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UBT: How Do I Handle the Death of My Secret Lover?

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Hello from across the pond, Chump Lady.

Been a fan of your warmth, wisdom, and compassionate but arse-kicking blog for a few years now, and often recommend you to aghast Chumps on relationship forums.

It’s mainly the snark that keeps me coming back [wink] and for the love of dog, snark is what’s needed to counter THIS today – How Do I Handle the Death of My Secret Lover. 

Is it possible for the UBT to boot up and translate this before my head explodes with wrath and scorn?

I will send the finest quality engine oil its little valves desire … but my own sprockets spontaneously combusted on reading the golden sentiment:
“Having lost my parents recently, I know another mode of grief — a grief that prompts empathy”

Sure, Schmoopie, sure. The empathy that dare not speak its name, but empathically shags its subject’s husband for 12 empathic years …

Thanks for all you do, you’re a legend.

Best wishes,

Snarked Out

****

Dear Snarked Out,

Keep your head together and un-exploded. The Universal Bullshit Translator is here.

Several of you have wondered why the UBT is being less obstinate than usual and the answer is — it’s Lebkuchen season. A joyful time for the UBT. Although it will take you up on that engine oil offer. It takes a well-lubricated machine to digest all that bullshit.

Speaking of excrement… the letter in question:

The dilemma I am a professional, single, middle-aged woman and I have been in a relationship with a married man for 12 years. He recently died suddenly. He and I loved each other. His feelings for me were separate and secondary to his commitment to his family. I was never misled by him on that front. I, therefore, walked into this relationship with my eyes wide open. Yet I knew from my previous experience of relationships that what we had was worth keeping in whatever form it could be kept. We were each other’s ideal partners, matched intellectually, sexually and emotionally, and immensely enjoyed each other’s company.

A small part of me wants to proclaim publicly that I was more than just a peripheral friend. I have two friends who did know, but had no friends in common with him who knew. Having lost my parents recently, I know another mode of grief – a grief that prompts empathy, and the solace that empathy provides. I feel abandoned and bereft in my secret loss, an inarticulate grief. This is an intensely silent bereavement of one of the most significant relationships of my life.

My loyalty to him and to our relationship forbids me from betraying this secret. His family have been the recipients of his best love and now public love, condolences, etc. This is understandable. But I can’t even ask for compassionate leave from work.

Why I chose such an impossible situation I will leave for the long-term analysis which I am in, but I write to you in the hope of getting a clue as to how to handle this current moment. I feel as though I am null and void.

This is quite enough bullshit. I don’t want to break the UBT, but I have coerced it into translating a few choice sentences of Philippa the Advice Poodle’s goopy reply. More on that anon…

The dilemma I am a professional, single, middle-aged woman and I have been in a relationship with a married man for 12 years.

The dilemma: I am a side-dish fuck.

He recently died suddenly.

You can imagine my horror when he didn’t answer his tracker phone.

He and I loved each other.

In that I-can’t-introduce-you-to-anyone-in-my-life kind of way.

His feelings for me were separate and secondary to his commitment to his family. I was never misled by him on that front.

He just misleads his family about his “commitment.” Never me. #special2ndplace

I, therefore, walked into this relationship with my eyes wide open.

Legs wide open. I am a mistress cliche.

Yet I knew from my previous experience of relationships that what we had was worth keeping in whatever form it could be kept.

I’ve never had a healthy relationship in my life, so crumbs seemed worth keeping. Better than no crumbs.

This would be sad until you consider I spent 12 years abetting the abuse of another woman. #twuwuv

We were each other’s ideal partners, matched intellectually,

sexually

and emotionally,

and immensely enjoyed each other’s company.

 

A small part of me wants to proclaim publicly that I was more than just a peripheral friend.

The teeny tiny part of me that wants this letter published in a national newspaper.

I was more than just a peripheral friend. I was a part-time orifice.

I have two friends who did know, but had no friends in common with him who knew. Having lost my parents recently, I know another mode of grief – a grief that prompts empathy, and the solace that empathy provides.

My married boyfriend died! WHERE IS MY CASSEROLE?!

I feel abandoned and bereft in my secret loss, an inarticulate grief.

An inarticulate grief listed under his cellphone as “Bob.”

This is an intensely silent bereavement of one of the most significant relationships of my life.

It’s intensely silent. I’ve only told two friends and the entire readership of the Guardian newspaper.

My loyalty to him and to our relationship forbids me from betraying this secret.

Our relationship is based on lies. Sacred lies.

His family have been the recipients of his best love and now public love, condolences, etc. This is understandable.

He died before I could win the pick me dance.

#13yearsthecharm

But I can’t even ask for compassionate leave from work.

But I can manufacture an excuse. I could tell my employer I have to work late! Oh…

Why I chose such an impossible situation I will leave for the long-term analysis which I am in, but I write to you in the hope of getting a clue as to how to handle this current moment. I feel as though I am null and void.

Pay no attention to my unethical behavior, I has a sadz.

If you wrote to the Universal Bullshit Translator with the hope of getting a clue, it would beat you with a shoe.

****

Philippa’s answer:

You need something that represents him that you let go of. You will need your two friends to be with you to witness you when you do it. Think of the words you would want to use if you had such a ceremony. It isn’t the public funeral, but it is a ritual and it may give you some structure to how you are feeling. Having a private altar to his memory as well might help. You, together with your friends who didn’t know him, must, I think, do this, or its equivalence.

I believe in some cultures grieving women hurl themselves on the funeral pyre. You may want to try that. But if public immolation is not for you, consider building him a shrine. Construct it out of latter day, half-price carnations. The sort you buy in gas stations that say “Special lady, fancy a fuck?” Think of all the day-after-Valentine’s days you spent, the furtive holidays, the 45-minute lunchtime dalliances and structure your feelings into a piñata. Beat it with a stick. Say his name 12 times. One whack for every year you wasted your life. It might help. Your friends who didn’t know him, must, I think, do this. Only they whack you. Because they care. And you crave public acknowledgement of your grief.

You’re welcome.

The UBT.

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 guarantee getting this thing in the guardian is going to out her, with her permission, to the family and wreck their lives. She is a piece of shit.

    • Oh yeah. Anyone in the family or close to the family might see it and connect the dots and that’s exactly what this person wants. Because she does crave public acknowledgment and condolences for her “loss.”

      • I know – I was thinking it was the same piece of click bait that I saw yesterday titled, “My husband is now unbearable now that my lover is dead” – but nope its ANOTHER article about the same thing.

    • Sadly, I think that there are way too many people that this letter could apply to.
      Even if this guy were one of two middle-aged men who died in all of England, I doubt this man’s family would think it had anything to with their beloved.

      I gathered from the AP’s letter that “her” relationship was. Ever discovered.

      • That’s also possible, but I would still say this woman is such a navel-gazer she has it in her head this will be seen by them and get her public attention.

        • I think she just wants a “public-nationwide-booo-hoooo-weepy-I-feel-sorry-for-you” thing and she will get off on the comments from everyone at the bottom of the article wherever it appeared, #herfacebookpage. This is total narc behavior. #Everyonegetstofeelsorryforme

  • Jeez. Another flavor of “what about my happiness?” oozing through the public forum and into the cemetery. Generally, these nitwits get what’s coming to them in the comments. Maybe funerals are the remaining boundary which keep spouses in and APs out.

    • Unfortunately, the comments were turned off for this one. They do that a lot of the time for controversial issues. And I think they knew what was coming.

    • I saw the thing on my facebook Guardian posts. There were a LOT of comments from chumps and chump children who had found out about their parents “dalliances” after the cheater died. They were not sympathetic!! I also added a link to chumplady archives. The pop psychology, psychobabble is intensely out there. Some woman wrote that she was not “sanctimonious” or judgey like other more simple folk were being.

  • Every time I think Chump Lady has written a masterpiece she gets the chance to exceed our expectations! Thank you for being your brutally honest self. No one gets a free ride, especially the guilty.

  • I will never be able to look at gas station flowers again without chuckling & thinking, “Special lady, fancy a fuck?” Thank you for this snarky gem and of course, another fabulous UBT presentation.

  • What in the world?? I can’t stand the-I don’t want attention so I am seeking it out. She knew her place (like miss frenchie yesterday) yet she all of a sudden feels she deserves more? Doubt she was cool with her position with him for years. Just wonder what FWs family knew. 🤔

    • This is someone who’s read one too many historic romance novels. In her mind she was the heroine of grand romance – one where the strictures of duty, loyalty, and bowing to the demands of society were insurmountable obstacles to her being with her soulmate, and in the meantime she would loyally wait for those moments they could be together, blah blah blah.

      But when he died, the fantasy bubble popped.

      • Not just the fantasy bubble – I smell someone who was on the receiving end of all sorts of unknown-to-the-wife gifts.

        Personally, I hope his wife does find out and opts to leave his grave unmarked. Otherwise, Schmoopie is going to show up to leave little anonymous gifts (digs at the wife and family) for YEARS.

        • A uni classmate died a horrible death from ALS. He was a plastic surgeon with a wife and two daughters. Some schmoopie leaves words every year on his online obit.

          • That’s an easy wagon to fix. If the widow has achieved meh and permits it, leave flowery messages on the obit from two or three other Schmoopies.

            • Unkind person that I am, I was secretly hoping the Bereaved finds out that she wasn’t the only one.

              Preferably in a rip-off-the-bandaid way, when she’s maybe already having a bad day.

              🌩️😭

  • Good lord!! Happy Tuesday. CN your reply made me laugh. The borrowed drama, the borrowed husband, the borrowed life. Get your own lady. Maybe “borrowed” is too kind maybe “stolen” is better.

  • It’s weird — I try to read the words on the page, but all my brain will process is “mememememememememe”.

    Is this a stroke?

    • Squeaks: I’m having the exact same stroke as you! All I could see after reading this hogwash were millions of tiny bubbles floating in this entitled Schmoopie’s brain all with the word “ME!” in them, even coming out of her eyeballs. That is ALL this woman is capable of seeing. Completely unaware there is a world that exists outside of herself. Unreal.
      And CL, that piece is unbelievably good, hahaha!!!🤣😂
      Maybe my favorite UBT, which is saying a lot, because there are so many great ones! The snark in this is just outstanding, glorious rapid fire snark that felt so gratifying to read. Lol!! Thanks for that!
      I did really love the piñata idea! She needs more than twelve good whacks though.

      • with love and aloha from the late don ho

        Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
        In my mind (in my mind)
        Make me happy (make me happy)
        Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)

        Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
        Make me warm all over
        With a feeling that I’m gonna
        Love me till the end of time

        So here’s to the secret life
        with no reality
        And mostly here’s a toast
        To me and me

        Not nearly the quality of UXworld, but we can’t all be master wordsmiths!

    • BAHAHAHA…good lord, it’s all I could read too. What a obviously selfish twat. Yeah, you knew, he knew…and wifey…? Well, screw her, clearly. I hope the letter writer does throw herself on the funeral pyre. The world needs less of her ilk. Absolutely myopic and disgusting.

  • The gif of the two chickens had me howling with laughter.

    This is disgusting, and the reply from the columnist is disgusting as well (I went and read the whole thing). “I feel sorry for what you’re going through.” I’m not. I am completely unsympathetic to this lying scumbag POS. “Where’s my casserole!” She made her bed. Deal with it.

    By writing this letter and having it published, she is trying to make herself important. She KNOWS it will hurt FW’s wife and family and she doesn’t care. In fact, she will probably enjoy it, because she is clearly jealous that she was “secondary” to them.

    I wouldn’t allow OW and FW’s funeral. I don’t know or care how she “grieved” for him. It wasn’t that I was possessive or still loved him or anything. But it would have distressed FW’s family (whom I care about, and who OW never met) and confused my son, since OW left FW and completely abandoned my child with no explanation after pretending to care about him and having been around for nearly half of my son’s life. She had no place there, and I told her she would be escorted out if she showed up. She had been, strangely, trying to stay in contact with me since she found out about FW’s death (I had to contact her to get the landlord’s phone number for FW’s house, which unfortunately she took as an opening to keep texting/emailing/calling me – ugh). OW need to feel relevant somehow. They usually have low self-esteem (while also acting entitled and arrogant) and desperately need to feel speshul instead of like the cheap run-of-the-mill side pieces they are.

    • You’re a a better person than I am, ISTL. I don’t think I will be attending FW’s funeral if he passes first, even for my adult son or his family (who have always stood by me). I just don’t think I could do it. I have definitely left instructions with my family that he’s not allowed into my service. His family can be there if they want, but not him. The only thing exception would be if his presence would truly help my son, but I don’t think it would. They are not close. Maybe I’ll soften my stance at some point in the future, but not as of now.

    • I’m considering doing an audio recording Best Of. The thing is, I can only do letters sent to me, not something like this that is copyrighted. (It’s fair use online if I’m turning it into something else — a parody, but not sure the permission issues for ridicule.)

      • Please do. When your in the middle of it all, it seems unbelievable. When you hear/ read the other stories, you realize same stories, different POS.

      • You don’t need to use a copyrighted letter; any one of us could send you a sampling of the self-indulgent incoherent babbling BS. I’d be happy to forward all 78 text messages I took off my FW’s phone.

      • Maybe the published writers would give you permission?? Seriously, this one seems desperate for attention anyway.

  • My heart goes out to the chumped wife and family who will inevitably discover that life with the dead guy was a sham. There will be no answers for them.

    My ex died soon after the divorce was final and I had thoughts at the time of “what if we had a service and schmoopy showed up?” There never was a service because his death was during the height of covid shutdowns. Not having a service was a good thing. OW would have showed up with an outpouring of grief at her loss and made it a show in front of my young teens who were processing the divorce and the loss of their dad. She changed her facebook status to “widowed” even though they weren’t married. Too bad, so sad for this OW. Her writing to The Guardian will out her. It’s all about them, not about what harm was caused.

      • It may be chutzpah, yes. But living in your own made-up reality helps A LOT.

        😢😂
        (It’s so fucking sad that your only choice is to laugh)

    • “She changed her facebook status to “widowed” even though they weren’t married.”

      AP;
      “We were married IN SPIRIT. A marriage isn’t about a piece of paper, it’s about endless love. How sad it is that you don’t know that.”

      That’s what she’s said to anyone who has questioned how a single woman could be widowed. Guaranteed. They all have the exact same rationalizations.

    • We can only hope that the fb “official” widow will be catfished and scammed, as divorced & widowed women are easy targets. Predators presume the women have a financial stash to plunder. Here’s hoping!

    • Make a fake account and write the AP a note from an invented Schmoopie #2 about their shared grief and shared dick. Nothing bursts the “amour fou” bubble more than discovering one was only a link in a chain. Bonus– FW’s not around to correct the story.

    • She changed her status to “widow”
      GAH!!!
      as an actual widow, I find that disrespectful and I made a horrible face when I read it

  • Null and Void
    She’s lost her part time job(blow).
    There’s no life insurance benefits to receive.
    Lost is the dupers delight she enjoyed for 12 years.
    She needs to be central or at least acknowledged for her skill set.
    No one cares.
    Our love was real.

  • Here’s the thing. Some poor wife has started going through her dead husband’s effects and discovered he was cheating. She’s feeling totally crushed, angry, disgusted, bewildered etc etc. But there’s no one she can tell because everyone loved dear old hub, salt of the earth, good guy front row pew man. Where’s her altar? She can’t burn effigies of the fw pond scum doochebaggian swamp critter when the kids are on winter break. Life is just unfair, princess married man twat! You’re just going to have to eat your shit sandwich in the privacy of your own home. Btw your two friends who know of your secret think you got your boohoo ass handed to you. So sorry.

  • A small part of me wants to proclaim publicly that I was more than just a peripheral friend.

    #Imoportanceofsmallbodyparts

  • Why don’t these advice columnists call out these shallow narcissists on their crappy behavior?! This woman is hoping the FW’s family will figure it out & by hurting them, she finally is the centre of attention of being a side diddle (of course, she makes it seem more romantic than once he got his rocks off he left for the coziness of home!). These columnists blow my mind with the sympathy they have towards cheaters!

    • Because news sponsors, editors and owners are narcy cheaters and what’s-her-name wants to keep her column?

  • Maybe the sophisticated French-Canadian lady from yesterday’s post reads the Guardian online and can offer Ms. Mistress the empathy she craves in the comments section.

  • This one goes out to HOAC, whose excellent idea this was;

    “The dilemma; muh hoo-hah is a professional, single, middle-aged hoo-hah and has been in a relationship with a married dick for 12 years. Dick recently died suddenly. Dick and muh hoo-hah wuved each other. Dick’s feelings for muh hoo-hah were separate and secondary to his commitment to his family, much as muh hoo-hah tried to break it up. Muh hoo-hah was never misled by him on that front. Muh hoo-hah, therefore, walked into this relationship with legs wide open. Yet muh hoo-hah knew from previous experience of dicks that what our organs had was worth keeping in whatever form it could be kept. We were each other’s ideal crotches, as muh labia and his scrotal sack were matched intellectually, sexually, emotionally, spiritually, fundamentally, metaphorically, exponentially, atmospherically and lots of other things with lly on the end, plus immensely enjoyed each other’s secondary sex characteristics. See? Muh hoo-hah knows words. This is no ordinary hoo-hah over here. So you can understand why muh hoo-hah was so very important to dick.

    A small part of muh hoo-hah wants to proclaim publicly that dick was more than just a peripheral penis. Muh hoo-hah has two flying monkeys who did know, but no other airborne simians in common with dick who knew. Having lost muh hoo-hah’s parents recently, muh hoo-hah knows another mode of grief – a grief that prompts empathy, and the solace that empathy provides…for me. Muh hoo-hah deserves empathy from dick’s family, from all of society in fact. Muh hoo-hah feels abandoned and bereft in this secret loss, this inarticulate grief, this wailing and this gnashing of vagina dentata, this, this this. This is an intensely silent bereavement of one of the most significant dicks of muh hoo-hah’s life. Well, there was this dick from Long Island that was also significant, and believe muh hoo-hah when it tells you, that is one long Island. Also, there was a dick from Long Beach. Oh, and Tijuana. Muh hoo-hah called that dick Dirty TJ. Hmm…what other significant dicks is muh hoo-hah forgetting? Muh hoo-hah’s inconsolable grief has made it forgetful. But muh hoo-hah digresses.

    As a highly morally evolved hoo-hah, loyalty to dick and to our joinery of groinery forbids me from betraying this secret. Dick’s family have been the recipients of his best dickery and now public love, condolences, etc. This is understandable, if infuriating to muh hoo-hah. But muh hoo-hah can’t even ask for compassionate leave from work. It went to HR. It went to the union. They all told muh hoo-hah that there is no compassionate leave for having an unfilled hoo-hah. What is this, a dictatorship? Am I living in Iran and don’t know it? Why do they not respect muh hoo-hah?

    Why muh hoo-hah chose such an impossible situation it will leave for the long-term analysis which muh hoo-hah is in, but it writes to you in the hope of getting a clue as to how to handle this current lack of crotch pleasure. Muh hoo-hah feels as though it is null and void. Who will fill muh hoo-hah’s void? Dead dicks can’t do that. 😭 Where oh where is Dirty TJ when muh hoo-hah needs him?”

  • “I believe in some cultures grieving women hurl themselves on the funeral pyre. You may want to try that. But if public immolation is not for you, consider building him a shrine. Construct it out of latter day, half-price carnations. The sort you buy in gas stations that say “Special lady, fancy a fuck?””

    Bwahahaaaaa! Dying!

  • I have nothing quality to add here. But next time please remind me to go to the bathroom before reading any UBT posts… nearly wet myself laughing at the GIFs.

    APs are delusional selfish idiots

  • At least this serves as a reminder that APs are selfish and devoid of empathy.

    Thankfully, I didn’t know x’s AP. Only met her once, at, coincidentally, a funeral.

    I know this is a bit off topic, but the letter reminds me of what I learned from FW about the AP-now-wife.

    He (the lying liar, so I take it all with a grain of salt) said:

    1. “She flirted.” (From the guy who thought a neighbor was hitting on him when she gave him a peck on the cheek when we entered her home for a holiday party. She gave all guests a small cheek kiss. So did her husband. x truly thought he was speshul.🙄)

    2. “She said she’s loved me for 10 years.” (Note: She cheated with other docs in his practice before landing him. So much for “you were my one and only heart throb.”)

    3. “She tried to end it by moving away.” (Umm, I think this was her shit-or-get-off-the-pot move.)

    4.”I know the games she plays.” (see point 3 above)

    5. “She took an overdose of pills when she thought I was with you (meaning, me) for drinks. I almost called the ambulance but was able to rouse her.” #manipulativemuch?

    Anyhoo, she sounds lovely. Not.

    She is the proud winner of one covert narc FW!!! Sometimes I wonder how two such truly selfish people manage as a married couple.

    • “I almost called the ambulance but was able to rouse her.”

      Because that totally happens with overdoses. You crack open some screw cap wine, put Bolero on the stereo (I swear that rhyme was accidental) and suddenly, a dose of Clonipin that’s high enough to knock an elephant cold wears right off.

  • “My loyalty to him and to our relationship forbids me from betraying this secret.”

    You’re true to your loyalty to betraying his wife? What stirring moral consistency!
    #ethics

  • Wow, the UBT is in great shape! Lebkuchen on the way along with other German Christmas treats!!!
    It is unbelievable how this Schmoopie who was an accomplice in taking a Chump’s agency from her (without the chump’s knowledge or permission) believes she has rights to sympathy or whatever the hell. Guess she isn’t getting her kibble for being an excellent orifice.
    She must have serious withdrawal for not being able to participate in the abuse of another person. No sympathy from this Chump.

  • The only people without casseroles worth considering are the chumps who suddenly lost their spouse to a secret cheating partner. Where is there casserole?
    You hear very little about the people who were abused when there are cheating scandals. Where’s their casserole? But oh the violin goes out to the cheaters who may have some consequences that go along with them choosing to make decisions that will destroy their families.
    And most victims of cheating are not the well to do 1% people who will at least get fair child support and easily find a new partner.

    • “And most victims of cheating are not the well to do 1% people who will at least get fair child support and easily find a new partner.”

      I agree, and while I have compassion for anyone who has been betrayed, I just don’t put the rich and famous in the same category in dealing with the struggles of the rank and file, so to speak.

    • True, rarely any casseroles or condolences for the chumped. Their cheater murdered the marriage and family’s stability but the response is usually fleeing the victims.

  • Underneath all this moaning and groaning is rage. She didn’t win the prize. He didn’t walk out on his family, didn’t destroy the family unit for her. She told herself that he’d leave his wife once the kids were off to college. He kept her on a string for 12 years with false promises, all in the name of easy sex whenever he wanted it. She wasted over a decade of her life for a man who was a cheat and a liar. She’s furious. This isn’t grief. It’s rage. Now imagine how his wife feels.

    • I will never understand how OW/OM do not understand that they are just prostitues that dont get paid on the nighstand. They are not special, just available. The OP thinks she is a wonderful person, and her FW was a wonderful person. FW don’t want or understand love, they just want easy, cheap orgasms. Best if the family never finds out about the whore, but I’m sure that dead dudes shittyness was shown to them in other ways.

      • “I will never understand how OW/OM do not understand that they are just prostitutes’ that don’t get paid on the nightstand. ”

        Exactly, all whores get paid. It may not always be in money, though it mostly is. Gifts and dinners and trips cost lots of money, arguably even more than professional whores, but they are still getting paid.

        Most male adultery partners (whores) generally don’t get paid as much in money, as they are getting paid in sex.

        But like it or not most female adultery partners (whores) get paid a lot. And it is usually being paid for unwittingly by a the adulterers wife and children.

    • I agree, she’s sure he planned to take care of her (special kind of whore) but he ran out of time, haha. Just in case he did, she’s making herself known.

    • I followed the link and read this, and like Velvet, I like some of her advice. I was surprised to read this, though, in Philippa’s answer: “If your marriage wasn’t good, the advice I’m going to give you might be different: don’t jeopardise your family. Don’t be a chump.”

      A chump? I can agree that a potential cheater could be seen as a fool or a dolt, but the letter writer was actively contemplating starting an affair. Nobody is taking advantage of him, and he is not being manipulated.

      • Yes, that got me. So if the marriage was not good (per the cheater) then by all means lie, steal and cheat another human being.

      • She didn’t say what her different advice would be if he thought his marriage was bad. I did not read anywhere that she greenlighted affairs for bad marriages. It could be “get a divorce rather than have affairs”.

        “Chump” is also a word many people use, and not as Tracy defines it.

        My whole life, prior to coming here, I thought “chump” meant “jerk”.

  • I mentioned this in another comment, but OWs like this one are telling themselves a story where they are the protagonists of a historical romance, where their FW was cruelly forced into a marriage by bounds of duty and society’s laws that he cannot shake, so that their True Love must remain a carefully protected and eternal secret between them. It doesn’t occur to them that they are not in fact living in 13th century England or 19th century Japan and that their FW could, if he wanted to, extricate himself from his marriage and be with her. Or, if it does occur to her, she doesn’t really want that to happen, because all the juice of this relationship is her self-image as the loyal, pining-away soulmate who must love him from afar.

    His death turned her little fantasy ass over teakettle. He didn’t quietly arrange for his manservant to deed her the little cottage on the moor. Nobody is honoring her rightful but secondary place in his life because she didn’t have one. She’s a single, middle-aged woman who wasted a decade of her life on a man who happily ate cake, and that’s not a story that makes her feel important. And she desperately wants someone to tell her she’s important.

    • “His death turned her little fantasy ass over teakettle. He didn’t quietly arrange for his manservant to deed her the little cottage on the moor. Nobody is honoring her rightful but secondary place in his life because she didn’t have one. She’s a single, middle-aged woman who wasted a decade of her life on a man who happily ate cake, and that’s not a story that makes her feel important. And she desperately wants someone to tell her she’s important.”

      Spot on.

    • I’m sure it chaps AP’s ass that she got NOTHING from him. She gave him $30K+ and walked away empty handed. He died intestate, and our divorce hadn’t gone through yet so we were still legally married and all the money (such as it was – i.e. not much) and his things went to me (it was all marital property anyway). He put something in his suicide note that he wanted AP to have some of it, like the proceeds from his creative work, but as my lawyer pointed out, it wasn’t witnessed and therefore wasn’t legal or binding, and girlfriends aren’t entitled to anything.

    • Yes, historical romance like that of Romeo and Juliet”s. It’s the right comparison because Juliet was 13 years old, on the same maturity level as that post writer.

  • I saw this at the weekend. Noted no comments allowed. Heaven forfend that the poor OW should have to endure any actual feedback. Sometimes The Guardian makes me feel very nauseous. It’s the best of a terrible bunch over here, but it really does push the infidelity as normality agenda.

  • I haven’t yet read the letter Velvet linked to above, but I don’t like what Phillipa wrote in response to the current letter: “You seem to be framing your loss in relation to those others grieving in public, but much of the terrible isolation and loneliness you are feeling is from the loss of this great love, the loss of the main witness of your life. You will be missing the person who you were when you were with him. Your grief isn’t in relationship with the family and should not be compared to it – your love for your late partner in death is as separate from theirs as it was in life.”

    This “great love?” This “late PARTNER?” The “person she was when she was with him” was a woman who was sleeping with a married man, stealing his time, attention and probably marital resources from his family. It’s Phillipa who called it a great love. And looking back at the letter, I don’t see ANYTHING about how much letter-writer loved him or misses him. What I find the most telling is her final comment: “I feel as though I am null and void.”

    She’s upset because she’s not speshul any more. She wanted to show at the funeral to enjoy the ultimate duper’s delight and to remain the focus of attention. And I think Lulu is right. Underneath, she’s furious that she didn’t win the prize, doesn’t get to be the wife. She feels null and void because that’s what she thinks she is after 12 years of cheating with a married man. Sounds like she didn’t have much of a life outside of being a side dish.

    • Exactly. And no matter how she states that she knew her place, that his family came first, she is mad she didn’t win him away from his wife. Now there’s no chance of that and she feels like the meaningless POS she really is.

    • Perfect assessment. Her relationship with a married man was a secret, she should morn her “loss” in secret. Fuck her.

  • This gave me an idea for a Friday challenge; snarky gravestone epitaph for FWs.

    For example;
    Here lies Fred. He died with a shit eating grin on his face. The shit he was eating was named Dolores. #trenchmouth

    In memory of Leanne.
    She slept with some man
    Now her dirty ashes are in a can
    Rest in Pieces, bitch.

    • This was on reddit. The cheater was in the process of divorcing but not divorced yet. He died and his wife and family inherited everything. The wife also took care of the gravestone and the funeral. The greystones said something like “Here lies xx, son, brother, father and adulterer.’ His parents and the mistress protested, and were seek legal advice as to whether they can legally remove the gravestone. They were told nothing could be done.

      • I only wish I could create such a tombstone for my ex!!!
        Ex has been with AP for years so she will chose how and where he’s gets buried.
        I only hope the funeral is tolerable for my kids. Listening to all the speeches about what a great guy he is and how much he loved AP…

  • She’s pissed that, in the end, she didn’t get the centrality that she felt entitled to; she didn’t get her hands on his estate, nor is she able to bask in all of the sympathy and support given to the family that he mistreated. Wasting twelve years on being an enabler and wank rag of an abuser isn’t a noteworthy achievement.

    She’ll probably have a profile up on hookup sites soon enough if she hasn’t already.

    • “She’ll probably have a profile up on hookup sites soon enough if she hasn’t already.”

      Yep, after 12 years she is past the fake ingenue that can temp most men who are cheaters. They will be after the younger ones.

  • Awesome UBT today! Hilarious gifs too😂. I couldn’t help but feel a bit bad for this twat. What in the hell was she doing skulking around a family and fucking that man for 12 years. 12! This letter somehow threw my perspective into a different place. How dumb to hang around taking leftovers for more than a decade. (Oh wait- I did that in my marriage for 25 years). The cheating dynamic really sucks and this is what karma feels like. She was plan b, crumb receiver for 12 years and sorry, but she doesn’t get the “glory” of being anything more than the side dish fuck that she was. Amazing that she somehow interpreted the whole thing as “special” even though he seemed to make her “only an orifice” status pretty clear. If it wasn’t her orifice, it would have been someone else’s.

  • Under the heading of “A ha Moments”, I am reminded that FW did not give his best friend’s eulogy. This was explained away at the time (the widow doesn’t want anyone to speak because there’s a BIL with a bucket mouth). Now I’m realizing even FW couldn’t give a eulogy and fuck the widow at the same time. This chumpy cognitive dissonance takes years to work through.

  • Katharine Hepburn had a 26-year affair with the married Spencer Tracy — their affair ended with his death in 1967 and even though the media protected them, everyone knew about it. He refused to divorce his wife Louise because he claimed to be a devout Catholic (lol). Hepburn didn’t go to Tracy’s funeral “out of respect” for his wife and children.

    When he died (he actually died in Hepburn’s home), Hepburn called his wife. Louise told her, “I thought you were only a rumor.” I’ve always loved that line. Louise refused to give his mistress the validation she was seeking. Tracy left his estate to wife Louise, their kids and his brother — nothing for supposed great love Katharine.

  • I saw that letter and wanted to comment but it wasn’t possible. I couldn’t even bring myself to read the answer.

    Nothing says ‘I enjoy your company’ and ‘you are the love of my life’ like keeping somebody secret as a side piece for 12 years.

    • I surprised she didn’t reveal herself in the 12 years. They always want more than the original just fun and fucks.

  • Remember the “Summer Nights” duet from the musical Grease where Olivia Newton John moons and croons about “l’amour sans fin” and Travolta air-humps, pantomimes groping and sings about getting ass? This is probably the third Dead Married Schmoopie (DMS) lament I’ve read in six months. I’m starting to notice that having a DMS affords side dishes a unique opportunity to mythologize affairs into star-crossed epics without fear of getting sobering corrections from married Schmoops because the dead don’t edit. Or do they? In the tradition of Summer Nights, here’s my channeling of DMS edits from the beyond:

    “The dilemma: I am a professional [I left her nothing in the will], single [Future-faking: the most effective means of cock-blocking], middle-aged [She starts out nubile, then goes all saggy on me] woman and I have been in a relationship [em, cough] with a married man [C’est moi, c’est moi, ’tis I] for 12 years [She could have six kids and a law degree by now]. He recently died [Is it hot in here or is it just me?] suddenly [Partying like you’re 25 for 40 years takes a toll]. He and I loved [Ah, the “L” word– so easy to mutter after another round of tears and ultimatums. Only one syllable!] each other. His feelings for me were separate [Relegated as they were to a basement studio in Peckham] and secondary [thirdary, fourthary, sixteenthary] to his commitment to his family [dog, cat, nephews, golf mates, investors, cocktail waitresses, the new receptionist with the dewy complexion and reassuring East End accent]. I was never misled by him on that front [Merely wheezing out a few complaints about my stultifying marriage puffed her up with hope like a giant blimp]. I, therefore, walked into this relationship with my eyes wide open [It’s the ring, boys. They think if you commit once, you’ll do it again]. Yet I knew from my previous experience of relationships [Tire tracks on their backs promise low expectations] that what we had was worth keeping in whatever form [The wham, bam, nap, quick shower, bolt form] it could be kept [Unlike her. She has a job, see]. We were each other’s ideal [That new receptionist– so young and limber…] partners, matched intellectually [She reads Esther Perel and Cosmo on the bus. I read Accountancy Age and Legs and Heels in the loo], sexually [Reverse cowgirl was better for my sciatica] and emotionally [Crying and ultimatums as foreplay], and immensely enjoyed each other’s company [I fell asleep after one orgasm or any starchy meal].

    A small part of me wants to proclaim publicly [What? Tell her to shut her gob] that I was more than just a peripheral [“side”] friend [“piece”]. I have two friends who did know [Who had two friends who had two friends. Why I always shagged outside my class], but had no friends in common with him who knew [‘Cept the lads at the club who got embellished rundowns]. Having lost my parents recently [She had parents?], I know another mode of grief – a grief that prompts empathy [From whom and when? Hope she used condoms], and the solace [Is my widow due a bout of crabs?] that empathy provides [Chlamydia? HPV?]. I feel abandoned and bereft in my secret loss, an inarticulate [Again, why I shagged outside my class] grief. This is an intensely silent [Good girl. Biscuit] bereavement of one of the most significant relationships [em, cough] of my life.

    My loyalty to him [Phew. No syphilitic legacy] and to our relationship [em, cough] forbids me from betraying this secret [Choco biscuit!]. His family have been the recipients of his best love [They stood by during three stints at rehab, weekend rounds of bellowing DTs and sixteen affairs, after all] and now public love, condolences, etc. This is understandable [Alas, no more tears and ultimatums now that I’m dead]. But I can’t even ask for compassionate leave from work [Nothing in the will, remember].

    Why I chose such an impossible situation I will leave for the long-term analysis which I am in [Centrality from beyond the grave warms my ghostly cockles], but I write to you in the hope [She’s due a hot air refill] of getting a clue as to how to handle this current moment. I feel as though I am null and void [We’ll always have that St. Albans day trip and that time in the supply closet].”

    • “His feelings for me were separate [Relegated as they were to a basement studio in Peckham] and secondary [thirdary, fourthary, sixteenthary] to his commitment to his family [dog, cat, nephews, golf mates, investors, cocktail waitresses, the new receptionist with the dewy complexion and reassuring East End accent].”

      “[We’ll always have that St. Albans day trip and that time in the supply closet].”

      😄 Effin’ awesome.

  • Alas, it describes pretty much the way I felt when Ex died suddenly, at only 50yo. Except that his mother was on my side. People of his company all came to the funeral, wondering if his “fiancée” (?!?) got the message that he passed away. His “fiancée” = a younger woman in Russia, with whom he cheated on line. Nobody had a clue who I was. They almost sent our dog to a shelter, as soon as I got the terrible news I drove there to pick her up. After the funeral, the Russian “fiancée” didn’t even send a note to his parents. She just disappeared.

  • I think it has hit her that she is a big nothing in the soap opera that was his life. A zip, a zero.

    A dirty secret. Like bleeding hemorrhoids or the mange.

  • Disappointing response from Philippa, I agree. That’s a shame, I thought she had more sense. Mine would be: (I’m a Brit too, so feel entitled to satirise all round)…
    “So sorry, sweetheart, better face the facts: your highly esteemed beloved has snuffed it. Some might call that karma, of course. Now stop being such a silly-Billy, wipe away that gross self-pity and face the facts.
    The Shifty Old Bastard was just dipping his wick. If he hadn’t made a move to change things in so many years, why delude yourself any longer? You have never been more than an easy alternative to his wife. Just another dish on the menu. And he didn’t even consider making a move in your direction, which just goes to show. I don’t need to spell it out, surely?
    Actually, darling, I’d suggest you just clam up and crawl away backwards into the slimy hole you emerged from, because nobody gives a shit about you now the S. O. B. has slid down into the flames of hell.

  • “I feel as though I am null and void.”

    and THAT, my dear friends is what gives real widows some degree of satisfaction.

    I love that Susan or Dee or whoever will live the rest of their lives hoping that they were his Great Love.

    They will drink wine with friends and likely not want to tell the whole story of The Love.

    They are null and void.

  • To wit, my BIL (sister’s nice husband) was confused and upset when I told him I’d found this great book that describes those who are cheated on as “chumps.” He thought it meant “jerks” and couldn’t wrap his head around a different meaning.

  • Haha I do love Chump Lady’s rituals much better. It’s as ludicrous as this asshole who, together with her dead cheater ex, ripped off all his friends and family pretending to be one thing, while being the exact opposite.

  • I feel so sorry for the wife ! If she does finds out she doesn’t even get to yell at the POS husband. I actually was in a similar situation. When my first husband was killed in a car accident, I called the number that was in his wallet.
    Yep, he had been screwing around.

  • Empathy! As if she knows what that is! Her comment sounds like some kind of backhanded whining: “where’s MY sympathy? Why don’t I get any”?

    It reminds me: recently FW said to me “Empathy has never been your strong suit, BTL.”

    I just about fell off my chair laughing.

    I’m still deprogramming from his brainwashing; every day I need to tell myself he’s wrong about me.

    BUT- not with empathy. I’m confident in my empathy.

    Another example of this concept is if you told me I wasn’t smart, I would laugh heartily. But if you told me I wasn’t pretty, I’d probably go away and cry.

  • Oh no, he died before she could win the pick-me-dance! Oh wait, no, she was FINE with being second for 12 years. Which is totally supported by everything else she says 🙄

    I wonder if she thought he was going to leave her something, either money or some sentimental thing to legitimize the “relationship,” and now she’s mad because there was no runner-up trophy.

  • It’s the chicken gif for me.🤣

    Visually sums up the “depth” of their “Twu Wuv” PERFECTLY.🤣🤣🤣

    These side chicks really think they’re SO special and superior to the wife. 🙄 That he REALLY loved her and just stayed with the wife out of “obligation” to honor his “family”.

    Of course, the wife is a “cold-hearted witch” who doesn’t love or appreciate him, but he’s SUCH a good guy that he grits his teeth and bears it.

    And they “haven’t had sex in YEARS”, “sleep in serarate rooms” and he just “stays for the kids”…blah, blah, blah 🙄

    These hoes WANT to believe this narrative so badly. 😑 Barf.

    It’s 2023, divorce is a common thing…he doesn’t want a divorce, he wants cake!

  • Loved this!! Why is the Guardian full of this crud…!! Thank you UBT and CL. I would love a CL podcast!! In response to the comment about audio of UBT above. I feel like it would be listened to the world over.

    In U.K. media news, there is a show called Am I Being Unreasonable, that has been very critically/popularly acclaimed here. Watched two episodes last night though and everyone in it is a cheating FW. How do audiences find these people relatable? Had to switch off.

    Xxx

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