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I’m the Other Woman and I’m Terrified He’ll Cheat on Me

I’m on the road today, so I am rerunning a CN favorite, where an OW wrote to me expecting chump compassion…. and it didn’t end well.

Dear Chump Lady,

I am probably the biggest chump of all, but here goes…  I was married for 21 years and had an affair (the only one) with a married man I work with, who had been married for 17 years. 

He said I’m number 8 for him. He told me about all of them — even about sleeping with his wife’s best friend (who also happens to be his best friend’s wife and neighbor). My naiveté made me believe that it was a one time thing. He told me it went on for 15 years! I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that, but I am still with him. 

He also told me he went to a strip club when he was away for work for a month and picked up a stripper — also that she stayed with him the entire time he was there. We both divorced our spouses and are living together, but as you can probably guess it’s not good. I obviously don’t trust him and a lot of times can’t stop thinking about his past. It makes me want to vomit. I am terrified he will cheat on me — he said he won’t of course. AM I THE BIGGEST CHUMP OF ALL?


Dear DB,

No. You’re not a chump at all. You’re the victor in the fuckwit Thunderdome. You’ve beat out the competition and won the sparkly turd, DB. No tag backs. He’s all yours.

If Chump Nation wonders why I run these OW letters (which invariably devolve into troll fests) consider them a public service announcement — this is what winning the Pick Me Dance looks like.

The obvious but nauseating realization that you’re not special? Check.

Twitchy, mind-bending hypervigilance? Check.

Living together (presumably between strippers), clinging to the facade of your shitty relationship, to prove that annihilating two families was worth it? Check.

DB, I’m sorry. You competed for this Dreamboat with the full knowledge of who he is. Regretting your decision doesn’t make you a chump.

Perhaps you think being a chump means making stupid relationship decisions. Or having the kind of piss poor self-esteem that allows a person to tolerate fuckwits. Let’s be clear on the concept. Chumps are UNKNOWING. They are duped, lied to, humiliated, used, conspired against, conned. You are none of those things. You knew exactly what you were getting — a cheater. You’re a cheater. He’s a cheater. You aren’t a chump. Chumps are acted UPON, they are not the actors. Chumps do not consent to be chumps. You, on the other hand, signed up for this shit.

Ergo — you are not the victim here. You’re Number 8. One idiot in a long line of idiots.

So now you’re terrified that he’ll do to you what you were complicit in doing to another? And you want MY sympathy? Who do you think you are?

Look, I’m an actual chump, so part of me feels bad ripping you to shreds for reaching out to me. You has a sadz and maybe I can help. But then I bitchslap myself, because post-infidelity Tracy has zero tolerance for your kind of malignant entitlement.

Entitlement? Yeah, the kind of chutzpah that writes “I had an affair (the only one)…” You want a bitch cookie? Tell it to the guy who lost 21 years of his life to you. You’re scared shitless that Mr. Wonderful MIGHT do to you what you actually DID to your ex-husband. Meditate on that.

Or how about the entitlement that led you to fuck a married co-worker? Did you consider his chump wife? Let me guess — she didn’t Sufficiently Appreciate Him. Compelled him to fuck those strippers and her best friend, huh? She must’ve deserved it. Unlike YOU there, Sparkletwat. Best of luck with all your super specialness. Hope it serves as a magic barrier against STDs.

DB, it takes some gobsmacking gall to come on a support site for chumps when you’re the OW. I’m sorry that merely thinking of being betrayed makes you “want to vomit.” (Actually betraying chumps, however, must be just tickety boo.) How hard it is to be you.

I’d hate for your visit to Chump Nation to be for naught, as you wanted advice and all, so here’s some:

Regular pap smears.

Good luck.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • The OW reached out to me a few months after I kicked FW out (and of course he moved in with her). She had the nerve to try to empathize with me and said “I understand how hard this must be for you because I’m also going through a divorce. I’m here if you ever need help with the kids or just to talk” Really whore? Really? REALLY? You don’t have a clue how I feel because you are half the reason my life imploded. You’re going through a divorce too because of what you chose to do. My divorce is because of what you both chose to do. Not because of a choice I made for years without your knowledge. And over my dead body would I reach out to you for any kind of help or consoling. Keep your nasty hands off my kids and out of our lives!

    When they broke up a year later she messaged me again saying she totally understood why I left him, he did the same thing to her that he’d done to me. She wanted to compare stories and bond over it. I laughed until I peed my pants and hit the block button. She got exactly what she deserved.

      • Agree! That my x wanted to be comforted by friends on D-day, that he complained that he had only one person (the AP) for emotional support, that he thought our kids would accept the AP, that he imagined one big happy family, and that he didn’t foresee any of the consequences that someone with an ounce of self-awareness would have anticipated astonishes me. What a cluless f*ck!

        He insists to this day that he’s a great dad. His kids are NC and have been since he dropped the bomb in 2019. He thinks it’s all my fault, that I control my adult kids. Nope! It’s because he was not a good dad. But, as I said, he has zero self-awareness.

        • My charming cheater Husband had long term affairs with young drug addicts, who he also brought into my home and bed, while I was away. Since discovery he has broken my hip and been found to be a thief at his place of employment. We have four adult sons that are no contact since the day of discovery ranging in ages from 24-36. They refer to him by first name when they need to reference him. I have been seriously blamed for the lack of relationship he has with his children. No accountability at all. It’s my fault of course that they know any of his dirty secrets. Two of my children were witness to him football shoving me and falling to the ground, the result being a fracture hip that needed emergency surgery. Couldn’t be any of his actions that have brought his own children to go no contact? This shit is unreal. Always somebody or something that makes them do what they do. It’s mind altering.

        • Spinach, this hits home for me.

          I swear my exFW thought, even after the big cheater reveal (DD#3 trickle truth), that I’d always love and pine after him. That, even in divorce, I would always be at his beck and call with the kids so desperate and grateful for any scrap of attention he might bestow upon us that we’d let him do whatever he wanted and like it. He was truly confused and surprised when that didn’t happen. Now Im just the b—— he accuses of parental alienation which in reality is just the kids reaction to his abandonment. #Deflection&Blame shifting

          He later told me that he expected we’d get back together even though he adamantly refused to entertain the idea for six months between asking for a divorce and the final DD#3 while I pick-me danced as hard as I could. He enjoyed torturing me and the power trip it gave him. He enjoyed the drama and the centrality. He expected that I would forgive him anything in order to keep my precious family together and make sure my kids had a dad. After all I had prioritized his career, where we lived, and our lives revolved around him in every way.

          In fairness, the Lying Cheating FW had convinced me to let him stay through two other DDs. More than ten years apart. He swore he was a changed man, so grateful to have me and his kids in his life. I thought the first DD was a one off. The second due to major depression— I loyally nursed him through it all to better health. It nearly broke me. At that time I warned him I would never go through that again. I drew the line in the sand. I am nothing but I woman of my word. I didn’t want to divorce but I finally recognized that this was his MO, a pattern not an exception, that I had nothing to work with, not even hope. Hindsight is so clear I’m smh.

          When he realized that I was finally finally washing my hands of him, it was THEN he set the house on fire with the kids and me in it. His shitty Character was revealed by what he did behind my back when I trusted him. Karma dropped the evidence in my lap every time. Divorce ended the abuse. But he could have put that behind us if he decided to man up and take care of business and his kids. His complete lack of character was laid bare when he decided to withdraw his support for his kids. Why? Because they were teens upset about the way he treated their mother and handled the separation and divorce. They were only allowed to adore him snd share only his opinions so any other response needed punishment by his complete withdrawal. In large part, his dereliction of parental duties to those amazing kids is the part I can’t and won’t get over.

          • Same vibe from my ex who thought I was so desperate to keep him that he’d try asking me if he could just keep the girlfriend as a side piece instead of breaking us up. He got a massive shock when I said no but he also seemed relieved. But, when he realized it was permanent and I didn’t want him around me ever again, things got ugly. Then he simply abandoned us and made everything horribly difficult through the divorce.

          • Wow eerily similar. I hope Chumps read this and realize that cheaters cant change, it is who they are. Cheaters have a character defect. Wish I knew this 18 years ago. No one mentioned character defect at the time. We try and make excuses for them, hey they are depressed, hate their job, have stress ect. I have all those too but wow I dont cheat as my go to. Why? Because I have good character. They pick us and reel us in because we are so great. They want to be surrounded by us but they cant sustain the facade.

        • I could have written this. The stbx of 32 yrs marriage acts like he is the victim. His AP is supposedly the victim of a bad marriage to an alcoholic as well. She has been single for yrs but tried to empathize with me when I talked to her after she dropped the bomb on me that her and my husband were yet again together after I foolishly took him back after the first time. She’s a fool and deserves all she gets with him. The stbx doesn’t get that our adult kids want nothing to do with him because he was a jerk of a dad, narc and alcoholic and when he tried to destroy their mom they didn’t like it. He told our daughter via text that his life sucked with me and her and her brother were a big part of that. He also said after calling her husband horrible things that after all he’s done for her that she wouldnt talk to him or let him see his grandkids just because your mom and I broke up. Like we were in high school. lol . Way to win your kids back. She has not responded to any of his messages and her husband even told him to leave them alone. These people are just insane.

          • What he did to you is disgusting–what he said to your kids is beyond disgusting.

        • One of my children called one of their father’s “people” Puddles. I asked why. OMG Mum shes soooooo shallow……

    • I can see clearly Now …,
      It’s strange how the Schmoopies feel compelled to some how mansplain / womansplain the situation as if they are somehow both Pope and Pontiff.
      All the while the FW is just on to the next thing … I can see her now with the next one and I’m glad she’s not with me. Actually, in a way, grateful that schmoopie destroyed my family because without him I might never have seen FWs true self. Ewww.

    • I’m so glad you didn’t fall for her trying to sister-wife you! My kids tell me the “soulmate” banner is fraying off the overhang for the FW & the OW. Dead Silence if the beotch ever thinks of trying to sister-wife me! She can fuck off & go pay for therapy like I had to!!!

    • As a wise man once said, “I’m not going to feel better, and I’m not going to be your prop so that YOU can feel better!”

      • And as a wise woman once said, “I’m not gonna set myself on fire to keep YOU warm!”

    • Absolutely these whores I don’t get it and my former husband very Narcissitic now wants me back, not a chance in hell!????

    • Oh how I love that story! What a huge nerve to reach out to you. And that’s awesome schadenfraude

    • Several of my ex’s used tissues have contacted me for sympathy and understanding…. I actually felt bad for one but the rest…. baaah.
      As a good friend once told me – if you lie down with him, fleas is the least of your problems.

    • Ha. OW did the same to me – reached out to me after the breakup, saying she was abused by him too and she was willing TO BE A WITNESS IN MY DIVORCE TRIAL because she just “wanted the best for [my son]”. As if! I never responded to her BS. If she thought I’d feel bad for her because she was abused too, she was wrong. She got exactly what she deserved, and I have zero sympathy for her. My son hasn’t spoken to her since the breakup (thank god) because she completely ignored him while having pretended to care about him for years. Now she goes on social media and talks about DV recovery and how she was a victim and “ended up” in a bad situation (“Ended up”? No, you CHOSE to do get involved with a married man, and called me a liar when I put documentation of his abuse in our divorce documents). After FW died, she kept contacting me, like she thought we shared a grief and could be besties or something. Nope.

  • DB isn’t very smart, is she?

    is it the yellow fog of entitlement that clouds their judgment? or are they just dumb?

    this is what strikes me these days, how dumb both my X and the OW appear. do they not understand what other people see when they look at their behaviour at work? the seductive looks over the water cooler, the weekly trysts at the Sheraton, the wearing of sexy stockings and lucite heels TO THE OFFICE as part of foreplay?

    let alone how my X promoted OW, his direct subordinate, from manager to director. the optics, THE OPTICS. Human Resources, i’d like to file a complaint.

    • “Seductive looks over a water cooler” turn to sneers when you are out of the triangle and they are fighting over whose turn it is to clean the toilets, pay bills, drive dog to the vet, etc etc etc

      • I’m laughing as I’m picturing the seductive looks over the water cooler, and laughing even harder at the sneers when she’s asked him three times to take out the trash., etc.., etc, etc.. His jokes she laughed hysterically at in the beginning aren’t so funny after you’ve heard the same joke for the 100 times..

        • Yes, the jokes…….. and the stories of his peak in life which was in high school, 45 years ago. I politely listened to those stories thousands of times in 40 years. I do wonder how long it will take before Schmoopie’s brain starts to revolt when he starts into his monologue.

  • Ouch!!! Utterly brutal but entirely predictable. Afraid I’m with you all the way here CL. I can no more tolerate a cheat than I can sit in a room full of COVID-19 sufferers coughing at me. You have to have been cheated on, I think, in order to understand this.

    Let’s just say that in writing to you DB has only served to reinforce her own inherent stupidity and arrogance.

    If you’re looking for some support or want to ease a guilty conscience best not seek these things from your victims.

  • I’m on a number of discussion boards on Quora and that’s was a similar to a subject on Sunday .

    OW especially ( I don’t think I read from OM) but they were saying what if he cheats on me it’s been 3 years 5 years etc and it started as an affair .

    The amount of appeasement they were getting was quiet eye opening

    Things like if he was going to do it he would have done it by now or you can’t live worrying he obviously loves you or he wouldn’t have left his wife for you .
    A number of men and women chimmed in with I had an affair with my wife / husband and we’ve been together ——- amount of years and I’d never dream of cheating again .
    Others were saying the regret how they left their partner but not meeting their AP and subsequent relationship .

    Not that I think for a second them that do go on to cheat again would admit it but I do wonder how these things work out with them .

    Seems like trust is not an issue to most of these OW or OM

    • There’s a lot of overlap, personality-wise, between “I’m so special that the rules of marriage don’t apply to me, so I can cheat” and “I’m so special that he’d never cheat on me, even though he cheated on his wife”. This is what allows them to trust even though (from our point of view) it seems crazy illogical to do so.

      • Yes. They’re so fucking stupid. “If he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you”. (Or she).

        I have *never* come across an exception to that rule. ????

    • Karmeh,
      cheating is always ugly but I think cheating can stem from different circumstances.
      Some people genuinely fall in love with someone else, and they would not think of cheating again.
      Some cheat for fun, to boost their ego, for sex and other reasons. It is much more difficult to imagine these persons not cheating again.
      I don’t believe that a person who cheats is inherently dishonest, but I am not from the States and I can see some cultural differences in the way people approach cheating, divorce etc. compared to my country.
      For example, in my country it is the married man who is usually considered guilty of not respecting his wife and family. The responsibility is square on him, not on the other woman. Sometimes the other woman doesn’t even know she has started dating a married man, such is the level of lying.
      Said so, I agree with everything that CL wrote above. The guy is a serial cheater, he will continue to cheat.

      • “Some people genuinely fall in love with someone else, and they would not think of cheating again.”

        Bullshit. If you ‘fall in love’ (vomit????) with someone else while you’re *still married*, it’s because you put yourself out there, made yourself *available*.

        People with character and integrity don’t behave like that. Entitled arseholes do. If you’re unhappy in your marriage/relationship, as CL has frequently pointed, there are ethical ways to end it. Starting by saying so, leaving, and filing for divorce *before* you start looking for someone else.

        “Oh, we couldn’t help ourselves! We fell in luuurve!” Fuck our previous obligations, children, vows, promises, it’s all about us and our ‘feeeewings!

        God, how I loathe and *despise* these disengenuous, selfish, self absorbed excuses for despicable behaviour. ????????????????

        • Chumpnomore
          In an ideal world people would do everything perfectly, without hurting anybody but this is not the case.
          The stories I have read here are terrible and they are not ordinary break-ups. An incredible amount of pain and disrespect was inflicted.
          Some people on Quora might be writing based on their experience of different circumstances. There could be dead marriages on both sides, people who have an agreement to live together only for the kids, sexless marriages etc.
          Not all break-ups involve a couple in which there is a cheater and the other partner is still fully invested in the relationship.
          This is why there will be different reactions from people who comment on a public forum like Quora.

          • Re: Ellie

            “Not all break-ups involve a couple in which there is a cheater and the other partner is still fully invested in the relationship.“

            I think people here know that.

            This site is about cheating. Where one party is lying about what they are thinking, what they’re feeling, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with, to their committed partner who is being deceived.

            I don’t think I’ve seen you here before? You sound like a lurking OW to me.

            • Velvet Hammer
              I arrived on this site looking for information on therapists who justify cheating and perpetrate the lie that “it can make the marriage even stronger”, which I believe is nonsense but in my country it is all the rage.
              I stayed and I read many posts and stories. I agree with the majority of the things that are written here and if I were in a committed relationship and I were cheated on, I would do and think exactly what CL writes.
              For me, it is paramount to talk in a relationship and let the other person know if I feel that there are problems and things are not going well. I expect my partner to do the same.
              I am in a marriage that has been over for years, but we have been able to talk and there has been a mutual agreement. In this respect, despite not being in love anymore, we have been lucky and we know where we stand.
              In a situation like ours, would falling in love with another person be cheating? I honestly don’t know, I don’t know if there is a word for this situation since English is not my first language. In my language, there isn’t.
              Karmeh had some questions about comments on Quora and I said why I think people comment in certain ways, because they come from different experiences, such as mine, for example.
              It wasn’t meant to detract from what happened to you or to cause upset. If I did, I sincerely apologise.

              • Hi Ellie,

                If you’re in a marriage in name only and meet someone you’re interested in, it would be cheating not to tell your partner what was going on. That is unless your partner is a violent abuser and would threaten your life for even thinking of leaving the marriage, moreover having feelings for someone outside the marriage. In the latter case, get out however you can. But if you’re not unsafe, it’s dishonest not to give the other person options.

                I don’t know how easy or difficult divorce is in your country, if women are put under social pressure not to divorce or even socially threatened so I won’t be glib and say “just end it” if it’s not working. But, again, if you’re not in actual danger, why not open up your lives and move on?

                Maybe you’ll both choose to have an open marriage. I’ve never actually seen that work but I don’t know every arrangement on the planet nor every person involved so I’m not one to judge. Or maybe you need to be free to choose by separating.

                In summary: You don’t owe truth to anyone who threatens your life EVER. You can tell them the sky is green and commit no sin. But you owe it to yourself to escape abuse. You do owe truth to partners who have not threatened or endangered you.

              • I’ve never understood the “I cheated because I felt unsafe” stories. Cheating sounds like a scary thing to do; so why increase your fear by cheating on the spouse you fear? I understand staying with a supportive friend even though you’re threatened because they’re a validating lifeline. But taking off your clothes when terrified?? O_o

              • Ellie, if you want to research…research. But please don’t think this is the arena in which you should play devil’s advocate on why a spouse leaves. This is a site where all of us were blindsided by a spouse that, for all intents and purposes, acted and appeared fully engaged in the marriage until the day they left. After that day, the levels of deception came flooding in to our lives. The cheating spouses then dolled out pure hatred and spite to us after decades of marriage. We are left feeling like 10, 20, 30 years of our lives were not real. That happy trip to Italy? He/she was probably texting his/her paramour. For me, I feel like the bulk of my life was a complete lie. I spent 30 years of my life with my spouse who called us soulmates. I’m in my 50’s now, alone, realizing the majority of my life was not what I thought it really was. All those great times and happy memories? Yea…only I was invested in those…not my spouse. It’s a good, harsh slap to the face.

                I sense, Ellie, that you are someone else’s fling. Maybe (hopefully) I am wrong. But, I strongly sense a need from you to convince us that our spouses may have lived for a long time in sheer unhappiness with the marriage. Suffering for their spouse. I think that may be because that’s what your fling is telling, or has told you. I sense you are trying to justify your actions to yourself. “If I can convince all these Chumps that their spouses left a dead marriage, my part in the marriage breakup won’t be so bad. I won’t feel so bad. I won’t be a cheater or spouse poacher.”

                What really happened during our marriages was that our spouses were not so unhappy – that is, until someone else came along, all shiny, young and new, and made our spouses think they had a new leash on life. Our spouses could start over. New life! Leave the past behind like it never happened and everything would be infinitely better. Happiness and joy every single day. …At least until every day life settled in again with Mr./Ms. shiny, young, and new…Then it’s just bickering about who is going to clean the toilet or take out the garbage or go to the grocery store.

                The excuses become infinite at dissolution of the marriage. “I love you’s” become “I never loved you.” And the financial destruction, particularly on women who gave up careers for children, is immense. But, “the other woman” never considers her role in beating down other women – so long as they get the sparkly turd.

          • “In an ideal world people would do everything perfectly, without hurting anybody but this is not the case.”

            More disengenuous bullshit.

            It has nothing to do with oh, if only we lived in an ideal world.

            We all know it’s not an ideal world. All the more reason for individuals to practice integrity and ethical behaviour.

            People who hurt others through lying to them, betraying them, defrauding them, *choose* to do so.

            Your “ideal world” crapola is just a meretricious ‘get out of jail free’ card.

            • Chumpnomore
              Yes, definitely, people choose to cheat, it is a deliberate decision.
              People choose not to summon their courage to talk to their partner about what is not working for them and they cheat instead.
              People choose not to make an effort to revive their relationship and cheat instead. Then once they are found out, they think they can rebuild their marriage on the ruins of it.
              This is the reality that people are facing even though it shouldn’t be like this.

              • “People choose not to summon their courage to talk to their partner about what is not working for them and they cheat instead.
                People choose not to make an effort to revive their relationship and cheat instead.”

                Actually Ellie, it isn’t about the relationship in most cases. Good people don’t cheat because they are in unhappy marriages. They get a divorce instead, or they work to improve the marriage. Cheaters do what they do because they enjoy the deceit. It makes them feel powerful. Most of them (and research has repeatedly borne this out) don’t want to end the marriage. I don’t know how it works in your country, but in the western world obtaining a divorce isn’t difficult. Yet cheating persists. So it’s a no-brainer to conclude unhappy marriages aren’t the reason. If you live someplace where divorce is difficult or impossible to get, I can see why you’d think the way you do. However, should your country reform divorce laws, I can guarantee you it will not stop cheating any more than it has in other countries.

              • Amen to that. From my experience researching batterer psychology, I see no difference between cheating and domestic violence give or take a few broken bones. Same MO, same personality disorders, same demented FOO issues, same blame reversal, same excuse machinery and pretty much the same effect on victims. No wonder virtually all batterers cheat. It’s a more efficient way to paralyze prey and you don’t go to jail for it.

          • What you just said has nothing to do with what chumpnomore posted to you. She posted a perfect rebuttal to your claim that some people cheat because they just happen to fall in love. If you aren’t going to address a point, you might just say “point taken” instead of whipping up an evasive word salad.

          • This is a cheating site. About being cheated on. It is not a sitr for cheaters or cheater apologists or for the Reconciliation Indistrial Complex. I don’t think anyone here is going to appreciate your “but, but REASONS” take on cheating.

        • Hear hear Chumpnomore6! When your young child(ren) say they no longer want to live because their world has been blown apart, this is twu luv?! WTAF! If you are unhappy, leave honourably and do the right thing by your family. Sheer selfishness to fall onto someone else’s genitals.

          A decent person does things the right way, the difficult way. These things don’t just happen and often leave devastating consequences in their wake.

      • Cheating is proof of inherent dishonesty. You’re either honest or you aren’t.

        Plenty of people in the US think the individual in the committed relationship is the only guilty party. That’s exactly the thinking used by cheating accomplices the world over to justify their part in it.

        This site has always had chumps from many other countries who grew up with the cultural acceptance dogma. The pain of being cheated on is the same on their insides as their fellow humans regardless of any external differences.

        A person who unknowingly dates someone in a committed relationship is off the hook, unless they stay in it after they find out the truth.

        A person who dates someone whom they know is cheating on a committed partner is colluding with abusing another person and equally responsible for their pain and suffering. What country they come from doesn’t matter.

        If it was OK to do it wouldn’t hurt anyone.

        If I walk into a bank and the teller invites me into the vault to help myself
        to other people’s money, I’d be guilty of wrongdoing if I said yes in any country.

        “Falling in love” requires intentional time spent with and attention paid to someone (as opposed to
        lust or attraction). It’s not like slipping on a banana peel or being struck by lightning. If you’re in a committed relationship, you’ve got to do a lot of lying to, deceiving, betraying, defrauding, hurting, AKA abusing your committed partner to fall in love with someone else, and that’s true in any language.

        • Velvet Hammer
          There are women who don’t even know that they are with a married man, they are hardly guilty.
          If it were so easy to leave, cheating would not exist. Some people are in dead marriages and stay for other reasons: finances, kids and so on. They put up with it until what shouldn’t have happened, happens.
          I agree with you, cheating on a partner who is still committed is horrible. But there are marriages where the partners are no longer committed beyond the practicalities of a life in common. No sex, no affection, little emotional support.
          Probably people in these circumstances don’t write here. I arrived here while searching for other information. However, if my husband cheated on me, I would not be surprised since our marriage has been over for years and we are together for other reasons, that we have agreed on and we are both aware of. I couldn’t be upset with the other woman nor with him. It would be unfair, as anyone deserves to be loved.
          My circumstances would be different to yours and if I were to reply on a forum like Quora, my point of view would be different and I could actually say “My husband left because he fell in love with someone else”.

          • Obviously there are many different reasons people have for their decisions, but it still comes down to honesty. If you made a commitment you no longer intend to keep and you would like to remain ethical, you communicate that prior to breaking the commitment (whether it’s marriage, or any other commitment). If you choose to break a commitment without informing people because it’s “too hard”, then you are unethical and people are justified in not wanting to associate with you.

          • “There are women who don’t even know that they are with a married man, they are hardly guilty.“

            That’s what I said.

            In that case, you’re only complicit if you stay in it after you find out.

            Partway into a first date when I was nineteen, I realized the man I was with was probably married. I asked him to take me home.

            “But there are marriages where the partners are no longer committed beyond the practicalities of a life in common.”

            Of course. And they may agree to stay married. No problem there if everyone involved knows the score and is in agreement with the conditions.

            “If it were so easy to leave, cheating would not exist.”

            People only cheat because it is difficult to leave someone?! I had boyfriends who cheated with whom I had no legal or financial ties, did not live with, had no children with.

            Cheating exists and will always exist because people who cheat want to do so and don’t care who gets hurt. Period.

            I don’t keep eating at a restaurant if I don’t like the food.

            Again, this site is about one party deceiving the other. Not about people who keep mutual agreements.

            • “Cheating exists and will always exist because people who cheat want to do so and don’t care who gets hurt. Period.”

              Once again, VH nails it.

          • “There are women who don’t even know that they are with a married man, they are hardly guilty.”

            Yes, we know that. Your Aunt Sally strawman is irrelevant. The person of integrity and character who discovers they’re with a lying cheater *leaves*. If they don’t, then they’re colluding in the abuse of another innocent person.

            If they don’t discover it, they’re a fellow chump.

            “If it were so easy to leave, cheating would not exist.”

            So you’re saying that because behaving with integrity, behaving in an ethical manner, is sometimes hard, deciding not to do so is excusable because it’s easy.

            Got it. I understand what you are now.

          • Ellie, I was in a marriage where there was “no sex, no affection, little emotional support.” And I was the chump, not the cheater. Because I took my marriage vows and commitment seriously, I didn’t turn to cheating as a means to cope.

            Plus, please consider cause and effect. No sex, no affection, little emotional support are often the result of cheater’s cheating. They’re busy putting all their effort to pursuing what’s new and sparkly.

            • kmanning
              You are right when you say that no sex, no affection etc. often are the result of a cheater’s cheating.
              Sometimes they are the result of a marriage that has deteriorated beyond repair despite people trying.
              Some people use these as lies and excuses, for some people they are true.
              In my case, mine really is a sexless marriage with very little on the affection front. It did end up like this with time, because of things we went through, problems that undermined some aspects of our relationship and we didn’t manage to recover.
              If my husband were to meet someone he is interested in and would say that he is in such a marriage, he would be honest. Probably one of the very few.

            • Here, here, Kmanning! I, too, was in a 30 year relationship with my spouse in which he could not do simple things like brushing his teeth to alleviate his foul breath before sex. It was a complete turnoff. It came to me dreading every sexual approach he made at me. He gave me scarce emotional support – wouldn’t even come with me to the ER when I was really sick. His idea of affection was coming up behind me and grabbing my boobs. None of this were healthy exhibits of affection and love. But, I was committed to him. We were still best friends, after all. When I started to think a little too much about a coworker, I told him. I hadn’t done anything – but I wanted him to know where my mind was at, that I knew it was wrong, and that I was going to avoid that coworker. I didn’t have an affair. I knew that if I wanted sex and emotional support and a different display of affection that I’d have to divorce him. But I never could because I didn’t want to hurt him.
              But when his 29 year old coworker came along, and hung out with him too much, he left me after 30 years together, for her. They have a 21 year age gap. Not sure how that will work long-term.

          • Classic OW speak: “No sex, no affection, little emotional support.” Yadda yadda. ‘He swore they were separating.’ ‘He said she was unstable.’ ‘She said he was at work all the time.’
            …regarding:“My husband left because he fell in love with someone else”. as some previous smart chump said, you don’t fall in love by accident. You have to be willing, and looking for another partner. An ethical person is clear about those boundaries until the present marriage is fairly ended (then you can go sniffing around for twu wuv )

          • “However, if my husband cheated on me, I would not be surprised since our marriage has been over for years and we are together for other reasons, that we have agreed on and we are both aware of. I couldn’t be upset with the other woman nor with him. It would be unfair, as anyone deserves to be loved.”

            Ellie, if you have some sort of agreement with your husband that you can date other people–and you both are on board with the arrangement and have discussed how you’ll handle STIs, jealousy and the like–then you do you. In that case, it really wouldn’t be cheating. It would be an “open relationship.” If your husband takes another partner, you wouldn’t be a chump. You’d be someone in an open relationship. This site is for chumps.

            Oh, and cheating involves deception/lying. I’m no expert on these matters, but it seems to me that lying and cheating are universally condemned by most (all?) cultures.

            • Spinach@35
              Thanks for your reply!
              As a said, English not being my first language, sometimes I miss the right terms.
              My reply to Karmeh caused a bit of a stir and it wasn’t my intention. I hope I managed to explain why I replied to her the way I did.

          • You need to be on a polyamory site or a site for open marriages, not here. But even in those realms you might be called into question for the fallacy that “If it were so easy to leave, cheating would not exist.” There can still be lying and betrayal in open marriages and poly arrangements.

            At the very least you’re extremely naive about abuse and abuser modus operandi. Abusers abuse because they can, because deceiving and causing suffering gives them pleasure. It’s like saying serial killers wouldn’t exist if it were easy to leave marriages. At worst you’re an apologist for abusers.

            Either way, I can’t imagine you’d be very helpful if any of your friends ended up being battered or raped by partners much less being robbed of consent by sexual betrayal. Try to be a better person and educate yourself.

      • Spare me the “my culture is so sophisticated and yours is so naive” crap. Entitled assholes cheat. It really is that simple.

        • Oh no Violet, quite the opposite. My country is not more sophisticated at all and you are much less naive and much more courageous.
          It takes guts to kick out a man and rebuild your life. In my country cheaters are forgiven and comfortably stay at home. Does this look sophisticated to you? To me it looks like being a doormat.

      • “I don’t believe that a person who cheats is inherently dishonest, but I am not from the States and I can see some cultural differences in the way people approach cheating, divorce etc. compared to my country.”
        People that cheat are by the very fact they are cheating, inherently dishonest!
        How the hell much dishonesty do you think is necessary in order to lie incessantly to your spouse?!
        It has nothing to do with the country you live in. Liars lie, cheaters cheat and dishonesty is the ground game they play on, no matter where you happen to live on planet earth.
        Some cultures seem to accept that cheating is a thing, like an Esther Perel type character, and its full destructive impact is played down or excused in some far fetched made up way.
        The “ boys will be boys” excuses for instance, but cheating, IMO, should not be tolerated or acceptable to anyone at all.
        It’s abuse, and abuse should never be given a pass anywhere.

        • Chumpasaurus
          In my country the current trend is towards the forgiveness of cheating. Habits have changed and according to people who do research in the field, a couple of decades ago cheating was not forgiven so frequently, but now it is.
          Do I think cheating is tolerable or should be forgiven? No, I don’t. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t even be able to forgive a one night stand if I were in a committed relationship.
          In my country, are women who forgive happy? They say so, they say their marriages are even stronger and better than before.
          Do I believe them? No, I don’t.
          But it still happens, whether I agree or not. So yes, there could be social differences at play in different countries. Or maybe different abilities to delude themselves.

          • “In my country the current trend is towards the forgiveness of cheating. Habits have changed and according to people who do research in the field, a couple of decades ago cheating was not forgiven so frequently, but now it is.”

            Heavens, how ‘enlightened’ of them. Personally, I would love to know what country it is where” the current trend” is “towards the forgiveness of cheating”. This should be more widely known!

            You should give a shout out to all the cheating lying bastards in less ‘progressive’ countries, I’m sure you’d get a spiking influx of immigrants. ????????

          • You’re speaking of mostly women as the victims of cheating which suggests that the “forgiveness” trend in your country is really about the fact that women may be financially compromised and socially castigated for leaving. How’s the gender pay gap in your country? What are the punishments for domestic violence, rape and femicide? Any? What percentage of executives in industry and high offices in government are occupied by women? If there are big discrepancies in any of those things, then what is really meant by “forgiveness” is “accept your hostage status.”

            These discrepancies still exist in so-called first world countries and this certainly does impact the politics of how cheating is viewed because cheating is primarily abuse of power. But as you can see on this site, quite a few men are also caught in the teeth of that hypocrisy. It’s heartening that services that deal with intimate partner abuse are finally starting to view betrayal as a form of violence. The fact that cheaters are statistically also often violent to their partners and families follows from there.

            • Oh, and p.s.: Any woman living in a social environment that makes it particularly hard for women to leave men who then aids a man in cheating on his wife is basically sucking oppressor cock and helping him oppress. It’s actually worse.

            • Hell of a Chump
              The country I come from is a developed country and divorce is easily available.
              There are however big discrepancies in the things you mentioned, and I would say it definitely is a society where men are favoured.
              There are many instances of “accepting your hostage status” but also many of financially independent women who choose to stay with a cheater and say they have forgiven and their relationship is even better than before.
              This way of thinking has become quite common and since I believe in the very opposite, it was interesting to find my same thoughts in this website.
              I have experience of psychological abuse and I know how devastating it can be. You are right when you say that cheating and everything that goes with it are abuse. I think that often there is also an element of sexual abuse, since sex is obtained on false premises.
              However in my country cheating is seldom seen as a form of abuse, there is a more “cavalier” attitude about it and as a result there is little progress. Maybe it will come with time, hopefully.

        • “People that cheat are by the very fact they are cheating, inherently dishonest!
          How the hell much dishonesty do you think is necessary in order to lie incessantly to your spouse?!”

          It seems Ellie is trying to claim that situational assholism is a thing. That a person might have Good Reasons To Cheat and so is not a bad person for doing do.
          We know that assholism is not situational, it’s dispositional, but not everybody seems to understand that. Maybe she needs more experience with people to develop that understanding.

        • CheaterDefeater
          Don’t worry, I was reading this website and simply wrote a reply to a post that then generated some replies.
          Not everyone has got bad intentions. I am not an OW, I haven’t got a lover, I am not snooping on cheated people revelling in their pain, quite the opposite, as the stories I read are heartbreaking.

      • How do you believe ‘a person who cheats isn’t inherently dishonest’? In order to cheat you have to lie. That person lies right to his spouses face multiple times. They are stealing time away from their family and usually stealing martial funds – again- from the family. How is that not ‘inherently dishonest’???

    • I wonder how many would admit to cheating, that would insinuate they made a mistake and they weren’t special.
      Image management is a priority, they will say anything to prove how happy they are.
      Cheaters don’t get personality transplants because they’re with AP.
      You can’t believe anything that comes out of their mouths.
      Cheaters lie, liars lie, it’s who they are.

  • About a year after my ex dumped my cousin aka Skankella. She was telling anybody that would listen. That my ex used her and betrayed her. That she wasted 4 years of her life with a man who had no intentions of marrying her. aww, poor little Skankella. I guess she never thought that a married man who cheated on his wife with her cousin would be a stand up guy. Well at least she was not married for 33 years to a man that lied and cheated on her. But, she was the victim. These OW make me want to hurl.

    • Ugh, the self-pity of the OW is unbelievable!
      The ex’s AP tried some of that shit on me as well (“he cheated on ME and lied to ME” read one of her texts).
      And she really did think that he and she would ride off into the sunset together and leave me forgotten in the dust.
      Nope, he’s a lying liar who lies, honey. Didn’t you notice during the 10 years you both spent sneaking around behind my back?

      • Did she capitalise ME and ME? ????????

        So typical, skank whores are fine with their married shit bags cheating on the chump, and lying to the chump, but when it happens to them… No! I’m the *special* one!

        The absolute *hide* of that bitch to text that to you! Grrrr. ????????

        I hope you can laugh at it now, even though it’s still infuriating. xx

    • My first boyfriend vengefully monkeybranched with someone who wasn’t related but had known my family forever. She wasn’t aware I had actually moved on when I left for school but hadn’t known how to break it off with him officially. I was 18 and he was an older fear/obligation/guilter. In both their minds they’d gotten one over on me but in reality I felt relieved that two nudgey loose ends had tied themselves together and were off my back. Then both were furious when I went to their wedding practically dancing like Julie Andrews in Sound of Music because my life was going great and, again, from sheer relief. Four years later they separated and she made a showy and alarming but ineffective attempt at suicide. She blamed me for the whole drama even though I’d avoided the two of them as much as I could after the wedding. Her outrage became a kind of lore in their stupid social circle. For years whenever I’d run into someone from that clique/claque and got burning glares, I knew the cause of it.

      Hell hath no fury like foiled aggressors. Some people create their own hell and want company in it.

      • I would bet that he started telling her that she could never measure up to you, just to make her pick-me-dance! Glad you were rid of them both!

  • This is classic. My sister was cheating on her ex husband with a married man. They both divorced their spouses and guess what? Yes, he cheated on her with a neighbor. Apparently it’s only when he drinks she says. “insert eye roll”. A few weeks ago I was out with my sister and she was tracking her husband with her phone. She was getting upset he was at the liquor store. I looked at her and said, “What, are you his babysitter? You can’t monitor him the rest of your life as he’s a grown man who’s responsible for his own choices” She actually agreed but is still terrified he’ll cheat on her again. I just shake my head. She doesn’t get it. She doesn’t understand what she did to implode her ex-husbands life. I don’t get that mindset about her.

    • Not Again: Your sister’s mindset is selfishness/being self-centred. No need to explore further ????????‍♀️

    • My sister is the skank who when she was young fucked married doctors at the teaching hospital where she worked as a MA. She’s 3x divorced, miserable AF, mid 40s now, fired from her job, kids chose to live with their dad, she’s broke, hates our 80 year old mother, has no friends, and just moved in with yet another guy she just met online. Karma.

  • So I too am a chump but Tuesday has come and I am remarried to a wonderful chump! My ex’s whore, who he married, they cheated and broke up both marriages and devastated the kids, actually refused to attend an event I would be at because I didn’t speak to her at my daughters event! I am under no obligation to speak to her anywhere! What gives these scumbags the right to behave this way? I owe her nothing. I don’t owe either of them a damn thing! Never ceases to amaze me.

  • OW has never tried to speak to me. Not once. FW hasn’t uttered a word IRL to me in a long time.

    In what a suppose was a moment of clarity early on, I imagine FW told her I was entirely capable of breaking her face or his without a second thought – verbally or physically – and told her to never speak to me.

    I actually think they will be together and “happy” for a long time. After all, OW basically has me for a partner on the surface – my interests, my geek knowledge, my taste in men’s clothes, my decorations decisions – just morphed to incorporate exactly what she likes as well. No more beer, wine snobs now. Things like that.

    Two valid soulless shallow perfectly “happy” FWs. Together. Faking. Forever. Oh yeah, OW you definitely won. Not.

    Game. Set. Match. Bitches.

    • Before I definitively *knew* about fucktard and his rat faced whore, fucktard said, “rat faced whore is scared of you”.

      I’ve sometimes thought about what response I could have made, like “why”? But what would have been the point. She was scared of me because I have integrity and she doesn’t. What else is there to say? ????????

  • Yes. Yes he will cheat on you. Or better yet, you will cheat on him. Because you are both cheaters. Cheaters cheat. It is what they do.

    I hope he makes you just as happy as he made the Chump. I hope this OW experiences all the devastation and pain of betrayal. But somehow I don’t think it will hit her as hard. Mostly because she is a cheater. She just isn’t as capable.

    • X and his AP (now wifetress) cheated on their respective spouses. Even if they don’t cheat on each other (sexually), they’ll deceive in other ways. That’s what they do. They have character deficits.

      Even the little, seemingly insignificant lies, are corrosive to a relationship. I imagine this kind of exchange:
      OW: “Did you remember to pick up milk?”
      x: “Yes, but the store was all out.”

      He won’t admit that he forgot to stop at the store. That’s what I imagine. Lying becomes habit. I think x can’t stop. No idea about this OW, but she also lied to *her* husband for years, so….

      Anyway, they can have each other. I like to surround myself with trustworthy people. I’d hate to be them.

      • It always pops up in my mind that if my ex wife’s lips are moving she is (most likely) lying.

      • My FW (I hate calling him “my”) was a serial cheater and I knew it. But, I mistook his love-bombing for love.
        I dumped him on D-day, and he bought into the RIC, and he claimed he would never cheat on anyone else again. Maybe he won’t – I was the first person to give him consequences for cheating and he didn’t like it.

        But what you said about lying being corrosive to a relationship made me think of this:

        Fast forward several months, before I went NC. He contacted me in March to try to get back with me. Then he tried once again in May. Why March and May? He met a new woman in March and was seeing if I would take him back then. And in May, while he was moving in with her, he was trying one more time to get back with me. He even told me that she asked if he was over me and he said he was, even as he was pounding on my door begging me to take him back.

        So yeah, maybe he will never cheat on her. But he sure started out the relationship with a bunch of lies and deception.

  • I have to credit the FW with nerve, allowing herself to be mocked and ridiculed in such a way. I can only imagine it fulfills some perverse need to self flagellate in front of a hostile crowd.

    I do hope that paranoia she expresses is what my ex is feeling after she and her fuckbuddy cheated on me. Yet, my sense is that she feels impervious to karma. In the end, I know such thoughts are just a waste of time as forge forward on my own.

    • ” I have to credit the FW with nerve, allowing herself to be mocked and ridiculed in such a way.”

      Weird, isn’t it? Although I really think it’s because these dumb cunts are so lacking in self awareness (and morals) it just doesn’t occur to them they’d be mocked and ridiculed. Because they’re so *special*. ????????????


    Here’s the recently released police interview of Nicole Kessinger, side piece of Chris Watts. It’s typical cheater-think and cheater-speak.

    She says “his cheese slid off his cracker”. I don’t think either of their crackers ever had cheese.

    I wouldn’t ask Bernie Madoff to manage my money any more than I would want to be in a relationship with a cheater. It seems stupid to me. Leave the morons and the disordered to each other.

    I want cheese on my cracker.

    There are a lot of people in the world who are cool with low standards for themselves and their associates. I don’t want to sit in that section of the ballpark.

    • Her interview and what she says , how she says it , all makes me want to vomit! I suspect my ex said and acted much like Chris Watts and my ex had his ow in our camper while he worked out of state. He was also at her home. All the while no mention of problems or working on issues in marriage or a divorce. Nah non of that! They run on lies excitement of deceit and make shit up as they go.

  • Unfortunately DB shows all of the characteristics of a classic Cheater.

    – Lack of self awareness – check.
    – Lack of empathy for the victims of her actions/decisions – check.
    – Belief that they are the “main character” and that everyone else is but a member of the supporting cast – check.
    – Overblown sense that they are the victim in the situation – check.
    – Complete failure to read the room – check.

    The sooner that she realises that this is not the place to come for a sympathetic hearing the better. She might also wish to consider the fact that any AP who “wins” their Cheater probably hasn’t realised that “winning” in this context isn’t winning at all.


  • DB: The #s are always quite higher than what a cheater admits to. So the prize you won surely cheated with more before you than he told you. You are with someone you know as a cheater, you know what cheaters do. It’s impossible to feel safe when you are with a known cheater. I am sure you know all this. Hope you enjoyed his stories of the other “7”. He most likely enjoyed telling you the stories of duping his wife so many times. At least he was honest with you about the “7”. Neither of you will ever learn empathy, compassion, etc. for those you hurt. Maybe you will begin to understand what it feels like to be duped, chumped, etc. Whoops I forgot this ran before. So probably you are not reading

    • If the number is actually only 7 I will eat my Converse. But you know, 8 is a lucky number in some cultures. I mean, she is living the dream….

  • As long as this is a rerun, I’ll rerun the parody I created at its original posting:

    (music by Whitney Houston, lyrics by DB [Dumb Bimbo?] )

    I suspect betrayal is my future
    He tells me that I am number eight
    Can’t believe he’d ever do the same to me
    But we have chemistry, which makes it … easier?
    Let his stripper’s laughter remind me what’s in store for me

    I was once a cheater in my own right
    Had no choice, we’d simply grown apart
    Felt no need to cultivate what I’d begun
    So at year twenty-one
    Fucked a married man and said “I’m done”

    Now I sit and contemplate
    Whether he’ll hook up with an old classmate
    If he lies and cheats on me
    I might contract an STD
    I know he likes to victimize
    I just never thought *I’D* be the prize

    Because the greatest chump of all just happens to be me
    I am the greatest chump of all — don’t you agree?
    The greatest chump of all will live in infamy
    Give me your sympathy, I’m the greatest chump of all

  • I remember reading on here once: If they cheated with you, they will cheat on you.

  • “You’re the victor in the fuckwit Thunderdome.”

    And that’s all I needed for today! Didn’t even read any further! Pure fucking Chump Lady GOLD!!!!! Have a great day everyone!!

  • I just love CL’s last comment, “regular pap smears”. ????????????

    • CNM6,

      In CL’s shoes I might have gone with “whenever he’s late, or whenever he fails to answer his phone, try not to wonder whether he’s doing to you what he did with you.”


  • This post made my day. One thing I’ve had to work on since D-Day is boundaries. Not just with FW but with other toxic individuals I learned were toxic upon betrayal. And her letter made me laugh and we always CL, your response was on point. I think chumps get pretty good at seeing through bullshit. It’s like a gained superpower!

  • DB
    Probably stands for Desperate Bitch
    I couldn’t even finish reading her post.
    My marriage of 35 years was destroyed by a Owhore and my lying cheating
    “Dirt Bag” of a husband. You should find another support site for people who fuck married husbands and sleep like a baby.
    I have no sympathy for people like you.
    You deserve everything he gives you..
    STD’s and cheating on you. ????

  • Back in the days … I married a Vietnam Vet. One of the stories he told me pre-engagement was that he lived with a stripper in Vietnam. Of course, everyone did! He was expected to pay the rent and buy food. He did not. He lived for free until the night she doused him while he was sleeping with gasoline and lit the match. What a bitch she was (right?!).

    What message did I take from that story? He chose me! ME! and only me.

    • This is hugely honest of you. It’s amazing what we spackle over and simply refuse to see.

  • No lie, this is my favorite CL column and I read it from time to time and just cackle.

  • Ah, yes. My ex had a veritable harem of OWs, and one in particular played the part for 12 years of my marriage.

    I had enough, and got out. My divorce wasn’t even final when he called me to gloat that she was pregnant and they would be getting married. At the time, it was soul crushing. With the help of friends, family and a wonderful new boyfriend, I am living the best life… something I could have never had if I stayed with him.

    Well, this past weekend, I got a FB message from, wait for it, his current girlfriend. Turns out she confronted him in front of the new whorewife. New girlfriend had been lied to about his marital status, she thought she was in a legit relationship.

    So now, the OW has been served her very Just Desserts. Oh, look, you were the OW in my marriage. And oh noes, how could it be??? He cheated on YOU in your New Amazing Marriage!!!

    There isn’t enough champagne to pop. Karma, honey. It’s gonna getcha.

  • Hi CL,

    Can you give DB a heads-up that you ran her letter again in case she needs additional feedback from CN?!????

    • And maybe should could give an update! LOL. ???? Poor sad cheaters getting cheated on.
      I love OW/OM letters. Please run them more.

  • I have zero sympathy for the other woman it destroyed my life and financially I have never recovered!


    thank you thank you thank you

    I’m printing this one and reading it on the regular.

  • This just in, Chump Nation….

    “If it were so easy to leave, cheating would not exist.”


    Dude, as soon as I found out, I helped him pack. (He wanted to fix things. Not possible). Then I changed the locks. I stayed in it so long because I didn’t know he was a liar and a cheater.

    Unlike the Craigslist Casual Encounter, whom he showed his true colors to right away.

    And then cheated on her.

    Best of luck to anyone who knowingly buys a lemon.

    • Cheating is a personality disorder.
      I find it hard to believe that AP’s believe the classic lines cheaters use, such as, we live like room mates, my spouse is mentally ill, alcoholic, is sexless, doesn’t take care of themselves, is never happy…

      Evidently it isn’t common knowledge that you leave your marriage (divorce) before you start dating.

      • Oh no, OW TOTALLY believed all those lies about me. Which was really strange, because we were coworkers, she spent time at my house, saw me with FW being affectionate, etc. Yet as soon as he started feeding her stories of what a cold, mercenary, ungrateful, unappreciative bitch I was, and how he’d been unhappy for years, and how I was holding him back from his dreams, she joined him in abusing me. Including supporting his attempts to convince the courts I was bipolar and unstable.

        By the time I got around to filing for divorce (it took me awhile to abandon the pick me dance), I had had enough time and distance to admit how abusive he was. I put all that in the divorce paperwork. She called me a liar, saying I was trying to slander his good name and ruin his life…Until he abused HER. Then she left him.

        She really is an idiot.

  • My OW knew me from work but doesn’t have the guts to say anything to me. My ex talked A LOT though about how hard it was for her during DDay. Poor thing!! She felt sad that she broke up our marriage. Gosh that must be so hard to know you’re destroying a 25 year marriage and a teenage girl. He was so worried about the skank that he didn’t want to leave her alone for too long- she needed him. Soooo when I was on the floor in a heap, after days of sobbing- the ex had to ensure the skank was doing well. He didn’t help feed our daughter or make sure she was looked after. No, no we needed to help the whore because she was so sad about the situation. Weeks later when I found his emails, I discovered she and my ex were looking at inpatient mental hospitals to send me to. Apparently they just didn’t think I could cope with the grief.

    I’ve never fully understood just what the fuck was going on, but at the time all her freaking out about her own issues seemed really manipulative towards my husband. But who knows-they’re both scumbags who deserve each other and I won’t be comforting her when she realizes what a turd she’s won. I love to imagine that she’s getting what I had- a man child who sits around playing video games and watches hardcore porn while you make dinner. Priceless

    • This is chilling Formerly! Hope OW reaps the full benefit of her sparkly turd

    • I got the same BS. After he dropped the fess-up bomb and while I was still in a state of shock, he made it clear that he cared more for her and her feelings. He told me that “she “tried to end it by moving away.” Guess the love bond was so strong (and he’s SO GREAT) that she couldn’t stay away. Poor thing!!

      I may be empathic to a fault, but, my God, what would make him think that I would feel sorry for HER?!! SMH

      • I got the line “no matter what happens, somebody is going to get hurt”. I’m glad to know that I, your wife of 10 years and the mother of your child, am on an equal footing with the married skank you met four months ago. Just so no one gets hurt and all.

  • This one’s a classic.

    “I thought it was just a one time thing that he had been doing for fifteen years with eight different people.”

    “Okay, so I am a cheater (only once!) but I’m also THE BIGGEST CHUMP IN THE WORLD! Way bigger than any of these other penny ante chumps. Shower me with sympathy right now!”

    If I didn’t how painfully dumb, tone deaf and narcissistic OW are, I’d think this was a gag.

    Her pussy isn’t so special that it can turn a knave into a knight. Who knew? ????

    • Mystical, magical pussy, lol. It has special polymers to prevent STDs! Opens up like a mechanical diaphragm to give birth painlessly and closes back up on a switch! Embedded with spike strips to deter rape and polygraph sensors to deter lying, plus a bonus Point-of-Sale payment terminal to swipe credit cards! Orgasms can be controlled by blue tooth despite lack of prowess or halitosis of partners. Slices, dices and makes julienne fries!

  • I was thinking that side dishes should beware of the “full disclosure” part of RIC therapy where some “wayward” spouses confess about affairs and affair partners in excruciating detail as a frantic last ditch attempt to keep their chumps from filing. No matter how much a married shmoopie might have professed undying love, when caught there’s a chance they’ll throw under the bus every bit of their AP’s icky conduct, illegal drug consumption, DUIs, bad breath, Tinder hookup body counts, creepo porn gymnastics and how lumpy or pimply the AP’s butt looked under fluorescents.

    As much as RIC therapy was a horrible waste of time and money, the full disclosure thing provided a bit of poetic justice and comedy fodder and maybe a disincentive for would-be side plates. No matter how ethically compromised, attention starved and disordered someone is, do they really want a bevy of bad therapists, chumps and all the chumps’ contacts knowing their most disgusting habits and secrets?

  • Oh, how I want to send this to X and his new AP wife! He’s so lucky I haven’t revealed all to his daughter. She knows about the affair and suspects others, but doesn’t know how he preyed on my friends.

  • Well, beyond wondering if the cheater will cheat on you, I will never understand seeking or staying a relationship with a person who lies and cheats and fucks over their family. I guess it’s just very simply that birds of a feather flock together. Why they don’t flock together in the first place is another head-scratcher.

    Cool with cheating? Let it be on the table, front and center. Seek partners from your own tribe.

    If cheating was actually about partners, problems, or unhappiness, at the end of the day they’d still have only themselves to blame because they asked to play with someone who was not in the same league and they kept their true selves hidden.

  • Wow. I figured out in high school that if a man will cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you. So don’t fool around with men who are taken. Just don’t.

  • What they inherit as a consequence of becoming the OW:
    You’ll never feel comfortable letting him out of your sight.Hyper vigilance will always be more central than you are in the relationship. You’ll twist yourself into a pretzel continuously to prove your worth. You’ll remember all the ways he lied during your affair and how he was able to pull it off. You’ll fight about him looking at other women and work harder to take care of his never ending needs. You’ll convince yourself that you’re special by making him give up all other relationships and interfere with his children. And finally you understand the cost of believing all the lies he concocted about your future together. You were never the one you were number 19. And finally when you are at your most vulnerable point, sick or confined in bed, you’ll find yourself waiting for his return from the drug store and know number 20 has been in the shadows believing she’s special.

  • I needed this today as I trudge towards Tuesday. I hope there is a nice picnic ready for me when I get there. A banner too, that says “Congrats, Chump!” Maybe I should go ahead and order my own banner just in case.

  • I have LOVED your articles from the start…but THIS ONE!!!!! All I can say is THANK YOU!!!! I will definitely archive this one as a re-read as needed!

  • In my case, OW definitely thought she was special, the exception to the rule. Of course he only cheated on me because I was an unappreciative cold fish who was purely mercenary (like he ever had any money, LOL). She thought because she’d been fucking him behind my back for four years that she knew “the real him”, that he only let his walls down for her, that he was a “fundamentally happy person” when life wasn’t getting him down. I was obviously lying and just trying to smear his character and ruin his reputation when I accused him of being abusive toward me.

    I laughed all the way to the bank when they moved in together and within FOUR WEEKS she fled. Because…wait for it…he abused her.

    She later wrote to me and “apologized”, saying she was “operating under false pretenses” on many occasions. I had zero and no sympathy for her. She knew he was married, she knew me, she’d been to my house, we worked at the same place. What “false pretenses”? In my opinion she got exactly what she deserved. She blew up her family and mine for twu wuv, and now she’s out $30,000. Her ex got married again. My ex took his own life. Later she offered to be a witness in my divorce, and I did not take her up on that. After my ex died, she tried to keep in contact with me, like we were some kind of sisters with a shared grief. I shut that down so fast. I gave myself the satisfaction (even though I know it was pointless – but after all, my divorce case was null and void at that point, so nothing could hurt me) of telling her exactly what I thought of her, and then blocked her number.

    Turns out she couldn’t make him happy either, that I was just an excuse for his mistreatment of her (I’m SURE he blamed his stress over the divorce every time he blew up and said/did something nasty to her; I’m sure he blamed me for his bad moods, his financial distress, his lack of success, his whatever). But I decided (finally!) to step out of the triangle and go truly no contact/grey rock. Once I did, their perfect little fairytale romance blew up. Actually, it was already a disaster from day one. I could see that he was abusing/manipulating her long before she saw it for what it was. I got to watch her transform into someone unrecognizable as the person I first met. I have no doubt that if they had stayed together, he would have eventually cheated on her and left her for the next gullible idiot who came along. He came to me looking for sympathy for his being alone and I had none to give him. He made his bed. He thought I’d be pining after him forever. He thought she would be as loyal to him as I had been. He was wrong. I got over him. She left (the only smart thing she ever did).

    I have no sympathy for these OW. What the hell did you expect?

  • Damn, I felt that burn from over here, lol! But I agree with CL and it also calls to mind the saying “if they do it WITH you, they’ll do it TO you”.

    So to the OW, honey…you brought this on yourself. I hate to be mean but Chump Lady told the truth.
    You hurt somebody else and now you know what it is to feel that way.
    You played yourself, and you only have yourself to blame. Cheaters rarely change their spots…they will find a new replacement for you too, and this is what happened.

    Part of me does feel bad for this person in a way, but she brought it on herself.
    Also, this reminds me of how my friend caught her husband talking to his schmoopster on the phone!
    She overheard the convo on speaker…the OW was acting all insecure, asking him if he was still having sex with his wife now that he was at home more often.
    And like the lying cheating moron he is, he was trying to placate the OW, like “I would never do that to you, I value what we have”.

    We talked about this over some bomb-ass Japanese food and several glasses of wine, how foolish these OW are.
    Like do they seriously believe it can’t happen to them too?

  • Also, my theory is this…a lot of AP’s seem to believe that they have this ability to make the cheater “happy” in ways that the betrayed spouse can’t.
    They feel that they are better than the chump.

    So when it finally happens to them down the line, it’s an eye opener.
    It makes them say “hey, wait a minute…I thought I was special. I thought *this* was special”.
    Welcome to reality, folks. It’s only a matter of time before they find themselves feeling the way the chump felt.

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