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Jealousy and the Leggy, Blonde Other Woman

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Hello Chump Lady,

I have this unhealthy obsession over the woman my ex-boyfriend of two years left me for.

A year after it happened I still cannot get them out of my mind. She was married and left her husband and two kids to be with my now ex. I’m pretty sure he started the whole thing and not the other way round. He didn’t have the courage to leave me, but started a relationship with her while slow-fading out of ours. I still cannot believe he did that. I just didn’t think he was the type of person who behaved that way and I sometimes still have trouble understanding or accepting it.

This woman is tall, blonde (the quintessential Swede) and he seems madly in love with her. I’m just average-looking and feel less than compared to her. I really don’t want to obsess over her, but I find myself comparing myself to her constantly and wondering “Why her and not me?”, which is just stupid.

I suppose some of it has to do with the fact that I really thought he was a lovely person. Constant, stable, honest. I’m having trouble accepting that he is the person he turned out to be — someone who wasn’t honest in the least and who didn’t have the courage to sit me down and tell that he was unhappy and wanted out. Instead, he chose to start something behind my back and hope that I wouldn’t make too much of a fuss, while he slowly exited our relationship by seeing less of me, taking longer to get back to messages, stopped texting/phoning, trying to push me away by behaving badly or telling me bad things about himself that he knew I would find unacceptable. (Who knows if they were actually true?) etc…

It’s been a year that they’ve been together now and I really didn’t think this thing would last. Her children don’t talk to her anymore because she ran off and left them behind, but whenever I see her, she seems to be happy. She certainly doesn’t look like someone who is suffering. I’m just so jealous and I have no idea why. Because he picked her? He’s not exactly a reference for someone I want as a long-term partner, is he? So, why the jealousy and why the obsession over the girl he picked?

LilyPad

Dear LilyPad,

Let’s examine your values.

What’s better? To be a tall, Nordic blonde whose beauty is so all-powerful that it can make “stable, honest” men give leave of their senses? Or to be an average-looking person who would never abandon her children?

When you’re jealous, you’re voting for the first option.

What does she have that I don’t have? (Other than your ex-boyfriend…)

Happiness! How do you really know? Quit social media stalking. If the truth is that she broke up her family, how happy can she really be? Joy requires depth. Abandonment requires sociopathy. Don’t envy the disordered.

Height! It’s not everything. Blondness! Anyone can be blonde. Scandinavian! Shop at Ikea. Eat lingonberries.

Why on earth are you comparing yourself to this person? Because she’s so powerful to steal your boyfriend? She didn’t steal him, you say he pursued her. Because she’s some ideal woman that every man wants? Most men would like a woman who sticks around to raise their children. Most men would like a woman who doesn’t cheat on them. The men who just want Barbie aren’t men — they’re man-children playing with toys.

Consider your values and who you aspire to be. Consider the “prize” you lost — a guy who is perfectly okay with dating a married woman. He’s happy to fuck over some chump (excuse me, save her from a controlling, sexless, horrible marriage). And he’s super okay with the collateral damage of children. Sorry about your parent’s impending divorce — I got a leggy blonde!

What is there to miss here? Who you THOUGHT he was? We all thought we partnered with honest, stable, loving people. Until the humiliating realization that we did not.

He pushed you away — telling me bad things about himself that he knew I would find unacceptable.

When people tell you bad, unacceptable things about themselves? LISTEN! Stop projecting your values on to them, and LISTEN. If you find these things “unacceptable” and then stick around and accept them? You’re signaling that you are a chump. That your boundaries are open to persuasion. That you’re not terribly certain of your values, or of what people tell you, because you’re deeply invested in your spackle.

You said you mug senior citizens for their bingo money? But, but! You’re so stable and honest!

When he started ghosting you and treating you like crap and “behaving badly”? That was your clue to dump HIM. To say, “these behaviors are unacceptable to me.” To enforce your boundaries.

You’re lost in untangling the skein (otherwise known as his taste in blondes), instead of untangling your OWN skein — why did you tolerate this jerk? Because you thought he was someone else? Not a good enough answer, after he SHOWED you who he was.

Trust that they suck.

This column ran previously.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Are you kidding me? Cheaters Never Trade Up.

    Lady, he was no prize. He showed you who he was.

    And beautiful is as beautiful does. We’ve all got legs (well, most of us). Most of us also have hair.

    Like a bank account, it’s what’s inside that counts.

    • “Like a bank account, it’s what’s inside that counts.”

      Absolutely Brilliant!!! I’m going to use this.

    • The famous Lola Doctrine! I sure needed a refresher on this.
      I have succumbed to these thoughts and behaviors a lot – obsessing over OW and even post-breakup partners of my cheater. My particular payoff from engaging in this behavior is the opposite of the letter writer’s though: to feel “better than” not “less than.” But it’s two sides of the same counterfeit coin. It’s me placing my worth outside of myself.
      Part of my lifelong healing journey is to unpack my FOO issues around intrinsic worth. I was raised to hustle for my worth, to conform to certain standards and behaviors in order to “earn” love and approval, and it’s wreaked havoc on my intimate relationships.
      I know there is nothing I could have done, no level of “perfect” I could have risen to, to make my cheating ex love me or be faithful. He is a sociopath, and lacks the necessary wiring. I’m not even angry at him anymore. I wrote in a comment here a while back that being mad at the Lying Cheating Loser for lying and cheating is like being mad at a shark for biting you when you swim in the ocean with a bleeding wound. Sharks gonna shark.

      • Part of my FOO-issue recovery has been to take inventory of the things I do right, the things about me that are keepers, the things to celebrate about me, etc. and refer to it.

        Growing up in a family with a negative focus makes it easy for my mind to settle on the negative, and care about other people’s opinions of me, which are none of my business and their stuff. Compare and despair is a place I don’t want to go. I’ve found taking a positive inventory of myself to be a helpful and valid antidote.

        It’s not about comparing myself but reminding myself.

  • “We all thought we partnered with honest, stable, loving people. Until the humiliating realization that we did not.”

    Yes, this part of the chumpy journey is a difficult one. It’s easier, in the beginning, to grasp at straws and declare that a FW morphed into a stranger seemingly overnight or that an alien abducted our beloved partner and replaced them with a cruel and senseless pod person.

    It’s harder and, yes, far more humiliating to realize that they’ve always been this way. It’s so painful to understand this that we’ll do almost anything to avoid confronting it.

    • I feel this comment. I thought I knew my partner. He wasn’t perfect. In fact, he was kind of awful at times but at least he was honest and loyal – bwhahahahaha – and then I saw the other face. It’s hard to erase that image.

      • Sometimes you have to admit that you had at least an inkling that your partner wasn’t a great person but you ignored red flags.

        I’m guilty of this and still have a hard time forgiving myself for it. I saw glaring red flags and married my piece of shit ex anyway.

        I was so dumb. But at least I corrected it and dumped him.

        • Sometimes you have to admit that you had at least an inkling that your partner wasn’t a great person but you ignored red flags.

          I’m guilty of this and still have a hard time forgiving myself for it. I saw glaring red flags and married my piece of shit ex anyway.

          Me too!

        • Yes. He would tell me stories of severe abuse from his father, and I felt sorry for him.

          Many years later those stories were called into question.

      • “he was kind of awful at times but at least he was honest and loyal – bwhahahahaha ”

        Right?

        My fw never remembered my birthday, in fact prided himself on forgetting it. He kept a rock solid calendar; and never forgot anything else that he wanted to remember; but just couldn’t remember my birthday. (or Valentines day) My spackle was “oh he just doesn’t focus on those things, he is sooooo busy; at least he is faithful” Lol. What a chump I was.

        Especially when after Dday I ran our credit card history and there it was, gifts, dinners, flowers, womens clothing etc. None of it for me.

        • Mine remembered my birthday, the day we met, everyone else’s birthday….anything that helped his image.

          But it was all phony. He was a nasty, lying scumbag in private.
          He was terrified people would find put who he really was so he put a lot of effort into surface phony gestures.

        • Mine never remembered our anniversary. When he filed papers with his lawyer, he got the date of our wedding wrong- both the day and the year were wrong. Shows how much he gave a shit!

        • Susie, mine didn’t like remembering my birthday, Mother’s Day, our anniversary, really any gift giving holiday. During our summer of wreckonciliation, he planned nothing, not one thing for my birthday. At 5pm that night (this was during restricted business hours due to COVID) he ran to the mall and bought me the most expensive ($5k) earrings he could find in the only department store that was open. They were hideous, completely not my style. He was pissed off I did not like them. For dinner, we tried restaurant after restaurant to get a table (low capacity seating due to COVID). By 9pm, I was tired and crabby. We are at a truly sh!tty, empty (for good reason) restaurant.

          This last summer, on my birthday, he took a hooker to an insanely expensive restaurant where I had taken him for anniversaries, his birthdays. He claimed to have not realized it was my birthday. Bull. He wanted to hurt me, again. They are sick people.

          • Yep, I think the “forgetting” was intentional.

            He did send me flowers at work for the last birthday before he left me. I assume guilt flowers. But, also that last year was the year he wanted to throw a surprise birthday party for his best friend. My bday was early October, and friends was mid Nov. Maybe he thought it would be too obvious to ask me to help him plan it (which really means I plan it) after having forgotten my Bday.

            Oh and by the way he sent the flowers exactly one month ahead of my actual Bday. When he called to see if I got them, he said since I always forget your Bday, I thought I would send them a month early. Sucker me, I was so thrilled. I had no idea the wheels were falling off our marriage as we spoke.

            The only other time he sent me flowers was 20 years earlier when our son was born. He did give me a few flowers to plant on mothers day a few times, but no other romantic gestures of flowers.

            Oh and the last Christmas just before he dumped me, he gave me some gold jewelry. Aside from my wedding set, he never bought me jewelry. (I almost always got a robe for Christmas) One year I did get a sewing machine. I just assumed he didn’t because we didn’t have a lot of money, and he knew I had medal allergies so he couldn’t buy cheap stuff for me.

            Why the expensive gifts just before he left? So weird. I gave both pieces of jewelry to my daughter in law.

            • I was pregnant with our 2nd child, and it was my 40th birthday.

              I didn’t get a gesture or a nod from him. When I asked what was up, he didn’t even apologize.

              I wish I had filed right then and there. But I lasted another 12 years. Imagine…

              • Oh fw would apologize, and then joke and act kind of like he was sorry, but I don’t remember him ever, apologizing with some flowers, or a dinner out.

                It was just forgotten. And to be honest I never pushed it, because as I mentioned he had me convinced he was a loyal husband, just a little self centered.

                It wasn’t really until after the fall that I thought back over the slights I had endured for many years.

                Back then I wondered if when he sent flowers or candy or anything to whore for her birthday while they were alley catting, if he ever even thought of what an ass he was for ignoring my special days. Yeah, pretty sure I know the answer to that one.

    • Yes. Reading CL/CN, it’s revealing to see how many of us wondered if our FWs had brain tumors, or middle-life crisis “fog,” or any other explanations to avoid confronting the painful reality that what we had was not real. There was no bonding, commitment, or love reciprocated to match what we brought to the relationship. For those of us who were in long-term marriages, it’s very painful accept that the person we invested so much in was a fraud, able to deceive, betray, and lie for years and years. We are left to pick up the pieces and rebuild and recover from all the damage.

      • Yes and people who haven’t lived it can’t understand. I can’t unknow how shitty and horrible someone can be. How duplicitous and deceitful. I gave up a lot for my xh and I wish I could go back in time but I can’t. For all those who get chumped early on in life use this experience to learn about human behaviour and build a life where you are vigilant about your needs getting met. I wish I had discovered the cheating that had been going on at least a decade before 25 years of marriage but I see clearly now that I must fulfil myself and take care of myself first.

        • Yep and I’m a sociologist and got conned for 25 years. It’s because it’s not us, it’s them. That’s my constant mantra to remind myself there wasn’t much I could’ve done. He was gonna con someone and I was just collateral damage.

          • Yup. He was the ‘perfect’ husband. He never forgot my birthday or any special occasion. He made me feel spoiled. He made me believe that he loved me. I seriously had zero red flags. I have often wondered if all this would have been easier if he had been nasty to me…maybe I would have been glad when it ended instead of shell shocked. 🤷‍♀️

            • From my personal experience, I don’t think all this would necessarily be easier.

              My XW was nasty to me, emotionally and sexually withholding, demeaning, disrespectful, inconsiderate, rageful, etc., etc. for almost all of our 20 years together. And nonetheless the discovery of the infidelity and the divorce have hurt me like hell.

              And I am not even talking about the break up of my intact family. I am talking about the huge waste of my life. There were good moments with her, for sure, but too few to assuage the feelings of loss.

              I was not glad it ended because I was considering my misery up to that point as an investment in a better future with her that never came. I felt and feel defrauded.

              Please, don’t get me wrong, CMcCF, I do not mean to invalidate your very reasonable question. Maybe it could have been easier, I don’t know. And of course we are way better off now without them, nice or nasty. I just can’t imagine it being worse if she had been nice to me every now and then.

            • X remembered all kinds of dates relating to our relationship. Gave me flowers, plants, jewelry, weekends away. Even after DDay (ha ha her name was DD in his phone) he sent me roses on Valentines day after I’d just moved out AND he was on his way to Mexico with her for that weekend. This occured many times in the 7 following years.
              Yet he has never answered the question of when he met her. Or any other details.
              I also experience the shock of all of this… I truly saw him different than he is.

    • 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 My X morphed too— or maybe the mask finally slipped, the con was revealed, the jig was up. I wanted to believe it was a brain tumor, mental illness, a stroke, addiction. It wasn’t. This is who he is. That realization almost destroyed me but it didn’t. With CL’s help I rose from the ashes. Humbling indeed.

    • I think one reason in the past I decided to look over or forgive these sporadic red flags and believed in the stable good family man is that I projected my own character values onto them. We would never be capable of such unloving evil, of course then I can believe he just had a car breakdown and had to spend the night. That wasn’t perfume that was the fabric softener the hotel uses on their linens etc.

      While I projected my good character on him, he in turn projected his bad character upon me. It’s my fault… If we were this or that…etc… The scapegoat or reason for the bad behavior/ flipping the script.

      But once aware of this I am now not so hard on myself for not seeing this sooner. Also learning not to assume my thinking or values others also have.

      • “While I projected my good character on him, he in turn projected his bad character upon me. “

        This is the truest statement about my own life with my xFW also. He couldn’t find one person that had ever heard me speak ill of him and it’s not because he was good. He had been absolutely horrid to me at times. But, I could find people who had heard him speak ill of me. I work out and stay too fit for him. He never worked out and it was starting to show. I went to dental school and didn’t have enough sex with him while I was also raising 5 kids. I didn’t cook enough. We had a nanny who cooked. He wasn’t cooking either. It’s amazing what they are willing to say to anyone who will listen.

      • “While I projected my good character on him, he in turn projected his bad character upon me. “

        I so identify with this. Not that I thought he was perfect (I’m not perfect) but I projected that he would always do what was in the best interest of his family. And this also explains why he didn’t want me to travel without him for grad school. Because he was up to no good when he traveled for work and projected that on me. Both things baffled me at times in the past (how I didn’t notice his cheating for a year, and why he was so upset about me traveling ONE time) and it’s amazing how simple it is when you consider projection. Thanks Gramchump!

        • CN helped me understand how cheaters project, too. For at least a year, my cheating ex-boyfriend accused me of staring at men in restaurants, courting men behind his back, having inappropriate interactions with men … none of that was true, yet I did everything I could to console him and relieve him of his suspicion. I felt like I must be giving off bad vibes for him to police me like that.

          One weekend, when I told him I was going to the symphony with a male friend, he decided that ‘sounded like a date’ and made the five-hour drive to my house to stay the night. I got dressed up, asked him to zip up my dress for me, and went on my ‘non-date’ anyway.

          Guess who was cheating all along?

          • Wow, the part where he accused you of staring at men in restaurants!
            That happened to me too. He also accused me of talking to a guy on the phone (it was my mom).

            Then he said that I was the one cheating because I confronted him with proof of his emotional affairs with other women. You’re right, they do project.

    • This is one thing that makes CN so special, nobody else could understand this experience, but I read threads like this and just say “Yes! Yes!” to myself, and feeling like other people get it helps so much. I was like everyone else, sure it was stress, a brain tumor, a stroke, or a midlife crisis. I felt so deeply inside that he had turned into a stranger that I started reflexively reaching for a face mask when he would come in the room, like he was an actual stranger in the house.

      Recently though, he asked me why I didn’t react like this all the other times that I was crying and distraught and he just stood over me looking at me and not comforting me and then went about his day. I was like…what other times? I don’t remember any, but he says it’s happened before and I didn’t do anything. And I’ll never know if he’s making that up or if that did happen and I super-spackled. It’s the kind of thing you have to let go of wondering about, to drop the skein.

    • My 20-something kids have a lot of friends they grew up with getting married. I’m friends with their parents, so I get invited along with my kids. Gosh, it’s hard. So many dreams and hopes, just like I had. Of course, I believed that I was doing something that would be wonderful and last a lifetime. Except it didn’t.

      So my approach has been to drive separately and leave when I get overwhelmed. At the last one, I told the groom’s parents that I was doing that and why, and they were completely understanding.

  • “I still cannot believe he did that. I just didn’t think he was the type of person who behaved that way and I sometimes still have trouble understanding or accepting it. …. I really thought he was a lovely person. Constant, stable, honest. I’m having trouble accepting that he is the person he turned out to be.”

    This.

    This is why “Trust That They Suck” is so very important.

    When someone shows you clearly that they suck as a partner and dont value you, please believe them.

    I literally lost years of my life trying to understand why my husband 1.0 would be so awful (cue me reminding myself that he once helped orphans in Central America). He acts awful because as a partner, we WAS awful.

    This former boyfriend was dreadful but the cheater he left for is worse…abandoning 2 kids…fucked up. Please dont want to be like her.

    • Pre d-day, if someone would have offered me a bet that my wife was the sort of person to set up profiles on sleazy married dating sites and then have a 3 year double life. That she would share all our intimate family details (about our sick child, parents, work issues) with a married lowlife from the internet. I would have bet all I owned (and then some) on her not being that type of person.

      You are right – the disconnect between who I 100% thought she was and the behaviour shown just cant be reconciled. You have 3 choices 1. Some form of insanity, 2. It’s my fault and it’s common or 3. They were never that person that you thought they were all along. I started at 1, stayed at 2 for a bit and am now thinking the right answer is in fact number 3.

      When I look back I also see a lot of her behaviour in a different light. I dismissed it at the time as her just being stressed. I think now that they were clear indications that she is just wired very differently and is super good at faking it. Most of the time…

      • George: Same. I always excused away his behaviour as stress or this or that or whatever. Maybe it was in part but like was said above, I think I was funnily enough projecting my own kindness on to him.

  • If you’re obsessing about the OW you believe his leaving has something to do with what you’re not! It has nothing to do with that. He could just have easily have met her first and then when the whim took him cheat with you. (Not that you would) It’s all about them feeding their bottomless pit of neediness!
    As CL has said before we will never understand how they do this because we aren’t disordered!

  • LilyPad,
    You were a chump and you tried to make a relationship work. There is nothing wrong with that. I am sure most f us chumps have tried to make it work and did some pick me dancing. Luckily, the dance did not work and the cheater is now with Schmoopie.
    So Schmoopie is Nordic and good looking now. Please remember we all get old and looks diminish. Good character does not vanish with age. Schmoopie does not have good character. She left her family with young children. These kids probably do not understand this and that relationship will never be the same. No one with good character leaves their kids for a sparkly turd. She is nothing to be envied. You have rid yourself of a turd and you have character. You WON!
    My FW left for a woman 32 years younger than him. I am 26 years older than her. I cannot make myself young and mobile again. That is unrealistic. However, I continue to have character and integrity and am loyal to true friends. This is far better than fleeting good looks. I am currently wrapped up in trying to settle with a cheater and it is not easy. I am no contact or grey rock. Cheaters hate not getting attention. He is so upset that I have everything go through the attorney and refuse to engage with him. Oh well. I know he sucks so I pay my attorney to deal with his attorney. That has put me n a better place.
    Please do not pain shop. It does nothing for you. You have something these losers don’t and those are qualities that last. They are just two turds who suck.

  • I am a tall, leggy, albeit brunette woman of Scandinavian heritage. When I was young I modeled. It doesn’t matter. My X-FW still cheated on me with a woman who is, well, the complete opposite of me. The point is, it doesn’t matter. Cheaters cheat. And in my opinion, they always trade down.

    • This ^ I too am a leggy blonde of eastern European descent. It did not stop FW from cheating on me. Not the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth times. They don’t trade up … EVER. They want someone who will embrace and accept them for the turds they are. And who might that be? Other turds. They aren’t looking for someone better than them but someone as awful as they are. I am sorry for your pain, but try to think of it a gift or sorts that FW showed you who he really is and that he did so before you got tangled up with him forever by getting married and having kids.

    • 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻 I’m also a Scandinavian American, blonde, blue-eyed, not tall but am a size 2 with small waist and 32DD. I’m a successful attorney, make excellent money, love sex, cooking, keeping a wonderful organized and comfortable home, am devoted to my 4 kids, volunteer for those less fortunate, take good care of my mental and physical health. I’m a great friend, daughter, employee, and neighbor. XH knew all this about me— we were together 26 years. He frequently spoke and wrote of his appreciation for me. BUT he was cheating behind my back with lowlife, broken, desperate, willing females for decades. He later said I always “made” him feel inadequate. BOOM . . . . (Meaning) he thinks he is inadequate— no one has the power to “make” anyone feel anything— his issues come from his own perceptions. He sucks.

      The OW he left for was practically a child, polar opposite to me in looks (dark Mediterranean features, huge chin and nose— hates children, can’t/won’t cook or clean, had no career, bad credit. . . Saw XH as an ATM/daddy. 🤮🤮🤮🤮. I trust they suck. He’s cheated on her innumerable times over the past 8 years. She’s almost 40 now- gave her 30s to him— what a disgusting fool. Not my monkey or my circus, thank God!

      P.s. my loyal mensch fiancé loves all of me. He tells me how lucky he is that I was free when we met.

      • Love it! My ex, up until the day he left, was always talking about how fabulous I was to me and everyone-it was embarrassing. One of his big compliments was how he loved my natural beauty. Even in my 50s I look pretty good with my messy curls and no make up and t shirt and jeans. Then, lo and behold, OW is 20 years younger, short dyed spiky hair, piercings and tattoos- the exact opposite of me and what my husband proclaimed to love. I was so shocked. It just all added to the lies and BS and how he wasn’t really honest with me ever. I don’t think it’s us and what we look like- it’s that the OW are available and make them feel important. And remember-they cheat because they want to and can.

        • ! I can relate to this.

          Mine used to go on and on, on a nauseating level, how he adored how much younger I looked than my age, “such a beauty” “I’m so lucky” blah blah fucking blah while two of his APs that I know about (there were others), even though they were much younger, they also looked like the opposites of what he claimed he was attracted to. One looked like a walking heart attack with large dark tattoos, fried died hair, heavy makeup and the other looked like a scrawny little boy.. It was stunning how opposite they were from “his type” and this was shocking at first but when my emotions settled I figured he made the effort into making snide comments about those types of women because he was trying to throw me off the scent, even though I was in the dark, he was just putting the effort into the long con coverup.

    • Petite size 0 here. Long blonde hair. I have two masters degrees, a high paying day job and a lovely home. On the side, I’m a singer in a well known local band which the FW bragged about any chance he had. He also regularly complimented me on my looks and my figure. He wished I would “show it off more.” In hindsight, his insistence on “showing it off” was a huge red flag of course.

      And…..he cheated over and over with women who were not like me in looks or values. His latest (married) AP is very tall and makes stupid crazy money. That bothered me for quite a while until I learned to accept that she’s no prize. Nor is he. Their (lack of) values is what they have in common, and I don’t want any part of it. OP, I hope you come to this realization soon.

      Bottom line, it makes absolutely no difference what you look like or what the AP looks like. He is broken and disordered. He dates married women and breaks up families. He doesn’t want a woman of quality, and you are a woman of quality. In the end, she’s not pretty anyway.

      DivineMissChump hit the nail on the head with this:
      No amount of physical beauty can negate the ugliness of a mother abandoning her children. Period.

    • They always trade down from what I see. Im an OK looking guy (no brad Pitt for sure), smart (I have a phd), own a decent sized tech business which I started 15 years ago. Kind, honest and loyal and I think a great father to my kids. The ‘soulmate’ from the internet was none of these things. Maybe better looking and certainly better with the chat. If they are the kind of idiot who does these things, then you could be total perfection and it wouldn’t make any difference. They would find a reason to justify it.

      But yeah – it does hurt that with all your accomplishments you still compared unfavourably to an obvious fuckwit.

    • Another arguably attractive, intelligent woman with a good libido who works hard. Also cheated on. Apparently he didn’t feel I was interested ‘enough’ in him. I doted on him and devoted myself to our life. There was no more I *could* give to him as he had everything and yet-

      Now I’m busy learning to value myself.

      • PS I really, really think it has nothing to do with our objective or subjective worth but rather speaks much more about them as has been stated over and over on this blog.

        • I agree.

          And as CL has stated we can’t be a new person and for many of them that is really what cheating is all about. Yes power, yes the thrill of duping; but also the new.

    • I sure ain’t no Ben Affleck in his heyday (FW had a crush on him since Armageddon), but I am naturally quite decent-looking (just water, soap, toothpaste, deodorant and a razor do the trick); almost every stranger guess I’m in my twenties (I am almost 40); I have a good head of dark hair, very few grey strands so far; also no wrinkles so far; average height; totally ripped, albeit a little too skinny now due to the lack of appetite post-trauma; physically way stronger than one would guess by my looks; have all my teeth, never had caries or bad-breath; always loved sex and intimate physical contact with her; flawless personal hygiene; good health; soon to be tenured professor in a very technical and abstract subject; relatively well-read considering my area of activity doesn’t require that; can read in four languages and have a little grasp of other two; devouted father and husband; good credit; had no bad habits or vices (I relapsed from 20 years of non-smoking during the shitshow; plan to quit again soon but it’s being hard now); mild-mannered and soft-spoken; always respectful and considerate toward other people.

      AP: almost 50 yo; balding but dyes and combs in ludicrous colours and shapes his remaining grey hair; designed reddish brown eyebrows (I think it is a fad now); apparent facial paralysis on one side of the face; glowing-in-the-dark whitened teeth (I bet many are implants); bulky belly; man boobs; tacky tatoos; dresses like a rebellious teenager; dumb and illiterate, high school level education but thinks he is a “philosopher” (babbles new age nonsense all the time); undependable at work; involved in shady businesses; always needing favours and money; promiscuous; heavy drinker; boastful, loud, disrespectful and inconsiderate; thinks the world of himself; sycophant ass-kisser; has been taking testosterone boosts (precribed by my FW XW! I’ve seen proof of this and she admitted!); no known child of his own, but likes to post pictures of himself kissing the daughter of his current partner in the mouth (I have been pain shopping as of late 🤢).

      Current XW’s boyfriend: almost 60 yo; chubby; a good head of hair painted black as night; fan of Erasmo Carlos (I couldn’t make up this shit); a good guitarrist though (pain shopping again 😬) and seems to be an all around nice guy (he is my hope now for as normal a life as I can get, please don’t judge me 🤣); sloppy father though (forgot to pack his daughter’s underwear to a trip with my XW and my kids; got the shit beaten out by the little brave missy 😂) ; has an pretty exciting career as an pilot for an airline (I am a little jealous because my kids are into airplanes). But if he doesn’t find anything suspicious about my XW’s current life situation he must be pretty dumb though. Or he just prefer not to spoil his mid-life fairy tale.

  • “Beauty is as beauty does”
    No amount of physical beauty can negate the ugliness of a mother abandoning her children. Period.

  • We chumps will aways yearn for the day before we found out. Maybe even more important that meh, realizing you don’t truly care to know what a cheater was thinking, why he did what he did, or who he really was/is/will be. Know that no matter how much he loves his kids, he still has to hide his true self. Some day, that blonde will hit the wall. And it will be her ugliest moment. And all she’ll have is your ex feckless wonder. She sure is luckyyyyy

    • They don’t love their kids.
      They may pretend to – whilst the children are still useful to them and before the children start to see through them.
      Unless there is still some benefit to them as far as their own children are concerned, they will eventually abandon them in case the children blow their chameleon facades.
      Spending money on children isn’t love. Spending time with children to make themselves look good isn’t love.
      Pursuing custody to appear to be a devoted patent isn’t love.
      Harming in any way, the children’s other parent is absolutely not love.
      They are incapable of loving anyone.
      ANYONE.

      • 👆🏻100% this. My kids see through it, but they want to believe he loves them. They don’t like him, but they still want to believe. They are teens – I can’t imagine how this affects their future. Same parenting is hard when you are so blindsided but so very important

  • “The men who just want Barbie aren’t men — they’re man-children playing with toys.” Amen to this, a thousand times!

  • I’m a 5’10” leggy blonde (and I do a great, semi-offensive Nordic accent) and it did nothing to stop me from getting chumped.

    I get the temptation to compare yourself to the other person (my ex opted for a younger redhead with better skin, better cheekbones, and a vagina) but all that stuff means NOTHING in the grand scheme of a relationship (well, maybe the vagina bit, but my ex was bisexual – any hole was a goal). What does matter though is TRUST and decency.

    As soon as that novelty wears off, they WILL have trust issues, because both of them simultaneously displayed their values when they got together. Being beautiful is utterly obsolete when you’re hideous on the inside – and there’s nothing more hideous than screwing up your children with your selfish, callous choices. There ain’t a pair of legs long enough to make that shit attractive. Not to anyone worthwhile.

    Social media is all BS too: “We compare our behind-the-scenes to other people’s showreels” springs to mind. All it takes to look happy on Instagram is to smile for the camera for a second – anyone with a face can do that. No one posts pictures of themselves laying awake at night, wondering if their shitbag boyfriend is going to fuck them over eventually too.

    Totally agree with Unicornomore on reiterating CL’s “Trust that they suck” sentiment. It’s SUCH a tough one to wrap your head around when you’ve been conned for so long, but be the jury and believe the irrefutable evidence before you. And when you feel that jealously bubbling, review it.

    Also, trust that you DON’T suck! Sending love x

    • “Social media is all BS too: “We compare our behind-the-scenes to other people’s showreels” springs to mind. All it takes to look happy on Instagram is to smile for the camera for a second – anyone with a face can do that.”

      Agree.

      Case in point: Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. So sad in retrospect to see these smiling images posted to Instagram.

      • I really dislike the whole social media thing thanks to the FW. He became obsessed with instagram and Facebook and was constantly taking selfies. We went to see our son’s promotion and he posted nothing but his selfies! Now I know it was all about his image and a lot that he sent to Schmoopie. My son was actually the one who found their nudes because FW accidentally put them I. My sons photo sharing account. My lawyer is very happy about those since we have both FW and Schmoopie.
        I do have some photos of my sons promotion ceremony most without FW since he was probably off somewhere texting with Schmoopie. At least my son went NC with him and I guess seeing what FW was doing made that happen. I just don’t like all the perfection advertised by social media. We are human and no one is perfect looking and our lives aren’t always as perfect as we would want them. My table may not be set for a magazine layout but the friends and family sharing that meal don’t seem to care about that. Fortunately, my friends and family are there for each other and the fellowship and sometimes a spirited debate.

  • Serial killers and rapists and other sorts commit their crimes to feel “happy”.

    Bars are filled with drunk people at 2am who seem happy. It sure sounds like it.
    (Drunk is not “happy”).

    Traitor X was indulging in a fantasy relationship with a woman of a racial demographic, totally different from mine, a demographic which he said he had always been attracted to, which was news to me. According to him, they were “having fun.”

    I’d say that if you can feel happy and have fun while hurting and fucking other people over, abandoning your children, something is seriously wrong with you.

    Authentic happiness does not involve ingesting a mind-altering substance or engaging in behavior that one knows will hurts others. Those are the things people do who want to feel happiness and are totally clueless about how to go about it.

    Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours babysitting for my friend who is a foster mother to a darling little baby who is five months old. I was overcome with happiness. This baby’s mother is not in the picture because she has been seeking happiness with mind-altering substances. There are a lot of children in the foster care system whose mothers abandoned them, and in many of those cases they were seeking “happiness” with a boyfriend they prioritized.

    Do some writing about who they ARE that you can read when your mind wants to run away with erroneous thoughts of who they seem to be.

    Cheaters damage damage damage the children involved and do not care. I’m
    sure they think they know what happiness is but I do not want to catch what they have.

    By the way, orgasms aren’t happiness either. They’re just another type of counterfeit happiness for lowbrow lowlifes who can’t tell the difference.

    My own experience is that the joy and happiness and peace of mind that comes from doing the right thing cannot be replicated by any other means. I am sure the cheaters think they are happy but I know what fool’s gold looks like.

    • “Authentic happiness does not involve ingesting a mind-altering substance or engaging in behavior that one knows will hurts others. Those are the things people do who want to feel happiness and are totally clueless about how to go about it.”

      This. My ex and a few Switzerland friends insisted after he exit-affaired me that “(maybe) he was much happier.” To one of these friends, I said, “I sure hope not. Because if what he did to me makes him happy, that means he’s a psychopath.”

    • Happiness is just an emotion, like sadness or anger. Emotions can’t be sustained indefinitely. Healthy people sit with their emotions and allow them to pass through. Healthy people understand that you don’t make a temporary feeling your life’s goal. Cheaters are not healthy people.

      Chumps value loyalty, faithfulness, care for others, empathy, and compassion. Once we learns we’re chumps, many of us add to that self-awareness, discernment, wisdom, and the ability to make and enforce boundaries. We can enjoy lives of contentment, peace, and joy when we make continual choices to live according to our values. This gives chumps depth and beauty far greater than physical appearance.

  • Dday #1 was a short busty bottle blond. Dday #2 was a busty bottle blond. He had a type, these were the type of women he stared at. They were like cartoon characters to me, the type of women adolescent boys fantasize about. Both had limited education, and he and I were well-educated. Never once did I put myself down for not being like them. I focused more on his nasty behavior toward me during the discard and after, and what I imagined was a complete change of character. It was not. This is who he was. A formless slimy user, loser, liar, cheat. Over the years I kept that in mind and kept him in that box. Whenever he came up in my memories, I put him right back there. until twenty-some years later when I moved back to the part if the world where it had all happened. So many triggers, and my imoroved self-esteem and life experiences informing me just how awful he was and how terribly I was treated. The OW doesn’t play into it; they were interchangeable uneducated fake hair color bottle blonds wearing way too much make-up, the opposite of who I am mentally, physically, and spiritually. He not only showed me, he showed everyone else what a shallow, limited person he is.

    • My ex had a type too. Desperate, sometimes married women willing to fuck someone else’s husband and tear families apart.

        • I don’t know for sure of course, but I think my fw’s type was someone desperate enough to keep their mouth shut as long as the gifts and money kept flowing.

          Technically he didn’t get outed until a co worker turned in an ethics violation against him.

          I wondered how long he would have kept it up (double life) had he not been outed. His very position at work was built upon a solid family image, including church and community efforts that we both worked on (mostly me), because he always had so many “meetings” that drew him away. So he got me to pinch hit what he volunterred for.

    • FW’s “type” was creepily and suspiciously like his mother. Short necks, short limbs, pointy heads, big jaws and unstable presto-chango demeanors– irritatingly fake fluttery/girly to glum, cruel, bitchy and expressionless.

      I’m nothing like this, though I became uncharacteristically depressed, flat and triggery at one point during the worst DARVO stage so I suspect that FWs subconsciously campaign to turn their chumps into some negative FOO figure. Maybe he would have surgically shortened my neck too if he could have. In any case, I sensed that his mother was the way she was because of past sexual betrayal and this is why both mommy and son dished out the same to others

      His mother in fluttery mode once told her teenage kids how she frequently “fell in love” with the power figures she contracted with in her role working for an NGO. I guess the comment was supposed to be about how, as a special snowflake, she “commited so deeply” to work that it transported her emotionally. Instead it was a confession of classic lack of boundaries, empathy or principles. Many of these power figures were global-level evil beings and almost all married.

      I don’t think FW’s mother ever had active affairs but she definitely sought emotional ones with married men and was generally nasty to other women, usually on sexual themes like attacking other women’s attractiveness, femininity or motherliness. Interesting that some FW’s may have had side-piece-like parents along with other disordered parental traits.

      Anyway, yeah, FW had a type: the type I steer far, far away from and would never want to be or have as role models for my children.

  • Some people just run after the next pretty thing, don’t they?

    My ex had a gorgeous, sexy ex that he idolized throughout our marriage. She’d also call periodically wanting to be “friends” and sent pictures. She was a shadow on our marriage that I didn’t like. I couldn’t hold a candle to her, period. I resented that.

    When we were having problems after several decades together, we separated. Guess which part of the country he relocated to? And he’d sometimes tell me about all the waitresses he was doting on when we were supposedly trying to reconcile. He gave them roses on Valentine’s Day and told me about it. Nothing here. Yup, lots of gorgeous women there, he told me.

    After we sold the house because he had decided to stay there, I told him no reconciliation. He was playing me, hands down. It made me sick to think how stupid I had been. Of course, he told his family how hard he had tried. He manipulated them too.

    So he goes on with whoever, and I go on happily single. All for the best!

  • Lillypad,

    The leggy blonde wasn’t the prize; you were and the sooner you understand that the better.

    Believe me, cheaters always trade down and, anyone who has contributed to the break up of two marriages (with your Ex’s help) and abandoned her children isn’t really much of a role model. And don’t get me started on cheaters and their efforts at impression management …. suffice to say that she’s unlikely to be as happy as she’s portraying.

    LFTT

  • The OW will get hers.

    Time gets us all. She will age like everyone else and her looks will fade, and she will not have her children because she threw them away for a dick that is obviously low character and disloyal. Even if she eventually rebuilds a relationship with them it will never be what it could have been….she will always be a piece of trash.

    She’d better get a lot of gifts and orgasms now because the pied piper will come for payment.

  • Mine left for a short, heavily tattooed and pierced stripper/hooker who was addicted to drugs (“what’s a little drug us? She’s a great mom to her kids, that she leaves in the middle of the night” to troll for tricks in a casino.) He tells everyone I’m jealous—she is 18 years younger. I’m disgusted.

  • Dont ask what she has, ask instead what she is that is so different from you.

    She is morally bankrupt, happy to date someones boyfriend, no ethics, no compassion and happy to abandon her children who will likely carry that for all eternity.

    Sociopathic at the very least. Low hanging fruit, the most wounded of people etc.

    Dont envy that type of person at all…..

    • If you’re going to ask what she/he has that you don’t, the best and only answer is to remind yourself that what you had was an untrustworthy partner and what they both have now is a partner they can’t trust. People who get involved in illicit relationships are worthless, no-value mates; it’s best if they take off and partner up. At the end of the day I have been relieved of living in a mirage. The whole point of a relationship is trust and safety. Otherwise it’s just window dressing, a phony front like a Western movie set.

      Trust and safety are the two essential non-negotiable ingredients of a healthy relationship (according to what I was taught in my DV education) and cheating by definition guarantees the absence of it, not just in your relationship but in theirs.

      There are lots of people comfortable living in denial, putting blinders on, tape over their mouths, earplugs in, hands tied behind their backs, leg shackles on. To them, All Is Well if it looks good on the surface. More power to them; I say, no thank you.

  • The names and faces may vary, but they all have mold, termites, and dry rot for character. Looks don’t make up for dry rot in the long term.

    When seeking a partner for a healthy relationship, character is sought by the wise and chemistry is sought by fool.

    • https://infidelityhelpgroup.com/2014/03/14/the-other-woman/

      There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but if what’s underneath is emotional immaturity and moral bankruptcy, all you have is worthless currency.

      If not for the affair, I’d still be drinking the Kool Aid, in denial, for some reason thinking I had a good guy. (Affair aside, I’ve been realizing I did not and now see that I was selling myself a story about who he was).

      Who he is? No thanks and good riddance.

      • VH – “If not for the affair, I’d still be drinking the Kool Aid, in denial, for some reason thinking I had a good guy.” Me too. I thought I had a good guy too. Literally everyone else in our community thought he was too. People said it to me regularly: “ohhh! You’re lucky to be married to such a good guy!” UGH. During my cheater’s affair (with my close friend, the wife of my cheater’s friend), things felt strained in our marriage in a way they hadn’t before. I was bewildered as to why. I excused his mean comments and growing irritability to work stress and spreading himself too thin. As far as I could tell, he really was a “good guy” – he WAS for the two decades previous! He was sweet with my parents, always around and involved, was a doting dad, providing for our family, supporting my decision to stay home with kids, an excellent sense of humor, etc. I look back now and wonder how much crap I was actually tolerating. I don’t know – it’s hard to straighten it all out. But in a way it speaks to me of my own strength – thinking about how much I tolerated and put up with bc in all other respects he appeared a “good guy”.

        • That’s the element that has really kept me reeling….his reputation as Mr. Nice Guy. The guy other people said they wished they were married to. Being part of a couple that other people thought was such a Great Couple. (BTW, I never believed or promoted the idea that we were problem-free. I just believed we were a couple who dealt with issues. I saw his presence in therapy with me as evidence of sincere investment in our relationship. I had no idea he was actually Mr. Lies and Lip Service most likely the whole time).

          But with time and distance I am seeing things about him that clearly proved otherwise, and his relationships with all those other people who think he’s Mr. Nice Guy are too superficial for them to see otherwise.

          • Mine was/is a generous show pony, people just flock around him and he had the reputation (still does) for being the “great nice guy”, which helped him easily re-write history once the affairs were ousted.

            With time and distance I just see him as the kid handing out his school lunch and candy in hopes he is liked.

            • My ex fw died last January (2021) a couple months later I went to whores son’s FB page to see what he said. He did a tribute, but it was so poorly written, it was hard to understand. However, I read a few of the comments. No one that I knew (he had relocated to FL a couple years earlier, so I assume folks in FL.

              Anyway, one lady wrote “you mean fuckwit Jones, how awful he was the nices man”. She had no clue. And trust me, he had not changed who he was. One of the reason he was in FL, was he got to nasty to my son and his family that he blew up the relationship. They (fw/whore) were renting a small apartment attachment to sons house, and son sold the house to sever all their ties.

              But fw was still peddling the great guy image. He did have a good sense of humor and was funny, so maybe that helped him with his image. But those folks had no idea the carnage he had caused, and the folks he had conned, least of all the carnage to me.

          • That whole first paragraph – reputation as Mr Nice Guy, I thought we were a couple who dealt with issues, his presence in therapy, etc. All that. It would have be one thing to marry someone who openly flirted with others in front of me, or never engaged with me conversationally, or behaved in a number of other suspicious ways. But he was sweet and helpful and listening and all the Mr Nice Guy attributes. Until one day he was much, MUCH more. It has truly messed with my head.

            • The suspicious activities my fw did, didn’t start until about mid year of the year of discard. Since she was his direct report I am sure they did a lot of their fucking around on duty. Also, he worked a lot of “part time jobs” In hindsight…

              But, he had been cheating for several years by then. He hid it well from me, and evidently from others. I never spent much time thinking about the whore in real time. Honestly, I was too devastated, but I did as time went by wondered how in the hell he kept her so quiet. My guess is money and gifts and he likely made her know that if she blew his cover that would stop.

              She was not his direct report when they first started fucking around, but then he used his influence to get her hired by the city. Once he did that she had him by the shorties; and he likely knew it. But, still he kept her quiet for a long while. It was when he petitioned for a raise for her, and someone dropped a dime, that his house of cards started falling.

              But, as for his image he definitely had the family man image, however if I am to be honest; I helped him build it. I overlooked and spackled some less than loving treatment to me. I did much of the volunteer work he volunteered for. I made excuses for him when he didn’t show. It was always honest excuses that he had given me, and I believed.

              But, my point is if he didn’t have me unwittingly covering and spackling he could have never maintained that image. And once that image was blown, whore sure didn’t help him get it back.

              And the thing is spackling is pretty normal in a marriage; and both partners likely do it. Because we are human and we have each others back. But, then there is the cross over from healthy spackling to unhealthy.

              • So true. I feel like my biggest mistake in the spackling area is that I was so afraid to let him fail. I should have just accepted what a FW he was and admitted that I made a mistake about who he was instead of spending a decade trying to get that unicorn horn to stay on him.

        • “You’re lucky to be married to such a good guy!””

          My very best friend (still is) went through hell with her H. He was a cheater from pretty much the wedding day. She struggled for her two daughters for about 15 years before she stopped trying to save the marriage.

          She told me on more than one occasion “You got one of the good ones”. I know she meant it. Her H was a police officer too. In fact my fw helped him get on the force they were buds in high school and in fact she used to live on the same street as fw and was a good friend of his.

          I got her in the D, and she was astounded when she got the call from me. She said she always knew fw had a strong personality, but she just couldn’t believe that he had done the things he had done. I don’t know how he hid it.

          I suspect and I don’t know how to explain it but I wonder if he hid it in plain view. I say that because he had the family man image, he was always “busy” and she was just not who you would expect a man to sacrifice everything for. Of course I am pretty sure he was betting that the only thing he was going to lose was me, and that evidently was no biggie.

          And yes, by most standards I was much better looking, I was in good shape; and I was involved in the community. I also treated him very well. The only complaint he ever really had about me was I was not a spit shiner house keeper. I wasn’t a bad house keeper; but with full time job, community service and ongoing college classes, well spit shining just wasn’t my thing.

          One of the other police officers was heard to say in the unit room about fw and whore “I thought the idea was to trade up, not down”. The person who told me that, heard it first hand; and I trust him.

          • Yep…”family man image”. Here too. I’m three years out from d-day and can still hardly believe my “family man” had secret sex every week with his friend’s wife.

      • I am finally at the point where I’m glad he had an affair. He was extremely abusive (verbally and emotionally, and then it became physical) and I was slowly dying – lost my identity, lost my health, lost my dignity. But I was so broken that I thought his abuse of my was MY fault and I just had to try harder. I excused his behavior (he’s stressed, he’s tired, I DID forget to do the thing, I AM ugly/fat/stupid). He gaslighted me into believing I had a shit memory so my recollection of his words and behavior was all wrong and “he never said/did that”.

        I only realized how bad the abuse was after he left me for OW and I had some time and distance from him. It HORRIFIES me looking back. I am lucky to be alive. I thought I had a good guy who was just dealing with a lot of shit. OW thought the same, and wanted to “rescue” him from his terrible wife who was making him so miserable. Then she moved in with him and figured out it wasn’t me at all. She left him…for being abusive.

        I put up with so much and even as the abuse got overt (pushing, shoving, throwing things at me) I still wanted to save my marriage. But cheating and lying about it? I wasn’t going to tolerate that. I still had a shred of dignity and once I had confirmation of the affair (he -and she – lied about it for three years and he made me feel like I was going insane because I could see things that didn’t look right and he’d come up with “explanations” for all of it). If it hadn’t been for the affair, I too would still be in a state of denial.

        I should send OW a thank you card. I’m out, I’ve healed. I’m myself again. I am no longer living with constant verbal abuse or threats of worse. I’m free. I’m HAPPY.

  • Here’s a bible quote with which even atheists would agree: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.” Matthew 23:27

  • Chump Lady, this is a land mine trigger for me. LTC Fuckface rejected me for a younger Howorker who shared his racial demographic. (Thank you Velvet Hammer for this terminology.) Of all the things I cannot do. I cannot be years younger and of his racial demographic. I wrestle with feeling like I am a horrible racist for even noticing her skin tone is closer to his than mine. He was always so vocal about not liking “females” of his race that I would tell him he was being racist. My sons used to call him Uncle Ruckus when he was being particularly over the top racist.

    His family was very racist to me and the children. Not one of them have made any effort to reach out to me or the kids. I am certain they are glad I left. Now they can be openly racist with no obstruction in the shape of me.

    I have come to the conclusion after much soul searching that he rejected me for someone just like him. Beyond their shared racial demographic, they are both liars and cheats. They are both willing to wreck a home and discard a family. I concluded that Howorker was the one took the bait. She was what he could get. She is no prize.
    Her race is immaterial to his cheating. What they share is nothing to me.

    • Ever notice how some switch back and forth between types? Idealize and discard type A for type B, ten discard B for C, then circle back to A.

      I always sense that it’s probably especially disorienting and politically demoralizing when a chump and FW are members of an embattled minority and the chump gets betrayed for a racially mainstream side piece. But if the chump had a crystal ball, they would see how their ex will eventually devalue and betray a “mainstream” for someone of the same ethnicity who would suddenly be re-idealized. Rinse repeat and back and forth. In the end it has zero to do with anything specific about the victim.

      • Couldn’t agree more, HellOfAChump! It’s not about race or appearance at all.
        It’s a bit problematic how some people are making it a racial issue here. Some of us chumps are not white, and it hurts to read comments implying that dark features are bad, or somehow “less than”.

        It doesn’t matter what the AP looks like or what their ethnic background happens to be.
        It’s natural to notice differences…but the focus should be more on what a person does, their actions and character.
        I just feel this needs to be said. No disrespect, no harm or foul to anyone.

        33 Years A Chump…so sorry that happened to you! I will say that when a minority male puts down the women of his own group, that’s a red flag. I am a minority myself, and familiar with that type of mentality in some folks.
        It will only be a matter of time until he cheats on that other woman too.

  • Velvet wrote, “character is sought by the wise and chemistry is sought by fool.” Wise statement. Is it original to you?

  • I think its only normal to have this jealousy of the OW for a while. I remember imagining my now XH and OW and her 2 children happy as could be skipping down the alley laughing about how they all fooled me. I think at first the mind plays terrible tricks on you. I agonized about her and what she had that I didn’t have. Now she has a giant serial cheater and I have a gaslight free life. Go No Contact, gray rock if thats all you can do and focus on yourself and your future. It gets better.

  • My cheater continued hook ups with same sex from the beginning of our marriage. 34 years. No “relationships”, but it’s sex just the same. The last two years were so weird and confusing and Covid was everywhere. I didn’t feel safe at any time. I finally just asked if he had been unfaithful, and he was ready to exit because he said yes. He does not want to lose our home, that’s what hurts him the most. Finding out he never respected or truly cared for me was/is a process of accepting. Denial is real. And now I see how NEEDY I was. I have serious FOO issues. I’ll probably never date or fully trust another parter, and I’ll take 50% responsibility for that. The other half is his. He will need to live with almost destroying me financially, emotionally, and spiritually. That’s on him. Once I fix my family of origin issues my life will make more sense, I’ll make better choices. I can LET HIM GO. One day at a time. These stories resonate in so many ways, I feel lucky to have the support of Chump Nation in my new life.

    • You don’t need to take 50% responsibility for his actions, any more than someone shot should take 50% responsibility for being in the path of the bullet.

      Question if you were being “needy” or if you felt unsafe and were desperately seeking security. How needy could you have been if he had time for endless affairs? Sounds to me like this is how he used darvo (deny, accuse, reverse victim and offender) so you wouldn’t question him, his actions, how how he spent his time.

    • it’s great to gain clarity, isn’t it? it’s a relief. as for FOO issues and “neediness”, be kind to yourself. we all need love and acceptance; it’s not a terrible thing. you’re okay, learning about your self, and working on improvements.

      you’re okay. you deserve better.

  • In my case, OW was nowhere near as intelligent, educated or as attractive as I was. In fact, she had a backside like the engine compartment of a VW beetle (or like two Kardashians in a sack), a complexion pitted with acne scars, and badly overprocessed hair. In no way was she as attractive as I was, not then and not now. Still, he was spending a lot of time and money on her. Like you, I felt compelled to examine her life. I think that is a normal response, as we all take a huge blow to our self-esteem and need answers. I once heard a story about a guy who worked with me. He was away at a work conference and there was a one-legged, toothless woman working housekeeping at the venue. One morning he failed to show up at a conference and was discovered asleep with her in his bed. When questioned about why he’d stoop to such a partner, he replied that he asked every woman he met if she wanted to have sex “because so many of them will say yes”. We need to give up on the notion that the OW offers some secret appeal that we don’t have. We need to surrender the idea that we personally are lacking. I am convinced that a FW will actually cheat at any opportunity, and it is only the egregious outrageously sloppy events that we discover. I think cheating is like roaches – lots more there than you will ever see.

  • “Consider your values and who you aspire to be. Consider the “prize” you lost — a guy who is perfectly okay with dating a married woman.”

    This is such an important reminder for me. In some ways, my x and the OW are meant for each other. Both were perfectly ok with dating married people, sleeping in each other’s marital beds, and lying lying lying. Who does that? I never could. Not in a million years.

    Now those two cheaters married each other a few months ago. I’m sure they engage in some impressive double salchows to skate passed the dirty bits of how they met. No doubt they tell themselves that it was all for TWU LUV, and their marriage shows the world that it was meant to be. #justification #impressionmanagement

    Deep down, when they are lying in bed and staring at the ceiling unable to fall asleep, I like to think that they know they suck and that they can’t trust each other.

    You can take away my marriage and scramble my sense of reality, but you can’t take away my integrity.

    X and OW have rotten cores. Yes, she’s younger than I, attractive, and has a good job. But pretty is as pretty does.

    Both of them are ugly AF on the inside.

    • “Deep down, when they are lying in bed and staring at the ceiling unable to fall asleep, I like to think that they know they suck and that they can’t trust each other.”

      I don’t think there is any question about that, unless they are truly souless; they know and they think about it.

      In my fws case, I also believe they each met their match. He was a user, who just needed someone to control and she knew she couldn’t trust him because in short order he cheated on her. He knew her background and he knew she couldn’t be trusted. But, she needed a meal ticket, so that might have kept her on track. That was his control over her, she needed a meal ticket. It wasn’t like no one else knew that. He wasn’t her first married man rodeo, just the first one she was able to get to marry her.

      I do believe they got all the happiness and contentment they each deserved.

      • “He wasn’t her first married man rodeo” – yeah. OW in my own case (at least the one whose name I knew) had quite actually been with every married man who worked on the second floor of our professional building. None of them married her, of course, (although at least two of them had divorces instigated by her); and her poor husband, who surely is the unluckiest man in the county, still trudges along trying to support her.

    • Spinach, I absolutely love this:
      “You can take away my marriage and scramble my sense of reality, but you can’t take away my integrity.”

      Having a reality scrambled by a chaos-maker shall pass. Having a rotten core never does.

    • It is a good reminder. Sometimes it is hard not to be angry at loosing the life these FW imploded, the life they seem to be having with someone else. But then I remind myself of what I DON’T have. I don’t have that elephant sitting on my back anymore, breaking me down and making me feel smaller and smaller every day. I thank every day I wake up without that person by my side. I thank the OW’s poor character and for taking him off my hands so that I can be free again. I can live with myself, I can sleep at night, I can breathe, I am free to do what I want.

      • I know that it was a typo, but I like the image of “loosing a life” with an FW. As in, letting it free, like a helium balloon. Who knows how or where it will deflate and land. It’s floated off and we’re still standing on the ground, continuing on with our one life precious life.

      • This.

        I can’t remember where I read it, but I used to tell myself “Yes, OW got my life. My old life was the price I paid for my freedom” until I got to the point where there is nothing that would induce me to go back to that situation.

        She wanted my life? She got it. She got an abusive cheater who blamed everyone else for his problems. Once I stepped out of that circus, he turned on her. After he died, I found out for sure the truth I had always suspected – they were MISERABLE. I had to clean out his house (OW had left a few months before, but she had left a lot of her stuff). I have never seen so many anti-anxiety/antidepressant/sleep aid medications in one house. It was like a pharmacy, with both of them having an equal number of prescriptions. They were both alcoholics. They were broke. They fought all the time (screaming, vicious insults, and even physical fights). They both attempted suicide. My ex got OW to the hospital in time, and she was admitted to a psych ward. He wasn’t as lucky several months later.

        During all of that (up until a week or so before she left him) their social media was covered with kissy pictures, “you’re amazing”, “I love you so much”, “I’m so lucky”, and happy family photos of all the kids. It’s all a façade.

        They implode every life they encounter. I kept my integrity. I can sleep at night.

        And the life I had? I don’t want that ever again.

        My new life is WONDERFUL. Even when stressful things happen sometimes. I could have written your post, FTS. I feel the same way. I can breathe. I can be myself. I don’t have to make myself smaller for someone else. Day by day he had chipped away at everything that made me “me”. I had to start from square one to remember who I was, after he left me. But there is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.

        I wouldn’t trade it. Someday I’ll send OW a thank you card. She was my ticket out of hell. I wouldn’t trade places with her for the world.

        • “She wanted my life? She got it.”

          It has been years back since my fw blew up our life, and recently my son was telling me of a few things that happened with his dad. One thing was that about a year before he died, he was in the process of buying a huge ass RV. I mean the big ones like the ones companies buy. It was over one hundred thousand dollars.

          Fw and whore had filed bankruptcy, fw was in such bad health he could only walk a few feet before needing to rest; and they were living in an run down trailer park in FL. But, he was going to get that RV. My son said Dad, what if something happens to you how will it be paid off. He said and I quote “I don’t care, I will be dead”.

          My son said the look on whores face was horrible. I said to son; well she wanted my life she got it. Last he heard from I suspect fws sister was that whore has to turn the RV back in and pay 50 dollars a month to the dealer for basically the rest of her life.

          I would have never wished it on her, but I also don’t really care. She treated my son and his family like shit, just like fw did. I have not been able to forgive for that yet.

          I am so thankful God took me kicking and screaming out of that situation.

  • Would love to know if the cheater couple is still together. It appears OW got bored and discarded her family. Idiot cheater pursued what he perceived as a catch. A catch isn’t willing to discard their children and cheat on their spouse. Nice stable guys are not attracted to dysfunction no matter how good it looks. I’m sure they enjoyed themselves for a period of time but reality has a way of putting a damper on fantasy.
    One thing we all have in common is aging, no one escapes getting older. So when tall, blonde with the legs gets older, no one is going to say well she used to look good…they’ll scoff at her for leaving her kids, cheating on her husband and running off with a bozo. When you age all you have going for you is how you carried and conducted yourself in life.

  • LilyPad,

    If you need a good laugh to help put things in perspective, watch the movie The Gods Must be Crazy (1980). It is about a Kalahari Bushman who encounters western people for the first time, and his thoughts are narrated in the movie. This is what he thinks when he encounters a beautiful (by our standards) tall leggy blond (played by South African actress Sandra Prinsloo):

    “That morning, Xi saw the ugliest person he’d ever come across. She was as pale as something that had crawled out of a rotting log. Her hair was quite gruesome long and stringy and white, as if she was very old. She was very big. You’d have to dig the whole day to find enough food to feed her. Although it was a hot day, she was covering her body with skins that looked as if they were made from cobwebs.”

  • Well I’m a tall, leggy Nordic former model whose FW had an 18 month affair with a short, thin-haired chubster with spackled-over acne scars and linebacker shoulders who uncannily resembled Yogi, the dog with the human face.

    But in the AP’s favor, she was an alcoholic with a mean streak, daddy issues, no self esteem and no character so she fawned over FW in a way I never did and performed uncomfortable, porny, bladder-smashing Cirque de Soleil maneuvers in bed. I guess to FW that was trading up, at least until D-Day when he dumped the AP and I was temporarily sucked into the monumentally time-wasting RIC vortex.

    Meanwhile my “kink” is kindness, patience, humor and character, which FW apparently got tired of feigning. He even bellowed that at me in the DARVO stage– he was sick of pretending to be someone else. He thought this was an accusation that I somehow “made” him feign qualities he didn’t have but it was really a confession that he was a fraud.

    One thing chumps need to understand is that if there’s any “addiction” in cheating it’s to betrayal and to victimizing an intimate partner. It’s the same draw for witting side pieces. The primary attraction is to forming a bully cell and hurting someone– particularly someone with qualities cheaters lack– so they need matching personality disorders which can come in any physical package.

    People with personality disorders often mirror others and pretend to be decent people to fit within the normal world. This has got to be very stressful so I sense they experience a kind of relief when they find fellow pit vipers and can let their freak flags fly high for a bit, at least until the whole thing starts to smell and they start attacking each other, then they start hunting for another chump with character that they can idealize, mirror and eventually tear down betray. Or (warning) they circle back around to the original chump.

    That’s another thing to bear in mind is the boiling frog, self-esteem crushing campaigns that FWs engage in against partners, sometimes subtly, that seem bent on turning primary partners into isolated, humble, dun-colored mate birds who at least appear to have no alternatives to FW’s because FWs all have major attachment and abandonment issues (a skein I’d previously untangled as a dv survivors’ advocate). I never believe newly minted chumps’ modest mumblings about themselves because of this. I was the same and after years of being boiled, would frequently put myself down in a joking way. I honestly didn’t take stock of how FW was gradually eroding any sense of self worth I started out with and filing down the things that I valued in myself and that other people valued in me. I figured that his family must have honed that skill set for generations because FW did it so well. His final DARVO assaults became less covert and he attacked my parenting, character and sociability, saying that I didn’t know how to get along with people and I was a “dangerous” mother. Those were the things I valued most in myself and he’d already worn down the things that might attract others. Then his work was complete– or so he thought.

    Victory for chumps is a return to true self. Jealousy is just a symptom that FWs have (temporarily) reordered your value system. I’m sure the author of this post is one Shiseido makeup counter tutorial away from getting glared at by other women and hit on by nauseating randos and her ex has just temporarily made her forget that she doesn’t really care about or need any of it. The only real glamour is character. Oddly enough, FWs seem to understand this better than anyone or they wouldn’t expend so much energy trying to tear down the characters of victims. They understand the value of the thing they themselves lack.

    • Wow. This ^ is so important and has much much insight and truth. It reads like my own life. Except that I never went in for the RIC. Bad enough FW cheated on my for nearly a decade, post d-day I’m not going to be wasting my time monitoring whether he’s doing it again. I am at Meh on that one. Also I don’t need to spend $20K for the RIC to rehabilitate him into someone who appears to be different. That’s just some expensive spackle.
      My “kink” is integrity. Go figure.

      • Good for you that you didn’t waste a dime on RIC. I tallied about a $7K loss if including FW’s “sex addiction” therapists (indistinguishable from RIC philosophy) and the lie detector test that was part of full disclosure. I chalked it up to the overall cost of the affair (and so did my lawyer).

        The only thing that was a bit interesting was full disclosure but only because FW was terrified of the polygraph and spilled every last disgusting bean. If I’d taken it as skein untangling and a bid to “fix” FW, it would have also been a waste of time and even dangerous. Instead it was just myth busting. Affairs are maggoty, drunken and embarrassing things, nothing like on TV. I suppose that helped bypass the “what’s wrong with me?” stage.

        As they say, kink is very individualistic. We hardly dare admit that sweetness and honesty are turn-ons in a sex-pozzy era that normalizes “breath play” and “double penetration.” We might be kink-shamed for it. Integrity?? Gasp, you weirdo haha.

        • I need to re-read this everyday Hell of a Chump. I love the way you have pinned the tail on the donkey to absolute perfection. This is yet another of your piercing / blistering evaluations of the FW trail of wreckage. Thank you ❤️

    • “People with personality disorders often mirror others and pretend to be decent people to fit within the normal world.”

      I have mentioned before that when my mother in law and I caught fw and his whore at our river property one Saturday afternoon, whore fled fairly quickly with my MIL chasing her saying “you should be ashamed of yourself”. I barely looked at whore, but I looked at fw and said “why are you doing this”. His head was hanging down and he said “this is who I am” Likely one of the few truths he ever spoke to me. That was simply who he was.

      • He was “ick” personified. Why be ashamed? Why not prenounce it before the first date?

        Oh, duh, because no cake.

        • Yep.

          And speaking of cake, I remember a convo with the fw maybe three four years before the year of discard. He actually said he didn’t understand the saying “can’t have your cake and eat it too” I can’t even remember how the convo came up. But, anyway he kept saying but of course I want to eat the cake, and I would try to explain, but if you eat the cake it is gone, etc. I don’t remember how that ended; but it was a funny though to remember after we split.

          Maybe he was doing so well at cake eating, the in that moment he thought it would never end.

          • Kind of reminds me of the quote from Sinclair Lewis: ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’

            Exchange “salary” for cake.

            It kind of shows you how cheating relates to inability to think. Thought disorders and intellectual fallacies are not the same thing as being stupid or crazy but that might be a moot point. It makes them stupid. I tend to think that when people create blind spots in their thinking, ethics, etc., the blind spots are pretty global and this makes them blind to many other things in life that can eventually catch up to them (like speeding trucks, etc).

            • Der, speaking of thinking impairment, I meant UPTON Sinclair, not Sinclair Lewis. I feel better that the latter’s Wiki page states at the top, “Not to be confused with his contemporary, Upton Sinclair.”

            • ” It makes them stupid.”

              Right? I mean I don’t think for a second that my ex was stupid, but dang he pulled some stupid shit. He was one of the fw’s who gloriously crashed and burned, and all he got out of it was a whore. Didn’t even get to keep his promotion, his office or his standing in the community. He had become radioactive to the makers and shakers of that city, not to mention anyone that had any interest in maintaining their integrity.

    • This is a brilliant post, Hell of a Chump. Thank you. Thought provoking. Your observations about the gradual deliberate erosion of the chump’s self-esteem and special individual skills and talents resonates. It’s one factor for the husk-like feeling that many of us describe after being discarded. I’m very sociable. I got thrown at me ‘you make people feel very, very uncomfortable’. This comment wounded me to my core. I was badly bullied at school for a physical characteristic. This bullying continued into a couple of public facing jobs. I have had to work hard to become a strong, confident woman. His comment was cruel and aimed at smashing what was left of me. A weak me was going to be a walk over for selling my home and taking 50% of the proceeds to exgfOW as a tribute. That tactic failed badly. I have come to realise that I do make liars and cheats feel uncomfortable, because I have integrity. It shines out of me. And long may I continue to keep those liars and cheaters at a distance, nursing their discomfort. I like my safe space.

    • Wow. What a great post.

      And other than the fact that I am neither tall, blond, nor leggy, I could have written it. (But I don’t mind being a short, curvy woman with red hair [albeit not a natural redhead], because I am actually really pretty, no matter what FW did to make me feel otherwise.. It took a long time to get his voice out of my head, but I actually LIKE what I see in the mirror these days.)

      • ” I am actually really pretty, no matter what FW did to make me feel otherwise..”

        Same here, I honestly don’t know what it is with these fw’s. I get that looks is not the issue but for most of us in the beginning we get devastated and if we have treated our fws well, which I know I did and most who are devastated by betrayal have; it is hard not to look at ourselves and try to make sense and well… if we were good wives, what else is there?

        When I started dating a guy I met long after fw left, he freaked and started hoovering. I remember thinking; I am an attractive 40 year old woman, with a good reputation in the workplace. I worked for DoD. You can’t throw a cat at most of those facilities without hitting an eligible age appropriate man. What did he think would happen?

        I think most of them they think we will go to work, them come home and cry for them for the rest of our viable years. Yeah no, none of us are going to do that. Why would we.

        I honestly never thought I would get remarried; but I knew there would be a decent man in my life. Once I started to heal, I was not going to live like a nun, and worship fw.

    • I love how you stated this, HOAC! You have a real way with words.
      As you outlined above, the problem is when our self-worth takes a hit and we start to hate ourselves because of what they do or say to us.

      I had an ex-boyfriend years ago who said terrible things to me, one of which was that I was “stupid”.
      I internalized his comments at the time. He went so far as to say it in front of other people as a way to keep me in my (perceived) place.
      Now I laugh about it, because he was uneducated, had no real desire to improve anything about himself as a person, smoked weed constantly and wanted to hang out with losers.
      Me? I was trying to earn degrees in school, smart, attractive, upwardly mobile, motivated to succeed. I was only “stupid” for staying with him at the time.

      They want us to hate ourselves so they can feel better.

  • Don’t envy the Disordered! 💯 agree.

    This individual bombed her own family to flake off with some guy she got the hots for. That’s as low as you can get! How is that enviable? It’s disgusting and as CL points out – a clear indication of SOCIOPATHY. Seriously. She looks “happy” because does not have the capacity to have empathy or remorse. Neither do serial killers.

    They will each move onto other flavours sooner or later once the shiny wears off.

    Caulk this up to life experience. I know it’s so hard to truly read people sometimes. Sociopaths specialize in fooling us all.

    But, make no mistake. What they have is NOT happiness. It is supply. Abandonment is abuse. Infidelity is Abuse. They’re both abusers and deserve each other.

    You deserve someone wonderful. Be glad the trash took itself out.

  • As usual, CL nails this problem–LilyPad is untangling the skein and allowing fuckwits free rent in her head. But there are 3 statements here that point to why, a year after a boyfriend (not a husband) has cheated and discarded her, she is still STUCK.

    1. “I suppose some of it has to do with the fact that I really thought he was a lovely person.” As CL points out, LilyPad has evidence to the contrary. I once thought the kitten I begged for as a child was female, and named t accordingly. The cat turned out to be a tomcat. A large one. It was funny to be wrong about that, but no one in my family spent any time thinking “but I thought it was a girl.” HE WAS NOT A “LOVELY PERSON.” Once you realize the cat is a male, that the politician you admired is a lying crapweasel, that wine gives you hives, that the movie you scorned before you saw it is actually really good, then you let go of your mistaken beliefs. Let it go. Figure out what you missed when you assessed this person (e.g., the cat had testicles) and move on.

    2. “I really don’t want to obsess over her, but I find myself comparing myself to her constantly and wondering “Why her and not me?” This is a choice. Comparing yourself to other people is self-harm on a major level. It’s one thing to admire (and maybe envy) the achievements of others or their talent or even their beautiful hair. It’s another thing to devalue YOURSELF by comparing yourself to others. (And it’s just as bad to build yourself up by devaluing other people.) I watch the TV show Blue Bloods, which features a lovely, talented actress Bridget Moynahan who once dated football QB Tom Brady. She was dumped in favor of ultra-rich supermodel Gisele Bundchen. What would be the point of comparing two beautiful, successful women because some athlete broke up with one (who was pregnant) to be with the other? The criteria is in the head of an adult man careless enough to imrpregnate a woman he’s about to dump. I’m not thinking there was any deep analysis going on there. Just the usually twu wuv Schmoopie business and thinking with the wrong body part.

    Just as it’s a great life decision to stop caring about what other people think of you (so long as you are not wrecking everything around you), it’s a great life decision to focus on being your best self and not on what others have that you don’t have–in this case, shitty character and a sociopathic-level disregard for one’s children, along with blonde hair.

    3. “Her children don’t talk to her anymore because she ran off and left them behind, but whenever I see her, she seems to be happy.” Everything after the first half of the sentence is unnecessary:

    “Her children don’t talk to her anymore because she ran off and left them behind.”
    Full stop. She left her children behind.

    The fact that she SEEMS to be happy is beside the point. And it’s a projection. LilyPad runs into the AP and she “seems to be happy.” Well, is AP’s “happy” the same as LilyPad’s? Would LilyPad abandon her children and find happiness posting what she eats at restaurants on social media? I think not.

    Why in the world do chumps, who have been severely wounded by cheaters, people who HIDE BEHIND SOCIAL MASKS, not recognize that AP’s, like cheaters, also hide behind a social mask? Or for that matter, when we chumps put on our game face and show up to work without tears rolling down our cheeks, we’ve got on a social mask, too, albeit a temporary one so we can continue functioning.

    The only way to get out of this spiral of nonsense is mental no-contact. No snooping on social media. No allowing cheaters and APs to dominate our mental space. Stop comparing. Stop creating scenarios and making assumptions about people you know are liars and con artists. No hanging onto our former false views of the cheater. Let go.

    • I think the Tom Brady story was a bit more covert than usual since he reportedly was not with the model until after the breakup of his marriage. But, when asked earlier what she thought of Tom Brady, Bundchen had craftily said in an interview that though she was impressed with Brady when she met him, since he was married he might as well be gay. It seems he took this as an instructional or a challenge. In any event, he soon dumped his wife and quickly began dating Bundchen. A few months into dating Bundchen, Brady learned his ex was pregnant.

      I suppose there’s a chance Bundchen might have been misquoted in her remarks about Brady and surprised by the turn of events but I suspect she knew what she was doing. Subtle poaching.

    • Hey LAJ–thank you.

      “stop creating scenarios and making assumptions about people you know are liars and con artists. No hanging onto our former false views of the cheater. Let go.”

      I had one of those “whyyyyyy?” moments today. I’m physically, emotionally, spiritually, everyotherkindof-lly exhausted today. The kind of exhaustion where your brain reverts to very old (and thought had been discarded) habits. Like looking at FB/IG/BlahBlah for their pictures. Sizing them up and seeing my lacking. Then, alas, a “ping” from CL/CN. Get Thee’s Head Out Of Thee’s Ass and Stop That! Your comment hit home, 100%. I wasn’t then and am not now “less than”, no matter what FWEXH said. He chose to put his tab B into slots A. There was nothing I could do–not lose more weight, jettison my kids, stop working, perform sex acts rivaling Cirque Soleil, ignore everything the way they did and even when I did (stupid PMD!!), it didn’t undo the detonated hand grenade. It wasn’t about me.

      thanks for reminding me of that simple fact. I couldn’t change it because I didn’t cause it and it wasn’t mine to fix.

      Stupid pick-me-dance.
      Even dumber RIC.
      I’m gonna make some cookies, watch Elmo with a little one and have a nap.
      #mehispossible

  • You know that old saying, …Looks aren’t everything. I’ve lived long enough to see a number of narcissistic cheaters get old, and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.

    Eventually the insides and the outsides on everyone, match. It’s easy to tell the pleasant folks of good character. Lots of smile lines, a twinkle in the eye and a lovely calm, easy energy that says “Hello friend.”

    I’m thinking about one cheater in particular. In their youth they were very good looking. As an older person,…. slimy, shady used car salesman energy with the usual accoutrements of aging makes for a very unattractive package, and this person had literally used up everyone who was the least bit inclined to want to be anywhere near them. They died utterly alone, and nobody cared. I can’t think of a sadder life, or a sadder ending.

    Unless a cheater keeps that mask on for their whole life, that’s what’s in store for a lot of them, both cheater and cheater schmoopie.

    I for one, don’t envy them one bit. Having people who care about me and respect me and who are glad I’m in their lives is so much better.

  • I’m just checking I didn’t write this .

    My ex AP ( now wife ) is tall , blonde , athletic , pretty ,16 years younger, seems very popular in her peer group I am none of that things .

    I’m middle aged not pretty short brown hair and dumpy . I never stood a chance

    But then again I don’t get pregnant and have affairs with married men from my work .
    I’ve got self respect , morals and dignity .

  • So many facets of infidelity are the same.

    Cheater: My spouse/partner is controlling, withholding of sex, we’re just roommates. They didn’t give me enough: attention, love, sex – WTF ever… I love my partner, but I’m not IN LOVE with my partner…

    OW/OM: Alas, Cheater, you deserve better and (in my perverse, lizard-brained mind) I just happen to be just THAT! I’m down for anything and won’t bore you with boundaries and responsibilities like the ‘ol ball and chain! Drops underwear… Weeeeeeeeeee! Now, leave your partner. I have needs after all! “I won’t be ignored, DAN!”

    Chump: My spouse must have a brain tumor, they’re in midlife crisis, they must have hit their head…
    The OW/OM must be better than me in some way: thinner, younger, richer, etc. I’m somehow not tending my garden. Chump reads a million books, blogs, articles. Chump does the hard work of healing and fixing their picker. Chump gains a life.

    It’s nearly a mathematical equation. Not sure why these idiots get high on an equation.

  • Men can be really stupid when it comes to tall blondes. It’s an unfair fact of life that they have an easier time getting the goodies that we mortals have to work extra hard for. But here’s the thing: One does not have to be a supermodel to be worthy of love. Look around you! See all those average 5’s and 6’s and their happy relationships? That’s because when a man falls in love with you, he thinks you are beautiful. And I’ll bet your prettier than most! So just shut that shit down now! You are good, you are strong, you are worthy, and somewhere a guy is looking for you right now!

    • I was never a supermodel, just workaday and only did it to get through school but some of my friends were big deals in their day. All of us had more than a few harrowing experiences related to the profession or the way the profession or perception of appearance effect personal life. Believe me, there is no more dumped on, harassed and cheated on group of women in the supposedly civilized world. For one, they’re negative filters for personality disordered men. You know the expression “traded in for a newer model”? It’s not any easier when that’s literally the case. I think it’s worse now that the super model era is over and models are mostly grossly underpaid, nameless and from third world countries because they’re easier to exploit when they’re desperate to keep their visas.

      It was bad enough in the supermodel era when women were highly paid. I suspect that’s why the only real feminists I knew back then were models. It seems strange but the women I went to school with from loftier professions like law and journalism were way more “Pickme” when younger, likely because the abuses they witnessed and experienced weren’t quite as technicolor so they didn’t quite understand the stakes, though a few had “Promising Young Woman” type experiences and crossed over later.

      My friend who was on the cover of Vogue several times is currently in the midst of a horrific divorce from a genuinely scary but highly intelligent, covert monster. He pretended to be a feminist, even teaching martial arts in his spare time to battered women. She’s one of the smartest people I know but he managed to snow her and everyone else. She joked that he married her as a brood mare in order to have tall kids but in fact has a fetish for pint-sized hookers. I was worried at one point that he might have her done away with when she uncovered his double life. Fun.

      Though “pretty privilege” exists to some degree, not many talk about the flip side or the very high price of it. At least that dialogue is beginning. I also know several women who are beginning to talk to the press about victimization or near-victimization at the hands of Gerald Marie, the head of Elite-Paris who was featured in the Australian 60 Minutes segment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl_FXbNrq9o

      Things are never quite what they seem.

      • I saw this segment when it aired. One of THE supermodels Linda Evangelista was with him at the time. I also read a book entitled “Model” which delved into the seedy underworld that’s tied to the modeling industry. A lot of the models are trafficked i.e. jetted off to Brunei for parties where are held captive and assaulted. Christie Brinkley’s father was a cop so she had some form of protection. 🤮

        • These predators can smell vulnerability. It’s an uncanny skill. My dear friend who’s in the midst of the divorce was sort of a mentor and once told me to ditch my teen alt rock grunge gear in favor of the “understated heiress look” because, as she explained, “if you look like you need anything from anyone they’ll eat you alive.” She was right. It even cut down on street harassment when you look like daddykins or hubby will have them knocked off or fired if they screw with you. Since then I see fashion as nothing more than armor. I kind of enjoy it but it’s not art. It’s basically chain mail.

          • Ha! When I picked my outfit for my stbsx-husband’s funeral, I was thinking of the fact that I had to face so many of my “friends” who had embraced the OW and shunned me. I wore all black (of course), but it was my “bad ass” little black dress (leather and studs on the shoulders, short, and fits me like a glove), with stiletto boots and a black biker jacket. My best friend came to support me and she took one look at me and said “I see you wore armor”. And that is why I love her.

            It did help me get through the day. (Also my hair was PERFECT and I have not had such a good hair day since.)

  • This is almost my brother’s story. His wife left him and their young children for drugs and partying. He got total custody because she disappeared for years. So the Nordic blond woman who left her children for another man had better show up for her kids. If she doesn’t then she is despicable. The damage done to children by parents who abandon them is catastrophic.
    I don’t think it is love. It is lust. What happens when they get wrinkles, or gravity takes its toll?
    Beautiful, powerful women get cheated on. Halle Berry, Christie Brinkley. Hillary Clinton, Sandra Bullock and anyone married to Trump, Mackenzie Bezos, Melinda Gates.
    I have told my girls to make sure they can take care of themselves financially. It never hurts.

  • I hope the male chumps will speak up here. As a chump who was discarded for someone 26 years younger than me, I went through some issues with self esteem and self worth. I have gone through childbirth and menopause. I can’t change what those have done to my body. I am reasonably fit and am within the ideal range for my height as far as weight. Yep, I have some wrinkles and yep I have some scars. I do not have the body or face of someone 26 years younger. Hopefully this is not what real, decent men are looking for and if they are looking for that then they will not knock on my door (good for me because I don’t need a FW).
    What I have and most chumps have a lot of is morals, integrity, honesty, empathy, loyalty, caring, consideration and a whole lot of love to give. Hopefully, that is what counts because I will have those as long as there is a breath in me.
    I would never ever have left my kids (well I only have one) for a sparkly turd or an orgasm. I would not have blown my family up for sparkles and chasing the next piece of ass. Sorry, those who do this are FWs! I am focusing on what I am right now and learning to see red flags and enforce boundaries with vigilance. I have friends who are real friends and have never cared what they look like but they do have values and integrity and they show this through their actions. I had to get rid of friends who support cheating, lying and abuse.

  • My kid woke up smiling yesterday… and today. That hasn’t happened in years. She can keep her long legs and my abusive husband. My kid is happy and nothing is better than that.

  • Yes, my ex was frankly a poor husband and father. He was a workaholic and had trouble bonding with our kids. His mind was perpetually a mix of cloudy and volatile from prescription drugs.

    And not once did I consider leaving him. I sucked it up and kept life going. I figured that not every marriage was happy, and that I would make good with what I had.

    Then he took off when we separated and hasn’t lived in the area since. I had to sweep up all the mess he left behind and thankfully got a lawyer that took the upper hand and got me a good settlement. Real-life is showing up and owning up, as my attorney would say. Thanks, I’ll take real.

  • “Most men would like a woman who sticks around to raise their children. Most men would like a woman who doesn’t cheat on them.”

    Been there , same situation , but was my exw who was the deserter. Trust that those kids will grow up and realize what a broken person there mother was. Mine did.

  • “You’re lost in untangling the skein (otherwise known as his taste in blondes), instead of untangling your OWN skein — why did you tolerate this jerk? Because you thought he was someone else? Not a good enough answer, after he SHOWED you who he was.”

    Exactly this. My ex has shown me time and time again who she really is. I just chose to accept it and sought of excuses for her every action, because honestly? I thought I couldn’t do better. I thought in time she would learn to value me and my characteristics and become the vision I saw of her. She always promised me what I wanted to hear and then blindsightingly left me for her new lover. Even after the breakup I tried to find any information about her, telling myself to seek a sign it was “truly over”, when in reality I was searching for kibbles.
    I’m slowly learning my value. In fact I was too good for her. And she honestly traided down with the yet unvaccinated, carless, still living at his parents douchebag.
    She did me a favor by letting me go!

    I have yet to stop thinking of her and truly internalizing that I’ll never accept the things she has done to me from any partner ever again. I used to fold whenever she manipulated me. She was very got at it (and I think to a point even unaware of it) and I always crumbled. Never again. I’ll only start dating , once I’m sure of my rock steadyness.

  • I am a curvy (read: not exactly skinny) woman of color and have spent my entire life feeling like I’m not as pretty as tall, thin blondes; OW was a tall, thin, blue-eyed blonde. Hearing her name (in random contexts, it’s a pretty common name) gives me an entire panic response.

    >Most men would like a woman who sticks around to raise their children. Most men would like a woman who doesn’t cheat on them.

    I hear this but after what happened I have trouble believing it. I still wish I was the tall blonde cheating newer model. I hope I can eventually rebuild confidence in myself.

  • I just want to tell the OP…please don’t put yourself down! I understand the hurt that you feel, comparing yourself to her, etc. But you are more of a woman than she will ever be. You’re a better person because you’re not hurting people (unlike her).

    I’m not just saying that to comfort you. It’s the truth. What you have is goodness within, loyalty and strength of character. Always remember that.

    Also, if I can say this (no offense to anyone)…”blonde” doesn’t always mean “beauty”.
    I’m neither blonde or tall, and I’m attractive. Plenty of gorgeous women in this world who are not tall/blonde/Swedish. Darker hair and dark features don’t mean “average-looking”. Just felt I had to tell you this, because it seems like you’re down on yourself for being the opposite of what she is looks-wise.

    What you need is self-confidence and to see that it was HIS loss, not yours.
    If he wants Miss Tall Blonde, that’s on him. You are worthy of better things in life…but you have to believe in yourself.
    He isn’t worthy of you.

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