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Am I a Bad Friend for Not Supporting Friend’s Affair?

broken heartDear Chump Lady,

I am a fellow chump who 4 years ago was betrayed, gaslighted, emotionally abused, on and on, by my partner of 8 years. He cheated with a married coworker and I was devastated, traumatized and Chump Nation was my savior.

Fast forward to about 8 months ago and my friend (L) of 30 years confided in me that she was having an affair with her local mechanic who is married with 3 children. I was blindsided and in shock; she and her husband (S) were married 5 years and were those people you hated for being so happy. I’m talking affection in public, never fighting, house full of photos and love quotes. To me it came off as very co-dependent as they didn’t have lives outside each other at all. I can count on one hand how many times I saw her without him in the 8 years they were together.

When L told me about the affair I did my best to be supportive, but I saw all the signs of abuse and trauma S was experiencing. She had stopped having sex with him and started getting caught in lies about her naughty communication with other guys. L was gaslighting S to the point of him acting irrational and in her eyes “controlling” (insert eye roll). She became so spiteful and hateful of him and I begged her to leave him.

L wouldn’t leave because that would mean losing the house they shared and she just didn’t want to do that. She also wouldn’t leave because if the AP didn’t leave his wife, S was plan B. S wouldn’t leave because he loved her and couldn’t understand how things had changed so fast nor why she suddenly resented him so much. They fought every single week; screaming matches. L continued the affair while S spiraled into desperation and sadness. I loved both of them so much but out of loyalty to L, I did not reach out to S even though I sympathized with him so much more and had even asked her if I could. I knew what he was going through. So many times I wanted to reach out and didn’t. So many conversations with L that made me want to gouge my eyes out — the secrecy, how snowflake love the AP and she had, how much she hated S’s behavior.

Well S finally found the truth by breaking into L’s phone and finding the evidence he needed. He told the wife of the AP and after which the mechanic broke things off with L. Three weeks later in late January 2022, when L & S were fighting, he put a gun to his head. After she managed to get out of the house, he pulled the trigger and killed himself.

I was one of only two people who knew the affair was happening and the only one who knew all the disgusting details of it. I lost someone I loved whom while yes, made the decision to end his life, did not deserve to be treated like he did. L has been able to spin the story of yes, she had an emotional affair (more eye rolling), but he was controlling and deranged! She and the mechanic have started back up again and just four months later, is moving into her house.

I am so disgusted and am having such a hard time wrapping my head around all this. I am so angry with L and cannot believe what a selfish person she is. I am being told by her parents and even a close friend of mine that I need to be supportive of her and let her make her decisions. Meanwhile I am racked with guilt and anger for not reaching out to S and being supportive of him; now it is too late. How do I move on from this? How do I even begin to be supportive of someone capable of this and how do I maintain any sort of friendship with her when her choices and actions reek of monster? Am I a bad friend for wanting to cut myself off from her over this?

Old Friend, New Foe


Dear OFNF,

Why on earth do you think you need to be “supportive” of this loathsome person?

When L told me about the affair I did my best to be supportive

Really? Because you seem pretty clear that such betrayal is abuse when it happened to you. Why would you want to be supportive of someone abusing their partner?

Why are you friends with someone who makes you want to gouge your eye’s out? Who enlists you in conspiracies?

Shared history isn’t shared values. What are your values?

L has been able to spin the story of yes, she had an emotional affair (more eye rolling), but he was controlling and deranged!

Who is she spinning this story to? Were you in the room? Because you absolutely can fact check that.

“No. You were fucking the mechanic. For months.”

Objective reality matters. Do you really want a friend that insists you buy into her lies? Do you like who you are in that relationship?

That’s really the point of this blog. The one that saved you. Objective reality matters. And decency matters. We should treat each other — especially our partners — ethically. Without that, what is there? Unbridled selfishness and nihilism. I got mine, fuck you. He’s married with three children? I got mine, fuck you. You want honest answers? I got mine, fuck you.

Infidelity is the theft of your reality. You can’t cheat on someone without gaslighting them. It’s an insidious, intimate form of abuse. One that drove S to blow his brains out. L denied S’s reality. This man who was so devoted to her, she would not treat ethically.

You have knowledge S never had — he was devoted and UNKNOWING. You KNOW what kind of person L is, and you chose to be devoted to her. To not tell her secrets. To maintain that friendship. You just got a very brutal example of how L treats her devotees. And you’re asking me if you should continue? WTF?

Meanwhile I am racked with guilt and anger for not reaching out to S and being supportive of him;

Good. That means there’s still a moral compass rattling around there somewhere.

now it is too late

Yes. It is too late for S. But it’s not too late for you to find your backbone and end your friendship.

“I’m sorry. I cannot in good conscience continue this relationship or listen to you malign S.”

Objective reality matters. You can either live with L’s lies, or you can’t. I suggest you choose not to.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Thank you for posting this. Chump Lady, I respectfully request that you put a content note at the beginning of the post warning readers that it mentions suicide. I also ask that you lightly edit the letter to remove the specific details of the means and methods and replace it with “died by suicide”. Thank you.

      • I disagree that CL should change the wording to died by suicide. When a person starts “diluting” the story/ the details, the ramifications are also diluted. The cheating, betrayal, gaslighting abuse becomes an affair, or a tryst, or star-crossed lovers. See how that goes? Died by blowing his brains out is the brutal truth what an abusive person can drive their partner to do. Don’t dilute the truth.

        • Exactly! Let’s make his being driven to suicide more palatable. And then later, gee, I wonder why people don’t think this abuse is such a big deal?! Well fuck, maybe let’s not make the consequences sound more palatable and let it be shocking and horrible instead of sounding kind of nice and ok.

          It makes me think of George Carlin’s bit on shellshock.

        • As the daughter of a father who killed himself by shooting himself in the head I also disagree that CL should change the wording to “died by suicide.”
          It’s very important to me personally that the specifics of my father’s death be acknowledged, because those specifics are meaningful to my grief and my grieving. In addition, it’s important to know how many people–mostly men–kill themselves using handguns for those working for changes in gun laws.

      • No, I’m sorry but fucking no. Stop telling people to omit fact for your feelings. I’ve had enough of people wanting to dilute OTHER people’s stories and OTHER people’s pains for their little feelings. Fucking stop.

        • The journalistic guidelines for reporting of death by suicide (at least in UK) advise that method of death is not disclosed, because there is a lot of research about how reporting of method makes imitation more likely. Details here:

          This is not about making cheating consequences more palatable, but about being sensitive to research about what the effects of suicide reporting might be.

          Of course, these are guidelines and chump lady may choose to ignore them, which is her right. But asking that they are adhered to is not really fascism.

          • Thanks for putting words in my mouth, I totally appreciate you making up lies about me calling people facists.

            Life is uncomfortable and unpalatable. Grow up and accept that instead of whining that other people don’t speak or write the way you want them to.

            • Isn’t the whole philosophy of this site that actions have consequences and we should be mindful of our impact on other people. ‘I can say as I like and who cares if it upsets you’ sounds a lot like cheater logic to me.

              • EC, that argument doesn’t work. Saying how a person killed himself isn’t cruel. CL can’t possibly account for what might trigger every single person and edit accordingly. That would ruin everything we love about the blog. She tells the unvarnished truth. If that’s upsetting for you, it’s probably not the right place for you at this time. You may need more time to heal so you aren’t triggered so easily. I understand how you feel, though.

                What you are objecting to is not at all comparable to a cheater who says cruel things and justifies it with “I can say what I want.”

              • Maybe she can’t “account for what might trigger every single person” but she was asked in a respectful manner and some of the people pushing back against that request (not demand! request!) are definitely not being respectful in return (“grow up” etc). I think it is fair to debate the point but not to do so in a disrespectful dismissive way.

            • I didn’t say you called people fascist – I said that asking for sensitivity around reporting suicide isn’t fascism. I was using hyperbole because I found your posts a little hysterical and missing the point, which is about sensitive reporting of suicide. I don’t think anyone on this site wants to conceal the effects of cheating, rather some of us recognise there are other areas of life that can be triggering (like experiencing loved one dying of suicide) and are asking for understand around that in use of language.

              • I don’t even know who to respond to. People don’t spread flower petals in a bed and take a lot of real sweet little pills and die with their hands folded over their chests. They use guns or cars or bridges etc. That man left gore to be cleaned up. She let him self-destruct that ended with him grabbing the first thing he could. That is despair. That is a black bottomless pit. And she drove him to it. None of it is pretty.

                Her narcissism will let her drop you as soon as you show any judgement. Leave her to her horrible self and be available to her family members. They are victims too.

              • I find you a little hysterical. Other people are other people, you don’t get to micromanage how they speak.

                Cute how I’m like a cheater for that. My cheater tried to micromanage the hell out of me so I could say you all sound like cheaters to me. But I’m not a hysterical idiot like that and I’m not going to just make up shit to try to smear people who disagree with me.

              • “My cheater tried to micromanage the hell out of me”

                God, same. I’m never doing eggshells again, it’s a tactic designed purely to undermine a person and make them ultimately doubt their right to even speak.

                Here’s what it all boils down to; we’re all adults here. Adults with varying levels of baggage, trauma, tolerance-levels, etc.

                It is our responsibility to decide what we can and can’t handle and to either engage or leave. NOT to micromanage the other party. I don’t like to see violent sexual assaults on tv a la Game of Thrones, so I fast forward through it rather than demand it stops existing.

                Isn’t micromanaging in some instances just spackle anyway? It doesn’t matter if I say, “I’m gonna bash your fucking brains in with a rock” or “verrily I doth dash thine grey matter from thine skull lest thee close thine cakehole”, it’s the same thing. It’s not a boundary, it’s just control.

              • In response to Eating Chumpdom:

                You’ve got some fucking nerve pulling in here with your dump truck full of egg shells, instructing Tracey and the rest of us on language you think is more suitable.

                Not one person has made an insensitive or disrespectful remark on the subject matter.

                And regarding your comment about being “mindful of others”…you fell short when you called “Katie Pig” hysterical.

            • I agree Katie. This man’s suicide likely followed unbearable PTSD. The guidelines mentioned are to prevent “copycat” suicides. This isn’t the case. An abused man in distress killed himself, while the abuser and accomplice did nothing. Many like myself who have suffered similarly don’t want it minimized or sanitized. The results were tragic, awful, and even worse, preventable. That is a possible outcome of destroying someones entire reality. Having been far too close to a similar outcome at one point in my life, the original author gets no free pass as an accomplice.

            • Wow I can’t believe no one has been called a snowflake yet. Y’all are off your game.

              So cool, now everyone has their hands around each other’s throats and we have learned NOTHING because no one even noticed, there’s Schrodinger’s Chump gone completely silent and not one person was curious about why this very intelligent regular commenter asked for an accommodation. SC, I’d be interested in whatever part of your story you’re comfortable sharing.

              Personally, I’m ok with reading the details even though I at one point had a suicide plan that shared these details. I think the specifics have more value when they are relatable to my story, and I’m not triggered by it.

              And see, I disagree but I didn’t insult anyone and then cry when someone said shit back about me.

              You children should be ashamed of yourselves.

          • This is a strange point.

            I’m also in the camp of, “‘dying by suicide’ implies passivity and doesn’t convey the truth of how grisly the act and all of its planning is”. Also, the point is moot because “committed suicide” doesn’t disclose a method in and of itself.

            Frankly, I believe, “died by suicide” is just drivel to make the living feel more comfortable. It’s the same evasion that could have saved the person to begin with and I admit it makes my hackles rise that we’re still prioritising THEM.

            As to the argument of method disclosure and imitation, you’re omitting the fact that a person has to be suicidal to begin with. It isn’t as if a perfectly happy person reads a news article about a person gassing themselves and thinks, “huh, I think I’ll try that next Thursday after my yodelling lesson!”

            Suicide doesn’t just come overnight except in very few exceptions (impending illness/death/capture/prison, etc). We need to start focusing on the stretch of time BEFORE it instead of sanitising language for the sakes of those who don’t want to look.

            • I’m only telling my particular story here but I was never suicidal until I learned that my now-ex was having a long term affair with someone I knew.

              I found myself in a psychiatric hospital after my 21 year old found me ready to kill myself.

              I’ve done a lot of work on myself and speak very publicly about the suicide idealization I was diagnosed with. It was frightening, VERY real and I was luck I was found and helped.

              Sadly suicidal thoughts can come out of nowhere and I have to disagree with Sally on her point below:
              “Suicide doesn’t just come overnight except in very few exceptions (impending illness/death/capture/prison, etc). “

              • I did say “in very few exceptions”. Not “never”.

                And I get the feeling that you ONLY want to be seen to disagree with/disprove me because if you’d wanted any kind of debate on an even keel, you’d have hit ‘reply’ instead of making this separate.

              • Sally,
                I did think I hit ‘reply’. If it didn’t show up as a reply to your comment that was an honest mistake. It is difficult to navigate the new sit with an iPhone.
                I meant no disrespect by my comment; I was only telling my own experience about becoming suicidal enough to be hospitalized in one day.
                It was shocking.

              • That’s fair enough. Thank you for replying and I really am sorry that you’ve been through what you did.

          • I appreciate your compassionate intentions but you just responded to a CL column about how objective reality matters by telling CL she should omit objective reality. This is hardly the place to come for sanitized generalizations.

            • On the point of issuing a trigger warning on suicide, or editing out the method, I run the letters as I receive them. I might edit out some typos, but that’s about it. We cover some dark topics here — and many, many chumps struggle with suicidal thoughts after D-Day. I err on the side of talk about it. And I say this as someone who was deeply affected by a friend’s suicide (Ed Murphy, who I’ve written about here), who killed himself in exactly the same manner.

              Many things sadden me about this letter. The OP, however we feel about her sitting on the sidelines, was pressed into a conspiracy of abuse. She shouldn’t have been put in that position. But as others have pointed out, we have a hard time calling infidelity abuse, and all the psychological abuse that goes along with it. We might think the chump experience enlightens us, but people still doubt and second guess themselves. I find it all believable (to those who think the letter is fake). Moral courage is pretty uncommon, unfortunately. But I think that can change, more people would feel emboldened to tell, if we talked about how devastating it is to cheat on someone and gaslight them. Including the gory details, I hope, moves that needle.

              • It is hard to believe that someone who was on the receiving end of the abuse of betrayal served as a confidant for a person perpetrating this act. There is NO rationale that justifies cheating and betrayal! I’m sure my cheating bastard of an ex has developed the excuse that he was never happy (after 32 years of never saying so). He even told people (my son included) that I was no longer “a fit” after 8 months earlier telling him I was the best thing in his life. Nope, what happened was a whore whose ex had cheated on her ending her 30+ year relationship moved into the area and was his customer. She decided that being alone was too hard so after him she went. She knew the pain she would cause. He knew the pain he would cause. He even said those very words when I suspected something was going on (“I would never cheat on you because I know how much it would hurt you. You have done so much for me. You are the person I want to be with). He carried on with her until “he was sure the relationship would stick”, in his words and then left (stealing almost $300,000 from my bank account).
                It is never OK to be on the sidelines and support betrayal no matter who the person is. I wonder who knew what was going on with my scumbag and never told me? I wish they had. Now, I wish that others wouldn’t normalize their abhorrent behavior by accepting their “lovebird” relationship. Anyone who would engage in this kind of cruelty is not worthy of friendship.

          • “But asking that they are adhered to is not really fascism.”

            What bullshit. Katie Pig didn’t mention the word fascism. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

      • Oh, but reality doesn’t matter. Only the little feelings of the most sensitive person in the room matter. I’m so sick to death of this shit.

      • Having watched someone try to kill themselves, there is nothing boring about it, nor is that experience an interesting personality quirk. It’s deeply traumatic. For anyone reading, that person is ok and has had many good years since. Life on the other side of cheating is fantastic, full of beautiful sunsets, laughter, peace and contentment at the end of a good day. Please stick around to enjoy it.

      • You are new around these parts and may not have understood the context of CLs comment about objective truth. She is not claiming to determine truth for the entire universe, she is saying that the facts of what happens in a relationship where betrayal occurred/is occurring is important. Most people here dealt with a partner who clearly betrayed but minimized/denied their lies/ deeds with denials of objective truth.
        Example: my spouse said he didn’t betray our marriage because we weren’t married. 2 priests, 180 guests and my grandma wearing pink chiffon witnessed our wedding. We were legally married – it was objective truth.

        We here don’t “virtue signal” (were well acquainted with our faults) although we can tell a lapse in virtue when we see one.

        CL is not boring, she is a badass.

      • I needed “content note” at the beginning of your post to warn me of your impressive display of arrogance.

        I respectfully suggest that if a word or statement has the power to throw you into a vortex of misery, just stop reading. I’m sorry we all can’t live in an insulated bubble.

      • “I also ask that you lightly edit the letter to remove the specific details of the means and methods and replace it with “died by suicide”


        • As several people have now pointed out, suicide prevention charities suggest trigger warnings and concealing methods of death when reporting on suicide. It isn’t difficult to grasp why – no one has to agree, or follow their guidance, but I genuinely can’t believe the number of people pretending not to understand this. Y’all are not dumb. For what it is worth, suicide prevention charities also suggest that it is better to avoid assigning a single cause to a suicide. Of course, as we all know, suicidal ideation can be a result of cheating. But it is just not the case that most suicides have a single cause.

          • “As several people have now pointed out, suicide prevention charities suggest trigger warnings and concealing methods of death when reporting on suicide. It isn’t difficult to grasp why”

            It is for me. Why don’t you explain?

              Here you go. The reasoning is trying to avoid copycat suicides. It’s a reasonable request to make.
              Leaving that aside, adding a content warning at the start of the post so people can take care when reading is a good idea. Content notes are not censorship, they’re just warnings: if you add them, people can be advised that there’s heavy stuff in the letter, and can make an informed choice whether to engage, or not, or how or when.
              We’re all about informed choices here, are we not?

              • It’s a reasonable request. But as I explained in another comment, I prefer not to preface my columns with content advisories.

      • Schrodinger’s Chump: Your request is polite, respectful, and humble. You did nothing wrong. The big argument afterward is not your fault.
        If I were in your place I’d need to hear that from someone.
        You did nothing wrong. You made a reasonable request. People are reacting strongly to it because of something in THEIR hearts and heads. It’s not your fault.

  • “I am being told by her parents and even a close friend of mine that I need to be supportive of her and let her make her decisions.”

    After your own experience with a cheater, aren’t you tied of being told what you NEED to do by people who don’t have your emotional and psychological best interests in mind?

    You don’t NEED to do anything in this case. What you CHOOSE to do is up to you. Choose more wisely this time.

  • I recently found out two of my best friends were (inner circle kind. Blubber on their shoulders when I was going through d-day) thought my now X was a nice guy and after all “he hurt you and not me. This isn’t a restaurant and we shouldn’t have to pick sides. It’s been two years you just need to get over it”. That betrayal felt almost worse than being clumped. I took a deep breath and let them know how I felt and that if that was their moral standard that I didn’t need that in my life. I’m good at going no contact thanks to CN and now feel so much better without that negativity in my life. I don’t understand people much anymore and can only control my life and thoughts. So I believe if you see the BS of someone cheating then that’s not a moral direction I accept and I will say something.

    • I’m so sorry. I know how hard that is. I had to do it when my sister told me she could see where my ex was coming from and why he acted the way he did. It was so painful but life is better now.

      • My “friend’s” comment to me was “we felt that we were put in the middle”. I responded “no, I did not put YOU in the middle of anything, YOU chose the adulterer”.

      • I see the betrayal as a way for the “friends” to justify their relationship with the ‘ex’. It doesn’t bother me. In fact, provides a great opportunity to make a statement.

        My close friends are my real friends. They have no contact with the ex.

        As for the story above, I find it unbelievable.

    • I hear you, Just me. I had close relatives saying that he hadn’t done anything to them, so why should they cut him out of their lives. They yelled at me for leaving him, but never said a single critical word to him.
      Needless to say, we are no longer close.
      You lose so much more than just a FW after being chumped. I was suicidal as well. I obsessively thought about it daily for two years.
      Poor S. ????

      • Yes, poor S! This is heartbreaking. He’s gone, and for what? He accidentally married a total skank.
        All of us chumps have done the same. I’ve got grown married sons, and come from a family with a number of past suicides. What about S’s parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends? The people who loved him won’t be the same. Ever.

  • do you think in some way you were living u life through her, do you blame uself for u ex cheating on you, something doesnt make sense, u were cheated on, u friend knew this. then she told u shes cheating on her husband. this doesnt make sense. i sense a troll. or a scorned ow.

    • My first thought was I hope this is a troll because it’s repulsive and it really doesn’t make much sense.

    • Yes, this is very strange. OP knows a LOT about the intimate details of what L and S were going through and the circumstances of S’s death. Why is L “spinning” this story to everyone except the OP, who is “supportive” (how?) despite knowing all of these “disgusting details”?

      It’s useful for CL to post and respond to anyway, but wow.

  • This letter moved me to tears. Another innocent person’s reality was denied by infidelity while the letter writer stood by. All I can say is shame, shame, shame.

  • I have seen this often enough that Chumps a lot of times have abusive friendships as well as abusive partners. Chumps are magnets to all sorts of bad characters. The friendship the writer has is a toxic one maybe more toxic than her former cheater husband. The writer needs to fix her picker when it comes to friends too. Now she has to live with the what ifs. Drop this horrible person from your life.

    • This is absolutely true.
      Just figuring this out for myself; therapy has been a blessing in this regard.
      I’m figuring out that because I was raised by a narcissist these relationships with disordered people feel more normal & easier to manage to me than relationships with kind, decent people who reciprocate.

    • Yes. Since my last ex, whose behaviour brought me to CL, I’ve had decisive break-ups with my three closest girlfriends (the last one only this past month) — the inner circle type Me And The Pup mentions. Each one was over a simple standard of care: don’t lie to my face to hang out with / suck up to powerful people who you know have harmed me. I’m like, you sit and share your own struggles and I think we’re supporting each other, but you seem to think you’re just supporting sad little me and trying to make me feel better. Then you go have your one-on-one with them to get what you need over there, and never mention it to me. You think you’re being discreet. I feel betrayed. You are no longer in my inner circle.

      • “You think you’re being discreet. I feel betrayed.” Exactly. I had friends in the middle of my particular shitshow whose “discretion” felt like yet more deception. I don’t think the “discretion” was intended maliciously – maybe they were actually trying to protect me from more hurt – but it had the exact opposite effect.

  • It’s disappointing to have a longtime friend show you who they really are when it comes to compromising character, conscience and courage as your friend has. You’ve already learned many lessons from your own personal experience with betrayal, which has allowed you to grow into a better person. Now it’s time to be this better person by advising your friend that her choice of actions is contrary to your values and character because hurting others with lies, deception and betrayal will harm others and cause destruction to many lives. Let her know you won’t be party to her destructive choices because, as a friend, you won’t stand by while she self-destructs. If you lose her as a friend as a result of challenging her – you’ve lost nothing.

  • I don’t mean to lighten the tragedy that this man suffered. It is just horrible beyond belief.

    But, I do remember when I was at my darkest moment, the thought of a gun crossed my mind. It was late at night, and I remember as soon as the thought hit my brain I sat up in bed and thought to myself: “I am not going to do that, because he will just tell everyone, see I told you she was crazy”. What I did instead was jump out of bed and call my dad, and we talked for a long time. I don’t think I told him about the incident; I just told him I was lonely and needed someone to talk to.

    What this account does highlight is yes, tell and hold the cheater accountable immediately; as hard as it may be. People die over this horror.

    • During much of Cheaters cruelty, I REALLY didn’t want to keep living. I begged God to let me die in my sleep because I knew that if I suicided, it would hurt my kids (so I “survived” the abuse and tried to navigate to hurt the kids the least. My decisions about what would do the least damage were probs wrong.) So I really do understand this man’s pain.

      I can’t even fathom if someone close to me knew about the affair and didn’t tell. I think that Cheater hid it from everyone. If I found out that someone knew and didn’t tell, I would cuss them out up one side and down the other.

      • I should not have said I understood HIS pain, it was his own. My pain went in the same direction but pain is unique to each of us.

      • Me too, I just wanted to fall asleep and never wake up but I didn’t want my child scarred for life

        Also the thought of the owhore waltzing into my life, taking my home and little one. I’m sure FW and OW would have loved that

        Thankfully, I had wonderful, supportive friends who loathe him now and anger has followed, with strength

        Never under estimate the effect cheating has, all to service those cheating, entitled scum and life is too short bs

        Why do their ‘one life and happiness’ trump another’s

      • Unicorn all the same thoughts.I Prayed I would die in my sleep or stress would knock me out of remission and kill me

    • Well said, Susie. Less than six months after my divorce was finalized, the husband of one of Cheating Bastard Ex’s Elitemate hookups died. I still have his contact information saved in my phone as, right after I left, I intended to contact him so he could get checked out for STDs. I presume suicide but honestly don’t know. (I make that assumption based on a cryptic social media post by his widow after his death.)

      I never contacted him though I know I should have.

    • I don’t think that lightens the tragedy, I think people need to know how bad it is and how bad it can get. The actual reality of abusing one’s partner this way instead of just giggling about taboo sex. I thank you for sharing your story, people need to know how bad it is.

      In my darkest moment, I sat on my bed with a gun in my mouth because I just wanted the pain the stop. The only thing that stopped me was my son, he would have found me. So I sat there and tried to come up with ways I could kill myself that would be easier on him. I thought of driving the car somewhere and shooting myself in the car but a woman who owned a local restaurant by us actually did that and they didn’t find her for a month in the summertime in Las Vegas and it was horrifying when they did. (Her family was looking for her, they just couldn’t find her.) So I thought, I need them to find me and I want him to be able to have my car. So I thought of a spot where I could park the car, get out, call 911 and tell them where to find me, and then shoot myself.

      But then I remembered that if your parents commit suicide, it increases your risk of suicide. And I thought I can’t do that, so I started thinking what if they didn’t find my body? But then he would think I just left him? No, I couldn’t do that. What if I jumped off the mountain and it looked like I slipped and fell. Maybe I could drown? At the end of it I felt even worse that I could not even kill myself to make it stop. I didn’t feel better at the end of this, I felt worse. That’s one example of the reality of how bad it is. And I’m not going to sugarcoat it for anybody’s feelings. That’s how it happens. That’s how people die of this shit.

      • From very….very personal experience people don’t want to hear the word suicide much less talk about it. People don’t want to hear how this affects the kids. Drug abuse, eating disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts. Maybe if they ignore it they won’t have to acknowledge that this could happen to anyone.

        A few months back a chump mother of one of my kids friends killed herself and I understood it. It took me 2 years before I stopped wanting to die but I couldn’t talk about it without being shamed for it.

        My favorite coworker’s husband had a secret family and their son (now an adult) never fully recovered. Drug abuse, DUI’s and the latest is she’s probably going to have to have him committed.

        Nope people only want the “this made me stronger stories” because the truth is too ugly to face.

        • Yes, this is true. People would literally rather other people die than they have to feel uncomfortable in a conversation. It’s repulsive and I’m done tolerating it. Just like people would rather children be raped than an adult have to face the reality that one of their buddies is a pedophile. It’s disgusting. People’s literal lives should be more important than some cowardly asshole’s feelings about their lives and deaths.

        • Anne – Thank you for sharing. Last week someone from my former church (where I no longer attend bc AP still does) texted saying she missed our family. She knows what has happened and all the people involved. I thanked her for reaching out, then explained that the church leadership and our friends there had abandoned my family, and compounded the heartache. I could tell this hurt her a little – she is part of church leadership. She messaged back that she hoped I considered her a safe place to share. I responded: “I wish I could fully verbalize the anguish of being betrayed by my husband, my friend, and then…by my community. It’s pushed me to suicidal ideation more than once. So many people have shut us out. This dismissal alone – that of former friends – is grievous, but to see those same people making space for the woman who was a partner in destroying two marriages (the AP) – it is not okay. Feeling abandoned by my church family during the worst three years of my life has been almost as bad as being betrayed by my husband. Like nothing I have ever experienced.” She hasn’t replied.

          • I understand Juniper. Completely.
            Your courage to respond truthfully is inspiring. Thank you.

          • I could have written this myself….Except not one single person in my entire church ever once reached out to me. Yet FW remains a trustee (see the humor there) to this day.

        • Yes, Anne, how it affects the kids is so important to talk about too. My then-7th grader tried to kill himself with an overdose of my now X’s sleeping pills because of all the fighting in the home (X was picking fights as excuses to leave and meet AP and generally treating me like crap and neglecting our son) and this was before I even knew for sure about the cheating. I was shocked when my son told me a year later. I then remembered him sleeping an entire 24-hours straight, but I thought he was just really tired, and I was checking regularly that he was breathing. He eventually woke up that day and never said a word about what he’d done until he told me a year later. X knows about it, but at the time he just shrugged it off. What an ass. I wish more people were forced to face how ugly cheating/abuse really is and the real consequences to kids as well as chumps.

          • “Kids are resilient”. I can’t tell you how much I would like to punch the mouth of each person that those words come out of.

            • Chumped Child,

              One of the other young teens in my childhood church’s youth group turned to alcohol after his father committed suicide. I’m with you about the “kids are resilient” bull ????.

      • KP,
        I’m sorry you went through such an experience and I thank you for sharing. I agree we need to be able to face and discuss the things we experienced. Perhaps your story will help someone and bring them some hope and comfort. These terrible feelings are very real and can happen to anyone; your story reminded me of some pretty dark times in my basement and how I overcame them.
        One thing I take away from your story is the power of love. The ties that bind have the potential to save us.

      • KP,
        I am so sorry! I had similar thoughts. None of them would have been good for my S he was 14 at the time.
        I am 11 months from DDay and a month from divorce and I don’t know how I made it this far other than good friends who have been through it. I found CL in January and you all have also been a blessing.

      • That’s exactly why I didn’t go through with suicide either one night after I realized my ex would not stop cheating. I kept thinking about my kids finding my body and being left to be raised by him. After that, I saw my doctor and started taking an antidepressant. It didn’t take all the pain away, but it made it easier too get through the divorce.

      • Yes, KatiePig! Yes!Yes!Yes! I had all these same thoughts…TG I don’t own a gun. Never told a soul. And yes, people need to know. I’m sorry you experienced this.

  • Over on Ask Amy, on, I am one of the few who is telling a “friend” to SPEAK UP about cheating she blatantly witnessed. It’s a real Switzerland over there, and so awful.
    The comments are the typical “myob” and “not your circus” and “maybe it’s an open marriage” and “you’re a busybody” and and and. It’s gross how many cheater apologists are out there.

    • If it is an “open marriage”, the chump won’t care if you tell them what you witnessed.
      Cheaters looking for affirmation in their infidelity by telling their friends shows how disordered they are. I believe, in their minds, they are thinking if the friend still likes them, really, then, it is OK. More justification. No consequences.
      After the abuse I suffered due to infidelity, there is NO WAY I would ever be silent if a “friend” revealed their dirty little secret. I have cut those who knew about FW’s affair(s) from my circle of friends. I am now politely acquainted with them. Period.

    • And then if the chump kills themselves, all those same people will be wringing their hands and saying, “Oh my God, we need better mental health help! This is so sad! How could this happen! I cared about this person so much! I’ll miss them forever! I feel so terrible for their children!” and they’ll post a bunch of shit on their social media using their abuse victim’s suicide to get themselves attention. “Look what a good person I am! I helped drive this person to suicide and now I’m exploiting their corpse for likes and sympathy! I’m such a good person!” That’s what my ex and his friends would have done if I had done it and it makes my skin crawl.

        • Me too.

          Katie Pig, your posts are *on fire* today, and I agree with every word you’ve said, in every one. I’m so sorry you went through such hell. Hugs. ????

          As for the OP, I think she’s *vile*. How anyone can go through what she *purportedly* went through (????????) and be ‘supportive’ of a piece of shit *doing exactly the same thing* just beggars belief. I have nothing but contempt for someone like that.

          And to the mealy mouthed snowflake twats wittering about language, and being ‘sensitive’, language should be *powerful and descriptive* otherwise it’s just meaningless anodyne waffle.

          Three cheers for Katie Pig. Xxxx

        • Me too.

          Katie Pig, your posts are *on fire* today, and I agree with every word you’ve said, in every one. I’m so sorry you went through such hell. Hugs. ????

          As for the OP, I think she’s *vile*. How anyone can go through what she *purportedly* went through (????????) and be ‘supportive’ of a piece of shit *doing exactly the same thing* just beggars belief. I have nothing but contempt for someone like that.

          And to the mealy mouthed snowflake twats wittering about language, and being ‘sensitive’, language should be *powerful and descriptive* otherwise it’s just meaningless anodyne waffle.

          Three cheers for Katie Pig. Xxxx

      • Ugh, same. I remember very vividly when ex recommended right after our divorce that I read/watch 13 Reasons Why…which, why are you even talking to me like we’re in a book club together? Make no bones about it, it was a passive aggressive suggestion that I kill myself (there were other limp comments around this time and just being able to read his lizard brain at that point that led me to this conclusion). He would have had full custody of our very young daughter and would have spun whatever yarn he wanted about mom, probably even use the single dad thing to hook more women. That alone has kept me alive. He doesn’t get to use me any more, and he certainly doesn’t get to bury me.

    • Ask Amy’s whole brand is a big fat dose of Midwestern Nice (that’s passive-aggressive refusal to call people on their shit).

  • There are evil people in the world. She’s one of them. Like the girl who egged her teenage boyfriend to end his life. Relentlessly – over text. And they caught her ass. Your friend killed her husband by gaslighting and emotional torture. Stay away. Warn the mechanic. Her success is addictive. Tell her parents. Document everything and tell the police so they hAve proof when she strikes again. Such a sick situation. Run, honey.

    • Wouldn’t bother warning the mechanic. He already knows the score and he chose to move in with her.

      • I’m disgusted that both of these Cheaters will likely gain financially from the poor Chump’s suicide. That evil cheater will keep everything, gain life insurance money (depending on the terms of any policy he had), and have the sympathy of others while she maligns him. Ghastly.

    • The mechanic is far from innocent himself! He’s a soul less low life too, like the ‘ friend’ of the writer he’s fucking her his wife and three kids at home. An upstanding citizen he is not. Both of those cheaters are without any consciences whatsoever or any integrity, just crappy people basically, far from friend material.
      Such a senseless horrific tragedy and they just skip off into the sunset of blissful love 4 MONTHS later?! How the hell do they sleep at night? WTF?! That is just truly horrible. How can they both not feel responsible for what happened? I wish they would, I would wish it would torture them for the rest of their lives, but it won’t.
      They are narcissists with zero empathy for another human being.
      If I was aware someone was being abused by another, I would absolutely share that information with that spouse. He had a right to know. (I sure would have wanted some brave person with a moral compass to tell me, would have given me hope for the world.)
      It’s pretty remarkable the writer would protect a cheater when she was cheated on herself.Hasn’t learned anything at all yet I guess about the deep damage cheating does to ppl or even herself.
      And then actually be a friend to that person?!
      Hell no! That woman is trash and so is the mechanic and not someone you should ever allow in your life.
      I’m sure we don’t want to even know the number of ppl that have lost their lives after being abused, whether self harm or some mental or physical sickness that just took them out.

  • Holy shit. If you can leave a Cheater, how could you possibly stay with this monster and be their flying monkey? Get free of her and stop letting her gaslight everyone with her creepy lies and bullshit. Her husband took his own life over it and she’s STILL acting like the victim FFS and destroying another marriage. Why the fuck would you think she’s a “friend” that you need to support? This is heart breaking.

    • MShocked: Absolutely. L is definitely not friend material and she has shown who she is repeatedly. It does not matter the length of the friendship, etc. I would not be able to even look at or speak to the friend except MAYBE hello in passing and then quickly move on. The letter writer chooses what is acceptable to her and should not let the friend control her. Who needs friends like this. A lot of us may have had friends who cheated and we knew at some point and did not end the friendship ASAP. Thought about it and then dropped friend. CL is right times a million on this.

      • Exactly. The weird mental gymnastics where you watch a friend treat their SPOUSE with such total disrespect, but you think they will treat you better? I don’t get it.

        • This is something that makes me smile when I think about it. My closest mutual friend with him (now ex-friend) told me I was wrong about something my ex directly said to me. She got all high and mighty and said, “Well, that’s not what he said to ME so that’s not true.”

          And I thought, he just threw away his family after lying to me for 20 years and we mean nothing to him but you think YOU are so special to him he’d never lie to you? How does that work? I still smile when I think about it. She’s going to deserve whatever she gets.

        • Yes, Cactus Flower. How the hell does the writer think L will treat her better than she would one she promised to love, respect, etc. I guess the mechanic was so hot and irrestible, etc. and perhaps she was bored with her husband. L certainly showed everyone she has no character or loyalty. Writer should kick her to the curb before L turns on her.

  • “Is this relationship acceptable to you?” doesn’t just apply to partners. You have no obligation to remain a “friend” with someone whose values do not align with yours, be it politics, religion, vaccination, or cheating. Grey rock her and get the toxic out of your life. Sounds like it’s a small town, if it was me I’d consider moving.

  • Dear OP

    This ‘friend’ of yours abused the one person she should have looked out for at all costs. What makes you think she wouldn’t throw YOU under the bus in the blink of an eye. She has shown you who she is…TRUST THAT SHE SUCKS!!
    The guilt you feel is something that will be with you for a very long time, probably always. I wont bang on about what you coulda, shoulda, woulda done because I guess your own mind will take you there frequently…. sadly that’s your payback for having such a charming friend. There is still a lot of work you need to be doing on yourself. You can start today by dropping that friend.

    I also, upon discovery, wanted to end my life. It would have suited the FW. Luckily for me while researching how to do this (no guns in the UK) I happened upon LACGAL and CN. Thankyou for saving my life.

    Now go out there OP and be a good friend to a good friend.

    Hugs to all ❤️

    • Maybe it’s good that we admit that we were tempted to suicide also. Maybe there are hurting new chumps reading right now.

      If anyone out there is in such despair from this to consider suicide… please use the resources listed earlier and know it really does get better!!!

      Trust you are mighty ????????????????????????
      Give yourself ⏰⌛️????????
      Be kind to you ☕️????????????

      • I agree. I was also tempted, but I knew that I could not leave my children alone with the sperm donor. That’s the only reason I’m still here.

        • Agreed, knowing that my family (my parents and children) would suffer so much if harm came to me kept me going.

    • Same. In fact all three of us in the dumb triangle of cheating (I was the chump) all thought of suicide. In my opinion it was maladaptive and clearly demonstrated the issues involved. In our situation, my FW was apparently horrified by what he had done (… m-k) but also by having to choose and by how emotionally distraught he was to not be with OW (eye-roll), the OW was distraught by what wasn’t working and the dissolution of our friendship and her new love (her and FW) and I was just increasingly appalled that I was in the way of their TWU LUV. Stepping aside was oddly not what they wanted but whatevs- The point that I am not trying to make light of was we all become deeply depressed for various reasons: cognitive dissonance, entitled self loathing, the complete destruction of reality as I knew it (me) etc… These situations can be life threatening. I’m pleased to report that all three of us in the toxic triangle (hopefully also all the others involved in FW’s square, pentagon n-gon-athon) are on better mental health paths.

      • Now that you mention it, around the time of Dday, I was so convinced that Cheater might be suicidal, I cautiously looked around the corner when approaching his desk in the basement because I was fearful he might be hanging from the rafters. I seriously doubt OW considered self harm… she had 2 men and a $39,000 diamond ring.

  • I don’t have the words to adequately express my anger at reading this. In a weird kind of way, it’s helpful I suppose, as there was a period of weeks early in the hell of discovery that I fantasized about ending my life. To OFNF: Get in therapy. You need help if you are even contemplating continuing a friendship with that horrible excuse for a human being.

    • I mean, this is it really. OFNF, I say this with love — you need help if you’re wondering how to support this person.

  • Perhaps her other friends and parents can support her. There can be little doubt that mental health and emotional state play into death by suicide. You don’t know what went on in her marriage. All very sad. All true. But her reaction was to treat him as Plan B, and cheat on him. One doesn’t have to lead to the other.
    A person in my life was being positively indifferent to an ailing spouse (mid-60s) – spending months away at a second home (the spouse had never seen), depending on neighbors to provide care, and having infrequent checks by others. And people started noticing, noticing, noticing (bizarre hehaviors, unkempt home and person, unreasonable requests for assistance to neighbors) talking, talking, talking. But I talked to the straying spouse directly and said this is what I’ve seen: the ailing, frail spouse being dragged almost 80 feet on concrete in front of my house by an anxious, untrained German Shepherd puppy, the spouse refusing assistance, crawling home because the out of control dog kept tripping the person. And the holy roller righteous Jesus I’m perfect spouse said, “Well, why don’t you help more?” As selfish as a statement as I’ve ever heard in my life. Uh, it’s your spouse? I said to the person, you need to get someone professional to check on your spouse, not neighbors. I’m not a medical professional, equipped to evaluate things. Anyway, spouse came home a week or so later to check on things, found the spouse unconcious. Spouse died a week later. I did not attend the funeral, offer condolences, take over a bundt cake. I have not spoken to the person since. It’s not that hard to say this is not a person with whom my values align.

    • Yep, this is almost the exact same scenario and hoped-for outcome when I was with Voldemort. Leaving me for weeks and even months at a time, when I was going through chemo, when I had severe rheumatoid arthritis, when I was physically incapacitated in nearly every way. I have never had any doubt in my mind that this was what Voldemort wanted to happen to me.

  • I won’t comment on OFNF’s position, save for in one respect. These words: ‘L wouldn’t leave because that would mean losing the house they shared and she just didn’t want to do that.’ jumped out at me. I firmly believe that the ex in my case wanted me to kill myself. In almost every way his life would have been easier if I had. I came close to it during the discard and after I had been dumped. He (and indirectly his exgfOW) would have benefitted from a newly mortgage free home, my substantial pension, savings, and other assets. Everything went to him under my will. We had mutual wills so he knew that. He had a close friend from school who committed suicide. His behaviour was such that it would have driven anyone over the edge. He would have been a victim of a tragedy, attracting sympathy from all concerned. Indeed, if I’d got on with the job, he would never have had to leave me. He could have presented as the grieving widower and exgfOW, who had been hanging around in the background for 30 years, could have popped up to comfort him. It was only the fact that she was pressurising him to leave (I saw her emails) that forced his hand. She was threatening ‘to tell the world about our love’. The ex knew exactly what he was doing. I expect that L did too.

    • This caught my attention as well and made me think that L deliberately manipulated S to kill himself so she could get the house and probably some life insurance as well. There are some very twisted people in this world who enjoy gaining power by creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in others.

    • I think this about my ex FW, MightyWarrior, they would dearly have loved me to disappear and for them to reap the benefits of my demise

      During discard, when I had no idea of what was going on, I was told with a contemptuous look that I should leave his house and child and go elsewhere. He wasn’t bothered about me. Then pretended he was ‘joking’

      He wasn’t going anywhere. He still sees the house as his, he’s allowing me to stay in. Hurry up divorce ????

    • It was only about a year after D-Day that I realized I had very nearly created this same scenario for FW. He had been systematically erasing me from his life and he very nearly accomplished the final piece. I really believe he intended to quietly lay schmoopie’s face over all of his family photos and family history and no one would ever notice. She would have received my life insurance, my home and my adult children were clueless enough to believe his messaging of “Poor Dad! He deserves to be happy. He’s such a good guy.”

      Luckily, we have emergency health care and mental health professionals who showed me buckets of compassion and grace in the critical moments. Then a spitfire attorney who said, “No, I don’t think so. You’ve been married 40 years. These are your assets too.”

      I think these covert narc cheaters are BTK killer level sick.

      • Mind started erasing me too by moving all her furniture into the house (of course I only realised this afterwards)- an oversized television (we always had crummy ones), a pilates machine (which was great to hang the washing on), some god awful oversized lamp that made the house look like it was about to be launched into space – every other week some random item was introduced into the house – I assumed ex had turned a new leaf because he rarely bought anything (that I could benefit from at least). I only started to twig something was amiss me when I walked past his normally messy wardrobe and saw his clothes neatly folded and colour coded (ready for the workplace scrag to move in) – it was a very Sleeping with the Enemy moment.
        Covert narcs are cowards.
        I’m sorry to the man who lost his life to this POS scum.

    • You’re on to something there. I can’t tell you how many times I heard statements like, “I wish you would just disappear.”
      I’m pretty sure since I didn’t kill myself and if I hadn’t left, he would have taken it upon himself.

    • I think my ex had the same plan. People called me paranoid for it but it just made sense. My ex slipped up and revealed he’d been actively planning to divorce me for at least the last six years of our 20 year marriage. That’s part of why I got alimony for ten years. During that six years, I quit a job that could support me and provided me with insurance because he didn’t want to help out at home and wanted a housewife. A couple years before the discard (right before I quit my job) I talked to him seriously worrying he wasn’t happy. I offered him an easy divorce if that’s what he wanted because I felt like he wasn’t happy and didn’t want to be around me. He sobbed, begged, pleaded, took time off work to spend time with me. All to reassure me he was all in and loved me.

      This is while actively planning my discard… It looks like he already had my replacement lined up during this time.

      Then he got so nasty during the discard. Saying “Sorry for wasting your youth” and barking laughter in my face. Calling me ugly, fat, saying no man would ever want me at my age. Just unbelievably cruel. But if I had killed myself, he would have got to keep my entire inheritance and everything else. And like you said, then he’s the victim of a tragedy and gets all that sympathy they love so much.

      • Spooky. We had the same arguments in the last five years of the marriage. I kept asking if maybe separating would be a better option as he clearly couldn’t stand to even be in the same room with me. Then he would cry and apologize and say, “Of course I want to married to you – where do you come up with this stuff?”

        If he had had a real conversation with me during those times, I am sure he would have ended up better off financially. I was still clueless and would have given him about anything he asked for.

        I think he was playing the long game of convincing me I was crazy and letting me erase myself so as not to be a burden to the family I so loved.

    • Scary indeed. As soon as he left me, I changed all the bene’s on my insurance and retirement. The insurance was mine to give to whomever I wanted. The ret fund I had to leave him 50 percent, so I did and left my son the other. As soon as we were legally separated I changed it to my son for the full amount, which wasn’t much as I had only been working for DoD for three years at that point. I just gambled that the D would be final before I died.

  • Sweet smoking Jesus Christ.

    Chump Nation saved you and you tried to be supportive of a friend who was cheating on her husband?! Whom you claim to have loved?!!

    Her choices?!

    My mind is blown by YOUR choices.

    “Am I a bad friend for wanting to cut myself off from her over this?”


    Friends don’t lie. Friends don’t enable affairs.

    IMHO, the friend thing to do, especially as someone who has been enlightened by Chump Lady and many on this site, as someone cheated on, as a fellow chump, would have been to

    1) tell HIM

    2) launch HER.

    Are you writing for advice about this situation NOW? After this poor man has killed himself? Wondering if you should cut HER off?!

    Neither one of you would be my friend.

    If I am missing something here someone please let me know. This letter makes me sick and so angry.

    • Amen to this. My thoughts exactly. A friend is someone who tells you that you are an asshole when you are, in fact, an asshole. Supporting cheating makes you a co-conspirator, not a friend.

    • Me too! OFNF may have been cheated on in her past, but she does not sound like a chump: no empathy, no morals. Maybe a troll? The letter was repulsive. Very triggering.

  • I remember the dark times of when I was being deceived, gaslit, lied to by my cheating whore ex-wife…….I remember very dark and hopeless thoughts….I thought I was no good and my family would be better off without me……honestly, the only thing that kept my thoughts from going further and possibly to action was my kids…..the thought of my kids without me and the pain that would cause them…..that and also what was mentioned above……it would “validate” that I was the “bad one”…..


    It is so sad that someone lost their life…..influenced by lies, gaslighting and lost love.

  • I’m always amazed at how people think that they are special to a cheater, even knowing what the cheater has done. Nobody is really a “friend” of a cheater. People are of use to them, and that is all. OFNF, what makes you think for a second that this cheater values you? She didn’t value the man who swore to love her for all time. She found him useful. Now that he is dead, he is even more useful, because she can keep all his stuff and tell lies about him that he isn’t here to confront. The reason you didn’t tell the chump about her is because you really know this is true. She would have tossed you aside, and you would have become Enemy #1 the moment you stopped supporting her and keeping her secrets.
    The knowledge that my suicide would be used to confirm my Ex’s story that I was crazy was really what kept me alive for a few of the worst months just prior to the divorce. I knew that if I killed myself, he would say, “See? She was always crazy. In the end, she ran off and shot herself!” and everyone would rally around him for sympathy. Fuck that!
    So I was determined to survive if only to spite him. These days, I have a good career, sole custody of the kids, and lots of friends. He lives alone, drives an Uber, and two of the three kids won’t even speak to him. I would get more satisfaction out of it if I bothered, but I don’t even really care anymore. He is irrelevant, and my life is great.
    To anyone who may be considering suicide–don’t let them win like that. Live for spite if nothing else. Eventually, you will find better reasons to live.

    • “I’m always amazed at how people think that they are special to a cheater, even knowing what the cheater has done. Nobody is really a “friend” of a cheater.”


      Also, that was me. When we were young, FW admitted that he had cheated on his high school GF. I knew that would never happen to me because we were soulmates and I was special to him. Then we had kids and he left me for a younger mistress… but he came back after that didn’t work out. I knew that he would never cheat on me again because we were soulmates and I was special to him. Then he left *again* for another younger mistress and I finally started to get it: I never was special to him, just useful.

      So, yeah, I was also that person who didn’t get it. It took me a long time to realize what I wish I could have realized a long time ago.

  • Thank you Chump Lady for your (as always) incredibly articulate, spot on, no BS response – this is an important topic – the mindfuckery of betrayal can beat a good person down – talking to a cheater is like trying to reason with a drunk- it becomes crazy land.
    -sadly this poor man succumbed to the mind bending abuse of his cheating wife – infidelity isn’t contagious but the insanity surrounding it with the lies and gaslighting is—
    — the cheater got her house with her mechanic affair partner – in her eyes “she won” and those that condone her confabulations about her deceased husband are just as despicable as she is.
    -—-objective reality matters—-

  • You do not “get over” a friends suicide. You learn to live with it. Why would you want to be friends with someone who lies about the damage done to the one person they owed honesty too? She deserves nothing from a true friend, accept bye byes. Walk away, do not look back. You owe her nothing but a short ” If you can not own the things you have done, you can not claim my friendship.” You do not have to defend not wanting a fuckwit in your life.

  • The writer seems to be getting something out of being close to this tragic situation. Maybe she is replaying her own trauma of being left be buddying up with the cheater this time, hoping to replay this situation and be the powerful one. Only this story took a tragic end and S died, while she covertly participated in the abuse by being L’s emotional support. Enabler may be a better term.

    It’s interesting she labels the relationship between L and S as “codependent”. It seems to me the writer is highly codependent on L. She very much enjoys being in the middle of the situation and seems to thrive on the drama and crisis.

    • Regret,

      I see it as kowtowing to an abuser, a bully. Hell of a Chump wrote about this in some of her well researched comments. A primal survival tactic ? Who knows. We all have choices. Choose wisely.

  • Always tell the unknowing chump. My God—the guilt I would feel over having been a complicit co-conspirator in driving someone into suicide. What a disaster.

    This writer ought to make amends to S’s family—to his parents and siblings—by telling them the truth of S’s situation. They should *not* have to live with the ideas L is promoting—because those ideas might lead S’s family to wonder if there was something they could have done, or should have done, or should have seen. The writer should relieve them of that burden—otherwise, she continues to be complicit. People who are truly sorry *stop* their offending behaviors and seek to make amends unless making those amends would cause even greater harm. Suicide leaves such a mess behind.

  • Lying to an intimate partner, sneaking around and gaslighting them about it is absolutely 100% abuse, and victims experience many, even most, of the same psychological and physiological effects as victims of physical abuse or assault. (See Minwalla’s model of Integrity Abuse Disorder.) That said, our society absolutely supports behavior that’s at best in a real grey area for betrayal trauma, to such an extreme degree that for a friend, coworker or acquaintance to stand up and speak out against it sometimes takes an upstander level of bravery. A situation where a close friend of both members of a couple is informed about an affair and keeps it secret is one thing—-but imagine if all of us always called out cheater behavior when and where we saw it? I’m thinking of a time I went out to a weekend event with FW and his coworkers, most of whose partners were at home (probably caring for children or doing household chores), and there was so much inappropriate really line-crossing flirtation happening, and one married coworker was not only hitting on a young, drunk, single colleague, but was telling her his wife felt “threatened” by her. He brought her home with him after the event to “hang out” (his wife was at a funeral.) Many of them were complaining about their partners in the way that I think violated basic privacy and respect. When I used to go to work events with the (non-cheating) partner I had before FW, his colleagues were like that too, and people at my graduate school were like that, too. If someone at FW’s work event had called it out—like, “ hey, it’s really cruel to talk about your wife that way. If she confided in you about her feelings about your colleague, that was surely private. It seems like you’re going to cheat and sneak around behind her back, which is gross and we will tell her”, everyone in that particular work/social scene would have hated and ostracized that person, and it might even have made everything more humiliating for the wife. But on the other hand, as long as friends and acquaintances and colleagues stand by and don’t say/do anything, it keeps cheating behaviors (and related FW behaviors: emotionally betraying your partner by saying mean things about them to your colleagues, sneaking around and lying to your partner about where you were after work, even if it wasn’t cheating but just drinking with your sleazy colleagues) totally normalized.

    • In my situation, it feels like there became a “boys club” and my FW was getting part of his tinglies from the “atta boys” he was achieving in that little group. I still really struggle with it – because one of the “boys in the club” is someone I really respected and sacrificed many hours to supporting his family with cooking, cleaning, extra childcare activities, etc. It seems he saw me as completely stupid and deserving to be abused.

    • It really gets complicated.

      For me, I would consider that not knowing for sure.

      The line for me is knowing for sure and not telling. My fw told me of quite a few guys during our years together who were cheating. I never told because I didn’t see it. Thank God I didn’t because turned out he was the cheating asshole and likely lying about someif not most of them.

      I remember he told me once that one of the guys on the PD ran into my best friends husband at a theater. It sickened me. I didn’t tell her because she already knew he was cheating, she was just getting through until her girls were older. They had been separated off and on for a few years.

      However, I am convinced in hindsight that what my fw was actually doing in his diseased mind, was confessing to me to clear his own conscience. I am sure that he and his whore were the ones who ran into this guy at the theater.

      • I see a lot of non-physical betraying behaviors as almost (or in some cases, equally) as betraying, unethical and psychologically abusive as confirmed physical cheater sex.
        To me with my personality, what I saw and heard my FW’s colleague do—-telling his colleague how beautiful she was and how much his wife was “ threatened“ by her and how his wife had gotten upset about him hanging out with her and didn’t want him to, then inviting her over while his wife was out of town—-I found not particularly less sickening than if I had confirmation this guy was physically cheating. If I were his wife, I would be distraught if I knew about that behavior, which involves sneaking around behind her back and betraying her on her while using her discomfort to flatter the other woman. (I should mention that my FW’s only confirmed cheating behavior—what I caught him doing—was emotional and virtual and somewhat, to me, similar in spirit. It was all about, as FW put it, “channeling his feelings” into emails to this person by “using her as a receptacle” for them.). If FW’s coworker physically hooked up with the sloppy drunk young colleague in his home while his wife was out of town, well, that makes it even worse, but what I actually saw and heard and witnessed firsthand was such a huge and sickening betrayal of his wife. But it seems like there wasn’t even really a way for anyone to call it out and improve things.

  • I would really hope, that had I followed through when my reality was ripped out from under me, that my true friends would carry forth the message of the abuse and betrayal that led to my decision. At least I could be remembered accurately if I wasn’t strong enough to survive the blow of infidelity. It was definitely a situation where it could have landed either way.

    This is part of changing the narrative in our culture. Instead of these chumps drifting away mysteriously……we need to be telling their stories.

    My heart reaches out to S and his children – they’ve been through a war zone. Not all of them made it. This is the reality of infidelity. It is not a “shit happens” thing. It is a direct attack at the core of a person’s soul.

    • “This is part of changing the narrative in our culture. Instead of these chumps drifting away mysteriously……we need to be telling their stories.”

      Times three.

    • “This is the reality of infidelity. It is not a ‘shit happens’ thing. It is a direct attack at the core of a person’s soul.”

      Yes, I agree. I’m stunned by the horrific details of this letter and hope, perhaps, the story is not true. But the discussion from you, TallGrass, Spackle City, and others resonates with me. It reminds me of how we are acculturated to think a non-addicted or any “innocent” person doing life is less-than, naive, or prudish. Thanks for taking a stand, Tracy, and to the others on this site who speak to objective reality and decency. Cheating, deception, betrayal, and abandonment are soul-crushing. The stakes are high.

  • What a selfish, horrible, entitled POS “L” is. And then to inflict her dirty secret on somebody she KNEW had suffered through the abuse of infidelity.

    CN, my intent, going forward, is to always tell the spouse what I know. The question I have is: how do you tell an innocent person that they are being betrayed? I wonder if I would have believed anybody if they had told ME? Would I have resented them?

    Are there gentle, but convincing words, we could use?

    • I think I would start with my own story as a betrayed, then ease in to it. Fact is for at least a while we would likely lose their friendship.

      In my case had someone even dropped me a line, at the very least my hackles would have been up and I would have likely started doing a little watching. Even if I had ignored it, early on; when the bad treatment of me started I would have likely put two and two together and protected myself more.

      If I had found out when my fw and his exit whore started their adultery; I may not even have left yet as my son was still young (about 12 or so) and I was not a large wage earner. One thing I know I would have done was amped up my college classes and likely started working full time a couple years earlier. I may not even have told my fw I suspected or knew.

      Also there was not way I was going to subject any of my son’s upbringing to a whore who had already raised three miscreants on her own.

      In fact funny thing is when fw talked to our preacher after Dday, he said he hoped to help whore with her youngest son. Preacher told fw that it wouldn’t work because at least half, and likely more of what make our son so successful would be out of the picture.

      FW’s are such idiots. They really think they are amazing.

    • Recently I was hit on (very aggressively in an IM) by one of my best friend’s husbands. I told her immediately (complete with screenshots of the messages he sent me) and she BLAMED ME. A friend of nearly 20 years, dropped me because I didn’t respond to his disgusting messages the way she wanted me to. I grey rocked, didn’t respond at all, and she was upset because “if I had told him to stop (instead of not responding at all) that maybe he would have”. She also claimed that I was “too involved in my own issue’s with my own FW that I couldn’t see the truth of her situation” that her husband was “just kidding”. She has since blocked me and no longer speaks to me at all. She is seeing what she wants to see, even with the proof (I sent her the screenshots) right in front of her eyes. She chose to dump me instead of him.

      • MW, at least you have a clear conscience and can say you tried. You certainly had her best interests at heart, even if the truth is painful. Perhaps if more screenshots from additional women start appearing to her, she will pay attention. It could also be that she doesn’t care, though that kind of boggles my mind.

        • Unfortunately there is often a “kill the messenger” reaction to learning one is being abused/cheated on.

        • Yeah, that’s kind of where I landed; at least I told her. It’s up to her what she does with the info. And she absolutely does care. When I initially told her about my FW her first response was “You’re living my worst nightmare”. Then to later learn her husband was no better? That must have been Hell and I feel terrible for her. But I’m pissed at how she treated me. She blamed the victim and I don’t tolerate that fuckupedness.

      • That unnecessary apostrophe in “issues” is killing me. Still hoping for that edit button someday. lol!

  • What the actual fuck…

    This illustrates perfectly what happens when you are friends with FWs. If you don’t cut off ties with them as soon as you know who they are, they make you their accomplice.

    You cannot change others but you can change yourself. When you have been chumped and you finally open your eyes to what it does to a person, you can’t unsee it. You can’t put the cat back in the bag when it is inconvenient!

    The OP should have dropped that “friend” the moment she uttered the first word about the affair. Now she has to live with the consequences. We joke about “fixing our picker” but it’s no joking matter. I would seriously wonder why her “friend” picker her… It is your responsibility to cut toxic people out of your life and call their bullshit. Objective reality does matter, and it is criminal to participate in a delusion that leads to others being abused.

    • Oh, and to the letter writer: get lots and lots of therapy. It is your responsibility as a human being to become more than barely half baked. There are two types of truly terrible people: the ones who are capable of raping someone and the ones who stand by and watch, doing nothing. I wouldn’t be friends with either.

  • You can not change what has happened. But I can’t help but think “what if….” What if you had been his real friend and told him you knew exactly how he was feeling; that he was not crazy; that he deserves better; that you support him when he dumps her; and that you have been there and it gets better. The fact that you may have been able to save his life is something you will have to live with forever. I imagine he was alone and lonely and believed he was crazy. He needed a friend and he did not have one.

  • I am so
    Sick about this. He was so depressed he knew he was being screwed over by his wife they most likely WERE in an unhealthy codependent relationship and needed HELP. I am so sorry he couldn’t get out before taking his life. You sound like a smart intuitive person.
    My daughter was only 16 she and her friend were dating twin boys. Her friend began parting a lot and cheating on the boyfriend. She wouldn’t straighten up
    So my daughter told him. Was she wrong?
    He’s engaged to someone else they’ve ALL since moved on.
    Yes she and the girl are still friends.
    Was she wrong?
    I don’t think you should carry any guilt however need to walk away from this friend unless you want some therapy together

  • I came too close to suicide too many times during this to be nice. I see why the two of you have been friends so long, you are both garbage people.

    And stop saying you loved her husband. Slap that lie out of your mouth. If you loved him you wouldn’t have just sat and watched him be abused to the point he killed himself. This is the shit my disgusting “friends” tried to say about me. That’s not love. If that’s love to you, then you’re a monster who isn’t capable of love and can’t even understand what love is. So which is it? Are you a liar or a monster? Because it’s one of those things. Don’t disrespect the dead man even more by pretending you gave a shit about him. You did not.

    You are your actions. We are all our actions. If you want to stop being a piece of shit, stop doing piece of shit things. But, my God, you should feel guilty. How do you go through this and then sit back and watch it done to someone you claim to “love” and then after he is driven to suicide, you worry about being a better friend to his abuser…

    I just can’t. I think you’re a monster. You would get along well with my ex husband and his friends.

    • I can’t disagree with what you wrote about how this writer characterizes herself in relation to the deceased husband in the equation. It’s hard to stomach this idea that she loved him yet let him live in this world of gaslighting that clearly damaged him, when she could have provided clarity that might have improved his life. But, to be sure, the choice for someone to ultimately kill themselves is a personal one. Sometimes intervention can prevent the suicide. Sometimes it can’t. Sometimes it simply postpones it. I’ve seen all three scenarios play out.

      I personally would feel some responsibility for his death if I were in the writer’s shoes. But, I also don’t think that’s necessarily correct.

  • This is the exact reason I never got to meet my Aunt Leigh. She was cheated on by her husband, and when she found out, she killed herself in her garage. Her coward son of a bitch husband disappeared before my mom could come after him and give him what he deserved. This happened before I was born. I’ve only seen one picture of her, but I’ve been told about what a wonderful woman she was.

    It is too late for S, but it is NOT too late for you to do what you KNOW IS THE RIGHT THING and drop this ridiculous sham of a friendship. It is also not too late for you to call her out on her bullshit in the name of this poor man who ended his life over the pain of her betrayal.
    “L, you didn’t have an emotional affair. You were fucking the married mechanic for months. S wasn’t abusive and crazy. You are a liar, you gaslit him and drove him crazy and when the truth came out, the pain was so devastating he took his own life. You are a terrible person and I will no longer call myself your friend.”

    You don’t need to be writing here to know right from wrong. You already know what you should do. You should end this “friendship” and never speak to her again.

  • Dear OFNF…you need therapy. Lots and lots of therapy to help you figure out why you’re allowing your so-called friend to treat you this way. After going through the horrors of gaslighting and cheating how did your “friend” feel comfortable telling you about her affair? If she was really your friend she wouldn’t have told you about it because she would know that it would be upsetting. She doesn’t care about you at all. What on God’s green earth has caused you to maintain ties with this person?

    Let me repeat what Tracy said, “SHARED HISTORY ISN’T SHARED VALUES.” Just because you met somebody when you were a child and you liked them then, doesn’t mean you have ever had anything in common except for randomly being in the same class at school.

    And if another “close friend” is telling you to be supportive of her, then you need to find a better group of friends. These people are all awful.

  • A crappy person is never worth it, but this garbage human mentality and emotionally abused her husband. I hope he didn’t have any insurance policies they could use.

    My soon to be ex is not worth it, I have two awesome boys, a family that loves me, and friends that straight up told her what a hooch she is. On top of that, he may have some money, but she traded down in terms of character and looks. I know in the end, I’ll find that will love me for me.

  • Horrible. And if this writer has any hesitancy about keeping this “friendship,” she’s horrible too. I remember feeling this way myself–especially after being coached and suggested to do so by my abusive FW. My only brother died by suicide, and FW got his jollies by telling me to go visit him and get out of his hair…crap like that. Eventually, he was not subtle and screamed at me to kill myself, like a demand. I got a recording of it and submitted it to the police. This shit is no joke and should not be taken lightly. We should also run far away from those who DO take it lightly.

  • Wow this letter is truly horrifying. Starting with the writer’s judgment of the her supposed friends relationship dynamics (that’s not what codependency is at all), the gloating of the failure of a seemingly perfect marriage (what kind of person gets angry at someone else’s apparent happiness), the complicity and encouragement of the cheating and the continued support after all that happened. Every single part of this letter just takes your breath away. I got the impression the letter writer was taking some kind of pleasure in watching this relationship unravel the way it did. Some people simply want to watch the world burn.

    It’s sad to me that there are genuine chumps out there looking for support and this letter writer gets to take up valuable space in one of the very few spaces available to Chumps.

    When you support cheaters you condone their actions and are complicit in the fall out. To still have this person in your life after all of this is, well I can’t use the phrase I normally would as it’s wholly inappropriate given what this poor genuine chump did to himself.

    • Agreed. There are some people who FEED on tragedy–it makes them want to pull out an easy chair and popcorn and watch. This writer is one of them. I say this as someone who has had an unusually tragic life–it attracts gawkers and that is a secondary betrayal for the bereaved party.

    • I believe that S must have had co-dependent tendencies otherwise he wouldn’t have withstood such a level of abuse and gotten so deep into the mire that he didn’t want a life without the abuser. People are a lot more compliant when they don’t like themselves and tend to centre one source of importance.

      L is a predator who looks for obvious holes in armour. Who’s betting that Mr Mechanic was all, “my wife doesn’t understand me boo hoo” and they just decided to entertain each others’ batshit delusions (until they break up in about 18 months and decide the other one was crazy).

  • You cannot control what other people do. You can only control what you do. Being a chump, I would terminate my friendship with someone who is a cheater. You have to decide your own actions.

    I have a friend who recently lost her husband. He may have had a mental illness, or some type of disorder due to his actual diagnosed diseases prior to his death. He was certainly abusing her emotionally. I suspect he was also cheating. I want to support her loss, I could not stand him. This situation is very difficult for me but I will not drop her, she is a long time friend, and not a cheater. I want to help her without hurting her more.

    Money is important, and divorce is hard. In this case someone became so distraught he killed himself. She cheated, and caused it all. Now she has money, no divorce, and a cheating new partner. Life is not fair, but you do not have to be her supportive friend. She has made her choices, you need to make yours.

  • OFNF, OMG you are complicit in that poor man’s death, just as if you had been standing by a pile of life rings and watched him slowly drown. There were a thousand ways you could have anonymously let him know, but you stood by his torturer and let her destroy him. Did you learn NOTHING from your own experience? Have you no soul? And now your only worry is can you still be friends? It horrifies me that a person like you exists. Go, be friends with her. You deserve each other.

    • That’s going too far, Cerise. The FW is the only one responsible for his suicide.
      The OP didn’t do the right thing, but she had no way of knowing how desperate he was. The FW knew and still kept up the abuse. The FW is the killer.

  • OP wants to know if she’s a bad friend for not supporting the affair? She DID support the affair.

  • When I read that this man had killed himself, my stomach dropped. Because after experiencing all the cruel, fucked up sadistic shit you mentioned for a long time, I almost did too. Thankfully, while I was being berated for not accepting tHe FeMaLe FrIeNd and being told, “watch what you’re saying”, something snapped in me and I went Krakatoa instead.

    What most don’t ever talk about is that cheating very often goes beyond ‘just’ sexual/emotional betrayal; the cheater becomes an abuser far beyond that. As you said, the withdrawal of sex and affection, the gaslighting, the baiting arguments as an excuse to go to AP, the extreme devaluation, etc. And this parasitic shit too;

    “L wouldn’t leave because that would mean losing the house”
    “if the AP didn’t leave his wife, S was plan B”

    Your friend is a sociopath. She targeted a co-dependent, drained him of all the mileage she could in order to steal his wealth and create a veneer of sugary perfection (image management) and after she abused and emotionally starved him to death, moved in the shag without regret (the EmOtIoNaL aFfAiR because hubs was craaaazaaay!! – because the image management is always King). She also expected you to be party to abuse you yourself suffered. Because she’s the Earth, Stars and Mars and everyone else should just be happy to be mere space trash in the same orbit.

    Yes, he was an adult and he made a decision to end his life. That’s what we always say, isn’t it. How we always absolve ourselves. “This person was crying out for help but not a single soul noticed! Even though we all buy the ‘crazy’ lie, magically.”

    But he would have never made that decision without months and possibly years of coercion. Of being worn down to nothing. Maybe she even got him into debt, who knows. I’m almost certain she isolated him or ensured he isolated himself. Image management strikes again.

    Part of me wants to admonish you for not reaching out to your fellow chump who was suffering. But he may have pulled that trigger anyway and you’d have felt even worse, as if you were a catalyst. I don’t know how much it would have helped without collective effort from several people prepared to take on L and openly dispel the lies.

    Your friend has surrounded herself with ‘yes’ people and has proven time and time again that she has no conscience. She is not a friend to you, she’s barely human. You need to extricate yourself from this horror FOR YOUR SAFETY.

    If you understand anything now, understand this; SHE IS PERFECTLY OKAY WITH SEEING YOU DEAD. GET OUT.

    • “But he would have never made that decision without months and possibly years of coercion. Of being worn down to nothing. Maybe she even got him into debt, who knows. I’m almost certain she isolated him or ensured he isolated himself. Image management strikes again.”

      Yes, the letter writer spoke of how the relationship was codependent and they were too enmeshed. Except it actually wasn’t both of them who were. It was only him. She was off with another man while he agonized alone. I’m sure that’s exactly how she wanted it, so she encouraged dependence on the relationship to be sure he would not reach out to others. Classic coercive control move.

  • having similar values is a foundation of friendship. This woman showed that she did not have your values about the sanctity of marriage, and you were under no obligation to “support” her Fu*kery>

  • this is quite triggering. i mean, lots of letters are triggering but there’s something else going on here and it’s harm. i have to ask a question about whether posting the letter does more harm than good?

    a question worth considering.

    • So should we just keep people suffering a certain level of trauma isolated even more incase it makes others on the outside uncomfortable?

      No, this needs to be in the open. Sociopaths need to suffer mortification and victims need to be set free of their own mindfuck. Triggered people are not the priority here.

      • Agreed. I was very triggered by the letter, because I also struggled with suicidal thoughts after finding out that my partner betrayed me. (Luckily, actual suicide was very much off the table for me even when I was that traumatized, because I am a mother. But I understand that a lot of people, even loving mothers, lose the struggle after they are treated so horribly by someone they are intimate with. ) I think it was helpful to post this. It’s important to talk openly about all of this, because part of the problem is that lying to and betraying your partner is such an excepted part of our culture— somehow the horror show of the actual damage it does gets covered up.

    • People are literally sharing stories of what they went through and how they almost killed themselves in order to get support and let others know that you can go through this and get better.

      And you want that silenced? Because it makes you feel uncomfortable? You should really consider why you want that.

    • i think that offering support and info is key, and would not ever silence–that goes against my principles entirely.

      what i’m concerned about is the potential harm inflicted by specific details of this letter. specifically, how the person suicided. I think that’s graphic and triggering, and extreme. and i have to ask if that harm is worth the focus?

      i don’t know. it’s just a question i have. i’d like to think i can raise a question.

      • But we can also flip this another way. Some years ago, a person I knew attempted suicide with over the counter painkillers. Her idea was to go to bed and never wake up again.

        What actually happened was that she woke up in such agony that she herself called the ambulance. I don’t know her current situation but I do know she’s still alive and appears fully functional.

        Would she have taken a box of painkillers had she known the outcome? Now you can say, “no, she wouldn’t have attempted” or “no, she may have pursued more lethal means and succeeded”.

        In the end, information is just information. You don’t pursue it unless you’re already thinking about it and you ARE an adult. I think what doesn’t get mentioned is just how long suicides have been attempting to save themselves before they do anything extreme.

  • Whooo, this is sure one that will get folks talking.

    Agreed, the cheating friend of the poster is not a quality person anymore. She’s a cheater. Cheaters destroy lives around them; that’s just what they do. It hurts to give up a relationship with someone with whom you’ve invested love and years into, but, just like escaping a FW, the poster has to go NC with her cheating friend. You have to let her go. There’s no loyalty in her. Who is to say that she won’t destroy her friends’ lives just like she destroyed her family’s?

    As to the suicide mentioned: speaking as someone with a family member who died in the same manner as mentioned, no, I don’t think that the language needs to necessarily be gentled up (despite the fact that I gentled up the description here in my own post, which was my choice because it still hurts to talk about). I would, however, include a content warning at the beginning of the article–even just a wee little brief one. It’s not required, of course, just appreciated.

    However, all that’s just my two cents.

  • I left the Chump Nation Facebook page after one of the moderators scolded me because “cheating doesn’t cause murder.”

    It is absolutely a motive for murder. For suicide. For many other forms of harming others and/or oneself. I myself have never had to manage thoughts and feelings of homicide/suicide until I was cheated on by Traitor X. Four years later, I can be struck by an episode of rage or just wanting to go to sleep and not wake up because pain flares. Cheating is serious serious serious seriously damaging shit and I am completely over anyone minimizing and not respecting how painful and destructive it is. I am an alcoholic and an addict in recovery for 36 years now, and I know first hand that infidelity drives a LOT of people, way too many people, into substance abuse, aka suicide on the installment plan. I have no idea how I have stayed sober through this. I often speak at our local detox center, founded by some family friends after their daughter died of a heroin overdose and named after her. After speaking at a meeting, I was approached by one of the residents, a very hard core outlaw gang member. Prison and gang tats. Very tough and intimidating. He was crying. He told me his wife had cheated on him and he had been drinking and using over it for years. He needed to see me and hear my story and hear that it was possible to endure that kind of pain and not use/drink himself to death.

    Cheaters, those who cheat with them, and those who say nothing? I have NO PATIENCE for this.

    Standing on the shore, as one of two people who sees someone drowning, and doing nothing, would make me complicit.

    I am responsible, for saying something if I see something, if I see someone in harm’s way.

    I often tell people it would have been more humane for him to have murdered me.



    • I can’t know the context, of course, but maybe they were meaning that murder is an active decision. That victims don’t cause their own demise, etc. While technically this is correct, there are areas such as cheating and prolonged abuse where there is… a hell of a grey area.

      Maybe they said this not in reaction to you but in reaction to FB’s hairtrigger guidelines. I agree it’s invalidating as fuck and I don’t think social media is a space for anybody who wants to tell the raw truth of their lives. You can’t even post a meme on there without the thoughtpolice butting in.

    • Case to your point VH-yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong allegedly killed her pro cyclist bf Colin Strickland’s side fuck, Moriah Wilson. He has fled Texas, in fear for his life.

      Chumps, these fuckwits aren’t worth it, be it suicide or murder.

    • I totally agree VH. As to cheating won’t lead to murder, I respectfully disagree. In my case, it very much did. It cost my beautiful sweet 14 year old son his life by way of cheater ex. I took my kids and left cheater ex because he said he was thinking about killing all of us, himself included.

      • Dear Tessie,

        No one knows this better than you, and I think of you often.


    • I can’t imagine anyone thinking for an instant that cheating does not cause murder.

      Lacy Peterson and her unborn baby comes to mind. There are many others that hit the headlines; and even more that we never find out about.

  • The betrayal I felt when I learned that most of my “friends” not only KNEW about the affair but SUPPORTED my husband and his whore was almost as painful as my husband’s betrayal. Not one person spoke up. Not one. I’d known some of them for 10 or 15 YEARS. They’d known the whore about 4 months. Yet she got invited to things and I didn’t. No one checked on me to see if I was okay at any point during our separation/divorce. No one. Some of them were even spying on my social media (since my stbx was blocked and my accounts were private) and sending things to my stbx so he could try and blackmail me or whatever. One of the “friends” had been a chump herself. And she still didn’t say anything to me.

    I cut every singe “friend” who had any connection with the ex and/or the whore out of my life.

    I went through some pretty dark periods where I didn’t know if life was worth living. I didn’t think about suicide, but I was not eating or sleeping and had dropped to a dangerously low weight. I started living again and trying to get healthy because my son needed me and I couldn’t leave him to his dad and the whore. I’m sure stbx and OW would have LOVED me to just check out and go. They resented that I refused to go quietly and disappear. My stbx told me repeatedly that he hoped I died alone and in pain.

    In the end, it was my husband who killed himself, after OW left him. I never wished him ill, nor did I ever suggest to him that my life would be easier without him. Because I’m a decent human being. He’d been unspeakably cruel to me, abusive, vicious, and horrible. And I still would have gone to help him if he’d told me what he meant to do. Because I have empathy. I have a heart. I still feel guilty sometimes, because my life IS easier now. But I wouldn’t have asked for this life at the cost of someone else’s.

    I saw a bunch of those “friends” at my stbx’s funeral (we never did get divorced, as he died before our trial). They all acted friendly toward me just as they had all along. I behaved with dignity and composure, and was civil to everyone, but I would never willingly be closely involved with any of them again.

    When I see people struggling, even if they aren’t close friends, I reach out. I saw one person I knew post some things that seemed to suggest her marriage was rocky. I sent her a message and just said that I was checking to see if she was okay, and I was there if she needed someone to talk to as I’d been through some difficult things myself and know how lonely it can be. And she did reach out and we chatted a bit. It isn’t hard to be decent or show compassion. If you aren’t sure how to tell a chump, don’t tell them directly, but do reach out. Most of us chumps knew something was wrong. The chump may provide the opening to be told the truth. I wouldn’t have been happy to hear it in plain english, but at least I wouldn’t have wasted three years trying to save a marriage that had crossed a hard line for me. I don’t tolerate cheating. But I didn’t KNOW and so kept hoping that I was imagining it all, like my husband’s lies and gaslighting tried to convince me.

    The letter writer behaved despicably, and honestly she should feel guilty. If she wants to continue a friendship with this person, she is just as bad as the cheater. I could not stay friends with someone I knew was treating or had treated their spouse that way.

    • I totally agree. I’m sorry for your ex’s poor decision (one of several). I had a ‘friend’ tell me that she was involved with a man. She used the excuse that her husband just didn’t have a lot of testosterone and she had needs and the guy that she was with satisfied those needs. I could only tell her that what she was doing was wrong. I was not supportive at all. She stopped talking to me. And when she was going through the divorce and later told me that she had to give him half of her retirement, I thought ‘good!’ I didn’t know her husband and I didn’t know how to reach out to him. But I had another friend who’s husband was cheating on her. It was before I myself had experienced betrayal. I called her and told her. It was very, very painful to tell her. I understand how people don’t want to tell because they don’t want to hurt their loved one. But I put myself in her shoes and thought that if my husband was cheating on me, I’d want to know. Now I wonder how many people knew about my ex and his skank. Probably quite a few. Oh well. I’m way past the hurt now, but I think if I run into any of those people that could have known, I’ll ask them flat out if they knew the dick was cheating on me. I’m at the point in my life where I have nothing to lose. If there’s someone out there that wouldn’t tell me, and I will lose their friendship by interrogating only to find out that they knew, then I don’t want them in my life anyway.

  • I wanted to commit suicide because of the horrendous pain. After 30 years and then being tossed over for another woman, I felt that I had absolutely no value. I thought of all kinds of different ways, but the only reason that kept me going was my faith. The sisters taught me that I’d go to hell if I threw God’s gift of life away. Thank you to those Sisters!! That may or may not be true, but it stuck in my head and I didn’t go through with it. If there’s anything that I wish was said over and over again is that the pain is finite!! It will end. I had so many friends tell me that one day I’d be grateful, but at that moment, I was in so much pain that I wanted it to end. I wish they had said, “Trust me!! I know how bad it hurts right now. You just want it to end it immediately, but trust me! This pain is finite! It ends!!” And then I wish I would have had someone say that each day the pain will lessen but you MUST go out and live. It does end.

  • Yes, this nailed it for me: “Shared history isn’t shared values. What are your values?”

    I came to see through my own mess that I should only be obligated to those that I choose to be obligated to, and only to the extent that I choose. I learned that kinda late, but now I’m only friends with healthy, safe people. I have only a handful of relatives on my side. One is safe, and one is in late-stage dementia and difficult, so I have certain parameters with her. I have others on the periphery that I have to interact with that I’m guarded with, and that’s fine. I’ve let go of others entirely. As a therapist friend likes to say, “I don’t do crazy. I decide what crazy is.”

    This “friend” is what my 20-something son would can a dumpster fire. She lies about the circumstances and is trying to play the victim. You had an emotional investment there that is now shattered. I wouldn’t give my support here, but yes, she needs to make her own decisions. That would be all that I would say if someone was wanting me involved.

    Just so very tragic. OFNF, I’m sorry that you are having to work through this.

  • So you knew he was being gaslit, abused and cheated on but you chose – for months – to not tell him he wasn’t wrong to distrust her? You facilitated his abuse because you knew his wife longer? Because he was a man and therefore his pain wasn’t comparable to yours, four years ago?

    Yeah, you need therapy. Your picker needs fixing because you didn’t drop her like a hot rock AND tell her husband about her betrayal. Take a MUCH closer look at who remains in your personal circle and dump those who are the least bit sketchy or “Swiss-like”.

    The same tragic ending may have occurred but you would at least know you did what you could to minimize him getting abused. As it is, you did nothing to support him and effectively supported her abuse of him.

    Now she and the mechanic are going to live high on the hog with blood money and you’ve dipped your hands in it too (IMO).

  • Recently spoke with someone who had in the past cheated with married men. Her husband knew but they did not. I said that I believed in telling any partners that may not know. She was confused saying she wouldn’t want to break up their marriages. I said that those unknowing partners were being abused by the withholding of information (assuming they did not request to be ‘in the dark’). They deserved to have all the information they needed to make life decisions. She hadn’t thought about it that way. Time to change the narrative.

    • She wouldn’t want to break up their marriages ?! Oh, so she just wanted to have some fun and crack the marital foundation a bit. But hey since the chump didn’t see those little cracks, whore doesn’t care that she helped chip away. What a cunt !

      • It’s that freaking self-absorbed narrative of the ‘hero’ who finds happiness despite a ‘loveless/sexless/bagged salad’ marriage in the arms of another for a tryst to ‘reinvigorate’ their lives and ‘find’ themselves or some other such nonsense. Partners, children, jobs, community – those are are set pieces in the ‘heroes’ special lives.

  • OFNF,

    There is a saying, attributed to Burke (amongst others) that goes along the lines of “All that is necessary for for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

    Unless you are absolutely OK with L’s actions (and I would hope that you aren’t), then you need to drop her as a friend.


  • I read this waiting for noon Mass to start and began weeping. It struck a nerve because immediately after DDay, now almost a year ago, I thought that there was no way I could go on living. One Stat I read said 60% of those who are betrayed have suicidal ideations. My DDay came at the end of a 3 year stretch of bad things. It is still a struggle. We all understand the pain of being betrayed but for those of us who were madly in love with our spouses and blindsided by their actions it is another level of pain. I prayed for S and OFNF.
    OFNF I worry about what you are feeling. I don’t think telling S would have saved him. You were put in an impossible situation by your “friend”. I understand that you have a long history with her but for her to put you in the middle of it knowing your history shows she doesn’t see your relationship as you do. She took advantage of you. Her actions are selfish and one sided. She betrayed you as well. You need to get this person out of your life

  • A very dark topic today. But one that should be addressed because I believe it may be much more prevalent than reported. Early in my discovery process, among the old emails I found on my then-wife’s computer, was something her mother (who was also a serial cheater – a red flag I ignored at my peril) said — that if I ever found out about my wife’s multiple affairs that I would likely kill myself. The overall tone seemed almost hopeful, which is really messed up.

    But I remember thinking at that moment that they have absolutely no idea who I am and what I’m made of. I’m glad I found that email because it helped to fuel my anger and it motivated me to be ruthless during the countless legal battles and in getting her out of my life.

    Admittedly I did go through some dark times, and I occasionally feel them try to manifest in my mind when I’ve missed too many days of exercise. But there’s no way in hell that I’d ever take my own life. Mostly because (thankfully) I’m just not wired that way, but also because I always want to be there for my kid, and also to never give my exFW and her FW mother the satisfaction.

  • When my friend of 20+ years confided that she’d been cheating with a coworker, I thought: “If she could do that to a longtime spouse, what abuse would she be capable of inflicting on me, a lowly friend?” I ended our friendship. Years later, after my own FW blew up our family with an “exit affair,” I remembered my ex-friend with a shudder. These people are abusers to the core. Let them all go.

  • Each person has the right to their decision making process.

    Letter writer did not commit the acts of the cheating lying abusive spouse. She is not to blame.
    Some people don’t have the skills to approach a situation of this difficulty. Repeat: she is not to blame.

    The letter writer may have caused more harm by talking to the spouse and she nay have been harmed.

    Clearly a volatile situation. It was entirely her call and her call only to get involved.

    We don’t know all things and we have no idea how the future will unfold based on the actions of today. We can only act on our convictions. That belongs solely to each person.

    This “friend” relationship sounds unhealthy and dysfunctional. Perhaps letter writer could examine why she cannot act in her own best interests in this regard.

    Very sorry for the pain of the letter writer and the victims of the abusers.

    • “Each person has the right to their decision making process.”

      So if I make a decision that harms someone else, or I make a decision not to tell someone what they have a right to know, that’s OK?

      I have the right to that “decision making process”, but it doesn’t make me a decent human being with values.

      • “I have the right to that “decision making process”, but it doesn’t make me a decent human being with values.”

        That’s your opinion.

  • This just makes me so sad 🙁 This poor man ended his life over a HORRIBLE person! It just brakes my heart.
    I don’t know why anyone would want to maintain a friendship with such a person.

  • I am the OP and can ensure everyone I am not a troll. Although some of these comments certainly made me feel like hiding under a bridge. Thank you for your honesty Chump Lady and Chump Nation; it was a reality check much needed as my brain swarms with so many thoughts. I am sorry to those who feel I did the wrong thing.

    I was not supportive of L’s affair, I was doing all I could and sharing all I learned to drill into her what she was doing to her husband. I begged her to leave him. I was angry with her, told her she was being abusive, traumatizing her husband and trying to make her see but she just would not; she really didn’t care, just wanted her AP. I should have told S and I will live with that regret for the rest of my life. I lost someone I loved and am grieving this loss.

    My question is how do I move forward? How do I tell her parents or her brother (who found S dead in their marital bed) that the reason I cannot continue my friendship is because their daughter/sister is a piece of shit human being? They are in deep denial already about what happened and just want to move on from the pain. They are accepting of the mechanic :-|. I live in California and she is in Minnesota so thankfully our lives don’t overlap. Do I just fade away from their lives?

    Shared history is not shared values. My therapist & I will work on fixing my picker.

    • OFNF, you don’t need to tell anyone anything, especially as you are states away. Just fade away and move on.

    • It’s very troubling that you’re so concerned with explaining things to HER parents and brother. Have you told HIS parents, any siblings or friends WHY he killed himself ? Imho, you owe them that. I wouldn’t trouble myself with explaining myself (why you’ve dropped their daughter as a “friend”) to people who shaped her monstrous lack of character. You wrote to this blog for feedback and I’m giving my two cents.

    • I second Curly Chump’s suggestion that you just cut them all off and move on. You don’t owe any of them an explanation or anything else. They will most likely choose not to believe you, and you don’t need that.

      I can relate. I have to live with the guilt of believing my covert narcissist mother instead of my father and supporting her plans to divorce him on the grounds of extreme mental cruelty. Her goal was to move out and let him pay for her lifestyle and healthcare. I actually helped her fill out the forms because I believed my mother was telling the truth. (Nope.) She calls him “selfish” and a “coward” for choosing to end it all when he found out and still believes she was hard done by. I’m NC with her now.

    • “I was not supportive of L’s affair, I was doing all I could and sharing all I learned to drill into her what she was doing to her husband.”

      You say CL and CN helped you, you learned. Yet you apparently didn’t take on board the consensus here, which is to *tell the chump*.

      That poor man is now dead. No, you didn’t make him blow his brains out, but you were *complicit* in keeping him in the dark about something he had a right to know. I hope if you’re ever faced again with a similar situation, you do the decent thing and tell. Wouldn’t you have wanted someone to tell *you*?

      “My question is how do I move forward? How do I tell her parents or her brother (who found S dead in their marital bed) that the reason I cannot continue my friendship is because their daughter/sister is a piece of shit human being?”

      What about *S’s* family? You don’t seem to have any concern for them, only for the family of that evil piece of shit you call a ‘friend’. Given that you’ve already told us that her parents have accepted the OM, and ‘they just want to move on’ I’d say they’re pretty much as toxic as their vile daughter. Why should you be concerned to protect the feelings of such callous, shallow people?

      “Do I just fade away from their lives?”


    • I agree with other posters who wonder why you’re so concerned about the (still living, and in a relationship with Schmoopie?) cheater’s family and what you’ll tell them— if you do want to tell them something, it doesn’t have to be that their child/sibling is a monster, but that you understand the devastating effects of betrayal trauma, and how the abusive acts of lying, cheating, gaslighting and betraying a partner can severely compromise that person’s psychological health—-How in fact, it’s not at all unusual for the discovery to bring on a dangerous mental health crisis, and how even chumps who don’t know that they are being cheated on usually intuitively sense that something is wrong, and it frays our mental health insidiously. (See Minwalla’s writings on Integrity Abuse Disorder and the Secret Sexual Basement.). You can tell them, as well as your FW ex friend, that you knew that the cheating and deception was very wrong and you were conflicted about supporting it, that you felt conflicted about telling S, and that after it ended the way it did, you deeply regret the decisions you made and feel that not only did FW former friend do something cruel, abusive and unethical to her husband, but you now feel that you made the wrong choice not to expose the affair, and that you will no longer keep friends in your life who are abusing and deceiving their partners for ego kibbles, and that FW former friend should be alone, not with Schmoopie, and working on her character with a good therapist.
      I’ve been thinking about this post and the responses all night, and I have decided now and going forward to just awkwardly call it out whenever cheatery behavior happens around me, even if it turns into a shoot the messenger kind of situation or people disapprove of me. If an acquaintance starts to tell me the the juicy details of their affair or even their crush, i’m not going to be like, “you’re a horrible person”—-i’m going to talk about how I was chumped and how it really changed my perspective about anything people in a committed, supposedly monogamous relationship are doing dishonestly behind their partner’s back. How we as a society tacitly (or overtly) accept and normalize all of these forms of betrayal and psychological abuse, and how it hurt me so much that I don’t want to go along with it anymore.

    • “Do I just fade away from their lives”

      Yes. Blow the fucking bridge up, these people are garbage.

  • I commented once a few weeks ago when CL was moving about people using this forum to be openly vitriolic toward others as a knee-jerk expression of disagreement. I continued giving this group chances to knock that shit off because we’re supposed to be here to be supportive with one another. Clearly, it was the chump in me doing that. Even among chumps, some of us think it’s acceptable to attack other chumps just for seeing things a little differently. It’s a bullshit way to behave here.

    (Hint, if you’re telling others their whiny little feelings don’t matter, then talking about your own feelings like they absolutely do matter, you are 100% the problem.)

    If this makes you feel defensive because you recognize you’ve been shitty to others, don’t bother giving me any shit about it. I won’t be here to read it. I have learned a lot about boundaries from the outstanding chumps here who are kind, funny, and productive, and I don’t determine my ethics or self worth based on any opinions from mean people on the internet. Your feelings don’t matter to me, either. Touche.

    I wish 100% of us had enough respect for CL and one another to share opinions and feelings without crapping on one another’s, but it appears a few of us can’t manage ourselves well enough to get close to that goal. I’m pissed about it, so I said so. Will be back no sooner than a week from today.

    • “I continued giving this group chances to knock that shit off because we’re supposed to be here to be supportive with one another.”

      I’m all for being supportive of people who deserve support.

      A couple of people have attacked Katie Pig for her impassioned and gut wrenching response to the idea that we should pussyfoot around suicide, to save other people’s feelings. She’s been accused of being a ‘fascist’, and ‘hysterical’, and indulging in ‘cheaterspeak’. Are you OK with that? Because I’m not.

      As for the OP, she wrote to CL, so I assume she wanted her *opinion*, and since this is a discussion forum, I assume she expected commenters to have opinions, and voice them.

      Katie Pig went through *hell*, and I don’t blame her in the least for responding to sugar coated waffle with righteous anger.

  • Exhibit A in why you should always tell the chump- because if you let them go on being gaslighted and abused by the cheater, they might be traumatized enough to do what S did.
    To our letter writer; this “friend” not only drove him to suicide, but *continues to malign him after he’s dead*, and you want to know if you should support her.
    Are you out of your mind? She’s an absolute sociopath. What she’s doing is evil.
    The only decent thing you can do is to tell the truth. Tell it to everyone she’s spun this self-serving tale to. Then tell her to fuck off forever because she as good as murdered that man, then pissed on his corpse.

    You failed to do right by S when he was alive. The least you can do is try to stop her from lying about him in death.
    You seem to have misplaced your gonads. Just fucking find them and act.

  • This underscores how damaging infidelity is to the chump. The reason I ended up at Womens Refuge was because my ex called me up and begged me not to commit suicide or hurt myself in any way. It was bizarre as I hadn’t said anything about that, although I was out of my mind with the trauma he caused. A few days later I found an email from his OW that outlined how she was finding places for me to go for treatment and care. She quoted laws about “sectioning” people like me who were in danger. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I mentioned this to my astute therapist who sent me to the refuge for specialist abuse care (mind you, I didn’t believe I needed it at the time). What I learned is how abusers use that ploy to try and get their victim to commit suicide. Think about it- he’d get the money, the child, the house and un-encumbered time with the new woman. Also, he could then say how awful it was for him, living with someone like me who was clearly so mentally unwell, depressed etc. It’s a winning strategy for cheating scary narcissistic people who just want the problem (their spouse) gone. This is serious stuff. Cheating is abuse and it hurts and even kills people. Thanks ChumpLady for exposing the super scary issues, and friends-please get help for yourself and watch out for others who are victims of infidelity.❤️

  • This devastating story reminded me of how dangerous it is to minimize the damaging effects of infidelity. While I am taking micro steps to get stronger, there were many nights when I wished I just would not wake up.

    Also, it hurts very much when people feel bad for just the children who are affected by infidelity and divorce.

    Divorce via infidelity is tragically devastating to the betrayed spouse. It is truly appalling how many, many people minimize this all-too-common form of abuse.

  • I don’t understand how someone that has been through the betrayal can stand by a friend that is betraying their spouse. Especially a chump that is on this blog that knows of the many varieties of hurts that FWs inflict. And then to have the chump kill himself? This is the wrong place for the OP to go for advice.

  • I read this earlier today but wanted to think about it before i replied. I’m struggling with the idea that OFNF actually “saw all the signs of abuse and trauma S was experiencing. She had stopped having sex with him and started getting caught in lies about her naughty communication with other guys. L was gaslighting S to the point of him acting irrational and in her eyes “controlling.” How does OFNF know all of this? Did she watch L abuse her husband? What does it mean to [see] “all the signs of abuse and trauma”? Was she PRESENT during this gaslighting? Was L regaling her with stories about getting caught in lies?

    There’s something off here. If OFNF saw any of this even once, that’s appalling. Who would witness this and not come to the aid of the victim? If she’s reporting what she inferred from hearing L’s stories, then she not being truthful with CL or us because she didn’t “see” anything. The statement “I lost someone I loved whom while yes, made the decision to end his life, did not deserve to be treated like he did” strikes me as both odd, as if committing suicide might have justified what L did. The sentence is a veritable syntactic mess, which in these circumstances, makes me wonder about what parts of it aren’t true—since syntax messes are often an indicator of false statements. It’s pretty clear that OFNY did nor “love” her friend’s husband and/or that she perhaps thinks suicide disqualified him from her empathy. And “to be treated like he did”??? That makes no sense at all.

    Without knowing reliable details about such a situation, I can’t say what I would do, but if I had a friend that had never previously demonstrated marital problems was having an affair and trashing her husband, I would, as Benedick says to the Prince in “Much Ado About Nothing,” “I must discontinue your company.” I guess it’s possible that someone could read this blog, read CL’s book, and suffer from betrayal and still end up with zero empathy, knowing that a friend was being “abused,” “gaslighted,” mocked and deceived.

    • “if I learned a friend” instead of *if I had a friend.
      Speaking of syntax failings… 🙂

  • This letter is on another level. I had thought it would be a relatively pedestrian, ‘she’d heard my story, and now she’s doing the same, despite knowing how devastating and painful a journey it has been for me’, but no, the cheater’s devastated husband killed himself, the cheater is secretly getting high on the rush of, ‘I was so special he killed himself when he couldn’t have me’, all the while happily painting him as mentally unstable, so poor her, so lucky to be out of it, and finding comfort in the ‘arms of a friend’. There’s couldn’t be a worse endorsement of someone’s character, and yet the writer is in two minds about whether they would be a bad friend if she were to flee for the hills. It does make me wonder if others here are on to something, and this is some kind of weirdly twisted confession by the cheater where they are basically ‘splitting’ by looking at their egregious acts from outside themselves and wanting some kind of redemption or judgement, and if so, that is the behaviour of a very disordered personality. Whatever the case, it’s horrendous, and if this letter is genuine, then the writer still has a lot of work to do on boundary work and finding their own limits and true north. I feel unclean after reading this one, and yeah, I agree, a warning would have been good, although I think no changes need to be made to the wording itself. Life and cheating is messy, cruel and brutal, and that was conveyed very clearly.

  • I was the chump and I’ve always wondered how the people who knew when I did not how they could just watch me getting played. Once you know you choose. You chose poorly. The fact that you feel guilty is actually a good sign. Cheating kills in one way or another.

  • I read this post this morning and waited to comment bc of the range of emotions this gave me.

    First, your not a bad friend for not supporting the affair. However, you do need some serious help to unravel why you chose to continue to be “friends” with this woman and why you didn’t speak your truth to S when you had an opportunity and why you choose to hide the truth now. You know L is lying, cheating, blowing up and family and being absolutely evil, yet, you continue to allow it. That is toxic behavior on your part. You have every opportunity to stand up to this narcissistic brat by setting some major boundaries around her and you are choosing not too. That’s not healthy! So, OFNF, if you choose to do ONE thing let it be this…..get help and do the hard work on yourself to figure out why you are allowing that in your life. Once you figure that out and STOP allowing it, the rest will fall into place because let’s face it sister….you are holding yourself back bc you are allowing shitty people your life. Take your life back 100% and tell L to go fuck herself!

  • Dear OFNF, Chump Lady may have saved your life when you discovered you were a Chump, but you didn’t return to the favor for S. In fact you keeping your mouth shut (aka supporting your friend) allowed your friend to gaslite her husband. One of the most embarassing aspects of being chumped are all the sideline people who watched the spectacle and didn’t take a stand.

  • Will request a Mass to be said for S. I am praying his eternity will be much better than his earthly life was. Rip.

  • I know a few people who committed suicide, a relative included. They had nothing to do with abuse, but one’s husband did come out as gay. Unfortunately, some people do this regardless of infidelity, but I guess It could push people over the edge, if they were so inclined. But the study of the suicide clusters, I think they found were among young people, ie teens and usually occurred in a community of people who knew or kinda knew them. That actually happened in the town where I grew up about 10 yrs after I graduated. Three kids followed the first, same method. So I don’t think an online forum would really incite that, and Im sure we are all older, wrong demographic.

  • I’m disgusted.

    You saw all that play out in front of you and you picked the abuser over the abused.

    Worse yet… SHE knew what happened to you and she flaunted her own abuse in front of you and you did nothing. You emboldened her with your “support.”

    The only way this could be worse is if someone was doing it to their kid and you just sat by and watched.

    Figure your shit out.

  • OP, you are repugnant. I can’t even put into words my contempt for you. Why would you support a cheater, especially since you know what it’s like to be cheated on. How would you feel if your cheater’s friend acted like you did? You talk about how devastated you were when you were cheated on, and then you act like this? With friends like you, who needs enemies?

  • I think part of what we gain as chumps is a unique perspective of how absolutely horrific cheating, and being cheated on, is. I make it my mission to let anyone who talks or jokes about cheating around me know that I don’t find that interesting or funny. And if a friend were to ever confide in me about their cheating, I would have to say I’m sorry we can’t really be friends any more. It was nice to know you when you were still decent.
    Cheaters have to learn that what they do is not acceptable by people who have been on the receiving end of that behaviour, and it should not be acceptable by society in general.
    The OP’s story is an example of what happens if cheaters aren’t held accountable for their repugnant behaviour. How can her cheater friend live with herself and carry on the cheating relationship after what happened?
    They are just made of different stuff these cheaters, and they need to know that they are not cool and they are not in the majority.

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