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Her Husband Wishes She Were More Porn-like

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband of 20 years has been replaced by a terrible person. He has gaslighted me in the strictest sense — insisting in marriage therapy that I am bipolar (no shame, but inaccurate), and in general just been very mean and nasty to me when he’s upset. EVERYONE, including my individual therapist, says he must be cheating, but I don’t think he is.

I work from home since COVID. He is always home on time. No weird calls, texts, etc. He is not very smart in the digital sense, and I usually find out about his internet skanking by accident, eg, he had his nasty TikTok account synced with his contacts. He has always been into porn, and I stopped fighting that years ago.

The worst I have found is a comment he left on a woman’s social media account with hearts and blushing emojis; this was in April.

In February, after a pretty normal argument, he texted: I think it’s time to separate.

We ended up in therapy where he found one reason after another why he “just doesn’t feel the same.” We should have sex more. I am lazy. I work too much. We don’t argue. Maybe if I cooked more. I don’t buy thoughtful little gifts. I am bipolar (reminder: not accurate). I am an alcoholic (sober for years). He misses the wife who drank because she was more fun. I was on Twitter too much during the Mueller investigation.

I was DEVASTATED when I got the separation text. I adored my husband. I barely ate. I cried, bought him thoughtful gifts, cooked more…when I had to work late I would take a break to cook dinner, watch a netflix show with him, tuck him in with a BJ and a 15-minute cuddle, and then go back to work. This is with 2 kids and me bearing the full mental load and doing most of the chores. But it wasn’t enough, because recently he again told me (in an argument) that he wants to separate.

We are almost 50, and I think he is mad about monogamy. He hasn’t cheated yet that I know of, but the treatment I am getting is so similar. I feel like he looks at social media and porn and thinks, “Why isn’t it like this? I hate my wife!”

The thought of him laying on the couch, sending blushing emojis to a woman half his age, gyrating in a bikini, on a day when he was tearing me down in therapy, when I had lost almost 20 pounds over his wanting to separate, makes me really angry. Like really very angry. It’s like he has exactly 0% empathy.

As we separate, which I am ready to do after all this, I am looking for support. I have found some midlife crisis groups, but they aren’t quite a fit. Will you accept an honorary chump?

J

Dear J,

Sure. We’ll skooch over on the giant Devaluation Sofa to make room. Have a seat.

I don’t know if your soon-to-be-ex is cheating (I think it’s interesting that your therapist does), but as I’ve written here many times, it doesn’t matter. The blameshifting, the disrespect, the checking out while you’re left with all the responsibilities of a shared life — are hallmarks of the chump experience.

I tend to tread around the thorny issue of is porn cheating? I feel on much more solid ground with “Is this relationship acceptable to you?” Do you want a partner who prefers fake over real? Who is emotionally and sexually checked out elsewhere?

Heart emoji-ing strangers with big tits, this isn’t a grown-up. Heck, I wouldn’t even say it’s an adolescent boy, because I’ve raised several and they were far more tethered to reality.

Your husband is a creep and a bully. I chose your letter because I wanted to respond to this:

We are almost 50, and I think he is mad about monogamy.

Then unshackle the poor sausage. Let him feast at the Great Pussy Buffet. Liberate him from the oppressive bonds of monogamy.

Let him see how high his middle-aged divorced schlub stock trades among actual 25-year-olds in bikinis.

Untangle your finances from his. Let him pay for the girlfriend experience. Growing old on his cum-stained sectional.

I feel like he looks at social media and porn and thinks, “Why isn’t it like this? I hate my wife!”

It’s a fair point. If he spends that much time invested in his imaginary women, how can he not compare? He’s choosing that fantasy life over his family.

And consider WHAT he finds appealing. Okay, beyond the objectification of sexy young creatures. He enjoys a lop-sided relationship where he doesn’t have to invest anything. (Except probably his credit card.) He just watches. They perform. They submit. They cum immediately. Rapturously.

Do they interact? Web-cam sex anyone? How magnificent he is. How unearned is this adulation. Yet, how important it is to him, because he’ll trade authentic connection to feel like King of Porn Mountain.

More disturbing, what’s his kink? Does he like young girls? Rape? Domination? Oh no, never? Read Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times piece on the billions PornHub has made on revenge porn and child rape. The place gets more traffic than Netflix, Yahoo, or Amazon.

J, this is neither a man you can respect or feel safe with. And that is reason enough to end it.

Leave him to his fantasies or his next wife appliance. Who can live her own hell of being compared and found wanting to a thousand pixelated orifices. You deserve better.

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.
    • I laughed so hard at “grow old in his cum-stained sectional.”

      Reminds me of the famous Twitter warning issued by a middle aged dad to all other middle-aged men.
      ·https://mobile.twitter.com/solomonmissouri/status/1429923603349377026

      23 Aug
      You think you wanna be out here cause you not out here
      @solomonmissouri
      ·
      23 Aug
      When you get out here… You ain’t gonna want to be out here no more

      You don’t wanna be out here learning tiktok dances and falling off milk crates
      @solomonmissouri
      ·
      23 Aug
      LOVE THE WIFE OF YOUR YOUTH

      • Reminds me of when I told a good friend ex was moving out. Her response: “Let him see how fun it’ll be to have his own fuck-palace.” Meaning (at the time) he’s pushing 50, an alcoholic & no Brad Pitt.

        • Hey there Chumparella – Chump Lady also keeps a FB page, which mirrors this blog. But comments on this blog do not appear on the FB page. You’re safe here 🥰

    • Thank you so much for posting my letter. All the replies make me feel the world is a good place where decent people help each other. I will be reading and rereading tonight. I am absolutely a chump and I am going to stop feeling sorry for him, stop wondering if it is really that bad because it is. Thank you for supporting me as I accept reality.

      I have Snapchat to communicate with my teens, don’t sync my contacts. I decided to turn on syncing for a moment to see what happened… and as I am sure you already know, he has a Snapchat. This summer he did not. So I can now be reasonably sure he’s engaging in more than one-way viewing. I don’t know how much digging I want to do. On the one hand, the anger I am feeling is helpful as I get on with the business of detaching and sorting finances. But maybe I don’t need to know more. I’m already DONE.

      I would like to think that throwing some evidence in his face would feel good, but honestly he doesn’t value me so I doubt it would be any more satisfying than just getting on with my life. It’s crazy how blind we can be, but at least I know I’m not the only one.

      • Don’t dig any further. It will bring you far more pain than it will him. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass. I still fantasize over the shoulda, coulda, woulda missiles I had every opportunity to launch at him when I left. But where would that have left me? With just more reminders that I meant absolutely nothing to him, outside of chief cook and bottle washer. I didn’t need or want anymore pain and hurt at his hands. I just needed to get gone and get him out of my life as quickly as possible!
        No, you are not alone. And it is a travesty how many of us have dealt with the same thing you are dealing with now. Cut him out of your life and run as if your life depends on it … it is your best and only hope. He is not who you thought or hoped he was.

      • J, welcome to the club nobody wants to be in! You are indeed a chump. There isn’t much I can add to what CN has already stated, but I would like to emphasize this… don’t wait. Don’t wait to ‘pay down cards’ or wait to ‘save up for x,y z’. Don’t wait to hire an attorney, start interviewing top 5 in your area TODAY. Get an idea of what to expect. Go stealth, don’t throw any evidence around or confront/reveal anything to FW, just document, gather statements, bills, etc. The CL Archives have great step-by-step for ‘getting your ducks in a row’. DO THIS NOW. Get ready to file and hit him with it unexpectedly. Get him OUT of your house, so you can begin to see clearly how badly you’ve been deceived. Yes, you will continue to have more information or recollection of behaviors seemingly drop out of the sky. Write it down. It will start to make any sense much later, even years from now, but it isn’t necessary to KNOW this right now. There’s plenty of reasons to split regardless of small details about body parts.

        1. Attorney. Find one, pay the retainer, and Follow Their Advice.
        2. Bank accounts in your own name at a separate bank.
        3. Individual therapist for yourself to help you.
        4. Start moving out any valuables of yours to a storage or trusted friends home.
        5. Be as neutral as possible with him and for heaven’s sake do not sleep with him.
        6. Call your Dr. and schedule an appointment for STD screenings, yes. Everyone* thinks he’s cheating for reasons. I was in denial too until after his departure, when I got phone records and I could not deny any more, in the face of factual evidence, that he had indeed been cheating, profusely. My Dr. did not bat an eyelash and was in fact very supportive and helpful. Your health is at risk. The 20 pound weight drop, probably more coming. Get any and all screenings/testings done. Take care of yourself and detach from his needs/opinions.
        7. Get your car serviced, new tires, get you & kids eye exams, dental exams, any maintenance and upkeep of your person/auto/home that’s due or upcoming, do it now.

        You are NOT ALONE my dear J. Gather up your anger and courage and move forward to freedom! Hugs to you and your children. You WILL be okay and you will feel better, hopefully sooner than later. It’s a painful process, but if you get ahead of it and stay in control of the situation, you’ll be in a much better position in the long run. Meanwhile, he’s over in the basement, distracted, banging it out with a tru-wuv cam-girl spending joint $$$. I’m angry for you.

        • I love a good list. Thank you so much. I have talked to one lawyer and I also get a free consult through work so will schedule that tomorrow.

          • I agree with much of that list. Also, you may want to consult a certified divorce financial analyst/manager. They can help you get your arms around what you can manage and will be able to see things more objectively when you bring in account statements and so on. I am playing the long game. I signed up for 2 major credit cards on my own to boost my credit rating more in preparation for getting a mortgage. My checklist is getting smaller. I thought I would be stuck another 6 months but now it looks like it may be only three. Keep a level head and get good legal and financial advice.

            If you did have an inkling he was physically cheating, ask your attorney consult if adultery matters in your state and, if so, whether it would be worth hiring a PI. I learned it is amazing how much cheating they can do on lunch breaks or when they take a few hours off work early and don’t tell you….

            Oh, and drop yourself a gift card in the shopping cart each time you pick up groceries. He’s going to take all the good tools and a ton of housewares. At least you will have a bit of something saved for dishes or a 6’ ladder.

      • “I don’t know how much digging I want to do.”

        None. You want to do none. That’s pain shopping. And throwing evidence in their faces is rarely as cathartic as we want it to be.

        Don’t focus anymore headspace on him (it’s hard; I know).

    • Tracy,
      You need to redraw it-enormous boobs and no hair between her legs. That seems to be the trend these days 🤣

  • I’m sorry but if he’s texting blushing emojis to women that are not you he’s ALREADY cheating. It might not be as “bad” as physical cheating but the betrayal feels just as painful.

    He needs to demonstrate remorse and if he can’t he’s a loser.

    (Well men who are this defensive about these things usually have more to hide too.)

    • J here! It is so amazing the comments on this! I feel so validated and supported. He shows no remorse and after quickly scrolling through the comments I realize I am in fact a chump…or I was. We are separating. I am paying down credit cards and freeing up money so I’ll be able to care for my kids no matter what he does. I know cam girl relationships can be expensive!!!

  • 2 quick comments:

    1. If I had thought earlier in my marriage (I was given many opportunities) if her actions were acceptable to me, and decided no, I would have had a much different life.

    2. Dating/finding love at any age is doable. My first relationship post divorce was better relationship than my marriage…so being afraid to dive into that world should not keep you stuck.

    • “1. If I had thought earlier in my marriage (I was given many opportunities) if her actions were acceptable to me, and decided no, I would have had a much different life.”

      This x1000. I remember a very specific time when I wanted to leave my marriage, but talked myself out of it because “of the children.” I did not understand then how the distance, devaluation, porn use, “friendly” social media postings, etc., were all enough, on their own, to create an unacceptable marriage, and were the groundwork for the actual cheating that followed (or who knows, maybe the cheating was there all along….I still have my suspicions but I know I will never get answers).

      • You are right! Even if I had left earlier this year when he texted he wanted to separate, it would have been a whole year I could have enjoyed without the weight of his contempt. I am DONE.

      • Yes-“they are laying the groundwork” is a step in
        brainwashing us so they can carry on the double life. Every time I accepted something that should have been challenged I was giving him a green light to escalate his exploitation of me and the family. First he “had to “ cater to his mother, then he had to let her insult me, then he insulted me, then he had flirtations with women that I knew about, then he separated money, then he lied about it, then he took money, etc.Then he developed a life style of no accountability.
        If I had had a hard stop at the first boundary violation-his catering to his outrageous mother-I could have found out if he was able to act with integrity; and if not- faced that truth.
        Whatever you accept will become normalized –
        until it escalates. By then you will have more Sunk Costs and anxieties about leaving him.

        Don’t accept the corrupt groundwork-its not safe to build on that.

  • Imma just say this about that: He’s cheating. Your therapist is dead on. You merely haven’t found it yet. Lawyer up & GTFO. You deserve better than this entitled little man-baby (you have to put him to sleep with a BJ & cuddles in order to shut him up?) NO. Just… NO. 🤮 Your life will be so much better without this adult-sized millstone around your neck.

    • I regret every minute I spent trying to save a porn addict. My advice to anyone who finds they are with one is to leave immediately and never consider returning. It’s your best hope, and theirs too, though there is little hope for them.

      Someone who devalues you will never value you. Get out. Get free. Get help.

      • I, too, regret every minute of the 17 years I spent trying to change/save/connect to someone who used porn for hours a day. This behavior morphed into alcohol use and back to porn, gaming and back to porn, alcohol again. Multiple rounds of marriage counseling and individual counseling. At one point he told me that he used porn after we had an argument, to hurt me. At another point he claimed that his individual counselor told him it was ok to lie to me about porn, again, because my ex was very stressed. Then the behavior progressed to pot abuse, which eventually became daily and required stealing from the family to support, as well as an affair (possibly “only” an emotional affair, but who knows? I’m OUT). I finally FINALLY realized that not only was living with this cycle of discovery after discovery not acceptable to me, it was, in fact, enough to leave him over. My divorce has been final just over 2 months; the peace and freedom from the chaos is priceless.

        • The porn use gets more violent and shocking. I was physically ill when I saw what my x was viewing—strangling, raping his “teen Latinas”—he tried to say they were all over 18. I told him he had no clue. Leave. A porn addict is not someone you can ever connect with. My x is an alcoholic and a gambling addict too. I’m so glad I don’t have to look at his dead eyes anymore.

        • This. It’s the behavior of an addict. The addictive behavior does not change, only the substance/target of the behavior. When we realize that we are not people to them, only the means to an end (e.g. stealing from the family to support the habit), it’s a painful but freeing realization.

      • I have learned a bit more in the past few days, and while I am reasonably sure there is no physical affair (yet) and 50/50 on whether there is back and forth sexting or worse, I am 100% sure my husband has broken his vows to love, honor, and respect me. I saw many more comments on TikToks, some really vulgar and sexual to young, half-dressed women dancing, rolling around on a bed, humping a whipped cream can, etc. The comment that hurt most, though, was one on a video of a young woman dressed in a porno-Velma from Scooby Doo costume. The “character” said something like “If I was your bipolar girlfriend and stayed in bed all day except to dress up like Velma, would you love me?” And the man I have built a life with for 25 years commented on it: “I do for the wife, and she is no Velma, so YES [heart emojis].” Who the fuck convinces himself his wife is bipolar and then mocks her for it and disparages her for not looking like a cartoon porn character, on a social media platform that his wife and kids are on, with his real nasty old guy picture right next to it? I don’t need to see any more. I sent screenshots to my best friend and deleted them from my phone. Getting things moving legally. I am not going to say anything to him because he clearly doesn’t care about me at all. Every time that I begin to feel a pang of pity for him, I remember that he did this at a time when he was manipulating me in therapy and always suggesting if I changed just one more thing, maybe he could love me again. And in case there is any doubt my husband is a mean guy, I should add that while I don’t have bipolar, my father did and he did some really terrible, scary things when he was manic with psychosis, and committed suicide when I was 22. So that adds a whole different layer to my husband calling me bipolar when I am not. I am so grateful to have found CL and CN. Reading the responses to my letter made me feel so happy at a really shitty time.

    • I second this. During my unknowing chump days spent in therapy after leaving my FW the first time – my therapist said in all my sessions constantly that the parasite FW was cheating. I kept trying to excuse it despite the fact all the signs were there and I was in denial. The alarm bells were going off clear as day – please leave this man and live your life. Even if you don’t find anyone – at least you will find yourself and your dignity and a new lease on life.

    • Agreed, as the saying goes (and as my own experience reflects), if I had a nickel for every time I heard “Okay, but I am 100% certain they’re not cheating,” I’d be a millionaire.

  • The former spouse had been cheating for at least 18 months with howorker on the daily lunch break 12-2:30. (No wonder I couldn’t reach him then). He was allegedly returning calls from patients or at the gym. Home for dinner most nights. Many weekends disappearing for a back emergency patient. I’d wake in the night to him on porn site. LEAVE.

    • Same! My FW was spending his lunch hour & time between classes with his student OW. He was always home when he was “supposed” to be, available by text and phone, and yet he still found plenty of time to cheat.

      He also used porn references to discard me but in a different way. During one difficult fight in the beginning, I asked him how he could do this, how he could destroy our 9 year marriage over someone young enough to be our daughter, and he said “because she gives me pornstar sex.” As if that was a completely normal response!

      Too bad fantasy doesn’t translate to the real world. They moved in together, had a baby & broke up less than 5 months after the baby was born. Hmm, isn’t that shocking?!

      Get yourself a lawyer, file for divorce, and get out of there. It’s not going to get better.

      • I still don’t understand why husbands these days think it’s desirable to be a whore. I found cheater ex looking at a site called Other People’s Wives, where men posted whorish looking pictures of their own wives. How disgusting can you get?

  • A self-centered jerk in the discard phase will dredge up infinite lame “reasons.” They don’t want to reveal the real reason, or there is none that they can defend. It’s like wrestling with a kraken. Best detach.

  • Thank you for running this column today. My ex did the whole devalue/discard game, and I’ve been struggling with the idea that everything I went through and everything I’m feeling are somehow less valid because he never cheated. There was another woman, but it was his mother.
    Thanks for the validation this morning <3

    • Being devalued for another woman is a form of marital alienation, imho, and cheating-adjacent, even if they aren’t bumping uglies.

      Even before the ramping up of the behavior that finally gave me the reason and courage to leave and divorce, my ex devalued/discarded me for his sister the the entire life of our marriage. (For years I thought that he should have married her.) For thirty-five years it was made clear to me by my then-husband that I was inferior to her (for her part she made it clear that I was inferior to her brother), and that his loyalty to her was paramount. Not only did I internalize the devaluing, I believed I was unreasonably jealous and that there was something wrong with me for “being jealous” of my husband’s sister. Now that I am off the scene, it’s her husband (whom she cheated on thirty years ago) who is experiencing his own extra dollop of devaluation. My son has told me the ex plans to retire to their city, and she won’t be accompanying her husband to their usual summer residence.

      When the crisis came, in the last half-dozen years of my marriage (although I only knew about it for the final three before I moved out and initiated divorce proceedings), my ex was “entangled” and “experimenting” with a former student–I have no idea whether this was also physical. But I know he was exhibiting all the signs described so well here (leaving me in the phone store when the clerk was taking too much time and he couldn’t be late for a coffee date with her; telling me how much he enjoyed his trips to accompany her to her open mic spoken word performances, saying “I’m having fun again!).

      The other Other Woman was himself: when dressed up in women’s lingerie (which became the only way he would have sex with me), he was far more interesting in pleasing “her,” in all ways, including sexually, than he’d ever been in pleasing me. And he insisted I please her as well. To realize I was nothing more than a stand-in who made possible his acting out scenarios he’d seen in porn–sissy porn, “lady-boy” porn, etc–was a humiliating eye-opener.

      • My husband’s relationship with his sister always gave me the creeps. She acted like he was a boyfriend and not like he was a brother. When we became serious, she and his mother (who acted like he was her husband…even more creepy) pulled out the stops to character assassinate and scapegoat me, never missing an opportunity to trample boundaries. That led to total estrangement from the sister and serious distance from his mother.

        But when he finally bought a place to live after DDay, he bought a townhouse next door to his sister, the practicing alcoholic/addict who doesn’t have even a ghost of a boundary, who was his original using buddy….

        • Theirs was a relationship forged in hell (an alcoholic mother, a father who abandoned them to a mother he knew was an alcoholic so he could go off with his grad student cheating partner), but neither one of them has ever shown an iota of self-reflectiveness about it. In the last three years of our marriage (of 35 years), when my ex revealed his “woman self” (women selves, actually) to me, he said, “I learned everything about being a woman from my sister; but I couldn’t learn about sex from her.” That, he intimated, had been my role: to teach him about sex so he could appropriate it for use when he was acting out his woman fantasy.

          I am so glad to be away from all that dysfunction.

          • “That, he intimated, had been my role: to teach him about sex so he could appropriate it for use when he was acting out his woman fantasy.”

            I thought I’d heard everything here. But evidently not. Yikes.

        • Interesting, my EX also had what I felt to be a boundary-trampling relationship with his sister. She was absolutely awful to me at times (in her eyes, I didn’t measure up to his last victim, who was a friend of hers), and it caused so many issues in our relationship. These shared insights/experiences are a bit part of what makes CL/CN so valuable, helping us to see it was not us.

        • My Cheater had a sister who was so territorial over him that I wondered if she wished that she could have married him herself. She was horrible to me for 30 years.

          After he died, sister published a book of free-form porn “poetry” …it was just dirty stream of consciousness silliness. One of her poems was about her brothers death where she remarked on a number of his physical traits in asexual way and then spoke of her nightgown on her thighs. The next poem spoke of having sex with a dead guy…I almost quoted it here, but it’s so gross.

          I actually pity her for being such a nut. Mostly Im mad that she was mean to me. I got some pretty good revenge on her by finding out what her life dream was then doing it and leaving her out of it.

          • Klootzak’s sister has always acted like she was his wife. When she visited, she would take over the house. She would say I wasn’t a “blood” *insert surname here* because I only married into the name. Then she and klootzak would high five. What the hell? If that’s the standard to be “real” family, are people supposed to marry their siblings? I wish I had said that to her!

            Anyway, she once saw a greeting card and hired someone to have the words painted in huge calligraphy which she then had matted and framed to give klootzak for his birthday. The words I remember most were…

            “You are the smile to my lips.
            You are the sun to my sky.
            You are the waves to my ocean.
            You are the beach to my clam.”

            Klootzak was mad that I didn’t want it hanging in the house where someone might see it. I told him it was weird. He said I was being crazy and sick to read it as anything but a nice gift from a sister to a brother. It was so weird and gross. He insisted on hanging it in a hallway so every time we had people over and walk past it, I was sure to point it out as a gift from his sister.

            I totally forgot about it until you mentioned the poetry.

      • I just now realized that I never knew my ex to use porn until the last year of our relationship when he was deep into the devaluing. Wow. Skeins of fuckedupedness, indeed.

    • I know it’s “untangling the skein” but Ken Adams books about mother enmeshed men were super illuminating. Not that I wanted to stick around and help the FW (so beware they will play the victim card heavily, if there were victims), but things made more sense.
      I still suggest Ken Adams work now as far as identifying red flags because we’re often told that it’s a good sign if someone were dating is close with mom, (or sister) but it could be the reek of horrible boundaries

      • I will look into that author, thank you! And yes, I had thought it was sweet, how close he was to his mother. My family isn’t close, so I envied their relationship just a little, you know? But now… it makes me a bit nauseous.

        • X’s Mother ran the family like a Mafia Boss. But she learned from the best. Her Mother was a Minister’s wife ( as I was ), and felt that it was a position adjacent to the Queen Mother’s.

          My X always sided with her. I was never supported or considered. Just a wife appliance to back up their grand plans in life.

          Luckily he did not have a Sister to write clam porn poetry to him!

      • I’ll go biblical and say when one marries one is supposed to leave and cleave to one’s spouse. No being a momma’s boy or any other version based on gender/sexuality etc.

      • Thanks for book suggestion. I’ve been curious about this topic too about enmeshed moms. My exes mom would openly flirt with him and rub up against him; shoulder to shoulder, but it still just seemed so off to me. I never mentioned it to anyone, but after D-day, a friend who was close to the family brought up how his mom acted towards the ex. So it just wasn’t me being “crazy” and seeing things. I have a son myself and would never in a million years act the way she did with my ex. The most physical contact is a hug and a kiss on the cheek; that’s after not seeing him in a long time as he lives out-of-state. I can’t even imagine flirting with my son; that’s just so sick!

    • It’s an awful trap when the other woman is his mother. You want to be supportive seeing his childhood wounds. He needs to maintain the tie to person who wounded him..?! Yes, abused children do this BUT- If he can’t man up and separate from her-.he’s going to remain an entitled child-man who cannot function as an adult. I was trying to be supportive but I was actually an enabler and it all back-fired in the end as he cultivated his various self-indulgences.

      • His mother’s in her 80s now, and still insulating him from ever having to take responsibility for his choices.I have no idea what he will do when she passes. But it’s not my problem now.

        • When I refused to let his mother use me anymore, the devaluation started, and he blew up our marriage 3 weeks later. He moved in with his mother, and 4 years later, he is still living with her. The problem is, that means she is raising our kids 50% of the time. He makes plenty of money now and has a ‘serious’ girlfriend with a 7-year old son, but it’s clear he is not going to move out of his mom’s basement until the kids are 18. Ugh.

    • The other woman in my marriage (the one I actually SAW) was my sister-in-law. Ex and his sister always acted more like a “couple” when we visited her city than he did with me. They had their special traditions, the favorite spots that we had to visit, the special meals, etc. etc. They even had their song. He and I didn’t have a song. And then there was the incest porn I found on the computer . . . .

      My therapist helped me realize that he was cheating all along with various women, and that all those times I THOUGHT he was cheating and squashed the thought because “he would never do that,” I was actually right in the first place. He WAS cheating. He spent six weeks with his sister after I left him — probably getting special tender loving care.

      A man who is using porn isn’t a man who sees you as a real person. That alone is a good enough reason to end the relationship. Wish I had done so when we were first married and I first started finding porn all over the house.

  • No one thought he was cheating. Not even our therapist. When would he have the time? He was always home at 5:30. We played together on our sailboat as a family every weekend. He rarely traveled for business. He never went out with friends.

    Then for our 20th wedding anniversary, which was a total non-event where I was crying in bed (alone) that morning because he was acting like it was just another ordinary day, he said, “For the past few months, I’ve been thinking about
    moving out and living by myself for a while, but I don’t want a divorce.” WTF?! I asked him if he was involved with anybody. He denied it, and for the first time in my life I went looking through his stuff. I found an email in his email trash inviting her on a business trip. Expensive men’s fragranced bath gel in the shower of the building at our business. I found out he had been leaving work every day. You could have knocked me and everyone who knew us over with a feather. The secret double life he had so carefully concealed was revealed. I have some idea of how Bernie Madoff victims feel.

    The bottom line?

    “Pure love and suspicion cannot dwell together: at the door where the latter enters, the former makes its exit.”

    – Alexander Dumas

    I agree.

    No one in the world would have believed Chris Watts would murder his pregnant wife and children, until he did. No one would have believed Scott Petersen would murder his pregnant wife, until he did.

    I don’t need to stick around until he actually strangles me. Not killing me has resulted in far more pain and suffering.

    Cheating is abuse and soul-murder. Let the matching lowlifes who will cheat with him have him.

    • And then after I found out about the affair, I saw all the opportunities he had. We see what we believe.

      Talking on the phone in the front yard after I fell asleep at night…

      Sleeping on the couch because the bed was “uncomfortable”

      Sexting while sitting with me and our daughter on the couch. Watching kid movies. (If they have a phone they can cheat anywhere, anytime, 24/7/365. The opportunities are endless. They live in the phone. Burner phones. Secret apps. Laptops. Security, safety, trust, and loyalty is THE POINT of being in a relationship. If I don’t have those things, I have NOTHING.)

      Leaving work every day. (The boss can do whatever he wants). He was VERY hard to get ahold of, the man who is Krazy-glued to his phone and whose rear pocket is worn out in the shape of his phone. I actually brought this up in therapy before DDay I was so frustrated by it.

      Disappearing from the house without telling us on the weekends. When asked where he went, it was the hardware store, the carwash, the grocery store. Shooting up to the business. Running down to the boat. When I asked if he could please tell us if he was going somewhere as a courtesy, he refused to honor the request. I never even noticed how rude and entitled it was to take off without a conversation and leave me alone on duty as the sole parent.

      I still get “aha” moments that come out of nowhere about my entire past life with him when he was probably not doing what he said he was. It’s like my brain has an app open working on a crazy jigsaw puzzle while my attention is elsewhere.

      If you’re looking at porn, you are programming your brain for sexual arousal in such a way that real life will soon do nothing for you. Not to mention the fact that there is no way you can ascertain the people in the porn have not been trafficked. And for the first time in history, young guys are developing ED. The culprit is the accessibility/frequency of looking at porn. There’s a lot of research being done on this.

      Good luck having sex or being intimate in any way with someone you don’t trust. It’s not possible for me.

      It turns out my body was on to him long before my mind caught up.

      • An excellent book is, “Your Brain on Porn”, which discusses the addiction pathways in the brain, and the damage that streaming porn can do to young people, mostly boys. All parents need to read this book.

        My FW was addicted to porn, and suffered – no, I was the one who suffered – from Delayed Ejaculation, if he came at all. For our entire relationship. Oh, and it was always because I didn’t have enough stamina, my fault that he didn’t come. When I brought up porn/masturbation as a possible link, he told me that it had NOTHING to do with it. I remember him telling our first counselor that he thought 4-5 hours of sex each days was reasonable. The counselor’s mouth dropped open, then he turned to me and asked, “and how do you feel about that?” instead of calling FW on his BS.

        Not my problem anymore.

        • For years I was blaming myself for FW ED. He started vigorously using porn 15 years ago after I had third child. Broke me when I caught him doing it. They weren’t even attractive. That didn’t stop him though. Kept it up and then he couldn’t keep it up-sorry I was laughing as I wrote that, need humor today! Started using prostitutes 10 years ago and then the ED. It was so nice to read I’m not the cause of his problem. Scary to think the only way someone can get aroused is paying and using somebody. Scary!!!!

        • My porn addict ex had this issue too. I was expected to have sex with him for hours and hours because he couldn’t orgasm and I was supposed to be enthusiastic about it the entire time or it would be my fault he couldn’t cum. He would tell me that most women would kill to have my problem.

          I had a baby to take care of and constant pounding for hours hurts. It interfered with my sleep. If we went on a vacation we had to make sure there was a place for sex during it. He needed sex on family visits when we were staying in a relative’s home. And when I would be like no, I’m not fucking you on a couch in a family member’s living room or no, I’m not going out to the car to fuck you for hours the night before Thanksgiving with a house full of relatives when I’m tired and have a million things to do tomorrow. Well then I was a prude bitch and not meeting his needs. So he HAD TO cheat on me. Well, he also HAD TO take viagra daily to do so. I was blown away when I found the empty packages and realized how much he was taking. He’s going to die of a heart attack.

          Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. LOL

        • I think we were married to the same fw. The delayed ejaculation and blaming shifting that accompanied is next level abuse. He’s watching hours of porn a day and seeing hookers, but blames me when he can’t finish.

          They are just scummy, immoral abusers masquerading as human beings.

          • Omg yes

            Apparently- not prostitutes from Craigslist or porn were responsible for his low performance- it was me.
            Apparently my preg body and post body ( back to size 8) was disgusting and the poor thing couldn’t get it up
            Apparently he had no issue – on the contrary- while fucking hookers
            Apparently it was my fault to initiate sex
            Apparently my body was not attractive
            Apparently the neighbor walking her dog was super sexy and I wasn’t
            Etc.

            Reality check:
            Nothing was/ is wrong with me
            My sex drive was higher than his and it was expressed in a healthy way
            My self esteem is better now than ever( I’m over 40 and it shows- but IDGAF)
            Meh helped me see reality

      • I’m so glad you commented and shared your experience. I do have a feeling that with time I will see more than I see now. The details will come together like the end of The Sixth Sense……I’m done. Done. I will not go back to the anxiety I used to feel before bed because I was afraid he’d be a jerk the next day if we didn’t have sex. I’m going to model better for my kids. Geez it’s so fucked up.

      • “I still get “aha” moments that come out of nowhere about my entire past life with him when he was probably not doing what he said he was. ”

        Im the same. Prior to his big affair with Susan of Seattle, I would have sworn on the souls of my children that he had not cheated.

        Once I found out that he had been a serial cheater, SO MANY weird little moments when something didnt fit started to trickle out of my memory…it has been 6 years since I learned and I think I have finally reprocessed the 29 years I was with him.

      • Yep, Mr. Good Guy was treating some whore to lunches and quick “stops” by where she lived on the way home. So, yes, they don’t have to be ” gone” at weird hours to be cheaters.

    • https://www.sexlited.com/

      A link to one of my favorite people. She is a great person, a competent knowledgeable person, and an excellent resource.

      Sexual ethics is a real thing, and something I want to model to my daughter. As someone who was sexually violated growing up, it’s my duty as a good parent to teach and model healthy sexuality to my daughter. There is no way I can remain in a relationship with someone who abuses me by cheating and lying and accomplish that.

      The only thing I have ever said to the lower companion of his (the one I knew about) was that she helped destroy a family and I told her to stay at least 50 miles away from me and
      my daughter.

      • VH,

        Thanks so much for sharing that site. I’m raising two adolescent boys. Any time the subject of pornography comes up in conversation, on a movie, in music…I repeat my mantra: “Porn will rot your brain and make you bad at sex later. It’s science.”

        That’s the best I’ve come up with so far on the porn front. I’m so, SO passionate about educating kids about coercive control, misogyny and reciprocal relationships. I was in my first abusive relationship in the 9th grade. It blows my mind now that a 15-year-old boy was able to master the same power and control tactics we see in adults.

          • I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. I’m still messed up sexually. So. Many. Layers. UGH.

            The one thing that’s a soothing balm to me is validation. The “I see you, and your pain is real” we give to each other. If CL could bottle up No Contact and Validation, she’d never have to work again 😇

            Oh, and Righteous Indignation. That’s the fire that pisses us off enough to break the pattern for our own kids and the next generation in general.

            So, a three-product regimen. Like Chump Proactiv!

            Big hugs, VH. Thanks for sharing your resources.

    • VH, so many similarities. . . I had no idea whatsoever that X was cheating. I literally could not believe it. He was a master manipulator, likely a sociopath-path, and I was/am a person who believes that most people are what they seem. I never had any suspicions … 25 years together. It is very disturbing. I thought of myself as a very perceptive person and I thought this trait was one of the reasons I’m a successful litigator. I now question my identity among all of the other effects of XH’s actions.

      • I did have fleeting suspicions, but dismissed them as it was not actually catching him in flagrante delicto.

        He’s a nice guy! He’s in recovery! We go to therapy to work on issues! There were lots of other things to shore up my belief that he was a loyal person. I focused on those things which made it easy to ignore the blips on radar. Something must be wrong with ME, then……

        It’s hard to explain but I actually believed what I thought I saw and wonder now how I could have.

        • VH, I wanted to believe what I heard, not what my gut was screaming. To the point where I became seriously ill. Where I am guilty is that I chose to believe his lies, probably because it was hard to admit to myself that I married such a skilled manipulator.

      • Ditto on your doubts about what you’d always assumed was your perceptiveness and its relation to your success in your job.

        Only after three years divorced am I beginning to get over my doubt about my ability to read people and situations. I believe that they deliberately take advantage of our trait of believing people are who they say they are/seem, and that they test it early on with deceptions and lies that are so minor we would not have any reason to suspect weren’t true.

        It isn’t on us, MotherChumper99, it’s on them.

      • I thought I was more perceptive too. I’m in a helping profession. Since I was very young I knew I wanted to do something that would make life better/easier/more comfortable for people. I thought my being empathetic meant I was good at walking a mile in someone’s shoes, that I was good at looking out on the world with them from their point of view.

        But The Python showed me only what he wanted me to see, so I believed him when he “showed” me how much he detested cheating and lying. Which was a total crock of shit. Far from being a man of principle, he was a conman whose acting skills were Academy Award level.

        In the early years after D-Day #1, I thought I was gullible for falling for his lies. Now I realize that some people are SO good at acting like a good person that practically anyone will be fooled. They have no “tells” because they feel no guilt about regularly deceiving people. They practice lying so much that they’re experts.

      • Same, married 27 years, the lies, the deceit, I thought he had a brain tumour or something!!!
        no recognition of who this man is!! He always did say you don’t know me!!!
        So many red flags 🙄
        Have had to share a house till financial agreement reached, he hasn’t spoken to our adult sons in 3 years, youngest moved out 3 weeks ago, he didn’t even notice… when I said he’d moved out, he then tried to blame me for not telling him, honestly these vile narcissistic idiots are pathetic, I am so at Tues

          • Lovely J, if you read more into the archives, you’ll find many, many Chumps thought the cheater had a brain tumour, or mental illness, or a mid-life crisis. But none of those things cause people to lie, deceive and betray their partners. Cheating is a character defect, nothing more. ❤ to you, so glad you found CN!

      • Sociopaths are just that good at deception. I too thought of myself as incredibly intuitive and able to read people. He just seemed so good, kind, vulnerable etc and many other folks thought the same. He had the entire town eating out of his hand.

        He was also so effusive about his adoration for me, that despite every single possible sign of cheating I couldn’t fathom how someone so clearly head over heels in love could cheat. It seemed not possible. This was genius on his part in terms of keeping my suspicions at bay.

        If I hadn’t caught the tip of the iceberg (entirely by accident), I could’ve easily spent many more years with a knot in my stomach, confused and anxious and not knowing why.

        • ‘ Sociopaths are just that good at deception. I too thought of myself as incredibly intuitive and able to read people. He just seemed so good, kind, vulnerable etc and many other folks thought the same. He had the entire town eating out of his hand.

          He was also so effusive about his adoration for me, that despite every single possible sign of cheating I couldn’t fathom how someone so clearly head over heels in love could cheat. It seemed not possible. This was genius on his part in terms of keeping my suspicions at bay.’

          This. My own brothers shared that they only hoped they would have the relationship with their wives that FW and I had with each other. Friends too. Ours was a love that inspired others to actually get married. We were indelible. Forever.

          I wasn’t the first one to consider a brain tumor— everyone else in our large family and friend circle mentioned it before I even considered it a possibility. Even sending anecdotal emails. (Spoiler alert: no tumor)

          And today, as divorce is underway, I am still shocked by his (worsening) behavior towards me. You left, FW, to go ‘be happy’ and yet you’re more miserable than I have ever seen you. It’s all my fault, of course.

          It takes a long time for the heart to catch up with the mind. For my sake and the four children I am now raising alone, I hope Tuesday comes sooner than later.

    • “I don’t need to stick around until he actually strangles me.”

      Looking back, this is how I feel now. I am aghast at how much I trusted him with my health and my very life during a period where all he was doing was plotting how to get rid of me. I am grateful that he saw me as an obstacle that he had to carefully figure a way around and not an enemy of his future happiness.

      I always think “Thank goodness he left me” now. The alternatives ((a) he “gets rid of you another way” or (b) you stay miserably married to him for the rest of your life) are too horrible to consider.

  • I remember being you, I was married to someone that everyone around me could see was clearly a lying, manipulative, creep and I just simply refused to see it in order to hold my family together.

    This is just my two cents but, just because he is going to work and coming home on time does not mean he is not cheating. My ex would cheat on his lunch time and break times with a co-worker. And forgive me but those blushing faces and heart emojis or either an affair or sexual harassment.

    Also, being tech savvy is not required to hide one’s online behavior, most aps are made to be so simple your cat can use them. mine actually used Facebook for all of his communications with his whores using the messenger ap.

    That said, J, you deserve so much better. Being single at 50 is frightening, it happened to me at 55. This is going to sound cliché but once you stop sharing your precious love on that creep and focus on yourself you will be amazed at how much better things will be. Lots of people on this site have found love at 50 and beyond and others, myself included, have chosen to stay single and are perfectly happy with that choice. Think of yourself 5 or 10 years down the road – do you still want to be dancing this same awful dance? You are so worth more than that!!!

    • Just one more thing, J. You mentioned you have 2 children. Is this really the type of relationship you want to model for them? I am assuming they are teens. Chances are they see their father more clearly than you do. Even if you don’t feel it and you have to fake it, be a model of strength and resilience for their sakes – you will not regret making that choice. (My children, late teens and early 20s at the time of DDay, stopped me from chasing after their dad.)

    • Please listen to these words of experience and wisdom on this blog. I was 67 years old when I found out my ex was cheating for 34 years, and likely cheated for several years before marriage. It was devastating. Both of us living in different realities, and me making decisions on my future with an individual willing to ruin my self esteem, my financial security, my trust in humanity. Willing to risk my very life by hiding his sexual escapades.
      He was hoping I would change him. He said, “ I thought you knew I was gay”. His needs were not being met. Maybe we just weren’t compatible he mused. . After 37 years and we rarely argued about anything. Of course, I like you, catered to his every physical and emotional need. I literally disappeared at some point, 100% focused on HIM. And this is no way to live. I have serious FOO issues around codependency and abandonment, my broken lid fit perfectly onto his cracked pot. But I can change, I am doing it. He admits he will probably not change. As sad as I was to hear that

      it also helped me move forward as well. Get support networks set up for you ASAP and trust your gut. Keep asking yourself “ Is this acceptable to me?” ((((Hugs to you from an senior chump)));

      ,

      • “I can change, I am doing it. He admits he will probably not change.”

        In one discussion we had about our marriage, when we were contemplating divorce, three years before D-day, when I didn’t know what was going on, only that his behavior was increasingly strange and ever more unacceptable to me, my ex actually said these words to me: “I used to believe that you couldn’t change. Now I think maybe I’m the one who can’t change.”

        It was never true about me, but it is about him. Probably the closest he ever came to an insight about himself. Not that he was willing to do anything about it even after that clear view of himself.

      • “I have serious FOO issues around codependency and abandonment, my broken lid fit perfectly onto his cracked pot.”

        There’s two ways of looking at this. I’m not denying your reality, but living with a closeted gay man, who’s cheating on you, for 34 years, could leave even a sane and healthy woman with the jitters. Our gut knows and starts screaming, long before our frontal cortex is willing to take off the rose-coloured glasses.

        And so your ‘codependency’ and ‘abandonment issues’ might actually grow out of THAT abuse – decades of covert spousal abuse – rather than FOO.

        I do agree that FOO is probably why you married him in the first place. But don’t take all the blame on yourself. His mistreatment of you has significantly damaged your ability to trust.

      • Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am going to learn from you and everyone else who is sharing their experience with me. I did love my husband very much, but I’m coming to see that he is really not unique, and I can predict what would happen if we were to stay together. Thank you for the hugs!

  • J, he asked to be separated, give him what he wants and be free of the mind fuck. Get out of anything to do with the RIC. The RIC did more damage to me than anything. They blame the chump for his cheating and say that you own half f what he did. Fuck that. He decided to cheat. I was not formed of that decision.
    If he is sending emojis and what not, you can almost be sure he is cheating. Regardless, you need to decide whether you want to live the rest of your life with someone who places no value on you. Most of us have been there and although it was difficult, we chose to live a life free of mental and even physical abuse. I am in the middle of the divorce now and the FWs just continue to play games. He even tried his games with our son. Fortunately, DS found pictures, texts and more on his devices because the piece of crap STBX could not manage his software. DS, who is 25 and on his own, has gone no contact. I am 95% no contact and 5% great rick so I really only answer divorce related stuff and most of it consists of talk to your attorney. No contact allows you to heal and feel better.
    The FW is now discovering the consequences of his choices. I am delighted. I heard all his squirmy excuses, suffered through his devaluing me and so much more.he made a choice and I made one to get out of the RIC, line up my ducks, retain an attorney, got the order to get him out of the house and filed. Best decision I ever made. Now he is playing the poor sad sausage while living it up with Schmoopie. The flying monkeys are blocked and life is a lot quieter with real friends and a more peaceful life. J, please don’t be sucked in by the RIC and think you are accountable for his poor decisions.

    • That his text read “it’s time to separate” rather than “I want a separation” is such maddeningly typical passive-aggressive behavior, leaving it up to the Chump to initiate the break. It’s what they want, but they refuse to act, instead ascribing the agency to something outside of themselves (in this case, some amorphous entity called “time”).

      • Yes, in the vein of “mistakes were made…” (as to why the divorce occurred). 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

      • So true. Even this time, our second round of therapy, he just kept piling on the complaints. One day I asked if he still wanted to continue therapy and he said, I just don’t think anything is going to change. I had to say, do you want to stop therapy and separate? And he said yes.

  • I never learned that my ex was cheating with another woman. Devalued for a while during my worst times (cancer/miscarriages). Later had Proof of financial infidelity though. I kept thinking “if I just knew he was cheating I could leave” instead of “is this relationship acceptable to you?” I thought the only reason to leave a marriage would be cheating. Well he ended up leaving me – which was so much worse. If I could go back – I would have left him so much sooner because he was a really bad partner. I would have had more years of happiness.

    What you are describing is enough to end a marriage over.

  • J, when I found out my ex was into porn (we were still married), 1st I did the same as you, then I started reading things on porn addiction and later after my husband of 30 years had an affair with a girl 28 years youger than him, I filed for divorce and started therapy. We started couples therapy together with someone who specialized in porn addiction. After a few sessions, ex quit and I started divorce proceedings. But, I kept up with the therapist and learned porn is about fantasy and when they have immaturity, they keep watching and cannot have a relationship with a normal woman. Thus, they cannot perform with a normal woman. If it goes to far, which I expect yours like mine has, they go searching for the fantasy with what they think they need (younger women, whores, S&M, etc.) But, they are never satisfied, because of the fantasy. Then they will escalate the behavior. My therapist had one client that escalated it so much that he was killed. He was a high profile person in the community and it was a top story in the community.

    Get out now. Don’t take this abuse and save yourself. He is the only one who can save himself. It will take awhile, but you will find peace not having to live that life. It is sickening and abuse. You are worth more.

    • Escalating behavior is pretty much a given when it comes to porn addiction. I lived with a porn addict for over 36 years and will attest that it is a miserable existence as the addiction progresses. Arrests for solicitation of prostitution, adult friend finder, elite mates, escorts, strip joints … all of it follows sooner or later.
      I ended up living in a sexless marriage by choice at some point years ago because it was the only way I could protect my health and physical well being as long as I stayed in the marriage. And as you might imagine, he continued to escalate because “You don’t want to have sex with me anymore.” No, I didn’t want to get an STD or worse and I wanted a monogamous relationship and was never going to get that with cheating bastard ex.
      Leaving was the best decision I ever made, and I wish like hell I had done it sooner.

  • No disrespect intended to CL, but I think the title of today’s column is a bit misleading.

    Having read this letter, I don’t think J’s fuckwit wants her to be more porn-like. Like all of our cheaters, he sees J in terms of usefulness:

    “J is a handy way for me to get x, but not y. And I don’t want/need for her to be a handy way for me to get y — there are better and more exciting ways for me to get y. Let J keep providing food, Netflix companionship, financial support for my current lifestyle, a beddy-bye BJ now and then, and the front I need to convince the world I’m a normal and decent human being.”

    Becoming “more porn-like” would only mean the goalposts would shift. J wouldn’t look the part, sound the part, orgasm correctly, peg him correctly, fondle other women correctly, etc.

    To these cretins, people are only valuable as a means of short-term gratification — even (ESPECIALLY) those who have invested in them.

    • Absolutely the goalposts would shift!

      Porn never bothered me in my marriage, heck… I even liked a lot of it myself. FW always told me how lucky he was that he had a “wifey that didn’t mind/also liked porn.” But when the “discard her because she’s of no use to you anymore” shift was in official gear, he stopped inviting me to enjoy porn with him, he chose to turn to porn instead of asking his perfectly willing wife (whose bed was in the same room as our computer! So, I knew he was choosing porn over me) if she would be interested in sexy times (I would have said yes), and he created secret porn stashes and porn folders that he didn’t share with me.

      And of course, he began gathering up secret girlfriends and engaging in one-night stands but that’s not the point of this post.

      The point was: I was a willing sexual partner who also didn’t mind porn! Even that wasn’t enough for him. He had to shift the goalpost so he could have something to hide; something that was just for him to make him happy that didn’t involve me at all. I was of no use to him.

      J, UXworld is right. He could have asked me to become more “porn-like” and he could have asked me for something ridiculous like an open marriage so he could have sexy times with other women. What if I said yes? Then the goalpost would shift. If I got implants and agreed to an open marriage then he would *still* tire of me and still find things to hide.

      It doesn’t matter how much we bend over and submit to their whims. Their whim is to hide things from us and always have the upperhand. If we met them on equal ground (“Okay, I’ll agree to this, but I have to be a part of it too because we’re partners”) then they don’t have the upperhand and they’ll find a way to get that back. They want their secrets and their secret lives.

      Goalposts will always shift. You like porn too? Okay, well… then he’ll have his secret-secret porn that he hides from you, his porn-approving wife. You agree to an open marriage? Cool, he thinks… but I’ll just keep a few girlfriends tucked away in my back pocket and *not* tell the wife about these ones.

      • I agree.

        The SECRET is the goal.

        He was caught on Tinder after he left to move in with the Craigslist cockroach.

        Married with child + secret double life + abandoning family and moving in with known cheating accomplice rather than child before even getting divorced + being on Tinder + going to illicit massage parlors = one super fucked up individual. And so is the cheating accomplice.

        Stick with the winners. Let go of the losers.

        • Agreed.

          The porn isn’t the goal. A porn-star wife isn’t the goal. An open marriage isn’t the goal. You acquiescing to his whims isn’t the goal. You can do all those things and it will only make him happy for a hot second. Then he’ll get unhappy with you again because he has to shift his goals.

          The goal is the secret. Keeping you in the dark.

          A person like that makes for a horrible spouse.

          • “The goal is the secret. Keeping you in the dark.

            It worked for 32 years. Unlike a few here, my x didn’t subject me to his secret porn life. To be that good of a liar and protect himself that well from being found out, is my mind boggle. I still get revelations out of nowhere that bring clarity to incidents and events that didn’t make sense. The signs where there, I didn’t notice.

            Almost 6 years divorced, in the land of meh is much better than in the land of ‘the dark secret” life of someone I never knew. I don’t have to live with a wondering mind anymore. CUT them loose, they are unfixable, ungrateful and undeserving of US

            Peace

      • This was me. I was ok with the porn, watched some myself, had a high sex drive, got gigantic breast implants (that I plan to have removed now) looked like a porn star, when I got sick and couldn’t “meet his needs” let him have the open marriage (because he realized he’s polyamorous naturally, and that’s a natural orientation just like being gay and how dare I judge!) so he could have sex with other women. He was just supposed to be honest with me. I even hosted some of the girlfriends for holidays. Plus there’s all the work in the sex industry I did to put our family in a better position and help build his career. No, I didn’t do porn but I did damn near everything else. I remember I finally broke down sobbing and said I couldn’t do it anymore and I remember a flash of anger and hatred on his face. But then he was so “understanding” that I thought I must have imagined it. Nope. I didn’t.

        I did all that and it makes me sick to my stomach now. He was lying the entire time. He was cheating on me before we even got married. I never got honesty. He pretty much could have done anything and he still lied about it. He and his little girlfriends insult me and call me a prude and how I deserved it. They were laughing at me for years while I was being treated for schizophrenia and going through total hell when I actually had pernicious anemia which was killing me and has dementia like symptoms. I couldn’t think straight for years and years and he was pushing me into fucked up life choices I wouldn’t have done if I was in my right mind. They were literally abusing a dying woman for their sexual thrills. I feel like I was pimped out during the most vulnerable time of my life because I basically was.

        Nothing I could have ever done would be enough. One of his friends made a comment to me about my being a prude and I just said, “I am a literal sex worker. If literal sex workers are prudes to you and him, how fucked up are the two of you?” and then there’s silence because they can’t deny, that’s super fucked up. He acts like I’m this hardcore religious nut who hates sex and will only do the missionary position for three minutes and is terrified of nakedness but I’ve been a literal stripper. I’ve been a literal webcam girl, I even worked at the legal brothels out in Nevada. There is proof that I’m not what he’s saying. But it’s so much more fun to believe him, I guess.

        But you are completely right. With these scumbags, nothing will ever be enough. They will find a way to lie and abuse. That’s the point. It’s not about the sex. They want to abuse.

        • Oh my. This is like a gut punch.

          It’s our common misfortune that no matter how badly each of us thinks we have it, there’s somebody out there who is being mindfucked, gaslit, abused even worse.

          It’s been a while since I’ve read anything this bad. I hope feel like you’ve found your tribe here, Katiepig.

          • This place and all of you have been immensely helpful! Thank you so much for all the support.

            I’m doing great now. I’m completely healthy at this point. I haven’t had a single symptom in over a year. I’m going back to school on my employer’s dime and building a great life. I got rid of all of those people. Life is really good now but sometimes I look back and I get angry because honestly, he and some of his friends should be in prison for what they did to me. I’m not going to wait around for justice but there’s part of me that hopes karma runs them over with a bus someday.

            • So glad you left him and got your health back. What a degraded user he is. Some people are pure evil. So glad you got away.

              • PS: Trust me when I say their karma will catch with them. I am old–definately old enough to witness the karma train pull into the station on more than a few occasions. As we used to say: “Eventually it will all come out in the wash.” If anything, you will be around a lot longer than they. That is not a lifestyle conducive to longevity.

            • Thanks for sharing Katie. You are amazing. I’m so glad to hear you got your health back and I hope those arseholes rot in hell.

            • So glad things are better for you KatiePig. Sounds like you survived a nightmare. Glad you are finding some support here.

              • I love a good list. Thank you so much. I have talked to one lawyer and I also get a free consult through work so will schedule that tomorrow.

              • Best wishes to you KatiePig, I’m sorry for your pain I’m glad you are better. I posted a reply to another comment here by accident, it was referring to getting a lawyer. Just getting the hang of things. I feel I’ll catch on quick because these stories all tell me what deep down I know. We deserve better.

            • Hugs KatiePig. You are a warrior to survive all of that and still be so sane and smart, snarky and cool. Glad you are feeling better these days. You were on point for leaving that evil creature and the flying monkeys in your rearview. Much respect to you xx

        • Oh KP, I am so sorry. You deserved to be treasured and protected. He was an ass-bastard to victimize you like that. Im so glad he is gone and you are thriving. Hugs to you

          • Thank you for sharing your story, Katie and letting us know that you’re on the other side now. I especially like that you look back and are still angry about it–good for you! You deserve to be angry!

            It just goes to show you that you can give a FW everything they ask for and none of it matters to them.

        • Oh wow KatiePig, what a story!

          So happy you got out of this. I never closely became anything like a sex worker, but the dynamics were EXACTLY THE SAME. It got me into doing things I never would have done otherwise, thinking “I was meeting him halfway” in his needs and fantasies. Of course there was no halfway, there was no fucking end to it.

          Looking back now it’s crazy what I accepted, (not was what it is objectively but it’s just really not me), it is as if I were another person. I have even been too ashamed to tell all to my friends. But it goes so damn gradually, they literally stretch up your reality an inch at a time to try how far they can get. So I completely understand how you get there, and will never judge anyone getting there. But it had to take me this experience. Stupidly, sometimes you have to go through things to believe they’re true.

          All the best

          • PS: I thought I was pretty close to meh but started shivering while reading & writing this. So good we’re out this evil stuff!

          • I’m so glad you’re out of it too. You are exactly right, it happens so slowly, just a little bit at a time, until you don’t even recognize yourself. I was with mine for 20 years and it wasn’t until I started the treatment I needed and started getting healthy that I was like “Wait, WTF?” It’s like boiling a frog, you start the water out cool and the frog doesn’t even know what’s happening.

            • Yes exactly! It’s really crazy how these people are able to morph you into lesser versions of yourself.

              Take care!

  • People who perseverate on fantasy lose their ability and willingness to reside in or appreciate the good things in reality.

    Like with gambling and alcohol and sugary foods and crap TV, some of us can engage a little and move on without thinking about it and without dysfunction, while others can’t even sniff at it without the hook setting and the reel spinning out of control. (Looking at some nudity and feeling natural stirrings of arousal is very different from five-clicks-a-second enjoyment of rape and children and a slowly increasing amount of shock as the images get more intense and traumatize the viewer into super intense orgasms.)

    There is nothing any of us can do to help or change people who are in the addictive cycle with modern porn. Like with any drug, or thing used like a drug, the only way out is for the addict to choose the change, personally pursue the change, dedicate themselves to lifelong work to maintain the change, and truly fully embrace the reality that there’s no going back because there’s nothing but harm in even a taste of that for them.

    Sure, some.things people call porn can be a thing some people use in more conscious ways — some people actually do seek out reputable source material, keep the content on the healthy side, keep it in balance with other parts of life, etc. — but these days, MUCH more often, the content is heinous, the source is highly exploitive of and harmful to vulnerable people, and the viewer’s brain chemistry is destroyed by the miracles of money-generating through harmful application of neuroscience.

    The porn itself is abusive of, and traumatizing to, the viewer, too, and that’s how it works to keep the viewer viewing. It’s designed to do this. You, a real person, are a sack of overcomplicated and useless dog shit to the porn viewer, simply because you have real needs and feelings. 1,000 clicks of novelty totally under their control in less then an hour, without any judgment or interruption… Or pesky you, with likes and dislikes, and the same old parts that aren’t made up or well lit or surgically disfigured or 12 years old, and wanting to be treated like you matter? What a downer, says the porn viewer.

    More than likely, you won’t have the time in life to wait for a person who has already hurt you with their addiction to take that journey. In fact, it may be true that you’re so fictionalized and negatively associated in the fantasy-mind of that person at this point that they can’t even do the work unless you’re gone.

    It’s every bit a form of cheating because the porn viewer prioritizes other-ness over presence with you. But don’t bother arguing that point. The point that matters is, if I’m with you and you’re with you, nobody is with me, and that doesn’t work. So, enjoy your fantasies. I’m going to live in the real world with others who are living in it with me.

      • Right? And guess who I learned it from? A therapist who specializes in researching the harmful effects of porn. 😆

    • “If I’m with you and you’re with you, nobody is with me, and that doesn’t work”

      Holy crap was that the succinct sentence to describe discard and narcissism that I needed.
      Thank you Amiisfree.

      • You’re so welcome! Definitely paying this one forward. Met a lady who wrote something very like it in a song, laughed very hard, and kept had it in my verbal toolbox ever since. She’s a genius!

  • I had a hard time choking down this letter. He sounds like an ass. What was remarkable to me was that you said that you adored him (past tense I hope). To repeat what has been said before, “You deserve better.” I don’t know if he is cheating ‘for realz’ or not but he sure isn’t holding up his end of the bargain of being a loving, supportive partner or at least not by the description of the letter.

    • I was struck by that too. . . I also felt that I “adored” my XH of 25 years. I think now (7 years after Dday, 5 after divorce) that it wasn’t adoration, but rather, the trauma bonds. My mom is an abusive cheater-narcissist so I definitely had the barbwire monkey syndrome . . . At 55 I feel like I’m just learning things about myself.

  • I think when they decide that you are lacking, it’s over or headed that way. Porn just widens the cracks, IMHO. And those two factors seem to lead to online or actual relationships with affair partners.

    Certainly, my marriage had its disappointments. It seemed like his work and the house were perpetually higher priorities than we were, but I accepted that. Among my friends, that seemed pretty common.

    Before we separated, he had a huge list of petty complaints going back several decades even to when we were dating. That list grew longer and longer as he talked to his relatives and went into every detail of our marriage with them. Supposedly we were going to work on things, but I was worn about when he left and eventually decided that reconciliation was off the table. I don’t know how you could possibly rebuild anything meaningful under those circumstances.

    Yes, there was lots of porn and hints of other women. Once the lawyers got involved, I just wanted out though. He chose a burn-the-bridges approach which was totally unnecessary. Our young adults were so fed up with him a year after he left that they went no contact and have remained so.

    What I learned is that some people don’t deserve to be close to you, period. And that being single is way better than being with someone who hates you.

    • Your first paragraph is so key. After we separated, FW told me that within 2 years of our marriage he felt that something was “missing” in the bedroom. H refused to tell me what specifically it was (and he certainly never told me at the time) and he also had no answer for why he didn’t end things with me then. I think he was either engaging in a bit of revisionist history of our marriage to justify his shit treatment of me years later, or he really did start to consciously pull away and made a choice to stick around and treat me like shit. Neither option makes him a good person.

      • He was getting something out of being married to me (hey, somebody has to do the laundry). Maybe I was a cover story that made him look good so no one would suspect who he really was. Besides, there is no dopamine hit from illicit sex without the chump in the dark. It works…for THEM. Until it doesn’t. The cheating partner wants more, the chump finds out, whatever. Then new game players must be found.

        I wouldn’t want to buy a car or a house with massive hidden fatal defects. Why on earth would I want to partner with a human who likes stabbing me in the back? It really does boil down to that for me. It just took a while to clear my head and synch up my heart and mind.

        • Yes, religious guilt was an issue in mine. I stayed because I thought it was the right thing to do. Then I tried to make things right after he left. However, it had long ago descended into contempt and downright malice. I had my doubts until my head cleared and then was clear that I couldn’t live that way. I came to believe that in the big picture, God had given me a path out, and I took it.

          My attorney had a saying that only a fool would be friends with the person who burned down their house. When a certain line is crossed, you just have to cut your losses and move on. I did.

          • An even bigger fool is someone who chooses a romantic partner who burned down his house with his family inside…..

            That’s a great and helpful
            one-liner from your attorney and one for the books. Thank you for sharing it.

            • One wise chump, possibly you, Velvet, wrote this a few months back:

              “A person with a history of infidelity is a poor choice for a life partner, as is someone who screws around with people in committed relationships. This is also a consolation prize for the chump.
              The chump is the only player in the game who gets to achieve true peace of mind, which to me is the ultimate prize.”

              I’ve said, a man/woman who is a cheater, deserves to be with someone who will cheat with them. And a person who dates and sleeps with a cheater, deserves a cheater as their life partner. That to me is a bit of karma. They both know what each other is capable of and how their relationship started.

              And the last sentence about achieving true peace of mind; that is the ultimate prize. I lived with female “friends” for 23 years. I lived with a few devaluations. I lived with the stupid lies, catching him texting/emailing other women flirtatious messages, porn/masturbating, cheating while I was pregnant, getting mad when I expressed some needs, putting his job/hobbies/everything before me and the kids, etc, etc. I’m free of all that now and won’t ever allow anything like that in my life again!

              My life is not easy and I’m still rebuilding. But I have true peace now. My head and heart are no longer in the Mind Fxck Blender. That is certainly a blessing to hold onto. 🙂

              • Yes, that was me. And I needed to hear that today! Thank you!

                “A person with a history of infidelity is a poor choice for a life partner”
                is a riff on what Shirley Glass wrote in Just Friends…the ONLY a helpful sentence in the whole book, ironically in the chapter TO THE AFFAIR PARTNER!

            • Not sure where this comment will nest, but you are THE BEST, Velvet! I have a treasure trove of stuff copied down that you and other chumps have written. 🙂

              That’s pretty funny that quote came from something written to the affair partner. That quote is true for anyone involved with a cheater! But most importantly for us chumps! It took a long time for my brain to actually accept this wisdom. But when I did, I got freedom. The ex is no prize. I got the prize in the end. PEACE OF MIND. (((HUGS))), Velvet. 🙂

              • I bought ten thousand books on infidelity (the wreckonciliation kind) on Amazon, and that is THE ONE LINE that actually helped me. I could not believe she even wrote that….to the affair partner, no less. Even more insane. I remember reading that and yelling, “Then why am I buying your book?!”

                It actually says “a man with a history of infidelity is a poor choice for a life partner.”

                YES.

                ANYONE with a history of infidelity, or fucking around with married people or people in otherwise exclusive committed relationships are POOR CHOICES for life partners. (I tweaked what she said to be more inclusive).

                Jesus Christ on a cracker, when is it ever a good idea to buddy up with a person who DISPLAYS they don’t know what love, loyalty, kindness, integrity, decency, manners, boundaries, etc mean?!

                “Moe! Look! A deceitful lying stealing boundary-less traitorous fraud who fucked over their own family? They must know A LOT about love! I’ll have a double!”

                Sweet smoking Jesus.

                Walls keep everyone out.

                Boundaries show people where the door is….

              • VH,

                Your Moe quote has me in stitches !
                🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    • My ex wife brought up stuff I did wrong when we were dating over 24 years earlier. She said she knew she made the mistake of marrying me on our honeymoon. Yet stayed for 24 years with me saying and writing what a great husband and father I was. After DDay she gave me a list of 30 things I needed to change for her to reconcile with me. Plus a massive list of petty things I had done wrong in our marriage. It hurt a lot.

      • I got a manifesto from the FW on what I would have to change/do in order for him to be faithful. That’s right. His infidelities were all my fault. I was a harridan who expected to be married to an actual adult, who wanted a team player in the marriage. He just wanted to play, and mostly in other people’s yards. That way, there was no messy clean-up for which he would be partly responsible.

        I should dig it out for the CN’s edification. The UBT might explode.

        • That reminds me of the memoir Crazy Love, about the author’s marriage to a man who beat her. After the breakup they briefly tried therapy, and in therapy the husband gave her a list of things not to talk about because they triggered him to become violent against her. Things like “money, jobs, children”, etc. Yeah. Another way of blaming her for the abuse.

      • Yes, I got the same repeatedly. He even did it shortly after separation in front of relatives, on-and-on. We were supposedly working on the terms of the separation with an eye towards reconciliation, but looking back, it was already over then. If I had been then who I am now, I would have walked out. They had no business knowing all of that anyway.

        You don’t torch the marriage trying to save it.

      • The thing is, this ridiculous gaslighting they do (of course, I suffered it too) where they pick up something as for you Sirchumpalot at the start of your marriage and says ‘we should have never got married’ makes them look even more stupid. I was told about a time we went out that frankly I can’t even remember and I think was probably when he was dicking me about before we finally made a got of our relationship (says a lot looking back) and drags this up and an anniversary that apparently was the ‘worst night of his life’ or some such. At the time he posted on Facebook Love of my Life. It’s so utterly clutching at straws that when you have too make up a defence you have to say ‘I knew I made a mistake on my honeymoon.

        Although all this stuff was so hurtful at the time it at least convinced me he was a disordered freak who couldn’t take responsibility and actually, although he probably wasn’t, I’d be glad to find out he’d been unhappy all the time. I would laugh in his face.

        Me too, the list of my sins was pretty endless if I recall (rolls eyes).

        • Yes, endless sins from beginning to end. He came from a family of preachers, so I got both barrels from the Bible and multiple sermons on how righteous he was and how God’s judgement was going to rain down on me.

          Funny, I didn’t read it that way at all. I still attend the same church we attended as a couple, and they don’t read it that way either.

    • They decide the people they are supposed to love–the ones they say the love–are “lacking” because the whole point of relationships for them is to full their black hole of suckitude. And that is an impossible task. No one can do it.

  • Wow, I could have written this. And in fact, I did write something almost just like this to ChumpLady several years ago, but it got no reply at the time. (No judgment–I’m sure she gets a ton of email.) The short version is that he IS cheating. Investing in other women than you is cheating. I’m not saying every peek at porn is cheating. But investing in other women at your expense? Cheating. If THEY are the ones getting all the attention and heart emojis and YOU are over there crying because he won’t show any affection, then he is cheating. And most likely also cheating in person. You just haven’t found it yet.

    • This is so key. Cheating is deception, broken agreements, selfish acts that harm the partner. Whether a penis actually enters anything, a vagina actually has anything enter it, and or people are in the same room is a convenient way for cheaters to hairsplit to support their assertions that certain things “aren’t cheating” but that’s as absurd as it is inaccurate.

      If you made agreements with another person who decided to be in relationship with you on the basis of those agreements, then you break those agreements — and especially if you worked hard to get away with keeping the secret that you were breaking them so you could keep the commitment of the relationship partner without keeping up your end of the agreements — that is cheating.

      It’s viewing the relationship as a game and fixing the game unfairly to ensure you always win. It’s never OK, it’s always mean, and the cheater never, ever deserves the continued presence, or acceptance, of the person they screwed over (the chump).

      Risk is exciting because of what we might lose. Let them lose, says me.

      • My definition of cheating is now “the PURSUIT of other women”. So any secret, flirty, illicit contact behind my back is my standard. I really cannot believe the amount of time I spent arguing with a fool about whether or not he was Cheating with his Friend. At least I won’t make the same mistake twice.

  • I realize not everyone believes the Bible, but Matthew 5:28 says, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” So according to God, adultery is committed in the heart. Physical sex is not necessary. I think even non-believers can agree that adultery of the heart is just as devastating as physical adultery. And it’s the 7th Commandment, so it’s a pretty big deal.

    • ImmaChumpToo

      Amen!! God’s law confirmed what I already knew was wrong. Next I heard ‘God Hates Divorce’ well HE also hated cheating and back in Bible days it was a crime pumishable by death!

      It IS a pretty big deal!!

  • As my name suggests, I don’t actually know if I’m a chump or not. I never had a D-Day. I did confront FW a few times, but he always denied and said that he’d “always been faithful to me”. Except I found viagra in his wallet one time. And another time he said that he didn’t need viagra to have sex (but he very obviously needed it to have sex with me). I remember one evening when my family was visiting, he came home over an hour later than his usual time. We had dinner reservations, so we left without him. He joined us at the restaurant, freshly showered. My mother, who is the most naive person in the planet, later said that she thought he had a girlfriend. When we separated, I got an STD test.

    He was also massively into porn. He watched a ton of it. He was (is?) into Asian girls (I’m Anglo). He said my underwear wasn’t “sexy enough” (I don’t wear thongs). He criticized how I groom my pubic area. He thought I should be less um, natural. For his 40th birthday, I shaved the whole thing (0 out of 10, would not recommend), and he barely seemed to notice. He also implied that I was too fat and he became obsessed with age and how old he looked. I’m 5 years younger than him.

    I normally was the one who initiated sex. Instead of following me to the bedroom (we did it go to bed at the same time-he was up looking at porn), he’d come up at leas 45 mins later. I assumed he was watching porn to “get ready”. It got to the point where he couldn’t get it up or maintain an erection during sex with me. I decided he must not be all that into sex with me, so I thought things might be better if I waited for him to initiate things. We went 6 months without having sex, which be later blamed me for during marriage counseling.

    I eventually decided I deserved better and divorced his ass. I don’t really care if he cheated on me or not, but this community has been so helpful to me as I process my experience. I’m 4 years out and I can now laugh at him because his girlfriend is Asian (got his wish) but she’s a few years older than him. She is not model thin nor is she model attractive.

    Channel your anger and get a lawyer who will get you what you deserve in the settlement. I’m happy to say that my ex is still pissed that I got half of the pension even though he tried to hide it.

    • Yes, I didn’t have a D-day either, but there were signs. When we separated, he asked me to pack all of his blue pills and male hormones that he had bought from India, a whole suitcase. Being who I was then, I did.

      Ultimately I just wanted the divorce over with, but there were certainly signs during that too including hints by his attorney. In my state, adultery is a crime and can be brought into a divorce trial as a factor in settlement. Thankfully we settled out of court, making it cheaper and faster. I was happy with the settlement.

      • Yeah, my state is a no-fault state, so ultimately it doesn’t matter. But in states where it does matter, hiring a PI may not be a bad idea.

        • If it had gone to trial, I would have definitely gotten a PI. We talked about it as a bargaining chip partway through negotiations, but by then, he was over-sharing with mine on all sorts of things we could have used in a trial. We decided to hold the line and see what else his attorney would share while we kept negotiating towards my bottom line. Thankfully we got there, and his attorney flipped the case and got it settled.

  • J, There’s a survival instinct and bizarre grief cycle that we have to fight that makes us want to cling to a relationship even when logically we know it’s not worth staying in it.

    Please read your own words — would you tell a friend to stay in this?:

    * He has gaslighted me …insisting in marriage therapy that I am bipolar (no shame, but inaccurate)
    * been very mean and nasty to me when he’s upset.
    * EVERYONE, including my individual therapist, says he must be cheating
    * I usually find out about his internet skanking by accident, eg, he had his nasty TikTok account synced with his contacts.
    * He has always been into porn, and I stopped fighting that years ago.
    * I have found … a comment he left on a woman’s social media account with hearts and blushing emojis
    * he texted: I think it’s time to separate.
    * he found one reason after another why he “just doesn’t feel the same.”
    * He misses the wife who drank because she was more fun.
    * I would take a break to cook dinner, watch a netflix show with him, tuck him in with a BJ and a 15-minute cuddle, and then go back to work. This is with 2 kids and me bearing the full mental load and doing most of the chores. * But it wasn’t enough, because recently he again told me (in an argument) that he wants to separate.
    * He hasn’t cheated yet … but the treatment I am getting is so similar.
    * The thought of him laying on the couch, sending blushing emojis to a woman half his age, gyrating in a bikini, on a day when he was tearing me down in therapy, …makes me really angry. Like really very angry.
    * It’s like he has exactly 0% empathy.

    Does this sound like you have anything to work with?

    Fight the desire to cling desperately to this. He wants to separate? Let him. Get your finances together and find everything you can to protect yourself. Force yourself to think logically. Listen to your therapist. Get the help you need. But there’s nothing to work with with this guy.

    I know it’s scary. And you’re dealing with trauma too (the weight loss is an indicator). Please get free of him as best you can. Let him separate and you get everything you need to serve him with divorce. You definitely deserve better.

  • Dear J,
    You and I are the same person, just that darn chromosome separates us physically, however emotionally we are the same.
    Everything you describe is pretty much my experience— cooked, cleaned and gave oral before bed. Check. Yet, she found sexting, texting and giving BJs to the gardener more important than what I offered because he was younger than me and her and she doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the “grandpa” comments when I was out with the chilrenz. So, rather than being a sane parent, cue the nuclear gaslighting by both she and Tru-wuv, so they can have sexy time and she doesn’t have to take responsibility— “it was all your fault, if only you were …”.
    Do you see where I’m going? Get out now. No contact, remember he sucks because if he’s not screwing something outside of marriage, he will and then you have full nuclear on your hands and he will control all that. BTW, TikTok boobs want only one thing ( $ ) and because he’ll probably pay more than he’ll receive, chances are he’ll get more desperate and more horny ( if he could just get that ultimate organs one more time ). It’ll never stop and you’ll be the victim. He’ll drain your finances, ruin your soul and probably give you herpes.
    Listen to CL, read her books, read the comments and leave that idiot to fake boobs and coconut cologne. Do you hear us? FWs are all the same and the path they burn out in life is lined in lube and empty soulless action. GET OUT now and never look back.

    Welcome to CN.

    • Thank you! I am laughing about him finally getting the ultimate porn-gasm!!! Im so done. I am so happy to see the support here. I’ve told my family and BFF and I cannot wait to get his weights out of the basement!

  • When I was young, I thought porn was about curiosity. Remember what that did to the cat? I truly believes it does that to all its consumers. In one way or another, it dehumanizes real human contact. It makes all people into body parts and all sex into positions. It is intentionally distorted, because no part of reality works the way porn does.

    I really don’t want to hear women tell me it is their right to do what they want to with their body. If you believe selling pictures of your naked self doing the things unknown men request and are willing to pay for online is women’s liberation, I do not want to waste my time talking to you. Please don’t let me know how that works out for you, later, either. Don’t seek sympathy. If you are old enough to understand the word “choice”, if you are not being forced or coerced into doing this, don’t blame being young and dumb. I did young and dumb things back in the day when I was both, but I don’t blame anyone but myself for my choices then. My bad choices were related to marrying for the wrong reasons, and expecting what others told me about marriage to be true, I learned to question everything, and decide what was acceptable and true for me as a more viable life choice. I learned porn is destructive to any real relationship. If I found any man I was interested in was into porn, that would end my interest. It is a rabbit hole without a bottom, and once they enter the rabbit hole, their minds become addicted to the experience, and the dose always escalates. Porn ruins engaging with real women for them, in my opinion, because real women have agency.

    Whatever excuse is offered for cheating is just that, an excuse. Blame shifting. If you are unhappy in a relationship, express the unhappiness, and address it with your partner. If you don’t like the outcome, leave, honorably. Don’t slink around. There is no joy for an authentic person to lead a dual life. People who willingly and knowingly decide to interact with a married partner are people with a hidden agenda. They have a plan to change their circumstances, and yours, and they use your partner to achieve their goal. It is never “no strings attached.”

    I have heard many women describe just giving in to the requests/demands of their partner for a BJ or HJ, or just lay down and submit for a minute or two, what’s the big deal(?), as an easy solution compared to a disagreement. That never worked for me. You either have desire, or you don’t, and providing sex to avoid a disagreement would leave me full of resentment. For me sex should not be a quick shower to wash away your tension, and to be worthwhile it should be an anticipated event designed for both people to enjoy. It should leave you with a lingering feeling of affection, not resentment, or the attitude, “now I can get back to what I want/need to do.”

    For me, this man has already detached from this woman, and there is nothing to save. It is all about him, and he doesn’t care what she wants or needs. Why try to save “the relationship” if that is what it is? She has to decide if this is acceptable to her. If not, she has agency.

  • “this is neither a man you can respect or feel safe with”

    This. This.

    When I realized this, I knew that it was over and I wailed. I lost my innocence; I couldn’t play pretend anymore. Nothing could spackle over the fact that I had no respect for him anymore and didn’t feel safe around him, hence the meeting in public places only phase before I discovered the absolute blessing that was No Contact. I still loved him at the time though, which conflicted greatly with the “I don’t respect him, trust him, and kind of fear him” realization and made it all very, very painful.

    But, yeah, head on the nail there. I didn’t respect him or feel safe with him… and I knew that meant I couldn’t be partnered up with him anymore. That hurt. But it was also the beginning of my liberation. You’ll get through this, J; life is better on the other side.

  • The reality- you are amazing, and he wants a tweener with a scary wax job.

    Nope. You’re worth way more than that.
    Drop the gloves, shout ‘ok boomer have it your way’ over your shoulder and get out.

    Take the time to think about- why do you adore this man who treats you like garbage?

  • He sounds like a real burden. However wonderful he used to seem, this is who he really is. I know it is hard to let go of the memory of the guy you thought you married. But imagine how amazing your life would be without a constant stream of toxic comments, unreasonable demands for attention, devaluing comparisions. He is like an emotional, financial and sexual vampire.

    I agree that he is cheating already. But even if he weren’t physically with another woman yet, he has clearly been auditioning others for the part of mistress.

    It is really bad for kids to grow up around a man who is modeling mean, nasty, devaluing behavior toward women. Chances are that he will be mean and devaluing to them too, even if he hasn’t obviously started already. The kids may learn to do that to eachother and then eventually to their domestic partners; and/or they might marry some one who devalues them because they are used to that kind of treatment. So please, get out now for the sake of your kids–let him separate and move out. Quietly investigate your financial situation now, quietly see a lawyer to find out what that involves in your state and let your anger and concern for your kids fuel your fight for an excellent settlement. You deserve better.

  • Sounds exactly like my husband. He was on a porn forum, sexting with strangers for months. The more they inhabit these forums, the more normalized the crazy kink becomes to them.
    When far away strangers wasn’t enough, he progressed to a real life emotional/ sexting affair with a local woman. It was all photos and fantasy talk, but I found out after she gave him a bad blow job and it ended.
    J’s husband is definitely cheating- probably on a forum, with no in person meetups yet. I’m sorry for her- she should get out before it progresses further.

  • Whether he is cheating or not, he wants out. Give it to him and don’t bother reading into his all over the place reasons/excuses for wanting out. It is a complete waste of your precious time. My guess is he thinks he can do better and in his warped mind you are holding him back.

    • Yes, the quote, “when someone tells you who they are, believe them,” applies.

      He doesn’t want to be married, so let him go. He’s a jerk. That’s hard to process, but necessary.

      • Yes, if your ‘partner’ doesn’t appreciate you, and spends his time fault finding, then
        he/she is a loser who should move on.

  • Mr. Sparkles used to insist that porn wasn’t cheating… but when it escalated to him jerking off with a live Adult Friend Finder buddy names Karen… yeah, that was cheating to me. Sadly, that was D-day #1… weeks after our marriage and my buying us a new home. Good times.

    Don’t stick around for the dysfunctional rationalizations and gaslighting that follow… as CL says… get your ducks in a row, finances in order, and see 5 of the best attorneys in your neighborhood. Push him off the cliff in to porn heaven… our Chump Sofa is over here in Mehtown… we’ll be waiting!

    • Our daughter thinks the elaborate phone stands/holders at his place are weird.

      They are next to where he sits on the couch and next to the seriously ugly giant Costco massage chair at his place. There is also one next to the seriously ugly lounge chair in his private break room at our business.

      Yeah, I’ll bet I know what those are for.

      I haven’t told her what I’ll bet they are for.

      I have never felt the need for multiple elaborate phone stands next to all the seating in my world.

      I have a feeling that he and I have different motives for “hands free” when using the phone….

      🤮

  • I’ve been sober nearly 5 years and my stbx also said he misses ‘the wife that drinks. She was so much more fun.’ Even though he knew how hard it was for me to quit drinking, how many times I failed. Even though he judged me and made negative comments about my drinking when I was drinking. That part of your letter really resonated for me. It’s fucked up. He was also a serial cheater.

    • That’s one that is definitely helping you kill yourself and extremely hazardous for your health on multiple levels.

      I had been sober for 31 years at DDay and I consider cheating a threat on my life. The pain and damage and trauma could have easily led me to relapse and cost me my life. By some miracle I now have 35 years sober….

      • Same! Thank god I have almost 5 years or things could’ve been very very different… I had enough distance from it and practice handling life without alcohol that it never even crossed my mind. Congrats on 35 years. Huge accomplishment!

        • One moment at a time…
          Do the next right thing…
          Just for today…
          And keep going to Recovery School no matter what. Do not drop out!

          Meetings = class
          Sponsor/therapist = professors
          Other people in recovery = study partners

          We don’t graduate…we just keep learning every day.

          Being cheated on is the only time I ever felt overtly suicidal in my entire life. Thankfully I had a lot of recovery and therapy under my belt and lots of practice waiting for feelings to pass. I learned to time the panic attacks…I saw they lasted about 15-20 minutes. Every time I got hit with a wave of Awful Feelings I’d wrap up in a blanket and get on the phone and talk to someone.

          That still happens (it’s been four years now) but much less frequently.

          ((((❤️))))

          • ….we can never control what happens to us…what other people do. I can only control my RESPONSE.

            And if I am under the influence I won’t be able to control ANYTHING. Not to mention I’d be storing all the feelings for later and not learning anything for my own growth and for helping others.

    • Saying he “misses the wife who drank” is not just being unsupportive of his spouse’s hard-won sobriety, it’s meant to be degrading.

      A loving spouse wants to help you be the best version of you. This is the opposite of that.

  • J., the situation you described is very much like my life pre-LACGAL. My ex was very into porn – like keeping a 1000+ rows spreadsheet of porn star statistics (birthday, hometown, measurements, what type of being they liked to fuck) into porn. He also was home every night and on weekends which still left plenty of time for him to frequent strip clubs at lunch, when he was “working late” and when he traveled on business. He also had a list of things he wanted me to do in order to make him happy (I thank ALL the gods that he didn’t think to include nighty-night BJs on my list, you poor thing.), all of which I did and none of which actually made him any happier. My ex was cheating just as I strongly suspect yours is. Mine was fucking strippers in all those strip clubs he was frequenting. Thousands of dollars worth a month. I assume they were willing to act out some of his porn fantasies – for a price.

    Here’s where we are now 6 years post divorce: I am financially stable, much healthier both mentally and physically, and have a great relationship with our two adult children. Ex is on his third or fourth job in six years, married to one of his stripper girlfriends who has racked up felony drug convictions while with him, has no relationship with one child, and a marginal one with the other, is living in a $1200 mobile home, has diabetes and has two or three drunk driving arrests, at least one of which caused injuries to another driver. And is still (according to his new wife who called me looking for sympathy) using porn and fucking strippers.

    Here’s what you and your husband can look forward to – you will learn to trust and value yourself when you are free from all the noise of someone who takes out his dissatisfactions on you. And he will be left with those same dissatisfactions and will never be free of them. He is a bottomless pit that will never be filled and you will find that you are enough all by yourself. Maybe you will find someone who will love and appreciate you or maybe you will simply learn to love and appreciate yourself but either way, you will be better off without him.

  • J,

    You husband had DEVALUED you. That’s a stage that many people who are incapable of actual love and commitment go through when being married (or in a supposed committed relationship) is not longer feeding their needs.

    He’s already unplugged from the marriage:
    1. “This is with 2 kids and me bearing the full mental load and doing most of the chores.” Plus you work and you don’t have time to surf the internet for porn like he does.
    2. He’s willing to tell lies about you in marital therapy. There’s nothing to work with there. Nothing.
    3. He’s like an infant you have to placate, not a husband or equal partner: When you work late, you have to “tuck him in with a BJ and a 15-minute cuddle, and then go back to work.”

    Wasting your time wondering why he has devalued you and want to end the marriage is a dead end for you. He’s already shown he’s incapable of actual relationship. This is all he’s able to do after 20 years of marriage and 2 kids–consume porn, interact with other women (whether online or in person doesn’t matter), and degrade you in front of the marriage counselor. He’s not helping you carry any of the load.

    Whether he’s cheated or not doesn’t matter. I think Jackass was still in his lovebombing stage when I caught his romance with the MOW. What matters was how that emotional affair coincided with his devaluation and abuse of me. You’re a chump because when he was clearly devaluing you, you went into the pick-me dance–gifts, cooking, placating him with food and sex and cuddling when you have to work late, and tolerating his failure to carry his half of the load. That’s chumpy!

    Here’s a prediction: once he gets it that he’s losing 1/2 his assets and he’ll have to pay child support if the kids aren’t over 18, he’ll change his tune. But don’t take him back. He’s a user who will continue to use you as long as you let it happen.

  • So let’s see; you work too much, but you’re somehow also lazy. You’re an alcoholic, but you don’t drink enough to please him.
    These are just two of his no doubt many directly contradictory complaints. All nonsense. This is a man looking for excuses why you’re not good enough and he has to cheat. If he’s looking for excuses, he’s either done it or he soon will. You are being chumped, whether he’s dipped his wick yet or not. He is not keeping his vow to put you above all others. He is not keeping his vow to honor and respect you. This man doesn’t respect women, period.

    This is a great case in point why you should never, ever stay with a porn addict. Studies have repeatedly shown high porn use leads to less satisfaction with their partners. How could it not?
    Look, if this guy wants to live in his porn fantasy world and pay chicks half his age on social media to show him their tits and such, let him do it with his OWN MONEY, not with money that you earn. Leaving him is the only option here. There is no sensible move you can make but away from this shitshow.

    My marriage was ruined by porn addiction as well. Once they are hooked, it’s game over. My ex fuckwit, after being caught cheating, tried to quit porn and kept failing. I believe porn was what caused him to be dissatisfied with me and emboldened him to cheat, made him think he was entitled. I’m pretty sure he was faithful prior to becoming a regular consumer. Our marriage went downhill steadily after that as he got nastier and more emotionally abusive the more he used. He then cheated the first chance he got and since the woman fit into his creepy porn fantasies, he wanted to leave me for her. All that stopped him was she wasn’t interested in leaving her marriage to her longtime chumped husband.

    Please just let him go. His views about women, about sex, are hopelessly warped. His sense of male entitlement is off the charts and giving in to it only makes it worse. He is not partner material.

  • Never force someone to stay with you, that isn’t a relationship.

    There are millions of divorced people out here, it is a completely acceptable life change. Very doable.

    When my son was 12 I found out he was watching porn. I told him he has probably satisfied his curiosity. BUT he needs to stop it now, or he will never have a normal sex life in adulthood if he watches that fake garbage.

    Cut your infantile husband loose, he will get a quick wake up call. And he f’g well deserves it.

  • Y’know, my ex cheated on me for nine years with one of his OWs. There were others. It’s been five years, I’m basically meh (although occasional unbidden thoughts of “you fucking bastard” seem to appear out of nowhere) and about the second or third year after I got the letter from my husband’s girlfriend’s husband, I became bored with feeling miserable because he’d had sex with other women. Instead, I finally got pissed off because he treated me with contempt and disrespect (thank you, CL, CN and FN!). And that’s when the “is this relationship acceptable to you?” became an epiphany. Hell to the no! “Innocent” blushing emojis (he’s kind of middle-school, doncha think?) indicating sex or not . . . just doesn’t matter. Value yourself – trust me, you’re worth so much more than you feel that you are right now. Listen to what he’s showing you. It’s true, the confusion and hurt are finite. Just hold on and stay with us awhile.

  • Putting aside that he may or may not be cheating (but it definitely sounds like he’s paying out good money for his fantasies), your FW seems to have he maturity of a two-year old. Does bugger all at home, and then you have to put him to bed with a blow job and his blankey presumably! Damn, I couldn’t be arsed living with someone like that!

  • Your letter makes it clear that your husband criticizes you no matter what you do. He is not interested in a better marriage. He is interested in driving you away.

    Maybe he isn’t cheating now. But, he has decided that he wants someone or something else, and you are standing in his way. Perhaps he thinks infidelity is bad, so he would prefer to separate before he initiates something with a new partner. Perhaps he has met someone who told him she wasn’t interested because he is married. Perhaps he has watched too many porn flicks wherein the man freed from marriage enjoys the buzzy attention of a dozen women just dying to sleep with him. But no matter what he is thinking, it isn’t, “I love my wife and will work hard to strengthen our relationship.”

    Like many of the other posters here (and you), I was accused of doing everything wrong (and being insane) because my husband wanted to be with someone else.

    As you prepare to leave (and I really hope that is what you and your lawyer are working on), be prepared to be blamed FOR leaving him as soon as he has a bad day. In no time at all, the separation and divorce will be your fault. Don’t let this bother you and DO NOT think it is a reason you should reconcile!

    • Add to your list of suppositions:

      Perhaps he wants his own apartment to indulge himself freely in his activities.

  • Dear J,

    If you haven’t already; leave the midlife crisis groups and sit down with all of us on Devaluation Sofa. Your husband isn’t having a midlife crisis. He’s a cheater. I’m in the camp that masturbating to porn, sex cam girls/Tiktok girls, sexting and whatever the heck he is up to is all different forms of cheating. And if he hasn’t already, he will most certainly take it to the next level if he gets the opportunity to have intercourse.

    Of course he’s blaming everything on you. That’s what cheaters do. It’s not their actions that lead to the destruction of the marriage. It’s all your in-his-eyes “failures”. As one clever chump coined it, “bagged salad”. https://www.chumplady.com/2021/08/bagged-salad-and-other-excuses/

    As a chump said in a post above ^^^ “push him off a cliff into porn heaven”. That’s a road to destruction for sure, but that’s what he wants. Let him have it and the consequences from living a life of depravity. One day Tiktok boobs and sex cam girls won’t be enough for him. Then he’ll go down another route to get his jollies and on and on. And then one day, agents from Federal Homeland Securities shows up at your/his door and takes all the technology out of the home and your husband gets arrested for possession of child porn. That story actually happened to one of my coworkers at my old job. Don’t let that be you! Your husband has repeatedly shown you he’s a selfish pervert. I’m happy you are angry, because I’m also angry for you! Use that anger as fuel to get this man out of your life! The entire Chump Lady website has a wealth of information to help you get away from this guy, so I won’t get into any of that. You, J, are a wonderful woman. Don’t believe what a cheater says about you. They lie about everything and they lie to us about who we really are. RUN!!!

    • “And then one day, agents from Federal Homeland Securities shows up at your/his door and takes all the technology out of the home and your husband gets arrested for possession of child porn.”

      This happened to my friend’s mom. She was supposedly the shrill harpy and he was supposedly the fun-loving father. Turns out, he was the head of a a child assault ring, but he didn’t get caught until he was in his 60s.

      • Jesus, that’s familiar enough to give me chills. I’m the shrill harpy and my ex is the fun loving guy everybody loves, and I know he’s into children, I just can’t prove he’s committed a crime. I can prove he’d like to but he’s such a great guy, nobody believes it even with proof.

        Someday I hope they catch my ex too, and fortunately I won’t be anywhere near him now when they do.

  • It doesn’t take walking in on your spouse with another to realize they are cheating or that the relationship is not working. I desperately searched for some big discovery for so long, when I had so many other smaller discoveries plus years of emotional/financial/verbal abuse which was plenty of reason to divorce. I’ve learned mine is good at one thing and that is manipulation, his whole life is designed around keeping up his carefully crafted image. He’s not smart just really really good at leading a double life. If your husband is in that category you may not know exactly what he’s doing. However focus on what you do know (maybe more memories will fit together to make more sense as you go along) and that the relationship is not acceptable. It doesn’t sound like you have a partner, it sounds like you have another child.

  • Leave now! Don’t be me. When my stbx and I were married for ten years, we were trying to conceive, but it was impossible for him to have sex more than once or twice while I was ovulating. I knew he used porn, (at that time it was videos), because he admitted to having a secret stash. I figured, “all guys use porn”, but still, I wondered in the back of my mind if his low sex drive was because of porn.

    At 20 years of marriage, he was involved in a online game called “second life” (avatars that have sex, yeah, I know, creepy). Apparently that wasn’t enough, so he began a 6 month affair with a co coworker. Chump that I am, I did the RIC thing, and part of my request with counseling was for him to stop using porn.

    At 30 years, he up and left within 24 hours of telling me he wanted out. I had no idea. But, I did know he was using porn again. And this is important…it is no longer unilateral porn, it is mutual porn. No longer was he passively watching two porn stars on a movie set. He was literally starring in his own porn movie, with virtual vibrators and live online women, sexting in real time. I had no idea the extent to which it had evolved until after he left. We had a dead bedroom and I knew it was the porn. I had begged and pleaded for him to help me understand his withdrawal, and he had many reasons why he couldn’t have sex with me…”I didn’t hug him enough, he needed more affection, he couldn’t just jump into bed with me, he just didn’t feel that way anymore, etc.” Always something I lacked. I felt he was moving a goal post I could never meet. I blamed myself, lost my self esteem. I exercised harder, dressed sexy, you name it. And even now I have a hard time believing in my self-worth.

    Porn addiction is very real and very hard to stop. One thing I know for sure, you can’t control other people.

    • Don’t stay with people who don’t appreciate you and treat you well

      In a healthy relationship there is no devaluing going on. And you are ‘enough’ to a normal person.

  • Wank Widow Blues

    https://youtu.be/qutvzs1yTgI?t=4816

    friends I got something sensitive to confess
    I’m in a situation got me feeling like a hot mess
    now I’m a fine formed person
    with soft lips and firm curves
    but my body ain’t getting
    the attention it deserves

    now I’ve got a man who calls me his queen
    but his penis ain’t agreein
    if you know what I mean
    trying to compete with cum shots
    and dumb plots on his screen
    has been doing a serious number
    to my self esteem

    but he says, “Baby it ain’t you
    you’ve just got to understand
    I’ve been sitting at a screen
    with the lotion in my hand

    baby it ain’t you
    this isn’t what I planned
    but I can only get it going alone
    with Only Fans” so now

    I’ve got the wank
    I’ve got the wank
    I’ve got the wank widow blues

    I tried to spice it up
    get some leather and lingerie
    fuzzy handcuffs blindfold
    ball gag

    I tried to be his domme
    tried to be his slave
    but nothing wasn’t working
    no how and no way

    but he says, “baby it ain’t you
    you’ve just got to understand
    I’ve been sitting at a screen
    with the lotion in my hand

    baby it ain’t you
    this isn’t what I planned
    but I can only get it going alone
    with Only Fans” so now

    I’ve got the wank
    I’ve got the wank
    I’ve got the wank widow blues

    you could be a trans man, wo-man, a-gen or enby
    you are going to feel my story if you like a little D
    at the end of the day it’s an incompatibility
    if your fapping is effing up getting inside of me

    you have been sitting at a screen
    with the lotion in your hand
    and you can’t get it up
    for a real human

    sitting at a screen
    with the lotion in your hand
    and you can’t get it up
    for a real human

    and I can’t have the wank
    can’t have the wank
    can’t have the wank widow blues

    • Post D-day and I had already moved out of the marital home. During those days I Netflix binged in order to get my mind off the cheater, life and my depression. I started watching “Orange is the New Black.” In one scene, the warden(?) was in his office with lotion and a box of tissues. A lightbulb went off in my head! The ex always had lotion and tissues in his home office. Two times I found a tissue in his office (found in strange places) that seemed to be glued shut. Of course he denied using porn when I asked about the tissues. Cheaters always gotta lie about everything! Thanks, “Orange is the New Black” for helping untangling a little bit of the skein and giving me some much needed truth!!

  • It really doesn’t matter if he’s physically cheating on you. He’s a porn addict and all porn addicts should be run screaming from. You cannot save them. If you want to see hell, go on reddit and go to the love after porn sub. It’s for the partners of porn and sex addicts. They are in total misery and fighting a losing battle because you cannot save these “people.” And I put people in quotations because they stop being human. All they care about is “pull muh pee pee, pull muh pee pee” and they don’t give a damn who the destroy if it means they get to pull on their dicks.

    Plus they ALL become pedophiles. I’ve joined support groups for wives of sex and porn addicts. They need to get more and more taboo to get their fix so they all end up turning to extremely violent rape and children. It’s the natural progression.

    If someone on here knows a porn addict and claims they never went that route, my response is simply “maybe not yet.” Because they will. Or they already have and surprise, surprise, they aren’t telling their friends they’re so fucked up that they’ve trained and conditioned themselves to be sexually attracted to children being raped. God knows my ex husband doesn’t tell people he’s a pedophile but the graphic “erotic” stories about brutally raping little girls under the age of 10 bookmarked on his computer say otherwise.

    My first red flag with my ex was when I gave birth to our son. I almost died. He almost died. I ended up having an emergency c-section without the benefit of anesthetic. I felt everything. My husband, at the time, stayed with us that entire night and the entire next day. The next night I told him to go home, take a shower, get some sleep, and come home the next morning and bring me a couple things from the house I wanted. I thought that’s what he did.

    When the next cable bill came I found out he went home that night and stayed up all night watching pay per view porn. We really didn’t have the money for it. His family had almost just died. I needed his help and needed him to be rested and instead he spent money we didn’t have to watch porn. And new, fresh exciting porn! Because if he just needed a release he had his own videos and magazines.

    I knew there was something seriously wrong with that. He wasn’t who I thought he was. It bothered me on so many different levels. But trying to talk to anybody about it? HA! I’m a sexless prude, obviously. I’m basically abusing my husband by not wanting him to masturbate, because that’s the issue, right? It pisses me off when I think about it. I was so young, had just nearly died, had an infant to take care of, I was scared and worried about my family and my husband’s mental health and piece of shit degenerates were trying to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough at sex and that was the problem. Piece of shit degenerates who pretended to be decent people and friends but clearly were just gross fucking addicts like him.

    Everyone should run from porn addicts. If anyone out there is dealing with this, run like hell. There is no happy ending unless you get away from them. I was raised by addicts, my mom is an alcoholic, my dad is a drug addict, opiates his drug of choice. I thought I understood addicts, I thought at one point I could help him. Oh fuck no, porn addicts are nothing like any other addict. It is a total choice. They WANT to be this way. They WANT to get worse. They LIKE IT when they start beating off to horrible things that used to disgust them, that’s an accomplishment to them. They find each other online and brag about making themselves attracted to rape and pedophilia, they tell each other how to get to this point! They make friends and bring these people into your life! Maybe your porn addict spouse won’t rape his own child but his online porn addict friends sure will if they get the chance. We had a peeping Tom. It was probably one of his “friends.” I would get vicious facebook messages from random people and wonder WTF? It was probably his “friends.” I had people follow me home, total strangers say fucked up things to me in public, etc. It was probably his “friends.’ He put me and our son in so much danger, not because he didn’t care but because it was sexually thrilling to him and his “friends.” This is what porn addicts do. This is what you are signing up for if you stay with one.

    You cannot help them. They will only destroy you because you are just holes to them. That’s it. They don’t see human beings as human beings, they see them as sex toys. I’m ranting because I wish I had known this. I thank God every day that I couldn’t have more children. I thank God every day that I never had a daughter because he would have raped her. I thank God every day that no one raped my son. I thank God every day that we’re away from him and his gaggle of perverts.

    • I think the constant availability of porn is one of those great social experiments for which there has been not much of an equal in history.

      And it’s there at the click of a button. When I was a teenager – and I am guessing this was normal – I had to ride my bike to a far away news agency to buy a playboy magazine. The owner of the shop closer to my house would have told my mum, that had to be avoided at all costs.

      But now ?
      I am so worried for my children. My son is yet too young but he will soon have a hormone burst and like any kids these days he is very tech savy. I have a content blocker on the internet at home but I am sure that will not be a massive problem for motivated kids.
      My daughter – is she going to grow up with teenage boys who got their sexual education from porn hub?

      I don’t have any answers to that, just trying my best like any parent would. But stories like yours just frighten me, because I am sure your ex didn’t start out to be a porn addict but something happened. I am not making excuses but I do believe that people are inherently good and that is why I am questioning outside influences.
      I am sorry that you have been at the receiving end of it, it’s an awful experience.

      • The twenty somethings male prep cooks at my favorite lunch place were loudly discussing their pubic shaving over the din of the kitchen. “Please ! Just stop ! I’m eating !” I said 🤦‍♀️ 🤣

      • I think some kids are more vulnerable than others. If they hold their feelings in, for example. If they grew up with misogynistic male role models and/or strict gender roles. If they were taught that sex is dirty and shameful. Conversely, if they are taught that there are no boundaries and that every type of sexual expression should be judgement free. Popular culture is rife with the latter attitude and religion is rife with the former. They are both wrong, IMO. The key is treating other human beings with respect and empathy in sex as in all areas of life. Anything else is sick and dangerous.

        It’s crucial to talk to your kids about these things and never give them the impression that healthy expressions of sexuality are something to hide. Porn, otoh, is not a healthy expression of sexuality and they need to be educated on the dangers, but not in an authoritarian way that would only lead them to want to rebel.

        I feel for you. It must be tough raising kids in the current culture. I’m thankful mine are grown.

      • I worry about it too. I have a 20 year old son. I use his father as an example. “Look what porn did to dad, he’s taking an adult baby to the family Thanksgiving celebration we used to attend. Don’t go down that road and end up like your dad.” He’s so grossed out by it all. I try not to unload on him but sometimes he asks questions and it’s like the answer to that question is super fucked up but you’re an adult, do you want to hear it?

        I feel like they’re going to look at it no matter what we do because it is so available. But maybe if we can teach how dangerous it can become, it will help. Like alcohol. Alcohol can destroy your life but plenty of people manage to drink responsibly and not become alcoholics. We all just need to be aware of the dangers and ready to recognize the signs that it’s becoming a problem.

        I’m pretty sure that some of the things my ex is doing now would have absolutely horrified him back when we were first married. But it’s like my mom as a young woman would have never believed she’d be hiding bottles of booze in her toilet tanks and carrying on full conversations with squirrels but that’s where she is now. So I agree with you that he didn’t start out with that intention. I don’t think it’s an excuse, it’s reality. No teenaged kid wants to be a disgusting old man jerking off to gross stuff instead of having a normal sex life. It’s once they’re in it and they’ve convinced themselves that it’s normal that they start wanting to get worse and worse and choose it. If they can keep a healthy mindset and use it sparingly though, they will never get to that point. They have to push themselves past dozens of moral boundaries that they know are wrong to get there. That’s what I mean when I say they choose it.

    • The last man I dated (very briefly) turned out to be a porn slob. I got confirmation from one of the sons of his second wife after I dumped him. He had cheated on both wives. He never worked during his second marriage and spent his days beating off to web cam girls. Son wrote “he ruined my mother emotionally and financially”. Second wife has vulvar cancer. Now did she contract hpv from her first husband (also a cheater) or Porn Slob who porked hookers during his first marriage ? Who knows. She met PS when she
      and her first husband flew to California for a RIC retreat. PS and his first wife attended the same retreat. How fucked up is that ? Karma ran her over.

      Take things slowly when dating, ask lots of questions, and verify.

      Ps Porn Slob told me his daughter had a porn addiction, was cured and is now married. “She knows how to please men”. Okey dokey Mr. Poor Boundaries with your Daughter.

      • Ugh, gross. No man should ever think that way about his daughter. You’ve got to wonder how he knows what she’s like in bed. 🤮

        My POS was very careful and managed to hide his obsession with porn for over 25 years. He knew very well that if I was aware of it I would not stay with him. I had warned him that using porn was a deal breaker. Thus he deliberately defrauded me of the chance to have a healthy relationship.

        • I think they discussed her porn habit. Enough of a boundary violation to make me hurl 🤮 He modeled abusive marriages to his daughter, with his first wife (her mother) and she lived with him during his second one. I think she takes after him. Her mother was probably setting boundaries that daughter didn’t like. His adult son attracts women who cheat on him (a fiancée and then a gf).
          Glad I got out quickly. Not my 🐵 🎪

    • Thank you KatiePig. My FW is a porn addict. I found child porn in his collection.

      FW moved out two weeks ago today. I had not yet called an attorney. I just called an attorney, left a message because of your post here.

      I don’t have the money for a lawyer. I am looking for work but retired 3 years ago. I gotta figure it all out financially.

      I found child porn, incest porn, rape porn, BDSM, and beastiality. A year of therapy with a good therapist resulted in no progress whatsoever. Therapist told me his behavior remains in place.

      Some cannot be saved….

      • No, some cannot be saved. Particularly when they are older.

        Mine was retired when he took off. I was working part-time to cover college expenses for our kids. I had to figure out how to support myself because what he sent during separation only paid our rent, and the standard divorce split wasn’t near enough and took too long. The college kids were willing to quit or cut back on college, but we figured it out. I charged my initial retainer which lasted until the divorce was final because my attorney felt sorry for me. By then, I was able to cover closeout on a month-by-month basis.

        I paid the last college tuition bill in August and will retire in a few years myself. It can be done.

        • I was wondering about this. Financial repercussions for her as well if he is arrested, they’re still married and legal fees are incurred.

        • Yes, if he had child porn then they should be able to prosecute. Mine stuck to written pedophile erotica to avoid that charge. He can be reported anonymously.

        • I’ll repeat a story I heard and confirmed via analog media. The husband of one of my uni classmates was arrested, charged and convicted for solicitation of an underage minor. He was originally caught perving on women and couples in his neighborhood, and filming them with his phone which was confiscated. A government official with high security clearance. His wife apologized profusely for his behavior (?). He did three years behind bars. I hope she dumped his ass. She married him in her forties and they didn’t have kids.

          • He described himself as “sane and clean” when he contacted the 14 year old to meet. It was part of a sting operation.

            Get away from such a man rapido.

        • Lola: i reported my FW to my local PD cop shop the next day after i found the CP. They did nothing. Despite me telling the officer I was reporting a felony, the cop said “sounds like you are upset because you aren’t getting any” and “we’ll call you”. I told officer FW had been investigated years before for CP…gave officer his DOB and SSN.

          No one cares for the children except mothers…

          I may go back and file a complaint. Sheesh! Darned pedo’s are everywhere and they have each others backs.

      • You just made my day, if I can inspire anyone to get themselves to a better place then it was all worth it to me. I’m so happy you called a lawyer. You are strong and brave and I’m sending you all the good energy I can. I’m so sorry you’ve been through this. May the rest of your life be beautiful and healing.

        • KatiePig: no call back from lawyer yet. If i do not get call back soon, I will call another.

          Pray i get a job. No manager, it seems, wants to interview me. I have been out of work force too long and am too old, it appears.

          My house is paid off and I bought and paid for it all before marriage. I may have to sell it and pay lawyer out of proceeds on closing. If i can find a lawyer who will do that.

  • J: He says “time to separate”, not time to divorce. How nice for him. You’re still of use to him…on the back burner while he fucks around (more), and avoids consequence$. Since you still seem to think that this disgusting pos is “adorable” and can’t manage a smartphone, computer, or daytime fuck, I would suggest that you get yourself some hard evidence to help *you* engage in reality and your morals. I’d (very quietly) check his cellphone records, credit cards, bank statements, and get some help with phone, computer, and daytime/lunchtime surveillance. An audio recorder and GPS hidden in his car could be quite illuminating. PS: I think that porn is quite disgusting. And, no, not all men are into it, or even most. I wouldn’t want my kids around his porn habit or attitude, before or after you divorce his twisted ass.
    Keep up the acting, go total stealth mode, line up that pitbull, protect your assets, file, get the best settlement for you and your kids (money and time), and leave *him* with plenty of time for porn and fucking around.

    • Thank you three times! I decided yesterday to briefly turn on syncing on Snapchat (I have an account to communicate with and monitor kids), and sure enough he showed up. I did some reading about how it all works and am sure I know how it goes… he follows a woman on TikTok, she follows back even though neither has videos a lot of the time…she dm’s “add me on snap” and he ends up paying for access to her “premium” content/service. It’s gross. I actually don’t think he is adorable at all now. I’m disturbed when I think of how much he can’t stand me. It occurred to me that when we’re having sex, he was not just fantasizing about screwing someone else, he was probably fantasizing some sick shit like screwing someone else while I drown. I changed the beneficiary on my life insurance and am going to schedule a consult with a second lawyer today.

  • A couple of notes.

    First, let’s all stop with the variations of “use porn.” They are not “using” porn. They are whacking off to porn. Words matter, so let’s “use” them accurately here.

    Second, there’s scarcely a hair’s breadth of difference between whacking off to porn and having a physical affair. In either case the FW is diverting resources (time, money, sexual energy) from you and directing them to someone else. It’s cheating.

    Third, a huge percentage of males with internet access whack off to porn. I’m still trying to figure out why their partners put up with it, and that includes me. Gah.

  • Just when I am almost to Tuesday, I read a column like this & realize “Yes, I am at Tuesday AND boy, did I dodge a bullet!”
    J, you found the right place. Chump Lady has so many words of wisdom that will help you counteract all the awful things your husband is doing and saying. His porn habit caught up with him & the nice guy impression he created over the years is slopping off.
    You may want to stealthily get your ducks in a row because your husband thinks “separating” is him living his own life untethered in an apartment while you continue being the adult managing distasteful things like bills and getting the gutters cleaned, and oh, those kids who need a mom & dad at one more Parent’s Night at school. And his idea of an apartment may cost more than your mortgage.
    Get ChumpLady’s book and keep reading here. Get STD testing, really. And an attorney, really. Porn use escalates into worse: acting out with paid or unpaid victims, or child porn, or porn on a company computer or on company time. You are keeping yourself safe: physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. And you are protecting your children in the same ways.
    After my divorce, I let loved relatives know very brief reasons for the divorce. I kept it to minimal facts, neither hiding the truth (he was unfaithful or I couldn’t trust him, or some variation) nor embellishing it with my feelings. But I never thought I would have to answer my daughter-in-law’s question: “are the grandchildren at risk?” That’s what porn use can do, and the next generation thankfully (or my wonderful DIL) is more aware of predators out there and is not afraid to ask questions.

  • “My husband of 20 years has been replaced by a terrible person.”

    Nope. Sorry. He was always terrible.

    I’m so glad you’ve breathed some fresh air at last!

    • Early on, I would have said SO many of the things that J said. I told myself that he was a great guy who had a few issues.

      My phase of your experience was a really long time ago and I can hardly remember some of it but it really was very similar. I was POSITIVE he wasn’t cheating…there was no stark change and he worked so hard, he didnt have time.

      What I lived was incessant criticism…he blamed me for EVERYTHING…it was his only life coping tool. I, was so determined to have a happy, intact family that I just cranked up the “perfect wife” thing every time he told me that I was inadequate.

      Honestly I really was a really good wife. One day (at about the time he was retiring from his military career) he sat me down in our bedroom and said “Im leaving you because you have been a terrible wife….(and he followed it with 2 hours of details of every mistake I had made since I was 18 (21 years earlier). I sat there slumped over, whimpering…occasionally I tired to explain or defend. He had started out with telling me I was “too sinful” because we had had sex when we dated and at the end of the 2 hours, he told me that I was “too holy” because my work is caring for dying children. He finished off with assuring me there was no one else, this was just between us.

      I was destroyed and hysterical. I did that “trauma bonding” thing and my heightened sex drive during that time showed me how deeply primitive it was to be rejected my the father of my kids.

      I did a “Pick Me Dance” that should have won me awards. I bought him gifts, mended his clothes, kept the house perfect..blah blah and he just moved the goal posts. None of it made sense until I realized that he had been talking an awful lot about one particular coworker.

      I confronted him (huge waste of time) and he lied and lied. Dday was finding a love letter he had written her and saved on his computer I broke into. That night, during the post-day- hysteria he admitted for a split second that their relation ship had become physical but when he saw my reaction, he recanted and never, ever again admitted any physical involvement with her or anyone. It was a gaslighting clusterfuck.

      He was so freaking mean to me during that time, I look back and I cannot fathom why or how I stayed. I was SO AFRAID to raise my kids alone. As a nurse, I didnt think I could work and raise them well. Not believing in myself was a HUGE mistake. I had no where to go ( my parents are narc/alcoholics) and I was so convinced that marriage with him was what was best for me and kids.

      We were in a terrible wreckonciliation but I could see storm cloud in the distance with his behavior and it felt like something was gonna break any day. What I realize now is that he really wanted out of the marriage but he was acutely afraid of looking like the douche guy who dumps his wife that he tried EVERYTHING to get me to pull the trigger and he was furious that I wouldn’t.

      I was too afraid to leave but I also still loved him and had hope that he would someday find love for me again. I had actually told God that I would sacrifice “anything other than death or suffering of my children” for him to love me. He dropped dead and I later found out that he had cheated THE WHOLE MARRIAGE.

      I swear to you that I never ever suspected, to me it was unimaginable.

      Whether your husband has cheated once or 537 times, it almost doesnt matter. He has devalued you acutely and I dont believe there is a way back from that. the behaviors you describe now look to me like classic cheater schtick …they act like asses to us because they want to convince themselves that we deserve to be treated like this.

      It takes a bit of time away from them before we can get a clear view of the boiling pot we escaped from. A few months from now you may re-read your letter above and be incredulous that you lived that.

      Im sorry and this sucks, but you have found your way.

  • J, that FW doesn’t need to be cheating, however you define it. It is OK and necessary to leave when YOU decide the relationship is no longer acceptable to you. I’m still in the house with klootzak who announced just before the pandemic hit that he wanted to move the family several hours away and that then I should have to go find my own place. He would not use the word divorce. He doesn’t seem inclined to file. So he is now trying to find a job so he can move to that other place (where I am certain there is one – or more! – APs). And he thinks then that we will move and disrupt our son’s life here and take me far from my friends and support system to an expensive area I won’t be able to afford and THEN he will discard. But I am ready for his big announcement that “We’re moving.” And then I will make my announcement that HE can move on his own and I’m filing for divorce.

    But as I am preparing for this, I remind myself of the reasons he is not acceptable to me. I list the things I want to be in my life going forward. If I leave out the cheating itself, there are so many other things on my list.
    1) I want to live an authentic life with honesty and facts. No more gaslighting.
    2) I want control over my finances. No more financial abuse.
    3) I am enough in every way and I am NOT to blame for everything. No more being scapegoated.
    4) I want my self-confidence back. No more being devalued.
    5) I want to be free from maintaining ridiculous standards and live in a way that my house feels like MY home and not a museum. No more bending over backwards trying to maintain impossible standards.
    6) I want my identity back including all of my hobbies, interests, opinions, and personality that make me unique and bring me joy.
    7) I want to be happy again. I want my son to see me happy. I want to be relaxed and not have to jump to immediately respond to a text message.
    8) I want the weekend to come and not be drilled over dinner on Friday about what things I will accomplish. I want to browse through a store for an hour. I want to watch a sitcom on TV and not be told it is stupid and I am wasting time.

    I could go on but you get the idea. The cheating or dishonesty wakes us up. Often we look back and realize we were being manipulated and treated badly in so many ways. And it is not acceptable. I was raised to believe you don’t divorce unless there is cheating or abuse. I didn’t recognize you can be abused without bruises. It’s as though we chumps feel we need permission to file for divorce. We believe so much in fixing and the RIC feeds us lies to keep us in that awful cycle. I have not seen fresh hard evidence of klootzak cheating in over a year. It doesn’t matter. He is still a FW. I don’t care if after he is gone if he remarries or lives as a hermit. He ruined his chance to have something great. He destroyed his opportunity to have a good, happy marriage and family with me. Even if he could go unfuck all those women, I wouldn’t want him in my life. He is an entitled prick. Someone on here once quoted a TV show saying something like, “It isn’t sex; it’s betrayal. That’s your fucking addiction.” And that is exactly right. They get kibbles from our attention and that of anyone who looks at them twice. Choosing a partner is supposed to be what you do before you are married but they want chumps to pick me dance for them endlessly. It’s all about what you can do for them. Well, fuck that.

    And if my SIL thinks klootzak is the sand in her clam, she can have him, for all I care.

    • I made 3 million mistakes in how I responded to Cheaters abuse, but one very good decision was my refusal to move.

      We had already moved cross-country 7 times for his career and the kids were entering HS and I was done moving them. Cheater was SO accustomed to me doing what I was told that he was befuddled by my refusal. I eventually told him to just go. I genuinely expected him to go to California, not to The Great Beyond

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