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She Wants Me to ‘Fight For Her’

Dear Chump Lady,

I found out last week that my wife has started an affair right under my nose: she comes home one evening saying she is really sorry but did something strange with a work colleague. Of course she says she is all lost and apologetic and would never do anything else, but then two days later comes home and straight away tells me she’s sorry but she started having sex with him in her office and then stopped it. They were just friends and then it happened out of the blue apparently, because she was completely powerless to stop…

Now she is claiming she is lost, but still loves me, needs time to think, but of course won’t stay away from him, and that I will understand someday that it’s actually a good thing for our relationship that she did this, blah, blah, blah.

Of course I have been feeling completely lost and torn apart for the past week. We have been together for 15 years, have two young children and after some tough years learning that one of our sons has an incurable genetic disorder have actually been in what seemed to me like a really healthy marriage where we could talk and get through anything together. I was very happy and even though she is sometimes selfish, I have never seen it at this level before.

But enough context.

Now for my winning contribution to Stupid Shit Cheaters Say.

In the last couple of days she keeps making jokes about it all, and one of her favourite ones that keeps coming up is that she would really like is to see a fight between myself and the other guy like Hugh Grant and the other guy fighting in the fountain in Bridget Jones…

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…


Dear George,

Oh yeah, the Why Don’t You Fight For Me? cheater wet dream. Where all the Schoompie/Chump rivals are united in a choreographed pick me dance to the death. She’s MINE! POW! No, she’s MINE!

And the cheater sits on the sidelines giggling with false modesty, Oh my! All this fuss for lil’ ol’ me? Enjoying the spectacle. Happy as a cat in cream.

Of course, there’s no true victor. The enjoyment is the fight itself. How bad do you want to give her kibbles? So bad that you’ll drown yourself? Ooh, or someone else?

Let’s take apart the Why Don’t You Fight For Me mendacity.

1.) The cheater actually thinks you should REWARD her for her betrayal, and fight hard for the dubious honor of her ambivalence.

2.) Not “fighting for her” is a pretext for more cheating and blameshifting. Well, she would’ve been faithful, but you didn’t step up and demonstrate how much she meant to you. What with your failure to appear as a gladiator in the Hunger Games.

3.) Notice how in your wife’s fantasy, she’s completely passive. Does she fight for anyone? Does she invest? Does she demonstrate value? No. People just fight for the wonderfulness that is her. Yes, her splendidness is THAT POWERFUL.

George, you have absolutely nothing to work with here. She’s not sorry — she makes “jokes” about destroying you. Her contribution to your healing is to share her offensive Pick Me Dance fantasies. Why are you still there?

Now she is claiming she is lost, but still loves me, needs time to think, but of course won’t stay away from him, and that I will understand someday that it’s actually a good thing for our relationship that she did this,

Uh huh. Tell her to go have a nice long think… with her head stuck under that fountain.

Run away, George!

This one ran before. 

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  • Okay as I was reading this it actually made me laugh out loud. Not because it’s funny but just how do these people come up with this crap?! You need to ditch her – this is just too surreal, incredibly selfish and just puppet-mastery and weird. I am sorry you are being treated this way.

    • Cat lady,
      I agree! Its not funny but what else can you do but shake your head and laugh! When I read stories like this I know that it’s probably exactly what happened. People who have never dealt eith these crazies don’t understand how crazy it can actually get. I don’t tell anyone some of the things my XH did and said to me the last 1-1/2 years we were together because people who have never experienced this kind of mind f**kery would just assume I was the crazy one!

    • I don’t understand cheater fantasies at all. I would be MORTIFIED if 2 guys were beating the shit out of each other on my behalf.

      There’s something really wrong with the wiring in these people’s heads. I know we say that a lot at Chump Nation but it can’t be emphasized enough.

  • Fuck she’s shallower than her imaginary fountain. Somewhere in her tiny mind she thinks she’s somehow earned the right to this cheating as her entitlement. It’s been shitty these last couple of years but we’ve got through it. We’ll done me I deserve some excitement and a stray fuck because honesty and a support in a marriage is o-Kay but it doesn’t make my lady parts (and ego) tingle. I hope George ditched the wife and found a fab new life

  • Just after D-Day 1, while in (false) reconciliation, my cheater ex-wife showed me an email marriage proposal from an affair partner, replete with teenage romance cliches (“You are my sun and my moon, my alpha and my omega!”) and promises to come to our home (he lived on the other side of the country) and whisk her away to happily-ever-after-together. My then-wife feigned pearl-clutching incomprehension through which shone her poorly hidden excitement. I believe she thrilled to watch my reaction (confusion, anger, desperation) and in that moment fantasized about her AP showing up at our home and me fighting him on our front lawn. She showed infinitely more joy in that moment than all the regret she showed in all our D-days combined (admittedly, nearly nine).

    • Ugh. I’m sorry and I’m glad you’re out of there, nomar.

      Cheaters everywhere seem to share the same immaturity and desperate need for external validation, which inevitably reveal lack of integrity as well, in all areas of their lives. I’ve learned to run from adults who show any of these traits.

      And can I just say, there’s something odious and bizarre to me about older adults who still indulge in teenage fantasies? These people don’t operate in the same reality as the rest of us.

    • I’ll bet we could have an entire Friday Challenge dedicated to cheaters’ trite lines (dealer’s choice – to chumps or to APs) involving sun, moon and stars. Heck, I’ll bet we could do it with moon alone.

      • Lol, my x husband told me that Schmoopie was his match from the other side of the universe.

        Then I found a picture on schmoopies Instagram of flowers he bought for her birthday, replete with the card on full display “I was lost, and found by your sunrise.”

        So I got it said to me and her.

  • Geezus how much attention does one person need? Everything you’re saying seems like for her it’s all about Her. That ain’t marriage. And that’s not an adult relationship. So glad I didn’t have kids with assface. Made things way less complicated when leaving.

  • “…and that I will understand someday that it’s actually a good thing for our relationship that she did this”

    Esther Perel would nod in agreement.

    (Sorry to bring her up again so soon, folks.)

  • My ex’s orgasmic, cat-in-cream moment came when our dog died.

    Only weeks after D-Day and after I’d kicked him out and he was living with the OW, we ended up in his Jeep with our dead dog in the back. The poor thing had been killed by a coyote. We went for a drink after bringing the dog to the vet, which sounds weird, but we were momentarily united in this terrible grief. While I was in the bathroom at the restaurant/bar, he texted schmoopie to say he was out with me. Note: he lied about this for some reason. #habit

    Later that evening, when he returned to the apartment that he shared with the OW, he texted me that he’d found her passed out on the bathroom floor. He almost called 911 but managed to revive her. Apparently, the OW was so distraught about the prospect of potentially losing this man of her dreams, the one she’d been cheating with for almost three years, that she overdosed on tequila and Xanax.

    He felt extremely wanted in that moment. A cheater’s wet dream.

    p.s. It’s not lost on me how odd/creepy it was that he wrote to me–his chumped wife–about this incident. He wanted to commiserate about his AP with me on the day our dog died. EFFED UP!

    [By the way, those two middle-aged “teens-in-love” will “elope” this Saturday. “Elope” is how they are describing it. FFS!]

    • The definition of “elope” is to “run away secretly.” And as he’s communicated to you, in that self-serving bs letter, that he’s marrying the OW, “elope” is a misnomer. Just part of the fantasy of the grand romance, which sounds so much better than the sordid truth.

      I hope you have your day planned for Saturday (I fantasize it includes voodoo dolls at a burning altar), and that you take a vow to yourself.

        • Seriously though, do you have some good plans? I hope so! Those two deserve each other. What a wonderful start to the relationship – classic medical professional story, pills, booze, adultery. Same thing happened to me, except for when my dog was dying, I facetimed my now X FW so he could “say goodbye”, only to find out after D-Day a few months Dr. FW was at Nurse Schmoopie’s. Oh well.

    • How sick! A sane person would run from this chick, but he’s flattered. Sounds like they deserve each other.

      I remember mine saying “what are you doing to keep me? I’m a catch.” I was so exhausted from doing his dance it took me months to figure out what he was saying, which was dance harder bitch. So glad that night opened my eyes enough that I quit dancing.

      • Here’s to eye-opening moments! Glad you hung up your dancing shoes.

        It never ceases to amaze how these cheaters think so highly of themselves. I mean, yours described himself as a “catch.” I’m sure mine felt the same way. That man thought that the 20-something hairdresser had the hots for him and that the young, female yoga instructor wasn’t merely adjusting him (as she did everyone who couldn’t find the pose) but rather was somehow copping a feel. At the time, he was 61. He saw Brad Pitt in the mirror. The rest of us saw an older man with wrinkles and muscle wasting. Unfuckingbelievable.

        The more his self-esteem rose, the more mine tanked, I’m afraid.

        Getting it back one day at a time.

        • My ex had/has the same elevated view of himself.

          When my ex and I were dating, just before we married, I was 28, and his father and his grandfather were each dating women who were my age. I used to joke that my ex was going to leave me for a 14 year old. By the time he was 58, the ex student he was “exploring” his new gender identity with was…you guessed it…28.

          Right there with you at “getting it back one day at a time.”

        • It really is amazing how highly they think of themselves. I can relate to feeling like the more confident they became the less confident I became. I look back at pictures and I’m a shell of a human, at the hight of the abuse. Specifically I was just his personal workhorse, and he’d tell me it wasn’t right or good enough, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Then I was expected to look a certain way too, all for him… gross.

          Here’s to not only eye opening moments but getting confidence back, and realizing we were more than good enough all along. ????

        • OMG, Spinach!
          Mine also looked me square in the eye and told me, “I’m a CATCH!”

          I can only imagine the look on my face in that moment. I felt as though I was going to fall over. The cognitive dissonance!

      • Nitwit once told me, “You’ll never get over me.” Wrong. I am currently in the early stages of dating for the first time since I met Nitwit. My new friend is younger and more successful than Nitwit. Most importantly, he is low-maintenance and low-drama.

        Nitwit actually is a very good-looking and glamorous man, but I would bet he ends up a bitter and lonely old man. Once the looks go, all he brings to the table is bullshit, lies, and drama.

      • thank you Longtime Chump. I just had an epiphany reading all these comments about my pyschological pick-me-dance. I actually left my ex 5 days after D-Day and went strict NC so there wasn’t much pick-me-dancing to his face. but in my mind, I have been pick-me-dancing for years, always fighting with the doubts that maybe if I had stayed longer, if I had been more compassionate and if I made a mistake to leave so quickly.

        Today, I arrived at meh. I finally realize that I did the right thing 100% by leaving and being NC.

    • Hey Spinach,

      Yup–ol’ Best Regards almost had an orgasm when I told him I had been having suicidal thoughts in the days following DDay/discard (fleeting, the result of trauma and sleep deprivation, but still…). Other people killing themselves for them is basically narcissicists’ whole goal, so they get pretty excited when it is in sight.

      Anyway, I’m sorry about the announced “elopement.” Best Regards married his AP a couple of months ago, so I know a little of what you’re going through right now. Even though we would never take them back in a million years, still it hurts to be that definitively replaced. Be *really* kind to yourself for the next couple of weeks: do whatever you can afford to nurture yourself–therapy, spa days, retail therapy, time with friends, and remember the following:

      1. It’s gonna hurt like a bitch no matter what kind of Positive Mental Attitude you cultivate. It’s retraumatization. But it’s inevitable, and you will find you take a jump forward in your healing once you’ve handled it the way you’ve handled everything to this point–proactively and with compassion for yourself. I’d say it took me about 2 months to process the news and fully deal with it. But once I did, Best Regards was waaaay farther back in the rearview mirror than he had been before. There’s something very final about your ex getting remarried, and that’s a good thing for your healing, once it’s done.

      2. You’re still amazing. The discard is still not your fault. Nothing has changed. It’s going to feel like something changed, like there’s some new information or something you need to deal with or figure out. But nope. Same old same old. Character is destiny. Yours is awesome, his is shitty, and the AP/wifetress is going to catch it twice as bad as you did when the mask falls off–which it will much sooner than it did with you.

      3. It’s all image management. His image has taken a big hit, and he doesn’t want to be the doctor whoring around with a nurse anymore. He wants his respectability back. He wants his kids back. He thinks this will get him what he wants. That’s the only reason he’s doing it. Spoiler alert: it will not get him what he wants.

      Big hugs, Spinach. You got this, girl.

    • Okay, I can get over a fuckwit doing a lot things, because that’s just how they are, but not caring about your dog dying? Fuck no. An unpardonable crime for which he deserves nothing less than being drawn and quartered.

      “Elope”. Sheesh. He thinks his life is a Harlequin romance.
      I’m really sorry Spinach, about you being told of the “elopement”, but especially about the dog. What’s worse than dealing with a cheater? Dealing with a cheater on the day your beloved canine companion dies. I’ve lost several, to illness, and it never gets easier. Having a dog murdered by a coyote would be even worse.

    • They’re perfect for each other. He gets the kind of woman who would sleep with a married man. She gets the kind of man who would cheat on his wife.

  • We know here that bad partners exist in all genders, but women seems to manifest a certain sort of abuse that is different that the flavor I see coming from men. They seem to enjoy publicly showing off the latitude they have with their partners – being showy and public about how shitty they can be and still “be loved” and get away with it.

    I find it befuddling because if you were loved by a good person, why in the world would you publicly humiliate him? (I find men tend to abuse in a way that is more hidden with an eye to impression management).

    This is abuse from an attention-whore and if they were fucked up enough to do this, they will never fully grasp how shitty it is.

    This guy has nothing to work with. Immediate severing of the marriage is a reasonable action but the chump in me says to give her one last strong ultimatum and any waffling from her is the indicator to pull the trigger and file.

    • Unicorn, totally agree. I’ve seen it many times. I think it’s to make the guys doubt their sexual abilities. That’s a great way to watch them dance for them, spend on them and mostly feed that ego.

    • “I find it befuddling because if you were loved by a good person, why in the world would you publicly humiliate him?”

      I found that befuddling at first. FW delighted in flaunting his cheating publically. I realized it’s just part of the narcissistic power trip. They like getting away with shit and feeling like badasses. They don’t care if attention is negative or positive. Any attention confirms to them how speshul they are. In fact, I doubt they can even conceive of it being negative. FW was shocked when he realized people who knew he was cheating had actually been talking shit about him behind his back, not praising his studliness.

      They don’t actually want the love of a good person, either. They just want to use somebody else’s regard for them a defense against the dreaded reality that they are not exceptional. If we can provide that, they’ll be with us until somebody else comes along. We can’t possibly understand this mentality.

  • Fat bastard was VERY concerned that I would beat the living shit of sparkle tits .

    Like I would risk getting arrested and a criminal record for that fat mess ???? nope

    He wouldn’t even tell me her full name you know to protect her from me . She was easy found and I’ve still not touched her nor ever will .

    They really do think they are the cats meow and fists and hair will fly all to keep them . They really do live in a fantasy world

    • Fat Bastard and AP, like most cheaters, create a fantasy narrative where the chumped spouse is not only the enemy, but clearly a psychopath capable of extreme violence. These deluded douches end up believing their own BS.

      • So this is a thing, I guess. Hmmm. I’m not sure they thought *I* would go ape shit, but they definitely thought the OW’s husband would. They said that if I talked to him I would “have blood on my hands.”

        “He’s an abuser,” my clueless, *abusive* ex explained. #noselfawareness #rescuefantasy

        You can’t make this up.

        • No you can’t make this up…don’t you love how they are the ones cheating, sneaking around, deceiving their spouses but if you tell the OW’s husband about the cheating, anything that happens is YOUR fault.

    • Mine also would not tell me her name. He was very intent on protecting her and had kept her hidden for months,if not years. He was quite proud that no one had figured it out.

      I didn’t find out until about 6 months into the divorce process when a friend of mine saw them together (they were fighting in the hall at work, quietly, mostly evident because of their odd body posturing while people walked by). I know this sounds like such a small thing, but it’s the fact that she well knew exactly who I was for the entire length of their secret twu wuv. I could have been standing in line behind her at the grocery store and she knew all about my most intimate failures and challenges as I’m sure he filled her in on his great unhappiness. I probably said “Good Afternoon” and let her cut in front of me in line. UGH!

      I also found it absurd in looking back – that he told me about her over the phone in the middle of a call I made to him about trivial home repairs. Then he waited over a week to tell our adult children about his affair because he didn’t think it was something they should hear over the phone……. that it would be better if he told them in person……WTF??? Very obviously I did not rank very high in his world.

      And of course, he excitedly told me that I would really like her. “She’s awesome. I think you’ll really like her.” Then started to tell me TWICE about how great the sex was as I am holding my hands in front of my face saying, “STOP!”

      Ugh. Double Ugh. Glad to have CN today. Some days are better than others. I’m 18 months out and still drowning in it.

      • Geezus. What a creep! I’m sorry tallgrass. Really, he’s awful.

        Also, it makes sense that you would be really upset that you might have unwittingly said “hello” to the OW. Being kept in the dark while others are in the know is terrifying in retrospect. It throws us off completely.

        It’s part of that secret sexual basement thing that Dr. Minwalla talks about. The link to that article has been posted here several times, but I can’t find it now. Maybe someone else has it….

      • tallgrass,

        My ex, like yours, dropped his bomb right out of the blue on me, while crafting a letter for his sister (he showed it to me) that began full of care for her feelings. In 32 years of marriage, I’d always come second to her in his consideration, so it wasn’t a surprise, but it still hurt.

        He also wanted to tell me all about his crush on one of our colleagues, and about what he was going to do with the house after I moved out. They are just oblivious.

        Once I began telling myself that these outrages on his part were evidence that I could chalk up to “trust that he sucks,” that helped. Instead of feeling hurt, I could just sort of shrug my shoulders at one more piece of evidence that yep, he really does suck. I hope you can do this, too.

  • How true it is that a cheater wants nothing more than drama surrounding them… whether it be pick me dancing (or fighting), paying child support, co-parenting… more is MORE.

    I lingered in the wings the first year after the discard… we shared a son (who was in third grade) and two teenage stepchildren… whenever he wasn’t running off with the OW (and her two little kids), he would grace us with his presence… going out to dinner, sharing a movie… it was like he had two families and we aren’t a “sister wives” state. It was fucked up and the only person enjoying it was Mr. Sparkles.

    It took me a year, but I finally shut that shit down and filed pro se… when that didn’t work… I hired a lawyer and went no contact. Except for one way – I decided I was going to “protect” his new victims by showing them all his online profiles and how he was cheating on THEM now… and I realized… that was me still engaging… still giving Mr. Sparkles kibbles (remember, they’re kibble whores… they’ll take anything)… so I had to put that fight down too… I had to save myself (and there is no way I can say all the women that have come and will come after me, I need to live my own life).

    Moral of the diatribe… you can’t negotiate with crazy. Go no contact, hire a lawyer, be the sane parent… the sooner you do, the sooner your journey to Meh begins (and yes, mine came on a Tuesday).

    Rock on Chump Nation – you’ve got this.

    • “Drama” is a key component to the difference between marriage and adultery. It’s not surprising that someone who prefers the high of an illicit relationship (whether you call it limerence or New Relationship Energy or whatever) over the steady love of a long marriage (with kids and chores and budgets and all) would also be attracted to the high drama of a physical confrontation.

      I just think it’s sad that people in long-term marriage, with kids, can’t just buy a convertible instead. Get your adrenaline fix in some other way that doesn’t destroy your family.

      • I agree with you so much. My STBXH (I’m 2 years out from filing and 3 1/2 years from DDay) bought the 2-seat convertible too and we had 2 young children.

      • True that enduring, everyday love is often absent drama. My new husband and I have blissfully dull days oiling our antiques.

        My daughter is a bit of a drama Queen and seeking a partner and I try ardently to understand that “excitement” is not a good goal of a LTR… “being in a relationship with a crack whore or ax murderer would be exciting but not good”

        • My XW is trying to teach our daughter the opposite: she proudly told her that she and AP have screaming fights and that this proves that they love each other. Luckily our daughter has her head screwed on right and won’t fall for that.

          [Oh, and I happen to know that AP screamed and threw things in his previous marriage, but obviously that didn’t prevent him from cheating on and abandoning his first wife. I’m sure it will be different, though, this time…]

  • After 4 months of gaslighting, mindfucking and pick-me dancing, I got written thanks from KK for being “brave enough to fight for me, and for being tired enough to let me go . . .”

    She couldn’t (or rather, wouldn’t) acknowledge the anguish, the futility, except to thank me for having experienced it. All she cared about was the effort, even though the outcome was rigged against me. You can’t compete against the new and shiny source of supply who isn’t intimate with the cheater’s flaws and shortcomings.

    On another note, after so many years of public Mr. Darcy fawning, it’s oddly satisfying to see Colin Firth referred to as “the other guy.”

    • Ha ha Ux, I thought the same thing about Colin Firth being called “the other guy”. Damn he’s gorgeous – and yet his wife cheated on him too! I saw him in person when he came to our work and he is just lovely. My friend asked if she could have a picture with him and he said of course. So cheeky cow that she is she said “oh I’m so glad you’re not just 5ft 4″ tall” and he said “so many of them are you know” and they both burst out laughing!

  • Ah yes, back in the days when I wasn’t so good at No Contact I was subject to FW’s bizarre fantasies too. His biggest one, that I’ve mentioned to CN before, was that we–he, GF#1, and I–wound combine together to make one big, happy, superior family. He used the words “like Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, and Bruce Willis.” He and GF#1 being the PDA Demi/Ashton couple and me being “third wheel but totally publically supportive of this new arrangement” Bruce Willis. (Hey, it was the mid-2000s.)

    He said this to me while we were talking things out in a parking lot. I had only found out about the affair a few weeks ago. I was sobbing and he was staring right through me telling me how wonderful life was going to be in his new fantasy. I started to wonder if he had gone legitimately insane.

    I see George’s FW’s fantasy (Fight for me! Fight for my love in a fountain like they do in the movies!) and while the particulars are different, the spirit is the same. The Chump is in absolute pain and not only does the FW not care, but the FW (not yet but soon!) will start to get angry with the Chump for not following the script in this fantasy-land the FW is trying to direct. (Why are you still crying? We’ve all moved on! Now get into the fountain; I’ve had the prop department fill it with whipped cream.)

    I made many missteps with my FW. I had no spine; I danced the pick me dance; I even took him back and let him move into the house I had gotten for me and the kids when I had nowhere else to go after D-Day #1; but, I am very proud to say that I never played into any of his fantasies (mostly involving me throwing my public support behind him and his mistresses) he had scripted out regarding me and his girlfriends. I was a lot of things but I was never his Bruce Willis.

    • “Why are you still crying? We’ve all moved on! Now get into the fountain; I’ve had the prop department fill it with whipped cream.”

      fourleaf, this is funny!


  • Oh yeah, fight for me. As in confront the OM, wail in discomfort, lose your marbles and make it all about ME! Then, after you’re finished she can use your outbursts against you – with evidence.
    Don’t fall for it. It’s the drama and chaos her immature fantasy needs. She’s shown you who she is; believe her and walk away. Hold your head up high and leave her to her playground antics.

    • I experienced something similar. I found out about her affair in September 2019 and didn’t yell or scream (probably because I was in shock). I calmly suggested how we would go about dissolving our 20 year relatio ship and tell our 15 year old daughter. She backpeddled and said she wanted to stay together and grow old with me. So I agreed to wreckoncilliation. I made a list of what I needed including counseling, a full disclosure, passwords to her phone, email, etc. She said she needed me to get on antidepressants because I was always grumpy and to be more fun and travel. I did all I was asked, even paid for a trip to Spain, which we never took because of the pandemic. She did nothing of what I requested. Six months later, in March 2020, the day our state went into lockdown, she said she was leaving to be with AP and she had never ended the affair. Again I calmly showed her the door. As legal heated up, especially over custody of our daughter, she said she realized if I had really loved her, I would have fought for her. She is such a toxic narc, shallow, selfish, and garbage. So I wonder…2 years out from D Day 1 and I’m still sad and grieving. I so want my “meh” and Tuesday. ????????

      • They say a lot of self-serving stuff don’t they?
        I loved who I thought my XW was, but that was just a facade. Tuesday comes when you accept that.

        • Hey, guys.

          My situation is that I must GR frequently (shared family business and minor children). The level of gaslighting, hatred, expressed anger and deceit was profound. He “confessed” to #2 (#3 was on the horizon) and RIC ushered right in. That was 4 years ago this month. The idea of some one new…Shit. Can’t even. He’s happy and moving on. I’m here. Starting anew.

          So when I come on here as part of my daily routine, and I see a man (men) who are open and vulnerable and hurting and wanting better than they received, I feel a little lighter; it tells me there are men who aren’t FW and entitled and mean and nasty and willing to kill the spirit of the one they “love” for their own needs. I have hope that, well, it’ll be ok and less internal “you suck” dialogue. Tuesday is near as I keep on keeping on.

          So, thanks. From those of us (me) who need to see that it is possible to be with a man who gives a shit and for the reminder that it wasn’t me who wasn’t worthy after all.

          And, Colin Firth? Oh, yeah. (swoon)

          • It goes both way.
            My wife and I used to lead DivorceCare groups. (We are both chumps)
            There is quite a debate whether these groups should be mixed gender based on not being able to be vulnerable around the other gender. I can understand the argument either way. But we found that exposure to the feelings and injury of the other was part of the healing process. Feeling safe while being vulnerable is important, but so is taking a risk to listen and be heard by the other.

            • First I’ve seen DivorceCare mentioned on here! I went through it this summer and it probably saved my life! (Coed, via Zoom only.) Highly recommend!

      • @Double Chumped
        I understand what you’re feeling. Experiencing all of the hell that came with my ex-wife’s cheating, a high-conflict divorce and extended custody dispute broke me.
        It. Broke. Me.

        But the weight and helplessness of that broken feeling does slowly ebb. In the midst of that extended period of just floating through life it was all I could do to focus on what I needed to take care of each day and each week. It’s important to focus on developing a new plan for your future. Maybe start something new that requires your creative energy. The possibilities that emerge can be a good distraction and tangible achievements become very rewarding. The more you focus on you and your daughter the less you’ll dwell on the wreckage that your loser ex made of your lives.

        Eventually I became accustomed to a new normal and new routines. I now experience longer and longer stretches of “meh”. Self care and self forgiveness are key components. Best of luck, my friend.

        • GDD – your remark “It. Broke. Me.” is so important for us chumps to read and accept about part and parcel of our healing journey. And the fact that the Fuckwit can skip right off in to another “love” relationship perfectly exhibits their absolute LACK of ability to bond deeply, to do the work to heal something as traumatic as a surviving adultery and a destroyed marriage. It. Broke. Me. too… and my healing took years (it’s different for everyone)… but I know this, I can love and I can bond… and I’ll take being me over being a shallow, puddle deep fuckwit any given day of the week. Peace to you.

      • For me, I was the one who left and who ended up filing for divorce. X never once admitted to anything, he never once asked me to stay. He thought he had a replacement all lined up for me, but too bad, so sad, she only made about a year before she bailed and he’s struck out since.

        It used to make me sad that he never fought for our marriage, never fought for our relationship, I gave him 2 years to step up and show me how he valued me and the marriage, instead he turned away and upped the abuse. How he would have loved it if I had begged and pleaded with him to give up the other woman. Now I think how miserable I would be right now if I had “won” that sparkly turd. Best thing I ever did was leave the miserable bastard.

  • It’s funny (not funny) how I became so accustomed to being self-sacrificing and catering to my wife’s needs over the 15 years of our relationship that I had completely bought in to the mentality of “happy wife, happy life”.

    Because if this slow indoctrination it actually (embarrassingly) took me a few months to pick myself up after the devastation of D-day and gather my wits enough to take action toward separation and divorce.

    If I had experienced anything near the kind of treatment in the beginning of our relationship that I experienced toward the end of our relationship, I would have instantly cut her off and walked. But having my healthy instincts dulled over the years, combined with the prospect of losing all that I had invested in our relationship (sunk costs), made me vulnerable to a period of paralysis while seeking answers and exploring possible solutions.

    Looking back, that period of paralysis and grasping at straws to find ways to save our relationship was also the time that my wife most relished. The more I ran myself in circles, the more she enjoyed the endorphin rush, all the while feigning just enough interest in saving our relationship to preserve her ecstasy.

    I’ve learned to forgive myself for not immediately ending things after D-day because I’ve come to understand that what I experienced is nearly a universal experience for most chumps. It’s the period when we order all the books from Amazon, when we’re vulnerable to the parasites like the RIC and the Esther Perels of the world.

    In the end the only sane solution is getting out and getting free of “crazy”. To those who are now going through that period of trauma and grasping at straws, I wish you godspeed. Many of us here have taken that slow walk through hell. But we also stand as proof that there’s peace, comfort and relief in your future. You just have to jettison the toxic person who brought you to such a low place.

    • 100 percent!!!

      The things I did on the advice of the RIC have crippled me financially, physically and mentally. The pick-me dance is always a trick. The FW used it to gain financially and buy time for his exit. He put no effort in but wanted me to prove my love while he said he was not seeing anyone else but mysteriously disappeared at the same times 2-3 times a week.

      As soon as anyone tells you dumb shit like that, it is over. They are not sorry. They are not working on the marriage. They are not unicorns- they are users.

    • Yes, I look back at the crazy statements and game-playing with some sadness because I bought them and tried to configure myself into something that would save my marriage. I read the RIC books and blogs and convinced myself that somehow…?

      Then a year into a long-distance separation, it occurred to me one day on a walk with the dog that I didn’t want a relationship characterized by manipulation and empty promises. I couldn’t come up with one thing meaningful that I trusted him with. So I said no to reconciliation, and that led to a high conflict divorce which told me how little he truly thought of me.

      Yes, I should have just found my own attorney some months after he took off, but I didn’t. The emotional damage was significant, but my head was at least clear a few months after the lawyers got involved. Both kids were over 18 then, and I was headed towards being financially self-sufficient. So I don’t beat myself up for not quite seeing it for what it was at first.

    • “It’s funny (not funny) how I became so accustomed to being self-sacrificing and catering to my wife’s needs over the 15 years of our relationship that I had completely bought in to the mentality of “happy wife, happy life”. ”

      Oh GDD — if I had a nickel for every time I heard that phrase.

      “The more I ran myself in circles, the more she enjoyed the endorphin rush, all the while feigning just enough interest in saving our relationship to preserve her ecstasy.”

      Nailed it again.

      Forgiveness of self is indeed greatest of all moments. It wasn’t us.

    • The problem with “happy wife, happy life” is that when your wife is a narcissist she is NEVER happy. Narcissists can feel pleasure, but that is not the same thing as enduring happiness. It’s like the difference between dopamine and endorphins: dopamine produces a more intense “high” but does not last long and is dependent on external stimuli while endorphins come from within and help your body heal.

      “I’ve learned to forgive myself for not immediately ending things after D-day because I’ve come to understand that what I experienced is nearly a universal experience for most chumps.”

      Words of wisdom here. Once I learned to forgive myself for marrying Nitwit in the first place, much of my anger dissipated. I stopped feeling like such a fool when I looked back and realized there was no way I could have known Nitwit would cheat on me.

  • Sure as hell hope George filed for divorce. Being so open about it means she feels extremely confident she has the power and control and shows she has absolutely no respect or empathy (left) for him.
    Pure evil.
    Run George. Run

  • My ex invited his online Schmoopie to live with him in an apartment he found nearby, and was expecting me to become best friends with her. I’m not kidding. He said he thought we’d be best friends because we had so much in common, although the only thing he could name was that we both loved him and wrote him poetry. (I wrote mine; I googled hers on the Internet and they were all stolen verbatim from sites like “One hundred ways to say ‘good morning’ to your lover.” The catfisher would just run ten or twelve of these lines together, so they made no sense at all.) He talked about how he would bring her over while he mowed the lawn. He hadn’t mowed it in years; we had a lawn service. I think he was fantasizing that we would sit together on the porch mooning over his wonderfullness like adolescents ogling movie stars while we watched him flex his muscles, shirtless. (The few times he mowed before we got a service, he took his shirt off. It wasn’t pretty.) Joke was all on him–he was catfished. He’d only spoken to her once, briefly, and per his email to “her” afterwards, he couldn’t understand a word and she sounded like a man.
    Per this “woman’s” story, she was more than ten years younger than our child, had dropped out of college, and once worked in a hair salon but was unemployed; per her photos, she wore more makeup and false extensions (eyelash, hair, nails) and implants (front and back) than the Kardashians combined, but she was a good person like me because she not only asked for money for herself, she asked him to send her money for her church, her friends, and her friends’ families. He did, raiding my bank account to do it. I had taught college for years, wear no makeup, have no implants, and have more morals than someone who would move in with a married man with a disabled child; I’ve also been named “volunteer of the year” for numerous organizations I serve.
    He also emailed her that he’d walk around town with her on his arm, and everyone would wonder how he got such a hot babe. Cheater fantasies are infantile, and they are very excited by their fantasies. He deliberately chose an apartment a few blocks away, and planned to flaunt her immediately in front of friends and neighbors. I think this would fall under Unicornnomore’s comment about showing off their new partner and how the old one still loves them; in this case, though, done by a male. Maybe this explains the popularity of the “Sister Wives” show. He watched it a few times. Incredibly, he also watched the “Catfish” show and laughed at the people who were suckered by catfishers. What a fool.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how people get “catfished”. I’ve spoken before on this site about a woman I know that is a shark in business and does very well. This same woman fell for an online illusion. It was so made up…the illusion was of course some sort of undercover agent (don’t remember all the details) from Holland. He of course had a heart of gold and had adopted a boy from some 3rd world country. He was going to move to our location and asked her to start looking for a house with a pool. Of course there were some snags about him getting here and retrieving monies owed him…you all know the rest. I’m not sure if she ever sent money but she fell hard for this “guy”.

      • I got a couple of “hunks” wanting to play Words with Friends with me a couple of months ago. I knew damn well what they were up to so took screen shots of their messages when they started up. One was “a diamond miner working a very dangerous job who’s daughter ran off with an AH after his wife’s funeral” and the other was “based in Afghanistan as doctor because he loved saving lives”. My son was working from my house that day and he and I were making up answers and roaring with laughter before I eventually confronted them. I’ve been writing a blog for 6 years and when “hunky Louis” started messaging me I wrote on my blog asking people how long they thought it would take before “Louis” got into his spiel. Well it actually took 48 hours and I posted the screenshots on my blog. I did thank “Louis” and “Kelvin” for the laugh though!

        • Too funny! I admit I’ve taken the piss with a few Nigerian scam artists, you know, the ridiculous if you put up a few thousand we’ll be able to retrieve all the millions owed by whatever gov. and you’ll get a cut scammers.

  • We decided to separate, and he took off many states away. As I look back now, it was “let the games begin” from the very beginning. Taking off allowed him to throw off the responsibilities of family life and do his own thing. It also allowed him to blame me since I wasn’t there to give my side. Along the way, there was indeed some “fight for me” in ways that made me very uncomfortable. I pushed him to sign a self-written separation agreement that included some aspects that I thought would help like speaking well of each other and getting counselling during separation, but he immediately blew those out of the water. As he began burning bridges with me while expecting me to somehow fix things, he and his family became judge and jury and found me guilty.

    After a year of separation, I realized that my sanity required taking reconciliation off the table. My desire to fight for the marriage had evaporated, and I was angry at his family for digging deep into our relationship and interfering.

    He kicked off the divorce process some months later, and I had to agree. He said “quick and easy” and said he’d love me always, and I knew that was a lie. It was long and expensive. Both attorneys said they had never had anything like it.

    I look back and wonder how I ever thought that I could patch up by my own efforts. They get you to think that what they want you to do is going to fix it when the problem is not yours to fix. If the foundation is crumbling, a coat of paint isn’t going to save the house.

    • Elsie, love your summation: If the foundation is crumbling, a coat of paint isn’t going to save the house.
      Did you create that, or hear it elsewhere?

      • I got that from my divorce attorney who retired the day after it was finalized by the court. There were other variations that he used.

        He had all kinds of little saying like that from 40+ years of divorce law. I would come home and write them down after appointments with him.

        I don’t know if it was original to him, or if he lifted it from somewhere.

  • maybe the thing to do is institute THE ART OF WAR into the divorce. think of it.

    IF YOU KNOW THE ENEMY AND KNOW YOURSELF, YOU NEED NOT FEAR THE RESULT OF A HUNDRED BATTLES. you know his/her bad behaviours: sabotaging coworkers that threaten (compulsive; insecure), raging while driving (lack of emotional control); preoccupation with how to load the dishwasher (weird). stay calm.

    LET YOUR PLANS BE DARK AND IMPENETRABLE AS NIGHT, AND WHEN YOU MOVE, FALL LIKE A THUNDERBOLT. get your ducks in a row and exit the marriage quickly. distance yourself from the emotional suck.

    PEACE PROPOSALS UNACCOMPANIED BY A SWORN COVENANT INDICATE A PLOT. communicate by email only and keep copies. and nail down the separation/divorce agreement.

    that’s the only fight that needs fighting.

    • Mine was weird about loading the dishwasher, too. It was always an argument about the best way to do it. Since I had been a SAHM, it was my area of expertise, certainly not his, seeing as he seldom did it, but of course he had to think he knew better.
      Greatly advice, btw.

  • George, are you out there to give an update on your mighty post-cheater life? We’d love to hear all about it.

    One thought: love doesn’t look like this. Post D-day I judge people by their actions, not (manipulative) words. When people show me through their actions who they are, I believe them. Love does not abuse.

  • Lunatic OW#1 wrote to me (!) that she fantasized about fighting with me for Fuckwit. As I never shared this insanity with Fuckwit, I have no idea what his thoughts were/would have been.

  • Yeah-my pick me dance included me calling the OW In Front of him and telling her to leave my husband alone. She laughed at me and told me how much she liked my two homes she had been in -living in one of them. Salt in the wound. There is no last laugh in this situation, there is just get the hell away and don’t look back!! Disordered asses.

  • This brings back memories for me. In the midst of a few days after DDay where I am crying over the phone to FW about how could he do this – he had the gall to ask me “Why don’t you fight for me?”. I’m sitting there thinking and saying something along the lines of – “Why would I fight for you when you put me in this situation in the first place? Why would I have to fight for someone that promised to love and honor and protect me?” I am ashamed to admit I engaged in pickme dancing that year and dealing with the mindfuck that he gave – at one point I did confront the OW face to face and he kept telling me that he was going to call the cops on me and that he wouldn’t protect me from her if a fight broke out. (I am not going to fight anyone – I have a child I need to be a sane parent much less reinforce whatever story he was spinning) I was a huge chump smoking the Hopium pipe keeping my composure but this led to the many hard realizations of how much I deserved better and that in retrospect he was a coward, instigator, manipulator, etc. I cringe in retrospect but it had to happen for me to learn my lesson that these freaks get off on this stuff.

  • Aaaaargh, this shit makes me angry. Cheater X said ‘nothing wrong with some healthy competition!’ My goodness, he was smug. Hope he enjoys living alone now. They just think everyone should want them. Literally everyone, it’s demented!
    Personally, one lover is better, you can go much further in every way, and create the bond. He never got that, and then he lost pretty much everything.
    Sorry to vent!

    • One thing I keep telling myself is how I didn’t get married just to be in constant competition with other women. That’s not what marriage is supposed to be.

  • Uncanny that this post hit my inbox today. It has been more than 5-years since my wife’s affair. It was brief , 3-months, and would have continued if I had not intervened, fought for her and our family, and exposed what was really happening.

    There are two things I would ask to keep in mind if I am being brief.

    1) You probably love your wife. I’ll assume so. I loved mine. In fact when this happened I thought things were better then they had ever been for us, our life, our family. My wife was a beautiful, caring woman in her forties. Always chased, never the chaser. I know things were not as good for her in our marriage early…lots of struggles that come with young ambitious couples. Although no infidelity to my knowledge. I think thing flipped in our forties. Life got good and I don’t believe she knew how to digest it all, without having to worry about lots of things every day, and now she was alone with her own life, and the inevitability of getting older. Admittedly, this was her greatest fear. I came a full 180 and my love for her was evident to everyone around. I became a better father, friend, you name it…we were the couple everyone envied and we were the glue that held our circle together. When I quickly became aware of the reality of what was happening and both injected that this needed to end, but also that I was willing to work, her AP quickly went into a hole, told his wife he had to walk away from his “friendship” with my wife because she became obsessed, changed his phone number and pretty much disappeared from society. Fucking coward.

    2) Over time my anger over the affair (it was within our circle of friends), has diminished little, but I have, after a long battle, come to understand this had less to be about me, or the OM for that matter. This was always about us. I don’t know if I had realized this earlier if we could have saved the marriage…if there was a marriage left to save. I watched a couple seasons of the HBO series Divorced and now a new one on HBO that is only 3 episodes in, and while I am seething at the woman, I would encourage there is something we have to come to accept. We think we can cure everything with love but sometimes it is about the other person being so broken and confused. I couldn’t understand why my love was not enough. Why our kids were not enough. I know I could not “fix” here mid-life crisis (my words…I think it fits in every sense). The last was that it really probably wasn’t about them falling in love with someone else. It is that someone else was just something else. I think that is more common for women…I’m not one of them.

    So I don’t excuse your wife’s behavior. No way. That was cowardly. That she wants you to fight for her is juvenile but the fact she still considers the two of you in the same subset means there is something there, unfortunately, she has to come to a REALIZATION OF TRUE VALUES in her heart and mind to make that choice. Nothing you can do or say will make that happen for her. If you chase her, she is just as likely to lose respect for you as she is to fall back in love. And it’s all still about her….period.

    I wish you luck and happiness. My best advice is to be humble and honest, and make sure its a 50/50 return if it happens.

    • I’d say she just gets a thrill out of two men fighting for her. That’s not love, if anything it’s her narcissism in play. If she loved him, she wouldn’t have cheated. She only values him as a kibble dispenser (if he fights for her, he’ll be dispensing kibbles). Best for him to just let her go and build his own life away from her insanity and selfishness.

    • James, you wife wanted the thrill of fucking a rando and defrauding you.

      It is highly unlikely she’ll ever change— bad character rarely does. She’s likely taken her traits further underground.

      You had nothing to do with her choice to spread her legs and fuck other men – and nothing to do with the thousands of lies she told you to abuse and commit fraud to you. But, staying with someone knowing what you now know about her lack of character and selfishness is on you.

      I hope you are lining ducks for the next time you find out and using condoms to protect yourself from STIs.

      Ask me how I know ????????????????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️

    • James, I think you give your wife way too much credit and benefit of the doubt. “Brokeness” is not why people cheat, nor do marital problems or mid-life crises. There are lots of broken people on here, lots of bad, even abusive, marriages, lots of life crises, yet we didn’t cheat. It is not in our makeup. A person is either capable of wounding you in the most intimate, humiliating of ways, and of enjoying doing so, or not. Anyone who is just sucks as a human being and that’s totally separate from their supposed brokenness, state of existential angst, or dissatisfaction with the marriage.

      We all hate getting older, but don’t use it as an excuse to get an ego boost at our spouse’s expense. I submit to you that if your wife was the caring person you think, she would not have been able to do that to you. Getting out of denial about who my husband really was enabled me to detach. I credit it for my survival, because if I hadn’t, I’s probably still be with him, dying a little more every day.

    • James, it not that you or the kids or your life “wasn’t enough.”

      It’s that these disordered people get into their relationships in order to feed the black hole inside themselves. It’s about needing a new mirror to reflect their adequacy (or their perceived glory) back to them. They want attention. And attention is often in short supply when you have 3 kids, one with a health issue. But having an affair means all sorts of attention from the affair partner and the chump who desperately tries to hang on to the relationship.

      It’s a true shot at you to have an affair in the friends circle, with someone you knew, liked and trusted. Double betrayal. If you’re happy with this outcome, that’s what matters. But I would never be able to turn my back on someone who would do that.

      And I wonder what you get from coming here to a site where reconciliation isn’t the default.

    • James, Holy Smokes! Your wife took that shit further underground. I did the exact same shit as you the first time I caught my ex-wife. Intervention, fought for her, and exposed the shit out of her. Made her tell her dad what she did since the ex-MIL was a serial cheater. But guess what? She took it further underground. So good luck with that.

  • FW was living with the skank when he told me he’d heard that “everyone was talking (badly) about him and the skank”. I know where this came from. It was my friend’s bar I would stop in at occasionally when I came home from work – so dressed professionally, make-up on etc. – and he and the skank would go there also. So him shit-faced drunk and the skank looking like what she was (this woman might have been 13 years younger than me but she could and did drink a bottle of whiskey a night so you can imagine what she looked like). And I guess he heard through the grapevine at my friend’s place that “everyone was talking about them”! So his proposal was for me to go out to dinner with him and the skank to show “everyone” that I was ok with it. I actually laughed in his face, told him he wasn’t interesting enough for “everyone” to be talking about, and if he thought I wanted to be less than 10 miles down wind of his fat-ankled skank he greatly misjudged me! And that was the last I heard about his generous offer!

  • Shortly after D-day, my ex seemed to want me to contact the OW’s husband. He kept asking me if I had called him. I said I hadn’t and wouldn’t (which was more info than my ex deserved, but, hey these were early days). I got the feeling that FW and OW wanted a scene.

    A couple of drama queens! Cheater narcs want to think that everyone is either talking about them or pining for them.

    NC is the answer!! And I’ve got to thank CL for that.

  • I just had to ask “What is there to fight for? You obviously didn’t value the relationship or you wouldn’t have jumped into the nearest sub-sewer to indulge in some undercover slime swilling. That is who you are and I see no reason to wade through the muck to throw you a life preserver.”

  • “I need time to think”= I’m not sure if my fuckbuddy is a keeper yet. If it turns out he/she is, I will leave you. If not, I’ll stay, you lucky thing. You have no say in this, naturally.

    “It will be good for our marriage” = You will pick me dance like you’ve got a chicken down your pants, which will be very good for me. Who cares what’s good for you.

    “I want you to fight for me”=You must make my narcissistic fantasy come true. Then I’ll probably leave you for my schmoopie anyway. Snicker!

    “Jokes” = Thinly veiled psychological terrorism.

    I hope that clears things up a bit for George, if he’s still around.

  • These cheaters we’re all discussing here thrive on chaos and drama. It’s the template from which they’re drawn. If you look closely at the people that spawned them and/or raised them, the apple really didn’t fall far from the tree. Narcs, borderlines, depressives, bi-polarities, users/takers, poor character and integrity, abusers, – even criminals are in the background history. While the cheater may have attached or married an opposite as an adult, it all ends when their need for familiarity to include the resulting chaos and drama of dysfunction resurfaces. They’re just “going back to who they used to be.”

    Chumps are fortunate indeed to get out, never look back, and fine-tune our radar for future relationships.

  • Here’s why the “fight for me” fantasy is so attractive: because being The Desired One gives her power and leverage in the relationship. When you want her more than she wants you … she gets to impose conditions on you.

  • Cheaters love centrality, and seek it out

    They give not one shit about the pain they inflict on their nearest and dearest. As long as you kiss their butts and never criticize them they may keep you around. Maybe.

    More reason for no contact

  • It’s interesting these cheaters are so self absorbed they want us fighting for them, or as mine said “what are you doing to keep me? I’m a catch!”. It doesn’t seem to enter into their brains that maybe their spouse is tired of being discarded and devalued by them, or that they certainly didn’t “put up a fight” to avoid the affair. The burden of anything resembling work or effort falls to the chump, while they just get cake. How do we do it for so long, and we often are so trauma bonded we don’t even realize we are doing it?!

    • ????‍♀️

      did it for at least six years, maybe longer. Didn’t have a clue. My fw was a police officer and he was a bit of a controller, he had trained me to not question him. He was always “working part time” yet I never had any extra money for anything I wanted. He got his toys, and by running our cc history she was just one of his toys.

      In real time that hurt when I found all that out. But, now that I know how his life went down; I am so glad I was pushed out of it.

      Sometimes I wonder if God said to himself well this one is thick, I am going to have to let her life implode before she gets it.

  • . Every chumps story sucks. First of all…..don’t do this. Physical altercation with that fuckbag will make you feel good for about 5 seconds…..until they put the cuffs on you. Second, all of a sudden she needs you to “fight”….like really fight for her. Ummmmm…..did you first meet 15 years ago after you won a cage match? Why NOW are you not manly enough? I’ll just go ahead and answer that… was never about you. It was all about her. Cheaters don’t fess up until they’re caught…..usually with a cheshire cat grin…….if they fess up before that it’s because they want to be caught. Ask yourself….what kind of person does this? They aren’t looking for salvation…..they’re feeding off cake….aka you’re tears. Don’t buy into theirs…..the die has already been cast there.

  • I remember how I thought I’d physically confront the AP.
    And I have practiced martial arts for a lifetime and am physically fit.
    In that way I’m not scared . But I had enough insight to know family court wouldn’t appreciate this ; let alone my profession and reputation.
    Nowadays I feel nothing for this guy .
    Married himself, lying about it .
    She wouldn’t have used him for long , he doesn’t make much cash .
    In a way I should be grateful to this guy . He opened my eyes to my ex’s true character.
    But I wouldn’t go that far . If I’d hear that he stepped on a rusty nail and died of tetanus, I’d crack a smile .

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