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UBT: Should I feel guilty about 25 years of cheating?

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Leave it to the Guardian to muff it on infidelity advice. Many alert chumps sent me the advice column by Pamela Stephenson Connolly — an actress, comedian, and psychotherapist — mindfuck triple threat! — “I love my partner but don’t want sex with him. Should I feel guilty about my 25 years of casual flings?

Spoiler alert: Connolly’s advice is not to feel one bit guilty. Heck, don’t even tell your chump husband. Leave that to the crab lice.

The Universal Bullshit Translator did not want to decipher this load of nonsense. It’s autumn and it craves pumpkin spice lattes, not faux sophistication psychobabble from the Guardian.

But then I promised it a hand-knit transponder cozy and some lebkuchen to go with that latte, and it fired up.

First… the original letter:

I am a woman in a long-term relationship with the father of our two young adult daughters. He is a great dad and a caring partner. He’s loyal and in love with me. I love him but rarely feel like having sex with him. I’m struggling with my desire to be hugged and heard without feeling obliged to have sex with him in return. Sometimes I can imagine myself into a playful state where I’m more likely to feel turned on, but it’s rare (other than when we go on holiday and I’m much more receptive). The other aspect of my sexuality is that I’ve always been attracted to other men. I’ve had casual relationships with a few men over the past 25 years. I don’t feel as guilty as I think I should. My partner is an introverted homebody, whereas I love to go out to gigs and social events. Of course, I inevitably meet other men there and am attracted to their energy. What are your thoughts on managing this dilemma?

And the craptacular advice:

It seems to me you are managing this dilemma – and doing so as well as anyone can. Long-term monogamy is hard for everyone. Feeling “less guilty” than one thinks one should about extramarital sexual experiences is common among those who understand that, in many societies, social norms and boundaries are in conflict with fundamental biological urges. Celebrate the differences between you, and do what you have to do to get your needs met while honouring the long-term bond and commitment between you as well as your joint responsibilities. Not everyone can navigate these ubiquitous dilemmas with grace, safety and a minimum of chaos; just continue to do your best.

And now the UBT will translate both, because it is an exceptional machine fueled by sugary carbohydrates.

I am a woman in a long-term relationship with the father of our two young adult daughters.

I am a woman in a long-term relationship with my insufferable self-importance.

I have three primary victims — my two young adult daughters, and their father. (At least I think he’s their father,  until those Ancestry tests come back anyway.)

He is a great dad and a caring partner.

He’s a great appliance.

He’s loyal and in love with me.

I inspire love and loyalty, such is my magnificence.

I love him but rarely feel like having sex with him.

He is useful, but I rarely feel the need to feign any sort of connection to him. Would you hump the toaster?

I’m struggling with my desire to be hugged and heard without feeling obliged to have sex with him in return.

I’m struggling with reciprocity. I’ve got the sociopathy down cold, however.

Sometimes I can imagine myself into a playful state where I’m more likely to feel turned on, but it’s rare (other than when we go on holiday and I’m much more receptive).

Buy me a sea cruise and I might blow you.

The other aspect of my sexuality is that I’ve always been attracted to other men.

Cheating is just an “aspect of my sexuality.” You know, the way stealing petty cash is an aspect of my employment or fucking your boyfriend is an aspect of my friendship.

Alas, had I only been hugged or heard.

I’ve had casual relationships with a few men over the past 25 years.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve imagined myself into a playful state to fuck randos. Funny how that works.


I don’t feel as guilty as I think I should.

I don’t feel.

My partner is an introverted homebody,

My partner bores me.

whereas I love to go out to gigs and social events.

Whereas I am fabulous. A mom who goes to GIGS!

Of course, I inevitably meet other men there and am attracted to their energy.

Is that a kilojoule in your pocket, or you just happy to see me?

What are your thoughts on managing this dilemma?

The UBT thinks you should hug a toaster in a bathtub.

Now for Lady Connolly.

It seems to me you are managing this dilemma – and doing so as well as anyone can.

Poor sausage, however do you juggle 25 years of deceit. You seem to be bearing up. Steady on!

Long-term monogamy is hard for everyone.

Of course you wouldn’t know, as you’ve never been monogamous, and neither have I, but I imagine it’s impossible!

We could ask your chump partner how he copes, but best to keep the secret and continue to expose him to STDs. That’s super beneficial for long-term relationships.


Feeling “less guilty” than one thinks one should about extramarital sexual experiences is common among

Those who don’t have empathy synapses.

those who understand that, in many societies, social norms and boundaries are in conflict with fundamental biological urges.

I have a fundamental biological urge to defecate on this Guardian advice column. Why do we have social norms and boundaries? Shit where you want!

Celebrate the differences between you,

Enjoy a private celebration alone, as your partner is unaware of your “differences.” He’s a homebody, he wouldn’t come to your party anyway.

and do what you have to do to get your needs met while honouring the long-term bond and commitment between you as well as your joint responsibilities.

Nothing honors a long-term bond like fucking around on someone for 25 years without their consent.

I’m sure you’ll fit those joint responsibilities in between gigs.

Not everyone can navigate these ubiquitous dilemmas with grace, safety and a minimum of chaos; just continue to do your best.

Keep that secret!


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.
  • “Buy me a sea cruise and I might blow you.”

    The whole UBT response was golden but I was curious how the “holiday sex” comment would come out in translation.
    Yea, he is not sexy until there is a vacationing the offing. Gah.

    • Totally, Unicorn. When I look at a person who only gets interested in sex on vacation/in hotels, I see a person who routinely has sex via fantasy scenarios and in hotels. A flag so red it glows like a Times Square billboard-ad.

      • Crap. another aha moment about my FW ex… still discovering ???????????? I missed 5 years later. ????‍♀️

      • I hate hotels and sleep badly in them. Even before the luminol investigations finding that most hotel rooms are covered in sperm and various other bodily fluids, I had a cringy feeling that was true. Then even in five star joints the pillows and mattresses are never as comfortable as at home, everything has the haze of chemical cleaners, the widows barely open and, unless you’re in France, Italy, Portugal or a few countries in South America, there are no bidets. No bidet means quickies only or cystitis for her. Marathon sex is out of the question unless you get back in the shower after water and bathroom breaks. And even then the pressure in hotel showers is typically too lame to double up in. Then there are no humidifiers in heated rooms in winter so you might wake up with nosebleeds. And that’s not even getting into the decor. It’s all pretty hideous to me.

        Hotels as a kink baffle me just as much as rampant infidelity among hospital staff. What tf is sexy about hospitals? The cold blue light, vinyl wallpaper, random blood stains under gurneys that the cleaners always miss or the high rates of antibiotic resistant staph?

        • Not to mention that MERSA and bedbugs are ubiquitous in hotels too.
          I hate hotels. If I have no other choice but to stay in one, I sanitize every surface (especially the bathroom) and do a long, complicated bed bug search in which I pretty much take the bed apart. If I see the slightest indication that they might have had them, I ask for another room. I bail on that hotel completely if I actually see live bugs. One time I found a dead bedbug on the box spring and the room smelled of insecticide. I requested a new room on another floor and it was clean.
          One place that carries a lot of bacteria in hotels is actually the TV remote.
          I if I want a bath, I thoroughly scrub the tub with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. I put them in a spray bottle so I can spray the bathroom surfaces with it as well. For the bedroom I use sanitizing wipes. I bring my own pillows and blanket as well. The blankets are hardly ever washed in hotels. They just wash the sheets and don’t change the blankets. Imagine the build up of bodily fluids on them. So gross. They usually have those awful feather duvets which I’m allergic to, and which can’t even be washed, they have to be dry cleaned. I ask staff to remove them from the room as well as the pillows. I also request there be no maid service other than vacuuming and scrubbing inside the toilet, because their hygiene standards for surfaces are much lower than mine.
          Yes, I’m a bit OCD, but I rarely get colds or stomach bugs, so it works.

          • I don’t even consider it OCD to be concerned about MRSA, bedbugs and chemical shitstorms, oh my. I worked in environmental health for several years. It’s just science and you can’t unknow once you know. It’s why the super-rich don’t even stay in hotels if they can help it. They keep their own crash pads all over the world, stay with equally posh friends or on their yachts, etc. Are they all OCD or is it just a matter of discernment proportionately increasing according to what one can afford? If humans have no choice but to accept rando pubes on shower stalls, post-nasal drip from toxic cleaners and that suspicious glaze on the light switch, are they simply less likely to notice?

            • Thanks, HOAC. It was probably the FW who called me OCD for that. ???? Well fuck that bunch of cheater devaluing bullshit. I need to get out of my head the idea that other people think it’s strange, because actually, it’s wise.
              I do have a touch of OCD and I’m a germophobe, but I was right about hotels and he was wrong. There was a public affairs program that investigated and found multiple types of dangerous bacteria in most of them; MRSA, e. coli, staph, strep, and even salmonella in some cases. Not to mention H pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers. Most people don’t know how contagious it is. If the bathroom is not sanitized properly it’s pretty easy to pick up.
              In the far east, people have died in hotels because of the dangerous insecticides used for bedbugs. Now if I smell bug spray (and I have a keen nose), I immediately reject the room.

            • Btw, HOAC, you and I have something else in common besides being chumped and being left wing feminists. I have done environmental health consulting for homes. I am an autodidact on it, have actually zero training in that specific field, but I learned so through my own research because of being chemically sensitive and having a zillion allergies. I have been asked for my advice on things like mold abatement, radon and improving air quality. I can do a home health inspection and spot many things just with my super sensitive nose. I also have a weird intuition about radon. Every house I suspected had it did. Now, that may be sheer coincidence, but I don’t think so, because I could somehow sense it. I don’t know how it works, but it’s a handy skill to have. Maybe there is a faint smell associated with it that is not normally noticeable, but my nose picks it up. Even FW, who prided himself on being a skeptic (except about lying whores, clearly) had to admit there was something to it. Weird but true.

          • Oh wow. I thought my dirtly little secret was how much I sanitize hotel rooms before I sit down. I too pack my own sheets and bring my own pillows. I can’t imagine sleeping under a duvet that the last 50 people have used.

        • I second the weirdness of hotel decor. When I traveled a lot for work, I had to stay at a hotel that had what are best described as “Drippy Horse Paintings.” They were fine in the daylight, a strange composition of reds, blues, purples and blacks in horse-shapes, but at night the darkness turned the shapes into the girl from The Grudge. I slept in the bathtub with the lights on.

          • I had to travel a bit too. Long stay hotels, regular hotels. Blech. I slept better on trains. One I actually liked was an old, tatty, cheap but exceptionally clean, comfortable hotel around the corner from the Palais Royal in Paris built in 1880. Cast iron balconies, mattresses that dipped in the middle, floral post-liberation wallpaper. I felt like Dr. Who and slept like a baby. It was updated about ten years ago and now looks like every other poly-vinyl/pastel MDF horror show.

      • OMG. Ex fuckwit early on said hotels made him horny. Imagine my panic when he started traveling a lot for work.

      • I also thought about how her husband must normally be fairly stressed and overwhelmed with adulting/being an appliance/dealing with her emotional abuse/compensating for her shortcomings. But on vacation, maybe he actually gets to relax a little bit — hence the sexy vacay mojo.

    • I like how the original letter writer buries the lead: “Let me list everything wrong with my marriage – oh, by the way, I’ve been cheating for 25 years.”

      Cheaters are deranged.

    • MY xFW used to try to “buy” my sexual enthusiasm with cheap vacations during my 2-year pick-me dance. He used to meet up with the AP in exotic locations for f*kfests, and thought he could recreate the experience with me at moldy AirBnbs in locales with NO charm, during which I was expected to behave like a porn star.
      I got to where I dreaded those so-called “vacations”, where I was expected to do everything I did at home, just with even more sex with a man who refused to believe his delayed ejaculation issue was a serious problem for me.
      Not my problem anymore, and pity his future partners.

    • When he is on vacay he is away from his side piece. Also he has more time on vacation than when he is busy with whatever schedule he has back home–more important things to do at home, no time to spend with spouse. Female cheater would have the same extra time on vacay and too much else to do in home territory. Most likely it is they are away from side piece and also may think sex is expected with spouse on vacay–a habit sort of thing.

  • Thank you, thank you CL. I sent this to you this morning, along with every chump in the UK I expect. I am going to read this and enjoy a good laugh because I hit a low when I saw the feature online this morning. It is just shocking and needs to be called out.

    • I’ve cheered up after reading. But I’m still furious that this is what I have to live with, that this is what people think. I’m a mat suitable for the much more wonderful beings to wipe their feet on. It’s a good job that I can justify my existence on the planet in other ways. There are so many disgusting people who seem to go through life with no consequences for their behaviour.

      • I also read this today and I wanted to comment on it (s*”t on the articles) but the comments were closed. I wonder why … I only hope that while the wife is around expressing her aspect of sexuality with random casual men, her husband is expressing his aspect with some lady friend at home in their marital bed (yes, I’m mean). After all, he’s got plenty of time on his hands while she’s pursuing her aspect.

        Also, about struggling with monogamy – there’re also societies where adultresses get stoned to death, otherwise killed or they cut off their noses. Haven’t these people hear about struggles with monogamy?

        • Whenever I read or hear “struggling with monogamy” or “monogamy is unnatural” I swap out HONESTY for monogamy.

        • “… but the comments were closed. I wonder why…”

          The Guardian quite often closes comments on contentious articles. They can’t handle rational disagreement.

          Either that, or they got a whole slew of furious comments, and Stephenson threw a strop because loads of people were calling her out on being a whore. ????????????

      • I don’t believe there are no consequences. Probably because of the industry I worked in, I was the target of swanky cheaters in my youth. Gross. I can attest that these types face a high percentage of rejection for every “score” and they never get their top picks, not even rock stars. They all secretly hanker for the types who’d never bonk a married in a million years. And it’s hard to explain but they all carry the aura of the grave. The sweaty pathological insecurity (remember, very high rates of rejection) creeping out of their pores no matter how much they try to suave it up, the shallow cheesiness of people on the prowl, the ridiculous tactics to steer conversations to sex and the blatant vibe of some overaged kiddy doing fantasy role playing. Yack.

        Prowling for affairs is so much like playing cowboys and indians and getting to be someone they’re not. They may play different “roles” in this mode but it’s all perverse and stupid. Some operate like they’re in some sociopathic trance which is either incredibly boring or scary. I imagine maintaining self-delusion takes a lot of mental energy that gets taken out of other human faculties. Plus they’re like toddlers peeing in a pool who think no one’s seeing and judging them while bistro waiters, bartenders and coworkers make fun of them. Only people with the same sleazy lifestyle or pathetic hanger-on-ers seem to buy into the hype. The rest of us would make up nicknames for them.

        So part of my reaction to infidelity was a full-body cringe of knowing that FW was out there being and looking like “that guy”– the guy I’d be squirming away from, “handling” or laughing at back in the day. It’s like finding out your spouse walks around in public with a sock on their dick and flippers howling “lost in space” when you’re not around. Embarrassment by association.

        • OMG, thanks so much for spelling this out! I never knew how to express that 90% of the humiliation of being chumped was being associated with the ridiculous appendage flinger he became when he was “on the prowl” and how ludicrous and mockable that person was. It’s embarrassing to have people you love and invest in and build a life with publicly “reject” all of that just so they can be the most clownish version of adult human commonly found in common spaces. Absolutely mortifying.

  • That poor chump. I, too, was also the introverted homebody to FW’s extroverted, charismatic tornado. And I know I bored him because he told me so, after I asked him why he couldn’t just stay home with me and the kids more often: “Oh my God, you want me to be boring just like you!!”

    And, yeah, I nearly barfed at the response of “monogamy is hard for everyone.” No, it’s not hard for everyone. It’s not even hard. It’s amazingly easy, to be honest.

    The “you do you and keep stringing your chump along” advice was pretty galling.

    • Welp…I was/am the outgoing fabulous one who regularly went to parties, theater and such—after I made sure kids were fed and chores were done so sad sausage could just do minimum at home. Didn’t matter. Me? Chump! Him? FW!

    • I am so sorry you went through that.

      I’m gonna go out on a wild limb here and guess you were also shouldering all the household labor and possibly even a job outside the home as well. Cheaters not only seem to equate “boring” with staying home, but with responsibility as well. Mentally and emotionally, they never seem to grow past their teen years.

      • And to be clear, by “staying home”, I don’t mean truly being a shut in but living an ordinary life versus partying like a frat kid every weekend. Cheaters are such emotional children with an aversion for responsibility, they seem to think we’re losers for not running off to Vegas at the drop of a hat.

    • “And I know I bored him because he told me so, after I asked him why he couldn’t just stay home with me and the kids more often: “Oh my God, you want me to be boring just like you!!”

      What a mean SOB!! Although not usually prone to violence, I so want to toss a toaster at this guy’s face.

    • Sounds familiar Fourleaf. I was the “boring” one too. He chastised me because I liked family game night, home improvement projects, going to movies, the beach, holidays. You know-family stuff. He was an online gamer and played Magic which was apparently more sexy. He was bored with our sex and eventually told me he was done with vanilla sex. He’d been cheating on me pretty much our whole marriage and when I thought about the thrills he was having then I realized I probably did seem boring compared to that. I also realized there was nothing else I could do-I’m just me and if that’s not enough then I can’t do anything else. I was at home being the really good appliance wife, providing him with that soft landing after all of his tumultuous S&M hook ups on Friday nights when he was “out gaming with the boys”. I hate him for this but I’ve also gotten over feeling “boring”. I’ll never, ever be used in this way again.

      • Honestly, “You want me to be boring like you” feels like the name of my autobiography, lol. Yeah, that shout of his lives rent free in my head. During the last, dying days of reconciliation, I told him that hearing him say that played over and over in my head like a loop.

        What I was hoping for was a self reflective response like “I can see how it would” or an apologetic “I know this marriage isn’t going to work out [he had already moved his belongings into GF#3/Wifetress’s house], but I’m sorry I said that.”

        Instead I got “That’s not my problem. I can’t control what goes on in your head; only you can do that.”

        My heart bled at the time, of course, but looking back it’s so easy to see all the red flags and crumbs of “Look, I just really don’t respect you as a person at all, okay?” he spread around like they were radioactive and neon green.

        That’s why I’m No Contact (which for me, because we have children, means minimal/professional contact only).

        I wondered about it for years: why did my boring “house mouse” self even appeal to him early on? He knew what he was getting and told me (in the early days) that nothing was better than staying in with a pizza and watching a movie with me. Then I realized that I was a comfortable soft spot and a wife appliance. Basically, a nice place to wait until something better came along. And then he did it all over again after GF#1 and #2: begged me to give him another chance, moved back in until he met GF#3/Wifetress, told me I was boring, and moved out again–a connecting flight.

        I know many of us talk about not giving up on love but I never want to get into another relationship again in my life ever.

        • I know what you mean about avoiding relationships…but…I’m in my 50s and I met someone a year ago. Now, it isn’t perfect, but, there are some things I could share that might help you here. Thing number one I learned was – he doesn’t think I’m boring. He’s like me – he doesn’t get bored with me because we find pleasure in the real things in life, e.g. a picnic lunch on a sunny day. He thinks I’m a great lover. Why? Because it’s about love…imagine my surprise when, after a 25-year marriage to a cheater, I realised that decent partners are turned on because they love you, not because you’re a porn star. I know that sounds basic…but I was so hard-wired to feel “less than” because my husband had such a fantasy sex life that I couldn’t live up to, I didn’t realise there was a man out there who would get turned on just by being connected to me. Gee, it’s what happens when you aren’t in bed with a narcissist! You see, it’s not because we’re boring, it’s because they can’t cope with themselves. It has nothing to do with introversion/extroversion, etc. I actually have come to kind of feel bad for my ex-FW because he can’t enjoy anything – it’s all boring, dull and not up to standard…including me, our life together, our business, our home, our daughter, our friends, etc. He was too cool for all of it. Now that I put myself out there and met a “normal” person, I’ve been shocked at how none of this is happening. It’s a bit hard to admit at my age, but I truly have had my mind blown. Now, will I be together forever with this man? No idea, and I’m not sure I want to, but he’s given me a priceless gift – it’s not me, it was him (the ex FW), and for that I will be forever grateful. So Fourleaf, it’s not you…enjoy that pizza and movie on the couch either alone or with a person who wants to be there with you!

          • This is such a kind, beautiful post. Thanks so much for the vulnerability in sharing your story and the dose of hope for those of us who having made it quite this far in our healing journey!

    • “ ‘And, yeah, I nearly barfed at the response of “monogamy is hard for everyone.” No, it’s not hard for everyone. It’s not even hard. It’s amazingly easy, to be honest.’”

      Thank you, Fourleaf! I have at times wondered about the anti-monogamy argument because it’s so ubiquitous and cheating is so prevalent. But then I remember how easy and natural it was for me (even when partnered with an abusive FW) and realize that argument is BS. Now, to find a single, suitable, compatible man who is wired for monogamy…

  • “According to her own autobiography, Stephenson was raped at age 16 while she was living in Australia by a 35-year-old heroin addict, contracting an STD as a consequence. She concealed the fact but was expelled from her home by her parents once her medical condition was known: “I remember the feeling well, because I still experience it every time someone rejects me, even in some relatively small way.”

    Hmmm. Her experience with trauma and betrayal seems to have fried her empathy synapses. The Guardian should reconsider their required job qualifications.

    • Yes, they should. And, having been a subscriber, I won’t be funding rubbish like her column any longer.

    • … that makes her sound like a sociopath trying to fake feelings to me. I went through some bad stuff as a teen too, which also included rape and being expelled by my parents.

      I do not claim I am reliving it every time I experience a relatively small rejection. That doesn’t happen. Not even a little bit. Someone saying no thanks to you is nothing like being raped and disowned by your parents. She’s trying to fake human emotions and she’s failing. But her fellow sociopaths will eat it right up.

    • Am I the only one that takes her story of rape and being thrown out of her home with a grain of salt? She could be telling the truth but maybe her parents threw her out for a variety of other reasons. Maybe she took off on her own accord?

      • As I said below, she’s a cheater herself, so by definition she’s a liar with no integrity or character.

      • Given what she wrote in the Guardian, I trust her as much as I trust Ester jumping on the trauma band wagon. She too is likely a lying liar who lies.

    • Stephenson carried on an affair with Connolly whilst he was married to his first wife. Not surprising the evil cow advocates “carry on fucking around but keep your chump in the dark”. ????????

      May she rot in hell, along with her ‘advice’.

      I used to love Billy Connolly, but when I read that, that was it. Despicable pair.

      • I read about how their marriage started on their Wikipedia pages. I’m sure the tart is screwing around on Billy now that he had Parkinson’s.

    • The secret profile of every side piece I’ve ever encountered was unprocessed sexual trauma of some sort. If that sounds like a plea for amnesty, bear in mind it’s also the secret profile of every rapist and serial killer. According to researchers, not all are honest about their backgrounds. But I’ll never again think that just because someone can talk about those traumas it means they’re “safe” and actual survivors. Internalizing the worst of what was done to you and becoming like your own perpetrators is the definition of “not surviving” while still breathing.

      • Anything a person with shitty character says should be susceptible to proof. One lie makes anything they say suspect.

        • A long way of agreeing with what you said: Every liar I know periodically offers “sample truths”– something that, on the face of it, might not be easy for average people to admit– in order to prove to themselves and others they’re not liars. There’s always that moment of faux-leveling and confiding. But even if the vignette is basically true, they never tell the whole story or can’t seem to remember the emotions involved. Only the lies contain a suspicious amount of excess detail but real stories are missing chunks. From what I’ve read, it seems many who chronically lie are adept at selectively erasing memories of events, particularly those that expose them as not fabulous or for having done something bad, until their life stories end up looking like Swiss cheese. There was a memorable line from the series Dirty John in which an old acquaintance (probably drawn from real life) reflects on perp-John by saying something like “Where they should have been a story there wasn’t one.”

          • My FW admitted he had been, he thought, selectively forgetting. Yes, his life story and his brain are like Swiss cheese. The brain actually doesn’t work the way he thinks it does.
            I think doing what he does lowers your IQ. FW was much smarter years ago, but he made himself stupid by deliberately forgetting unpleasant things, which of course led to global memory loss. Memory is a huge part of our intelligence, and you can’t really just pick and choose which specific memories you do or don’t store. For example, if FW did something evil on a particular day and chose to forget it, he would also lose important information from that day. The only way FW can remember to do anything now is if he makes it a habit. New information is not stored and non-habitual tasks don’t get done.
            His life is a dysfunctional mess. I wish there was really such a thing as selective memory. Then I could forget he ever existed.

            • The ex tested my capacity to believe his lies. I hand wrote a letter to him after I discovered his affair. We met for the final time in March 2020. He said that he had not received my letter. I accepted that as a possibility. Later that evening I received an email from him. There were many important points discussed when we met, including that I had started divorce proceedings and was seeking financial relief. The only sentence in the email was: ‘you do believe that I didn’t receive your letter, don’t you?’ I immediately knew that he was lying. He was testing my level of trust in him, to inform how far he could go in manipulating me during the financial proceedings. I responded with a ‘yes, of course’ on the basis that I was not going to help my enemy to succeed. During our 26 years together, I often felt the shifting of the ground beneath my feet as he told a small lie with a smirk. He regularly accused me of being ‘too direct, too honest’. One of my fatal flaws, I was told, was ‘making other people feel very, very uncomfortable’. I made him feel uncomfortable because of my honesty. That feeling of the ground shifting is a feeling that I take seriously nowadays. It’s my ‘liar detector’.

            • Wow this is interesting to think about! Perhaps this is why I saw so much chaos in FW life and so many things being done last minute. I just assigned it to personality.

        • Exactly, shitty people will lie about trauma to get sympathy. I’ve caught lots of people in lies about growing up poor or having addict parents because I actually experienced those things and they get random details wrong that make me go “wait, wtf? What are you talking about? How did that work?” Things that normal people who didn’t experience those things wouldn’t pick up on.

          It sucks because then people think anyone who had a rough childhood is a bad person. Well no, our experiences just get co-opted by sociopaths who didn’t have our experiences. Trauma and hardship don’t make anybody a bad person. They don’t make people abusers. That’s a choice. But abusers will pretend to be suffering from trauma and hardship to trick people, and they do it all the time. If anyone here is interested, the book The Sociopath Next Door talks about how they much they want sympathy. They’ll make up all kinds of things to get people to feel sorry for them. It’s standard operating procedure for them.

          • Every abuser I’ve ever encountered had a terrible background. Research on batterers reports the same. I can see how some predators “mirror” their prey and pretend to have had a similar experience. But even if the stories they spin aren’t true, something did happen to them. One DV researcher found that a percentage of batterers lie to cover up for their own abusers while others use their true stories as a sympathy trap. If someone is so detached from their background that they can use it as a pity trap, it’s clear they didn’t actually survive their experience and instead internalized it. The whole dynamic is learned behavior and, as you say, a choice.

            But then again, some of the most heroic, stable people I’ve known also had harrowing backgrounds. Not everyone internalizes the worst of what they experienced. Research of Holocaust survivors shows that many develop deeper empathy, generosity and an extraordinary sense of gratitude for simple things. But some don’t emotionally survive the aftermath so of course you’d never wish these experiences on others as a sort of “education.” Most of the people who developed empathy from harsh experience could have learned the same from reading books.

            • Every abuser you’ve ever encountered CLAIMS to have a terrible background. Read some Lundy Bancroft. They are liars. His research on batterers does not report that they are always, or even usually, abuse victims.

          • In my experience, people who have had terrible childhoods, and/or terrible experiences, very seldom talk about it, much less use it to garner sympathy and absolution for vile/unethical behaviour.

            “… abusers will pretend to be suffering from trauma and hardship to trick people, and they do it all the time”

            This is so true.

            Anyone who behaves, speaks like this, is suspect in my eyes. As you say, trauma and hardship is no excuse for abusive/unethical behaviour, and those who have truly experienced such awful things, keep their experiences private, unless they know you very, very well, or perhaps know you yourself have experienced similar things.

            Hugs to you Katie. ????❤️????

      • Sorry, I need to add to this. I have been an avid reader of this site. I am chump with a profile of being raped twice and also a survivor of separate homicide. Just because I experience traumas does not mean that I am entitled to cheat. Because I knew that I did not lose my empathy or at least I chose not to lose my empathy after the horrific incidents that I experienced. Being empathic to chumps or any victims of crimes made more sense and logic to me. I realized that having the trauma is outside of my control, but healing the trauma is my responsibility. After the pandemic, the world has been more mindful about mental health. And using trauma as an excuse to cheat or do other crimes are simply BS reasoning. Hurt people do not hurt people. Unhealed people hurt people.

        • Tuesday Dreamer, ????????????xxx.

          I’m so sorry you went through that, and I agree with most of what you say.

          “Hurt people do not hurt people. Unhealed people hurt people.”

          That’s the bit I disagree with, it’s a distinction without a difference. Quite simply, *shitty* people hurt others, it has nothing to do with healing or otherwise, just sheer selfishness, entitlement, and self-centeredness.

          Someone above, I think it was latitude, boiled it down to a nutshell; we, ordinary decent people, assume all human beings are, at core, like ourselves. It’s unfortunately not true – we charitably assume cruel people do what they do because they’ve suffered trauma and they need to be healed. No, they do it because they don’t give a fuck about anyone except themselves. You can’t heal that.

    • I think trauma can cause us to lose sight of our ability to simultaneously be victims while also being predators / victimizing others.

      I’ve met so many people who’ve experienced horrible things, become fixated on them (which is completely understandable) and then lost sight of how they were now doing hurtful, exploitative things to others themselves. It’s been a humbling realization.

  • The dilemma is an easy one to solve – tell your partner that you’ve been cheating sporadically through your relationship and that you plan to do so in the future. Be sure to add that the reason you are telling him this is that you haven’t – and don’t – feel guilty about this.

    I suspect the partner would run for the hills – taking cash, property, and whatever other benefits the LW likes -and that’s the real horns of the dilemma.

    A more honest letter would state “Can you help me smother what little conscience I have left so I can cheat on my partner without losing the benefits of our relationship that I like?”

    • ““Can you help me smother what little conscience I have left so I can cheat on my partner without losing the benefits of our relationship that I like?””

      Yep, that is the bottom line and it is why they lie and hide. They are extracting value from the marriage that they don’t want to lose, or aren’t ready to lose. When they are ready to lose it or replace it with what they perceive as better, they will. Then they will play the “Oh I have been sad for ten years”.

      When we find out we have been chumped, I suspect many if not most of us know exactly what the value was that the cheater was hanging on to. Upon reflection it usually isn’t that hard to figure out.

      They don’t want the chumps to know the truth until they are secure in their new space. Then they will lob the bomb.

  • There’s nothing more interesting than reading about about those exciting, non-boring lives of women with no ethics or integrity. Grunge twats bringing hope for a more civilized world is so reassuring.

  • I too was married to an introverted homebody. I did not cheat–he did. Apparently I was boring; the AP was dangerous and exciting and need I even say it, young. She was also addicted to drugs, had a criminal record, and earned her money via prostitution. But hey, she was FUN and wasn’t he entitled to that? I was supposed to allow him to have these side chicks and carry on, being the doting wife and mother as he spend thousands of dollars (BMW for sex!) NO thank you.

    • Faithful R: My ex was a faux introverted homebody too. He was home but busy busy socially online & meeting up with women before work, on lunch breaks & while running “errands” or “home repair favours for friends” on the weekends. Of course, I figure that out too late. I laugh knowingly when the AP posts how devoted & hardworking the FW is.

      • OMG – I got the “home repairs for friends” excuses too! After my world was blown to smithereens, I asked one of the friends if it really took ex-FW most of two days to install a patio light at this friend’s house and his response was a quite chuckle and “um…no”. Makes me feel incredibly gullible that I believed all the lies.

        • FW worked a lot. Even Sunday. But there was never extra money. Later I found out about the expenditures in a gift shop in a tourist town or restaurant. And the Elton John concert. Sure there probably was some working, but it was a great cover because I did believe him. Until I didn’t.

      • Gamer porn junkies with Cheetos in their beards skulking in grandma’s basement are technically “homebodies” too.

  • “..without their consent.” To me, this is the crux of it, when someone else makes a decision for you about what you need to know. It defines entitlement, the mindset of “I want this, and so I am going to do it, and I’m not going to tell you, because if I did I would not be free to do what I want to do, and there might be consequences!”

    I’m going through this right now with my ex, who both cheated on me with an ex student and then after 32 years of marriage revealed he is not straight. He remains closeted, and I just found out he’s begun dating another woman (someone I know, who was our son’s violin teacher and who as an adult student completing an undergrad degree took two of my classes). I have always said that if I ever heard that he was involved with another woman, I’d tell her, precisely because one can’t make informed decisions about one’s own life when someone is concealing the truth about such basic and elemental information as one’s sexuality.

  • It seems to me that you are looking for someone to validate what you are doing and to give you permission to continue on doing it. You obviously do not care for your husband. You want someone loyal who’ll love you? Someone you can hug and make you feel heard without feeling obliged to have sex? Buy a dog. I can give you a few numbers of local rescues. Then go out and fuck anything that gives you a side glance with their special “energy”. – Fixed it.

    • She’s not a fit and proper person to own a dog or any other type of pet. She’s likely to treat an animal in the same way as she treated her long term partner. This woman should come with a health warning to all sentient beings to beware.

    • “You want someone loyal who’ll love you? Someone you can hug and make you feel heard without feeling obliged to have sex?“

      She’s looking for a parent. That’s the relationship she describes.

  • I wonder if the chump is on this blog?
    Poor guy, sadly I “had” a friend who was doing this to her husband. They are still together and traveling in Brazil. He knows and won’t leave.

    • The first “friend” I tried to make after my divorce told me she’d been cheating on her husband for years just after I told her about what I went through. It made me so sick. He knows but he doesn’t want to destroy their family. She had so many lame excuses and justifications. What is wrong with these people?

      • Ugh, I hate crashing into evidence that someone lacks character, especially in skinless moments when it would be really nice if the world showed signs of human life. It’s like that scene from In and Out when Joan Cusack runs out of the bar screaming “Is everybody gay??!” Except– being that there’s nothing wrong with being gay– it’s more like “Is everybody a POS??!”

    • Why are in a long-term relationship and still not married ? Huge ???? for this former chump. ????

  • Sickening beyond belief.

    If I need advice on how to fuck people over, I will definitely seek her out. No matter how screwed up or depraved you are, you can find a tribe on the internet who will cheer you on and give you a medal.

    I missed the part where she talks to the husband, who is loyal and loves her, and asks HIM how he feels about her Unilateral Solution. Or is advised by Advice Genius to talk to her husband, who is loyal and loves her, and ask HIM how he feels about her Unilateral Solution.

    Yes, monogamy is challenging and long term relationships are difficult when truth is missing, communication skills are nowhere to be found, one person makes secret decisions about things that affect everyone, and lying is the foundation of the “relationship”. There is no relationship if anyone is lying. There is only a mirage.

    Intimacy requires HONESTY. Very likely one cause of the intimacy issues in her marriage.

    (Liars are intimate with NO ONE.)

    Her husband loves and is loyal to a LIE.

    I am not an ex-wife. I am a former hostage. He is not my ex-husband. He is my former captor. I did not have a marriage. I had a mirage. THAT is how I describe my former life if the topic comes up.

    I saw Pumpkin Spice Twinkies at Target last night. What will they think of next?! Do you think the UBT wpuld like them?

    • More on the hostage situation from my corner of the world…

      Little Hammer has not spoken to Traitor Ex since 2019, and is still
      mandated by the divorce agreement to spend a little time with him every week. I drop her off at his Barbie Dream Condo three times a week. She heads to her room there, shuts the door, and waits 2.5 hours to come home. He brings her back.

      Rather than be honest and do what he was asked by the co-parenting therapist he nagged me to go to with him, and actually make an effort to repair the damage he did, and take the opportunity to have a genuine relationship, he’d rather try indoctrinating and manipulating her into Pretending Everything Is Fine. He drives her home, under the speed limit, doing 25 mph from his end of town all the way to our house, the whole car ride trying to talk her into a relationship with him, based on no actual work on himself, behavior change, amends, etc.

      In other words, he holds her hostage in his truck, bombarding her with propaganda all the way home, attempting to brainwash her and wear her down, and manipulate her into a relationship with him.

      Like he does with everyone else.

      She has her headphones on, does not talk him, and tells me everything when she comes in the door. I listen, and ask how she feels. The answer is always “angry”. Then she and I talk about it with our therapist on Fridays.
      Deprogramming, in other words.

      Anytime truth and informed consent is missing, and secret unilateral decisions and manipulation are the SOPs, it’s a hostage situation.

    • “Yes, monogamy is challenging and long term relationships are difficult when truth is missing, communication skills are nowhere to be found, one person makes secret decisions about things that affect everyone, and lying is the foundation of the “relationship”. There is no relationship if anyone is lying. There is only a mirage.”

      Just want to highlight this.

    • Don’t feel sorry for him. He cheated on his first wife with Stephenson. Parkinson’s is too good for him. ????

  • Wow, this is staggeringly stupid advice. It skips right over a vital fact, which is that she is not attracted to her husband. The only answer any responsible person would give is to end the marriage.
    To tell her just continue to make him suffer with a wife who isn’t attracted to him and doesn’t fuck him except while on vacation, but who fucks other men, is shocking.
    This may be the worst infidelity advice I’ve ever seen. This “psychotherapist” must have a double digit IQ in addition to being an amoral asshole.

    This cheater actually has a serious sexual problem- she cannot become sexually aroused without novelty. This is why she will have sex with her husband while on vacation. It’s a novel place. At home, she feels the need for a novel partner.
    Any half intelligent therapist (or even a lay person) could catch that just from this letter and realize she needs to set her husband free to find somebody who is sexually functional.

    • OHFFS: not to mention that the OP might need therapy too. She may be unable to form intimacy with a partner & that needs to be explored.

      • Totally agree, ELL. She needs it, but I doubt she’d get much out of it if she did go. You have to want to change and she likes her sleazy life just as it is.
        For now. When she ages out of being able to get so many sex partners, she’ll be at a loss. She self-medicates with whoring around and her “medicine” will be harder to aquire. She’ll have to self-medicate with something else. I predict she will become an alcoholic.

      • Phooey. The bitch has managed just fine faking intimacy for 25 years. She’s an evil cow, and so is Stephenson.

        I think therapy is rubbish, (apologies to chumps here who have benefited from it) but even if it had some value, it’s not a magic wand that can transform a turd into a decent human being.
        Sorry. I’m feeling stabby today. ????

  • Once again, we give Cheaters far too much credit. We assume they have depth and volume, a measure of reason and rationale, and a healthy conscience. We spend far too much time wishing for abilities they do not possess.

    Cheaters are merely very superficial people. There is no depth of thought process; volume of character to fall back upon; reason or rationale with which to form functional choices, nor any developed conscience to see the end game.

    They’re operating from an immature mindset that places self first. Others exist as a means toward their ends. Instant gratification is overriding. Impulse control is missing. Coping skills are minimal. Passion and desire rule the day. Emotions govern their actions. They have the overall maturity of an adolescent and choose not to grow up.

    We can contrast Cheater behaviors with functional behaviors all day long, but in the end it’s pointless because they’re not looking for growth or change.

  • I had a conversation this weekend with my son about these things. He was home as a commuter college student five years ago when his dad moved to the beach many states away, supposedly to save our marriage. My son said he knew it was over then and gave up on his dad. It took me a bit longer, but the attorneys finished the job, and Tuesday came.

    Society was built on boring people who handle their marriage and family issues with respect and honor. As my divorce attorney said multiple times, “Real people who show up and own up.” My son gets that at 25 y.o., thankfully.

    I hope the “boring” spouse lets this one go.

  • Wow. This is exactly how my ex husband and his friends think. They actually seemed to think I should be grateful that he was willing to deceive me for 25 years. I’ll never understand people like this and I don’t want to. I just identify them asap and avoid now.

  • The psychologist that did an assessment of us both (my ex was convinced I was crazy, but no I was just angry at his fuckwittery so he insisted on an assessment & the judge said both of us had to then). I found out later the psychologist my ex paid for was a men’s rights advocate. It must of been an extra bite in the ass to my ex when he was diagnosed with an attachment disorder & nothing alarming came up about me other than some of the psychologist’s comments about me that seemed like sniping (the men’s right psychologist was in action). Anywho, the psychologist couldn’t lie about the tests; but he was slanted in his recommendations (which revealed his own agenda & thankfully the judge saw through it). So a long story here, but the psychotherapist’s advice here seems similar in that I wonder if it conceals her own hidden agenda? Absolving her of her own guilt? Normalizing infidelity? A buddy or advocate of Esther Perel’s?

  • May the family DNA kits for the holidays eventually bring clarity & happiness to her Chump – whose value is sky-high.

    May he read that dumb article and find CL, CN & LACGAL.

  • I verified that she has a current license in California as a psychologist. Per wikipedia (so unverified), she has also been on the faculty of several psychology programs and and active in professional organizations. So she’s probably disseminating he cheater=friendly viewpoint to the next generation of psychologists and therapists.
    I wonder if she’s as tolerant of academic cheating as she is of marital cheating.
    In 2019, multiple newspapers reported that her husband, comedian/actor (Sir) Billy Connolly stated he could no longer share a bed with her because his Parkinson’s makes him thrash in his sleep. I wonder if he read this, and how he feels about it, and his wife.
    It’s amazing and awful that people who think they can justify extramarital affairs as OK or the norm are still comfortable with hiding them from the chumps, or even advocate hiding it, as she does here. They hide it because they know it would not be acceptable to most chumps.
    “…do what you have to do to get your needs met while honouring the long-term bond and commitment between you…” Cheating with various partners, or any partner, in NO way honors the bond and commitment. They’re diametrically opposed.

    • Activity in professional organizations can just be a way of elevating one’s profile. Teaching for just a bit in several different programs can mean a person was repeatedly shown the door. Not saying that is necessarily the case here, but all resumes have to be read critically.

      • Agree absolutely, which is why I didn’t name the listings in wikipedia. And also because she could have provided them to wikipedia herself, so we don’t even know if she did those things.
        My Fraudster x told a medical veterans group that he was both an MD and a veteran, both untrue. His updated his Linked-in page, swapping out a Harvard MBA for a Dartmouth MBA; per emails from the registrars, he never graduated, attended, enrolled or applied to them. And he claimed to have won two international championships in his side field, but per the records, he never won at any time.

          • Sociopaths do that. They lie even if they don’t get any benefit from it. My ex lied about the smell of hazelnut coffee making him physically sick for years and years and years. The result was I didn’t get to enjoy hazelnut coffee… but neither did he. One of the first things he did after taking off his mask and telling me the truth was go out and buy himself some hazelnut coffee.

            People who hear this ask why? Why would he do that? Did you drink it a lot? Was it your favorite? Nope. I like all flavored coffees. It was just one of many and one he actually likes. For me it meant I just took it out of the rotation. But he committed to that lie for over a decade. For no real payoff. It even harmed him because he missed it so much he ran out and bought it immediately when we started divorce proceedings.

            Why? Because sociopaths do that. They lie about anything and everything. I don’t even think they really think about it, it just comes naturally to them.

            • It’s also why I believe my ex was so incredibly angry at me. He had to remember and maintain the lies he told me. That made him angry.

    • Parkinson’s isn’t selective and fells both good people and bad alike. But I think the general consensus is that cheaters don’t “do” crisis caring and that cheaters are horrible patients. I suppose Stephenson spared Connolly’s first wife the pleasure of changing his bedpans as he declines. #cheatingisagift. I wonder if he’s spinning Stephenson’s preference to sleep apart as his own idea.


    I subscribe to The Guardian for the journalism, mostly excellent. The international coverage is especially strong. But when they platform this sort of nonsense, which they consistently do–you gotta wonder what-all goes on amongst the editorial staff. Or not wonder, rather. :-

    • Erm, I think it’s pretty standard corporate media like the NY Times. From being involved in the nitty gritty of environmental activism and being made aware of toxic industry propaganda, I see the places where The Guardian is as “bought” at least in that area, which likely means it’s bought in other aspects. I’m also a big lefty so I’m particularly disappointed in supposedly left-leaning media that isn’t so much. The Guardian seems to use the same formula as the New York Times– grubbing credence with “brave” coverage of certain events (written by daring young journalists who typically later get disillusioned and leave or are fired) and then cashes that credence in with what amounts to stealth marketing– publishing promotional propaganda framed as news. Just one example:

  • ????????????….sociopaths! I’m dealing with this type of supreme entitlement with my 82 year old sociopath monster (ahem, mother …). She’s a lifelong cheater, liar, blamer, abuser.

    Now that I know what she is, and the trauma she caused and is causing – everything I’ve experienced in life and the choices I made that led to being chumped by two husbands (ignore red flags, spackle, disassociate, tolerate abuse, pick me dance, etc etc etc) makes perfect but heartbreaking and infuriating sense. I have much better boundaries but the painful past is still what it was- abusive. ????

    • MotherChumper – same situation here – I actually cut contact with my elderly father earlier this year due to my anger upon realizing that I was programmed from birth to be an object / appliance for men. My serial cheater, “the BEST” at anything, racist, chauvinist, misogynist, ageist, ableist, abusive father can’t understand why none of his kids want anything to do with him. After I went NC, he sent me a registered letter telling me I am mentally unstable and desperately need help. Yeah, that just nailed the coffin closed as far as our relationship is concerned. Somehow, he is the victim in all of this. Small wonder I chose to marry such narcissistic FWs. Thank all the gods I am in therapy and working to heal myself.

      • “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing.

        He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear and speak no evil.

        The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain.

        The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering…

        In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting.

        Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense.

        If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim.
        If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens.

        To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization.

        After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it on herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on.

        The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.”
– Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery

        • Recent prime example-the Chris Dawson case in Australia. I watched the “60 Minutes” interview of one of his adult daughters. She read out loud her last correspondence with him. Par for the course.

    • What you say is the number one reason why children should know the truth about their parents’ breakup and about their own family history. Once you have the truth you have a context to slot the behavior and its consequences (including for one’s own psychological development) into, and you can acquire the perspective that is one step on the road to healing.

      I’m so sorry you have experienced life with such a monster mother.

    • After we told my mother of FW’s infidelity my mother told FW that she needed the affair. I could not believe it. After that comment I went NC. Funny that

  • Many thanks to the UBT. I needed this today. My FW could probably write a similar story. Yes, I was boring according to him. Actually, I think what I am merely an adult who faced up to the responsibilities of life. When you have a child, that child needs to be taken care of. A child is not something you get to show off and then shove in a closet until you need to bring it out again to show your greatness as a family person. FWs don’t seem to recognize this because, well, taking care of a kid is boring to them. Taking care of a sick kid to them is worse but when there is an adult around to do this then it is easy to just leave the chump with the kid while they go out seeking energy and vibes.
    My son is now 26 years old and can see FW for what he is. Son is no contact with FW since FW “forgot” to turn off sharing to son’s shared photo account and loaded amateur porn starring FW and Schmoopie to son’s account. All I can say is since DDay (about 15 months ago) FW let me know how boring I was and how he had not been happy in years. I also got to hear that monogamy is not natural and every other FW excuse written. Monogamy is a choice; it was the choice I made when I got married. It isn’t hard but it is a commitment that people make. I guess only chumps live up to that commitment. As long as the chump is useful, the FW will try to hang on because who doesn’t want a double life? The FW can have the image of marriage, family, home cooked meals and all the benefits while also having the excitement and thrills of sneaking around and abusing the chump. The audacity of the FWs is amazing. If they truly felt any bit of guilt, they should just end a marriage honestly. Of course, cake and having an appliance to take care of adulting is just something they do not want to let go of.
    I just hope that chumps continue to leave these abusers and try to rebuild an authentic life. These cheaters need to get consequences. FW is going to have write sign the paperwork this month for my settlement which I know is going to be hard for him to swallow (hey, I am getting back a lot of the money he spent on Schmoopie and that was no small sum, plus retirement money and more). I will soon be free and FW will have a lot less money for his 32 years younger Schmoopie. I know it is going to hurt him to “give” me my share but that’s the cost of lying, deceiving and abusing another person.
    Sorry for rambling but I am just really triggered by people that honestly believe cheating is okay.

    • 32 years younger! Gross. And I might have said this before, but I’m so sorry your son saw those images. Yikes.

      Regarding the monogamy-is-not-natural argument: isn’t it interesting that many of the cheaters who make this argument marry their APs? It’s all so disingenuous.

      • And you know how exactly how these “monogamy isn’t natural, babe” FWs would react if their chump spouses said “Oh, what a relief. I’ve been wanting to have a side piece too. Off to the bar to pick one up!”

        It puts me in mind of an essay piece from…. I don’t know, the Atlantic or some similar navel-gazing publication like that…. by a guy waxing philosophical about the unnaturalness of monogamy and his tormented longing for other women. Right in the middle he casually mentions that his wife told him ‘okay, fine, but it’s an open marriage for both of us’, he told her no way, and then he jumps right back into blathering about his dilemma of marriage vs. the lure of other women.

        • I wonder how cheaters and their apologists would respond if the sexually loyal spouse shared the couple’s retirement account with an exciting third party. “But he’s so lucky at the blackjack table”. “She’s a great day trader”.

    • If only, indeed. I don’t dwell now, but when my ex took off, I should have just gotten an attorney some months later and accepted the reality that I already knew deep down. It took me a while to come around to that.

      I hope that your husband signs and that better days are ahead. At one point, my ex thought he’d get to keep most of it because he earned way more than me (I was mostly a SAHM), but that didn’t happen because the law says otherwise. I actually did slightly better than what most judges would award, so I was happy.

      • Yes, my STBX (an entitled asshole) thought he should be able to keep everything including everything I had with my retirement plan (I worked full time through the marriage and am still working). He actually thought he could keep everything and still get money from me. Nope, that dream came crashing down on him. I am reasonably happy with what I am getting plus I get to keep my retirement earnings and pension plan (he made more than I did). He thought everything would keep on going his way and that I would be content to be an appliance while he and Schmoopie traveled the world together (lucky me, I could keep the home fires going). He was blissfully unaware that he was in a fault state and that with the evidence he provided (unwittingly) my lawyer had all she needed for a clear and convincing case. Yep, we showed his attorney the videos and the guy started turning red and sweating. Guess he realized he was on the losing side.
        It still galls me that they think the chumps should get nothing and end up paying them so they can support Schmoopie and live a glamorous life.

    • NewerModel, yep, my FW ex has quite the aversion to the “boredom” of being a responsible parent. He’ll show off at a birthday party, playing “fun dad,” but will do anything possible to avoid the unfun stuff. He just had his kitchen remodeled, and goes to NFL games, but has no problem sending my daughter to school in ratty clothes. The priorities are so f’ed up. I’m sorry new leggings and t-shirts aren’t the most exciting thing in the world to shop for (unlike new golf clubs), but it’s a point and click exercise that can be done in 10 minutes a few times a year. SMH.

  • ” is that a kilojoule in your pocket……” ????????????????
    Who uses the term kilojoule outside of physics?
    Too funny! Thanks for that one CL.

    • Who gets the units of ‘energy’ right, in a non-scientific context? CL, that’s who! Top quality all the way through. (Also – CL is in the US, and so is being generous to us European readers by not insisting on ft-lb-force 🙂 )

  • She gives a green light to all cheaters. It’s ok to cheat as long as you manage it well. And she makes it sound somehow “evolved.”

    Fuck these people!

    This gives me a sense of what x might argue. He was the introverted one, but, after his affair started, he (IMO) reverse engineered a reason for the affair by complaining, among other things, that there was a lack of sexual tension between us (after 35 years). It’s amazing to me how often we had sex when he apparently wasn’t feeling any sexual tension. ???? #oscarwinner

    • “It’s amazing to me how often we had sex when he apparently wasn’t feeling any sexual tension. ???? #oscarwinner”

      Right? I am sure whores would be horrified at how often fw forced himself to get hard and have sex with me, in the bedroom, on the boat, in the water. Seems in hindsight he only stopped “forcing himself” when someone dropped a dime on him via an ethics complaint about two months before the great reveal. Asshole was flying high with his power and secrets, well until he wasn’t.

      • Yeah. They thrive on power and secrets. And when it all blows up, they scramble to justify the heck out of the unjustifiable.

  • I almost couldn’t finish reading this disgusting, selfish and immature post.
    Instead of appreciating the faithful decent partner she has she brags about being a Whore! She shouldn’t be on this forum and look up “Sluts R Us.”
    Hopefully her daughters don’t find out what a STD infested piece of crap they have for a mother.

  • I’ve never understood why “sexologists” believe that humans must “do what you have to do to get your needs met.” This is not true in any other area of health. They seem to believe that the drive for sex is a biological need, versus a desire. There are no documented health problems that happen to the human body when it does not experience the act of intercourse or orgasm. I know some professionals may argue that psychological problems may happen, but that’s where ethics enters into the situation: would one person’s perceived psychological needs (to experience some type of sexual encounter) trump another person’s psychological need to be informed of the actions taken by their partner that would affect them?
    And wouldn’t it be considered a deficit, that one person could not control their psychological desire? We have to tame our desire for sleep, food, alcohol, and many other pleasurable activities in order to achieve a greater good for our body, or our finances, or our interactions with other people.

    I think a good part of the professional people in psychology sexology, psychotherapy, etc, are unable to control themselves and are justifying their own decisions.

    • I agree. Sex isn’t a human right or biological imperative. You don’t die or get sick if you don’t have sex. It’s 100% a want, and not a need.

      My husband always compared sex to food – he said without it he was “starving.” Riiiiight. But fine, let’s say that was true. Then having a wank should have solved that issue for him. Did it? Of course not.

      He wanted me to put out on demand, enjoy it (or pretend to), and then not bother him or expect anything from him, ever. That was his “need” that had to be “met.”

      Not conflating needs and wants is something I really try to hammer into my kids. The nuance is lost on the entitled and disordered.

  • TL;DR version of that advice column:

    Q: I cheat but I don’t really feel guilty about it because my marriage is not great for me. That’s cool, right?

    A: Totes cool, babe! I cheat too because monogamy (at least by us) is for squares.

    …..but I guess she had a word count to hit?

  • #casualrelationshipwithchlamydia




  • It blows my mind that most cheaters want the freedom to screw around but don’t want their spouses to know about it. Also, I bet she wouldn’t want her husband to do the same to her. Why can’t they just tell their spouses that they are unhappy and that they will start seeing other people? Because they want their cake and eat it. ???????????? My ex wife had no problem cheating and lying to me but told me “I will divorce you if you cheat on me even once!”. I wonder if that is even his kids…

    • So true. They live by double standards and can’t recognize the unfairness of it all.

      Even after his 2.5 year affair, x told me that he would be bothered if I ever had sex with another man. Say what?

      • If it weren’t unethical and downright dangerous to organize such research, I think the results would be predictable in a study where, upon D-Day, freshly minted chump subjects all responded uniformly to their cheaters with, “Well, that’s okay because I’ve been seeing someone too. We’re very much in love and want to marry.”

  • This one gets me: “people who understand that, in many societies, social norms and boundaries are in conflict with fundamental biological urges.”

    What is this idiot babbling about? That people with personality disorders who don’t think the norms apply to them exist everywhere? Or was this sentence ignoring the norms and boundaries of grammar and clarity and suggesting that social norms and boundaries “in many societies” are *seen* as in conflict with “urges” in *comparison* to other socieites? If so, what are those free-for-all societies? France– which is the third most dangerous country in Europe regarding domestic violence and where researchers cite jealous rage as the MO in most crimes? Where there have been massive protests against harassment and traditionally lenient sentencing for “crime passionel”? Where the public backlashed against and banned ads for an extramarital dating site and where adultery is, like in most western countries, the #1 cause of divorce? Where former president Hollande’s girlfriend was hospitalized with a “gross coup de blues” after discovering his infidelity? Or is the advice columnist basing this concept on Margaret Mead who visited tribal islanders in Samoa for three weeks, stayed with white people and failed to ask islanders about, say, rampant rape, domestic violence and domestic murders due to jealousy? According to later interviews with Mead’s subjects, several admitted goofing around and making shit up.

    • “According to later interviews with Mead’s subjects, several admitted goofing around and making shit up.”


      I’ve often wondered why this never seems to occur to earnest researchers, information gatherers, statisticians, census takers et al.

      Certain types of people can never grasp that someone might be taking the piss. ????????

  • Taking a short break from reading CL/UBT’s full answer after this gem: “I am a woman in a long-term relationship with my insufferable self-importance.”

    Yaaaasssss, QUEEN!! Nailed it!

    Back to reading.

  • She is getting a loyal, loving husband who I assume provides medical benefits and a house. Wonder what he gets out of the marriage? Not getting love or sex. These entitled people with no empathy are the ones who create chaos, cheat, lie, steal, kill and are filling up our prisons and wreaking havoc on society. The literally get off on it. Us chumps are the ones keeping society together.

  • Will this columnist think it’s great to steal money and neglect your children next? How about smacking someone in the face? Go right ahead! It’s the moral, really immoral, equivalent.

  • “I’m struggling with my desire to be hugged and heard without feeling obliged to have sex with him in return.”

    Yep, I experienced this, but somehow I was able to remain faithful for more than 40 years.

    I would have loved a hug or a meaningful conversation, but stayed loyal because that’s all I know how to be.

  • Of course, ‘ol Pamela, she of great wisdom, fails to mention the long-term husband in her “advice.” Like, not ever!

  • I read the online Guardian quite a bit (it has Churchillian gravitas compared to the DailyMail…). I often read the advice/love & sex columns, including Pamela’s. I’m usually unimpressed with her trite, brief “advice”. But I really dive deep into the comments section which can be very thoughtful and inspring/witty/funny. However, today for the first time the comments section isn’t there. It looks like the Guardian got slammed with comments and just shut the whole thing down. I wonder why??!

  • “Nothing honors a long-term bond like fucking around on someone for 25 years without their consent.”

    BOOM! MIC DROP! Thank you UBT & Chump Lady.

  • Dear Appliance Abuser: Thank you for articulating so nicely how you feel about our marriage to a perfect stranger in a public forum in a paper that we have a subscription to. Nice play. But then it’s all about being “seen” for you, isn’t it? I’ve known for years about your double life. Do you think that I don’t see you cringe when I try to touch you? So I stopped touching you, and after a while, I realized that I didn’t want to touch you anymore because you are a shallow, narcissistic, woman who, much to my dismay, I married. But never fear, my days of being your husband appliance are coming to a close. Our children are at the age where they can weather our divorce without, I hope, too many consequences. Because I’m the boring husband who parents them at night, they trust me. You go out club hopping at night and fuck randos. They don’t know about the randos, but they do know that they can’t trust you to be there for them. If that makes me boring, so be it. I signed up to be a parent. You didn’t. Payback will be a bitch when you need their attention because you always need someone’s attention and they’ll only give you crumbs. Much like what you gave them when they needed YOUR attention. I’m lining up my financial ducks. I have an entire binder of printouts of your sexting to your affair partners. And a calendar of the nights you went out and I stayed home with the children. You shouldn’t feel guilty, you should feel afraid. The Bank of Appliance will be closed shortly. Your Husband.

  • Amana Fontanella-Khan, opinion editor, New York,
    My email to her:
    “Here, a licensed doctor offers advice to continue a 25 year pattern of infidelity that endangers another person’s sexual health and general medical health.
    I can personally attest that it is horrific and abusive to learn that a spouse has given you a life-altering STI because of undisclosed infidelity.
    Undisclosed infidelity is abusive, and this advice is dangerous.
    I ask you to consider a follow up to this article.”

  • Did she purposely get with this guy, because she knew she could use him? Seems very planned and she definitely justified her decision.

  • Ok, I want to say a few things bout this post.

    First, and I’m sorry to disagree Tracy, but it feels to me like The Guardian’s awful response to this awful woman and her terribly story of entitlement is more the norm in modern media. I’m becoming more and more convinced that there are too many narcissistic people in positions of power in media settings, and that this is the stupid shit that’s going to get shoveled our way w/increasing frequency because of that.

    Second, this really is an awful, pretty much unapologetic story of a person who made the commitment, but decided it was ok to break it on multiple occasions. Then we see the story answered by an equally unapologetic idiot claiming to have some wisdom about infidelity, which boils down to, “do the best you can, wink wink, but we all know how hard it is not to fuck around, so don’t let the guilt get to ya. We’re all dealing w/this crazy monogamy shit!”

    Third, I found it personally very odd that this woman was more inclined towards sex w/her husband, whom she seems to find boring. I think that borders on whorish behavior, for one thing. On the other hand, I had the exact opposite response out of my FW XW. She was less likely to be happy about having sex if we were on vacation. And we had some nice vacations (Ireland/England for honeymoon, Cape Cod a few times, Williamsburg VA, Acadia National Park, San Francisco, alone together in France, etc.)

    To me, the way my FW XW’s libido lowered on vacations was bizarre. She would actually get angry or annoyed w/me for thinking we might actually have more frequent sex on a vacation. Looking back, I’m guessing part of it was she felt put upon to make everything work well on vacation for the family (more stress, so less sex).

    But this was also the woman who suggested I get a hooker to satisfy my sexually adventurous nature. And no, I was not into anything major or bizarre in the way of kink. Not to mention, I was devoted to her, and the thought of having sex w/a hooker, prostitute, escort, etc. does nothing for me, except maybe repulse me.

    So, I was kind of chuckling that her husband might have gotten farther sexually w/his awful wife on vacations than I did. Very different from my marriage experience.

    That’s all I’ve got today. Hope everybody had an ok day or better.????

    • Vacations were always great for my ex and for me. He was more adventurous than I. However, I nervously played along. I think honestly he liked my nervousness, and he liked “convincing” me to play along. (nothing weird, but he really liked to do it in places where there was an element of danger of being caught or found out.

      I guess in hindsight that explained his fondness for sneaking around behind my back. I thought it was normal for men, because he was all I knew.

      I mean I had a great dad, and he was good to my mom; but I never thought about their sex life. (gah).

      I agree that there seems to be a lot of nut jobs in the media. And to be fair they are getting exposed a lot now day. Lots of firings lately for lewd/crazy behavior.

      I still can’t get over how folks can’t at least do their jobs and keep it in their pants while working. I guess it has something to do with having to chase the highs.

      • Susie, I’m so sorry you had to deal w/that FW XH of yours. I guess I should have been clearer in what I said. I was sexually adventurous in the bedroom (or a bedroom) mainly w/the XW. The only time we got adventurous outside a bedroom was when she was love-bombing me when we first started going out.

        I was sexually adventurous only w/her. I didn’t want to be that way w/anyone else. And even that was a perennial challenge for her. Again, nothing crazy, either. But, at a time I thought she might relax (vacation is supposed to help w/that, I thought), she’d act like I was asking her for blood.

        If she was feeling stressed because I wasn’t helping her enough to feel that way, she could have told me. But she never could or would. I’d get cryptic passive-aggressive hints instead (realizing this in hindsight mainly). Little to no straightforwardness ever from her.

        So, it made sense (again, in hindsight) when she decided to exit-affair me. She was always a coward. She could never just talk to me straight, or tell me if she was so unhappy she had to fuck her boss and “fall in love” w/him.

        After she left, many of my coworkers told me they thought I was pussy-whipped because I always bent over backwards to accommodate my work schedule for her. No, I just was trying to be considerate and balance things out in our relationship when I could.

        I’ve come to realize that while I have my own maturity problems, she had at least as much or more. She’s extremely immature about relationships. And thank God, all I have to worry about her anymore is her fucking up her or my relationship w/my kids. Her former boss and new partner can have her. As always, fuckwits deserve each other.????

  • How can anyone say that it’s OK to lie like this to your life partner? I hope her husband divorces her and gets the best possible settlement.

  • “Long-term monogamy is hard for everyone”

    Poor monogamy, getting criticised by the sociopaths yet again. Funny how it’s the damaged, deranged and/or dysfunctional who find it so hard.

  • I often wonder if people like Mrs Billy Connelly actually read these letters properly. Her answer seems to completely miss the massive consent and deceit issues that the letter writers situation contains. I can’t really believe that Pamela is really that terrible of a person to have fully appreciated these elements and give the advice she has given, just that she is churning out the column inches for the money.

    I’ve met a number of long term columnists for national newspapers and they all seem to just be cranking the handle for the regular pay-cheque.

    The letter writer is, however, an irredeemable terrible person who is probably getting great pleasure from having this letter published.

  • In general, it’s really nice to see someone giving equal weight to men who are being abused as they are to women. I’ve noticed this whole “girlboss” thing tends to normalize straight-up abusive behaviors that’d be heinous when done to anybody, but as long as it’s a man being degraded and taken advantage of this is a “win” against the patriarchy and status quo, or something. Yeah, right. It’s a net loss for the dignity of the human species, and the ability of any given individual to behave with ethics worth respecting.

    That comment about shitting anywhere is bang on. I’ve got no problem with any type of lifestyle as long as it’s truly open and mutually beneficial, no problem with open polyamory or anything like that, but boy howdy does anything remotely outre get used as a big ol’ bludgeon to mistreat ANYBODY who doesn’t fit in with this fresh, trendy new system of abuse justification. It’s almost like shitty people can be any people and any shitty person with enough lingo can use flowery language to justify abuse – almost like women are people too????? – but no, that’d be silly! Slay queen, reclaim your empire.

    I’d previously thought this website leaned a little hard on the critical, but I take it back. There’s too LITTLE plain-language equal-opportunity gloves-off crit of pure, raw, abusive BEHAVIOR without wrapping it up in demographic lingo* and I am all for anybody who’s being real about what really matters: actions, consequences, kinetics.

    *for the record I am such a Mega Official Minority that not only am I “”allowed”” to say that demographic-based us vs. them “wokeness” is hurting everybody, I actually have to hide my minority “credentials” to avoid being used by people who see my background as dollar signs for social currency. It’s a bit off topic, but despite never cheating or being cheated on I am seeing ALL kinds of parallels in these articles between intimate-cheaters and activism-parasites, it has me reeling and the language this columnist used REALLY drove it home. We need real focus on behavior and consequences now more than ever, in every arena.

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