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When Schmoopie Is a Public Figure

Dear Chump Lady,

My story isn’t a new one. In fact, it’s a classic. I’m just one more chump whose wife left him for the shiny FW politician. It’s been three years now, and I’m learning to rebuild. My ex was cheating on me with her political mentor, who is two decades her senior and with two grown children. He left his wife once word started to spread about his affair. The worst part of this is that his wife and I actively supported this “political” partnership, believing that it was important and empowering to support strong male-female coworkers.

And now those two are living together while we share custody of our three small children 50/50.

Slowly… oh so slowly, I feel like I’m getting to “meh.” I HOPE I’m getting to “meh.”

But every election season, when those yard signs go up… I hate it so much. Any steps towards “meh” regress back to “HOW CAN SO MANY PEOPLE PROUDLY SUPPORT THIS GUY? THEY KNOW WHAT HE DID! WHY DON’T THEY CARE!”

This year is even worse. I keep getting reminders of what they did. He’s aiming for a higher office, and he’s likely going to win. His political opponents are now reaching out to me for details of the affair while those two continue to lie about their affair timeline.

I can’t help but feel like they are getting away with it. She cheated on me. He cheated on his wife. Now they live together and he’s probably going to win. They got everything they wanted and ruined two marriages and two families to get it.

And the community knows about it. And the community still supports him.

How the hell do I get “meh” about that?

Sincerely,

PolitiChumped

****

Dear PolitiChumped,

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but generally speaking, people don’t give a flying burrito if a politician cheats. In fact, there seems to be causal relationship between hypocrisy and fundraising. Take Georgia senatorial candidate Herschel Walker — the guy who can’t remember how many extramarital children he has. The man is running on a platform of a total abortion ban, no exceptions for rape or incest — yet, when confronted with the evidence (medical receipts! get well card!) that he paid for a girlfriend’s abortion — RAISED $500,000!

Examples of this insanity are on both sides of the aisle, but it’s particularly odious with the family values, evangelical Jesus cheaters. Rules for thee, but not for me.


You’d hope that voters would hold flagrant douchebaggery against candidates, and maybe sometimes they do. But not in enough numbers. This is a whole other political tribalism rabbit hole discussion. It boils down to spackle, yes, he’s an asshole, but he’s my asshole. And it’s better than the baby-blood-drinking-devil-worshipping Other Party.

This never ends well. A person who would lie and cheat his/her own family is not someone you should trust with greater authority, IMO. It’s always quelle surprise at the later indictments.

But back to you, PC. It must be particularly galling to be surrounded by Schmoopie yard signs. The graffiti urges must be overwhelming. How can we help?

Let’s start with the first rule of getting to Meh. We don’t control other people. We just control ourselves.

You don’t control if your town’s knuckleheads vote for this guy, or if your ex is shacking up with him. But you do control if you want to tell journalists, or political operatives who ask, the truth. To be a politician is to have enemies. If he’s lying about the timeline, and you have receipts? That seems like an easy win for his opponents.

But then we’re back to — does anyone care? And does disclosure harm you in any way? I can’t answer that for you, not knowing the particulars of your divorce. Do you have some sort of disparagement clause? I don’t see how the truth is disparagement, but I’m not a family court judge.

Between you and the wife (is she still his wife?!), I’m sure you could challenge that timeline.

If people have already made the obvious assumptions, what’s the harm in confirming? Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. This affair with his staffer broke up two families. Eww.

My ex was cheating on me with her political mentor, who is two decades her senior and with two grown children.

Well, she hasn’t married him, and he hasn’t offered (is he still married?!), so I can’t indulge in the usual Schadenfreude of May/December colostomy bag romance. But come on, a 20-year-age difference? Do you see this going the distance?

It sounds transactional to me — he wants fresh pussy and she wants political acumen, and they’re both using each other.

Nothing to envy.

You have to know who YOU are, PC. You’re someone who has values and integrity, and wants that in a partner — and a political candidate. They both failed the test. They’re people you used to know, people you used to believe in. Will they go on to fail others? Oh sure. Probably.

We don’t control that.

What you’re living is on a bigger scale, but it’s the dilemma every chump feels when they want to warn the next one. CAN’T YOU SEE THIS PERSON IS A FRAUD?!

Yes, but they’re so sparkly! 

You want others to see what you see. But you’re up against an impression management machine. You can either rail against it, or decide you’ve got better things to do with your life. Sometimes the bad guys win. For now. During this window of time.

Things change. You’ve got a big job already being sane parent for the next 15 years or so. That’s enough. Election season is almost over.

But speaking your truth season is any time.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I’m not sure how I’d handle it. I guess I’d pick the news outlet I preferred and write briefly my statement: “I’m not my ex wife’s secret keeper. She and politician worked together and had an affair and broke up both marriages. It’s unfortunate and it’s been devastating to our families.” 🤷‍♀️

  • Agree, speak your truth but please be careful. We live in a world where Dr Fauci and his family got death threats. I grew up in a political family, worked in politics for years, and politics is fleeting. It seems really intense right now, but people’s memories are very short. Also I’m quite sure he will dump her for the next campaign aide.

    • I was almost beaten up in a restaurant last Friday and was yelled at and called a slut (I’m 70!). A bozo supporter was playing bozo bullshit on his cellphone so loud no one could hold a conversation. I complained politely.

    • You’re right that treading carefully would be wise. We’re also in a world where corrupt public figures invent death threats to make themselves look like victims, to obscure how their policies victimize others, to demonize opponents and to curb legitimate criticism with the claim that criticism is equivalent to fatwa. If I were PC, I’d make sure to document every encounter with the cheaters to ward off false claims of threatening behavior.

  • Donald Trump seems to have cheated on everybody he’s been married to. Joe Biden evidently took up with a married woman who is now his wife. Thank goodness for Obama. And thank goodness for George Bush II. Look at Clinton, and he was easily elected twice. Or John Edwards was almost able to get away with cheating on his dying wife but a baby put an end to it. What you need to understand is that it always, always comes down to money. If this particular politician has not screwed up my income I’ll vote for him again. That’s the bottom line every time. Your hopefully ex or soon to be ex is just one of those that is so in love with the trappings that she hasn’t looked at the reality. If he loses, or never makes it any further, at some point she might wake up but don’t count on it.

    • Please check your sources. There is no credible evidence that the current president engaged in an affair. First Lady’s ex-husband, a Trump supporter, began spreading that rumor and tabloids have printed it – no credible sources have. Trump, and his supporters, are not concerned with the veracity of A LOT of the stuff they spout.

      • I love chumplady. The sage advice and support have been instrumental in my healing and surely the healing of untold others. Please leave politics and and the rest of that jazz to another outlet.

        • Chump lady mentions a particular Jesus-cheater politico in the post. Then the first comment in this particular thread was a remark about cheating politicians on both sides. The second was a relevant correction of facts. The topic is public figures who cheat so a bit hard to avoid.

    • I looked into multiple sources. The timeliness on Biden is he met his wife about a year after her very short lived marriage dissolved her junior year in college. He has also been previously married but lost his 1st wife and daughter to a car crash. Looks like that one was a rumor

  • Sorry you are dealing with this. In my case it was opposite, he and I were the known and she was drug out of the alley. In my case he paid the price, but that was many years ago.

    I think many folks aren’t necessarily proudly supporting, except for the folks getting paid to do a hit ad. I think, in fact I am pretty sure that most are just holding their noses and voting between a choice of two or more shit bags. We would have to live in a cave to think otherwise.

    But, that doesn’t help in your case. I agree with CL, this is a match pretty much predetermined to go down in glorious flames. And yes in life for sure sometimes the bad guy/gal wins.

    I hope you rise to a wonderful new life sans shit-bags.

  • if i were asked about the details i would turn them back to the two cheaters for answers

    sometimes it is better to not answer and just tell people to ask the other people involved

    not satisfying, but it keeps you above the fray and since you have kids it might be the best course of action

  • Politichump – I think the recent exploration of celebrity cheating in this blog underscored how little impact cheating has on success in the entertainment field. After all, they’re being paid to mislead. As long as you have young children, you may need to stay above the fray. One brief statement might be called for, but don’t get dragged into an arena which is always filled with deception. I’m sorry for the shit sandwich you’ve been served. We chumps get it.

    • I’m not sure. Maybe the same principles don’t always apply in politics but it seems like certain entertainers are getting walloped by cheating scandals more than in the past. The takedowns appear to be less about church lady morals and more based in secular derision and distaste which is somehow more damning. All the king’s horses can’t seem to put the former shine back on them. Some may linger around but barely. Try Guy is dead meat and Adam Levine is pretty much finished. Patrick Dempsey never resurrected his career after being fired from TV, Ben Affleck has been relegated to indy films, Dominic West does bit parts and disappeared from entertainment reports and David Letterman, as craftily as he spun his workplace cheating, retired soon after the scandal broke. Tiger Woods, etc., etc. Since these individuals are products which make money for global corporations and a lot of people, you can see the frantic effort to resurrect images. I think that’s what the Perel nonsense is about– retro- and pro-active damage control to buffer public falls from grace. But the damage control doesn’t seem to be working like it once did in the Paul Newman/Elizabeth Taylor days when there were no ritual public confessions/apologies. Nothing seems to kill sex appeal more than sneers– certainly more effective than moralist finger waggling of yore.

  • PolitiChump, I can’t imagine how upsetting this must be. If I so much as see x’s name on an email, I’m a bit undone for a couple hours. Seeing this political spectacle would make getting to “meh” hard for anyone. I’d want to yank up everyone yard sign and rent a billboard: Politician x will cheat you, too! or some such. (CN could come up with more clever wording, I’m sure.)

    I really do think that living your best life will eventually make you the winner in all this. Odds are that the relationship between those two cheaters will not last because there’s nothing of substance holding them together. They’ll get old. He’ll eventually lose an election. And all the sparkle will be gone.

    Good luck.

    • When I traveled to Italy, I noticed that the closer you get to Rome, the dirtier the pope jokes became. The current pope is a little more popular than in the past but I remember John Paul II was being skewered right and left for mistresses he kept in the burbs, etc. People may not be open about it in certain company but many know more than they say and they judge. And when abusers of power trip up and start to lose power, watch the fun begin.

  • No advice to offer, just two thoughts.

    (1)
    I have yet to be personally close to anyone who was interviewed for a written piece and been characterized entirely accurately. And once it’s out there, it’s permanent. Worth a ponder.

    (2)
    Shamelessly tangentializing this post for advocacy. I have an ostomy bag. Saved my life before I hit my teen years (and as many of you know, that was a long time ago!) Way, way less gross than constant IBD bloody diarrhea, and has many advantages, including being able to use drop deodorant in the pouch (if you smelt it, YOU dealt it) and never accidentally letting one slip in public (again, YOU. 😂)

    Lots of people have ostomies and other bowel and bladder procedures you’ll never know about. We’re all around people who have them every day. (Of course, just as with anything, procedures can have complications that make some experiences harder, and there are many reasons people have temporary and permanent bowel and bladder procedures. You may have some individual experience that differs from mine. That’s valid, but it doesn’t change the fact that many of us lead rich full lives with, and because of, our pouches and other accessories.)

    Shout out to my peeps out there! This thing we call life is often challenging. We all deserve to live it as well and as joyously as we can. You are mighty! 😊❤️

      • And it’s a good example too. The health issues and problems that would lead to needing one, be it permanent or temporary, are unlikely to involve Sexy Fun Times! Obviously it isn’t a slight on people who use them as a demographic.

        A lovely friend had to use such a device for a few months as part of her (thankfully completely successful and now many years in the rear view) treatment for cancer, and she freely admitted that as an aphrodisiac, it left something to be desired. Her husband wasn’t remotely fazed, was just desperate for her to get well, and they are still very much together, but it was one of the less pleasant periods of their union.

      • And it’s a shorthand that resonates with me as my ex-husband was looking at colostomy surgery (after I left him) and wanted me to return to “take care of him.” I was done taking care of him; somehow Schmoopie wasn’t interested either. His daughter tells me he hasn’t had the surgery, so evidently he couldn’t find someone to help him out there. I doubt he’d be willing (even if able) to do the bag changes (or even emptying) by himself. Funny thing is, I would have been more than willing to take care of him had he not been such a cheating abusive douche.

      • I didn’t take it as a bad thing (I know some people assumed that I did, but I didn’t). Just jumped on a soapbox for a bit there. If one hasn’t been around a person with a very well-managed and modern ostomy, the stereotypes abound. I’ve been belly-sliding into third, swimming and snorkeling and hot-tubbing, enjoying a healthy sex life, hiking, backpacking, camping, foodie-ing, dancing, acting, singing, working, playing, and not-farting for over 40 years and if you knew me you’d never have a hope to know I have it unless I told you or you saw me fully nude. I was shamelessly using your post as an advocacy opportunity. 😁❤️

        Also, my butt is WAAAAAAYYYYYYY cleaner than your butt, 24 hours a day. Just sayin’. 😂

    • Agree completely.
      I was interviewed for a piece about bathroom renovation. I’d never do that again. Someone rolled all the towels, took lots of pictures, the writer asked me about my cabinet choices. Magazine comes out, not my bathroom in pictures, and I’m quoted saying “ I wanted to make a statement “. I would never say that. It is upstairs Primary Bath (formerly called master bedrooms). Why would I make a statement about a bathroom no one else sees but me?
      Who knows how PC would be quoted?

      • Totally, Sandyfeet. My mom was once quoted in an interview she never gave! I was sitting right next to her when she said “I have no comment” and hung up the phone, then the article the next day quoted her as confirming information. Terrible!

    • I didn’t hear today’s letter response as a knock on people with colostomies. A used diaper or hygiene product can be gross without implying that the person who used it was gross. Colostomy bags are similar.

      • All the same I’m going to stop using the colostomy quip. The AP in my situation was more than 20 years younger than FW and almost fifteen years younger than me. Furthermore, the affair was booze soaked and FW’s health was going to hell during that time. At the rate he was going, FW was destined to be decrepit in less than a decade. So was the AP. Women are statistically more susceptible to alcohol abuse, she’d been binging since her teens, was already bloated and unhealthy looking and had burgeoning chronic health issues.

        I admit it amused me to imagine what it would have been like if they’d stayed together. But out of respect for innocent people who suffer health problems unrelated to lifestyle, I’m going to cease being so specific about those projections or making jokes about it. Suffice it to say Schmoops would have ended up with a patient, not a prize. She would hardly be up to the effort herself and the communal narcissism would have made the situation a horror show.

  • Yeah, I don’t know if I can, or my political allies, would want to be Meh about this. Especially at the primaries level (it’s much more complicated at this point), but I really want my political party to hold its candidates accountable, to not be abusive on any level.
    I’ve wondered if one particular OW would run for office someday, or have more public jobs in which she gives lip-service to values I sincerely care about. In my fantasy world I could tell friends who ask me about her about the cheating (sure) but moreso the time/money they squandered by cheating while working at a non-profit together, the STIs, the pattern of her embellishing her past for social/cultural points, etc. There is plenty IN the cheating that is political and that someone else in her/our party could use to help clarify her lack of integrity

    • Further thoughts: I’ve been in a political office when someone brought me info of an employee cheating. This was prior to D-day, but the first thing I did was send the info to cheater’s wife, just in case I knew more than she did at that point. There were others on my team that were appalled at my actions for “meddling”, but I couldn’t stomach sitting on my hands and keeping wife in the dark, protecting cheater as we figured out what could be done from our end.
      I agree with CL that we need to accept, but I also strongly know that we need to change the culture as we can as well

      • Personally I’d opt to warn other chumps anonymously and veil the source because of a gut suspicion cheaters are statistically more prone to run tattlers down in parking lots. But I think when there’s risk of deadly STIs (not to mention financial abuse, etc.), there’s really no choice but to give a heads up.

        Like a lot of New Yorker who grew up hearing about the results of bystander apathy experiments following the Kitty Genovese murder which cast NYers as the most callous bystanders ever, I’m uncomfortable passively watching other people get trampled. People talked about those experiments for decades. Even in the late 90s you couldn’t trip on a candy wrapper in NYC without a gaggle of people running to your aid. When we were out on the West Side one night, a school friend got her purse snatched and– not kidding– a basketball court full of dudes went after the thief and formed a circle to trap him until cops came. When I fell down some stairs jogging in a foreign country, the couple who ran to help me were New Yorkers. In both incidents, everyone was joking about the social experiments or referring to Genovese. The collective statement was “See, we’re not all like that!”

        That social consciousness infected people like a stubborn virus. I think this is why, precisely when the Occupy movement was launched in 2011, the media went on a curiously timed rampage disputing the number of bystanders in the Genovese case. There were questions about which neighbor did or didn’t call the police or had been rebuffed and didn’t try again. Since it’s indisputable that Genovese died screaming in earshot of dozens of people, I’m not sure what’s being disputed exactly—maybe the phenomenon of bystanderism itself. I sensed the backlash was part of a politicized campaign to obliquely return people to their former “pluralistic ignorance” which the apathy experiments had shaken up for a remarkably long time.

        I recognize some of this going on in the Perel-ish media campaign to romanticize cheating. I have suspicions it’s meant as backlash against public figures being felled by #MeToo, “cancel culture” and possibly the increase in coercive control statutes being added to domestic violence laws that are moving towards criminalizing subviolent domestic abuse and control (which we all know are pretty much standard in cheating). My original reason for being so interested in the Genovese case– aside from being a New Yorker– was that, as a DV survivor’s advocate, it always puzzled me that no one ever talked about the most common reason the Kew Garden’s bystanders gave for their inaction: they thought it was a domestic abuse situation. Back then, one did not meddle in “domestic/interpersonal conflict.” I think the cheater apologias might be part of some oblique crusade to return the public to that mindset– the idea that victims are partly responsible for their own victimization (the old assumption about DV) so not truly victims and it’s better not to take sides. But I’d been “Genovesed” so I do.

  • I do find elections to be triggering. The enormously expensive method of choosing people who will impact our future is filled with word salad, trickle truth, DARVO, gaslighting and what about-ism. It has become the norm and gets worse each election cycle. It has desensitized our society to self-serving deceit and produced fear, hopelessness and apathy.

  • PC,
    Narcissism and politics seems to go hand in hand. I find it difficult to believe that anyone in politics isn’t ultimately out for themselves. Maybe your FW hid it well or you never saw it, but Now you do. I can imagine the frustration that you have to deal with seeing her/them in public and seeing those signs and media coverage. Take solace that everything has it’s season and in politics seasons pass fast for most. These narcissistic bastards are always attacking/undercutting each other. More than likely his/their time will pass by faster than you think. Justice doesnt always happen the way we want but hopefully your justice will come with a happier life. Stay Strong.

    • There are people in politics who are very much there to do good and serve the public. But for people who are narcissists, it’s a ticket to a kibble machine.

  • A lack of integrity in one area of life is an indicator of lacks in other areas. There is no such thing as a ” little problem” when it comes down to it. If you are willing to lie about money, You will be willing to lie about time, {I was working late!} or blaming someone else for your f@$k ups,{ my online account was hacked! Those are not my hours of PORN! Must have been our son! ??} All cheaters lack accountability and integrity. They are shitty people . Not worthy of trust.

  • Little Hammer and I went to see TAR on Saturday night. An outstanding film and thought provoking for many reasons. And it’s basically about the downfall of a celebrated, lauded artist, dripping with awards and accolades, because of her illicit sexual behavior and character rot.

    The element of the movie which I was thinking about last night is the separation many people make between outer achievements and character/behavior in personal life, and believe that one does not affect the other. I don’t think that, but lots of people do. I remember someone defending Bill Clinton, “Why does it matter as long as he is doing his job?” Because I believe our character informs our decision-making. The case of Jason Kolkema, the Michigan lawyer currently campaigning for a judicial position, caught on video by a neighbor beating his girlfriend with a belt, is a story I am following. How can this man sit on a bench and preside over assault cases? Thankfully lots of people are outraged and wondering the same thing. DV caught on camera seems to tip the scales of public opinion more than “just” cheating.

    I suspect it’s because cheating is just too socially acceptable, defended and excused by “love” as it has always been since the dawn of time. Look how many of us entertained the idea of staying with the cheater, desperate to fix our relationships and hang on to them. It’s a total dealbreaker for me now, but initially I was willing to pick-me dance and eat at the Shit Sandwich Cafe. How can I expect others to revile and shun the cheaters when I myself could not initially do so?

    Infidelity is just super fucked up and any change in attitude looks like it happens one chump at a time, very slowly, with lots of input from others whose attitudes have made the switch. 😪

    • I agree with you Velvet. Cheating does not seem to matter to anyone other than chumps. Cheating is accepted until it turns in DV or some larger abuse/crime. Last week I was in court. I am in a fault state and the grounds was adultery. The judge did not care about the actual adultery but was very interested in the money FW spent on Schmoopie. So much so that we are continued until next month (on a Tuesday). FW is anxiously trying to settle now where he had been so confident that he would get away with everything he wanted and he and Schmoopie could sail off into the sunset. Now it doesn’t look like he is going to “win”. My attorney and I are calling the shots and he must pay the price for settling.
      It is kind of heartbreaking that adultery does not matter as much as blowing up a family and pilfering the marital assets. I can live with it though since this means FW will be out of my life from that point forward. My son is NC with him already (of course all my fault). At least it will be over and I can take the highway to Meh.

    • Sean Connery was not only accused of domestic violence, but said in an interview something to the effect of he didn’t see anything wrong with hitting a woman, but you “probably ought not to do it in the same way you’d hit a man. It didn’t hurt his career any. I would hope that now it would be a deal breaker now in terms of electing someone to office or even choosing to do business with them.

      • That was awhile ago that Connery said that. He wouldn’t get away with it today. I’m sure he lost a lot of respect with that comment, but of course, he was bankable back then & got away with it.

    • I recently learned that the debate over cheating and what forms of it constitute abuse is more complicated than I thought. D’Oh. I was just reading a paper by David Buss, the prolific “mate poacher” researcher, in which he claims that battered women are a bit more prone to cheat than average. I was a bit stunned by the claim since I never saw that happen while working in advocacy. I’m wary of this idea. Battered women are clearly more likely than average women to seek therapy services and, within that setting, might be more prone to “spill” personal details than average people being studied in the course of limited social experiments. In other words, battering victims are more likely to be studied as a population and studied in circumstances where they’re more likely to be forthcoming. But that doesn’t guarantee rates of cheating among battered women are necessarily higher. It could suggest the obvious– that average people aren’t always forthcoming about things like adultery.

      Buss goes on to speculate that cheating by DV victims may be an attempt to escape dangerous abusers. He doesn’t mention the significantly increased risk of victims falling out of the frying pan and into the fire by getting “rescued” by subsequent abusers (who love to play rescuer) that would often make such a behavior self defeating. He does make the perverse speculation that decreases in cheating behavior in society might lower rates of DV which suggests he’s generalizing that DV could be a “reaction” to cheating. The latter goes against everything I know about DV, including the fact that virtually all batterers cheat and that their paranoia of being chumped tends to come from displacement and projection. While it’s true that suspicions of cheating are often behind domestic violence assaults and murders, statistically speaking, battering is overwhelmingly internally driven due to the fuckedupedness of batterers. To quote Shakespeare, “But jealous souls will not be answered so. They are not ever jealous for the cause, But jealous for they’re jealous. ’tis a monster Begot upon itself, born of itself.” But Emilia in Othello is specifically describing batterer mentality, not normal people mentality which often requires being bludgeoned with evidence to shake out of spackling/hopium mode.

      I don’t have to agree with Buss’s claims to recognize that the subject is becoming a powder keg. If it’s true that genuine DV victims at times “cheat”– if you could even call it that– to escape abuse, it makes it harder to claim that all cheating is always necessarily abuse and that it always makes a statement on character. But I would feel safe in saying it usually does and that, when it does, you might often find a pattern of other abusive behaviors. Where there’s any discrepancy, it’s obviously not legislatable to outlaw cheating on it’s own. But it seems to be legislatable to outlaw many of the typical abusive behaviors that facilitate cheating in light of the spread of coercive control laws. I feel encouraged that evidence of cheating is being increasingly considered in investigating patterns of abusive and controlling behavior that define coercive control. https://www.joplinlawyers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/FINAL-COPY-Infidelity-as-a-Consideration-in-Domestic-Abuse-and-Coercive-Control.pdf

      One thing is reassuring about Buss’s claims. There’s no way anyone like Perel is going to capitalize on any association between cheating and DV to bolster her claims that cheating is sometimes justified because the mere association would open up an entire can of worms that apologists aren’t prepared to deflect.

    • I just finished reading Christopher Hitchens’ “No One Left To Lie To” biography of Bill Clinton. Oh boy! WE can all recognize the cheater narcissist tactics in this book. It is deliciously scathing

      • Yikes, Hitchens might know a little about it. After he died, several of his fellow icons in the New Atheist movement– people he shared podiums with, hosted intellectual salons with for years– were exposed as rapists and harassers and at least one was outed as a child sex abuser. Sam Harris and Dawkins came out with a series of violent anti-islamic diatribes just before this that sounded like stumping for the oil and arms industry. It’s like they got so stoned on fan kibble that they went on the deep end.

        I was raised genuinely agnostic so it all looks too much like abuse of power within the church to me, except it’s a sort of existential cult. I’d like to launch the whole bunch in a Sputnik to keep each other company in outer space for eternity– Jesus pervs, “rationalist” pervs, politico pervs from every side, etc.

    • If cheating could be seen for what it is, it would look like Jason Kolkema AND a second person using a belt on the girlfriend. The video is extremely disturbing to watch (my dad used a belt on me and I was little) and unfortunate that the abuse that cheating is can’t be documented in a similar and concise manner.

      The trauma and pain and suffering and damage and injuries, and the violation, are not tangible and visible in the same way that assaulting someone with a weapon would be, making it easier for people to maintain denial.

      For my own purposes, I drafted an email with that video linked. The email says “He and the affair partner are this man. Little Hammer and I are the woman cowering on the couch.”

      It’s a visual to remind me who he is and what they did. It’s how I see cheaters and side pieces. I do not think cheaters or side pieces capable of love.

  • Ooooooh what a timely post, PC! Ooooooh what a great reasoning, CL!

    Yes, most voters don’t care about the morals of their candidates. As a certain orange-looking guy once said, “I can kill a man on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight and I won’t lose a single vote”. In my country one bozo candidate supports and is supported by a crook who just yesterday shot two federal police agents who were to arrest him, and machine-gunned their vehicle and exploded a grenade and called the ex president of our supreme court a flacid cxxt whore , but bozo so far hasn’t lost any votes…

    What I am doing incessantly until elections is asking bozo supporters questions about how things work. Lots of head scratching and I have been able to change some votes. PC, in your place I would talk to the press and opponents with all the care listed by CL, and tear down as many schmoopie yard flags as possible.

    BTW, bozo loves orange guy and his son was in DC on January 6th hoping to celebrate. Long live Democracy!

  • Anytime I have engaged in a conversation about religion or politics with someone I don’t know well, it has ended badly. I cannot imagine having a conversation with national media. I have come to the point I don’t want to know about the messy personal lives of entertainers, artists, or politicians. I want to enjoy their art, if they are artists or entertainers, and I want to know how they vote, for politicians. I think mixing religion and politics is fundamentally against the intent of the founders of the US, many fled other countries where their religious beliefs were not tolerated.

    I live in the South, so I don’t talk about a wide variety of things with my acquaintances. I hate it when politicians of either party talk about the health, or past bad life decisions of their opponents instead of their political decisions. No one in media seems to care about my personal distaste. To go back in time a bit, I don’t want to hear about President Kennedy’s lusty romps when his opponent is Richard Nixon. Their political differences were enough for people to make a choice. Time and historic facts can allow us to evaluate them in different categories, but what they did with their votes is what is most important to me. IMHO, if you eliminated all politicians who lie, or even cheat for any reason from being eligible for office, no one would be in office. Politics is a dirty game. The real power players, IMHO, are not the ones in office, but the ones who control their purse-strings. In addition, I remember when Kennedy being Catholic was an issue, when some people believed the Pope would run our country if Kennedy won. That obviously did not happen.

    I believe Walker was chosen because he was a popular football player in GA. If you vote based on his football popularity instead of his political views, I have to wonder whether you understand there is a difference? We should vote for the professed political opinions of the candidates. Some of those professed opinions should be important enough to propel voters from the couch. You may not like politics, and you may not feel your vote counts, but if you live in a democracy, you should at least make the effort, and vote.

    As far as talking to the media about your past experience — it will change your life. You will be thrust into a spotlight you may not like. Is it worth it? What do you think will happen, realistically? Will people really care? In my region this kind of trash journalism is called “stirring the pot”. It only gives people something to smell, it is doubtful it will change the results. For you it is past trauma. Do you want to resurrect those memories of that time if you have successfully moved on? This past marital activity is not criminal, it is just distasteful.

    • Agree.

      There are many many folks on both sides doing some nose holding and voting on their own political views.

      The ones I vote for never vote the way I want them to every time, but if they vote for the way I want enough, then that is who I will vote for.

      I don’t even know if I would want someone to vote my way all the time, as I fully acknowledge to myself that my way may not always be the best way.

      But again the choice is pretty much between two very flawed folks.

    • You are absolutely spot on. Talking to the media only succeeds in bringing up those memories, and it won’t change peoples’ minds. I don’t need that.

  • “You want others to see what you see. But you’re up against an impression management machine.”

    I’m often envious of the chumps whose ex ‘s are slumming. It’s obvious and tawdry and must be so much ‘easier’ than observing an ex who’s living a big, sparkly life (reality check: power and money are trappings, all chumps are in the same boat).

    Granting an interview or stating the truth rarely gets the result one would hope for, and in fact, trying to control the narrative seems to backfire. Any gains you might realize will be temporary.

    Chump Lady’s brilliance is in ‘gaining a life’. Not just a ‘see, everything turned out okay’ life (the cheater’s reasoning) but a ‘wow, s/he’s thriving’ life’.

    And I think a dad truly loving his three kids is about as authentic sparkly as it gets.

  • Politicians are corrupt.

    How do you get to meh?
    Recognizing that you are free from the self serving grasping cheater and are free to pursue an authentic life without the illusion that your spouse was somebody with credibility or morals.

    Awareness is the beginning of a new world where ones values are tested and honed and each of us is shaped by the quality of our experiences. I prefer this life.

  • Politichumped,

    I understand your frustration. When you know just how unethically a person has acted (or in your case, two people), and you know to what lengths the person will hide the truth about their unethical acts, you want everyone to know, and to care. You want the unethical person not to be rewarded. But often, the person who gets raked over the coals is not the unethical person, but you, because no one wants to hear the truth, or believes the truth, or doubles down when presented with the truth. I have gone through this with my now-ex.

    The personal temptation to speak, your individual NEED to speak, the general imperative to have the truth spoken and known, is huge. But here’s the thing: once you speak to the opposition, or to the media, you lose control of your story. You have no control over how it’s presented or how it’s used. Yo have no control over how you are represented. If you give it to the opposition, they will give it the slant they wish to give it, and use it in ways that might be even more triggering (attack ads on tv). If you give an interview, the journalist will create your persona, and it’s unlikely you will agree with how you are represented.

    If you decide to speak, be ready for this. Personally, I like the suggestions that limit what you say to something like “Well, neither X’s wife nor I divorced our respective spouses for nothing,” or “That’s for them to say” (the Melinda Gates approach).

  • Sorry you’re stuck eating this shit sandwich, Politichump. I am dealing with some of these issues on a much smaller scale within my own circles, and it’s disappointing. With young kids, I know you’re in it for the long run, but I hope things let up a bit after election season passes. Whatever you choose to do, know Chump Nation is behind you.

  • My situation was not nearly as bad as this, but my ex was the son of a traveling preacher and preached at times himself, so I had people from our denomination calling and emailing from all over wanting to know what happened. I don’t know how some of them tracked me down. I chose to give an elevator speech of a few sentences and leave it at that.

    My divorce was final just before the pandemic hit, so those calls and emails stopped entirely because people’s focus was elsewhere. Both original attorneys were religious men and had some editorial comments about the whole thing. Of course, attorneys google their clients and the clients of opposing counsel, so they knew.

    In the end, Tuesday arrived. Thankfully I had no custody issues or need for ongoing contact.

  • Your ex is shacked up with a politician?! Bahaha! That’s punishment in itself!! if a reporter got a hold of me, I’d say “good luck to whoever votes for him!” laugh & then hang up or walk away. You’re saying so much by not saying much! Or say nothing at all knowing your ex is flying too close to the sun, she’s gonna get burned. Her whole life being centred around that guy getting elected & keeping him there?! You ever watch the Good Wife or House of Cards? But that’s her problem. I know it stings, big or little, but your job is to keep yourself distracted, creating your own slice of the world & working towards meh.

  • Hey PC: If you were without children, then going scorched earth, should you choose to do so, would only affect you. But you have kids. They might be too young to understand what is going on now, but at some point they won’t be. And if this guy is an ambitious mofo, which is a given, yes, your kids will be part of the narrative for his election cycle, even if (or when) he dumps your wife. They are a potential news forever and ever now. I would be cautious about what you say on their account. If you feel compelled to say something, I think Her Majesty said it best: “Recollections may vary,” and leave it at that.

  • This is kind of relatable to my experience with my FW XW’s social media presence. Whenever she or her workplace (she’s in the “beauty” field) posts new pictures of her, she will always get a few comments like, “Beautiful inside and out!” or, “A beautiful lady with a great heart.” You don’t know how many times I’ve fantasized about making a burner profile to reply to these comments with something like, “If you only knew….” Even her friends and relatives that knew about her year+ affair leave these types of comments, unbelievable, where is the sense of decency!

    • I wonder if the people who comment on anyone’s “inner beauty” are responding to impression management. I bet a lot of cheaters flaunt their newly found charity and morals.

    • LOL, same.

      Just yesterday, former OW posted how the only people worth spending your time with are people who believe in truth and kindness, and I SO wanted to reply (I DO have a burner account) “I guess that means no one should spend time with you”. But I don’t do it. U gh.

      • Light – My X’s AP teaches elementary school. I thought she was my friend. She carpooled my kids, gave me birthday presents, exchanged hundreds of texts, spent so much time together. Then she decided to try and poach the father of my children, having sex in my house (just one of many locales), lying/stealing from me just as he did. Her class motto is “be kind to each other”.

        • Oh, OW used to bring her kids to my house for playdates and I’d make dinner for all of us. She was fucking my husband behind my back almost from the beginning (we were all coworkers, that’s where they met) while pretending to be my friend. I invited her to spend Christmas with us because she’d split up with her husband a couple months after I met her and it was her first Christmas without her kids. I felt SORRY for her. Truth? She doesn’t care about truth. I begged to know what was going on. She looked at me as I was crying and said “nothing is going on”. She’d been having an affair with my husband for two years at that point. TWO YEARS.

          Kindness? She watched me fall apart. Watched me waste away with anxiety (I lost so much weight). She aligned herself with FW against me, even though I’d never been unkind to her. She would push and shove me, scream at me, berate me, stalk me, threaten me. I’m sure she spread lies about me. She tried to get me fired from my job claiming I was “harassing” her (I literally sat in my cubicle working, trying to hold in my tears, that’s it – I never bothered her at work).

          “Truth” and “kindness” are certainly not her character traits. And now she goes on Twitter and talks about how she was a victim of an abusive relationship (with my ex). Sorry babe, you signed up for that. You don’t get to paint yourself as innocent when you knew the guy was married, and then found that a guy that cheats on his wife and lies to her might not … be a good guy.

          Oh well. She gave me a ticket out of my hellish marriage, since I was so beaten down that I probably wouldn’t have left him otherwise. But FW dumped me unceremoniously for her, so I got out and got free.

    • I once succumbed to this temptation, wisedupchump. Sometime after leaving for good (but still on hopium and in contact with physically/emotionally/financially abusive ex, who was alternately hoovering/scorched earth) I wrote a response to a fawning comment on his YouTube channel — something to the effect of, “It’s just an illusion.” I let his hypocrisy get to me. I used a made-up name and didn’t reveal that I was the longterm partner behind the scenes for years, who he never credited or acknowledged, but instead excluded from the videos of the life he shared with the public; I didn’t expose him as an abusive cheater and liar, my comment wasn’t menacing or threatening, and I doubt anyone even noticed or read into it, including FW. Yet afterwards, I felt childish, pathetic and ashamed, and I decided to never again stoop to that level, nor to pay attention to the garbage fantasy life and persona he projected. No more kibbles, no more ammo. Aside from encouraging him, helping edit when asked, making graphics/business cards, doing work on the house/land behind the scenes, buying his computer and renovating an office for him, enthusiastically sharing his channel to help spread the word, and never complaining about the time and energy it took him to make a weekly documentary about his (our) life — I actually was quite removed from and cared little about his internet hobby/celebrity while we were together. I only cared because I wanted him to feel happy and fulfilled and to do what he wanted to express himself. I didn’t read the comments, I gladly stayed out of the videos, and I stopped even watching them, for the most part; honestly, they began to make me cringe, and I saw enough of him IRL. So there was zero reason to pay attention to any of it after I left. Like my ex-MIL, and like FW’s mind games, I do not miss the constant presence of those ego-stroking videos, nor their production, one bit. Good riddance!

    • FW XW is on social media putting up glamor shots and posting bad things about me from what I am told. Less than a year and a half from D day and 5 months from divorce one would think she has better shit to do. It aggravates me and I would love to rebuttal but I have been instructed by many of my male chump friends from the beginning to ignore it. That and Mr CL’s advice of if it feels good dont do it have saved me a lot of money and grief. Funny that the tides are starting to turned on her. I have heard people say to me that they feel she is damaging our 15y/o with these posts and now are starting to realize what went on. That being said most people don’t really care and therefore it is not worth the effort to try and convince people of what she did. The farther I get from Dday the more I can ignore the impulse to correct the story. That is not to say that it doesnt anger the shit out of me, but it wont change a thing going forward. am not at MEH but I can only control me and put my energies into my son. Recently he asked to read her deposition and I told him no. When he asked why my answer was because she is still your mom. He knows my honesty and integrity.

      • “She’s still your mom.”

        Something that I have to remember when the topic inevitably comes up with my kids.

        Thank you

    • wisedup: my mom calls the people that leave these type of comments on a boast-poster’s post “toadies”. 😂 They’re toadying up to her in hopes she’ll leave the same gushing comments on their posts. It’s a superficial exchange & not worth giving any credence too.

      • When we were together FW would routinely complain about how people don’t reciprocate with “likes”on FB.
        I guess for some it becomes addictive, the need for admiration

  • My ex was a public figure as well. After a couple of D-days I would go to events and have people fawn all over him and tell me how lucky I was to be married to him. At one event someone introducing him stated, “he was a man you could trust, and he keeps his promises.” I almost threw up in my mouth. instead, I just smiled while dying inside.
    I finally left; & he has been with the AP ever since. She moved into my house and took my place as his arm accessory. It was brutal.

    It has helped me to think of their life together. He is hard to live with, as are most narcissists. I smile knowing how he speaks to her, just like he spoke to me. (as I have been told by others) She “won” the shiny turd, congratulations! I chuckle knowing that he was a miser with money and that she loves to spend, spend, spend!
    Hopefully you will get to the point you smile at the choices they made. No, it is not fair, I lost most of my financial support at the time and a standing in the public arena. Most people could know why I left, yet his career did not suffer. I have enjoyed not being in the “spotlight” and I realized he was not nearly as a big a deal as he thought he was.
    Just imagine what their life together is, maybe you can find some humor.

  • These people (OP’s ex-wife and her “mentor”) are phony, shallow, dishonest and morally corrupt — and yet they feel qualified — entitled, even — to lead?! It’s so bizarre. And I don’t understand how they can look themselves in the mirror, let alone blast their names and faces onto every surface possible.

    Over two years after leaving an FW, and I still don’t even want the responsibility of entering into a romantic relationship with someone until I’m solid enough to feel I could be a solid partner — and I didn’t do anything to harm anyone in the first place! And here are these politician FW’s, covering their tracks and running for office after blowing up two families. No shame. Another reminder that I should not project my own values and beliefs onto others — especially when they’re known fuckwits.

  • Politichumped, that must be so painful for you and your three YOUNG kids. And I’m concerned about your kids and how your ex and new spouse are handling the 50/50 custody split during campaign season. Is this addressed in your custody agreement? Are they using your kids in any way, such as attending campaign events, posting family photos, free labor for the campaign office? HAve they been asked to wear campaign buttons or speak to media? I’d suggest therapy ASAP for all four of you, because your kids must be wondering how to handle questions from friends and/or adults they encounter. They may be feeling some of what you’re feeling. I’d also ask a lawyer to what extent your kids can appear in public, whether it’s your ex’s social media or the swearing in for taking office, if there is one and if he wins.
    Going public could misfire badly, since they could easily accuse you of being the bitter spouse (don’t we all know that one) or making up lies.

    I’d ask a therapist about systematic desensitization so you aren’t triggered by campaign signs and ads.

    And what about channeling some of your energy into campaigning for his opponent, if that’s a decent (As far as you know) person?

    Hope things will be better once election season is over. I do suggest therapy for you and your kids, though, whichever way it goes. Short-term specifically to address this.

    • Such good thoughts and recommendations, Goodfriend.

      As far as involving the kids in the campaign, they know that would be political suicide, and I won’t allow it.

      They can do whatever they want if it’s just the two of them. The more they flaunt their relationship in front of the world, the harder it will be to keep their secrets. I can let them sabotage themselves. The political opposition can do the work for me.

      My therapist is helping me through with systemic desensitization. I’m glad you brought it up.

      And I’m taking my oldest to therapy today!

      • I’m glad you’ve covered these points and are getting systematic desensitization, because of the potential for triggers wherever you go, including your TV and computer (ads and news), mail, email and just driving, walking or public transit. I don’t know how old your kids are, but even pre-schoolers kids can benefit a lot if they work with a play therapist that allows them to play out and dramatize their experiences. And if your ex and new man have coached your kids on saying something that’s positive about them and their family, it’s something the therapist can tell you and it’s worth sharing with your attorney. What they may think of as media prep may be something a judge would consider parental alienation.
        Best of luck.

  • lately, i’ve taken to saying things like “there were troubles” and “timing was hazy”. it’s a way of saying “you may be right, but i couldn’t possibly comment”. the last is a direct takeaway from the original house of cards, a wonderful TV series (limited).

    there are other ways to communicate besides the direct truth.

  • On a related note (public figure cheating) I think Bridget Moynihan must be doing a secret ‘happy dance’ now that it appears that Tom Brady and Gisele appear to be divorcing. Remember, Bridget was PREGNANT with HIS baby when he cheated on her with (and married) Gisele.

    • Yeah, and his fans didn’t care about any of that as long as he won football games. I am not one of his fans.

  • You know, you just have to look to the future and your kids. I’m at nine months and it sucks, I couldn’t imagine having to deal with something like this. I do know that I have retained the moral and ethical high ground throughout, and that is enough to sustain me when I get down on myself no matter how much it gets to me.

    Yeah, she may have his coattails to ride, but you are the same one, and you have friends and family that love you and really knew what went on.

    They’re not good people. I am glad my ex is out of my life to the extent that she is, it has really clarified things.

  • Well, this is a sucky situation for sure. If I had young children, I’m afraid I’d have to leave it be. (Those babies are far more important than some FW. And when they’re old enough, they’ll figure out that Mommy is a FW.)

    As others have said, you have no control over the press. If there was a way to get them to guarantee to write EXACTLY what you said about the situation, maybe. But no journalist would allow that. They all have an angle. And a narrative they must follow to be published at all.

    I’m inclined to not vote in a particular race when I find the candidates unacceptable. Could be morals, could be policy. It’s my choice. And yours.

    Y’all vote for whomever you want. Or not. That’s what makes this constitutional republic worth having! 🇺🇸

    • Even with college kids, my response was only a few sentences with the vast majority of people. I figured that people don’t really want to hear my junk, and I was struggling enough with how much space he had in my head.

      Sure, I had close friends that I dumped on, but most people got a generality. I used to say something about how he lives in another state, and we were in the divorce process/ are divorced. I prefer not to discuss it further. End!

  • Hey politic-that would so suck!!! Good luck! Hope this douchebag and your ex are not in my district. I make it a point to know this type of info and always vote for the other person unless that person is a different kind of douchbag-like election denying Insurrectionist. Peace and hugs!

  • PolitiChumped, I’m so sorry. I feel this. My X and AP (my former friend) aren’t politicians but X is handsome, talented, a leader in his profession, sparkly-with-sequins (SO sequin-y I’ve wondered for years if he’s gay – but that’s a story for another day), and AP is a pretty, demure hometown girl. They have so many things going in their favor. Upon the divorce, and after years of bemoaning social media, my X rejoined and is now posting pics of our kids on their dadventures to cool places, along with images of his artwork. All the people I thought were my friends – who know exactly what he did – who don’t speak to me anymore – are “liking” and commenting his posts. To me, it absolutely appears to be image management (look at me! I’m a Good Dad taking my kids to on trips and shit!) and/or a way for him to receive strokes and affirmation (and he has). Like you wrote “THEY KNOW WHAT HE DID! WHY DON’T THEY CARE!” and like CL wrote, “CAN’T YOU SEE THIS PERSON IS A FRAUD?!” Guess I’ll have to bookmark this page and read CL’s response, oh, every day for the rest of my life.

      • I didn’t know he was back on. I opened IG and there he was, front and center. The last time he was active on IG was four years ago, when we were still married.

        • In other words, X’s re-emerged presence was a surprise to me. I’m not on social media much anyway. Feels way too precarious already.

          • Juniper: as soon as my ex “re-emerged” on SM, I knew he was bored & starting to look outside the OW for kibbles & possibly a replacement OW. Sure enough, with a little digging around, I found him posting on a public forum with a young attractive woman, completing ignoring everyone else’s comments except for hers! If only I could feel badly for the OW….but nope!

  • It is sickening how politicians and celebrities cheat with seeming impunity . I can’t do a damn thing about it except vote/donate by my conscience.

    I’m sorry you were chumped.

  • Oh PolitiChump-I feel your pain…

    I’m 5 years out from D-Day, 4 years from moving out and almost 2 years from finally getting my divorce and some things can still trigger me…

    My ex cheated on me with a woman whom I considered a dear friend who is a teacher at a local high school.

    This woman not only cheated on her husband with my husband-but several other friends’ husbands as well.

    She was more into the chase than keeping them around-so she dumped my ex even before I found out.
    A few months ago I saw in the local paper that she received the “Teacher of the Year Award” from her place of employment.

    I wanted to SCREAM!! “DON’T THEY KNOW THIS WOMAN IS A CHEATING SCUMBAG!!!” It’s not fair that she gets this award and ANY accolades that go with it!!!

    That being said-I ran into her brother in law recently and he told me that she’s engaged to the football coach at her school-but they haven’t gotten married because they keep breaking up and making up and that he doesn’t have anything to do with her because she’s a walking disaster.

    My point is-things can look so shiny and neat on the outside-but can be stinky pile of trash on the inside.

    Remind yourself that you are much, much better off without your cheating ex and all of the stinky trash she brought to your relationship.

    • She won Teacher of the Year?? Ugh! Noooo!!! I wanna scream along with you, Stronger. It isn’t right. And the fact that she was your friend…just UGH.

      • Thank you Juniper! What these cheaters do to us is horrible! I take comfort in the fact that God is my Co-Pilot and Karma is my Debt Collector 😉.

    • Mine cheated with his daughters mom. (My stepdaughter)
      How did you find out about this and what did he do immediately after?
      I know some people here tried wreckonciliation
      Just wondering if you did. I don’t know what I’m doing. In limbo. I’m not sure why, still

      • Hi Shann,

        I did try counseling the first time I found out about my ex’ cheating several years ago with a different woman I didn’t know-mainly because we had 3 very young kids at the time and I couldn’t imagine them growing up being shuttled back and forth between two homes.

        We did marriage counseling and I said he had to see a separate counselor for his own issues. He only went a couple of times.

        The second time I found out about his cheating with my friend-it was my friends who told me.

        The ‘friend’ had passively/aggressively complained to our group of friends about how my husband and at the time was constantly hitting on her.

        It hurt pretty bad that so many close friends (or so I thought they were) knew about this and didn’t tell me for about a year.

        I found out the night before our 23rd wedding anniversary.

        I calmly told him the next morning that I knew what had been going on with him and her. He totally denied it and went around the whole day acting like nothing had happened-hugging me and kissing me, making small talk..

        That was a big sign for me-so I told him it was over.

        I don’t think he believed me-even after I moved out-and he continued to tell our mutual friends that even tho I bought my own house-I was begging to come home to him.

        Cheaters aren’t really people who can reason-that’s the lesson I’ve learned.

        Good luck and I hope you find the positives in this situation-because there are many ❤️.

  • Anecdotal evidence, but I do love stories like this:

    Mark Sanford (the politician who lied about hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really in Argentina with his AP) is no longer with his AP. I’m guess their relationship didn’t survive their mutual shittiness. So much for true love.

    Meanwhile, his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, is now married and, let’s hope, happy!

    NOTE: I’m not implying that chumps have to remarry to have a good life. Nor should we assume that a photo of two smiling people–Jenny and her new husband–means they are doing well. I get all that. But, damn, I really hope she is happy.

    Living our best life–whatever that may be–is the best revenge. Maybe viewing it as “revenge” is incorrect and not very meh of me, but whatevs…

    • ” I’m guess their relationship didn’t survive their mutual shittiness.”

      And even if they were still together, they still have that mutual shittiness to deal with. Those folks (well most) don’t change and they take whoever they are with them.

    • I thought about this one, too. The affair collapsed as soon as Jenny had given him the boot. Ever since that, I’ve wondered if part of the “thrill” for these guys, is the fact that it’s illicit, and possibly they like having sex with no possibility of commitment. As soon as you hand them their freedom, there’s suddenly no more attraction. I think my ex was like this. He loved the idea of the double life.

      • Agree. The double life must give them such a thrill!

        x seemed oddly disappointed when I finally said to him, “I don’t care what you two do or where you go.”

        In an instant, I deprived them of all that sneaky, naughty fun. #NCforthwin

    • Just found this article about Sanford:
      https://www.businessinsider.com/mark-sanford-extramarital-affair-chapur-argentina-hiking-appalachian-trail-2021-8

      After Jenny (his now-ex) found a trove of letters between Sanford and the AP, Jenny requested a separation. According to Sanford, he then goes to Argentina to visit the AP but tells everyone he’s hiking on the Appalachian Trail:

      “I had concocted the strangest of plans in a desperate effort to get my life back,” he wrote. “Jenny wanted a quick and timely resolution to the relationship, and if she didn’t get it, she would be taking my news public in early July. She had never been one to bluff. I told her that the counselors we met with had all said that if one took the actions of love, in time good things would follow.” He added: “I was committed to the actions, but we needed time. We hadn’t gotten into this problem overnight, and we wouldn’t get out of it overnight. She was, however, fixed on a quick resolution.”

      So, basically, it was Jenny’s fault because she was in such a gosh-darn rush! Also, to “get his life back”? What? Who took it?

      “My office called me in Argentina later that night,” he wrote. “I felt as though I had gotten word of my impending execution. I just didn’t know its form. I felt as though life as I had known it was over. Both were true.”

      The use of the word “execution” implies that he thought people were coming at him unfairly–clearly signally that it was an unjust punishment a man who had “fallen deeply in love.” He’s just a poor, misunderstood man who fell in love.🤮. And society buys this logic.😡

      • Poor Mark Sanford. This must have been awful. It’s definitely the kind of thing you need to think long and hard about, BEFORE you cheat on your wife, especially if you’re a US Senator and live your life under the glare of publicity.

  • I’d say, “He/She puts the Ho in homewrecking, so that’s the platform bedrock to vote on…” Or “I’m now registered as independent.”

  • HOW CAN SO MANY PEOPLE PROUDLY SUPPORT THIS GUY? THEY KNOW WHAT HE DID! WHY DON’T THEY CARE!”

    You see PolitiChump, being chumped is something people completely take for granted until it happens to them. The only person that feels the pain and sharp betrayal acutely is the chump. People really underestimate how painful it is. This is why I no longer bother to explain what I’m going through to anyone. They really won’t get it unless they’ve been there. I also believe we now live in a society where people are quick to judge leaders not by their character but rather by their careers/ degrees/ accomplishments/ talent. It’s almost as if we can separate the public and private persona as if the two have nothing to do with each other. We forgive unrepentant pastors who cheat because of their preaching talent and charisma. We look the other way at politicians who are unfaithful to their spouses because of their public service and promises plus their charisma, etc. They don’t care because as long as he fulfills his campaign promises and makes life easier for them somehow he’s fine. But should we trust a man who had ZERO qualms about dumping his kids and the wife who probably helped him get to where he is now and was brazen enough to show his face and new wifetress in a quest for higher office? I wouldn’t trust this person to dogsit for me let alone with my tax dollars and vote. In terms of how to handle it, like CL said, we only control ourselves. Try your best to focus on yourself and helping your kids heal and thrive in this shitshow. Election season will be over soon. There’s a proverb in my native language that says “character is like pregnancy. You can only hide it for so long. Sooner or later it will show”. The new wifetress has won a sparkly turd. You were released by a sparkly turd. I really believe sooner or later you’ll be grateful when he’s under investigation or facing jail time for misappropriated funds or some abuse of his political power. He’s an abuser and abusers gonna abuse. Stay strong. You’ve got a family in Chump Nation. (((Hugs)))

    • “being chumped is something people completely take for granted until it happens to them. The only person that feels the pain and sharp betrayal acutely is the chump. People really underestimate how painful it is. This is why I no longer bother to explain what I’m going through to anyone.”
      Well said. It is interesting that at times you will tell your story and the listener will get a look on their face, a look that is tough to describe, but one that tells you they have been through it. You both realize it, and at that point you go from acquaintances to solid friends bonded.

      • I saw that look at my Pilates class, an older women had such a look of kindness, understanding idk what it was. Then she said 40ish years ago her husband was cheating and her 5 year old had clued her in; the little girl had said Daddy always talks to AP ….She stayed with him but said her side of the family always hated him. She rarely spoke of him fondly. Made me feel bad for her.

  • Ugh, I’m sorry. Seeing ads and signs would definitely make it tough to get to “meh,” so I’d focus on caring for yourself and your kids the best you can as you get through the painful election season. I think the karmic consolation with a politician is most people don’t think very highly of them, if they think of them at all. Most people are pretty ignorant of politics, half will hate a person based on their party alone, and even supporters will be disgruntled at some point.

    Icky side note – one of Herschel Walker’s out-of-wedlock children lives down the street from me. I know it’s his child because the boy’s mom used to work with my FW. I’ve never seen this son mentioned in the news, luckily, but it shows he probably has more kids out there than anyone knows.

  • This jumped out at me: “His political opponents are now reaching out to me for details of the affair while those two continue to lie about their affair timeline.”

    If voters don’t care about cheating, then why are they lying about the timeline?

    I think if they’ve opened the door to this topic by lying about the timeline, it’s perfectly reasonable to respond and correct the record. I believe Rudy Giuliani learned this the hard way, when his then-not-quite-ex-wife graciously corrected the record.

    And he lost the election for Senator from New York … to Hilary Clinton.

  • I appreciate Chumplady but the strong political bias isn’t the greatest. Anything non Clinton on this site is just very soft, in fact it was something along the lines of it almost makes sense because at least he is Bill Clinton. Yes hypocrisy between someone’s supposed values and life is extra disgusting. The reason people will still vote for someone who had an abortion who’s banning abortion is to avoid ending innocent human life. Something the other party will not do. Also it strikes me that aside from that, abortion just makes women sexually available to be used and discarded by men, many times married men. Maybe men who are married would put a little more thought into the women they are sleeping with if they couldnt apply pressure to her abort any resulting pregnancy. It’s crazy that people don’t acknowledge how abortion is mostly about mens right to have sex with women they don’t want to take responsibility for. Many of my friends have had abortions and all but one were abusively pressured into it by the men who acted like they loved them….right until pregnancy then it was another story. Much trauma and abuse, wasn’t a liberating free choice experience and I suspect that’s 95 percent of abortion are frightened unsupported women with men who couldn’t care less how they feel, or what they want.

    • “abortion just makes women sexually available to be used and discarded by men” — no, some men sexually use and discard women. (Women have also been known to use and discard men. No gender has the market cornered on shitty behavior.) Would you make the same argument about birth control? I agree with you that there is almost zero accountability for men who get women pregnant. (I’ve got thousands in unpaid child support, as do a gazillion other people in the U.S.) And the whole abusive sex argument aside — abortion is health care. Ending an ectopic pregnancy has nothing to do with coercion.

      And… I’m going to leave it there, as I hate moderating my site, and seeing political fights on a support site.

        • Someone online: it won’t make them more responsible. They just get sneakier or will probably try & bring back the Middle Ages system of making kids either legitimate or a bastard.

      • Off topic but see the “Masters and Johnson” story. You may already know but I’m studying abnormal psychology and forums their personal story very fitting for your site. Its Textbook-and together they wrote many!

        And about the above topic:
        I was pregnant as a very young age and knew i wouldn’t be supported nor could I support myself. I made a decision that’s followed me for a lifetime. I have to meet my maker and discuss this one day… and I’ll leave it at that

    • I appreciate that this is a support site, but WOW! You have a warped view, ‘Getting Old’, of women’s right to make their own health care choices. Character-lacking men aren’t the only reason one might choose an abortion — shitty genetics with inheritable diseases, a woman whose pregnancy was discovered just prior to starting chemotherapy and who will now be ineligible in Missouri for life-saving cancer treatment because the fetus trumps her cancer diagnosis, a woman whose fetus has innumerable birth defects and is unlikely to survive, or the pregnant 11 year old whose Daddy enjoyed his “special times” with her . . . they don’t deserve to be forced to carry a pregnancy to term because someone they don’t even know wants to “protect innocent lives.” How about protecting the innocent life of the mother?

  • People who are willing to cheat on their spouses are willing to cheat anyone. That is just a fact.
    A politician in my area was convicted of felony crimes. He also had real problems involving strippers. Now out of jail, he wants “redemption” and another political job. These people are clueless.

  • My phone keeps kicking me out mid-comment! So I just want to mention this will not last and if they “got what they wanted” one of the two will notice this is NOT what they want. You’ll see or hear about it imploding!
    Also I hope Tracey will look up and share the story of “Masters and Johnson”.(YouTube) A dr and his assistant doing sex studies, leaves his spouse for her, then 20 years later dumps her for another… Dies soon after
    Studying abnormal psychology please check this out!

  • Sometimes the Karma Bus does stop for them, and then reverses and runs over them again… Just ask Liz Truss (cheater, OW and now ex-Prime Minister of the UK). Publically cheated on her long-suffering husband (who stayed), she lasted 44 days in office, the shortest in UK history. I’m sure that the AP’s ex-wife is trying not to look too smug as she does a happy dance! Karma Bus = 1, Liz Truss = 0

  • Its not slander if what you say is true and journalists ask. You could also make a public statement endorsing his opponent. A Nevada Senate candidates family did just that. We will see how that plays out. You are doing nothing wrong by supporting the other guy publicly. I know I would actively campaign against my FW if I had the opportunity and platform. Consequences. I would freely offer to speak at rallies, be put on flyers and be on TV endorsing the other person. That would be awesome!

  • It is hugely frustrating and mind boggling how these clowns get to annihilate ppl and move on to the next planned diorama seemingly unscathed from the destruction they orchestrated.
    I had a similar situation myself. FW getting a presidential appointment, moving into the job’s residence with his mistress while 100’s upon 100’s of ppl showed up for the pompous bs ceremony for the job to honor his awesome greatness. ( anyone have a spare barf bag?)
    A position we both dreamed about getting many times over the years, after he retired from his 40 year job.
    All the admirers imagining him as this amazing, generous, capable and intelligent man of honor and integrity while he actually completely decimated his wife and three kids in the background with all his decades long abuses, lies, rants,rages, serial infidelities and other massively harmful deceits that none of us have recovered from four years later.
    But he and Schmoop( who knew he was married with kids all along but denies that to my kids) are honored at this ceremony attended by all his extended family( that I’ve known and loved for 44 years, but I got tossed to the curb a couple of months before) and many of our Switzerland friends that feel like knowing this important ‘big shot’ and want a ride on that train, no matter what a pos the man actually is, they don’t even care about that, they just want the train ride.
    Only one of my three of my children attended the event, my youngest optimistic son. He’s not fully ready to accept his hero dad is a complete and total fake yet, but he’s getting to that slowly and it’s been a painful realization for him and hurtful for me to observe.
    I had government clearance ppl trying to sit down with me before his appt for a 20 min interview and I successfully blew them off after countless attempts, because I knew if he didn’t get that appointment it would be utter hell for me and the kids as he came after us for blowing up his dream. (they would be essentially putting another malignant narcissist in a job that they fired the last malignant narcissist from for the same issues!)
    I felt my family would be safer if he got the job and had that distraction so his entertainment didn’t have to be destroying me any further or damaging my kids, it could keep him off our backs for a few years.
    I knew he could be good at the job ( he was good at everything he touched, except ppl) and other than beginning to destroy Schmoop ( which I’m sure he now is as he married her 2020) he would be a very capable candidate, as strange as that really is)
    It’s very difficult to know the truth of a person and then to watch others put them on such a high pedestal, knowing nothing of the background of abuses he dishes out. It has forced me question completely everything I know to be true in life.
    It’s a surreal experience to live, as we all are, unfortunately, fully aware.
    But we can’t change any of it and are challenged to live in the only truth we know, our own.
    My life and character will speak for itself and does.
    So will his some day down the road, I guess that it’s possible it could all blow up in his face.
    But then I see him able to readjust and go on and con some other unsuspecting, unaware souls. We are all very replaceable, he only needs his own greatness intact to survive and can keep creating that with new, very expendable ppl.
    Schadenfreude may or may not show up, but I’m on my way to a place where I no longer need to care if it does or doesn’t. He is not a good person, that’s all I need to know to be glad he’s gone.
    My life has shrunk in size in so many ways and I still feel really broken by what was done to me.
    What remains in my life are all the people who actually do share genuine loving relationships with me and it feels very freeing to feel a sense of safety and peace, away from the constant drama and chaos that ate every second of my life worrying about and trying to spackle like a madwoman.
    No more games, just pure and simple living in truth and safety. I do feel good about that.

    • Chumpasaurus, I’m so glad that your post ended on such an upbeat note. And I’m sure many of those hundreds of people at the ceremony knew that he had discarded the loving, loyal family who aided him on his climb up the ladder. Don’t be so sure that the floozy is being warmly accepted…more likely that she is just being tolerated. Character will always reveal itself. And those two will never enjoy “pure and simple living in truth and safety;” of that, I am certain. My best to you and your family.

    • How sad that you felt you had to avoid the “government clearance people” to protect him and his image, in order to to avert his retaliation if you told the truth. And what an awful situation for your kids, and for you as the mom of those kids, seeing their disillusionment at their dad’s hypocrisy. I’m glad you don’t have to spackle any more.

  • “There seems to be a causal relationship between hypocrisy and fundraising” 🤣🤣🤣🤣
    CL hit the nail on the head. My ex FW OW-turned-girlfriend works for a charity FW and I support. I’m 2 years on from D-day but this particular charity used to trigger me every time I saw its logo. It’s a well-known charity in Australia and OW organises fundraisers for them. For a time I was considering not supporting the charity (I’m a long-time supporter), but after some thought, and after I’ve healed, I still support the charity because they can’t help that two idiots work for them, and plus a lot of people use the charity’s services. But I remember well how I used to dry retch seeing photos of the two idiots on social media (before I blocked them) doing their “good deeds” and how people were praising them for being such “good people” and was so tempted to out them – but I’d just look like a bitter and angry “scorned spouse” so I just left it alone.
    Life is so much better now – finally at meh. Now I want them to be together forever. The less of them in the dating pool the better lol

  • Politichump, if you are going to correct the facts I would employ a spokesperson who can make a statement for you. “PC has been fielding multiple inquiries. He does not intend to give any interviews but has asked me to inform the public on his behalf that the facts are a, b and c, as documented (cite source). He will not be answering any additional questions about this and requests privacy for himself and his children as they heal from the devastating loss of their family.” Or something like that. Keeps you at a remove, reduces the bitter ex look while reminding people that some kids have been badly hurt. Also stresses that you aren’t volunteering this, you have been asked.

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