and loved and thought they loved you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tracy, it really bothers me when anyone frames Monica as a victim. She is still profiting from that whole sordid affair. Monica was an affair partner. Bill is a cheater. They both suck. Monica literally.

    • I’d agree. Monica is no victim, she just doesn’t like the consequences. She herself said she was going to DC to use her “Presidential Kneepads”. She knew precisely what WHC was. How? From the news, of course. The whole Gennifer Flowers thing coming out prior to the election. Monica thought she’d get some high powered job from it. Too bad the women he raped had other ideas and sued his sorry @$$. Bad timing for poor Monica. Bill got off scott free (getting his rich friends to pay off his legal fees), flying around on the Lolita Express looking like his shit doesn’t stink.

      They’re all disgusting.

    • Monica is no victim. The real victim is Hillary Clinton. It really hurt her, their daughter and her political career. No one should remember Monica’s name.

  • I just watched that whole Oprah video. I wasn’t intending to, but I couldn’t stop.

    It is really chilling. His two (now adult) sons are crying, so clearly devastated over his betrayal of their mom (and them), and he sits there absolutely stone-faced. He goes on to say that he practiced “some form of deception” his entire life, and that what he missed most about being cut off from the affairs was the opportunity to deceive.

    He also said that he did tell the last mistress that he loved her, and it seems that Suzie is hearing THAT for the first time. What does she do? Gives him a playful punch.

    It’s just …. very frightening.

    • FYI, I thought it was frightening also. Those lovely sons and their heartbreak and insensitive pig cheater sitting there imperviousto their pain like Jabba the Hutt. But what was oddest was him saying he told the other woman he loved her and the wife smiling and giving him a little punch. Lord, how I wanted to see her pull a large fork…like the turkey fork you use on Thanksgiving…out of her bag, thrust it into his thigh and twist it. I’m convinced a jury of her peers (Chumps) would acquit her.

  • I think my empathy for Monica Lewinsky comes from the rage I feel that she really lost her name and her reputation – her affair with Bill Clinton will be in her obituary, prominently.

    But people still think Bill Clinton is a charming rogue.

    I live in Texas, and I had to grind my teeth every time some man (and it was always a man) said “I can’t stand Hillary, but I like Bill!”

    I feel like Monica was punished for her sins. I feel like Hillary was punished for her husband’s sins.

    Bill is apparently impervious to real consequences.

  • Clinton was not Lewinsky’s first rodeo, and it wasn’t as if she didn’t actively pursue him – she did, and she admits to it – to initiate the affair. Both parties are equally guilty of wrong doing, but pretending as if there were no consequences for Bill Clinton while Lewinsky was hounded isn’t true. It was the death of his active political career, and he deserved it. This really doesn’t have anything to do with feminism; just the age old story of someone pursuing a married partner for the thrill and someone breaking their marriage vows for the same reason.

    The saddest thing to me about this whole business is that the person who has suffered the most from this tawdry business is Hillary Clinton. Like her or loathe her, she did what a lot of us do and believed her shit of a husband when he told her initially that Lewinsky was lying for political reasons, and was publicly humiliated as a result. Her own career took a hit (if I had a dime for every time I heard the political bloviating class place blame for Bill’s affair at her lack of stylishness, her ambitions, her so-called “nagging mother” persona, I’d be wealthy enough to buy a private island somewhere tropical and retire to paradise) and now this TV movie and all the gossip about it has made it so she has to live through it yet again. I have no idea why she stayed with him. She should have left, although she would have been damned either way.

      • Chelsea wasn’t married to him, and didn’t have her life forever in the limelight as either “the idiot that stayed with the charming cheater” or as the “bitch who was the reason Bill cheated with an intern”.

        I’m not saying Chelsea didn’t suffer as a result of her Dad’s lies and infidelity, only that she wasn’t as badly affected as Hillary.

        • Go back and look at those two boys in that Ophrah interview. That is true lifelong injury causing unending suffering that you are seeing. My brother divorced his wife for adultery and his children found out. One of them has elected to stay single and become morbidly obese; the other married an ex-convict. Both of them are educated and attractive and could have done much better. There are many valid studies showing the harm caused to children in these situations. Even as adults, children in these situations are gravely harmed. Wives recover; children do not.

          • I was in a long term marriage & the thought of “divorce harming the children” was one of the many reasons I stayed for so long.
            A different way to look at it is this: what came before the divorce is really what hurts the kids. The actual divorce is just putting a legal label on it.

            In the same way, what hurt my kids was their dad putting on a mask of being a dad. The 2 girls, now adults, are no contact, by their own choice. I gave few details (he was unfaithful, he spent money on business trips that went directly against marriage) and no editorializing, to all the kids, as they were all over 18. The boys have minimal contact. They each have told me that they always felt Dad was “off.”

            I don’t think staying married makes up for the fact that a cheater cheats the entire family.

            As my finances got better and gave me a true option to leave and stay above the poverty line, I couldn’t live with myself perpetuating the lie that my husband and I loved and cared for each other. We didn’t.

            The kids were very relieved and the honest life that I have now was worth the upheaval. I am sure the kids have been harmed; I couldn’t prevent that. But it didn’t happen in the 8 months of separation & finalization of the divorce last month.

    • Clinton (Bill) continued to thrive in and out of office. To this day he’s a major power player in politics and elsewhere. His career proceeded just fine. As for Clinton (Hilary), whatever goodwill she garnered as the chump lo those many years ago pretty well vanished when, during her presidential campaign, she asserted that her husband’s affair was not an abuse of power. Yea right.

  • OMG Susie WHY oh WHY are you staying with this loser?!? He’s no looker. Is he mega wealthy?? Hung like a horse?? Why is she still attracted to him?!

    • I thought that right off.

      I mean the guy is kind of creepy looking, what was the draw for the younger woman. Money? I am sure he was showering her with gifts.

      She wasn’t him employee so no harassment was evident. I assume she was reasonably attractive and wasn’t desperate for a mans attention.

  • Why do we have workplace sexual harrassement policies? The power over the employee takes away true consent.

    I would say that the age of 22, and it being in a workplace situation has to be taken into account.

    This is my opinion and you do not have to agree

    • 100% agree Mitz. The most powerful man, who is also the boss of everyone.

      The power dynamic between them was huge.

    • I agree, had she been totally in a different field. Say a school teacher who was chasing him, then it is on her; but nope huge power difference.

      In my exs case she was his employee and had she filed a suit against the PD, she would have won that suit hands down. Doesn’t mean she wasn’t a whore, (she was a whore long before he starting swinging his dick at her) but it is basically the law.

      In fws case when he first started fucking her she didn’t even work at the PD. However once they started fucking, he worked to get her hired as his direct report. Even given that, she would win a lawsuit because he should have never let her be hired, knowing what he was doing.

    • Yep. Lewinski’s choices have little to do with Clinton’s massive and predatory abuse of power. She can be judged on her choices, and he should be judged on his.

      In any event, at 22 you don’t even have the maturity to rent a car. But yes, there are MANY 22 years who would not have an affair with a married man who they thought was incredibly attractive. However, I suspect that number dwindles significantly when the man is el hefe.

  • Is anyone else getting triggered by the 9/11 anniversary news coverage? I look back at that time (12 years into a 30 year marriage) and remember wondering where his loyalties would lay if a “rescue” were required. With his first wife and adult child? With his elderly parent and family of origin? With his work buddies? I didn’t even consider an OW. Maybe I should have.

    This is why I can’t “just get over it”.

    • My ex once told me (many years pre-DDay, but while cheating) that if someone had a gun pointed at his head and told him to choose whether to shoot me, his mother, or his sister, he would kill me. The worst part is that he never really apologized, but instead DARVO’d. He would come up with some nonsense, insulting rationales. He once even said, because he’d just done something undeniably wretched, “You still bring up that hypothetical!” I pointed out that I had not mentioned it, he had, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. He was briefly stumped.

      The whole hypothetical arose because I was catching in to the fact that I was a pawn and not a priority, even though I was working hard and making many sacrifices on his/his family’s behalf. When you try to communicate your needs and make positive changes and you get bullied like this, you learn not to advocate. Obviously, leaving is the only answers, but manipulative cheating abusers make this really difficult.

  • Dear Frustrated Chump,

    “Why was this relationship acceptable to you?” was an important question for me to ask myself.

    For me, it turns out that I tend to collect red flags in relationships, and when that person is nice to me, I throw them all away, which makes me easy prey for dirtbags. It doesn’t justify their behavior one bit. I can learn from my own choices so that I can make better ones next time. Making myself less appealing to dirtbags is worth my time.

  • “How can you “allow” what you don’t know about?

    Exactly! Here, Dr. Ramani’s work has been so helpful and healing, so many thanks to the chump who recommended her YouTube a while back.

    Much of the covert, blame shifting, disordered behavior we have dealt with has only recently been effectively studied by researchers, and that information is only slowly gaining traction.

    When I met & married my EX oh so long ago, the idea of someone being able to lie and deceive about who they were for DECADES was unthinkable to me. This was someone who went out of his way to mirror my values back to me only to weaponize that against me during the long devaluation and discard phase.

    Yes, in retrospect, so much of his treatment of me was unacceptable even before DDay, but I was framing it believing I was in a loving, committed, long term marriage with a respectful partner. I am forgiving myself for not knowing what even professionals did not understand about these disordered characters and how they operate.

    • Melanie Tonya Evans is another great author on narcissism!
      She takes it a notch further and addresses “Your Role In All This” in the proper way (soul contract with the narcissist, coming home to yourself, etc.)

    • “This was someone who went out of his way to mirror my values back to me only to weaponize that against me during the long devaluation and discard phase.”

      Yep, exactly.

      The year of discard started off slowly (in hindsight) then by mid year he began to ramp it up. Then would apologize about work stress, back and forth until December of that year. I swung back and forth the whole year, first backing off to give him space, then I am sure clinging because I was so scared. I think I finally went into shock and just rode it out to Dday, which was Christmas day. Yay. What fun.

      Pardon me for know knowing the depths of betrayal, manipulation and gutter behavior that my ex was capable of. Took me until about three months after Dday to be able to feel again and to think. If I had not had a new job I absolutely had to focus on during the day, I might have indeed gone stark raving mad.

      • OMG! Exactly that here too!! He was always the sweetest person I had ever met…until 32 years later he suddenly wasn’t. He would suddenly rip my head off for no reason…I would go up and wrap my arms around him and say: What’s going on here? This isn’t you. Are you going to turn into one of those grumpy old guys and I’ll have to put up with THAT for the rest of my life? And he would apologize and say that work stress was making him crazy. It’s like they all have a play book!!!

        His excuses for leaving were: I didn’t drink enough or gamble enough and that he never really loved me. (Thanks for that 🙄) Really though?? Does not ‘really loving’ someone give you the right to disrespect them and lie and cheat?

        • Yep, my fws parting shot to me was I “dated” for the last ten years, and I never loved you.

          It was like it wasn’t bad enough, but he had to make sure he burned the bridge.

          His only complaint against me was I wasn’t a good enough house keeper. Don’t get me wrong, I was not a spit shiner, but I wasn’t a bad housekeeper either.

          Funny thing though, I found out later that the whore made me look like Martha Stewart. My daughter in law (who was a spit shiner) told me she was awful.

  • My answer to the first question is, “If I could control his behavior, he wouldn’t have cheated on me. And he’d pick up his damn socks.”

  • Good is as good does.

    I wouldn’t be tripping over myself to proclaim those people “well-meaning”.

    They’re proving to be assholes themselves, you might want to be mindful of that.

  • There’s definitely a difference between “What about this toxic relationship did you think was acceptable at the time?” and “Why did you let this happen to you?”
    Self-examination of why you accepted shitty treatment is a healthy thing to do. It’s not easy, nor is that process short, or linear. But it’s necessary. It can help you get better at identifying red flags and setting stronger boundaries on things you will not accept in a relationship anymore.

    “Why did you let/allow this to happen to you?” is blameshifting nonsense and wanders very close to “well why didn’t you meet cheater’s needs???” That’s the kind of thing you can reject.

  • “You need to do self examining to see what it is about you that allowed yourself to be treated that way.”

    Well, my magneto mutant power of being resistant to constant abuse and undermining of my self esteem was in the shop that decade.

    What the actual fuck.

    The constant barrage of messaging from society that you’re nothing if you’re not in a relationship and not perfect aside, I also thought my vows of for better or for worse meant I had to put some effort into things. Next time I’ll be sure to get one of those marriages you can dissolve in water and it plants seeds in the dirt you pour it on so I can grow it into something real. Thanks tips.

    Well. People such as yourself asking me to understand that there is even more wrong with me than I realize is certainly a part of it. So tell me- how have you been absolutely infallible and capable of resolute strength and perfection through all of your personal adversity, please provide references and specific examples.

    • Ohhhh another thought about why you allowed yourself to be treated that way…

      ‘I didn’t used to understand I should walk away from awful people. But now I’ll practice on you.’

  • Wow. This video sends home a few things to me:

    1. Deception was the POINT.
    2. Other people’s behavior is about them not you!

    On #1, he liked it, he felt comfortable there, it made him feel powerful, he got off on it – whatever the incentive it was the point!

    On #2, how many of these fuckwits tried to convince us that we drove them to it?!

    I agree that my ex was miserable. That much is clear. But I gave him countless chances to leave – why didn’t he? He couldn’t open his mouth, he couldn’t speak up about what he wanted, he couldn’t express his feelings. What I came to learn is that these characteristics, limits if you will, turned out to be big problems that impacted all of us so much.

    You can’t express your feelings?
    You can’t tell me what you want or need?
    You can’t see me as another person with my own needs and wants and goals in life?
    You can’t be honest or respectful?

    You probably aren’t able to be a good partner.

  • An observation often works in these situations like “I’ve noticed the way friends make you feel says a lot about who they are.” That generally shuts that shit down quick.

  • Omg I need snappy come backs because my son’s family based therapists said today he is picking insane girls to date because I chose his father. I am so pissed I want to slam them in a door.

    • Not impressed with that family-based therapist! It would be helpful if they or another one could focus on stuff son can do something about in the future such as thinking about important values, understanding why and how to avoid red-flags, how to be assertive…

    • “So Therapist, why haven’t you helped him with that? What are we paying you for, anyway?” Jeebus. There is a saying that if you’re raised on skunks you hanker for them, but the issue with Son is that he has an internal script telling him crazy girls are a good idea. That’s what needs to be addressed, not putting an endless guilt-trip on Mom for things she can’t change or had no control over. (Seriously, unless someone is Anastasia Steele, nobody signs up to be abused. It’s sneaky and insidious) How was that comment from Therapist even constructive? My instant response, honestly, would have been “Fuck you.”

  • Yes.

    The video was difficult to watch.

    I was also struck (while watching the video) by the fact that the husband (since giving up having affairs) missed the part of him that had been deceptive. He missed his secret life. The power of it. The mysterious stuff. The sneaking around. The other him, like part of his psyche that had split off to “go have fun…” while his wife was working on her career. He missed his break from reality, from the demands of marriage, from the ho-hum of family. He missed the excitement of adventure. And for him, deception was the adventure.

    And while he was missing the secret life he had BEFORE D-DAY, she was “with him. Always with him. Afraid to leave him alone…”

    Hmmmmmm… These are distressing thoughts.

    Who will I ever be able to trust?

  • Chumps didn’t “allow” it they were deceived. Re any chump ‘faults’ – cheater could have had an honest discussion, tried to address it, or left, instead of continuing to extract value and secretly cheating.

    Poor Suzy – got up to the part in the video suggesting it was because she worked so hard. yeah right!

    • “instead of continuing to extract value and secretly cheating.”

      Right, and make no mistake they are still getting value from the chump and the marriage or they wouldn’t be there. Whether it is appliance wife duties, children, money or even cover for their evil.

  • Poor Suzie! That guy is disgusting. It’s all about him. He was hurt the most.
    His poor son is crying and good old screwing around dad doesn’t show an ounce of emotion! Suzie should read CL’s book.

    • I don’t know, maybe it is just me but honestly she had that look of maybe not thinking clearly. (tunnel like) and the holding on to him was weird.

      Like I am sure I looked like for the last year we were together, especially the last three months.

    • I couldn’t stomach watching till the end. I really hope it was: “everyone look under your seat. YOU get a divorce attorney, YOU get a divorce attorney!”

  • You need to do self examining to see what it is about you that allowed yourself to be treated that way.

    That question was actually incredibly helpful to me. For a long time after the separation did I focus on learning about narcissism and telling my friends what a terrible person my ex-wife was.
    Somebody asked me that question and it created a change in me: There were a lot of red flags even very early in the relationship, which no self-respecting person should have ignored. I did, in the hope of happily ever after. But that told her how weak my boundaries were – she learnt that, I didn’t.

  • I was extremely pro-active about working on me after the horrors of pick me dancing and allowing the hoovering. Of course, as a sane person, I had and wanted to look at myself and understand WHY the hell I would be with this person and what attracted me too and kept me with them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t fall into the trap of believing or being told that it takes two to tango. Yes it does, but the blame lies entirely with them. We didn’t destroy our lives, we just sat by and watched it happen. Yes, we may have some things to work on, but let me clue you in on this. EVERYONE could be better in some way or another, but not everyone is with a cluster B. As I read more about how they operate, I came to the conclusion that BECAUSE of that abuse and emotional conditioning that I would need to do some work on myself to be in and understand what a healthy relationship is. Once again, nothing wrong with that. I remember 2 years before D-day my outspoken cousin came to visit and witnessed the current interactions between my STBXW and myself. He saw it right away, He even said to her in front of several other friends. Why would you treat your husband like that? Is there something going on? In typical chump fashion I remained silent and she told him to leave and chumpy me AGREED to it. Real friends step up, Switzerland friends just talk about shit to everyone, and now, my cousin is one of my closest friends.

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