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UBT: I Am Not In Control

sadzDear Chump Lady,

Thank you for your wonderful site which has helped me no end after finding out my STBXH had cheated on me with five different women both before and for the entirety .of our 8 year marriage, during both my pregnancies, and me grieving the death of my mother. I found out all in one go during his latest affair, which was both emotional and physical. Rather than the others which were ‘just sexual’. So that’s ok then.

Anyway, when I was high on hopium, and trying to wreckconcile, I made the mistake of contacting the OW, and also telling FW to contact OW, as FW had bought her an extremely generous gift I felt should be returned. I thought I needed it back for some kind of closure, and I was jealous. I was even telling him what to say to her. So embarrassing, there was no way he would have done or said anything potentially ‘upsetting’ to her of his own free will! I thought him complying was a sign of his commitment to reconcile, but he was apologising to her in secret.

So, in that regard, I later found an email from FW to the OW from an account he failed to close (which although streamlined and taken out very obvious identifying/irrelevant paragraphs) contains all the relevant phrases and info needed for the UBT, and hasn’t been edited to change any meaning at all.

Perhaps interesting to decode if it helps others, and to be honest, myself, as a reminder for those days when I find it hard to ‘trust that he sucks’…! I am still not quite at ‘meh’.

He said this to her whilst I genuinely thought he was remorseful. Said and did all the right things. Went to ‘therapy’. Just goes to show it was all GINR and I had no idea at the time… I still find it hard to get my head around. The things they say to the OW and the things they’re saying to us at the same time.

[To OW]

I am extremely sorry for chump’s behaviour, she has acted terribly and I can see that, but I was not in control of any of that situation, she is extremely volatile. She’s completely terrified and afraid I will leave her, even though I’ve reassured her I’ve made the choice to stay. I’ve been away and thought about everything. It’s going to be a long road… I’m devastated I’ve done this. I am hurting so badly. I’ve hurt the one person I wasn’t supposed to.

I know I’ve never said it before, but I do love chump. I never intended to change that. There are reasons why we are together, and she is the mother of my children.

I’ve been in a really dark place. We are not remotely close right now. I’ve only just been allowed back into the house. We’re fighting all the time. I’m surprised she was this bothered, to be honest.

You weren’t making it up, though, what was between us. I think you’re amazing. I’m sorry for how all this has turned out. I will miss you, but I can’t give you anywhere near what you deserve. I can’t imagine not seeing you again… but there is no ‘third way’, so to speak.

I won’t tell chump about this, but this needs to be the last time we have any contact. I have to be able to tell chump it’s totally over with a straight face, and everything is being watched right now.




Dear IzzyS2807,

Oh, the poor sausage.

The Universal Bullshit Translator enjoys sausage for breakfast.

I am extremely sorry for chump’s behaviour,

I am extremely comfortable making apologies for my wife’s behavior, but not my own. You deserve an apology.

Now, return it so I can regift it to my wife.

she has acted terribly and I can see that, but I was not in control of any of that situation,

She has my balls in a vice. I am tethered to a bedpost. I’m typing this with my nose.

I am not in control. Please direct your fury to the One Who Has Acted Terribly.

I am just a sad, powerless kitten.

she is extremely volatile

Do not interfere with my mindfuckery. I have a SCARY WIFE. Were you to compare notes, there’s no telling what she’d do. Kill us both in a hail of gunfire. Steal the nuclear codes. Return your gift.

Trust me, she’s unhinged.

She’s completely terrified and afraid I will leave her, even though I’ve reassured her I’ve made the choice to stay.

Pick me dance a little harder, Side-dish Fuck.

I’ve been away and thought about everything. It’s going to be a long road… I’m devastated I’ve done this. I am hurting so badly. I’ve hurt the one person I wasn’t supposed to.

You’re my fifth affair in 8 years. I’m just devastated I’ve done this.

Can you see how my fucking around hurts me too? More really.

It’s going to be a long road, and you’re just a dead armadillo on my path. #DontCry4MeArmadillo

I know I’ve never said it before, but I do love chump.

Actually, I said it 8 years ago in front of a priest and assembled family, but I’ve never said it to you — I love my volatile, deranged wife.

I never intended to change that.

I intended for her to never find out.

There are reasons why we are together, and she is the mother of my children.

There are reasons. Child support reasons.

I’ve been in a really dark place.

I’m in the dark closet of cheater cliches. Help me.

We are not remotely close right now. I’ve only just been allowed back into the house. We’re fighting all the time. I’m surprised she was this bothered, to be honest.

You have a chance.

You weren’t making it up, though, what was between us. I think you’re amazing. I’m sorry for how all this has turned out. I will miss you, but I can’t give you anywhere near what you deserve. I can’t imagine not seeing you again… but there is no ‘third way’, so to speak.

I mean, like, you totally have a chance. There’s no third way, but there are burner phones. And you having zero expectations of me.


I won’t tell chump about this, but this needs to be the last time we have any contact.

Call me at 1-800-FUCK-WIT.

I have to be able to tell chump it’s totally over with a straight face, and everything is being watched right now.

She controls my every move. Liberate my face! My nose that bleeds from typing you. My tethered dick that misses you.

You’re amazing.

Did you keep the receipts?

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.
  • Just reading that is like a roller coaster of wtf. They always keep a door open and never actually mean anything they say.

    Also, the “I hurt so badly” in this UBT makes me want to throw my phone. My XFW would say that once he got caught. It was “poor me, can’t you see I’m just a horrible person struggling to be enough for anyone…that’s why I did it.” Nope. Not falling for that.

    • DC, mine was that way, too. I was so terrible for insisting he cut off all contact with the AP(s). That is the kind of horrible person I am. “I miss her!” he would whine. It was ALL about him. Meanwhile, I was curled up in the fetal position, not able to eat, barely able to get through the day. This man not only gave me HPV, but was probably the trigger of my auto-immune disease which started, coincidentally, at the same time as his 7-year affair and consequent devaluing of me.

      BTW, he resumed contact with her within 2 months. Clandestinely, of course. More carefully. All the better for me and the AP to do the pick-me pole dance.

      • Ivy, I’m so sorry (the real kind). My parting gift was HPV and no receipt. As sociopaths they only feel sorrow for themselves and getting caught with dick skin in the wringer (if only). It’s a broken record script with these losers!

      • Oh my gosh they are all the same! Mine sent the ex gf he’d lied to me about being in contact with, an email titled “A sad day” explaining how he couldn’t “have coffee” with her anymore because me, the big meanie, made him. Not, you know, because it was the right thing to do as a starter to saving our relationship. Should have cut and run then instead of wasting another 7 years of my life!

        At least my picker now knows to recognize triangulation a mile off, so thank you Chumplady and Chump Nation!

  • While I’m lucky that I didn’t see what my cheating FW was directly saying about me (so lucky), I’m pretty sure it would have looked just like this. I saw the love letters (texts and instant messages) that FW would send to his GFs and while I was mentioned from time to time it was marginal as their *love* was mostly what was on their minds at the time. I had friends during the OW#1 years who would try to give me intel (“Do you know what he’s *saying* about you?!?”) and I would repeatedly ask that they kindly not tell me. I know it would have looked just like this UBT post.

    Which brings me to this point: this goes beyond barfy or even “ugh, lookit what a liar FW is.” This letter–these things that this FW is saying to his affair partner–is terrifying: “I am a prisoner. My wife is cruel. She is a unrepentant, evil villain. I am trapped forever here. If only something would happen to her then I could be free and finally happy… oh, nevermind.”

    I’m not generally an advocate for “reading between the lines” as it’s too easy to see what you want to see but in these instances it’s… pretty apparent. And frightening.

    I’ve heard too many stories of Affair Partners “saving” their lovers by offing the FW’s “evil” spouse (“I’m not a murderer; I’m a hero”) only to be thrown under the bus by the FW at the resulting trial who will carefully point out that he never, ever actually said that he wanted his wife to disappear and he has “no idea!” where his AP got that notion from.

    When I read a letter like the one posted above it’s not even red flags anymore. It’s an air raid siren. Get far away from this FW and let them have their affair partners.

    • I agree that reading between the lines in this situation can be a matter of life and death. I also don’t blame the author of the post for her instinct to get rid of the AP because I suspect the typical mentality of affair partners is clinically akin to gang mentality. In other words, an AP who was directly invested in enabling abuse of a chump needs to be viewed as potentially malignant and dangerous in real ways– either because the AP harbors violent capacity or because they may enable it– whereas whoever takes up with a cheater after separation/divorce may not be as invested.

      A case in point is Nichol Kessinger sending Chris Watts the Metallica song “Battery” the day before he slaughtered his family. Sample lyrics:

      Crushing all deceivers, mashing non-believers
      Never ending potency
      Hungry violence seeker, feeding off the weaker
      Breeding on insanity
      Smashing through the boundaries
      Lunacy has found me
      Cannot stop the battery
      Pounding out aggression
      Turns into obsession
      Cannot kill the battery
      Cannot kill the family
      Battery is found in me

      Was Kessinger giving a set of instructions in that whoopsy-I-didn’t-really-mean-that-but-I-did way? While knowing that Shanann was carrying a male fetus, Nichol had told Watts that she wanted to give him his first son. How was that going to happen unless Shanann died or was induced into miscarriage? Then the song. Or was Kessinger trying to pretend she didn’t understand threats that Watts may have made towards his wife behind his wife’s back? As in “Oh, here’s a song that relates to the thing you said the other day which I’m pretending was just a harmless philosophical discussion. And by the way, don’t actually kill them, just, you know, get rid of them another way. Maybe crush up birth control pills in Shanann’s breakfast bowl so she miscarries…”

      Since both Watts and Kessinger were prolific liars, no one may ever know what that text exchange really signified but it’s obvious it wasn’t accidental. The idea of murder was in the air.

      Then there’s my impression that affairs seem like the polar opposite of actual love in that they seem to hinge on affair partners being in a dependent, trance-like and suggestible state where they can induce each other to do horrifying things that people genuinely filled with the spirit of love wouldn’t be capable of doing. It’s un-love. It’s the filling of voids that don’t exist in normal people.

      I can get all science-y about it. Because I had to read mountains of books and studies on domestic violence, perp psychology, captor bonding, etc., when I worked as an advocate for survivors, I can’t shake the sense that cheating and DV are first cousins or at least on the same spectrum of attachment disorder. If calling it attachment disorder sounds like a plea for amnesty for poor pitiful perps, I always add that serial killers are arguably on the same clinical spectrum.

      For one potential overlap between cheating and DV, criminologist and DV researcher Donald Dutton described battering as possibly related to mob violence in the sense that the abuser seeks to enter a state of “deindividuated” (infantile) violence where, like a baby whose identity is melded with mommy, they lose themselves, their identity and any responsibility for their actions within the mob. If I remember correctly, Dutton inferred that batterers’ acute sensitivity to cultural cues regarding DV (signs that the culture approves or disapproves their behavior towards partners) and tendency to collect “palliative comparisons” (say, cases of famous sports figures who beat their wives but maintain celeb status) makes the crime a social one because the abuser is, in their demented minds, gathering an imaginary mob that dilutes their responsibility for their own actions. More evidence of this is that battering rates rise and fall exponentially according to state response. In countries without enforcement against DV, rates can rise as high as 67%. It’s not just consequences but the active, official disapproval that impacts rates.

      This is where I go off on my own personal theories. I think the above could imply that triangulation in affairs also serves as a means of “deinviduating” as if within a mini-mob. The cheater and affair partner– both of whom have been found to harbor more “dark triad” traits than average– get to exercise their internally generated destructive impulses while in a deindividuated regression/trance that, by its nature, makes them feel less responsible for the harm they do because they’re doing it as a gang. If cheaters are fundamentally hostile, this could be one reason why primary partners may “lose” the pickme dance if the victim doesn’t commonly help the perp exercise aggression and victimize others (s/he won’t be Bonny to his Clyde or vice-versa) while a witting affair partner is defined by their willingness to serve this function.

      For another overlap, virtually all batterers cheat. Cheating is a means of diluting their shame-inducing, irrational-hate-triggering, infantile, pathological dependency on primary partners by spreading the infantile dependency out among more than one partner. Cheating is also punishment and stealth expression of rage and physical abuse (because the victim has the power to abandon) since the victim may be exposed to STDs and resources that should go to a partner/children are instead given to others. Cheating can be part of the push-pull of battering psychology where the batterer has rapidly cycling dueling fears of being abandoned by the primary partner (in which case cheating hedges their bets) or of being suffocated (in which case cheating creates certain distance). When the batterer succeeds in pushing the victim away to relieve fear of envelopment, they may shift back into abandonment terrors and make efforts to draw the victim back in close, either through temporary and empty displays of remorse and pleas or through coercion (threats, violence, financial control, holding children hostage, etc.). When the batterer succeeds in drawing the victim back in, the fear of envelopment is triggered anew and they go back to “push” (violence, verbal abuse, cheating, etc.).

      Basically the only thing that allays a batterer’s internally generated fears is for the victim to be completely paralyzed and drained of all agency and cheating works better than violence in that sense. The myth is that batterers are violent all the time and that violence is the primary means to paralyzing victims into an inert state while most victims report that “coercive control”– involving subviolent forms of abuse and psychological torture– is the key. In any case, forensic psychologist and criminologist Donald Dutton reports that most batterers operate on a “beat by need” basis and would prefer to paralyze their prey through less legally risky and less athletic means.

      Cheating checks all the subviolent boxes, at least until it’s discovered. I haven’t seen any studies on it but I’ve heard many stories of how cheaters can become violent for the first time when their victims attempt to leave. I think that was actually the case with Chris Watts. He described throwing Shanann angrily face down in a shallow grave and led investigators to believe that his rage was based on her “being in the way” of the affair. But if Watts was a typical batterer who was masking his shameful dependency on his primary partner, he would have continued to mask it for police and it’s just as likely that his murderous rage towards Shanann was because she had discovered the affair and threatened to leave.

      Anyway, I think there’s grounds to wonder if Kessinger was tempted to use the power she’d been handed to induce Watts to kill his family if he were so prone (which he obviously was). And there are many cases of affair partners murdering spouses either with or without the direct assistance of Fuckwits. I think it’s no surprise because of the nature of affairs and the types of people who get involved in them. The risk should be taken seriously by all newly minted chumps.

      • This is just brilliant and so helpful: “I think the above could imply that triangulation in affairs also serves as a means of ‘deinviduating’ as if within a mini-mob.” I’m working on an analysis of the Piketon County murders (one family killed 8 members of another over control of custody). This mini-mob idea might explain how people can do such a demented thing.

        As for “less legally risky and less athletic means” of control, cheating definitely works. That’s what the pick-me dance is all about. I’d also put abusive anger, devaluing comments, and intermittent reinforcement on that list.

        Thank you so much for this well-crafted, thoughtful piece.

      • And a second point: I’d read people questioning about Kessinger’s role. I’m pretty convinced by what you’ve written but I’d love to read your sources.

        • I’ve always felt that Kessinger egged on Watts to eliminate his family. She was extremely jealous of Shanann and stalked her social media, knowing full well she was pregnant. It pissed kessinger off to play second fiddle. She’s a real piece of work and should be behind bars. They need to dig deeper into her involvement and NOT take her at her word.

          • They didn’t have Kessinger at the scene and I think any evidence she egged Watts on was vague like the song. All hinty-hints. Plus ever notice how cheaters defend side pieces as a rule, even those who aren’t their personal side pieces? It’s like cheaters formed a league and they don’t want future side-troops chased out of the game by public approbation. Police and other rescuer/helper professions statistically harbor high rates of domestic abusers which by extension means cheaters as well. I felt they went easy on Kessinger even after she guiltily wiped her phone but it’s not surprising.

            Aside from watching Kessinger laughing it up during the police interview, it was interesting how, immediately upon learning of the murders, Kessinger Googled around to figure out whether the public hated Amber Frey, wife-killer Scott Peterson’s unwitting mistress. Self interest with a side of “me.” It also displayed Kessinger’s tendency to minimize her own participation and make “palliative comparisons” since Amber Frey, who’d had no idea Peterson was married, was generally seen as a secondary victim. Kessinger wasn’t afforded the same pass and had to change her name and go into hiding, probably forever.

        • Thanks for the insights and feedback. I recommend Dutton’s The Batterer for more on these theories which I think are applicable to more than just DV. Dutton himself amalgamates theories from many disciplines so the bibliography alone is stellar.

          I think Dutton’s research and hypotheses are a cut above because he studied batterers in prison settings for decades but rather than tripping into the pitfall of identifying with his subjects as sad sausages (as RIC and CSAT therapists tend to do) and arguing for leniency, he argues for stiffer legal consequences because it’s the only thing that puts even a slight dent in recidivism. Consequently his view of abusers is very unsparing but not without humanity because his focus seems to be about breaking the generational cycle– sparing children the same traumas that might turn them into abusers in the future. It’s also refreshing that Dutton doesn’t necessarily take abusers at their word regarding MO and history. It made the book an important resource for victims to read since it’s not chock full of typical olde-timey victim blaming speculation and bids for amnesty for abusers which would be too toxic and triggery for survivors to slog through. For example, Dutton argues that abusers aren’t very credible in general. They have poor memories for assaults (likely due to deindivuation?) while victims typically have keen memories because survival depended on sharp senses. He also argues that some batterers protect their own childhood abusers and minimize/lie about the abuse they experience as children. Instead Dutton seems to follow patterns of behavior and digs for unspoken motives.

          It’s an old book and it seems like the major points Dutton makes should be common knowledge. But sadly the book is still “groundbreaking” to the degree that the legal apparatus too often continues to get it wrong and go in the wrong direction.

          There are a lot of Youtube videos by amateur sleuths that provide certain details of text and email correspondence between Watts and Kessinger that got only limited air time on the news. I don’t go in for all the wild armchair theories but I think the fact that Kessinger sent the song and described her desire to bear Watts’ “first son” are not disputed.

      • Thanks for this! Partly explains the recent rash of mass shootings. (Perps fantasize themselves part of “an imaginary (?) mob that dilutes their responsibility for their own actions.”)

        Off topic, sorry.

        • You might have a point. Maybe hallucinations help generate the “imaginary mob.” When I worked for an environmental health publication, I interviewed a psychiatrist and a Pulitzer winning journalist who’d both written several books on the link between legal pharmaceutical and contraband pharmaceutical drugs and modern “random” (non-militant, non-ideological) mass killings. Neither had ties to Scientology and no ideological reason to oppose drugs other than the research they’d done. One sent me a list of 90 or more pharmaceutical drugs designed to treat a range of unrelated ailments (from asthma to birth control to bipolar disorder, etc.) that can apparently induce something called “akathisia” coupled with extreme paranoia and “suspension of REM sleep paralysis”– where the person never sleeps but is never really awake and may act out violent nightmares. According to current research, these effects can potentially lead to robotically planned acts of extreme violence. In any case, so many witnesses to mass attacks have described the “trance-like,” “blank” or “robotic” expressions of the various killers.

          So your question is apt. Can a “deinviduated” state be chemically induced? Isn’t that the point of getting stoned?

          I haven’t really looked into the more recent cases so I have no idea if they fit the “random” pattern. One interesting thing I read was on what distinguishes between those who pragmatically plan heinous acts and those who may be victims of drug side effects and this is very relevant to this site: Apparently terrorists and domestic abusers may deliberately take drugs/drink in order to increase their own aggression and dampen conscience. This was true of Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivek who bragged about his homemade “roid rage” drug cocktail and who made no secret of his militant ties and extreme ideology. Meanwhile victims of drug side effects may have had no clue what would happen to them when they took the substance. There are cases of people without histories of violence or mental illness who took medications due to pharmacy mistake who’ve committed horrifying acts so the theory has a bit of weight to it. But again, it’s been awhile since I looked into any of it.

      • Excellent info and brilliantly written and described Hell of a chump. I see cheating and DV as intertwined abuse cousins, also. It is an act of aggression designed to hurt the chump, without any repercussions if they get away with cheating covertly.
        My comments re: Kessinger and Watts below. That whore should be behind bars.

      • I definitely think there’s something to the triangulation mob mentality. Even if it’s a mob of two, cheater + schmoopie outnumber the chump, therefore what they agree to do outvotes what the chump wants. Majority rule, so they must be doing the ‘right’ thing.

        • Well put– majority rule. But the point of mob deindivuation is not just losing oneself in a crowd. It’s the underlying reason one needs to lose oneself that’s key. It’s to muster courage for people to do things they normally believe are uncharacteristic of themselves, wrong. Even when people band together to “lose themselves” or deindivuate in something fun there’s always the danger of things going terribly wrong in an instant and a deadly riot forming. That’s why rock concerts and soccer stadiums have security. Aggression may be too close to the surface in deindivuation as a rule.

          Anyway, if genuine love had a diametric opposite, that would be it. I’m afraid that, as chumps, we’re just not “Bonny” or “Clyde” enough to win that dance. What the mini-cheater-mob are voting together on is pretty specific: to betray, deceive, endanger, psychologically torment, humiliate and most of the time financially bilk a victim. Bullying– weeee!

  • OMG. Everything is about HIM. In those short paragraphs there were 26 “I”s, the references to Izzy were, uhm, negative (to say the least) – nevermind that the FW was the one who caused all the volatility, and the references to the OW were that she was “amazing”. Oh, yeah, this guy is a PRIZE. As in, the turd of the day.

    Izzy, I hope you have had an STD panel run. The FW seems to have little comprehension of the consequences his wandering dick may have to other people. Oh, including the OW. If you stay with this asshat, there will just be more affairs and side-fucks. Like, as soon as he feels the chain loosening on his balls a bit.

    CL, the UBT hit it out of the park with this one.

  • Deception is the reddest flag for me. The sex part of cheating is awful, and it’s often where our focus goes, for a variety of valid reasons. But after all these years, in my mind, the deception is the core issue.

    A person who is willing to deceive about one thing is willing to deceive about anything and everything.

    A person who is willing to deceive isn’t ethically opposed to harming. Isn’t ethically oriented toward partnering, coordination, sharing, longevity, intimacy. Isn’t ethically oriented toward friendship and loving kindness.

    We can’t build healthy lives with people who have no ethical motivation to be good to us as a top priority.

    As soon as it’s clear a partner has been willfully deceptive for their own gain, that’s a lesson about the person’s core ethics. There’s nothing to redeem once a person shows us that is their core nature.

    Could the person work on that in therapy? Sure, maybe, but change like that happens over many years with many, many missteps. Staying with a deceiver is a 20+ year maybe on the edge of a cliff knowing a stiff wind might be a death sentence.

    It’s OK to say no to that option and leave the person to their own choices and fate. There’s no moral failure in withdrawing promises from a person who made it clear they aren’t worthy of the loyalty you promised before you knew they were willing to destroy you.

    You can’t redeem a deceiver. If it’s even possible to do that, it will only happen via the deceiver’s own hard work, and maybe not in your lifetime. It’s really ok to refuse to participate in that process. YOLO.

    • Fully agree. And I’m not underscoring how awful the sexual aspect of it is with the possibility of STDs and unplanned pregnancies and paternity tests. But some new chumps get stuck on their partner never cheating again as the only criteria to stay married and some people who cheat aren’t serial cheaters but they’re still assholes. From my own experience, the RIC emphasizes that the chump shouldn’t weaponize the affair and always lord it over the cheater moving forward, but I think the opposite happens more often: the cheater keeps their spouse always proving themselves by reminding them (subtly, of course) that they can and will easily drop them for someone else. That sort of selfishness is not easily fixed.

      • Yes. I love the points that you and Amiisfree make.

        It’s only with some distance (2 1/2 years) that I can see that it’s the deception that hurts the most. And you’re right that pressure on the chump to reconcile after the affair ignores the real problem: unethical behavior. Even if there’s never another affair partner, you’re tethered to someone who has no problem lying and cheating.

        x argues that he “only lied about one thing,” as if that’s OK. He also told me that he lied every day for 2.5 years. That number of lies boggles my mind.

        Every once in a while I have this memory of something he said or did and realize that he was lying to me then in order to meet with her or whatever. As time goes by, the memories of these lies–which arrive like unwelcome pop-up ads–no longer devastate me; instead they serve as reminders that he sucks. He’s a bad person. He lies and cheats. I’m well rid of him.

        He’s now married to the AP. She cheated on her spouse, too. I think they’re made for each other.

        • “Even if there’s never another affair partner, you’re tethered to someone who has no problem lying and cheating.” Exactly. The habit of hiding things (porn, APs, feelings of any kind, ANYTHING) is not easily shaken.

    • Ami, yes to your statements. Ethics is at the core. The Xfuckwit was unethical at work, with his family, me, his OW, friends, daughter, and even kicked out pets. I’ll be happy when he’s dead

      • Mine too. Still coming to terms with the fact that I ignored and/or excused all of those red flags for three decades. Feel like such a fool.

        • Oh Nemesis don’t be so hard on yourself. Many of us here are in the over 3 decades club. I think that the older they get the more special they think they are…thank you Viagra and dating apps.
          It’s not hard to fool a trusting, loyal spouse , it just proves what cowards and bullies they truly are .
          We are not fools, we are authentic people that unfortunately got tangled up with snakes.

        • Most of us had no idea what red flags are, and what they meant. We’re good people who had no idea what evil/toxic meant.

          Early on, my evil Ex said something along the lines of “Isn’t it tragic when people break up, and people who love each other absolutely hate and despise one another.” I thought that he was being overly dramatic. I was only 18, but I’d seen others have amicable breakups. But that was my clue to his mentality, he wasn’t capable of any kind of amicable breakup. He’d have to exterminate, smear, obliterate. In another culture, he might have tried to murder. But I had no idea that people like him could exist.

    • Yes, for me, the lying was the worst part. The fact that I had been lied to, to my face, repeatedly, for YEARS, while he watched me fall apart and I felt like I was going insane because his words didn’t line up with what I saw and heard. My gut was screaming that this woman wasn’t “just a friend”, but I was told that I was making things up, reading too much into things, crazy, jealous, insecure, controlling, you name it. Once I said to OW (I KNEW her, which was really awful) that is was so hard no knowing what was going on. She watched me CRYING. And she said “nothing is going on”. She’d been having sex with my husband for over two years at that point.

      I turned into a pretty good private investigator and eventually got all the confirmation I needed that all was not as I had been told. His stories and explanations for things had a LOT of holes. I started asking FW questions, not because I didn’t know the answers, but because I wanted to see what he would say. He would say things I knew were not and could not be true. He wove elaborate explanations for things that could have been explained simply. So many unnecessary invented details (many of which were demonstrably false, too). I got to the point where I didn’t believe a single word he said.

      It hurt to be lied to for so long, so he could eat cake and keep me dancing, when I had clearly stated to him that if he wanted to be with OW, or if something was going on, I’d walk away from our marriage and leave him to it. I just wanted the truth. Since he knew he’d lose his wife appliance and all the things I did for him, and half his income, etc. he chose to lie. And I’m sure painted me to OW in a similar fashion to OP’s letter – volatile, angry, crazy, controlling, miserable, cold. The thing is – those were all responses to what he was doing to me. The abuse, the lies, the gaslighting, the cheating. Yeah, I wasn’t a ray of sunshine in those days. Yes, I wanted to know where he was and who he was with. Yes, I was angry sometimes. I was certainly miserable. But even though he’d caused all of it, it was all used as a justification for his cheating.

      I’m so glad I’m out of that mess.

      • “The fact that I had been lied to, to my face, repeatedly, for YEARS, while he watched me fall apart…” Ugh. Same here. Heartless.

    • All of this… spot on. I took a screen shot of these words. You wrote exactly what I have thought for so long.

    • I agree – the deception is the thing that floored me. For over a year he deceived me every minute of every day, not just the times he was having sex with her.

    • So agree with this eloquent statement. I so wish I had know than when I discovered the first deceptions; as you note, I focused on the sexual dimension… and my now-ex was actually better off that I did… just took things further underground. Finally came to my senses when I realized he lied to EVERYONE: me, our kid, his family, his counselors, our 4 marriage counselors, his AP, on and on and on. DONE.

    • This is exactly why I always tell people it is a CHARACTER issue! It’s the lying, the sneaking around, the theft of family funds that is always involved in an affair whether it is with one person or sex workers. Lying, sneaking and theft are all character issues. That’s why once a cheater, always a cheater because they don’t/can’t change their character. It’s who they are.

      • @BeenThereAndWasAChump

        I agree. It’s why I’m sceptical of therapy as a solution. It’s always the ‘go-to’ fix as part of the RIC like it’s going to magically transform FW into someone who doesn’t have the ability to radically compartmentalise, lie both to themselves and others, and enable them to develop some humility.

        And of course, to do so requires a genuine desire to WANT to change. Of their own volition, not just for ‘reconciliation’ purposes or to appease their spouse. And had they had that motivation to do so, they would have done it before they got caught. It’s a failure before it’s even begun.

        And where is the motivation of the chump has allowed them to stay. Even more unlikely. They might go through the motions for a while but it will never last!

  • Thanks CN, I did think this would provide a good laugh for the UBT.

    It is shocking he actually said that. No doubt FW would say it was all taken ‘out of context’. Ie, he thought he would get away with it.

    Poor sausage was happy to let OW think he was miserable and trapped. He was just sorry the cake-eating ended and probably wanted her to dance a bit harder…

    • They want the whole world to dance for them. As in centrality dance. I say let’s ID them early on and steer around them quickly. And not breed with them.

    • Long distance dedication to IzzyS2807

      (Music by Carole King, lyrics by Izzy’s fuckwit)
      Tune at:

      Writing you this email just to set things straight
      Apologizing for the scene she created
      Each of you consume me, except when I’ve masturbated

      Cuz I’m two-faced, baby, yes I’m two-faced
      And I tell you I’m hurting
      Made a mistake for cake
      I’m a snowflake and it’s disconcerting
      Oh, no, no

      There’s no third way to do this, it ain’t worked so far
      She is watching closely, and she knows my repertoire
      But you are so amazing, so I’ll keep the door ajar


  • CL – that was a brilliant UBT! The first thing that occurred to me (and Izzy can correct me if I’m wrong), is was Izzy MEANT to find that email to the skank? I don’t know, but I don’t trust anything any more! Good luck Izzy, you’ll be so much better off without this multi-skank cheating piece of shit. Oh, and my FW gave me HPV too. Happy days!

    • I thought the same thing. That FW wanted her to find the message so she’d react defensively to all the blame-shifting nasty things he said about her and feel her self worth sink deeper into the toilet. Good riddance!


    • Attie… oh no I wasn’t meant to find it. And it was longer than that. And more detailed, but would be too identifying to post all of it.
      The salient points are all there. Perfect UBT fodder.

    • That’s exactly my thought too.. damage control for sure. “Look what I’m doing for us” I call bull crap!

  • Life is so much better without the disordered and his BS around. Have to see FW this weekend for a family function. He is bringing his GF (not OW who dumped him for a new sugar daddy). Fortunately there will be many people there so I don’t have to talk to him. Hugs to newbies! Life gets better but not until you lose the Loser! Sorry and glad you are here!

  • it’s always the same story. I got HPV too, then cervical cancer and a hysterectomy. I’m sorry for all of us, but life is truly better without the chaos. My love to you all for surviving.

    • I’m so sorry for the cancer Flaming. I’ve been treated for squamous cell and pray that’s it. None of us deserve this.

  • I’m grateful I never got to see what the pair of them were saying to eachother. My adult daughter relayed to me that she’d seen him sharing lots of hearts on a text message… She was trying to kill my hopium without even knowing it was hopium. I did however get a bullshit goodbye letter from FW. Something about him needing us both to be happy, blah, blah, blah. At the time I was a hot snotty mess. To alleviate his guilt he would text me everyday saying something to get my hopes up. However, even with this mindfuck happening I still gave him a massive ‘fuck you’ and engaged with a solicitor (thanks to LACGAL and this site). He sent a long email to me about how he wasn’t quite ready for this step… Errr who fucking cares what you’re ready for. He also sent a few nasty voice notes when he knew I was going to get far more than he anticipated. It was at this point I blocked him on everything and would only communicate via my solicitor.

    Looking back I really have come so very far (31 Yr marriage, together 34 Yrs). Its not quite 2 years since DDay. The divorce is final. I’m free with a good settlement. Have heard a few things that I didn’t want to hear as too painful. Culled any Switzerland friends. Life is good.

    For any newbies, if I can navigate this shit show YOU can! You really can do this. Visit here as much as you need. There is so much support and much needed snark.

    Big hugs ❤️

    • “I’m grateful I never got to see what the pair of them were saying to eachother. ”

      Same here. On the day he dumped me for whore, I asked him if he was saying bad things to her about me. He said and I quote “What was I supposed to say? Oh my wife if great that is why I am here with you”. So obviously I was just awful.

      And the town whore who fucked and tried to poach several married men before him was just amazing. To be fair I bet she learned a lot of whore tricks to keep the John’s happy for a while.

      Evidently fw was the only one stupid enough to throw his whole life away, and by whole life; I am not including me. It was comforting to watch him crash and burn though.

      • FW volunteered that he didn’t badmouth me to her as if it made it any better. It was all part of his narrative that he wasn’t like all those other cheaters. Well he badmouthed me to me and that was the worst.

      • ” … the town whore who fucked and tried to poach several married men .. ”

        Came across a great term yesterday: “the People’s girlfriend.”

        Yeah, what I find while researching this sh!te for hours a day.

    • Claire, “…Errr who fucking cares what you’re ready for.” Yes!!! A thousand times yes.

      I was so accustomed to bending over backwards for FW that I was taken aback when my lawyer said, “He doesn’t get to call the shots anymore.” In that moment, something snapped in me. The hopium fever broke. I dropped the spackle knife and got tough and angry. I set boundaries. And in the end, I won a great settlement (in a 50/50 state).

      The guy didn’t know what hit him.

      No doubt he’s still licking his wounds and trying to elicit sympathy from others. Sad, sad sausage. It feels great not to give a fuck.

      I second your message to newbies! It gets better. You won’t always feel this bad.

    • I saw much of what klootzak and his APs wrote to each other. When I asked him what he said about me, he said they never talked about me at all. I wasn’t relevant. I have to say that almost half his APs early on didn’t even know he was married. I find it hard to believe that I was never the subject of conversation.

      I only recall him once writing to an AP about how awful it was to be married to someone who wanted to make everything a two person proposition. You know, because I guess I was supposed to be open to him bringing his girlfriends out with us?

  • “It’s going to be a long road, and you’re just a dead armadillo on my path. #DontCry4MeArmadillo” DYING!!! ????????????

  • “She’s completely terrified and afraid I will leave her”

    Note the delusions of power and centrality. Catnip for a FW.

    “I’m surprised she was this bothered, to be honest.”

    Who knew she would be bothered by him fucking other women. We chumps are so silly.

    That letter certainly was a revealing peek inside the mind of an asshole. ????

    • I was hesitant about sending it in. But then I just thought… he doesn’t deserve the protection. He doesn’t deserve me sitting pretty and being ‘good’ and just taking it.

      It’s not bitterness. It’s justified anger, and long overdue self respect.

      They say weak men are the most dangerous. Couldn’t be more true. One story for schmoopie. Another for chump. They think they have it all figured out.

  • Love it! #dontcryformearmadillo will be looping in my brain all day! thank you again CL! You are the bomb!

  • A therapist friend of mine has a saying with several variations, “I define what is crazy. I don’t do crazy.”

    He says that when I woman comes to him with the kind of crazy things been said here, he encourages them to get away from the person if at all possible. You can’t deal with denial and delusion without harming yourself.

  • “I am hurting so badly. I’ve hurt the one person I wasn’t supposed to.”
    This is telling right here. He didn’t mean to suffer any consequences or feel sad.

    • “I’ve hurt the one person I wasn’t supposed to.”

      I read this as intentionally ambiguous. Who did he hurt that he wasn’t supposed to? His wife? The AP? Himself? Combination platter?

  • OW was sending EXFW pictures of dresses (via text). There were about 3 dresses. Her question: asking him which dress he liked for her to wear to the engagement party…what engagement party?? Umm..their engagement party!!

    Spoiler: we were engaged at the time as well!! Guess he forgot. (Roll eyes).

    When I confronted him he said he was just letting her ‘go with it’..not to upset her…..aren’t you a prince.

    I laugh about it now but at the time it was brutal.

    UBT was extra fab today!! Thank you chumpters!

  • “I’ve hurt the one person I wasn’t supposed to.”
    I mean, I wasn’t even clear to whom he is referring? Chump? OW? The other OW? Or the other other OW? Himself? He’s devastated he did WHAT exactly? #wordsarehard

      • He thinks he’s only obligated not to hurt one person on the planet, yet he did hurt that person. Therefore he actually feels no obligation towards anyone.
        I hope you leave him eating your dust, Izzy. He’s a rear echelon mofo.

      • Right. But he’s leaving it so vague, intentionally. “I’m devastated I did this.” What part of the shitshow is he talking about? Devastated that he broke up with OW? She’s supposed to fill in the blank with her name, you see.
        Also love how he never said “I love chump” and also “never intended to change that.” What, OW? — were you actually expecting him to be open about his intentions? As if he’s normal?

        • @FYI – yes I found that strange. Usually when you say you don’t intend to do something, it implies you have in fact, done it…

          Perhaps I should have been in some way grateful. That he was finally telling OW he ‘loved’ me, despite cheating on me for most of our relationship.

          To get her to give up or dance harder. Who knows.

    • I don’t think he actually “meant” anything, if by using “meant” you intend to convey precision of communication. There’s nothing precise about what he says. I think he was just sloppily emoting all over the place. And we chumps can make a pretty good guess as to what he was emoting about.

  • It is amazing how the built-in delays of denial, (pick me) dancing and divorce negotiations allow these fools to survive with their lives.

    If we chumps had clarity in real time, the streets would be littered with FWs and OWs. Figuratively speaking, of course.

    • I just remembered a time with my older attorney when I was just so very frustrated and told him that my “boy” (my attorney’s term) was making me crazy with how long it was stretching out and all the wacky stuff they were pulling out.

      Deadpan, my attorney said,”Do you have guns in the house? No, don’t tell me, I don’t need to know. But if you do, don’t get any ideas because criminal charges make a divorce really complicated. Having a client in jail isn’t what I’m about.”

      I bust up laughing, and then he bust up laughing. I asked him if that truly had ever happened.

      “Oh, yes. Don’t ask.”

    • “If we chumps had clarity in real time, the streets would be littered with FWs and OWs. Figuratively speaking, of course.”

      I so want a redo.

  • Four days before my Dad’s funeral, and the FW having told her about the inconvenience of my father’s death, she sent him a love poem entitled ‘something to hold on to’. Obviously it was my fault that my Dad had died. This was an example of my ability to make ‘people feel very, very uncomfortable’. He responded in full sad sausage mode, telling her, referenced as ‘mate’, that she had made him ‘teary’, ‘yearning’. And that she, the exgf from school who had dumped him twice and after having been with me for 26 years, was his ‘soulmate’. I found the email two months after I was unexpectedly dumped. And that dumping was, of course, all my fault for staying alive: another inconvenience. Every time he met with me before I discovered the affair he was frantically texting the moment he left me, as I watched him walk away, clearly having to check in to say that the meeting had finished. Pathetic.

    Just in case the exgfOW is reading this, which is highly unlikely because she doesn’t have that level of self-awareness, the only tears that fell when I read her love poem were of laughter. It was a relief to find out what an unpleasant character I had married, to find out that I was not the crazy one, and to picture him enjoying years of bliss from age 53 to whenever with his soulmate. Are they together? I sincerely hope so. Such quality soulmates should not be parted and third time lucky ????

  • “I didn’t think she would be this bothered.”

    “Bothered.” What is this, Winnie the Pooh?

    “I got my dick stuck in a honey twat! Oh bother!”

  • Is this guy a politician? Because this really reminds me of boilerplate politician apology statement.

    • It really does.

      Just vague enough to give wiggle room when needed.

      My ex (who was a politician, though not for long) wrote me an apology letter about 6 months after we separated. It was very vague, unfortunately I took it to a part time job and someone stole my wallet with it in it.

      I only read it once and he basically said “I don’t know why I acted like a dirt bag”. But then he didn’t really list anything he was apologizing for. I never responded. I figured if he could act like a dirt bag to my face, then he could apologize to my face. He never did.

  • She’s “volatile.”

    He’s so “surprised, to be honest” that his life is blowing up. Surely it’s that volatile chump’s fault! Not the asshole that spent EIGHT YEARS stockpiling dynamite in his secret sexual basement with the chump in the house.

    But oh, woe! Poor tortured FW.

    • @dontfeellikedancin yes it was all a big shock. For him. As if he didn’t stick a great big bomb in the middle of the relationship, waiting to see if it would eventually blow up everyone’s lives.

      But no, it was all very difficult for him having to manage the ‘volatility’, trying to meaninglessly ‘placate’ both camps… lest someone behave in an unpredictable manner once the cake-eating ended and it became clear how little regard he truly has for anyone.

  • “Everything is being watched right now.” “Right now” being the operative words.

    But #DontCry4MeArmadillo…genius.

    • Yes! I will always hear that ballad as ‘armadillos’ now. I also love “I’m in the dark closet of cheater cliches.” And, “Trust me. She’s unhinged.” All of it, really. Sorry that the OP is there, though. Comical a couple years out, but excruciating when you’re in it. Seeing shit like that, from my ex to nobody’s, is what opened my eyes and set me on the path to “trust he sucks.” Even before CL.

  • You can see him lying to the OW, writing as if this affair was his one-and-only:

    And take a close look at “I’m devastated I’ve done this. I am hurting so badly. I’ve hurt the one person I wasn’t supposed to.” The one person he wasn’t supposed to hurt? Himself. He never talks about the chump being hurt–just volatile, terrified, and behaving “terribly.” He’s the one “hurting so badly.”

  • IzzyS2807:

    Your FW deserves to have his tiny cowardly balls clamped in a merciless mammography machine. He also deserves to pay you generous alimony and child support and I hope you’re vigorously going after both.

  • I raise you one… Originally in German and supposedly there was going to be no contact after I found out. His nature = wanting to fuck lots of women. Opening the relationship = he decided alone that our marriage was open and by the time I found out, they had been at it for at least 3+ years, also with other people.

    Subject: You cat of the night
    A lot has happened here in the last 3 days and it’s better if you don’t text for now, I can’t tell if or when she gets the idea of wanting to see chat again. Short summary: it has only now become really clear to [Chumpion] what I’m talking about and this has even greater implications than before. She accidentally – I believe her – opened my phone and saw our kik chat. She asked of course and I showed it to her – but without the [JoyClub] references. When I translated it for her, she realized what I want and how important it is to me and that there is already someone with whom I am going in the direction of opening the relationship. She asked me how far I am with you in terms of deeper connection and I told her how important and valuable you are to me. I left out the intimate part, it seemed too much. Of course she was devastated because she didn’t understand so much and misjudged… Regarding me as well as what she could have done better in the last 3+ years…. Context being able to speak openly about my nature and how serious I am about it. All this has hit like a bomb, but the cards are now open on the table. Something else happened, but I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with it and if I’m going to keep it quiet at all. It has nothing to do with you or anyone else, but with me and how a relationship is interpreted here. I don’t know if I can handle it and I told her that. When I then said I want to separate because we have reason to see things differently and have expectations she as expected backed down with her threats and drama and half collapsed.

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