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Being Compared with an Affair Partner

Agape douchebagOne of the classic “Stupid Shit Cheaters Say” utterances is, “You know, if you met (the Schmoopie), you’d really like (him/her)! They’re a lot like you!”

Yeah, you know if the circumstances were different, and this person wasn’t fucking your spouse, I’m sure you’d really enjoy scrapbooking together.

It’s a patently moronic cake fantasy come to life. You’re all just interchangeable really, united in your love for the cheater. How can you take offense? They’re a GOOD PERSON just like you! If you could get over your unreasonable prejudice, you’d see that! But I guess you’re just too consumed with bitterness and jealousy, alas.

I see this again and again in my mail from chumps — once outed, the cheater feels totally emboldened to talk about the affair partner in glowing terms to the chump. Of course, this has the intended effect of goading the chump into more frenetic pick-me dancing. I’m sure part of the Mindy-Is-So-Awesome! phenomenon is deliberate and intentionally hurtful, but the other part is narcissistic cluelessness. Hey, what really matters here is MY happiness.

Can’t you be happy for them?

I’ve never felt a love like this before!

She has really big tits!

He so gets me. Like, the REAL me. He believes in my natural selection/screen play/get rich quick scheme unlike YOU. 

What are they thinking here? That you’re going to slap them on the back and congratulate them on their good fortune? Well DONE, Forsythe! You really bagged a gem there!

Or perhaps they’re thinking that you’ll just graciously concede defeat and walk off the field? It would be really unsportsmanlike of you to ask for a decent divorce settlement.

Or maybe you’re supposed to nod in agreement? “Oh yeah, Bob is ALL THAT. And did you notice what a fine head of hair he has? Is that his natural color? Just wow.”

Here’s some advice, chumps — shut that shit down.

The minute your cheater starts playing compare and contrast to their fuckbuddy? You’re DONE. The conversation is OVER.

I realize some therapists encourage this crap, so you know, you examine all the dynamics that drove them to cheat, and what needs you weren’t meeting, like your male pattern baldness and such. (Did you see Bob’s hair?)

But really, why would you spend one second competing with an affair partner? This is a marriage commitment, not the Hunger Games.

Know your worth.

This post ran previously. 

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  • Ooofffttt I spent the entire first year and 95% of the second year comparing myself to her

    She’s 16 years younger , very pretty , tall , athletic, long blonde hair and seems very popular with her peers .

    I am none of that things ! Not one of them

    But then again I don’t sleep with other peoples husbands . I don’t get pregnant to prove a point then post memes on Facebook declaring I’m a better woman . I didn’t have to go wedding dress shopping posting pictures on line of said event while my fiancé was still in fact married to someone else .

    So I guess I was right to compare as I don’t compare to her . I’ve got class, dignity , self respect and morals .

      • Bringing « la folie à deux «  to another level. Like « à cinq » or « à dix » depending on how many fellow moral reprobates she calls friends.

      • I love the Macy’s shopping scene in “Young Adult” where the pushing-40, clinically narcissist would-be mate-poacher played with hilarious and accurate “blunted affect” by Charlize Theron mentions to the women’s dress department clerk that the old flame Theron’s character is looking to get back with a sexy dress has a wife.

        The look of sudden alarm on the clerk’s face isn’t played off as comic churchy shock as it would be in a bro pic. The clerk just isn’t sure whether this deranged person might be armed and dangerous or might shit on the floor. The gist is that this would literally be every normal, healthy person’s reaction. The point of the film seems to be that narcissists have a delusional sense of superiority to “normal and healthy.”

        Never mind Shonda Rimes and Esther Perel and porn-invested media companies promoting cheating through canned op-eds and crap advice columns, a Gallup pole in 2014 found that public disapproval of adultery in the US is at an all-time high. The same people also reported acceptance of gay marriage, so the film scene seems quite accurate. Thinking adulterers are bent and icky isn’t a backwoods churchy thing but the healthy modern-mindset norm.

        Anyway, as you say, anyone believing otherwise is basically sharing psychosis. The finale of the film perfectly illustrates this.

        • I spent that whole movie hating her guts and then at the end I felt sorry for her. I think Emily blunt played the wife and the look on her face a t the big reveal why Charlize Theron was losing her shit was the same look I had I’m pretty sure. Like why didn’t he tell his wife? She was angry but had so much empathy. Maybe I’m too much like her character in that movie.

          • I thought it seemed like he did tell his wife but she recognized the poacher character Mavis was a sick puppy. I didn’t get that the wife was angry at all, which is sort of what bothered me. I get tired of those typical charitable wifey depictions because it’s pushing an angerless stereotype of women to counter the raging character of Mavis. Madonna v. Whore, bleah. But it was played well. The actress (Elizabeth Reiser actually) has an impressive range. She was also the horrible Mrs. Winslow in Handmaid’s Tale.

            I like the fact Theron gives a pitiless performance.. She must have researched personality disorders. I had more sympathy when she played Aileen Wuornos in Monster. That scene at the end where the sister of the “hate crime guy” expresses her nutty admiration for Mavis and Mavis just accepts the accolades as her due was black comic gold. Chekhovian if we’re getting fancy about it. Mavis learns nothing. The end. Like life.

        • I agree with that Gallup Poll. I’m a runner and was browsing a running forum just yesterday. Strangely, a male member posted a message about being involved with a married woman and how they were in love, she was trapped in a bad marriage, yadda yadda… what should he do? ALL the responses were telling him to end it now. Most told him she is lying to him. Most told him she will cheat on him. Most told him that there is no good outcome if he continues with her. Some told him he is delusional, a scumbag, an idiot, etc. It was heartening that NO ONE supported his behavior and no one made light of it. Some even told him to pray that her husband isn’t a gun owner. So, yeah, even though Hollywood makes light of infidelity all the time, normal Americans clearly do not.

          • Can you share the running forum? My wonderful husband could have posted that (he pretends he’s not married), and has recently gotten very into running groups and forums because Schmoopie is into running. And this is his exact story about her (he’s saving her). It would be good evidence for me…

            • I saw it on the Boards on Another interesting thing….the moderator asked if he should take the thread down since it was clear the poster was getting the same answer again and again. People responded that he probably needs to hear the message many times until it sinks in. 🙂

              • I read the entire thread and it was great to see so many people (all but one) tell him the same messages! It inspired me to register a username and send my own message to him about the trauma he will cause her kids when they find out.

          • Scriptural Morality & Secular Morality
            are definitely in (majority) agreement about adultery.
            Marriage is root of family & society.
            If roots are sick, the trees are sick.
            How to save the forests?
            All kinds of destructive wrongs can be normalized. To automatically think normal is healthy, moral, safe, sane doesn’t make it so.

    • Karmeh, I spent years wondering why, was it my appearance? ,was I not a giving lover?, was I poorly equipped?, did I not work hard enough?, was I inattentive?, an incredible shit show in my mind. Tgen I realized, I am what I am loyal, loving, empathetic, attentive, great provider, active participant in our lives, and head and shoulders above those cheating low-lives. I can look in the mirror and see someone I’m proud of, someone true . Comparing myself to a disgusting wife poaching vulnerable wife predator scumbag was a terrible thing to do to myself. There is no comparison I win!

      • Exactly, NYNB! If you have to choose between me and her, chose her. This is not a game, if you really loved me there wouldn’t be a choice. Walk into the solitude of high standards. We learn to narrow things down, release the pain, revel in our own character. Come back to the person we were before we met evil.

      • I once had a nightmare years before D-Day in which somehow I had had an affair. It was one of those “How did I end up at the opera naked?” dreams. It wasn’t something I thought about (anymore than I do going to the opera without clothes), but somehow my brain was running the simulation. I woke up sobbing, realizing how that would devastate FW. The feeling of guilt over destroying someone like that was completely unbearable. Because that’s how normal people react to deep betrayal. It wrecks their self esteem, faith, everything.

        Someone asked me why I didn’t have a revenge affair while still legally married. There’s the obvious answer that I have kids who needed my full attention and I wasn’t going to give any ammo to FW. I don’t think it was anything about concern for FW’s feelings anymore. But there’s a more “visceral” reason. I think poachers are disgusting and could never be attracted to one. Any guy who’d have sex with a woman before the ink is dry on her divorce seems like a big worm to me.

        I didn’t judge a friend who broke down and had one brief “thing” after years of enduring a drawn out, horrific divorce with a world class sociopath and who had been chumped in a sexless marriage with this porn and hooker addict for years. But I couldn’t stomach it. She didn’t repeat it so I imagine she didn’t stomach it well either.

    • Mine is the age of my second daughter and my husband is 68 and is living on his pension . She had two babies to trap him , both are under two years and at the moment he’s still sleeping in his area of our home while she’s left to take care of the children they should not have had . He is unable to take care of them financially but he behaves like he has made the best choice for himself . I am very comfortable financially and otherwise and don’t have to put up with his narcissistic behavior , he’s all hers . They both broke up my family which was very painful for me after being married for 43 plus years. It’s sad but we are ok . I’m encouraged by all of you and I will be ok . And I don’t compare myself to her because she’s a home wrecker and that cannot bring her happiness

  • ‘You’re all just interchangeable ….’ That line hit home. That feeling that your spouse just carelessly disregarded the life you built – under your nose, behind your back – is extremely hurtful.

    Thanks for all you do Chump Lady.

      • This. Overt indifference, callous disregard… the “you’re still in the room?” sneering glances.
        This is what gutted me day after day.

        • That “you’re still here?” disregard was so painful. He wouldn’t even look at me when I came home; he just stayed glued to his screen.

          That’s why I like having pets. They acknowledge your presence.

          • Until he got hungry, right? Or needed you to do something for him that he was perfectly capable of doing himself…

            Unlike others here, Cheating Bastard Ex never offered up comparisons of me to his escorts, prostitutes, fuckbuddies or internet hookups. Because I was invisible to him as a sexual human being with wants and desires … acknowledging that would have screwed up his compartmentalization. I needed to stay in the appliance/maid/cook lane.
            He did gift me with the statement on dday that “some were disgusting” just to reinforce his belief that anything was preferable to me sexually and turn that last knife in my back. That one bounced around in my head for weeks.

            • I just wanted to say that reading this hurt. It’s one of my deepest fears, and I can’t fathom how someone heals from that kind of treatment,

              You are mighty.

            • I second RossLucy. And would add that he was also gifting you with the terror that he had no worries that one of those “disgusting” beings could have shortened your life by infecting you with some disgusting disease without your knowledge (risk of delayed treatment, etc.). Cheater as would-be-murderer. To know you lived in proximity to that for years is absolutely chilling,

              • The fact that he continued his behavior unabated during pre-vaccine Covid was a double edged sword. Nothing like someone playing pandemic Russian roulette with my life without my knowledge. He literally risked my health and well being in more ways than one.
                When people ask how I’m doing, my immediate response is “I’m safe now.”

            • Divine Ms Chump. That hurts and lasts a long time.
              The x I had was a really ‘nice’ man, but, in the end, not kind!
              He had to get the triple statement over 3 days.
              One each day for 3 days.
              “I don’t love you”
              “I’ve never loved you”
              “I’ve never been romantically attracted to you”

              Those haunt me and I hope they haunt him more than me.

            • “ Because I was invisible to him as a sexual human being with wants and desires … acknowledging that would have screwed up his compartmentalization”

              I think this is very common with cheaters.
              Now, thanks to CN, I know I’m not alone, but I had really internalized those messages. I came to believe I was fundamentally undesirable and abnormal, and it was dehumanizing. This enabled an unhealthy, unequal dynamic because it preyed on some of my deepest fears.

              Cheaters weaponize withholding and neglect, manipulate with subtle but intentional rejections and disapproval. It’s a way for them to rationalize and compartmentalize, and it’s also delusional power trip that makes chumps really doubt their worth and blame themselves. Why is this pattern ignored in most descriptions of abuse?

              • Well said. At some point, and I don’t remember exactly when now but it was in the first few years the marriage, he started burying his head in a pillow when we had sex so as not to look at me. It was completely dehumanizing.
                Apparently around the same time, and I had forgotten this conversation until I was reminded by a friend of it recently, I described my sex life with my husband to her as “rape-like”. I was so beaten down by his constant porn use, neglect, and lack of affection that I thought it was all I deserved. You betcha being treated like that is abuse, plain and simple.
                It is never too late to walk away from it all and start anew. Nor is it too early. They don’t deserve a second chance.

        • Ha ha, perfect description of what I got. ‘You’re still in the room’ etc! He used to sit on the sofa with his foot up on his other knee so that it effectively blocked out his view of my face. I hated it. But then I’m not a disordered coward!

        • Yes, being told “I stay with you because you are ecomonically good for me” was a low point.

          And hearing about how she was ‘just a friend’ but she was much warmer and fuzzier than I am.

          Or ‘I’d rather do a knot on a tree than do you’ That one was a classic

          • Until dday, I escaped the verbal barbs. To do so would have required him expending emotional energy on me. And that was never going to happen in any form.

          • Mitz, reminds me of similar insults from Mr. Nice Guy, ex. first one I thought of is when he looked at me and said,”No one in their right mind would want to f**k you.”

            By the time Dday came around I had no self worth, thought I was to blame, I was ashamed. Ex had everyone convinced he was a great guy and concerned for my mental well being. All while as he was gaslighting me, hoping I’d snap. Saying things then deny that he said them. If I hadn’t found Chump Nation when I did, I can only imagine where I’d be.

        • TDMC yep experienced that shit behavior to , have to add , stop calling you by your name , avoiding any conversation, you walk in the room they immediatley exit the room , because they secretly love someone else now and are to cowardly to tell you , sheeez ,

      • ????

        At least three years that I verified via credit card.

        He not only lied to me but they lied together to the city administration to get her a job, and to get her a raise. (she was his direct report).

        He did not get to keep his lofty status at work, at least I got to see that. Oh the paper article couched it as “organizational changes” but I knew, everyone knew.

        I had placed a call to the mayor when I found out who it was, I flat out asked the mayor “did you have any idea this was going on?” He said he did not. I do believe him because if you knew the circumstances the mayor would have never allowed him to be promoted and moved him in under his wing had he known.

        Anyway, I am sure he didn’t get busted and kicked out of his office for me, but still it put a spring in my step when he saw fairly swift consequences for being a lying con man. He never rebuilt his life after that, he just went on doing one stupid selfish act after another.

        He is gone now and she is sitting in a run down trailer that they had put in her sons name to keep the debtor’s from taking it. But, for a few short months she was walking around on the arm of her dream boy. He had indeed turned over everything we had worked for to her (sans a small house that I got). He lost it all to gambling, but hey for one short moment in time there was a place called “Camelot”

        • Susie Lee I am in somewhat of the same place. Unfortunately I did not find out until my ex was retired. I have since questioned what goes on at all these ” out of town conferences ” at taxpayer events. I have humiliated myself by asking other city employees if they knew what was going on. They all claim total innocence. I don’t believe these things go on in the dark, people know but stayed silent at least to me. Seems like there is too much cheating in this area to be coincidence. There are websites to tell you how and not get caught. Several people have told me these out of town conferences are know for ” same time next year” hook ups. So disgusting yet this changed the course of my life.

          • I am sure some police officers knew. But those guys keep quiet, not so much out of a loyalty to each other, but they keep info to themselves until it can come in handy for them.

            I have no doubt the mayor didn’t know, he was pissed. Not that he was perfect, but he had really trusted my ex. Had the fws whore just been a local fruit broad, likely the mayor wouldn’t have been as pissed, but he was facing down the barrel of a lawsuit for hostile working environment. Someone had turned them in to the city counsel right after fw had petitioned for a raise for her. The city counsel wanted him fired. I think the demotion and loss of his office job was a compromise to punish him; and to avoid a union battle.

            Our preacher also trusted him, and he was beyond pissed. Preacher definitely did not take his side. He tried to get him to straighten out his life and live within biblical principals, and to do that he would have had to drop the whore, whether he and I got back together or not. FW didn’t do that, so the preacher referred him to a Christian counselor, and told him he couldn’t help him if he refused to walk away from sin.

            Hint: he never went to any counseling as far as I know.

            I have been to quite a few DoD conferences, and to be honest I couldn’t tell you what went on after hours. When work was done, I made excuses headed for my room and ordered food from there, rather than hitting a restaurant with drinks. One reason is because I was married and I knew it was not something I should get involved in, another I was tired after working all day. Never hurt my chances for promotion one bit.

            But, absolutely there is an underground in many of these situations.

            • My sister’s ex was a dirty cop and cheater.

              He had to leave the force before he met my sister, but when we all found out there was a million-dollar judgment against him for his unlawful dealings, it came out that not only did his colleagues give him cover for his serial cheating, but he went as far as to fuck the wives of a few of his brothers on the force. We learned of his history when the court judgment hit the Associated Press news wire. THAT was a great Christmas and New Year’s. My sister stayed with him four more years until she found burner phones and text messages from the newest OW.

              Dipshit is friendless and broke now, but I’d still like to see him suffer further for what he put his children through.

              • “but he went as far as to fuck the wives of a few of his brothers on the force. ”

                Yep, that is what I mean, that POs having each others back is bull shit. What they have is information that they keep ticked neatly away.

                To be clear I am not speaking in absolute. I fully recognize there are good honest POs. I can still name some that I am convinced are.

                But as a profession, cheating and lying is real easy for too many of them. It also begs the question, does the profession attract that type, or does that type gravitate towards the profession. Likely a little of both.

  • Yep I got constantly compared my entire 25 year marriage. First it was the ex girlfriend. Then it was random women he’d see, such as, “you’d look good in an outfit like that” or “your hair would look nice like that.” They almost sounded like compliments but now I know they were comparing tactics. At DDay, I got the list of why the new woman was great. First, I got told that she really loved him. Like I didn’t? Second, she’s younger than me. Nothing I can do about that! Third and best of all, she was up for anything in bed, including his need to tie her up and hurt her. Also, she was apparently okay with him staying married to me, and she was just going to take up the role of sex sub on the side. In his view, this was awesome! He even said that I’d grow to be friends with her and we could like, coordinate our schedules. He was so excited that, after years of hook ups in sex clubs and going to hookers that he finally found the ideal solution- that the OW and I could be buddies and serve his needs. Me as the wife, mother, business partner and general appliance and adult and her, the younger woman with no kids who just loved him so much she’d take the role of meeting his sexual needs, because, he said I was too vanilla.

    The cake eating delusion of it all still makes my head spin. After I told him to GTFO, he then started the all out assault on me-I was too old, too boring, too lame, too immature, too conservative to handle what they were doing anyway. He blamed me for the end of the marriage because he said, he made me a good offer to stay but I rejected him. You can’t make this shit up.

    • Where we married to brothers? My x was so smitten with a hooker and the choking sex threesomes she promised (third hooker additional cost, of course), the woman I’d think was “fun” and had “a lot in common with.” Really? Because I don’t gamble, strip, leave me young children alone to go have se with random me for money—in the family home, no less. Comparisons: she’s 18 years younger, a different race, covered in tattoos and piercings. She smokes, drinks and does drugs (Alex, I’ll take drug arrests for $100), and did I mention she’s a stripper? Yeah, he’s welcome to that.

      • Yes, I am sure she is really into him (major eyeroll)

        Strippers and Hookers are after money. Period. Yes sometimes they’ll get involved with a major bad guy but the customers are to be used and conned till they bleed them dry.

        • Almost all whores are after money. The professionals are just more upfront about it. The side whores take the gifts, money, and time under the table. Until they get enough leverage to flip the marriage.

          To be fair some of the side whores don’t even want marriage, they just want to drain the trick, then they will move on to the next.

          My fws whore was starting to age, and was not the traditional hot younger woman, so she needed to secure the meal ticket.

          She lived way better when they were sneaking around; guess she didn’t consider what would happen when my paycheck disappeared and he got busted.

          • So true. FW’s whore dumped him when I sold the beach house. When I finally got him out of there and had quit claim deed on both properties, I emailed both of them and told them if she showed up either of my properties, she would be arrested for trespassing. Within A couple months of our divorce and her realizing I made all the money, she was off to her next mark. He was heart broken. Karma is a bitch.

            • ” Within A couple months of our divorce and her realizing I made all the money, she was off to her next mark. He was heart broken. Karma is a bitch.”

              I love to hear when that happens.

              In my case whore was living at poverty level, basically working a minimum wage job, and she wasn’t very good at it. So she was going to hand on to that meal ticket. She rode that asshole right into bankruptcy.

              I was also at the time of D, working at a minimum wage job. But, I worked my ass off and in short order got a few promotions, paid my own way and did not try to siphon off a married man to pay my bills.

              I did meet and eventually married a completely eligible man, and we build a nice life together. There are good men out there. I never thought I would marry again; but I did.

              I would have also been fine alone.

              • Good job! The whore was an unemployed poverty stricken single mom so yeah…sounds like you are doing well..happy to hear these successful recovery stories! Happy holidays!

          • SO agree!!! The 29-year old girl who stole my 52 year old husband is not after his homely looks, tiny manhood, or tired, repeated stories; nor his chronic halitosis, nose picking, or back hair. She’s not excited to take care of him when he’s 75 and she’s 43. She wants his money. Money that I helped him earn over our thirty years together. I loved him when we had to live on mac and cheese to save for a down payment on a house. She loves him because he’s bought her a nice condo in Dallas, a diamond ring and wedding, and is paying for her to go back to school, this time for a medical degree (her third degree, I think?). I think she wants to be a professional student and not have to hold an actual job and my ex makes that happen for her. Women who “love” in return for money are whores, plain and simple.

    • I got compared too. Why don’t you wear tighter clothes – so and so is your age and look at how she dresses ! When he really got into the porn, I became a sexless Mommy Maid drudge. And truth be told, I was still pretty attractive, just not slutted up enough for him lol.

      So, there were a handful of OW from the University that he dragged into our inner lives who were Not very attractive ( one I swear looked like a man ) and I missed the signals . It was after the divorce that I realized that they were f@ck buddies.

      And when Miss Piggy was thrust upon me, I was not worried because I felt I was the better choice – and why would he want her when he had me? She and her husband were our “friends” for 3 years.

      It did become one big pick me dance over time. But I still couldn’t believe that he would sleep with her?!?! She was not what he kept comparing me to. So confusing!!!

      Happy to be away from that mess. They are married now. I doubt he stopped looking at porn. I doubt he stopped using the odd hooker here and there and I doubt he treats her any differently than he treated me.

      • I remember being compared to his ho-workers. Wanting me to dress differently and workout more. These women he really elevated in comparison to me. I was just the mommy, wife, maid, slave he used and abused. But now I needed to dance harder and look like an escort. I refused and continued to wear what made me happy. It took me a long time (way too long) to see he was a cheater and that was classic devaluing. The women aren’t that attractive, they were just available. Just like CL says they were just available. I look back a pictures from that time and have compared myself to the other women. I’ve learned to love myself more, I was going though hell and didn’t even fully realize it.

        • Available is the common denominator. Attractiveness is subjective. Even when I compare myself favorably to the APs, I’m letting the cheater’s poor judgement and values influence me. I’m comparing myself to people I don’t know and don’t care about. I’m worrying about qualities and characteristics I don’t care about and/or can’t control. Pick Me dancing alone. I’ve begun to reclaim my self worth and centrality, but annoyingly, that fuckwit is still lingering in the back of my mind.

          • For example, I’ll catch myself thinking, I’m more honest and empathetic, I’m just as pretty, I’m a faster runner, I am more intelligent and accomplished, I’m a better artist, and so on. And then I’ll think, who am I trying to prove myself to?

            I guess I want to reassure myself that I was good enough, that my ex didn’t cheat because of my failings, that he didn’t trade up. Why does any of this matter? It doesn’t. I should just be me and worry about being a good person and living a good life.

      • Yeah. Sadly. He compared me to other women throughout our marriage.

        First red flag:
        Him: How do you think you rank compared to other women? (not even subtle, but my 23-yo self still married the guy. ????????‍♀️)

        Throughout our marriage, I also got: “Why can’t you wear your hair like x?” and “Why can’t you dress like y?” AND “You think you have a nice body, but you don’t.” At one point, he wanted me to wear scrubs because he was turned on by his co-workers during those overnight residency shifts. It all sucked. And my self-esteem tanked.

        When he told me about the affair, he said that AP “likes it when I go down on her, unlike you.”

        Eh. When they go low, we go….

        • When they go low, we go high and punch them in the throat. Just kidding. In my fantasies though, I’m not.

          Happy Throat Punch Thursday !

          • Sucker Punched by a Saffa, thank you for making me chuckle evilly before my second cup of coffee.

            I have a vivid fantasy life and have throat punched that skanky homewrecking whore and his Howorker in my dreams. So sweet!

    • Oof, the similarities! Suffice it to say that he let me know I was vanilla and boring (which didn’t stop him from still sleeping with me) and all his girlfriends were younger, more sexually liberated, and dressed in tighter, hotter clothes.

      Actually, when I think back to our dating/early marriage days, I realize that I too wore a lot of tight clothes which he encouraged because he liked having “a hot wife” and I really wanted to please him.

      I heard recently on the “whoops, I didn’t ask to hear that” grapevine that my kid’s friends think Wifetress is “like crazy super hot.” It made me feel sad, plain, boring, and vanilla all over again. I went to sleep sad that night.

      Then I woke up remembering that I don’t have to dress “like super crazy hot” anymore. I don’t have a philandering husband that I have to invest time into making sure he’s pleased with what he sees anymore. I’m not in that circus anymore. I can dress how I like! Before FW entered my life I was all about the baggy sweaters and it’s nice to return to my own sense of style instead of trying to be perpetually hot for someone else.

      So, I processed that and feeling and woke up feeling a million bucks better about my freedom from youth and hotness. I can look how I want to look. That feels pretty great.

        • Amen! The nerve of these dudes, thinking we should make ourselves uncomfortable for their pleasure. Life’s too short for that crap.

      • I’ve said to him before, and I’ll say it again,

        “The only relationship you are qualified to be in is one where you pay someone by the hour.”

        Bring on the sweaters.

      • I thought we were saving money for a better house, the kids’ education and wonderful future so I proudly shopped thrift, didn’t go to salons and mended old jeans– which I wore with old Birks and old button downs and old everything.

        I spent zero on myself for years. And of course FW encouraged that all along. He had some kind of Madonna-whore thing about makeup, fancy clothes and girly stuff and had incrementally nudged me to give it all up over time, swearing he preferred me in cotton and no makeup, though I embraced it eventually.

        For a time after D-Day, my self esteem was so crushed that I lost my wonderful “fuck it” attitude towards appearance. I used to work in fashion and then media so I know how to be “shiny” but it was still a kind of defeat when I started going back to the salon, dug out the old swank stuff to doll up and bought a bunch of high end whatever (though on Ebay because of my kids’ social justice fanaticism about sweat shops and fast fashion).

        I basically went back to my former style, but I had been pretty happy before that. All that dedicated parenting and scrimping had launched the kids into extraordinary opportunities and had finally started focusing on a creative new work venture that has zero to do with appearance. I had been looking “out” at the world as I had in college, not self consciously “in” at myself as I’d started ti during my careerist stage and frankly the former had been a wonderful mindset.

        Part of my post D-Day spending spree was fury that FW had hidden and embezzled family assets and, turns out, we weren’t actually strapped. I was nauseated that OW was spending like mad on full priced yacky mall crap because my family assets were helping her save on other lifestyle splurges like bars, clubs, travel and bistros that she could never afford on her salary. Some was rebellion for having been manipulated into being the dun-colored mate of a closet peacock. Part was revenge and preparing to date again or at least feel like I could.

        Then some of it was Pickme shit. Ugh. Appearance is political too, a kind of armor and I felt under threat. I had a sense of the optics if things headed to divorce court and wanted my lawyers and the court to wonder why in the hell FW would betray steak for 7-11 taco.

        Anyway, exposure to the narc cabal can trigger sudden appearance anxiety. But I noticed that narcs seem to be the most vulnerable to it. During the lamentable RIC therapy and “reconciliation” phase when FW brutally dumped the OW and posted a million happy fam photos on social media, I admit to sleuthing OW’s instagram, etc. for any hint the affair was still continuing or that she might be gearing up to boil the kids’ pets. And I noticed something eerie: she’d obviously been stalking FW’s social media because she radically changed her style and was dressing and attempting to wear her hair like — shudder– me.

        I had this revelation that narcissism is a communicable disease. Exposure to narcs causes injury that is then passed along like an STD. It’s like OW got reinfected with her own case of the clap. But I was “infected” for a spell too.

        If I continue to dress like a grownup now rather than grunge-mom, the reasons have changed back to pragmatic ones. I’m having glimmers of interest in dating again and am tired of being approached by manbuns who sleep on mattresses on the floor. I also prefer the general respect I get going about my daily business. It just reduces friction. People are more deferential and I get to be nice back. But it’s just armor, not identity. That’s how I used to think of it. I’m getting myself back bit by bit.

        • “she’d obviously been stalking FW’s social media because she radically changed her style and was dressing and attempting to wear her hair like — shudder– me.”

          I remember the unease and nausea that I felt when I accidentally got a peek at FW and Wifetress I think about two years ago (I usually close the curtains before they come to pick up the kids; that day I forgot to) and saw that she had a new hairstyle… that looked an awful lot like mine. I’m pretty plain-jane, for the most part, but I’ve had the same weird hairstyle since 1999. It was shocking to see that she had adopted that style later on in her marriage to FW. But, as I think about it, she slowly but surely started to do a lot of the same things that I did when I was married to him: over time my interests shrunk and I began to champion FW’s interests over mine. She began her life as his AP with a thriving side hustle (she was a very talented hobbyist in her field, which I knew because that was back when I was pain-shopping), but–sure enough, like me–over the years her own interests have shrunk and she invests more time in what he loves to do and ends up doing a lot of PR for his side hustles. I haven’t actively pain-shopped in a long time but the last time I did I saw a lot of the “them and him” in her social media and very little of the former “her.” I thought “Well… that looks familiar.”

          But yeah, when I saw a few years ago that she had picked up a hairstyle that was a lot like mine, I felt…. icky.

          • I also have a really distinct hairstyle because I don’t know what else to do with my massive mop. It’s too big for my face but only gets bigger when short, so it’s either get a buzz cut or spend hours blow drying or tie it back in a certain way, which I’ve done since college. This chick showed real commitment to imitate that style– a hair piece, hot rollers, mousse, etc. It gave me the heebies and I had security cameras installed within 24 hours. The copycatting feels very “single white female.”

            At least for normal people, it’s menacing to be the object of fixation. There’s a feeling of violence lurking underneath. My guess is that your ex had started using comparisons to you to unsettle and trigger pickme dancing in the OWife and she gradually ended up trying to be you. He didn’t even require your consent and participation to triangulate which probably doubled the hurtful impact. The thing is, cheaters don’t have enough shame to sense the irony in getting their own back so the OWife probably just internalized it.

      • Mine was the opposite. He hated make up and though I dressed as well as I could on a limited budget, he would throw a fit if I wore a low cut top, or something overtly sexy.

        So after we D’s, I was free to wear make up. I dressed the way I wanted to. I didn’t wear revealing clothes, but I wore cloths that flattered me. I also didn’t go overboard on make up, luckily I had good skin; but I did love to wear eye make up.

        I remember once not long before Dday we were in a restaurant and I don’t remember how the convo came up; but he said whore knows I hate make up. I said, it is none of your business what whore wears. (I had no idea he was fucking her). That was suspicious to me, and yet it was about another month before it all hit me. Though I still didn’t know for sure who the actual whore was.

        I didn’t think it was his direct report who he was discussing in the restaurant, because I guess I didn’t think he was stupid enough to do that. Wrong.

      • One of the major attractions my husband had to the skanky OW was how dark she was and how she talked about committing suicide all the time. Yay! How fun! She’s tattooed and pierced and wears crazy clothes. Her hair is short and spiky. She’s bi. She has no boundaries. I almost feel bad for her, but she knew exactly what she was doing when she weaseled in on my life. My husband didn’t see how f’ed up it was. I can hand on heart say I’m nothing like her. I look natural, I don’t dye my hair, it’s long and curly. I look like a fairy-nothing dark about me. My skin is fair, I too wear baggy sweaters! He always said how much he loved my naturalness, but then he found someone just the exact opposite of me. It hurt a lot and I wondered if he had lied about loving me and being attracted to me. It’s such a mind f.

        • Abusers go in circles finding enablers who are the direct opposites of their original primary partners. She-cheaters married to good providers and gentle dads seem to go for meat-heads with DUIs into dog-fighting who sleep in their granny’s basement. As they keep betraying, they eventually circle around to idealizing the same types they started with. Grass is always greener for the personality disordered.

          • I think it’s even shallower than that. I think we don’t matter and they don’t bond so switching up partner types for variety is like switching shoes to them.

        • It kind of helped me to see just how different I really was, from both the AP and my ex. At first, I thought about how I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t love me for me. Then, I made myself central and realized I wanted nothing to do with someone with such worrisome tastes and shitty values.

          It was as disappointing as it was painful to discover the childishly morbid emails between my ex and his 22-year old AP. Well, one of them. (Six years later, she’s his unemployed, live-in girlfriend.) They loved to throw pity parties and wax poetic about suicidal ideation, death and dying, their pain. Our friend’s mom was dying, and that seemed to get him kudos. I got the news my grandmother died after dinner one night, and he wrote to tell this messed up stranger about it as soon as I went to bed. He used others’ pain to garner attention and get pity. To seem… cool? How very deep. Recently “sober,” ex started popping pills with this girl. I didn’t know about her, or the drugs, for several years. She was scary, in his words. According to him, she’d been abused and was really fucked up, but he claimed he didn’t know until they were involved. Never crossed his mind to get tested. She started showing up in our tiny town (she lived two states away) and she’d call and he’d go meet her because he was afraid of what she’d do to herself if he didn’t; he even told me that “she practically raped him” when I discovered this. Poor, poor sad sausage. She surrounded herself with fawning older men and would drive around with my ex and two much older dudes. What he found sophisticated, dark and sexy I found unoriginal and sick. It was so creepy to read an email where he was flattering this young woman by telling her how jealous him getting to be with her would make the even older guy (her neighbor his 50’s, married with kids).

          Who knows what kind of porn he was into. (I only learned about that addiction, accidentally, in the last year we were together.) Probably equally unoriginal unnatural. Again, nothing I find attractive or interesting, and no way I want to be compared to that shit. Wish I’d known about the truth about who he was and what he was into sooner so I could’ve decided for myself.

      • One of my best friends gave me some really good advice when I was feeling quite worthless and ashamed. He said to do whatever made me most comfortable, and he meant it in the broadest sense: what I wore, what I did, who I spent time with. He was saying I should be me, as much as possible. If I present myself as honestly as possible, I don’t have to waste time with anyone who doesn’t appreciate me or share my values. I get to pick my people, as much as they get to pick me. So elementary, and so true! Authenticity is important to me, and I have no interest in pretending to be someone I’m not. It seems exhausting and pointless. I think that’s one of the best parts of being a chump vs. a fuckwit. We don’t have to lie and we don’t have to wear masks. (Well, we kind of do – everything we gloss over and edit out, and “fake it till you make it,” but that’s a different story.) Fuckwits carry that burden for life. We care about being good people, and we live by our principles in a way they will never understand.

        Trying to cut through the fog, did any of you ever ask, ‘What would a decent person do if they [fill in the blank with any number of cheater crimes]?’ Or, ‘What would I do if I’d hurt someone the way FW has harmed me?’ Now there’s a fair comparison.

  • CL, you are just spot on. Yes, I did. Few weeks of RIC and serious pick me dancing. The RIC wanted me to address my many flaws when compared to Schmoopie. Sorry, I can’t wave my magic wand and be 32 yeas younger than the FW. We are who we are and at a certain age with menopause, we cannot be young, nubile and always ready and willing to have sex. Little things like a job, a house, aging parents and kids tend to get in the way.
    I never saw that I was the truly horrible high maintenance person that the FW told me that I was. I work hard for our family, help out my parents, raised an awesome son, kept a nice home, have a good career and tried to keep myself up as well. Of course, that is never good enough for a FW. We cannot win against someone who is available at all times, makes the FW central etc. I made the decision to no longer serve cake but instead serve divorce papers.
    My ducks were lined up well enough, I found a great lawyer and now it is time to let go. These two can have each other and their endless buffet of sex and porn. I have other things to do with my time. The FW will try to make sure I get the minimum in a settlement but my Pitbull lawyer will see that I get my share. I am no contact with the FW even though he tries to engage. He did learn the kibble supply ran out so I don’t get much communication anymore. They can have each other since that is what he wanted (son is also no contact). I just want a quiet life and the ability to do what I need to do to be happy. Happiness no longer involves a FW.

    • Oh so cliché! Leave the wife for a young one. Boring. You are mighty and, if you want to, you will find love again with someone who values you. Big hugs!

      • The FW is not very original. Schmoopie is quite welcome to him, less a nice settlement. I am sure they will enjoy themselves long term. Not even trying to figure it out anymore because it is just laughable. Just so glad I found CL and the entire CN.

    • ” I just want a quiet life and the ability to do what I need to do to be happy. Happiness no longer involves a FW.”

      Amen and me too!

    • My ex and his skankawhoreus/office nurse/former friend have now been secretly married? (Why?) for over 2 years now. Got married within months of our divorce. When I found out, (he has to submit his tax returns to me every year), I was absolutely delighted! Best news ever! They are legally bound, secret or not, and they’re both soulless liars, cheaters, backstabbing, disordered individuals. Perfectly matched.
      It took 3 long years to finally settle our divorce. FW switched lawyers three times (I think he was fired by 2), withheld documents, hidden checking accounts, loans, 10 credit cards, jewelry loan for skank, personal withdrawals from is jointly owned practice, and probably so much more than I could discover. Cost me nearly $100k in legal fees. FW tried his best to starve me out, keep me locked into a huge home I couldn’t afford, keep me hanging around the house all weekend as he would never let me know pick-up or drop-off of our young son (I think because he was trying to catch me not home so as to “report me” or, more likely, come in the house and cherry pick what he wanted.) Longest most stressful nightmare years of my life. We’ve been divorced almost 3 years. I was quite wobbly and panicked at first. Depleted of energy and purpose. (His type of FW likes to use the court system to bully. Forces you to engage on an intense level with them. I was NC immediately. Everything but that pick-up/drop-off crapola was put through our lawyers.)
      I was determined to retain my integrity as it was the only thing I was left with. Don’t let him wear you down. Fight for what the law allows. My FW didn’t want to give me anything either, a tiny fraction of what I was owed. Hence the years long battle. Ugh. In the end I got a decent settlement, not everything truly owed, but he wasn’t going to budge, and I could live with what I got. He has only seen our son ONCE in the past 4 years. There is an occasional text for holidays and birthdays. My son had a hard time with being abandoned and rejected by his father. He had therapy, we talk, and he is realizing it’s not his fault or doing, his father is just a very disordered person.
      Finally, sorry this got so long, I wanted to say that my focus also was on having a nice, quiet FW free life, and I have that (weird timing of Covid after I had just moved 1000 miles and 4 states away ready to start my life! Nope, no you’re not Blue, you’re going to sit here in your nice quiet little house and recover) So I’m not a chump that can tell the great story of triumph and creating a new wonderful life, but I’m content, settled, stable and my son has blossomed. Mostly though, drama and chaos free, just normal life stressors. Stay strong CFANM. It may be a long, hard road, but you can do it! It’s worth it in the end to not give up. My FW completely underestimated my strength. I didn’t think I could survive, was not ready for the fight like you are, but I still made it through and didn’t give in to his ridiculous demands, bullying and harassment.
      CL and CN are always here. I read all of the archives as no one in my small circle of support *really* knew or understood what dealing with a total sociopathic FW was like. Stay on your path, listen to your lawyer, stay NC, always “sleep on” any major decision or reply. Hugs

      • “They are legally bound, secret or not, and they’re both soulless liars, cheaters, backstabbing, disordered individuals. Perfectly matched.”

        I am glad to read someone like me. I was honestly scared to death that somehow he would escape marrying her. I knew he likely would as he was dancing like an outlaw dodging bullets to try and save his career. But, still I am ashamed to admit I prayed about it.

        They did and their union turned out pretty much what one would expect for two low lifes who found each other.

        I think in hindsight I was fairly lucky in that he was desperate to save his work ass, so he was trying to still look like the good guy. Also, I had a lawyer that was smart enough to use what I had provided to lock him into a six month maintenance plan.

        However, I think that also worked to his benefit because he could hold whore at bay while he figured out his mess. He kept his job, but he lost all the promotions and gains he had made while we were married. Those gains were at least fifty percent due to my efforts to help in in the community and in politics.

        He learned that fucking over Susie was fun, but fucking over the mayor caused his house of cards to crash and burn.

        In some ways I was like the proverbial cat who anticipating danger, got out from under just in time to avoid being destroyed.

      • Blue, wow, your FW sounds worse than mine. My STBX wants a quick D and Really does not want to give up anything. He is learning that he can’t have it both ways that only happens with Schmoopie. I am just glad that my son is 25 and in the Navy. He went no contact when he found dick pics and twat shots of FW and Schmoopie on the family share account used to send pictures of my son and his travels, etc.I guess the images are burned into him and he told me immediately (I already had the Ddays so it was not news). After that DS was disgusted and went no contact. I am just at the point where I want to live calmly and peacefully so I just want what is fair. Stability and settled is what I am looking for. I have no need for drama but as my dad said never start a fight but always finish one if you have to. These FWs always do whatever they can to make themselves central. I could not do that nor would I want it. I am glad you are in a good place now. I hope to be in that type of place soon.

  • It always makes me think of Trump when he left Ivana Trump for Marla Maples. It was clear that he just went for a younger model. Marla looked exactly like a younger Ivana. Thank goodness Ivana got a huge payout and moved on with her head held high (mostly — unless I’m forgetting something).

    As for me… FW went for someone very different than me. She’s actually very much like his MOTHER. So although FW bragged about AP having gone to “an Ivy League school” (Penn, if you must know), it was more to make me feel insecure and jealous.

    Instead, I put two and two together when I heard AP talking — there was a chirpy odd familiarity about it. I woke up in the middle of the night realizing she sounded exactly like his mother! So (early on… soon after DDay) when he tried to tell me how great AP was (but he never said we’d make good friends), I responded with “you know she sounds exactly like your mom right? They talk execrable the same way! She even wears her hair a lot like her! Holy shit — you’re fucking your mom!” He froze. Turned pink. And walked away looking freaked out.

    Mic drop

      • Everyone is saying my STBX husband’s Schmoopie looks like his Mum. Freaky.
        I also had to deal with my husband letting me know his favourite sex worker at the time (D-day) he liked because she reminded him of me!??? Her smile. ???
        She looked like Mr Potato head according to my family, big honker, and looked Indian or the likes there of. I’m Caucasian, blonde and look nothing like her.
        What planet do they live on???
        Like it had ANYTHING to with me??? I’d be the last person he’d be thinking about.
        Then it was ‘I only like women 25 and under.’
        Might have wanted to mention that, as I was turning 24 the month of our marriage. 2 years in I was already too old!

      • I thought you wrote “execrable” on purpose, to possibly mean “ex-babble,” like your ex’s mom’s baby-bable speak he grew up with (and possibly that she was also crabby). I do this all the time, invent funny words for myself to share with those close to me. FWs provide great material for making new personal dictionaries. I thought you had come up with a cool new word, it is aporopriate for what you are expressing about your ex and his mom. May I provide a big giant EEEWW regarding the fact that he found a mommy-type to replace you. They never grow up.

      • Had to look up the definition…
        “execrable”: extremely bad or unpleasant ????
        Perfect added adjective!

        Wish I had had the presence of mind to say something along these lines.

        • BlueChumparoo — it still came with loads of anxiety and not sleeping for a year. I was a head case from the trauma. But I’m glad I got the chance to say it ????

      • @MichelleShocked: sometimes autocorrect intuits better than we realize. ; ) AP undoubtedly does talk sh!t. Just like FW.

    • What an observation and answer, you’re a legend!

      Yeah, it’s actually so easy to cut this comparison crap. She’s so much younger, beautiful, elegant, foxy in bed, Penn educated etc. and still can’t do better than a married old geezer? I’d expect her to end up with some famous movie actor, or tech billionaire, or Nobel prize laureate. Seriously.

      • Persephone – agree! To your point, when FW said AP went to “an Ivy League school” and paused smugly to see my reaction. I replied simply “oh. So she went to a better school than YOU. She went to an Ivy League school. YOU didn’t.” He never brought that up again ????

        I flipped it back. He wanted me to be jealous and compare myself to her ? Ha! I made him compare himself and feel inadequate ????

        If she’s so great, why is she with HIM? Let them have each other.

        Now I’m gray rock and meh so no more fun quips to be had. 🙂

    • I remember Ivana gave an interview years ago and she divulged Trump offered to stay married to her but the deal would be he could continue to see his side piece. She basically said thanks but no thanks.

      Love the the comparison to cheater’s mother! That must have put a damper on things:)

    • Omg that’s hilarious ????
      Ex’s howorker is 33 years younger (younger than all our children). She wears scrubs often, I said people are going to think she’s your home health aide

      • Oh Pam!!! That was a brilliant response. Hilarious and true. These Grandpa Daddys are laughable. And that young whore, she gets to be the home health care aide.

      • ???????????? OMG! You know, maybe howorker is really frugal and is super turned on by your ex’s senior discount.

    • MichelleShocked, GROSS.

      I may have mentioned it in the past but people always said I looked like his mom. She loved it because she always wanted a daughter and I took it as a compliment because she’s very beautiful. Coincidentally (or not) she’s also cheated on both her husbands.

      I didn’t think anything of it until I started actually looking at OW. She looks… not necessarily like me, but definitely like his mom. I had just quit MC and so the next time he called me I just blurted it out. YOU HAVE MOMMY ISSUES. He was all happy like, I know, my therapist brought it up. YUCK.

      Now I think back how mad he was when his mom got a full facelift and looked different. She’s always gotten fillers and small cosmetic procedures so that was a weird reaction. And when I complained about being an old raggedy mom, “you can do whatever you want with your body but don’t change your face.”

      Just. so. creepy.

  • Much to her credit, my therapist helped me shut this one down, by pointing out the truth – that it’s abusive behavior.

    And it is.

  • I do not like that homewrecking whore despite his assurance that I would. I do not like that “fine Christian woman” who ” writes “erotica, that is steaming hot”. I do not like her. She is as fake as her wig.

    I cannot compete. She is much younger, shares his racial demographic as I cannot, she was his direct hire. That whore spent more time with him at work than I ever could at home.

    I divorced him. His lawyer complained, “Your Honor, my client intends to remarry. There will be nothing left for his second wife.” That is right. There is nothing left. I took everything worth anything out of that house. I got an excellent settlement.

    That homewrecking whore won a far, dishonorable lying cheat. NO TAKE BACKS.

    • Good for you! These theiving nasty whores deserve nothing. A few centuries ago they had to wear a scarlet letter “A” for adultry embroidered on their chest. In biblical times they were stoned to death. When I was a kid, they were called “homewreckers” and were shunned by polite society. The audacity of that lawyer trying to garner sympathy for the slut by pointing out she won’t “get” much. Hey, you destroy someone, their life and future, try to poach their life and all they worked for? You deserve less than nothing. Everyone needs to shun them and call them what they are.

      • You mean the good old days where the cheating FW was excused for his cheating because that’s just how men are, with all the blame and social consequences falling on the women around him (including the wife who clearly didn’t try hard to “keep herself up”)? When the married man who broke his vows got to keep his social standing and never had to wear a scarlet letter?

        No thanks. This stuff is just the flip side of the pick-me dance. Schmoopie wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with my FW that he wasn’t ready, willing, and eager to go.

        • Yes, the good old days had its problems, and blaming the whore made it easy for society to disregard what the male component did. Being born in the 1950s, however, I do remeber guys like this were often not thought well of. There were a few in the neighborhood and most people avoided these men until they moved away, and their kids were embarrassed. The sad thing is that I don’t take most weddings very seriously anymore because it seems many, if not most marriages don’t make it. It’s almost like the giant expensive show weddings these days are society’s way of trying to deny statistics.

          • ” Being born in the 1950s, however, I do remeber guys like this were often not thought well of. There were a few in the neighborhood and most people avoided these men until they moved away, and their kids were embarrassed. ”

            Same here. Oh I am sure in the big city things were different, but generally the town cheaters and whores were looked down on.

            On another note: I have also struggled to understand how folks complain about the music of the 40s and fifties being disrespectful to women. All the music I listened to put women on pedestals, they were referred to as angels, queens, darlings etc. Todays music they are referred to as whos, batches and sluts; and yet…

            No era is perfect of course, but I am so glad that right now it seems that cheaters and con men are being brought to task more than ever. Part of that is the metoo movement and I am thankful for them. Men (and some women) of all ages, and all political persuasions have been outed.

            Metoo is not perfect either, but so far more good than bad. At least I hope so. I am also grateful for Tailhook that busted the military wide open. There are a lot of wonderful folks in all walks of life and rooting out the nasty is a good thing.

            • Yes, in small towns people often came together to help the discarded wife and children. On the down side, divorced women were called “grass widows,” which I took to mean “put out to pasture.”

              Yes. I hate many modern lyrics. As women gain more power and control over their lives, it’s just another way to keep them down.

              • My mother told me that women who were divorced in her early days were called loose women. But, it didn’t mean that they were loose with morals, it meant that they were “loose” and in not attached to a man.

                I think she was right, but that the word evolved to describe women with loose morals.

                I think she was right. My grand parents are all gone now of course, but I was always amazed at the difference in words and actions that they used as opposed to mine.

        • One thing to remember, in the old days if a cuckholded husband killed his rival, he usually got off. Much of the time it was even sanctioned. Still, it placed women as property, or chattle.

        • You are assuming no consequences to the FW. I would go back to the good old days of shunning the homewreckers but INCLUDE the FW in that category. Instead of stepping up consequences on BOTH of them, somehow society has backslid into applauding them for “living their best lives” instead of shunning their immorality and lack of character. Nobody here is calling for the FW to be let off the hook. Actions should have consequences for everyone.

      • That whore’s punishment is complete. She gets a fat, old unhealthy dishonorable skid marker. Me, I got a mortgage free house, no debt and half of his pensions and generous alimony. The kids are coming to my house for the Holidays. I have a chance to have a beautiful life free of that fuckwit. I win!

    • By this logic, the more ex-wives FW had, the less they’d cost him. I mean, you take the original settlement and divide it by 3 or 4, etc? Really? He thought it should work that way?

  • I remember when ex-fuckwit did this.

    No, I’m nothing like your ho-worker. I don’t pursue married men and/or accept the advances of married men. I also don’t cheat on my spouse!

  • Yes, he compared me unfavorably with schmoopie all the time “She always looks put together”, “she’s interested in what I do”, “she’s ambitious”, blah blah blah. I also got the “you have so much in common” and “you should be friends” lines. He even told me once that OW had been at MY house looking at my cookbook collection and saying something to the effect of “I wish we could have been friends”. The most bizarre and incredible bit was a letter I found where OW was trying to encourage my husband to tell me about her so that we could all be friends (or even better, one big happy family), because she was sure I liked her and we’d all had such a good time together that one evening (LOL, I guess I’m a good actress, because I was actually furious and unhappy the whole evening). As if!

    I’m NOTHING like her, and I don’t want to be. And as much as he compared me with her on a superficial level, she’s actually kind of goofy looking, dyes her hair the ugliest colors I’ve ever seen, has horrible taste in clothes (before FW she dressed like a dowdy grandma, and while she was with him she dressed like a $10 hooker), and her makeup looked frankly rather hysterical (think stage makeup for a can can dancer or something). During the divorce, he actually accused me multiple times (in official documents!) of trying to copy her – do what she did, wear what she wore, do my hair like her hair, etc. Which is hilarious. Because if you compare photographs of the two of us over the course of the affair, SHE was the one copying me and looking more and more like me. I wasn’t the only one who noticed. (She’d always had really short hair, she grew it long like mine and dyed it red like mine; when I met her she wore long skirts and high-neck blouses and loose jeans, and then started wearing mini skirts and tank tops and skinny jeans like I did. Often after my husband complimented ME on a particular item of clothing RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER (“I love that skirt” or “your butt looks great in those pants”), she would show up the next time wearing something remarkably similar. She was kind of a hippy feminist with full-on hairy legs and no makeup, and then she was sporting smooth legs and bright lipstick and winged eyeliner. It was so weird.) Honestly, I though most of her clothes were hideous, before and after the change.

    On a deeper level – I don’t fuck other people’s spouses and lie, or take a perverse pleasure in torturing another human being, or act selfishly with no consideration for what it might do to say, my kids. Her “ambition” and her charity work was just to impress him and didn’t last. He promoted her writing and often told me I should do something “creative” or start a blog or podcast. She did those things but gave up on all of it very quickly. And the book she wrote was one of the worst things I’ve ever read.

    I know it’s not no contact to look at social media, but for me I felt like it helped me to see OW’s Instagram and Facebook for awhile. Yes, I often saw things that made me angry or slowed my healing a bit. But on the other hand, it took away the “mystique” a lot. I got to see how shallow she was. What a hypocrite she was. How arrogant she was. How deluded. And frankly, see how unattractive she was (I’m not saying a person’s worth is based on how they look, but when your husband has been telling you for years how ugly you are, and then on social media tells a homely girl that she is “the most beautiful woman in the galaxy” it does make you realize that it’s just a tactic he uses to either woo you or make the discard as painful as possible, depending on where you are in the cycle). I also saw her start looking old, tired, stressed, and kind of sick the longer she was with him. (She got super thin to the point where she looked unhealthy. Remembering all the times he called me fat when I was NOT fat, I could well imagine what was happening to her.) I could see that the relationship was taking its toll. It made me take things less personally. That’s just what he does to his “soulmates”. With time, it hurt less and less to see them together until it didn’t hurt at all. And with time, I filled my life with so many good things that frankly I don’t have time to worry about or even care about what she’s doing anymore. I guess my point is that if you are having trouble going “cold turkey” on looking at social media (I tried to stay away, it rarely lasted more than a few days), you can still heal. Just remember it’s all a façade. I found out later, after he died, just HOW bad it was. It was a nightmare and I’m so grateful that I escaped from that particular hell.

    After OW left him, and particularly after my husband’s suicide, OW actually started texting me and emailing me. I unfortunately had had to contact her to get my husband’s landlord’s phone number so that I could let the police in the house (because my gut feeling that something was very, very wrong was correct, and he had killed himself almost a week before we found his body). She actually responded to my email and called me to give me the info, and I was grateful for it. But then she continued to talk to me via email and text and it was weird. It seemed like she was trying to stay relevant and was playing the “we’re in this together” card, since she said he “abused her too”. She also apparently was reaching out and trying to be friendly with my sister in law. I shut that down so fast, as did SIL. I told OW that she and I are not and never will be friends, and that neither the current circumstances or her half-hearted non-apologies and offers to help with my divorce made the slightest difference in what I though about her. I told her she was immature and selfish, and she was never to contact me again, and that she was not welcome at his funeral (SIL and I were in agreement on that). Thankfully she didn’t show up and she hasn’t contacted me again.

    These APs aren’t anything special. They are just convenient and easier to manipulate than we are. She was so desperate for attention that she fell head over heels for him with almost no effort on his part. I wasn’t so easy. It made her feel special to “win” him away from me. Congratulations. She got a real prize. In my case she learned that I wasn’t making things up when I said he was abusive, and she found out he’d been lying to her every bit as much as he’d been lying to me (she told me in her apology email that she had been “operating under false pretenses much of the time”). He wasn’t what he appeared. I doubt she will learn anything from this whole fiasco, but I don’t really care. I just hope she doesn’t hurt anyone else.

    • Your story is a perfect illustration of how massively self-deluded these people are. They do and say stuff that’s so bizarre you wonder if they’re having a psychotic break, but it’s just their narcissism at work. On planet Ego, of course you want to be like her and would think she’s awesome if only you weren’t so bitter. On planet Earth that shit doesn’t fly, but they don’t live here so how would they know.

      My fw actually thought he could take our daughter to meet his quote unquote friend from work and she would, in his own words, “think she’s great” because he did, so why wouldn’t she. This woman was an attention-whoring, severely alcoholic middle-aged party girl still wearing booty shorts and tube tops in her mid forties, with the emotional maturity of a pouty 13 year old. Nobody but fw was dumb enough to think she was anything but a loser and a dirty joke. He even noticed people openly sneering with contempt at them but thought nothing of it at the time.

  • What do you make of this?

    Before I knew better, I asked my fuckwit why she liked the other woman better. She said, “honestly, Dracaena, it’s because she’s not very smart.”

    She went on to tell me that they watched movies together, particularly horror movies, and didn’t have to analyze them afterwards.

    She has always resented me for being intelligent and analytical. She also says it’s my best quality.

    The other woman is definitely not prettier than me, either. She’s 5 years older and looks like a goblin, with large, yellow horse teeth.

    I don’t get it. I’m trying not to think about it, but it’s truly baffling that she took such a downgrade.

    • Dracena…how could you continue to go off being smart and all? You created an analytical imperative that your FW couldn’t tolerate.

      (golly, what bullshit. Stay your smart self)

      • I think I intimidated her for sure.

        I reconnected with an ex recently and was heartened to remember that not everyone I dated was intimidated by me. I accepted the “you are too intense, you talk too much, you say all the wrong things and nobody likes you” narrative for so long that I had forgotten it could ever be any other way.

        It was nice. Someone has loved me for who I am in the past, and someone could love me that way again. Sucks to realize that the person I fucking married wasn’t it.

        • “”I accepted the “you are too intense, you talk too much, you say all the wrong things and nobody likes you” narrative””

          Wow, well said! Intense people who are passionate about ideas rock!

    • She couldn’t control any narrative around you. Someone like that 8s always going to cheat, and there was no way she could talk you out of seeing it because you’re smart, intelligent and saavy. They hate that. Her new squeeze will be easy to control. They often replace us with dummies so they can contnue in being who they are.

      • I think this is it. I think she likes women that are easy to manipulate. I was smart, and she liked that it made her feel smart to associate with me as long as I was easy to manipulate. I was easy to manipulate because I was conscientious and quick to accept blame. I was so sure that I was The Problem in the Relationship that I went to therapy to fix myself.

        And I did fix myself. My therapist didn’t think I was abusive at all; she actually encouraged me to stand up for myself more. When I did, my intelligence became a huge problem for the fuckwit.

        And now she won’t make the mistake of dating a woman who can see through her bullshit again.

        That’s my guess, anyway.

        (Course, if I had been smarter, I never would have dated her in the first place. She tried to get me to cheat on my ex with her. Huge red flag. Oh well… live and learn.)

        • I see nothing wrong with being intelligent, analyzing, thinking about nuances and being strong. Cheaters just want someone less so they don’t have to work hard on a relationship. They want them less intelligent so they can be worshipped and be central. Dracaena continue being you. You are a survivor. I am taking your advice and doing my sage smudging for solstice. Got get the last of the cheater stink out of the house.

          • Good! Start the new year off with a clean, cheater free home. I’m doing a bonfire for the Solstice and I’m putting certain items on it…

    • Dracaena, have you ever looked at the gorgeous models and actresses that date Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen or Jerry Seinfeld… only to be cheated on? None of these guys is really good looking. But they dump women they never would have gotten had they not been rich and famous. It’s power. It’s entitlement. And it’s a way to make you feel bad about yourself.

      I mean FFS, Ben Afflek is a freaking mess, and for no reason other than to be destructive, he said that Jennifer Garner and his kids were so boring that they drove him to alcoholism. Seriously? I’m sure Jennifer heard that interview and felt kicked in the teeth. Meanwhile she’s gorgeous and well liked and has a decent acting career. Do you really think she was so boring?? So awful?? Of course not. And how about how his kids feel about it? Ben is a dick.

      Your ex is an ass. She wants you to feel bad about yourself. You’re intelligent and deserve better. And I mean that sincerely.

      • @MichelleShocked: Guess it’s my day to reply to you, LOL.

        Regarding famous shlubby guys with beautiful women, ever heard of the song Rock ‘n’ Roll Makes the Pretty Girls Love Ugly Boys? Fame, like power or money, is a powerful aphrodisiac.

    • Draceana, I feel your pain.
      My FW and I both have Masters, her Tru Wuv did not graduate High School ( which I would never harshly judge ). She even told me it’s not romantic he’s just a “Friend with Benefits”.
      I actually think she loves him in a way I’ll never understand— an animated dildo that occasionally takes out the trash? My whole issue is that he is so in love with her that he prevents me from seeing my kids out of jealousy. Given today’s world where FWs and Tru Wuvs collude to attack the X, I’m getting towards “they sound perfect for each other, let CPS handle the kids until their hormones calm down”. If I were that dude I’d be encouraging the kids relationship with their dad. I will never understand how that is acceptable. Oh yeah, he’s just an animated 5’8” Dildo who gets off on abhorrent behavior. No thanks. You are better than FW and Tru Wv as am I. Enjoy your day.

    • Here’s what the OW has: she’s new and she’s not you. That’s it. And by not you I don’t mean that you’re a horrible person, I mean that the contrast is what fuels the novelty factor for your FW.

    • Fuckwits, being by nature narcissistic, feel the need to compete with a partner. They have fragile egos and resent us for being smarter and better people. My fw also chose an idiot who didn’t challenge his delusions of adequacy in any way.
      It must suck to be that insecure. I never told fw he was not as smart as me, as I’m sure you never did to your ex. But they know it, so they assume we know it too, and it enrages them.

      • You know, I never thought she was less smart than me. I once told her about an IQ test I took when I was a kid, and she told me that she had taken one as well and scored just a few points lower. I never gave it a second thought because I don’t care. But now I wonder if she was lying.

  • “You’re all just interchangeable really, united in your love for the cheater. How can you take offense?”

    Thanks CL for this. Sometimes it boggles the logical mind and the chump gets caught up perpetually asking “Why does the FW think I will like their affair partner? Like why, why, why? It makes no reasonable, logical sense!”

    I remember sitting in a parked car with FW, where we had arranged to meet to discuss two completely different things. I was there, on neutral ground in a shopping mall parking lot, to meet my husband and try to figure out what the heck had just happened to my life and my marriage. He thought he was there to pitch the “GF#1 is so amazing and if you just give her a chance you will LOVE her” pilot to me like I was a television executive.

    That was one of the most singularly heartbreaking and bewildering conversations I’ve ever had in my life. I sobbed and white knuckled the steering wheel of the parked car while my husband gazed right through me, extolled GF#1’s many amazing virtues, kept looking at his watch because he knew she wanted him to get back home soon (to the family apartment the kids and I recently moved out of), and pitched his now infamous idea that, once I “just got over this” we would be a happy family like Aston Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Bruce Willis. He had the new family photos/Christmas cards all planned out in his head. (But what about the family unit that the chump wants is, of course, a concern that doesn’t matter.)

    Absolute, zero empathy.

    I remember that part vividly because the shock snapped me out of my sorrow. I looked at him and wondered if he was crazy. Yes, I thought, I think he is legitimately going crazy. No reasonable person can honestly think that way. That’s when I (slowly, for I was in trauma shock for a long time) began to move on obtaining as much custody of my kids as I could get because I thought he was honestly going mad.

    So, yes. How on earth can a FW look a chump in the face and say that the AP is “just like you” or that the chump is “going to love them”? I guess it speaks to simply centrality. The FW gets to be in the middle of things and swap out the faces and players as he wishes to and it doesn’t matter because everything is all about him.

    It all feels very sister-wifey and no matter how much FW told me that I was too boring/vanilla or too bitter (all the things a freshly chumped wife loves to hear coming from the spouse she was still in love with) to take *his* happiness into account, I was not about to let him sister-wife me.

    • IMO, this phenomenon results from extreme inability to empathize. As in, they are literally unable to understand that our perspective (on the divorce, on the marriage, on the affair partner) could be different from theirs, so they spout off unfiltered feelings and opinions even when their own interests would be better served by shutting up. I’ve observed this phenomenon in my XW in many contexts (not just the affair), so I don’t think it’s a product of limerence or whatever you want to call sex-crazed delusional thinking.

      This is a character issue, which IMO *causes* infidelity rather than *results from* infidelity. After all, if you truly believe that your spouse will experience only joy and excitement at the destruction of your marriage (because that’s how you feel about it), why would you try to avoid it? It’s a weird amalgamation of self-care (“your feelings are valid”) and narcissism (“only I matter”), which leads to a manifestly false conclusion (“only my feelings are valid” and its nonsensical corollary “all right-thinking people have the same feelings I do”)

      For instance, my XW had a professional disagreement with a colleague (something truly arcane: the relative allocation of limited computing power to searching for neutron star vs black hole collisions) over something that was, objectively, unknowable (neither one of these things had ever been observed); because he would not accept her opinion over his own, she thought he was crazy. Not “he’s crazy to think that!”, but she actually accused him of being bipolar. That’s her MO: she cannot comprehend how someone could have a valid opinion that differs from hers, so when push comes to shove she believes the person is acting out of malice or is clinically insane.

    • That is absolutely horrible. I can’t imagine the pain of sitting there and listening to that.

      I think that I was spared some of this, because my fw somewhere in his messed up brain and life knew that what he had done to me was just too horrible. Oh he tried once to defend her, but backed right off it pretty quickly.

      He could not white wash what they did to me for years behind my back, not to mention all the other folks they had conned.

      I do believe though that he convinced the whore that once this blew over and Susie was gone, he would bring whore into his life and she would have the same status in the community as I had, simply because she would be his wife.

      Yeah, didn’t happen. I think that is when he realized that I was a part of who he was and I had been a large part of his success. Not to say he wasn’t a hard worker, but I did a lot of the social stuff and political stuff that he was not great at. I didn’t mind I was doing it for both of us, or so I thought.

      Having said that I doubt he ever admitted that to her, and I doubt she was bright enough to figure it out. Likely just blamed other folks.

  • My cheater-ex somehow managed to find the perfect replacement for me, identical in so many ways. Same name, same birthday, similar build, similar interests. It was like he found the me from when we first met. The key differences were that she was 15 years younger, had no job, mortgage or children to distract her attention from him, and (from what he said at least) didn’t care about having orgasms during sex. There was no competing with that. Because I believe in polyamory, I tried for far too long to accept an open relationship until I just couldn’t face the lack of trust that is essential to one.

    Of course, now I realize that we are nothing alike because I have integrity and she doesn’t.

  • My ex wasn’t (I don’t think) a cheater but he was an abuser and a dreadful snob who turned out to be gay. It was “why don’t you [dress/act/drape your scarf/talk/watch your weight/wear certain styles of jewellery] like the mothers at [very expensive boys private school where he worked for 20 years]. He spent endless time shopping for bargain designer clothes, shoes and ties to project the image he wanted and that took over our 90% of our walk-in closet – while I brought up five kids and ran the house and eventually went out to paid work as well. It truly is always all about them and their image management. Always makes me think of this song

    • I once found a receipt for a single pair of shoes that fuckface purchased for himself. $1,845.11 for one pair of shoes. I was wearing shoes with holes in them when I found the receipt. His clothing took an entire room. He spent so much money on himself and his image.

      I hope he thinks of me when he can’t afford his boutique shopping habit anymore.

      • Holy cow! After the last D-day when one of the attorneys I consulted said to not stop spending lest I give the impression that I can get by with no hair cuts and holes in my shoes, I signed up for an online service that every month sends a box of 3 outfits put together by an actual stylist with quality brands. I remember sending things back because I couldn’t reconcile myself with spending $80 on a pair of pants. Then I saw a receipt from one of his nights out wining and dining. I finally started getting nice looking clothes that fit right. I didn’t go overboard but I stopped neglecting my wardrobe while he burned through our paychecks on himself. I signed up for the same service to buy my son some nice clothes. I had been a frugal saver for years, building the savings for our child’s college and our early retirement. Well… I’m willing to work longer to get FW out of my life and afford to spend on some nicer things for myself and our child for once. If my financial life goes to hell after the divorce, at least we will have some decent clothes to last us a while.

      • The ex worked for a fashion house. Any spare salary that he had went straight back to the fashion house. He was constantly coming home with coats! One wardrobe was stuffed with them. Also £300 shoes, all the same, but a particular brand. When he went on his week ‘alone’ to get ‘headspace’ (ie holiday with exgfOW) I, naively, could not understand why he had a whole bag full of shoes – he must have taken 10 pairs of smart shoes with him. He was impressing her with his taste in shoes ???? ????

        I always bought lovely clothes but in sales. Rarely did I buy a full price item. And still he would look at me askance! Now I buy what I want when I want to and often that’s a sale item. And no one looks at me askance (sometimes my puppy looks a bit puzzled).

        • Mighty Warrior dont get me started on the coats. He made my daughter leave most of her clothes behind in Paris so he could fill her suitcase with his coats. Fucker was too cheap to buy another case and pay excess baggage. So glad walked out the day after he came home.

      • Oh Lord 33years, he came home with blonde tips once – all I could think of was Bill Pullman in Ruthless People. I mean, where do you look, its just embarrassing.

        And the clothes always just slightly too tight – on a somewhat paunchy 40 year old – nah, don’t think so.

        There was so much that – robbed now of the immediacy and sting of abuse – was just hilariously absurd.

  • I want to throw this out for everyone with a trash ex who sniffed out a much younger whore.

    Everyone thinks he looks ridiculous and they talk shit behind his back. How do I know?

    My ex was 19 years older. We were both single when we met, or so I thought. After I left him people started talking…..a lot of people had always thought he looked like a pathetic idiot but didn’t want to say while we were together.

    Why did we split? Well it turned out he was keeping a trashy ex gf on the side our entire relationship. And he was an all around phony passive aggressive conflict avoidant douchbag.

    But even having a much younger wife didn’t fulfill his need for more excitement and attention.

    Now at 66 he still wears a cheap jet black toupee. The rest of him is grey but the shit toupee remains…..people talk about that too.

    • “Now at 66 he still wears a cheap jet black toupee. The rest of him is grey but the shit toupee remains…..people talk about that too.”


      Now that can only be a strongly disordered mind..

      I’m sorry for what you’ve been through, but boy that made me laugh.

      • Ha ha yeah….denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

        Someone I know who used to work with him told me that sometimes he’d come to work with it on crooked and everyone would make fun of him ????????????

        He’s a corporate trainer so he stands in front if people all day. They all thought he looked ridiculous.

        • ????I’m picturing people laughing at the toupee and I must say, even though I don’t know the guy it’s delicious.

          Mine was planning to dye his hair to look younger as per schmoopie’s suggestion, as if that would have made a bit of difference when he was obviously balding. Only the fact that his doctor forbade it because has severe scalp psoriasis stopped him.

          They simply do not live on this planet. On planet Ego, your ex looks young and hot in that rug. Here on earth, he’s a joke.

          • What is it with older men (who still have hair) dying their hair that strange orangeish hue ?! Is this look taught at beauty school ?

            Jet black toupee versus Bozo the Clown dye job. Vote ????

            • I vote Bozo. At least when it’s dyed it’s on straight ????

              My ex boss, who was pushing 60, used to periodically dye his jet black. In his defense he was single and perfectly well behaved, but every time he did it someone at work would comment about him hitting the shoe polish.

          • How is it that we women have to obsess about our weight, our hair, our skin, the fucking circumference of our ankles (!!!) but a married balding man with scalp psoriasis can get strange?


            • Ah, male privilege. ????

              That being said, if we all were to lower our standards to the subterranean levels cheaters do, anybody could get laid at any time.

              I think FW actually liked the fact that his whore was not that good looking. He didn’t have to feel inferior. He always told me I was beautiful and I believe he really thought so, so it was just another reason to resent me since he felt a relationship was a competition rather than a partnership.

              You can’t satisfy these people. What you don’t have they look down on you for and what you do have they envy and resent you for.

              • Correct. Lower your standards as a woman and you won’t have a problem gettin’ laid. I’ve seen some bush ???? out there.

  • Shortly after D-day, when I was beyond crazed and doing a deep dive into our joint banking account to see if there were any shenanigans (there were), I noticed an ATM withdrawal in schmoopie’s town. The withdrawal occurred while I knew x and I were away on vacation.

    I asked him if he gave her his ATM number. He mumbled that maybe she had it.

    Then I realized that I had the year wrong, that he was indeed in town and that I’d made a mistake. I apologized immediately.

    He didn’t accept my apology. Said, “You need to apologize to schmoopie,” he barked.

    Nope. That didn’t happen.

    And I’d like to point out that it never occurred to him that maybe she needed to apologize to ME for something far worse than an accusation of withdrawing $200. He couldn’t see it. She was ALL GOOD.

    Now that they’re married, I wonder if he still feels that way about her, that she he can do no wrong. Her motives are pure. (The mental gymnastics of this thinking amaze me. I mean, she knowingly cheated with a married man FOR YEARS. Oh, and she also cheated on her own husband. Pure my ass.)

    • Yeah, my X told me and our boys that his homewrecking slag was “Pure of Heart”,
      I mean, WTF ? !
      She’s screwing a married man with three kids – what’s “pure of heart” about that – they are so delusional and selfish it’s mind bending.

  • Well DONE, Forsythe!!

    I’m going to laugh about this all day. The things my ex sat me down to “explain” still boggle my mind, one of which was basically his first kiss story with (one of) the OW..

    Talk about not knowing your audience. At least it’s funny now.

  • Also, I just want to re-up what I wrote yesterday, in shorter form.

    Bottom line: I think I created an image of this woman that is incorrect. In my mind, she’s young and gorgeous.

    Someone saw a picture of her from Thanksgiving and pointed out to me that she didn’t look very good.

    I actually corrected this person, “No, she’s quite attractive.”

    Friend said, “Oh, really? It must have been the lighting.” lol

    Here’s my point. I’m guilty of endowing schmoopie with all sorts of good qualities that are completely made up BY ME. She’s not better than I. She sucks. So does he. Match made in hell!

    • Spinach@35, As Velvet Hammer says her “meat suit” might look good but she sucks. Most likely literally. She is a whore and not comparable to you in anyway.

    • I absolutely think we can tend to do that.

      In my case the whore was just average. She had a large mid section, I guess it is called apple shape. (not saying that is ugly, just not typical other woman look). Or maybe she was typical.

      But, in my mind I convinced myself she was this quiet sweet, easy to get along with person. She most assuredly was not and is not. My son and his wife can attest to that.

      As another poster said, she was not me and she was available; that was all it took. Once they were locked in their fantasy world of them against the world fuck fest; I am sure she started to look like Heather Locklear, and he started to look like Robert Redford. (Ok I am old).

      I think many times we chumps tend to be like the drinker in a bar when we see the ow/om. As the evening wears on they get really hot.

      Add to that duping Susie and their bosses, and I can’t even imagine the excitement.

  • Cheaters don’t leave for someone better than you. They leave for someone worse than them.

    Cheaters may be deranged, but they still want to be one-up on the affair partner. Cheaters intend to appear the better person out of the two. That’s why they affair-down, even far below their level.

    Looks, age and outward appearances of the affair partner count very little. It’s all about who will accept the Cheater unconditionally and begin to worship them. It takes an elevator in the basement to accept a known liar, cheat, thief, and adulterer. Cheaters lure the affair partner with what soothes the affair partner’s insecurities: status, secure financial future, companionship, support for children, free-spirit lifestyle, tolerance for dysfunction, and more.

    Cheaters aren’t emotionally healthy in any way. What they are is adept at reading other people’s emotions and insecurities. This is the highest level of their emotional capacity. It’s all they knew when they were in relationship with you, too.

    They won’t change. They’ll continue crawling through life with diminished capacity to love or be loved.
    It’s all just emotional survival instincts at play. Be grateful you dodged a bullet.

  • My ex said it was because it was easy. She was easy. Flirty, fun, no responsibilities, easy to be around.

    By contrast, I was difficult. We fought. It was always so hard. It wasn’t what he did, it was my reaction to it. So I felt like a hostage during couples counseling and “reconciliation.” I took the bait and felt responsible – for not being good enough, for not making him happy, for not making myself happy with him, for everything. FW should have been the one doing the work and proving himself to me, but instead, he set me up to prove I could be easy, too. Evidently, my many years of patience, support, flexibility and lack of suspicion didn’t count for easy. He felt entitled to absolute control and freedom to do whatever he pleased, whenever he pleased, and I sadly believed he deserved this. For that matter, he felt entitled to future faking and abusing me while sneaking around with multiple women. (That, I was not on board with or even aware of.) He bullied and manipulated me to get what he “needed” – sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly. THAT pattern, I now see, started when we met.

    Because I had brains and opinions, values and boundaries (though I let him cross them repeatedly), and because I was looking for more from life than what he could offer (like, safety and security, ownership and equality in my home, kindness and respect from my partner), I was not easy. I’d like to see how easy those trashy girls would have been after a few months, in a real relationship. Never mind in my position. Once, years before DDay but when FW was being an absolute FW, he told me that plenty of women would happily be in my place. I snorted at him and said, what, here? In your mom’s old hoarder house, putting up with her, cleaning and fixing the place up without any equity, working hard on the land and new house we’re building but that isn’t in my name, catering to an immature man who doesn’t wear underwear, burps and farts constantly, wolfs his food down like a pig and is mean and treats me like garbage? No, I don’t think anyone would want to be in my shoes. I felt mean and didn’t normally say things like that, but he was being such an ass, and now I know the comment was far worse than I could’ve imagined at the time because he was talking about the multiple young women he was monkey branching. I was so ready to leave. I was looking for new apartments and jobs compulsively. I can’t believe I stayed, but as chumps know, there’s more than meets the eye. For one, everything I’d sacrificed and worked towards for years with him was finally within reach, so leaving meant leaving everything.

    Later, it crossed my mind that his affair and AP didn’t sound easy, or appealing, at all. Being with a fawning, shallow person who thrilled at being a side piece and wrote a childish letter to confess her undying love after a four-year break from a brief “relationship” – that would turn my stomach, even if I wasn’t simultaneously cheating on my loyal long term partner. (“We’ve been covering god’s true love with false love for years. Let’s start a fire. Let’s burn down this house,” is actually what the dolt wrote.) Keeping someone hidden from sight of nosy mom and neighbors doesn’t sound easy to me, nor does sneaking around small towns to avoid being seen by the countless friends and acquaintances, hiding (or flaunting but lying about) texts, emails, letters and gifts from the person who actually loves and lives with you – for years. Lying all the time, to everyone. Destroying a good person. It sounds like a nightmare. I would kill myself, living like that for seven years.

    • I got the exact opposite. He said she was bossy and he discovered he liked that. I was too nice and too great with keeping the house running, but I didn’t tell him what to do enough. Mommy issues much?

      You just can’t win in cheater land.

      • No, you can’t win in cheater land. Thinking about ‘bagged salad’ and ‘word salad’ helped me stop looking for answers beyond “because he sucks, he lies, and he’ll do and say whatever suits him.” FW claimed I was insecure, never confident enough, but then whenever I asserted myself, asked for anything, expressed my desires or took initiative, he managed to put me down or shut me down. I was so unlike his negative projections of me.

        My comment above also left out the part about the crazy love bombing/hoovering and intermittent reinforcements: I was hateful and unfair one day, and the next, I was the sweetest, kindest person he knew and the best thing about his life. Dday 1, he came sobbing to say “she” (I didn’t know yet he should’ve said ‘they’ – plural) wasn’t me. She was inconsequential, and he missed me so much. He also trashed the OWs when it suited him (which was not really comforting either, to be honest – who uses young women and then throws them under the bus? And what was he saying about me?): one was scary, a stalker and practically raped him. Well, guess who he’s with now – who he managed to reconnect with as soon as I left, after swearing she was long in his pst and a humiliating mistake and someone he wanted nothing to do with?

        Triangulation for sure. I saw the games he played with the others, too, when I discovered the emails. What a disgusting pattern. He’d put me on a pedestal *and* devalue me enough to make the APs feel superior *and* dance Pick Me. He’d shower them with obscene platitudes while telling them he regretfully couldn’t end it with me. But then he’d keep reaching out to them, flattering them and talking about how only they got him, and he wished they could just wake up together every morning in the new house he was building. (OUR house that I was also building.) Absolutely interchangeable, as I discovered when I discovered those emails. And I didn’t even know these people existed!

  • When your spouse starts comparing you to others or starts to devalue the very important parts of your personality that “attracted” him/her in the first place, you need to remember that these type B personality disordered people look at others as “useful” or “not-useful”, and they live in the moment.

    Everyone else is not as important, or smart, or as good looking, or as funny, or as powerful as he/she is. They are always cast as the “star” of every episode. Even when I was in labor with our children, and had to have two c-sections to welcome my sons into the world, the important things to be noted were that the hospitals offered crappy tv choices, and he had to go out to get something decent to eat, and just how long does labor take, because he had other things he needed to do?

    The only way I survived being married to a FW was by using my wicked sense of humor. Instead of fighting with him about being a flaming ass, I made fun of him for his “heroic” trials and tribulations. He would have preferred the fight — then I could be a “bitch”. But when friends and family laughed, he had to appear to “realize” his self-centered baby behavior. He laughed, but he did not experience humor.

    I believe this casting director view of life is why porn is so attractive. Partners are made up of interchangeable parts. You can even choose personality traits, or hobbies, or intellect to suit your mood of the moment. Yes, you may have needed an intellectual equal (or superior?) yesterday in that scene, but today you need an uneducated bimbo to bounce on command. Those smart girls are so mean!

    There is never another super star in the star’s new film. He/She always gets top billing. If the movie is a box office failure, it is someone else’s fault. Poor Baby just has to move on to the next project.

    • Exactly this, everything you said, and they absolutely hate being mocked, especially when you do it to them in front of others. By doing so you destroy the movie they are trying to direct. Then they have to laugh and “go along with the joke.”

    • “Everyone else is not as important, or smart, or as good looking, or as funny, or as powerful as he/she is.”

      I think that deep down my x actually feels like total shit about himself, which is why he needs kibbles. If he stops to consider his own deficits, he’ll spiral down.

      He derives his worth from external sources.

      He can’t really look at himself in the mirror, and he knows it.

    • “When your spouse starts comparing you to others or starts to devalue the very important parts of your personality that “attracted” him/her in the first place, you need to remember that these type B personality disordered people look at others as “useful” or “not-useful”, and they live in the moment.”

      Ah yes, when “I love that you are so low maintenance and that a night out can just be staying home to watch movies” turned to “You’re so boring, should try to be hotter, and I hate that your idea of a night out is staying home to watch movies.”

      I mean…. that’s what he signed up for.

    • Tangent: Porn is also attractive because it biopsies out vulnerability, intimacy, and imagination – three building blocks to long-term sexual fulfillment – from the equation.

      I’m a lesbian, and one thing I hear over and over from straight female friends (unsolicited) is that many, many straight men are either inept in bed, or depressingly self-centered. Porn made for men usually features a very surgically-enhanced woman who performs ecstacy with her colleague while staring at the camera, where the man who is watching gratifies only himself and imagines himself to be the center of the porn performer’s sexual universe.

      From what straight women volunteer to me, pornography is degrading men’s ability to even tune into their female partner’s pleasure, and doesn’t depict the sexual techniques that create and build female arousal. And in the US, pornography IS sex education for boys.

      I have a pet theory about why so many straight men find the idea of joining lesbians in bed so arousing. I think a lot of men struggle to satisfy one woman. The idea of fulfilling two women in a single sexual episode must seem like a sexual Everest for them.

  • Yes, immedaite post-Day, I was told that OW is a stellar person because “she is good at her job” (one that require mentoring {fucking}from FW).

    FTR, Im amazingly good at my job, just saying.

    I was told that my thighs were better (she had “saddle bags”).

    I thought at first that her being Asian was seen by him as a bonus, but oddly he spoke of it as if it were a detriment.

    In a moment of absolute insanity (at a bar in our hometown…probs to be away from the kids…and odd since I dont drink) he confided that she was so wonderful that had he been single, she would be “quite a catch”. I leaned forward and gently whispered “but you arent single” and he gently sat back and said
    “oh yea, Im not”. We were IN crazy town.

    He had decided that he would move 3000 miles away and marry her and our kids (18, 15 & 10) would fly there all the time and they would all be SO HAPPY. All this never transpired but when I want to amuse myself, I think of how hostile my kids would have actually been in that situation. They are some strong-willed humans and FW&OW would have been in for the passive aggressive battle of their lives.

  • My ex serially fixated on women, younger women, both students or early career professors. (Of course as an autogynephile he wanted to both be them and fuck them.) He got bolder and bolder about enthusing about them in front of me, and extolling what it was about them he found so alluring, more often than not some quality of mine.

    For one early fixation, a student in one of his classes, his mode of showing her off to me and enlisting my participation in his admiration of her was to send her to me for advising, because “she’s so much like you” (I declined to become her advisor). By the end, even though the qualities he fixated on stayed the same, he moved from some version of “you’d really like her, she’s just like you” to “she’s nothing like you.”

    If I hadn’t been so hurt and angry, I might have had my wits about me enough to ask “How is it that you can appreciate [x quality of mine] in her but you can’t appreciate it in me?”

    • (Of course as an autogynephile he wanted to both be them and fuck them.)

      Can’t get any more narcissistic than that.

      Oh, and to your main point, yeah, it’s crazymaking. They say we’re like the APs until we’re not at all like them. They pull rationales from their asses.

      • Yep. And he did fuck himself (anally) while acting out his fantasy he was a woman. (Anal, vaginal, they’re both penetration, which, according to him, is what defines “woman.”

        In his mind he is the desirable woman and he desires himself.

          • According to the transwoman Andrea Long Chu, “…the asshole [is] a kind of universal vagina through which femaleness can always be accessed…”

            So yes, according to this trans (il)logic, if you’re a “bottom”–gay, straight, or bi–you’re accessing “femaleness.”

  • Know. Your. Worth.

    Here’s a good way to know what your value is on this earth.

    If you’re standing on it, and you’re good to yourself and others to the best of your ability, and you’re not a deceptive jerk or abusive meanie by nature, you are deserving of the same from others in return, and not deserving of less than that.


  • Yep. I heard this. EXACT. SAME. THING.

    I said (after I got my jaw off the floor), “No, I’m not. I don’t fuck married men.”

    He said he thought we would all be friends. I think I laughed.

    I said, “If she (Chinese from China found on Craigslist Casual Encounters) is so much like me (Caucasian from Boston who didn’t even know about Craigslist Causal Encounters before DDay) why are you cheating?”

    (and those are just the outsides…..)

    Maybe he told her that she was so much like me. That would explain the selfies with the blue contact lenses she so creepily posted on social media and pointed out in the caption.

    The more I read here, the more the similarities blow my mind. I don’t know where I would be without this site. If I had been alone with all this I might still be drowning in guilt that I had failed somehow. When we swap stories and find out we heard the same bullshit, literally, and experienced the same things, literally, the proper perspective gets restored along with sanity.

    A million thanks and eternal gratitude to Tracy and Chump Nation.

    • I call her The Cockroach. It’s a very apt moniker for an affair accomplice, because they’re the one you see and you know there’s more hiding.

      Indeed, our daughter caught him on Tinder while using his phone after he ditched us and moved in with her. That’s the ultimate karma.

      Never assume a cheater has only one side piece. I’ve heard way too many stories of more cockroaches being found.

      I have a dear friend who tried to reconcile in therapy and discovered he had been lying the whole time, that he had continued seeing his cockroach, and there were other cockroaches. The cockroaches didn’t know about each other and actually claimed he had been cheating on them. Can you say “disordered”?

      There’s nothing special or elevated or intelligent about a cockroach.

    • To be fair, I can understand why they think they are just like us.

      They took themselves and their baggage with them to the new player, and will continue to do so until they do the work to unpack it (very unlikely because cheaters don’t do inner work). Moreover, cheaters, notoriously lacking in self-awareness and experts at projection, think the similarities are about the affair accomplice instead of themselves.

      Kind of like when an animal sees itself in a mirror and thinks it’s another animal, not realizing it’s themselves they are seeing. Kind of like Curly from the Three Stooges.

      It takes a while for the affair high to wear off and see the issues that inevitably followed them, and will continue to follow them wherever and to whomever they go.

  • FW keeps telling me how I’m better than both of her boyfriends. WTF? Then why are you f**king them? It’s so confusing. If I’m better looking/smarter/funnier than the two guys she f**ked behind my back for a year, why was she f**king them?

    • Because she could. That’s literally it.

      My ex-wife cheated with a married total slob that was about 150 pounds overweight simply because he liked her feet.

      I’m 6’2″, 180 lbs, muscular and in shape.

      That’s all these disordered types need… an opportunity for attention. Nothing else matters.

      • “That’s all these disordered types need… an opportunity for attention. Nothing else matters.”

        I think most of it can be boiled down to that.

      • “My ex-wife cheated with a married total slob that was about 150 pounds overweight simply because he liked her feet.”

        Just when you think you’ve heard it all…..

    • Double Chumped:

      It’s only confusing until you realize she isn’t emotionally healthy and cannot sustain a viable relationship with you or anyone else. She’s hoovering you with those comments; keeping you right where you were when she left you. Available and ready to engage. You aren’t the person to heal her or help her on her journey to emotional health. That’s a one-man job and it belongs to her and the supports she chooses to get real and get healthy.

      Don’t count on it. Anything is possible forward, so wish her well and cut her completely loose.
      Use this healing time to ask yourself why you needed her validation and adoration of your worth to feel whole. When you reach the place where you recognize your self worth independent of others’ doing it for you, you’ll see through her like a window pane.

      It’s a lesson we all have to learn if we haven’t already. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are certain to repeat them. The question you asked was a great one toward change.

  • A couple years before D-Day he told me he started to believe he was polyamorous. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) Except I got EXCITED about the prospects of a polyamorous/open marriage, which I wonder if that wasn’t the reaction he was hoping for! ???? He eventually left me for a girl 30 years younger who (as my nosy friends reported to me) may be a stripper.

    D-Day he sent me a Google Doc treatise informing me of his addiction to porn (like I didn’t know) and I was so very Christian (umm…. he KNEW I was exploring Paganism and witchcraft) and Puritan/vanilla (just before the pandemic shutdown I’d found a poly meetup on Fetlife, which he KNEW I’d joined).

    I’ve finally realized that he likely WANTED me to push back on polyamory so his narrative of my perceived vanilla-ness would fit reality and he’d have his excuse. I could host a polyamorous, multisexual orgy with leather and chickens every day of the week and it still wouldn’t have been enough, probably. It’s all on him.

  • I got the “I thought you’d be happy for me” conversation – truly narcissistic cluelessness.

    And I was told the OW was better than me in so many respects (better Mom in particular). And we’d totally be good friends, if I just gave it a chance! ????????

    Objectively, the OW is older and not as attractive as me. As CL has said, it’s not about looks, it’s about opportunity and who the cheater is. The OW does fit better with my ex than I do now that I’ve seen through the facade – she comes from a wealthy family, got him a membership to the fancy golf club, etc. Image is king.

    I’m more about honesty and making this world a better place. Clearly not compatible with my ex. ????

  • His abject horror of my saying “May every relationship she have go to shit when the guy screws around on her so she will know how it feels to be cheated on…” didn’t go over well because “She really is a nice person”. What utter BS. She knew he was married and it didn’t make any difference. Nice people don’t screw the spouses of others for 4 years.

    • “Nice people don’t screw the spouses of others for 4 years.”

      And lie to their employers, and pretty much everyone else. And take money and assets they know darn well is being stolen from the chump.

      The only thing my fw really said was the night he discarded me he said “I (meaning him) made the first move) You know, like she was this innocent delicate flower that succumbed to his charms. I just stood there looking at him in horror and disgust. He knew there was no defense for either of them.

  • Mine was all about keeping me hidden, controlled, and insecure. We lived in a small native community. I was told not to dress ‘sexily’, to not wear much makeup, to be careful how I behaved, where I went, who I talked to. I would offend everyone. Cause him trouble if I didn’t comply with his very sensible requests for my own protection and well being….. He had me so controlled. That way could tell people (that I had never made relationships with because duh….) I was boring, I wasn’t attractive, I was crazy, and whatever else he could come up with. Then he could fuck around in the village (and elsewhere) and no one cared (they were all fucking each other anyway). I supposedly deserved all the deception and devaluing.

    And then he got a slightly younger, more active, more stupid, pseudo version of myself and moved her and her teen daughter in months after I moved out. Oh did she try! She cleaned, organized, moved, built, created, cooked, worked, danced, fucked and god knows what else to prove she could succeed where 19 years of my trying failed. She lasted less than a year.

    • “I was told not to dress ‘sexily’, to not wear much makeup, to be careful how I behaved, where I went, who I talked to. ”

      Same here, and I couldn’t go out at night unless to church or an emergency etc, he was of course protecting me. Then had the audacity to tell the preacher on the one time we met that he had always tried to get me to be more independent. In the next breath he said “but I (meaning him) am a controller. He didn’t even think how contradictory those two statements were. The preacher just sat there and stared in horror at him, because he though this was going to be a setting where fw apologized to me and begged me to come back. What a joke.

      He was however happy to let me do all his volunteer work, and help him in politics. Honestly, I am still a little pissed at myself that I didn’t pick up on what he was doing.

  • I was shocked at the amount of women that he dated (while we were married unbeknownst to me) whom he later claimed that he dated because “she looked like you” or “she’s a lot like you”. What the hell you dumbfuck? You HAD me! You didn’t need to find another woman who looks like me (she didn’t BTW, at all) or acted like me. You had ME. When I (stupidly) asked him what they talked about he replied “Mostly you. And her husband. Our families.” Like somehow that makes it better? And I got the classic “You’d like her. I think you would be friends.” Yeah. I’m going to totally hang with a woman who attempted to wreck my family and fuck my husband. Not likely Dimwit.

    • Dating people that are “a lot like you” basically means he wants you, but with a fresh coat of paint. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with you as a person – but he’s looking for a reboot because he can’t deal with the normal accumulation of stresses and day-to-day reality of a mature relationship. Because, you know, starting over with you 2.0 isn’t going to produce the same result in 5 or 10 years when the shiny has worn off her too.

      • Yep.

        I also think there is a lot of just being lazy, as in oh well it would take way too much work to fix what I destroyed; much easier to just start new since whore is already on board with who I am.

      • I need to edit how I refer to my father’s third wife. It used to be Hell/wife 3.0 but from now on it’s -1.0, a definite downgrade. I’ll skip over his second wife because I never had a beef with her since I only met her once as a teenager. If anything, I feel sorry for her. The week she was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, my father Harlow the philandering philatelist made a pass at his younger brother’s new fiancée. I learned this a few years ago from the aunt plus he went on stamp trips, leaving his sick wife to fend for herself. Second wife wasn’t the other woman, just a bit foolish. Wouldn’t you want to know WHY your fiancé’s daughter has nothing to do with him ?! I learned years later he spun it as my mother alienated me from him. Wrong.

  • I could say ditto to nearly all the posts. They really are all working from the same playbook.

    Trust they suck.

  • “You should thank him! He is actually trying to help save our marriage!”. Holy fuck! And like an idiot I did. But fast forward a couple weeks when I told him to back off! this gem of a human being tried to run me down with a police cruiser and stalked me at work the gym etc. Its amazing what goes through the mind of a fuckwit

  • I do wonder why they can’t see past the AP like at all ?

    I told fat bastard on D Day if she will cheat with you , she will cheat on you . He instantly shot up and declared no she won’t she’s not like that , she loves me and I love her

    Strange behaviour as she has proved she IS like that and so is he !

  • I’ve never ever even seen a picture of OW. Nor do I ever care to.
    I’m more educated, (3 advanced degrees) extremely talented, have a career (art teacher) that many would LOVE to have.
    I also make over 6 figures and most importantly, my children – who know exactly what went down and when – love me to pieces. XH was not even invited to either wedding.

    I don’t care WHAT she looks like, or if she blows rainbow colored glitter bombs out of her ass, she is a slag who screwed a slag married man because she wanted my life.

    There is and never was, any competition.

    • This ???????????????????????????????? I feel exactly the same and could have written this (except I’m a lawyer). The willing whore AP doesn’t hold a candle to me by any measure. XH definitely affaired down with AP.

  • One of the many many many affair partners did not know about me and she was fighting off cheater’s advances unlike so many of the others. The problem with “you’d like her if you met her” was that I did. Her and I teamed up. I told her everything, as did she to me, which exposed all of cheater’s lies and manipulations. And we became one another’s support systems as we cut off all contact with cheater and remain great friends now years later. The joke’s on cheater for this one.

    The many others weren’t awesome like this btw.

  • It can’t be said often enough, and it applies today, that the chump in the dark is the active ingredient, the Secret Sauce, that gives the affair its excitement and brain chemistry rush. With no one to dupe, there is no thrill. Chumps are the most important player in the game, and affairs are a game. The deception involved makes it a game, a very unhealthy and dysfunctional “relationship” which is baked in and can’t be removed any more than you can get while eggs out the cake batter. Cheaters and those who cheat with them are swapping deck chairs on the Titanic. The wise among us get into the lifeboat and row away, leaving them to enjoy their siren songs and delusions.

    Perspective is totally skewed by lying and deceit, both of the primary relationship a and the illicit one. This sails right over the heads of cheaters and affair accomplices, who prove with their conduct what relationship dunces they are.

    An illicit relationship is deliberately set up and chosen by two legs of a three-legged stool, the cheater and their cohort. What happens when the supporting leg, the chump in the dark, finds out and walks away? The dynamics change radically and permanently.

    Bye bye, affair high!

    It doesn’t look like it or feel like it, but chumps have a LOT of power in the situation, the most IMHO.

    Remember that and use it.

  • We chumps have enough problems with comparing ourselves to various APs without taking in the comparisons offered by someone who is in the process of discarding us.

    Remember that the discard is the sign of cheater disorder.
    Remember that the cheater’s praise of the AP to the wronged spouse is abuse.
    Remember that we don’t voluntarily take in poison.
    And remember that comparing ourselves to others (taking up the cheater’s work) is generally a way to hurt ourselves.

  • With the main long term he said
    1. You’d like her. You’re a lot alike
    2. She’s the only female I trust.
    3. You’re a lot alike. Neither want to have with me anymore.
    I have been in her presence with her husband and child that I’m pretty sure is my ex’s and she looked at me like I smelled bad. Of course he denied the affair that began before I got pregnant a second time.
    I came across a card confirming the truth and that it is continuing ( it’s at 30 ys now) with pet names for him and part in her native language. I was not imagining it.
    He also said I couldn’t compete with 20 yo’s. I put that with prostitutes and when he was paying rent with a younger guy on his party /flop house being called “Big daddy”. He’s such a disordered fuckwit.

  • Wow, what I notice here is a pattern of behaviors and speech. They all say and do the same things. It is definitely a mental illness, ie Personality Disorder. These get worse with age. Thats why I think some of them go 20-40 years seeming to be loving and a good spouse before BAM they arent. I was speaking to a colleague who has a schizophrenic Brother in law. He said its weird because he just says and thinks all the cliché stuff people with schizophrenia say. Government radio signals in his amalgam fillings, ect. It seems like the same script with these people porn, criticizing dress or saying you could dress sluttier. Its a script for them. Eerily similar.
    There is no getting better. There is no recovery without insight, medication and therapy. They have no insight, they dont want insight. How can you reconcile with someone like that? You cant they are not normal.
    People talk about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but there is subset of Covert narcs and they are harder to spot. Alot of these people probably have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder NOT OCD. OCPD has similar traits to NP but they tend to discard less. I encourage people who say NP doesnt quite fit to look it up. This is all untangling the skein, but its good to know if they are mentally ill if you think you could reconcile, bc unless they are selfaware, and change with meds and therapy, its a lost cause. They dont change, they change people. Those people can take awhile to see that person gas a severe problem, or they are disordered too so deal with it.

  • I did not have to worry about comparisons because, for 26 years, I don’t think the ex ever looked at me properly. I never had evidence that he saw me as a lover, a woman, a wife. I was just there, making his life run smoothly. I was, in fact, a housekeeper! It’s mostly sad that I didn’t have the confidence in my own attractiveness to tell him to get out of my life years ago. I settled for so little.

    Regarding the exgfOW, I’m sure I have been compared unfavourably with her throughout the marriage. She was clearly the love of his life, if the emails are to be believed. We look and are nothing like each other. On the rare occasions years ago when I met her, I didn’t like her, and even now would not want to be like her. She’s a strange woman. She and the ex look like siblings – weird. She is more his height ie short while I am more willowy, even at a wrinkled 61. And he’s 55 and she’s 54. Basically she’s odd which is what he seems to like, as well as continual arguments which he must enjoy.

  • I am a non-drinker by choice (my brother and step father are both alcoholics) and I hold other people to the same standards that I try to live my life by. By contrast, Ex-Mrs LFTT is a functioning alcoholic who cannot stand being called out for her BS. Her AP is twice divorced, was cheating on his then girlfriend with my now ex-wife and has a big drink problem.

    When people have tried to compare me to her AP or give me the “you’d really like him if you got to know him” schtick they get a pretty sharp response. “I don’t have a drink problem, I don’t have low standards and I don’t f*ck married women. He does. What makes you think I’d like someone like that?”

    Works a treat every time and, funny old thing, I don’t even have to block people after that; they usually block me. 🙂


  • I must be getting near Tuesday, because I am no longer shocked or surprised by anything these cheaters say or write. They will say whatever comes to mind, in the moment that suits their purposes. To hurt or get a reaction, to garner sympathy, seduce, mollify or dupe etc. Then they will completely contradict themselves, sometimes in the same breath, sometimes years later. They have no real beliefs or moral code, no higher purpose than their own entitlement and gratification and are not people of substance. Elevator shaft for souls as CL says.

    So the trouble as I see it is sussing out if they are a cheater FW in the first place. In a flow chart you could skip right past everything and go straight to ‘pay no attention to anything they say’ mode. It’s too bad that us chumps take the hidden FW’s word (facade) at face value, even in discard, when it is all smoke and mirroring. It’s too bad we made lots of important life decisions based on their stated wants and preferences and agreements, like having children. Its too bad we spent so much time trying to figure out why things just don’t add up with the FW, trying to figure out what we are missing, puzzle out the odd comments (pro tip: you can’t and that’s the way FWs want it). The FWs want to take and keep control of the narrative and us in the dark so they can move us around like a pawn piece at will.

    So FW cheaters lie. They lie before, during and AT THE END of the relationship. Truth is whatever they want it to be at the moment. Once you know this, it becomes almost magically clear, when you pay attention only to the actions and not the words, what is important to them. This is the path for me for healing, my eyes see clearly now. It’s helpful to stay focused on GR and when you have to share kids post divorce.

  • Ah, yes. Of the many things he rhapsodized about the glory of schmoopie about, it most often was repeatedly and angrily insisting she treated him so much better than me and that if I had treated him that well he would not have cheated or treated me poorly. At the same time he made me aware of me the following:

    1) She stopped having sex with him, but would have sex with other men and cruelly rub it in his face.

    2) She completely dominated him to the point where he assented to her every wish, no matter how stupid or crazy. The only time he ever dared to defy her was the day after Dday, when he told her he had to stop seeing her because I knew about the affair. She instantly flipped to the rage channel, denying there even was an affair.

    3) She had stopped even letting him kiss her for the last year they were seeing each other.

    4) She had told him he was a fool at least twice. His memory sucks so I’m thinking it was more than that. She gave him not just a clue, but a big, fat in your face statement that he was being played. Of course he didn’t ask her what she meant, not daring to spoil the illusion.

    This is just the stuff he was willing to admit. I bet there’s a lot more. Yet as far as I know he maintains the bizarre fiction that she treated him better to this day, apparently seeing no contradiction. That was one of the many delusions he spouted which helped me to understand that he’s wilfully ungrounded in reality to the point where he’s operates as if he’s mentally ill. I learned it is typical of narcissists to live in delusions that protect the supremacy of the ego. He has trouble facing the reality that she didn’t actually think he was Mr. Wonderful and was only playing him, because that would mean he tossed his family aside for nothing. He can’t admit to being that mudfuckingly stupid and maintains the fantasy that he is a smart man who “made a mistake” only because “nobody’s perfect.”

    So yeah, cheating, contempt, hostility, selfishness, control, no sex and no affection? But somehow I was the “controlling” one and that bitch was an angel? Oh please. I gave and gave. She only took.
    His only explanation for this was that she allegedly didn’t criticize him. Hey, if he did everything I wanted him to do and kissed my ass all the time I wouldn’t ever have had reason to criticize him either. I asked him why he didn’t consider refusing him sexually an unvoiced criticism of his abilities in the sack. Got crickets in response. No doubt he resents me for confusing him with facts.

    So yeah, fuck that. I couldn’t compete with something that exists only in the bizarre alternate universe he lives in even if I wanted to. He can get Mary Hand and Rosy Palm to do the pick-me dance. They treat him the best of all.

  • All these demeaning stories are absolutely beyond the pale. Is alone such a hard place to be that we’ll accept this kind of treatment from these ignoble cheaters? You can’t live like this if you intend to stay sane. These stories go on and on and yet it seams like we never are able to find the cause or demand our due. Is Beth Dutton right when she scoffed at the woman who let her husband/boyfriend demean her yet did just as he demanded? Beth told her she should not be treated like that, the woman asked why? Beth’s answer ” because you’ve got all the pussy and half the money.” We need to be better, for ourselves and the children who learn from us.

    • That’s good wisdom, Sheep. Worth memorizing. A gem!

      I also thought of it as:

      Don’t give up your insides to someone you only know on the outside.

  • Meh. Cheaters Never Trade Up.

    But I’ve had some interesting experiences.

    Cheater #1 didn’t have a ‘type’ – he was an opportunistic cheater and didn’t get emotionally involved. Basically if she was available and sufficiently interesting or novel, that was enough.

    Cheater #2 deliberately chose someone unlike me – someone not as smart as him – because he’d realised that’s what he wanted instead. (Until he decided to try to get back in touch with me a year, and then 10 years, later).

    Cheater #3 chose a woman who had a lot in common with me – but looked more like his mum and his sister, which is what he really wanted. She was also much more clingy and dependent.

    Cheater #4 was a deeply disturbed drama king who was simply incapable of any committed relationship, and had no boundaries, so he always had several ambiguous overlapping things going on at once.

    It’s interesting that three out of my four Cheaters had really terrible relationships with their parents: absent/cheating dads and emotionally incestuous mothers.

    Please don’t stay together for the children. You’re setting them up for either Cheaterdom or Chumpdom.

  • I have a vague recollection of being told I have so much in common with the first AP I recall finding out about. I didn’t waste too much time playing the game of comparing myself to the APs. I guess if there had been just one AP, I might have. But there were so many, I knew none were special in any way. They were easy. They were available. Those who knew or suspected he was married have no morals. The ones whose photos I found did not make me do more than shrug. All below average looking. It seemed to me that klootzak did, indeed, seek out people who were worse and worse because it made them easier prey. Only one among them is a CEO but I am fairly certain she is another narc on a power trip. I have secretly hoped he would end up with her and they would make each other endlessly miserable.

    But I do remember him saying how much that AP was like me and I was so ill or numb, I don’t think I mustered more thought than to wonder if he had been dropped hard on the head as a small child. It was the dumbest fucking thing I ever heard. I don’t wreck homes. I don’t destroy lives. I have never doubted that I was better than them. On some level, I think I was hoping klootzak would figure that out. But instead of ever waking up, learning, and becoming an adult with morals and character, he remained in the gutter. And even if he were not sleeping around today, he spent too many years treating me like crap. He could cry and beg and I wouldn’t change my course. He will always be an unfaithful asshole. As someone once said, it’s not as if he could go back and magically unfuck women. He had a chance at a wonderful life and marriage with me. He ruined it. End of story.

  • Yes. This is exactly what I got.

    18 years married to her and on the day that I found out about her ‘affair’ I was told: ‘Meet him – you’ll like him.’

    ‘Him’ being 25 years younger than I, Italian, and with the great head of hair that CL talks about.

    Needless to say, I didn’t take my lying, multiple cheating, ‘soulmate’ up on her kind offer.

    • Good grief. Glad you got rid of her.

      Sometimes I wonder if the pre dday introduction is so that if you like them, they can say after Dday, well you liked her/him so you can see why I do.

      My ex brought his whore to meet me about six months before Dday , in fact it was right after our 20th anniversary. I was polite of course, and I told her and they guy she was with (pseudo boyfriend) about our weekend at a motel in a honeymoon suite. She had the weirdest look in her eyes when she looked at me, her head was turned toward me but her eyes were focused on the wall. I think in hindsight she was pissed.

      I do remember looking at him and he was looking directly at her looking uncomfortable. I told myself he was just embarrassed in front of his direct report. I mean I didn’t say anything risqué, just a funny about the trip.

      Another poster likened the intros to a cat dragging a rat they captured to the owners back door. See the prize I got, aren’t you so proud of me.

      • That’s awful.

        I recently found out that my lovely ex-wife had sex with a much younger colleague at a work Xmas party in 2015. She then proceeded to invite him to meet me at a barbecue at our home. He became a regular visitor. Stupid me had no idea that she was sleeping with him. He was about 26, she was about 47. Nice.

        Stay safe and well x

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