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How Many People Knew and Didn’t Tell You?

Well, here’s a depressing Friday Challenge. Conspiracy.

How many people knew your partner was cheating on you and didn’t tell you? One to five? Five to ten? More than 10? 20? 30? Coworkers? Children? Are we counting sex workers?

I’m truly curious because I’d love to be armed with a statistic the next time I’m asked to talk anywhere. The discourse on infidelity is utterly myopic on this. It’s framed as a problem between two people, when instead it’s nearly always a larger conspiracy against the chump.

And I’m not referring to affair partners, the obvious conspirators. But the other folks pressed into silence, who don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, at best. And at worst, figure you have it coming, you awful person you.

The advice out there is to mind your own business. I absolutely understand why people don’t tell you, especially in the workplace. But what about the Golden Rule? Wouldn’t you want to know if it were you? If it was something less devastating, like someone was pilfering the petty cash, OF COURSE the advice is to tell. But someone is fucking around on you? I don’t know, that’s very complicated and messy and probably a victimless crime. Please go on and invest another 20 years in this person.


Well, lay those numbers on me, CN. And TGIF!


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  • I think the population of the county we lived in was around 7000. But considering I didn’t know all of them my best guess is everyone. My best friends knew and didn’t say anything. I heard it from the school secretary and once the cat was outa that bag everyone felt free to tell me stories. Btw. I have new friends now. Living my best life!!!!

    • The school, secretary! How did she bring that up in conversation?! Was it an accidental cat out of the bag, a friendly warning, or something else?

    • A friend told me her story…..when she and her sister were around 10 and 12 the school principal told their mom that she needed to tell the kids what was going on( their dad was cheating in small town). The principal said that the other kids were starting to talk about it and her kids were confused. Definitely not between two grown ups……cheaters suck.

    • XW was having sex with co-workers, apparently sometimes in her classroom. She was then new to the school and was filling me with stories about how all the other teachers and parents were conspiring against her and spreading rumors. I tried to be sympathetic and supportive as I could see she was struggling and emotionally fragile. Eventually I got a phone call from someone who claimed to be a co-worker, but refused to identify herself. It was fairly vague and seemed to fall into conspiratorial behavior my XW had described to me. I ignored it and did not bring it up in sake of her mental health, but I had been majorly played! Somebody tried to tell me, but their lack of transparency just made it worse!

      • It’s amazing how they “vaccinate” in advance of disclosure. Looking back I can think of multiple instances – “oh, I exaggerated and called myself her lover in that social media comment for the sake of argument”. They can do it in the early stages of relationships, too – “Oh, I was seeing two sorority sisters in college but I hadn’t made commitments to either of them, so silly of me they were both furious when they put their heads together.
        I was so young and foolish “.

        • Yes! Vaccinate! Great descriptor. I described this once as “lying to my thoughts” because it isn’t in response to an accusation, it’s to place a thought in your mind that will occur to you first if and when any details of the truth should happen to reach your ears. Years before I had any idea what scum she was, she had implanted the lies covering up and obfuscating what might get back to me. Imagine, living life as such a complete POS that you lie today, for yesterday’s foulness, so you can evade consequences for the truth tomorrow.

    • That “cat out of the bag” phenomenon! Women started coming to my work to gush. I also got a couple “you can’t tell me you didn’t know” (victim blaming). Life lesson learned…MISERABLE people want to see people be more MISERABLE/SUFFER than themselves. The misogyny of WOMEN also blew my mind .

  • I’d had my suspicions that he was doing more than ‘mentoring’ schmoopie, but after DDay, when he proudly told me that lots of people had advised him that he had to do what made him happy, because he’d been telling his family, friends and even our neighbours how nasty and unreasonable I was and how that had driven him into the arms of another woman, I felt like such a fool. I found out later that those people had told him no such thing, but I think him telling me that was a weird mix of projection /wishful thinking /justification and twisting the knife, thinking everyone had the same opinion of me that he had. Either way, I felt destroyed, knowing he’d been going round behind my back, getting ahead of the narrative, and them thinking things about me, but it helped open my eyes to the depths he was willing to go. I stayed quite a while after the whole messy situation, just totally shell-shocked with a small child and various FOO emergencies, but eventually I realized that someone that could treat you that way, ie try to destroy your reputation without a blink, just to justify their own shitty behavior, doesn’t value or love you at all.

    • My ex did that too….”everyone thinks you’re a bitch….you’re so hard to get along with”. I took it to heart and made myself invisible. Those same people would comment how easy-going I was, so I could never trust anyone. I felt like they were all lying to me and talking behind my back.

      • Yes, that’s all part of it too, cheaters don’t just destroy your trust in them, trust becomes more of a global issue. Day happened just before Xmas and although I had supposedly won the pick-me dance, I remember sitting sobbing in the bf Ed room at his parents house thinking, if it had gone the other way these people would quite happily have accepted Schmoopie into their bosom to sit around the Christmas table this year. It was one of the loneliest moments of my life and the phrase ‘nest of vipers’ springs to mind.

      • Same here. I got speeches about how “everyone” thought I was crazy and he was doing me such a favor being with me still. And how he has to defend himself from his coworker’s criticisms of me. Also conveniently became a reason for him to tell me not to go around his friends and stay away from his shop (he was a tattooist.)

        So he had me thinking everyone around him thought I was insane and he was so stressed and put upon having to defend himself. I don’t know if what he was saying to me was a total lie, or he told his friends and coworkers lies that made them think I was crazy, or if it was half and half, or if it was all lies. I don’t know. But that’s the thing about abusers, they want you questioning reality. …And he sure had me doing that.

        • I feel you friend, Mine did the same. I was crazy and he was doing me and the kids a favor by staying. Such sacrifices he made in his narrative.
          Made me question reality,trust noone & was completely isolation as i tried harder to dissappear.
          What a schmuck !
          Hard to shake that inner shame. Fuck those people

          Be your best self. I am.working on it

      • Did you ever read the girl on the train? Her husband does that to her in that book and I remember reading it and it made me cry and I couldn’t figure out why. That book affected me so much and I didn’t know why because I was happily married and couldn’t relate to any of that. That story was insane!

        Then I found out the truth and I thought about that book. My subconscious knew.

    • Had same thing. She painted me as monster. She is sweet and petite so everyone believed. Hell I believed her and at time of DDay were together 22 years. Worse was it went on for 6 years, carried on while I was treated for cancer.

  • – Not counting the AP but her family should count as I knew them too?
    – My nephew who was forced into silence because he needed a job (worked for now-ex) and a place to stay (lived in now-ex’s apartment but was never to answer the door or the land line).
    – Co-workers at a very large firm.
    – Friends of ours who “lent” him money to buy a $3 million apartment for them to live in.
    – Friends of his who help hide money by creating bogus investments that I got during the divorce and were then uncollectible.
    -So many other who wondered but never had enough proof to tell me!! They were very angry and felt terrible when the truth came out. When people work together so closely and travel together for business, it really is hard to tell.

    The best news is that I really had to think before answering this. That means I’ve let so much go and the anger is just gone. I can only hate the bystanders for so long!

    • CL, I’m curious what you think after seeing all the responses?
      Are the numbers more or less that what you might have predicted?

  • I was pregnant with twins when he said, ‘I’m not happy and I’m not sure we’re right for each other’ out of left field after we just moved and bought our dream home. We had a 7 and 3 year old at the time. Right then and there I suspected. Later went on to do months of marital counseling and gaslighting and isolating me from my family and all the things. Fkn around on me and never really being there for me during my very difficult pregnancy. I found out on his phone through Instagram messages after I thought we’d recommitted. Trickle truth. The whole playbook. He and AP didn’t tell anyone. Loved the secrecy. As it came out everyone was shocked. But he decided to DARVO and had a “suicide attempt” that I stopped. And went to a 30 day mental health and rehab facility (that I paid for). I later realized it was DARVO and he was never serious. It was easier for everyone to rally around him in his time of need instead of actually deal with what he did. Waiting on arbitration awards as we speak. My twins are 9 months. My older two are amazing big brothers. I’m not really asking and I’ve gone no contact (except court ordered parenting app) but pretty sure many of his ‘chosen family’ has realized what he did and what he is.

    • I feel like we were with the same person. Mine left when I was pregnant and also did the whole ‘suicide’ thing too. His family realise what he was like too. It’s been about 7 years now. As time has gone on though, they have re-built a relationship with him and I have less to do with them for my own sanity

      • My exFW pulled the suicide card too. I don’t even believe he tried, looking back, it was just a story he told me to avoid consequences.

    • My God, ChumpedMomof4– from one mom of 4 to another-/ you are BAD ASS!!!!! I hope that utterly worthless piece of shit suffers for what he did to you and your kids. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

  • My college roommates knew about his cheating within the first year of our marriage and didn’t tell me.

    Two have talked to me about it. One said she was sorry, she didn’t know how to tell me, and the other said she thought I knew.

    My college freshman boyfriend (whom I remained friends with) also says it was an open secret in their circles that he was cheating on me.

    We divorced 10 years later, this time over cheating that I knew about. I really wish someone had told me.

    • Agree. It’s the lack of consent as chumps to the cheater’s actions. If these people would freaking understand that cheating involves deception- duping the partner, and are close friends and family, they would tell the chump.
      Kudos to those told the chumps about the lies through courageous conversations.
      I don’t know what the stigma is in telling the domestic violence victim.

      • I agree the cheaters should be exposed and the chump should be informed but many times it back fires on the informer. The informer is labeled a troublemaker, busybody, pot stirrer, etc. and the chump will even distance themselves or outright turn on the person telling them their partner is a cheater. That said I would still recommend informing the chump.
        A very dear friend did not speak to me for months after I told her that her then boyfriend was dating someone else. She married the cheater (small wedding, I was invited) and then funny enough dumped him less than a year after they married. Oh and he didn’t cheat during their marriage (that I know of) but she got tired of having to tell him to take out the garbage, walk the dog and other every day tasks. He was smart, funny, good looking but lazy and had no initiative. It didn’t help that her father cut her off financially because he had no use for the cheater. Anyway she met a great guy, a successful attorney and her father threw her a wedding (I was a bridesmaid) that was outrageous.

        • My younger sister told her friend, a bride-to-be, when her friend’s fiancé hit on her — in no uncertain terms — shortly before the wedding. (My sister is the best.) The friend was in disbelief, and when she confronted her fiancé, he trashed my sister and lied, and she believed him. My sister was disinvited from the wedding and cut off. Pretty sure we can all guess how that marriage played out…

  • As far as I know – nobody apart from him and (all 18 or so) OW. Apparently, he was “ashamed of his disease” (sex addiction blah blah) and didn’t want to ever leave me, so he didn’t tell anyone, hid everything like a Russian spy. But then the last (and most “used”) OW confessed to her husband and he came to tell me. Out of revenge towards him or because he wanted me to know or both, I am not really sure. However, still thankful to know what an asshole he truly is.

    • Oh, but some of his friends from younger and college years knew he did it in all his previous relationships and never told me. He always lied about it and told me he had never cheated on anyone.

      • Yeah, what is it with some people, that cheating is their standard MO for ending a relationship? Super lazy and cowardly.

        • I think cheating is their standard MO, period. I don’t believe there are that many legit “exit affairs.” My guess is that there are ongoing affairs/abuse, and things finally unravel, and then they claim it was their way out. I don’t think these FW’s have affairs because they need an escape hatch and want out. IMO just want kibble and triangulation and to duck around, and eventually things catch up with them. It’s just one more word salad/bagged salad excuse that helps them spin a culturally “acceptable” narrative and save face, after the fact.

      • Had that too. In peeling the onion, his past behavior in other relationships came to the surface in martial counseling.
        He KNEW 100% that if I had.known early early on while we were dating and before entrapment, I would have canceled the relationship.
        It FEELS like entrapment to me. I was an excellent beard.

        • Being the beard sucks. 37 years for me. My foo issues were a part of my attraction to my gay in denial ex. Classic dysfunction. I inherited depression and anxiety genetically AND I’m an adult child of alcohol/dysfunction, emotionally neglected, physically abused, etc. Best path for me was to break the trauma bond, which is like being addicted to an another human being. Working on myself is the only way to recover. One day at at time.

          • 47 years for me…the therapist told me 5 character traits play in this…but don’t change cause they make you a beautiful person.

    • Same with me, Confused. With the sole exception of him having to explain to his female boss why he didn’t come to the meetings they had flown him in for (because he had been arrested for soliciting an undercover cop posing as a prostitute and was missing for two days), cheating bastard ex kept his very secret second life hidden from everyone.

      We separated for three or so years after his arrest in the late 90s, but I took too many drags off the hopium pipe and let him move back in.

      To this day, noone where I live knows except the friends I have told. He gets awards for community volunteerism and even had a small pavilion named for him after our divorce. So he is still successfully carrying on a double life, but I’m no longer being abused by it. I’m good with that.

      While he preferred hookers and nameless internet hookups, there were a few dozen he screwed with more regularity than the hundreds of others. In the immediate aftermath, I struggled with whether I should tell the husbands of those that were married. But at that time, I was in such awful shape that I realized I needed to put my healing first or I wouldn’t survive. Two of the husbands I planned to contact died within months of our divorce, so I was never able to tell them. The third one found out from the spouse of another one of his wife’s hookups, so I didn’t tell him either, though I should have.

      • I called the husband of FWs ho worker. It went to voice mail so I left my number and as we were in the same field of work I used that as a reason for him to call me. When he did call I let it go to voice mail. When I listened to his voice he sounded really nice. I shyed away from calling him again. In that moment I just didn’t want to be the one to blow up his world (I had only just discovered who FW was fucking…. Literally hours!). I was also very scared about what he may say to me. Incredibly vulnerable, the anger didn’t hit til much later. I hid away really. Then shed all mutual friends who stayed in contact with FW. Not hiding now. I’m thriving now.

  • We had a large circle of “friends” (associates) since FW was in the film/music/theater community. I’d known most of these people for years (some 10-15 years). They’d been to my wedding, my house, my parties, I’d worked with them on films. They ALL knew. NO ONE said a word. No one asked my side of the breakup. No one asked if I was okay. They started excluding me from events (or looking really uncomfortable when I showed up). Every one of them embraced OW and welcomed her in, after knowing her less than 6 months. I finally had to accept that they had never been MY friends. That I was only a means of sucking up to my husband, who offered them the possibility of work and getting their face out there. Unfortunately, the film community is full of narcissistic people. *I* had nothing to offer them, so to stay on FW’s good side, they supported the new woman he started flaunting. I am also sure that FW spent YEARS devaluing me to these people, setting up his eventual exit by painting me as cold and unfeeling, unsupportive, crazy, or whatever. The reactions they had to the new relationship of “I’m glad you found someone who APPRECIATES you” are very telling. OW had that opinion of me too (“you didn’t know what a good thing you had when you had it”), except she found out the truth in the end, and she left him when he started treating her the way he’d treated me.

    Most of our coworkers knew too (we all three – me, FW, OW – worked the same job), and none of them said anything either. A few people who had worked with me in another position did suspect something and talked to me about it, but I didn’t want to believe it. People came forward to express their disapproval of the affair, FW and OW’s behavior, and their sympathy for me after FW and OW had both left the job, my boss among them. She didn’t feel she could say anything before (and she didn’t know ALL the facts).

    The people at the charity he worked for knew, and that was very weird. Because it was a charity all about FAMILIES. They knew we were married.

    It was humiliating when I learned how many people knew about the affair, while I’d been ignorant and acting like my husband was … my husband. It was a betrayal to learn that they’d accepted OW without question and had no issues with her. I was hurt and angry for a long time. I didn’t have many friends of my own, since FW isolated me, and we really only hung out with the people HE wanted to spend time with (which wasn’t my friends or family, most of whom he would ridicule and belittle to me, like “why would you even want to hang out with such a flaky person?” if my friend had something come up and had to cancel our lunch out or whatever).

    In they end, these people weren’t FW’s friends either, they were using him as much as he was using them. It was all transactional and self-serving. And when he really needed people to support him, no one was there for him. He ended up taking his own life. All his “friends” showed up in droves to his funeral. They all expressed their sympathy to me, and suggested we “get together sometime”. I hadn’t seem most of them in over two years. I was polite and said “that sounds nice”. But I note it has been a year and a half and not a single person has reached out to me since that day.

    I’ve learned to be much more particular about my friends. I have a few good ones, and I’d rather have just a few real friends, who actually care, who are actually supportive, who would be there for me if I needed them the same way I’d be there for them, the a whole host of acquaintances who run at the first sign of trouble. Oddly, FW’s family did NOT know about the affair (because he wasn’t speaking to them), and when they did find out they sided with me. FW may be gone, but his family is in my life (and my son’s life) MORE now, and they have been great. My kiddo got a set of grandparents, two aunts, two uncles, and two cousins, plus more extended family, that FW had been denying to our child because of old grudges. I count FW’s sister as one of my good friends now.

    • This is exactly my truth also, only 10 years later, the no-longer young AP is still mooching off XH… “FW spent YEARS devaluing me to these people, setting up his eventual exit by painting me as cold and unfeeling, unsupportive, crazy, or whatever. The reactions they had to the new relationship of “I’m glad you found someone who APPRECIATES you” are very telling. OW had that opinion of me too (“you didn’t know what a good thing you had when you had it”)…..” they deserve eachother.

    • Much of this feels familiar, Light. It’s as if they try to turn us in to the people they say we are. It’s hard to shed the weight of it.

  • I wouldn’t count affair partners other than those who I thought were my close friends, those for whom I had a pre-existing claim to their loyalty. So for me the total I know about would be 5 to 10, including my best friend from age 10 (best man at my wedding), and another of my groomsmen. Plus my cheating ex’s two business partners and their significant others. Plus my ex brother in law. My elementary school age son knew his mom used heart emojis when she texted a man on the Internet, but he didn’t know what it meant so I won’t count him.

    Cheating is about so much more than sex and involves so many beyond the cheaters. It is a moral oil spill that spreads everywhere, touches everything, smothers all that is beautiful with a slime and stench that lingers for decades.

    • “Cheating is about so much more than sex and involves so many beyond the cheaters. It is a moral oil spill that spreads everywhere, touches everything, smothers all that is beautiful with a slime and stench that lingers for decades.”

      Great and accurate analogy, Nomar. My ex FW worked for a Fortune 500 oil company, so this one really hits home for me. I copied that into my notes. Cheating is certainly the tip of the iceberg to the destruction it inflicts.

    • Many of my XW’s friends were cheaters, especially her best friend from childhood. She was actively cheating with her boss. I know that two other friends had cheated and another would later. It becomes a web of conspiracy where they all have something to lose if they speak up. “Moral oil spill” indeed!

    • So sorry about your best friend. When I found out it was at the end of three tough years of health and job betrayal as a result of taking leave for health problems. Dday came ant my lowest point. The only thing that kept me from going over the edge was the thought that she could have slept with my friends but didn’t. I know this because of extended PI investigation. Nomar, you are a strong man. Again so sorry

  • So very many people knew. Perhaps 20 people at the university where they worked had known for almost the entirety of their five year affair. There were others who had deep suspicions but they were much closer to me and because of the loving/joyful narrative I spewed about our marriage, they couldn’t quite believe that he was cheating. I think my foolish happiness and trust and nonstop banter about what a good man he was encouraged my closest circle to spackle right along with me.

    • Don’t beat yourself up, Paula. You were 100% in and committed- and duped.
      The cheating has nothing to do with you. It IS humiliating finding out the person you regarded so highly could abuse you so horribly. It feels so public. And for me it makes/made me feel so dumb.
      We are not stupid people. We trusted very capable liars. Why would be have doubted them while we were fully vested in the relationship, thinking they were too.

  • I presume at least one to 5. Co-worker/boss/best friend (all one person). The FW was very good at keeping things compartmentalized and separate!

  • What are your thoughts on being told by the OW? My ex went onto tinder and had a 4 month affair. The OW texted me late one night, and spilled the beans, saying he had told her he was very much in love with her and that i no longer loved him but he didn’t want to lose his kids. So she did the ‘right thing’ by telling me herself and asking me to ‘let him go’ for his happiness. This was a total blindside to me, as i thought we were happy. Anyway, once she realised he was ‘happily married’ she was furious, and i felt really sad for her whilst also of course, despising her. We are no longer together. They are not together and he tries every day to get me back and take no accountability for what he did. But if she hadn’t told me, I’d never have known and for that, I will always be grateful to her.

    • I wish OW had told me. Instead, she lied to my face (she was my coworker, and, I thought, friend) for several years. I’m still not sure why (probably at FW’s insistance) because it took her much longer to “get” him. I would have filed for divorce immediately had I known for sure he was cheating. I wasted four years trying to “fix” my marriage.

    • If he tries every day to get you back, I hope you have gone No Contact and are simply routing those emails / texts to an archive folder so you can use them in the divorce.

    • She didn’t tell you out of the kindness of her heart. She figured if you knew, you’d leave and she’d win the sparkly turd. I think it’s fine to be grateful that you found out, but you don’t really owe her that gratitude, specifically. (unless it makes you feel better to have that gratitude) My STBX’s OW reached out to me once, via 2 texts 15 minutes apart. That wasn’t DDay, he had already told me. In her texts, she told me she wasn’t the first, that he “had cheated on her too” and said some hateful things, then the 2nd text was an APOLOGY in which she said she thought they “were in love”. They were fighting that day, but are now back on. I was so infuriated that she contacted me. And the nerve of her telling me, the wife that he cheated on her too. He can’t cheat on YOU. He’s married to ME. Of course, her texts left me wondering who else there was. He insists that she meant that he was cheating on her with ME. I don’t believe that BS obv. I’ve been with him 23 years, married 15 and his side piece knows more than me about what was apparently numerous affairs. I try to let it go because ultimately, THIS affair is enough to end the marriage. I don’t really need to know exactly how many others or when. But it does bother me that she knows the truth and I don’t. At this point, the least he could do is be 100% honest with me. (We are going to divorce and he is fine with that, so it’s not like he is trying to mitigate the damage and keep me…why lie now?)

      • Why lie now? Because it is easy. Because FW are cowards. FW are lazy and can’t be bothered by pesky emotions, tears and damage to their (perceived) image. Acknowledging the truth is courageous and takes effort. And integrity.

  • Ex-FW kept his shit pretty well under wraps. Based on my information and investigation (I did some really deep searches when I finally got a clue) about four of our friends knew but said nothing to me. FW has spent about 18 months building up his narrative with these friends and his family of how unhappy he was, how he thought I was cheating on him, how I kept him isolated and so on. What an ass! I finally found out when FW left some stuff behind on the family printer. From that point I went to total investigative mode and found so much stuff that just delighted my lawyer, a PI and the forensic accountant. My son also found pictures and video of exFW and Primary Schmoopie doing the dirty in many different forms on his shared photo accountant (son used it for pictures to us and other family). This really helped in a fault state! Upon finding this crap, my son immediately told me. The really great thing about the FW was that he left a great trail behind to include receipts and money transfers. I was able to save money by providing this information to the accountant. Once we had a rock solid case, we filed and then FW was a sad sausage. Even with all this evidence FW tried to delay everything as much as he could! Finally, we were in a settlement conference with a retired judge and that judge saw everything and upon talking to opposing counsel FW was ready to settle. He had never been agreeable to anything before in regards to settlements. Apparently, the retired judge told him the consequence in terms of dollars, public record etc. that would more than likely happen if FW did not settle. FW settled within 48 hours and I did get his dissipation of marital funds back, a nice cash settlement, vacation points, the marital home, a vacation property, half of his IRA and then some. Divorce has final after 19 months.
    EX’s family dumped me like a hot potato. They talked to my son and told them how evil I was (yep, FW kept up his truth with his family). My son told them that they may really want to take a look at what really happened, and he then went no contact with them. He was NC with FW since finding the pics and video and telling FW. Of course, it is my fault that son does not have contact with FW or his family, but it is not my job to do anything about it. FW found out what the consequences are of being a lying, cheating asshole. I am just glad it is over, and I can get on with living a life free of a FW and his multiple Schmoopies (yep, he had a primary Schmoopie and some alternates).

  • I would estimate around 6 knew. Her daughter and boyfriend. The couple who owned the garage we took our cars to and her best friend and her husband. I was told her bff and husband used to double date.

  • I often share that my Cheater’s behavior was likely very well hidden…he seemed to try to keep that part of life far away from home.
    That said, I still think there was a narrative to his work associates/friends.

    When my daughter and I were traveling to get to his retirement (from the military) ceremony (he had it 2000 miles from home which was really odd), I ran into one of his bosses in the airport. As we chatted with him, he got the STRANGEST, quizzical and pity-laden look on his face. I def think that a serious “mentally ill wife who makes my life hell” narrative was spun, yet no one ever fessed up to it.

    From what I know, no one close to me really knew. It is remarkable that he kept this going for so many years. I wonder if some of his intense freak-outs were moments when he feared he might be outed. There had to be a bunny=boiler or 2 among his fuckbuddies.

    • ” I wonder if some of his intense freak-outs were moments when he feared he might be outed.”

      It’s amazing what we see in hindsight and then say “Oh! Now I get it!” My STBX used to occasionally flip out that I used my real name on FB. He used a nickname that no one could find him if looking. He used to say it was about safety. I actually believed that was his concern. He also used to accuse ME of using my full name so old boyfriends could find me. Now I realize that he probably didn’t want some schmoopie finding ME and outing him! It is all so crystal clear now, but I 100% didn’t see it at the time at all.

      • Yea, that makes sense.
        Cheater was military and there was a work dinner we needed to go to. On the way there, he had a huge rage, abusive screaming and driving like a lunatic. By the time we arrived, I was too traumatized to speak and my perception had closed down to a small bubble around my head.

        As soon as we arrived, he ran into a female Lt Col who he had never mentioned and when he saw her, he said “there she is” what ann odd remark about someone he had never previously mentioned?? She got a funny look on her face and walked over to greet him.

        Now looking back, I think the trauma was intentional – if he could abuse me enough, I would be incapable of being very observant at the event – and it worked

      • I asked my ex husband if he could watch my dog for a month while I went home to visit family and he absolutely freaked out and had a full on panic attack. He said it was because he wasn’t sure how to juggle the dog and starting a new job where he’d have to be in the office a few days a week – I said that I’d arrange any daycare he needed but he was so stressed about it I backed off and changed the dates of my trip, forking out more money to do so. His behaviour was so weird and now I think it was a strange panic because he didn’t know how to explain to his AP why he had my dog but I guess he eventually worked that problem out.

    • I discovered that FW is a CIA-level liar. I never had a clue he had a whole double-life thing going on. Practically in my face and I missed it all. It turns out he was putting his child mistress up at hotels within a mile or two of our house for 3 or 4 days at a time and seeing her during the day when I was working and he was off or he’d go by for a quick roll in the hay on his way home from work (the nights he’d come home late and say he had to finish off paperwork). He was also calling out from work to take weekend trips with her without me knowing. There are things I see now, looking back, and there were questions I had in the last few years about his behavior, but I never for a moment thought he was cheating. But his affairs were all hookup hos and the child mistress came from a sugar baby site so I wonder how much people at work knew. Not long before blowing up our entire marriage, he took me to an event at his work and so many of the people there were surprised to see me and kept looking at me funny. So I don’t know if they knew he was cheating or if he had been spreading lies about me.

    • I can relate to people having weird looks on their faces. I used to get people gushing about how fantastic I looked. To the point where it was weird and I would ask him what he tells people about me. Now I know he told people I was an older woman. So they were expecting grandma and I’m the same age as him and constantly hear how young I look. Now I get why they seemed shocked.

      • I got similar at FW’s funeral. SO MANY people (his friends, whom I hadn’t seen in over two years) saying “you look GREAT!”. It WAS weird. I had pretty much disappeared from social media, since he and OW were stalking me, so these people hadn’t even seen a photo of me in 2-3 years. I don’t know what FW and OW were telling them about me. But everyone seemed genuinely shocked that I was…beautiful? (I did look like a million bucks that day.) That I looked like I had my shit together? I don’t know what they expected, but I guess I wasn’t it.

  • No one close to me knew. He says no one knew except his therapist. I think his work buddy knew, but 🤷🏻‍♀️

    I’ll never know.

  • Arseface was such a slick sociopath that he had Soviet spy level skills for keeping it all underground. The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing. Some of the harem members worked together in his happy hunting grounds and were quite friendly with each other. None of them knew about each other. He must have gotten off on the duper’s delight.Not even his so called best friends knew what he was capable of. A stone cold sociopath who wears a mask of urbane respectability. No one knew till I sent in a P.I.

  • Nobody knew because ex kept his trash whore hidden. She was on marriage #5 when i found out and even when they were officially dating before we met he never introduced her to anyone.

    She was too dumb to think about that. He kept her around secretly our entire relationship.

    In fact, she was an ex coworker of his at a large company and I got to be friends with several other coworker of his. I asked if anyone knew her and none of them even knew who she was. The company had 6000 employees and I don’t know what department she was in so it’s possible. But the bigger surprise was that he was dating this ho and his immediate coworkers all thought he was single.

  • A lot of people knew, but not a lot of people close to me. He’s dumb, but not that dumb.

    With one exception: my MIL. She knew before we got married and said nothing.

    • Yeah, same, my MIL knew at least 20 years before the poop hit the fan.
      He told me she had said to him, “ don’t tell Chumpasaurus”.
      My kids were young toddlers and infant stages then and she probably didn’t want the possibility of losing a relationship or time with them, so very selfishly kept her mouth shut about it. ( what the chump doesn’t know won’t hurt her stance)
      FW was never treated like his other three siblings. He was worshipped by all family members,even extended family, no one would dare question anything he did or said. He was all knowing and all powerful in everyones eyes.
      It was an odd dynamic really that I actually made fun of, not knowing it was so highly f’ed up and would have grave consequences for me down the line.
      I think they all viewed misogyny as their god given right as males and the women in the family blindly accepted their inferiority and saw it as “ just the way it is”.
      I knew FW’s dad treated his mother with great disrespect and subservient to him and all I thought was thank God almighty FW wasn’t anything at all like his father! He treated me with great respect, or so he projected. He seemed to be the complete opposite of his dad.
      Little did I know he was far far worse than his misogynist father, but was just very covert about his views on woman. He saw his life as having much more value than mine and that justified all his actions.
      His best friend from work knew. He was confused about it though and I saw a text where he asked FW why would he want to blow up his life. But the friend never did tell me, he worshipped FW too and would stand to lose too much personally by not having an association with him. ( they owned a boat together, FW contributing the lion’s share)
      I think his two sisters knew the last few years of his decades long cheating. But you don’t question god, so kept their mouths shut and tried to help enforce the narrative that I deserved it somehow and why shouldn’t he find happiness, he works very hard in life.
      My son and I were talking just yesterday about his father. ( a rare event)
      He’s tried to maintain a relationship on some level, although it’s nearly impossible and he’s currently not on speaking terms with him. My son recalled when he was about 10 being out fishing with his father and being soo aware of how detached and distracted he always was,even as a young kid he saw that.
      His mind was constantly someone else. My son had so wished to be able to talk to his dad and know he was actually listening to him, but that was never possible.
      FW had one main schmoopie at that time and an array of side back up Schmoops in the scum pond and a very challenging job. That was probably enough to mentally juggle and keep it all compartmentalized and from blowing up in his face. It was the fear that never left his mind and his life became living in that space.
      He had no time at all to be actually fishing with his son on the boat and be able to truly see him and deepen their father-son bond. It was always so superficial and for show, check that box so I can get back to what I want to be doing, my next planned seduction.
      What tragic lives these people create for themselves. They are so busy covering up their crimes, that they never get to engage in the wonderful things that life offers us.
      That to me is the real karma that hits them, missing out on and being unable to recognize the things in life that have the greatest value.
      They never even see it. They are shells of humans, completely empty on the inside.

      • My Cheater was also worshipped and adored by his family… he was handsome, had a much better education and career than any of them and none would dare challenge him

    • Yep my MIL knew before me. We lived out of state and on a weekend trip which then husband couldn’t make, his mom gave me a large bag filed with new towels. He must have complained to her that our 2nd home didn’t have enough towels. The 2nd home that he was referring to as “his house” behind my back. Our son was in 1st grade and our son’s school speech therapist mentioned dad’s house and I even corrected her – so he was probably prepping our kids for about 1 year before Dday. So at least 5-10 of his friends and coworkers knew about his affair with the howorker before he eventually confessed to me when he had his ducks in a row for the divorce.

  • FW fucked whores in massage parlors. I doubt he advised them he was married. Victimless crime then, right? He said it was maybe a dozen, but that he “doesn’t remember.” He also thinks his four incher is actually eight. Math is not his strong suit.

  • Everyone he worked with because they witnessed it. So throw in a couple he had some colleagues as his wing men/women. This doesn’t include the colleagues he was fucking. This is a fortune 500 co. Then…..there were his singing buddies from his hobby. Min 6 dudes, most likely more. They knew he was keep his special friend in his hotel room during competitions.
    Most of these people are married themselves. Do we get to count the spouses??

    • Adding onto my own comment- I forgot about people from my community who would see him at the major airport here, hand in hand with one of his special friends heading off to a bus-leisure trip. He’d work during the week and extend the stay with a special friend hiding in the hotel room. I don’t know this exact #. Let’s call it n>5.

      • Wow. That reminds me of a series of emails I found on D-day. One of klootzak’s OW was angry at him that he walked far ahead of her at the airport and was acting like he didn’t know her. She had booked a flight with him to join him on one of his work trips. I had looked back at my calendar and realized I had dropped him off at the airport for that trip. I was 6 months pregnant at the time. I am guessing there was a coworker on the same flight who he didn’t want to know so he was blazkng through the airport trying to ignore the OW who was going to be flying with him on a work trip for sex. She was madder than a wet hen. She had made excuses with her husband and taken a day off work and how dare klootzak treat her that way!

        His OW were always either in the cities he traveled to or the town we were in and that is the only one I recall where he tried to bring her on a work trip. I doubt he ever did it again as she threatened to blow the lid on him and he probably realized it was impossible to hide OW from coworkers who were on the same flights. I still chuckle to myself at the mental image of klootzak trying to run ahead tk not be seen with her and her chasing to keep up and angry. lol

  • Im pretty sure his “bro” group at work all knew. He’s lied about their involvement, but I have enough elements to know there was some on their part (though I’ll never know exactly what it means, and I dont care).

    Now, I wouldn’t expect perfect strangers to rock their boat and go out of their way to let me know, BUT at one point in the throes of despair, I sneaked one of their numbers out of his phone and texted this guy -and not only because my partner claimed he’d gotten a “ring-for-sex” red bell I found hidden in the car from this guy, who is openly gay.

    He was nice enough to answer me, I guess, and confirmed that the item was from him as a gag gift (he seemed sincere). But he also gave me a generic platitude of “Im sure if you talk to (partner), you’ll be able to work things out”. But it sounded very much like he meant something by that, as in, talk to him, cause there’s more stuff you need to dig up.

    All very fishy to boot, and it makes me shaky to relive that awkward conversation. Potential OW I reached out to at his job, count of 3; only 1 finally answered and outed him (she had been chumped as well).

    TL;DR get out when you even simply SUSPECT cheating. Dont stick around, ever.

    • Because nothing says “I love you!” like hidden gadgets that make you question your spouse’s sexuality, might I add…

  • Around 12, including his awful friends and their wives plus his family members and some of his work colleagues. The humiliation was hard to take, personally and professionally (some of the work colleagues were lawyers who knew me professionally). Of course, I don’t know how many people the people who knew told, so it could be many more.

  • I don’t know who knew for sure. So much secrecy and gaslighting, I really don’t know.

    FW and AP were coworkers at an online education company that was built from the ground up by a Fortune 500 type of guy. Only about 12 people total in their office. FW was senior to AP but both worked under the same senior manager/co-founder.

    When DDay happened, FW blurted that everyone at his office knew and that he had discussed with one of the women there about his love for AP and how he no longer loved me. The night of DDay (after FW walked out and moved in immediately with AP) I sent an email to FW’s big bosses that FW had left me for coworker AP and that I was blindsided. And simply said that I was sorry I hadn’t gotten to know them all better (FW was only there one year at that point).

    That’s when FW blew a gasket. He then claimed to his attorney that no one at work knew and that I was trying to make him lose his job. Which later came to light that he was already fired previously to DDay because the Fortune 500 boss hates him. And now FW and AP had to sign documents with lawyers to protect the company from their affair shit. I also had him served there. So if they didn’t know previously to DDay, the whole office knew now lol

    And his bosses were not so happy being dragged in for discovery with the company emails too (AP and FW would send lovey dovey shit to each other while everyone was meeting together in the little conference room… “I can’t stop looking at you”… “stop smiling” blech)

    In the end, I think maybe a few of the coworkers knew, but most didn’t. And FW kept me so segregated from his work that no one knew me enough to be able to tell me even if they wanted to.

    The Fortune 500 boss ran into me by chance in a parking lot and told me point blank that he didn’t know about FW and AP and that he hates FW and couldn’t wait to be rid of him.

    FW doesn’t really have friends. And doesn’t tell his family shit (one brother didn’t know for a month after DDay — I had to tell him). So I’m not sure if there were a lot of conspirators. He’s a lying gaslighting secretive creepy piece of shit.

    • Surprise, surprise, these narcissistic POS’ don’t have friends! My MIL was devastated when she found out (still is, 3 months post-DDay). I believe if his dad was still alive he would’ve known (he was a cheater, too) but FW didn’t tell anyone in his family because he knew how it would go. And it has. He is NOT anyone’s favorite person anymore.

  • The more I read, the more I realize they are all sociopaths at least. I trust people less and less. All of FW’s fam knew and he pretended estrangement from them to keep it hush. Sociopathic.

  • My husband, the OW and I were in AA, members of the same home group. Everyone knew. When I told my sponsor, she said, yeah I know. People have been talking for months. The OW was having a party and many of our ‘friends’ were invited, and my husband was supposed to show up with his suitcase, leaving me for her. It was so humiliating and disgusting. There is a common principle in AA that we don’t judge other’s sex lives, some like more pepper than others. I’ve dropped out of that organization as it’s not a safe for me.

    • “I’ve dropped out of that organization [AA] as it’s not a safe for me.”

      Yeah, I definitely hear you on that one, IamChump.

      As great as AA can be, a LOT of people who go to AA meetings have swapped boozin’ for shtoopin’.

  • How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
    Realistically it is a tough stat to get. Many people will say ” I knew when she changed how she dressed and started working out”, or ” She was spending a lot of time with him”, or “They were always together” or “she was putting a lot of selfies on social media” However they didn’t know, they suspected.
    How many really knew? I know of 5, plus all of the doorman at our apartment so 12.
    Amazing how hated I must be that none could tell me

    • “Amazing how hated I must be that none could tell me”

      I used to have this thought – it connected with deep childhood issues. Why were my parents so cruel? They must have hated me. Why was I bullied? I must be so awful and unlikeable that the other kids hated me. And on and on.

      But I propose, that the actions of others really have nothing to do with us.

      Them not telling is a failing of their moral system and character – it says nothing about your worth or value.

      Consider reframing “How hated I must have be” to “how lacking in character THEY must be to have never told me”

      • You’re right. I actually asked one of them though, “why does everyone hate me so much? that’s what I don’t understand. Did I do something?” And she looked at me in shock and said, “no one hates you…”

        And I was like, “then I don’t understand because I’d have to really hate someone to be ok with this being done to them.”

        She said, “You have to understand that it isn’t about you.”

        And I said, “Well, you have to understand that it is about me because I’ve made ever major life decision for the past 20 years based on lies. That was my life, this is about me.”

        She got really pale and her mouth opened and closed and she just stopped talking. But she was right that it was’t about me, it was them. They would have done all this to anybody. Just like getting drunk and mowing down some people on the sidewalk, totally random, but still horrifically destructive.

        • So well said about those who refused to tell. I had reactions from some of total disbelief who thought we were the most wonderful couple . But the wives he annoyed by heavy flirting probably had an idea while I blind and dumb to it for all he was really capable of doing and actually doing. He himself alluded to it by commenting how guys at his work were man hores. He was caught up in making so much with sexual content and just got weird creepy and foul. Not one person told me but things happened that were strong indicators he had infuriated people at his work. We had been in tough physical occupations all along but after he changed his job all of a sudden he had to have message therapy. When I think back which I probably missed comments by people said half jokingly that did point to all his underhanded ness and cheating. But like so many things I overlooked the significance of those to.

    • Ouch….that last line….”how hated I must be……” that’s it for me too….and when I express that thought to non chumps, all they have is” you need to fix your self-esteem problem”. And that just makes me feel more broken…..

      • How well people undervalue or misaligned the true damage and revise it to aim at us. That was one of the hardest parts for me , no one “got it” until I came here.

      • For me the journey (in therapy) was one of realizing I was a good person.

        I analyzed my actions – kind, thoughtful, caring, hardworking, loyal, honest – and realized in no world do those traits add up to me being a bad person. Even if I took my worst traits, social awkwardness, nervous oversharing, sensory issues, workaholism, none of those things were “bad.” None of those things purposefully hurt anyone else.

        Then I analyzed the actions of my parents, bullies, boyfriends, and husband… and I saw a lot of behavior that purposefully was malicious. Words and actions that were intended to hurt.

        The math sounds grim, but a light went on for me that I am a good person who had been trying to get love and approval from bad people.

    • Please don’t think you were hated. People are cowards and even a lot of mostly decent people will take the path of least resistance.

    • “Many people will say ‘I knew when she changed’…” for me it was reinforced my now-belief that he was a serial cheater because there were never any changes.

      “Amazing how hated I must be that none could tell me”. Doc, as a nurse who has worked with docs for 38 years, it might seem really odd to tell you that some of us still see doctors as living in a place above and removed from normal life. Maybe I have met too many of them who are intentional with their aloofness, but the vast numbers of physicians I work with are very much enigmas to me. As for your fellow physicians, again, they are enigmas …I cant even guess what would pass as normal in that world. I have friends married to docs and I have forever feared of ever catching one of them with someone. Please dont feel hated…the thought of inserting ourselves into that mysterious physician world is a really intimidating concept.

  • I’m sure a couple of his co workers knew, since she was a coworker. My ex MIL knew. She had her over to dinner several times. Probably other people too. People that hold secrets like that are Pos anyways.

  • FW was a musician in a wedding band and his wedding band-mates definitely knew because he was philandering during all of his casino gigs (the last AP was a manager in the casino). He used to idolize these bandmates over the many years of our marriage – I remember when one got a divorce and he quit his regular job and was working at a garden center- FW seemed to admire this. I’m sure that other asshole was telling FW that cheating on your wife was easy and awesome (not that FW needed any instruction in that department- but FW cheaters definitely support each other). Fortunately, I rarely hung out with his bandmates so they had little opportunity to let me know that FW was cheating anyway, but yeah, they ALL knew for many years.

  • My ex was the boss of a division office. Gossip spread hot and fast in that place. He wasn’t popular but they feared him. But whispers got back to central office (he was stupping one of his high level subordinates) but no one said a word to me. I suspected something but he denied it all. So the gossip was hot and torrid but not one word to me. I suspect they were buying popcorn. I figure at least 250-300 people knew. Very humiliating. After it all came out as he retired to the sunset, he was well-hated by most but pretty much no one cared except for the entertainment value. They can go fuck off. It was a regular Peyton place. Tons of cheaters, undiluted, in one place.

  • I’m thinking no one else knew and kept silent. Goofy’s girlfriend’s husband gave Goofy a month to tell me (as soon as OW’s daughter told her dad what she’d seen), then the very nice chumped man sent me a letter. Possibly I was the only one who kind of knew, picking up on the manscaping, expensive cologne, shark eyes, etc., except I didn’t tell myself the truth, so . . . at the time I was my own worst frenemy. Heck, I even caught them at their lab and saw her massaging his ears with her breasts – and I still didn’t tell me what I’d seen.

  • Ex-Mrs LFTT was very secretive, because she knew that her playing around would hazard the very nice lifestyle that I was funding. That said, there was a family friend who I now know was both encouraging her to be unfaithful and, where necessary, providing cover for her to spend time with her AP. But what goes around comes around, as this family friend found out a while later that her husband was also cheating on her. I am not in contact either with her or her cheater husband.

    On the upside, my youngest daughter (then 11) was the one who discovered the incontrovertible proof that now Ex-Mrs LFTT was being unfaithful after harbouring suspicions for about 6 months that “something was up.” She told her brother and big sister (then 16 and 18) and they told me. I am very proud that the three of them had the moral courage to do what is right, knowing how displeased their mother would be …. and I’m pretty sure that, nearly 8 years out, Ex-Mrs LFTT still harbours a grudge against them.


  • Five people that I know of; probably more:
    – Wife of my coworker saw them eating together in an out-of-the-way restaurant. (1)
    – My (now ex) husband’s client walked in on him and his first mistress cuddling in an out of the way room on a job site (he’s an architect and she’s an interior designer) and then told one of my husband’s employees about it. (that’s 2 more)
    – Affair partner’s husband was told by his lawyer not to tell me because I was pregnant at the time. (1)
    -And the biggie: My Mother In Law. About 1 month before our second child was born — my husband confessed to her that he wanted to divorce me for the mistress. In her defense, she encouraged him to break up with the AP and stick with me and the kids, and she was hoping he would take her advice and all would be well. She did admit to me she knew immediately after I found out on my own. And she apologized for not raising him better. And best of all — she refused to accept the AP after they married, including never visiting them even one time or welcoming AP into MIL’s home – hee hee. My ex had to take his new son to visit his mom without the OWife (now Ex-wife No. 2). My MIL continued to call me her daughter in law, and 17 years later still sends me money and a sweet card on my birthday, mother’s day and xmas, and cooks my “new” hubby of 15 years his favorite cake. So I forgive her for not telling me for the 6 weeks or so that she kept this secret.

    • Your MIL sounds amazing! I wish mine was nice/r. She won’t even say hello if I see her in town, gives me a phony half smile. Of course, her son told her that I treated him “terribly” & she told our kids that she can’t forgive me for that. Well, I can’t wait for what she thinks about the “I’m an alpha woman leader of the pack” AP someday (married 3 times already & has a history of taking those men to court -and she has no kids). MIL might just later regret how she treated me! Haha

    • My FIL is similar to your ex-MIL. My FIL didn’t know about klootzak until I told him and he has kept klootzak at arm’s length as far as I know. When FIL calls, he calls me and asks how I am and his grandchild but never asks to speak to klootzak. And he told me I will always be his daughter no matter what. Sends cards to me for my birthday and Mother’s Day and always writes additional heartfelt sentiments inside saying what a wonderful person and mother I am. FIL is a gruff guy and I am one of few people he is like this with. He has many times apologized for however he contributed to raising a FW. He and MIL never got along well and divorced but there was no cheating.

      Having said all of that, I don’t fully trust him, either. Because when push comes to shove, klootzak is blood and I am not. So I am careful what I say, for sure. On the other side of the divorce I think he will say “Good for you dumping that asshole!” but for now I dare not breathe a word about my ducks, attorney, etc.

  • My sister knew 4 years before I did because her boyfriend overheard my husband boasting about his current affair partner in the pub. Neither of them told me. They thought it was ‘kinder’ not to. Instead they told my mum, my other siblings, and by extension my entire family. My mother-in-law knew, and all the best friends he had during our 25 years must also have known (they were all cheater, too). Of course all the women he slept with knew and many of them, I much later realised, had been my best friends. So I had my very own ‘Truman Show’, where pretty much everyone I knew and loved – except for my kids – was laughing at me behind my back and colluding with the cheater. I think if your cheater is the sort to have multiple affairs over the course of the marriage then this is inevitable..

    • ” So I had my very own ‘Truman Show’, where pretty much everyone I knew and loved – except for my kids – was laughing at me behind my back and colluding with the cheater.”

      This is an excellent way to describe it. It destroys your entire concept of reality.

    • “My sister knew 4 years before I did because her boyfriend overheard my husband boasting about his current affair partner in the pub. Neither of them told me. They thought it was ‘kinder’ not to. Instead they told my mum, my other siblings, and by extension my entire family.”

      OUCH. Just…. fucking ouch. I’m sorry you dealt with that. I think if your sister has never been cheated on, I can almost understand a little, her not telling you. I think people freak out and feel like THEY are the one that is going to destroy your life by telling you. As a chump, I think telling is the right thing, but I can sort of understand if someone doesn’t entirely get that. But then telling OTHERS? Who then go on to tell more and more? NO. That’s awful.

      • That sister had had a long affair with a married man in her forties. My other sister also dates married men. So maybe that was part of it. My mum and dad cheated on each other and were always arguing(which was why I was determined to have a faithful marriage). I don’t know about my brother. I don’t see any of them now, because it gradually dawned on me that the reason I ended up believing in a fuckwit and being betrayed had a lot to do with my family of origin.

  • Not a one. OWhore was a subordinate & I found info in ex’s datebook that led me to question him. Immediately, he squealed that he was having an affair. He moved out 3 weeks later & quickly filed for divorce. This was 13 years ago & I still run into people who can’t believe it including coworkers at the time.

  • My son, my son’s teachers, my sons’ music teacher, parents at my sons school, our neighbors and cheaters family.
    We. lived in our neighborhood almost 20 years and cheater ignored our neighbors. He said they had nothing in common, he was better educated so they had nothing to talk about.
    I’m friendly and I’d wave and talk to our neighbors if I was outside. I became close to a few, help out if they needed anything, such as baby-sitting at 2:00 am, run their day care business so they could go on school trips, watch their kids on weekends, be there for them if they needed someone to listen.

    Suddenly after 20 years of not talking to our neighbors Cheater became the friendly neighbor. Waving when they’d drive by, walking over to chat with them, a total turn around. I was glad to see that he was being social because he had seemed depressed. I thought being social could be what he needed.

    I found out later he had been confiding in them that I’m mentally ill. In tears, he had tried everything, I refused to seek help or go to therapy and he wasn’t sure how much more he could take. He also claimed I was an alcoholic, a slob, abusive, and had crazy mood swings.

    I had wondered why the other parents at my son’s school weren’t talking to me as much as they had, I’d catch some of them staring at me then looking away. Some of my son’s teachers were giving me weird looks and were short with me.
    Beyond humiliating.

    • Isn’t it a crime if you say things about someone that harm their standing like slander or something? This all sucks so much.

    • My X did the same thing to me with our son’s school teachers. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Now I suspect that he was screwing one of them.

  • If you don’t count the schmoopies themselves, I don’t think anyone else “knew” with certainty. I do know now that there were quite a few people with very strong suspicions. Two neighbors in our last neighborhood saw him driving a woman to our house when I was out of town for work. Several coworkers of his noticed inappropriate behavior. A friend saw him out at a bar with a woman and thought it was odd but didn’t see anything weird. Juat talking going on. No PDAs so she figured it was on the up and up.

    I highly suspect his sister actually knew because she was getting the paper bill from his burner phone at her house and he was also bedding a friend of hers so highly unlikely she didn’t know. Not that I’d expect his sister to tell me.

    I would count about 15 people who said they had a lot of suspicion and his sister as likely to have known. BTW His sister is a guardian ad litem so what are the odds she isn’t coaching him heavily at this moment regarding custody battle?

  • When I think about it over the years, I would say at least 75-100 people knew. Mostly were his family, co-workers, and fraternity brothers. Some were “our” friends. All of them knew me.

    His mother once told me that “I was nothing more than a Guinea Pig and she couldn’t wait till he dumped me for the newer version” in front of our kids. I just thought she was being viciously mean but now I realize she was being truthful as he had all the signs of a serial cheater. I didn’t realize he was cheating on me until 10 yrs into our marriage/13 years together when he was more interested in “working out” and “hanging out” with next door neighbor smoochie than anything else.

    On every level it’s definitely a conspiracy against the chump and I believe now anyone who knows about a cheating partner and doesn’t tell the chump is nothing more than another piece of shit and I stay away from them. If they don’t have the integrity to tell an innocent chump than they are part of the problem!

    • I thought my MIL was the meanest woman ever. And she was mean but now I think of some of the stuff she said and I realize she knew who her son really was. She was angry when he got a vasectomy “because now he won’t be able to have more children with his next wife!” We were in like year five of our 20 year marriage at that point. She also used to ask me if he was beating me yet. She would literally pull me aside and ask me in a whisper if he’d started hitting me yet. It blew my mind. I had no idea why she thought he would do that, he didn’t seem to have any history of it, but she was so sure.

      At the end, he told me how much he’d fantasized about murdering me. His mom knew what he was. She was still a piece of work but she knew.

  • Five years later I still ruminate over this treachery. Who knows how many? I do know some that did and that still hurts. My takeaway? Most people have zero spine. Seems to be a common theme with this stuff.

  • Not counting random people in bars, at work, sex workers; only the ones who had a relationship with me also.40-50.That’s why it’s so painful…that they knew me and thought I was only worth that treatment. We lived in a great town of about 40% military, so in our large, social neighborhood with a pool and clubhouse…neighbors were coworkers, some neighbors were in his band. Lots of people who depended on me( used me)to put their kids on the bus, give them a ride to airport, share a ski house,…..some knew me well, and some believed the lies. A few knew of the entire double life. They still hang out with him….on the surface he’s sparkly and he fits in their fancy bubble. I have started to pity them in a weird way….there’s a whole messy world out here.

    • Well damn I should double that number. Forgot to include his horrible family that played along with him. His mom and all the family she spread the story to about how hard he had it. Everywhere I went, it’s as if there was a secret handshake that I didn’t know.

  • Hundreds of people. Not exaggerating. Including his voluminous rotating platter of APs over eleven years, plus every coworker he ever had, and MANY of our friends (especially the musicians in all the bands) several neighbors, a few members of my FOO, and whoever he may have hired for nudity and/or sex acts, I have to think it shouldn’t be surprising if the number crossed 1000.

    The only thing that surprises me now is that I don’t seem to have ever contracted any STIs from him. That feels like a flat out miracle.

    • I’m too early in to have a complete number. I’m pretty certain 5-10ish corporate slimeball buddies knew and covered for him regularly over the years. Interestingly, he kept me separate from that crew. I only met 3 superficially. Odd that he spent so many hours outside of work with those guys but i never met them? Not even once? I think he hid his cheating from childhood friend group because I did know them, although we don’t hang frequently anymore. Her certainly liked his image as family man living a nice upper middle class lifestyle with that older friend group. Wifey appliance here with her nice income, social ability, etc was convenient bridge to that world. Pretty sure he is calling me crazy to these people now. I went from major stabilizing force to crazy bitch…practically overnight!

      When did some of you find out more details on who knew? I’m not holding my breath at this point, but wondering if someone will come forward at some point. My best hope is an AP husband has better luck and chooses to fill me in.

      Sorry if a repeat comment…think I lost first attempt.

      • Hi, Crispy,

        There were lots of ways. In the old days, when you reserved certain travel things like plane tickets, the name of the travel would appear on the credit card bill. In the last several weeks, that happened.

        A lot of it was in things I found in the house after he moved and stuff he left behind on the computer.

        Some of it came from people who were feeling relieved that they “could finally tell me” things they felt like they couldn’t say before. (Those relationships ended, obviously.)

        Some of it came from people who slipped up.

        A few things came straight from him.

        One came from my niece, who he had violated when she was a minor.

        Some of it came from his online journaling (early social media, pre-blog).

        The rest that I know about is clear from context, though I’m quite sure there’s plenty I don’t know about, probably including violating more minors. Can’t prove it, but a person doesn’t usually criminally offend against children just once.

        I try not to hate, but if he was dying, I would feel only relief that I’d be 100% sure to never run into him again. Disgusting coward.

    • I caught numerous vaginal infections. My family doctor would say, ‘This one is really bad. You’ll have to get your husband to come in so I can treat him too.’ So he was another significant figure in my life who knew and never thought to tell me what was going on. At one point I actually thought I was getting all these mysterious infections from eating too much home made bread. (Yeast.) What other explanation was there?

    • “The only thing that surprises me now is that I don’t seem to have ever contracted any STIs from him. That feels like a flat out miracle.”

      me too

  • Oh god, it seemed like everyone knew things I didn’t. My own sister made a comment that made it look like she knew he was into male to female transgenders but not female to male and I just sat there in shock because I didn’t fucking know any of that, how the fuck do YOU know that?

    But whatevs. I’ve figured out I was completely surrounded by people who just LOVE to have secrets. It makes them feel so powerful. One friend told me she didn’t believe he’d been planning the divorce because he told her where he was taking me on vacation for our next anniversary. I asked her where and she said, “I can’t tell you that! It’s none of your business!” as if I was insane and out of line to ask.

    That pretty much sums up my entire 20 year marriage. It was all none of my business but it was everybody else’s business. Very weird group marriage scenario that for some bizarre reason had my name on the certificate when I apparently had nothing to do with it. Just wish someone had clued me in so I could’ve removed myself from that nonsense. They can keep their secrets, I want nothing to do with them.

  • The first affair, his brother. (as far as I know but I suspected more)

    The second affair:

    He denied when he left me that there was anyone else – the usual story ILYBNILWU, was leaving to find happiness, etc. He left 2 years ago, in the process of divorce we had a deposition recently where he disclosed that he HAD been having an affair for 2 years before he left:

    – AP’s Mom and whoever else because they were carrying out (having sex) at her mom’s house (BTW, my STBX is 57)

    – He met AP through his facebook high school friends – they knew

    – Our best friends and children. We spent 20 years going on vacation every summer with them. Turns out he took his AP to our rental vacation home last summer with them – the whole time denying he left me for someone.

    – The friends we rented the summer home from.

    – His entire family. Turns out, he took her to Thanksgiving last year. While still denying to me and our two adult sons that there was anyone else. So that includes, Mom, Stepfather, Father, Brother, Spouse, Children, Sister, Children and whoever else was there.

    His immediate family never even texted our sons “Merry Christmas”. Ghosted. Like we never existed for 30 years.

    SMH at the snakes that live in the hearts of people.

  • We had custody of our grandson, who had been abused, and had been going to a support group for parents and caregivers of abused kids. At my urging, Fraudster agreed to individual therapy for his anger and chose one of the group leaders, although it soon turned into a captive audience to get “feedback” for the songs he wrote and performed.

    When I discovered he’d fallen for a catfisher on a dating site and planned to move in with her, he set up a joint session with the therapist. First words out of therapist’s mouth were, “Fraudster, I feel so betrayed, personally and professionally.” I thought he meant about the cheating on me, then he went on to say, “I teach a class for teen girls about catfishers, and if I knew you were in a relationship with someone online, I would have warned you.”

    The counselor apparently had known for a long time that my ex was planning to leave, and per Fraudster (not that he’s a reliable source) had told him to weigh if the damage to me and the child was worth leaving us, and he had calculated that his happiness was worth it.

    I sat there in shock, wondering how this therapist’s first thoughts were about HIS OWN betrayed, not mine and child’s.

    We stopped going to group, but I continued to take child to his own sessions there with his own therapist. I knew most of the therapists in that organization, and couldn’t tell if their looks were sorrow or pity. I do know that child’s therapist was quite surprised later to learn that I was the one who filed. Fraudster apparently told them that he did.

    MC (with an outside therapist) did not last long because Fraudster attacked both of us, and I got him out of the house. Child’s therapist created a plan of care that specified no contact until Fraudster wrote and read to grandson a letter of contrition and apology, explaining what he did wrong. It took him over four months to write it, and that was with the help of three therapists.

    I know therapists can’t reveal what they are told in confidence. Still, that man sat in sessions with us and never suggested marital counseling or that there were any marital problems or dissatisfactions to work on.

  • I would guess there were 5-10 OW (that I know about) and 10-20 outside people (that I know about) that either knew or had strong, strong, STRONG suspicions. I’m positive horrible things were said to the OW about me in order to justify the affair and the outside folks either didn’t care enough to tell me or didn’t want to get involved. I understand in a weird way, but I really wish I would have known. I would have split far earlier. Wasted years and all that goes with it. *thumbs down*

  • All his traveling coworkers knew, considering he openly carried on his various affairs right in front of them. No one ever gave me so much as a hint.

    One of these coworkers was his “best friend” for years, and like all the others said nothing to me…..but finally got a taste of his own medicine when my STBX’s most recent affair partner was the best friend’s girlfriend!

    Definitely illustrated for me that this was a STBX problem, not a “me” problem. He doesn’t care who or how many people he hurts.

  • I have a story that is the other way around. My now ex was apparently on a dating site and matched with someone in my office (who I didn’t know but knew of – it was a big office). Pre the first date they had agreed on she did a bit of Googling and realised he appeared to be my husband. She cancelled the date and blocked him. Then she agonised over what to do next. But decided to tell someone in the office she was good friends with that she knew also was good friends with me (details including his dating profile).

    I sent a note to her thanking her profoundly for being brave and taking the steps of ensuring that I knew even if that must have been uncomfortable.

    Back to the original question. I bet quite a few of his colleagues knew as he would go to great length to ensure we had minimal interaction.

  • At five years old my daughter pointed out a street and said that’s where daddy’s girlfriend lives. She said she and her sister played with her kids. When I confronted him he said she was lying. Denying her reality and making her keep his secrets was damaging. As an adult she informed me there were many others. I suspect her teacher knew also because she told the teacher daddy said he would have to live in the dog house.

  • A few, her online best friend, the AP’s dad, brother, brothers wife, AP’s circle of friends.. Wouldn’t usually be an issue as very few in our circle knew, but she convinced me to take out family on holiday out to where AP lived, so I had a few holidays where I was in close quarters with all these other who knew and not one said a single word.

  • Pretty much the entire Catholic church congregation, including the priest, the deacon and the choir director, knew that my dipshit ex husband the trumpet player was boinking one of the cantors while he was married, for more than three years.

    • “Pretty much the entire Catholic church congregation….”

      yep – – those church-goers are my favorite kind of hypocrites /s

      I am so sorry that you had to experience that kind of betrayal. I am sending you blessings so that you can heal the hurts that those holy-rolling rat-bastards gave to you.

  • In high school, I knew a friend’s girlfriend was cheating on him. I told him. He shot the messenger, me, but somehow I have remained the little boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes. Don’t expect me to stand by silently if someone is being hurt.

    In my own case, I am only aware that our boat partner knew. Traitor Ex consulted with him, and never said a word to our family therapist. Boat Partner was on Wife 3.0, the cheating accomplice half his age. Boat Partner owned a business with Wife 2.0. Wife 2.0 and the gaggle of children belonging to Wife 1.0 and Wife 2.0 gave Boat Partner no grief. Children were at the wedding of Boat Partner and 3.0, and so was I, not knowing at that time that 3.0 was a cheating accomplice. Naturally Traitor Ex, who owns a business and has a child with me, wanted to learn the secrets of his success; how did he continue to own a business with Wife 2.0, marry 3.0, with no adverse consequences?! (Traitor Ex made the mistake of marrying someone whose emotions are wired properly who made sure child’s emotions were wired properly as well.).

    Boat Partner told Traitor Ex our daughter would be fine. She is not. What a good friend.

    May he have a front row seat in the Extra Crispy section in hell next to Traitor Ex and the Craigslist cockroach.

    Cheaters and secret side pieces are soul rapists. I don’t enable soul rapists.

    • And who knew doesn’t matter to me anyways, because the point at which he decided it was an option to cheat, even without actual cheating behavior, was when I should have been out of there.

      I never wondered if I should or shouldn’t. He did. That’s what I wish I had known about.

      • No editing feature yet here….

        There is one reason it matters who knew, and that is so I know who to stay away from.

        Any friend of his is no friend of mine, and I dare say they don’t define “friend” as I understand it…..

  • Maybe just his other employees, for me. His family and friends were as dumbfounded as I was, cause the only experiences they had of me, and of us together, were very loving and committed. Which sucks, in itself… but I’m so grateful to not have to process betrayals by other people I’d trusted and cared for. My heart aches for the chumps in that position <3

  • At least 4: 2/3 kids & in-laws knew he was looking for another woman because his wife treated him “so bad” haha right. He has no friends (because you know that would take away time for his secret basement).

  • Too many to count. Cheater #1 had spun the narrative that I already knew about his OW (plural) and “didn’t care”. I was traveling five days a week for work so he had plenty of time to do whatever. Also, these “friends” were his friends, not mine. I actually confronted one OW and her sister after I left and OW’s sister had the nerve to try and ream me out that I had no right to be angry because, according to her, I knew and didn’t care (almost exact words that C#1 used) and I deserved it anyway because I was away for work so much. Yeah, working to support under-employed C#1’s lazy ass.
    With Cheater #2, it was his group of bicycling buddies, say 7 or 8 people. They covered for him and the OW, who I thought was a friend. She came to our house, we hired her son to work in our business, threw a birthday party for her, all the friend stuff. It was her husband who sent me the emails and online Scrabble chats (they could chat through the app) that he had downloaded from their home computer. After everything blew over and the divorces were final, a few of the bike buddies and their wives reached out to me on social media, but I just ignored or blocked. I don’t need people like that in my life.

  • At least 15 sex workers, the one who he paid directly for services. I figure 2 or 3x the number of sex workers were engaged in other ways like only fans. At least! Maybe 10x.

    10 dear friends of us both who flew to Amsterdam for the bachelor party. I had a deep talk with one who claimed I had approved “anything which doesn’t end in arrest or STDs.” Funny, I don’t remember it that way and full on sex with other women -could- have ended in STDs so even then I have a beef. And the oral was generally unprotected when he went to them, so I don’t buy his crap that the STD risk was essentially 0.

    Ok we are up to at least 25 who knew or should have known.

    I had a really fucked up email conversation during the early days with the prostitute he fell in love with. She was pushing this narrative about non monogamy and joy in one relationship not taking away the joy in another. It showed me that even the prostitutes have crazy rationalizations about how the cheaters fit the cheating double life into their reality. Non monogamy? Yeah, no. I let her know it was cheating but never got a reply on that email.

    Fuckwit believes that sex work is just another job and that it is some kind of sexual liberation. Because of course that version of reality serves his dick so well. I recently listened to a talk by Andrea Dworkin on the realities of prostitution and it kills me. It kills me that my money (I was the sole income) was spent in the 10s of thousands to support modern sexual slavery. Sure people like the one high end escort hooker I emailed with may be making a non-coerced choice. But if she was being coerced, how would he or I ever know? So when he sleeps with her, I know she has an “assistant” who also knows about their dates. But who is holding the reins? Does she have free choice? For each sex worker of the 15 (at least, that I know about) that he slept with, should I assume another 15 “assistants” / pimps also know?

    And what about the only fans algorithms? Do they count as people? The applied scientists who create the ability to more efficiently sell images and videos to creeps like Fuckwit? There are hundreds of engineers and scientists there, at least! And they make incredible salaries on the backs of these women and teenage girls! Who scrimp off of what they can get for a pic of their nips.

    Shorter answer: at least 25 people know. I suspect many, many more. And it leaves me pissed off because the people who profit are not even counted in that number. The people (men) who profit from women’s bodies being fucked are probably another 25, lurking in the shadows.

  • Well, I only know what he (the liar) told me. He says no one knew…except maybe x co-worker…oh, and y. And he also told his fishing buddies and at least one colleague that a nurse was flirting with him. He wondered what he should do.They told him that he’s married and should “shut it down.” [Note: I’m convinced he wasn’t asking for their advice. He was bragging. But I digress.]

    Hw was fucking a co-worker for almost 3 years, so I assume more knew than even x was aware of.

    When the affair came to light, I texted a nurse with whom I thought I had a good relationship and she stabbed me with, “I love you both.” She added that she didn’t know about it. I wonder.

  • In my case it was an entire village of about 75 people. It seemed everyone knew what was going on except blind, faithful, unquestioning me. I started to get a clue the day I left when NOT ONE PERSON in the community that I had spent 17 years in, where I helped their kids, participated in weddings, funerals and life events, came to say goodbye. It seems that my cluelessness was a font of fun for them. Watching me blunder around wondering what was happening while they all happily colluded with him to keep me in the dark.

    • How painful that must have been. When it’s that pervasive, there may be a social dynamic in play that creates what’s called a conspiracy of silence. I’m sure their silence caused them a lot of guilt and shame. What a horrible example to set for the children of that community.

      • No, I don’t think anyone was feeling “guilty or ashamed” of how they treated me. They were having too much fun with it.

    • “It seems that my cluelessness was a font of fun for them. Watching me blunder around wondering what was happening while they all happily colluded with him to keep me in the dark.”

      May their rectums explode with puss-filled boils. May every bowel movement cause them excruciating pain, leaving them yelping in agony like some wounded animal.

      (sorry / not sorry – – – but every so often, I get this way)

    • I feel for you. While it wasn’t a literal village, everyone in my social circle knew. Not one person said a word to me. Not ONE person even asked me if I was okay. I’d known some of them for YEARS and as you said, done life events with them. It didn’t matter. I don’t know if they enjoyed watching me flounder or if they were just too self-serving to risk pissing off FW (since he could help them in a professional context – they were all in the arts community). I cut off every last one of them.

      I’m so sorry you had that experience.

  • I have no idea how many people knew, especially since there seemed to be a number of Schmoopies. At this point, I don’t even care, because the important thing was I married two cheaters, and my children know I divorced them. My sons know these guys were cheaters, liars, and defrauded all of us by using marital resources to carry on these relationships.

    I want my sons to understand that I am human, and I was too trusting. I want my sons to understand it is ok to admit to a mistake, suffer the consequences of that mistake, and take corrective action. I want them to be able to talk to me about any adult thing, because they are adults, and they probably will face some bad situations when they trust other people who turn out to be untrustworthy. I want them to know they can survive. I want them to know that there are such things as red flags and how to spot them. I would like to save them from unnecessary pain. That may be too much for me to hope for, but I want it, never-the-less.

    I hope my sons will never be a cheater, or find they married a cheater. They have both been cheated on in dating relationships. They saw how being chumped hurt my life. I can only hope all of this experience will help them have integrity and make good choices.

    I see chump nation as providing several services, among them knowing you are not alone, cheaters often use similar playbooks and have type B cluster personalities, and generally lead unfulfilling lives. I feel chumps both learn and lead by the examples found here. As for telling someone else — I would want to be absolutely sure before I told. It would almost have to be someone I was close to. I don’t tend to observe the lives of people I worked with or know socially. I mind my own business, and I don’t feel the need to interfere in other people’s lives. If I suspect, but don’t know, I would probably wait until a friend brought the subject up. Then I would share my experience and recommend Chumplady.

    I believe people learn when they are ready to learn. No doubt there are chumps out there who don’t know. If you tell them before they have gained some perspective, they will be more likely to make chump mistakes, IMHO. Most would probably confront the cheater, be gaslit, and the cheater would become stealthier. You might lose a friend by telling. I choose to tread lightly and mind my business. I do make jokes on occasion like I got divorced because we could not agree about him having girlfriends. If people want to talk to me about it, I don’t mind sharing. I also feel at least a short stint as a marital investigator is necessary. You need to know the evidence isn’t tainted, and some of it needs to be collected for legal reasons.

    Whatever your choice is about telling someone else, make sure your information is accurate. Be prepared for them to have a different reaction than you might expect.

  • I believe at least 22 people knew, but the number may be many multiples higher. tragically, the certain number includes my then 14 year old daughter who caught XH months before Dday but he threatened her into silence and she became suicidal 😭😭😭. I don’t blame her for not telling…. She was my precious baby and cherished her dad ….. it breaks my heart to this day that he destroyed her innocence.

    There is one person that bothers me — someone I thought was a friend. After Dday, when they sided wholly with me and were very supportive, she said that she and her husband saw XH coming out of a hotel midday hand in hand with a co-worker AND later saw them “making out” in the kitchen at her husband’s funeral (AP’s husband jumped off an infamous suicide bridge). This was in 1997-1999 before I was pregnant with my daughter who was 14 when she discovered dad cheating with the young gold-digger (2014). My “friends” have no explanation for why they didn’t tell me. It’s still upsetting and they are in my life superficially but I’ll never really trust them.

    • All of that is so messed up. I hope your daughter is doing better now. I think you have said that she is better on other posts but can’t keep track.

  • 1. His gay friend who I believe always had a crush on FW. FW sent him a message boasting about his “sexy girlfriend” and left it open so I saw it immediately. That’s how big an idiot I was married to.

  • I am an out-of-state transplant to FW now-XW’s small home town, so all the local people we knew were “her” people – her extended family and friends. I think they ALL knew. She was even publicly commenting and posting fire emojis on Schmoopie’s Facebook pics – fucking fire emojis, so all her friends/family must’ve seen that stuff (I never have nor will be on FB). Sick enablers, all!

    • Yeah freakin Facebook, I never desired to join the idiot metaverse either. After Dday, I looked at his Facebook friends and quickly picked out the howorker profile. So of course they were using Facebook messenger and Snapchat aka Snapcheat. I remember asking why his then 40 yo self needed Snapchat and he said a male coworker friend was on it, but of course it was the howorker he communicated with. Once my ex-H unexpectedly died, then the howorker was Facebook friends with his fam & friends. They’re all a bunch of sparkly turds and love to show off their sparkly turd lives.

  • The number keeps growing, lol! I don’t want to know anything else but as part of my kid’s healing process I have been learning more and more things. FW used to tell me that kiddos daycare teachers hated him for no reason. They always looked at me funny so I thought nothing of it. Turns out, per our kid, FW used to bring girls with him when he picked kiddo up from daycare then he would drop the girl off before they came home. Asshat even used my car to do it, lol! I have learned that practically everyone I encountered in the county knew this was going on for years and no one told me. I don’t give a shit about the jerks who didn’t tell me. I just hate that he fucked our kid’s head up.

  • His parents and stepmother (3)
    His friends and their girlfriends and/or spouses (30-40 people)
    In fact, they would socialize with him and her AND him and me and my children. They would be hugging me and laughing with me. So it was especially hard to find this out. But he was with her three years before I found out. Do they were all having a great laugh on me behind my back.

    I don’t ever want to see any of them again.

  • My XW’s coworkers for sure knew. People at church suspected, heck even my family suspected but NO ONE (except for one man at church) said anything because as my mother said “we didn’t have 100% proof, so didn’t want to accuse her of cheating”.

  • With FW#1 everyone at his workplace who knew them, seemed to know they were “dating” and that he was married. They were both teachers at a high school. Their colleagues, admin, heck, even students seemed to be in on their “romance.” I know that he also confided in some of our mutual friends, people who stood up at our wedding, and they kept his secret. It was humiliating.
    FW#2? He swears just the two of them, but honestly, I find that those in affairs are hardly as discreet as they think (FW #1 didn’t realize that everyone knew they were hooking up at work).

  • My cheater told our 2 daughters he found his “goddess” at the office… they were pressed into his conspiracy of silence for months. He pretended all was well, and we went on vacation to Italy. The oldest daughter finally found the strength to tell me after 11 months of silence. They were very distressed at their fathers’ activities, and the youngest daughter (in high school) went to a therapist to discuss this. I was devastated.

    • What kind of disordered man imposes that information and devaluation of their mother on his daughters? What a lowlife.

      • Yes, he thought it was “Bridges of Madison County” finding your soulmate, so it was ok after 20 years of marriage to date his true love….that film is NOT life advice; it’s just fluff.

  • My XW had a friend who encouraged her to cheat. I read a chain of texts between them in which my XW is saying things like “I really don’t know what to do” and the friend is saying things like “you should go for it”. I think this friend just wanted to watch a disaster happen from the sidelines. XW, sparkledick and this woman are all co-workers at the same hospital. Sparkledick’s wife also works there but I don’t think they all go for coffee together.

  • I must be the exception to the rule, which blows my mind tbh!! It seems that no one knew. If they did they’ve kept it very quiet. Anyone else have this? It was happening during lockdown 2020 and I suspect started August 2019 which is when I noticed a change in FW. Once the “cat was out the bag” frenemies were falling over themselves to meet the ho worker!

  • Well, that’s depressing but I’ll play…

    I think a lot of people knew in his work sphere. FW is in the food and beverage industry. I used to get weird looks when going to some of his work events, especially from young girls… 5 years later still nobody has come out and said it was wrong what he did. But then again that industry is ripe with sleeping around, some coerced.

    I definitely don’t think the exit OW was the only one, who knows how many over the years… so how many people knew? A lot, in the 100 range, but nobody I was close to (not anymore anyways)…

  • i just had my X’s longstanding workplace affair confirmed, after 2 years separated, and on the cusp of finalizing the divorce, thank god. the whole situation has been in play for years, i don’t know how many, but i’m guessing since 2019? TBH, i don’t want to know how long because WHAT THE FUCK?

    late 2020 i discover X lied, has been out for dinner with Tisha and confront. he says he shared his feelings for her but they agreed not to meet for dinner again. right. he pretends to “think things through” and “take time and careful consideration while making such a big decision”. right. the entire time he’s devaluing/devolving and saying weird and cruel things. you know how it goes.

    my X promotes Tisha to director in 2020 then the company moves my X to a different business unit–obviously they declare their adulterous affair to their supervisors. Tisha remains living with her husband (2 kids) until late 2022 then moves out of her marital home. X and Tisha are reforming in the background like a clump of cancerous cells, but have not publicly announced their relationship.

    Tisha’s ex worked at the same company until his retirement a couple of years ago. well-liked, over 100 people attended his retirement party. it’s cringeworthy, all around.

    that’s some devious business. and the company moves executives around so they can fuck. WHAT THE LIVING FUCK?

    of course, Tisha is 20 years younger and badly dyed blond. HELLO CLICHE. yes, this bugs me.

    the last few years of our marriage, i noticed my X’s secretary/PA acted differently around me. awkward. and so did a couple of the other managers/directors from my X’s business unit. BECAUSE THEY ALL KNEW. keeping secrets for the sake of their jobs? who knows.


    i’m guessing 50+ people knew.

    and the thing that drives me crazy this week is that their affair was the topic of a business meeting, that an agenda was created to discuss what to do. that forms were filled out in HR surrounding it. the policy checked and rechecked. executives repeating “have we covered everything? we don’t want a lawsuit.” that is TOXIC.

    i wouldn’t doubt that my X spun a narrative about me at work but what do i know? i don’t care. i know my own truth. i will say that i just found out about this last weekend and i’ve been repeating the serenity prayer all day, every day, all week.

    • Hang in there girl. Take the time you need to process everything and get a good lawyer. You are strong and will get through. There are people who care. Virtual hug.

  • Don’t even know how to answer this: Ex was living two lives. In one life, we were a cheery happy family with kids, and I don’t think that anyone in that life knew other than he “worked” a lot. In the other world, which he kept very separate, he was in a 10-year relationship with OW and I was the “crazy ex wife” and everyone knew they were a couple and thought that he and I were divorced (we weren’t.) So probably 100+ people easily at their work he had fooled. I think his HR department and some colleagues did know because on paper he remained married. I cringe thinking about the lies he had to malign my reputation with to make those two stories line up at work for the people who suspected.
    There were maybe 3 people who truly spanned both worlds, one of whom was godfather to one of our kids. He’s the only one I’m upset with for enabling the treachery.

  • According to their facebook announcement the day my divorce was final – I’d say at least 30 of their coworkers. “You’re so cute together!” “When’s the wedding?”, etc.

    According to a person who I met a year or so later, who said, “What I don’t understand is why you were still married to him.” When I pressed her about that statement, it turns out the local AA group knew 20 years ago because there was a woman crying the blues at every meeting about how much they were in love and why wouldn’t he leave me like he promised her? And I really doubt this is the same affair that caused the divorce. One of many, now that I have read chumplady’s book. They don’t wake up one morning and become a cheater.

    When he revealed he had a girlfriend (D-Day number one-and-only after 40 years of marriage) it was very painful to me that everyone circled in tight around her to protect her. No one would tell me who she was. He works in a place with 500 employees and 90% of them are women. But, everyone in my world went into overdrive to protect her from me. I became a screaming, crazy woman over this. Which, as chumplady points out, is exactly what FWs predict you will do and then they tell everyone, “See? She’s crazy.”

    So, I’m standing in line at the grocery store completely oblivious that the person I just nodded and smiled at saying, “Oh you go ahead, you only have a few items.” could be schmoopie and likely ten people standing around in the store are completely aware that I’m the crazy wife he’s dumping but I don’t know it yet and she’s the new, super sexy, awesome schmoopie giving him sex in the closets at work?

    She told everyone she had a “new boyfriend” at least a year before D-Day but his identity was a secret so everyone in her life knew he had to be married. They were just waiting to find out which new married man she was cheating with while she was also still married, but, “so sad and unhappy in her horrible marriage.”

    That was my life for about 9 MONTHS while I tried to get a divorce during COVID shutdowns.

    I still suspect my son-in-law, who is also a cheater, also knew and that’s why my adult children were so quickly manipulated to believe and follow their dad towards a life without me in it. It was orchestrated. Immediately, I was cut out of the family and they did it following some sort of plan or playbook. There was nothing out of sync or discussed. One day I was in the middle of my family and the next day she was.

    • “According to their facebook announcement the day my divorce was final – I’d say at least 30 of their coworkers. “You’re so cute together!” “When’s the wedding?”, etc.”

      I saw the same thing happen with FW and Schmoopie. Except it was right after we FILED for divorce. Not even close to finalizing. FW was so dumb he thought that it wouldn’t count as adultery if we were separated. We are in an at-fault state where as long as you are still legally married, it’s adultery (not that it wasn’t going on before we separated, but he thought he was free and clear once we did). It’s kind of funny (now, several years later). But clearly all “our” friends knew. I’d been at many, many social events with these people and not a single person said a word to me.

  • I don’t know how many at his work knew and didn’t tell me, but I’d make a guess and say at least 6 people. I rarely went to his work office. At least 3 golf buddies knew because he took his skank with him so she could drive the golf cart. (And probably other stuff, too.) I’m pretty sure his two brothers knew and didn’t tell me. That makes 11. My sons suspected. One told me of his suspicions right away; another told me to divorce his dad. The third didn’t say anything, but then he also cheated on his young wife. Prior to my finding everything out with my own fuckwit, I knew a woman that when she wasn’t present at the bar, her husband was seen flirting quite openly with another woman. The next time I spoke with her, she started telling me about issues with her husband but that she was certain it was just a difficult time that they were going through. So I told her what I had seen and what everyone else had seen. I felt so angry at her husband, but I felt very, very bad telling her. I didn’t hear from her for several years after that. Maybe she didn’t want to talk to the bearer of bad news. Like me, she probably felt deeply ashamed that her husband was cheating on her. When it was my turn, I felt so much shame because I kept thinking that there was something wrong with me. Fortunately I healed. Several years later when I did speak with her, she had divorced her husband about a year after that. 8 years later she was still imagining him being happy and she was stuck single being lonely. I hope that I’ve been able to change her view since then.

    • Personal shame: that’s an issue that is rarely addressed. I did nothing wrong, but I was ashamed to show my face. I even left my church.

      • I stopped going to events/parties even though I had every right to be there (whether it was film festivals were our film was playing, or charity events for my son’s disability) because it was just so freakin’ uncomfortable.

  • I couldn’t even estimate a number, as I am convinced it went on for years. Early in our marriage I had an astonishing number of his co-workers hit on me. I foolishly thought it was because I was attractive; now, in hindsight, I wonder if it was because they knew of his activities and thought I was amenable. When the DD came, I realized all our (my, actually) employees knew, right down to the cleaning staff, as well as the employees of other businesses in our building. People I counted as friends! I knew there was tension in the office, and that my assistants seemed angry at my husband, but I never considered WHY and I never considered that they wouldn’t tell me about it. I not only lost my marriage, I lost my entire acquaintance cohort. I even figured out that a friend who lived several states away from me had heard talk (from our hobby group which held meetings in various states and to which he’d sometimes travel without me) and tried to tell me in a roundabout way. I was and remain absolutely bereft and filled with distrust of everyone. Cannot bear to be around anyone from before and am practically agoraphobic as a result.

    • Looking back, I’ve wondered about this, too. I thought I was sending out the wrong messages somehow but there wasn’t really anything that I saw that I could change.

      Now that I think about it, FW used to yell at me that I was going to get myself raped because I seemed so oblivious to the dangerous men around. I could not figure out what I was doing that was so wrong.

      Wow – what a cluster! Hindsight is 20/20.

  • I would say 10-20 people knew that saw things happen that I felt should have given me a heads up – 4-5 people that I actually expressed concern personally to that I had suspicions and had actually cried talking to.
    But up to 50 if you include husbands work colleagues who he would bring the OW to hang out with. All people I knew and dealt with on a regular basis as we owned our own business.
    After I kicked him out and he tried to kill himself and ended up in the psych ward for 3 days – the staff there figured it out as he was proclaiming his innocence and saying I was having an affair that’s why I kicked him out. Meanwhile OW is visiting him in hospital when I wasn’t there. He later admitted one of the nurses said to him – you need to tell your wife. Sort your shit out.
    Still makes me laugh that she said that to him. Of all the people that knew us and what was going on and how I was losing my mind – in the end it was a stranger that told him to sort his shit out. None of his or our friends did.
    And no I never took him back after he tried to kill himself. It still took him another couple of months to admit the affair. But I knew – thankfully I found this site – read it faithfully and was able to stand my ground and not let him twist reality.

  • I have no idea how many knew. I assume a lot. I lived in a large Texas city and when a “friend” told me that my ex had been cheating on me for years (like over 35 years) and everyone thought I knew what was going on and was complicit. Needless to say I left and moved to another state. I felt I could not trust anyone including the “friend” who told me. My gut told me she had been one of his affairs and he had moved on to something shiny and new. I did not care if she was or not. I was moving on to a new life. Six years out from DD and 5 yrs post divorce from the creep. This May will be my first time back to Texas to visit family and bury my precious mom’s ashes. Will be okay because I will be with my wonderful husband that my family loves as much as I do. So Tracy I cannot give you a number but I am sure it is high because it went on for so long.

  • Family members – 5, and they regularly spent time with them as a “couple” for over a year, while also spending time with me on a regular basis, including get-togethers in my home.

    Coworkers/students – 100-ish – everyone at his workplace knew, from the students to the owner

    It was a 2nd punch in the gut to find out how many people knew and kept their secret AND even participated in the lies. There could be more, but these are the numbers that I know for sure. As everyone here knows, it just adds a level of pain. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you find out the depth of betrayal by family members who claimed to love you and people who claimed to be your friends. It’s a feeling that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

  • At the very least her best friend knew years before. In all likelihood it was most of her group of church friends. I don’t have any proof of that, I learned that when I wasn’t around she’d apparently find one guy she’d like at that moment and flirt like crazy in front of all of them. As someone that’s not religious, I do wonder if their belief in a hell turns out true.

  • Zero. Not a soul. Everyone was shocked, he didn’t even tell his therapist. A double life and some serious disorder.

  • I went to an event that my ex would take our kid to, that I usually didn’t go to because of work related reasons. I did it on purpose, to see if my suspicions were right. Not a single adult there would look me in the eye. That’s when I knew that everyone knew, and probably felt I deserved it.
    Fuck every one of them.

    • I once went (at FW’s invitation) to a film shoot he was doing. One of the people there was the wife of one of FW’s friends, whom I had heard about but never met. FW introduced me, and she looked like a deer in the headlights, wide-eyed, shifty, muttering some half-hearted hello and quickly turning away. I, all unaware at the time, was smiling and being nice. Later, I learned that this person was OW’s bestie, and fully aware of the relationship between OW and FW. Even worse is that this woman’s husband asked if I’d write him a letter of recommendation for a job and I did. And both of them knew FW was cheating.

  • I wrote this before, but will add here as well. A couple of them were common friends. They would come and go to our house as they wished. I was always happy to see them, I would cook for them, I would insist that they have to eat with us, stay longer, make it their own home. I helped them with anything they needed, even when they hesitated to ask anyone’s help. I was always there for them. One of them would even call me “you’re my little sister”. I called them crying, and we met. They had the courage to say, well, we knew but we did not say anything. It was not up to us to say. Instead they continued to come to my house, watch football, make barbeques have fun, pretend that all was fine. They clearly shared the same morals with liar ex-husband.

    I completely cut all my ties with them. I do not want to hear from or about them. I do not care about their explanations. What a waste of time.

  • I found out that so many people knew, that today’s topic is triggering. My ex was very good at using her charm to make people feel as if they were the only person she confided in. What started as a conspiracy of three, encouraged by her equally sociopathic mother and best friend, ended up as a sizable crowd creepily watching from the bleachers as my then-wife played her sick game of abuse. Some knew for several years. The thoughts that it conjures are still stomach-turning. Not one fucking person had the compassion or humanity to drop me an anonymous note! Nothing! And then they got an even bigger thrill watching me writhe in pain as I finally began to unravel the lies during the discovery process. An especially memorable snippet from my “marriage police” phase was an email I saw from my evil then-mother-in-law to my then-wife suggesting that I might just kill myself if I discovered the extent of it all. Most disturbing was that her tone seemed almost hopeful. Such sick fucks! At that point in time, if my pain could be transformed into lasers emitting from my eyes they would all be toast. Looking back at those gut-wrenching days/weeks/months I wonder at how I found the fortitude to get through it all. I’ve explained to my therapist and family that I feel as if the whole ordeal took from me a decade in life expectancy. It makes me think of that scene from “The Ten Commandments” when Moses, played by crazy Charleton Heston, emerged with a full gray beard and hair (as if he’d aged decades in only a few days) after his first encounter on the mountain. I’m so grateful for having survived and moved forward with my life.

    • Oh god sorry GDD, how awful. I had the suicide thing too but more directly. My ex FW kept planting ideas about suicide on me and then I found emails between him and other woman where they talked a lot about my poor mental health and how I needed to be sent somewhere. WTF? It wasn’t true but it was some weird fantasy and a way to get rid of me. Yes they are sick fucks and it boggles the mind that this happens. My therapist said the suicide fantasy (someone else’s) is their way of not dealing with themselves and hoping you disappear- it makes it easy for them. They get the kids, house, money.AND the sympathy or everyone as they get to be the pathetic widowed one and no one will blame them for their infidelity because hey- they were living with someone who was unwell (crazy) and they were just hanging in there trying to live their lives. It’s ghastly. They suck, suck and suck.

      • I suspect that trying to drive the chump to suicide is common. When dealing with people with bad character, they’ll stop at very little. The ex was clearly trying to drive me to it during the discard, while my dad was dying and I was struggling to understand why he was behaving as he was. I told him I had stood on a bridge over a tube line and seriously contemplated jumping. He shrugged his shoulders. That said it all.

      • Eh. This coming from the ex MIL who also twice made passes at me. The thought of which still makes my skin crawl. She was 70 when she made the second pass (shudder). Later it became obvious that it was her attempt to drag me down to their level and prove her/their philosophy that everybody cheats. Sorry, you twisted old crow, I’m just not wired that way. She was also a serial cheater, so my ex was just carrying on the family business. What a sick, manipulative bunch. But oh the stories I have! Ha!

  • I have no idea. My now-ex’s mode was to engage in serial infatuations with younger women colleagues and his female students, and I suspect he was enough cagey not to cross the lines that would have exposed him or caused others to raise an occasional eyebrow. Certainly I never heard about it from anyone else, but there were so many other more egregious examples of cheating between colleagues and faculty preying on students his tamped-down titillations was no doubt eclipsed.

    With the students, his mode was to mentor them, and then engage them in lengthy conversations in his office. Several times I heard him bantering with them, and thought what I heard sounded more like flirting than talking about their work. I used to tell myself I must just be insecure and jealous, because my ethical husband surely couldn’t be one of those types of professors (although his own professor father certainly was). One of these young women later became his confidante. That relationship clearly crossed all sorts of boundaries, and it was with her that he began “exploring” his “gender identity.” This involved what I thought of as the convoluted case of the literal metaphor, in which he decided to give her the upholstered recliner chair in his office that when she was a student she would sit in as they held their many discussions, because she was now mentoring him, and so, as he said, he was now sitting in that chair. (This chair, by the way, was one I had rescued from the side of the road, which was itself a kind of metaphor for the relationship I’d had with my husband, because in many ways over the years I’d “rescued” him.) It was during that “experimenting” phase of their relationship that I got the memorable cheater-speak line, “I’m having fun again,” delivered, as many of you have also experienced, with the unsaid implication of “unlike with you.”

    With the younger female colleagues, he also employed the “mentoring” strategy, sometimes informally, but also formally, in university sanctioned mentoring programs, which allowed him to crush on them safely. If they had known the extent to which he was creeping on him, and the intent behind it–he liked to imagine he was them, and then to have one of his wank sessions while imagining he was that woman–they would have been repulsed. I certainly was, when he made me privy to those thoughts.

    I do know at least one women thought my now-ex was gay, because of how uninterested he seemed in me.

  • Kurt Vonnegut was very clear in 2015 about his feelings toward cheating son-in-law, Geraldo Rivera.

    On CBS News Nightwatch, Kurt Vonnegut said:

    “He’s obviously a scumbag, because he started making love to other people and betraying my daughter and her innocence from the very beginning. If I see Jerry again, I’ll spit in his face.”

    • Just googled Geraldo, and OMG, he’s the abs guy, that moustache plus he looks like someone tried and failed to fling together a Matt Berry halloween getup. It takes all (scummy) sorts.

  • As to the co-workers.. I met some of his male co-workers in one of those parties. They were praising me to my ex-husband, telling him I was such a nice person.
    But when these same people found out about his lies, they fully supported him saying, we live only once! No one questioned him.
    They met me once only, they liked me very much and then they supported my ex- husband’s lies.
    I could not care less about them.
    They all moved to different cities, and I know that they and my ex- husband are not in touch anymore.

    Back then he was thrilled to get support from these happy-hour people, whose names he hardly remembers now. He had no solid character as he kept seeking for validation from people who did not know me/us.
    What hurts me the most:
    No one said: Hey, I do not know NotFromVenus at all, but she does not deserve this, no one deserves such lies..
    Again, I am sure they share the same low quality morals.

    • NFV, I had similar experiences with my ex and his dude coworkers. They seemed to really like and respect me, and I knew many for years, hosted them (and even their families) in my home, etc. FW was always bragging about me. I think he got off on the status of having an enviable spouse appliance and also having young OWs on the side. No doubt he felt like the man, and he also got off on the supers delight — the thrill and power of keeping it a secret from me, while others knew. That part makes me sick. These random guys, some he’d actually only briefly and peripherally known, knew more about my life than I did. That’s why it makes me cringe to ponder how many acquaintances, and even strangers (to me) knew who I was and that FW was cheating on me. Those guys I knew, though, are all spineless, immature scumbags. After, a few reached out to say sorry, I’m beautiful and strong and will find someone who will treat me better in no time. Truly entitled and clueless.

  • Interesting question. One I had never considered before. So I started counting. I only knew the tip of the iceberg before I left him but after he died more people came clean. My best accounting says at least 20 people knew all or part of his philandering. Pretty amazing. I would have thought it impossible because people do talk. Just apparently not to me.

    And honestly, I bet there are still people out there I don’t know about.

  • Before I ever knew my marriage was doomed, I once said at work that I would not keep a workplace affair a secret. All the men just looked at me, and one said “Remind me to never introduce you to my wife.” I’ve always thought hiding affairs from a spouse makes those that stay silent complicit. Interestingly, I was also tagged as the person asked to confront one of our team members regarding an office affair to ask that it stop and be handled in accordance with office policy, which prohibited him from having an affair with a subordinate. Everyone has always known where I stand on this one. Unfortunately my ex was a massage parlor customer so there was no one really to tell me, except the women he was paying.

  • Hard to put a number on it, but I guess around 30 for sure and many more suspected. These were all members of the gym where I had been going for years.
    I changed gym, of course. I was invited back by some people who were closer to me and swore they’d had no idea. This was after Ex and Shiny New Piece had left, but I couldn’t face it. It had been so humiliating.

  • I only knew the identity of one of the two (known) affair partners of my ex, and she was single at the time. I did not actually know her, though. Several years after my divorce, thanks to some Internet sleuthing, I found out where she was living (halfway across the country, in a different state from where my ex and I used to live) and that she had married. In my more bitter moods (clearly before I had attained maximum meh), I fantasized about outing her to her spouse, but realized she hadn’t cheated on that spouse with my ex (their affair had ended years before their marriage) and I’d be doing it strictly for revenge, not so her spouse could protect himself against ongoing cheating.

  • 1. His best friend, maybe another guy
    2. Schmoopie’s colleague who also worked with us so I knew her
    3. All the sex workers in town

  • Down the road apiece is Tennessee. Nice state. Cops were having orgies from what I can read. Married people. Once it was out the sheriff/police chief fired her and 4 men. Suspended a few more. Evidently bosses don’t keep secrets.

  • The ex had multiple lifestyles. Some he’d let his freak fly. Some he did modified image management. some he went totally underground and only those freaks knew. He rented property and stayed with a younger crowd.
    We only had one mutual acquaintance that I used to think was a friend that said he had no idea there was any issues between the ex and me.
    My brain played dialogues that I feel he gave as excuses for his actions that some accepted or overlooked but they knew.
    I got a confused look from a waitress once when the kids and were with him at a restaurant I knew he frequented. I kept that eye contact as to say-I know. I also knew he was uncomfortable He didn’t want us to join him and it was his birthday. Wow, I just realized that he was probably going to meet his current side fuck who may have been there with him a lot and could have been there at that point waiting for him since it was a last minute caught him going out the door situation. I’ll never know. Hope he got major indigestion.

    • This was after a d day. Maybe even a couple of years after. I imagine we looked like a majorly unhappy quiet family. The kids and I have never been back there. It hurts to think my kids had to go through that.

  • Considering how many people seem as gobsmacked as me, I don’t think too many knew. FW says the only person who knew was his best friend. Someone I’ve known almost as long as I’ve known FW, who I called a friend, who I spent time with in the years that FW was cheating. A man who is (supposedly) a minister.

  • I think there was one person (aside from Affair Partner) who absolutely knew of my ex-wife’s extramarital activities.

    That would be my Ex’s sister – and I know she absolutely knew because she actively helped my Ex cover it up.

    After discovery she felt bad…about things discovered in my ex’s emails about HER, that my Ex- had been sharing with Affair Partner.

    She didn’t feel bad about her role in harming my family or keeping me in the dark.

    Their father (a whole other degree of cluelessness – I call him “The Haberdasher of Asshatery”) approached me years later to ask if I would give comfort to the sister who still felt bad about the things my Ex- had said about her.

    Went with “No” on that one. (And gave ChumpLady a bit of a laugh I think).

  • Well over 10 people knew–virtually all the people in Hannibal Lecher’s academic department knew, AND people in the profession knew because of rumors spreading that he’d had an affair with a grad student. So…easily between 10-100+ people. It’s the ones who came to dinner at my house for 8 years but didn’t tell me who most bother me.

  • I think it often feels like none of people’s business, or thinking that maybe the chumped partner knows. People compartmentalize. I don’t read advice columns (besides CL), but if I had to guess, I would imagine that most of them would say not to tell the chump and to get your nose out of their business. It’s in part the not recognizing cheating as abuse element.
    Also, I think most people would say it makes a difference as to whether or not they have a relationship with the chump, and whether or not the affair is over or on going.
    I think it’s complicated for many.

  • I think in my case it was nearly no one. They were VERY secretive considering he told me “I didn’t think you would care” when caught cheating. He was/is (don’t know, don’t care) pilot and she of course a flight attendant. Gag!

    • My STBX airline pilot husband managed to keep his dirty little secret until he slipped up shortly before he retired. Once I found out it explained so much – he never wanted to socialize with colleagues as I presume most of them knew. He was angry when I called him in his hotel room one morning. I am assuming he had a side piece warming the other side of the bed. Silly me thought he wouldn’t cheat once he retired and didn’t have nice hotels for free but of course he found a way. The difference is that this time I found the courage to file and while he is making it extremely difficult (and expensive!) I am looking forward to the day we are done.

      So, to answer today’s challenge – colleagues, flight attendants, hotel staff, APs, flying monkeys, etc. – probably in the hundreds. I’ll never meet them so who cares?

      I don’t know if his sister knows or any of his friends (acquaintances really) but anyone I see has been told. Remember Princess Di and “There were three of us in the marriage”? Well, in a very neutral way I tell them FW thought he could have a wife and a mistress until I informed him otherwise. That usually takes care of it.

      Thank you to all of the chumps who share their stories and give me hope that Tuesday is coming soon. This isn’t a club we chose to join but once we were enrolled it is nice to know the membership supports each other so well. I hope your weekend is a good one.

  • Before I learned better than to engage with him, my FW ex wanted a bitch cookie because he (claimed) his mom didn’t know he cheated on me — euphemism for his seven-year double life — until after dday 2. In my outrage at that comment, I took a moment and counted 20 people who knew before me. Some of those I would consider blatant flying monkeys, but the majority were longterm friends and neighbors who I trusted and cared about. My sister “in law” was the worst. The realization was shocking, but it helped me see a lot of “off” exchanges in a new light. I can *tell myself* l don’t GAF, and I’ve accepted it and have moved in, but that was genuinely painful and disappointing, and it’s honestly a big part of why I’ve withdrawn socially. If I were to include everyone who knew, I truly think it would be over 100. Once, pretty soon before dday1, sad sausage FW told me he broke down sobbing and told the construction guy holding the stop sign his entire life story; that guy knew before I did! (Not to mention — FW tried to make me feel like a freak for any emotion I displayed when I was going through the nightmare of ddays and pick me, yet he could fall apart in front of a total stranger. I really do hate that entitled hypocrite.) There are a handful of folks I probably wouldn’t have cut off, except they were mutual friends and there are Al enough strange memories and feelings to make me wonder if they knew.

  • I’ve just read through most of these comments and am sickened that so many chumps were not only betrayed by their partners but also by friends/family/co-workers who were aware of the cheating but said nothing. Furthermore, many of these co-conspirators go on to support the cheater and accept the new fuckbuddy because they buy the lie that the spouse was “crazy/frigid/or whatever,” so the affair is justified.

    There’s almost no way to turn that Titanic around.

    This is how society feels about cheating:

    *You only live once.

    *If it feels good, do it.

    *You have a right to be happy.

    *Your partner is crazy/frigid/or whatever.

    *We like the new person.

    *We don’t want to get involved. This is between your partner and you.

    *We don’t judge!

    *So great you found your soul mate. You never should’ve married x. So glad you’re doing well now.

    *The kids will be fine.

    Have I missed anything?

    • Spinach@35, wonderful.
      One thing I heard from a common friend was: It was not my secret to share.
      I cut all my ties with these so called friends.
      I heard that he is now cheating on his wife (whom I don’t know) with multiple people, and apparently someone told her.
      I could not have cared less about him.

    • SC a cursory glance suggests if you were a victim of cheating, 99 percent of the town knew, including the bloke that sold you a spanner that one time. I wonder if the same applies to male victims.
      I had randos I’d known years earlier approach me in shops say oh yes I heard you got divorced (years prior to me finding out).
      I’m so pissed as I wanted a divorce for 20 years cos ex was always a selfish dick but, ya know, the sad sausage act.

  • At least one, Slacker Boy’s sleazy best friend whom I couldn’t stand because he was a proud cheater, bigot, and grifter. I think my ex may have told some of his friends that I was okay with it, and they believed that because they thought it was a hippie thing. 🙄 So maybe dozens? Not everyone knew; he appeared to have left out the ones who might have cared, and most of his so-called friends were casual acquaintances.

    I didn’t spend much time with most of his circle because we had little in common and I wasn’t about to use my limited number of spoons to play social games with them. And I was studying while working as the breadwinner for the “Real Art Wives of Wherever” show. My standard of living went up considerably on my own.

    I doubt he was trying hard to be discreet, since one of his enemies found out from social media sites I’m not on and informed me.

  • Ex’s mother and father knew because they hosted the AP in their home prior to the final DDay. Cheater and Schmoopie got caught getting jiggy out in his parent’s fancy motorhome, and still his parents didn’t tell me. Some of the ex’s out-of-town friends were also in the know and had a good laugh at my expense. Ex left his Facebook messenger logged in and I got quite an education regarding how long the cheating had been going on, and who he discussed it with. I don’t think Ex told his local friends because they knew me. I think he was concerned one of them would rat him out.

  • My experience didn’t completely destroy my faith in humanity because a couple (literally a couple) of conscientious people from FW’s work sphere tracked me down by email and spilled the tea. It gave me the impression that, deep down, most people don’t approve of adulterous affairs, especially when philanderers stink up everyone’s workplace. But most people are on the fence regarding what to do about it.

    The two whistleblowers shared this info anonymously which is completely understandable. I called them Deep Throat#1 and Deep Throat #2. There was also a lag of about 8 months since the time they first learned of the affair but I could understand the delay. These folks were in the generation that’s currently being targeted with all the sex pozzy moral relativism bs in the media and it’s a big ethical issue to grapple with. What if FW had an open marriage? What if the betrayed spouse kills the messengers? Was it really their professional purview to “tattle”? Should they report to HR first? But what about professional backlash? And what if FW is fired and blacklisted and his kids starve? I think the thing that pushed them towards warning me was buzz that the AP had gotten drunk at a work event and told the wrong person that she’d stopped taking the pill and was trying to get pregnant. One of the “informants” said that, at the very least, this suggested FW wasn’t using any protection not to mention that, by virtue of the fact that the AP was trying to expedite divorce, FW probably wasn’t in an open relationship.

    Gossip like that is hot currency and spread. When this particular hot potato landed in the laps of the two Deep Throats, they made a decision to act on it. I was really moved that anyone cared about what could happen to me and my children and could see the danger we were in from things like STDs, traumatized kids, financial abuse and fallout, etc. One of the Deep Throats seemed more motivated by a sense of moral responsibility but the other seemed mostly motivated by seething hatred of the AP. It’s nice to think people are only motivated by ethics and empathy but it really didn’t bother me that one seemed driven by ire, especially because I could relate to the reason for it. Apparently the AP made enemies by throwing other women under the bus in situations involving workplace harassment, was prone to kiss-up/slap-down politicking and had had a previous workplace affair with some other married douche that led to a few people quitting because reporting favoritism to HR would backfire.

    There was more gossip, some a little gratuitous but whatever. I would highly recommend being told about an affair by someone who despises the AP because it completely kills any chump tendency to mythologize affairs and affair partners. We all eventually figure out affairs are dogshit but it’s nice to get the confirmation earlier rather than later and skip or shorten that whole “What’s wrong with me??” stage.

    It sucks being gaslighted and kept in the dark and it sucks finding out the ugly truth. One ray of sunshine in all of it was getting some reassurance that there are, again, other people in the world who understand the serious dangers involved in cheating and, even if it’s not that common, a few might do something about it. I wanted to share this for anyone who found out that a lot of people knew about their FWs’ affairs but no one told them. It can create this illusion that no one gives a damn but I really don’t think that’s true. If we take into account that cheaters are nothing more than domestic abusers and that, statistically, abusers can be very dangerous to cross, it becomes clearer that bystanders are probably terrified more than anything else. Some will try to reconcile their cowardice at the expense of victims but I get the feeling a lot of people feel sickened by the burden of knowing and not knowing what to do with the information.

    CL always say “trust that they (FWs/APs) suck” and, conversely, it can help to know that not EVERYONE sucks. To paraphrase a Holocaust survivor who testified at Nuremberg, “Ten percent of people are always cruel, ten percent are always merciful and the remaining eighty percent can go either way.” It still sounds a bit bleak but that hopeful 10% is still better than zero.

  • I really don’t know. On DDay FW swore nobody knew (and it needed to be kept under wraps because she was his direct report at work, and married and just beginning the divorce process), but that’s because he and schmoopie fancied themselves so smart that nobody could possibly figure out their secret. The fact is in retrospect he was not discreet at all. I was around numerous of their coworkers during the affair, on one particular occasion for sure and likely another prior to the admitted start date of it, and all of them acted aloof with me. Some must have known or had an idea.

    When I finally contacted her husband, he no longer cared at all who or what AP was doing because they had already agreed to divorce and the marriage had been dead for years (probably because she was in at minimum an EA with my ex the whole time, rather than the “abusive behavior” she alleged he was the perpetrator of) and he was happier than he’d ever been in his life to be away from her, but he said he had suspected for a long time due to lots of late night texts and unexplained late nights at the office. Wish he had ever thought to ask/tell me. Guy had no idea we had even split though because they were actively lying to him and her family, hiding the fact that FW was sneaking into her house to spend the night nearly every night after her kids went to bed.

    Clearly it wasn’t someone who could tell me, but I’m pretty sure his therapist knew. He referred AP to his own therapist to “help her get out of her abusive marriage” then mysteriously quit therapy himself after covid began, claiming that “online didn’t work well for him” and he “thought he had it all under control”. I’m pretty sure he was forced to leave out of conflict of interest when one of them spilled the affair so she could no longer treat both. Twisted crap.

  • Oh, my gosh. Soooooooo many.

    —All of my supposed colleagues in our “family” business.
    —All of the friends that I thought were at somewhat shared.
    —Pretty much all of our clients.
    —Our insurance agent.
    —Our tax preparer.
    —Eventually, my kids, who are the ones who called cheater out on it.

    Soooooo. Fifty people, at least. Hundreds if all of the client employees are included.

    In short, pretty much everyone but me. 😜

  • With the first cheater, it was somewhere between 25 and 50 people who knew: our boss, co-workers and even some of the customers knew. We were in college and worked in an upscale pizza place. His friends knew, and as he was pianist and organist for his church, the choir knew. (He had fucked most of them.). Also the priests, and the nun who led our pre-Cana classes (who was also a fuckbuddy.). My father knew, and my sister — because she’d slept with him. The co-workers at his next job, and probably the one after that. I don’t know — probably a lot more than 50.

    The second cheater — our priest (not because of the confessional, but because Father Steve was a “Special Friend.” The kind you find in your house with your husband in a state of undress. I’m sure his friends from work knew. Perhaps 5-10?

    The third cheater — there’s a pattern here, and I know it — literally hundreds of people knew, from the time we started dating, when we got engaged and during our 20 year marriage. We were both critical care nurses (I still am.). We worked in the same unit in the same hospital in three different large, inner city teaching hospitals in three separate states. I always thought it was fun to work with my husband. Silly me.

    The CAD (Cheating Abusive Douche) left our ICU two years after we married and went to work in one of the procedure labs. So most of the 90-some nurses who worked in the ICU plus assorted pharmacists, housekeeping staff, physicians (including interns, residents, fellows and attendings, with whom he partied), respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, etc. Also, the folks in the procedure lab, the transporters, the nursing supervisor (who told me long after I left him) and our bosses (who told the nursing supervisor.) Ditto in the next hospital. In the third, he joined the critical care transport staff so all the same people as in the first two hospitals plus various people in the other 11 ICUs in that hospital, the EMTs and paramedics he worked with, the fixed wing and helicopter pilots and security guards. In fact, he used to take his conquests to the equipment room at the helipad to have sex — I don’t know whether he knew there was a security camera there, but I understand the guards enjoyed his antics. I almost saw one of the security tapes once when the guards were showing it in my unit, but another coworker (who had seen it) called me to come help her before I could see it. Also anyone who happened to be parked in or passing through an ambulance bay when he and a “friend” were discovered in the back of an ambulance. And to think I bought his story that he was restocking an ambulance after a call and an SUV rolled up, threw out a naked woman and rolled off again. So he put her in the ambulance to hide her nakedness while he got a blanket off the stretcher to cover her up before he carried her into the ER. It never occurred to me to want to see the security tapes. With the rumors about that particular incident, I finally heard at least five different versions . . . I believed his, at the time. Now I don’t.

    His sister found out about his “close relationship” with his HS girlfriend (who was a friend of hers) and told me.

    So maybe up to a thousand people knew. Most of them also knew me, if only as “CAD’s wife.” I now have a somewhat better understanding of why we had to move three times . . . .

    • Oh my God. Talk about body counts. My impression of hook-up sex is that the people doing it must imagine they’re super hot on some level to be bare-assing with so many randos. But statistically speaking, it’s just not possible for the sheer number of people you’re describing to be anything more than average with all the usual wobbly bits, flaws, stretch marks, etc. An average person who has character can be beautiful in their own singular way. But imaging your average Joe or Jane acting out some porny bacchanal fantasy is just gross and silly. Now I’m getting head films. Ick.

  • Quite a few coworkers- at least ten, maybe closer to 20. Several friends of his. Also turns out many of the OW’s friends and family knew including her ex. They were already divorced and she apparently did not feel the need to keep any of it secret.

  • My 19 year old daughter knew 6 months before I found out. OWs family also knew. Other than that I have no idea, and since I kicked him out right away, I didn’t care who else knew. My friend circle has changed since then anyway.

  • About five “friends”. My FW told me I after I found out that he told others because he was trying to be “vulnerable with people”. Autocorrect had that at vile the first time I typed it. That’s probably more correct

  • I went to visit my husband at work for his birthday and all the guys knew, but were my husband’s coworkers. I didn’t recognize any pittying looks because APARENTLY, they had all taken their turns cheating on their woman. Code of dishonor. So about 6 guys plus the boss who let my STBXH off on one day suspension for a consensual event at work. One day suspension only. And i would not have known if D day had not been so close to the HR review. Hr could have been fired..but Nooooo

  • The OW and two of her friends knew. Those friends had been at our wedding (3.5 years earlier), but they were better friends with the OW and encouraged my ex’s relationship with the OW. And then there were 15+ people on the work trip where it started. I was told by someone who’d been on the trip that they thought they were just friends and didn’t know there was more. I trust that person, but I suspect that at least some additional people on that trip must have wondered or even known.

    One night after the divorce at a dinner in my home, I found out that some friends (who I’d met via my ex) knew my ex had a pattern and questionable ethics. A woman in this group told me that he’d hit on her when she was in a committed relationship (and he was friends with the couple). A man in the group had seen him hit on a woman in an inappropriate way but figured he must have changed if I was marrying him. And a woman in that group told me that (long before me) my ex had hit on his then-girlfriend’s sister, telling her she (the sister) that she was the love of his life. These people didn’t know about the OW, though.

    • This is more like mine. My ex was a good actor. Everyone was shocked, though some of the guys in my circle said they heard him say gross things about young girls from time to time. I believe this is why we stopped being invited to a lot of couple things, and I was only invited if it was just the girls. I would say my ex’es brother knew at one point, but thought it was isolated and had no idea of the extent. And my ex had 2 sh**y friends of whom I was always jealous. One was a lawyer and ended up representing my ex in our divorce. I believe they knew and were ok with being alibis for my ex. Sadly my younger daughter saw a text from a woman several years before dday, It breaks my heart because she told no one and I believe it was eating her up alive. Towards the end both my girls suspected but did not have proof so they didn’t tell me. I feel like they are as much victims as me. One was a lawyer and represented him in the divorce. So that makes 5 people if you include my daughters, not many people. Though after dday many people voiced other complaints about what a jerk he was.

  • I live in the western half of Washington state. The dbag ex travelled frequently to the eastern half for work for 10 years. Found out too late that he had another life there entirely. He lived with a woman and her sons. Going to church, taking prom pictures, having birthday parties, going on family vacations. The whole bit. So my answer to the question is: “The whole eastern half of Washington state.”

  • Oh my Gosh, this is what broke my sanity and heart over and over.
    So many people knew and “played”/used me.
    His sister, confident and inciter. At least 1 old roommate who left after just 4 months, I think she couldn’t bare how nice I was to her -We couldn’t afford a place on our own for a few years).
    His best male friends (4 good friends I really liked and hosted many times, 2 coworkers from different places, many other coworkers that I didn’t know that well -but he had introduced me from time to time, but I know for a fact that she allowed to come at his place of work, but one time I needed to use the bathroom and she was probably there, or someone on their side, and he never let me enter (he worked security).
    His dad and step-mother.
    So many other people. One time I received a text from another roommate’s boyfriend who was warning me he had seen my now ex-husband with a girl. I asked him about it but never took it seriously 🙄
    So more than 10. Probably 20, but 10 is confirmed.
    They suck.

  • I have no idea how many other people knew but probably everyone. Thinking back now to all the things that didn’t make sense at the time but with the clarity of hindsight, yeah probably everyone else knew. Finally years later, the look I was given at a dinner when we were fairly newly married and expecting, that seemed so out of place. I get it now but having a thousand words at the time would have been so much better than having that picture stuck in my head with the understanding I have now.
    They all form a collage of sorts or “study on caricature of marriage.” Amazing to be married to someone and have to share everything except reality.

  • I’d say it was an 80:20 split between “we just assumed you knew and it was an open relationship” and actually involved in the cover ups and decoy dates (like going to the movies with his old school and family friend Tracey when his AP was called Tracy. There were Tracey’s everywhere actually. All the Tracey’s knew and lied to me while being my friend. All up I’d say 30-40 people knew. None thought to tell me. They thought I knew because he was so blasé. I left them all. Living my best life.

  • Not cheating but I swear everyone in my city knew my xh was gay before I did! I found out about 2 years after he came out. That was … an experience.

  • I do apologize for the length of this comment but i was interested in finding out how many people might have known.

    My husband’s secret relationship with the thrice married whore went on for at least 4 years. They were actually in contact for 7 years, and gradually started their cheating on her husband and me. My husband told me after 6 1/2 years of seeing her that he had been unhappy for a ‘decade’ and wanted to leave me, but I did not know about the cheating until the last couple of months, when i started searching everywhere for evidence of what was happening. It was such a brutal and traumatic time for me. We had been married for 32 years at that time.

    The people who knew:
    The friends and neighbours and three daughters of the OW. They were her ‘biggest supporters’, especially her youngest daughter. Possibly their spouses. Lets say 10 people

    My husband’s first cousin and her partner ( who she left her husband for after 40 years of marriage.) The husband of the cousin cried for years and died of cancer a couple of years later, traumatized. My husband confided in them and the cousin and her paramour gave my husband the name of her cut throat divorce lawyer, and advised him the ‘these things happen’. No thought of telling me. In subsequent meetings, this cousin tried to be nice to me. Ha! 2 people (did they tell others?)

    The lawyer (whom he went to for advice on how to make the divorce as ‘painless and clean as possible’) knew, but that would be covered by ethical privacy.

    His OW helped him set up appointments with a marriage counsellor who told him to do ‘whatever makes him happy’ and helped him write cold and rather impersonal goodbye letters, one to me and one collective letter to our four children. So, the counsellor knew.

    A hairdresser in town heard from one of her clients that we were splitting up, long before I knew anything was going on. The hairdresser was a friend of my daughter’s and my daughter told me. The client may have seen the whore and my husband in the town where she worked as that is where the whore lived, and my husband would meet the whore there in a coffee shop, then they would go somewhere private.
    So who knows how many people knew after that.
    None of the above people other than my daughter would have been likely to tell me. The client was a member at our golf club and a person i socialized with fairly often. I felt that people knew but no one said a word to me. (Possibly 20 people)

    Husband received handwritten and hand addressed letters from the whore at work and she also left messages on his voicemail. His assistant might have known, and wondered about his leaving early or not coming in at all once a week or arriving late many times. She might have talked to others at work, and her family at home. He rarely took family time from us, only work time as he was the boss, so i was pretty slow to catch on, and it truly never occurred to me that he would be a cheater. He was always home to eat the dinners I cooked and have clean clothes to visit the whore. He never saw her on weekends. Say 2 people

    I told two people, one of which has since sadly passed away. The other is a close friend, also chumped, who understands all about it. I do not believe that she has told anyone else. 1 person

    The whore’s husband did not know until 7 years after they had split up. She just told him she was ‘unhappy’. I told him the truth and he was shocked but grateful that i told. And then he told his whole family. But that was after the fact.

    Our four adult kids knew because their father insisted on calling them as soon as he told me he ‘wasn’t happy’, to tell them that we had ‘drifted apart’ and he deserved/wanted to find happiness for the next 30 years of his life. As soon as we found out he was cheating on me, they immediately came to my defence. I imagine they told their spouses/ partners, and perhaps those people told others. 8 people.

    So many people are affected by one cheating, lying twosome. Its sickening. They are all put in awkward positions. Do i tell or not tell? That wife must be a real loser, boring, insane, whatever. The whole ‘need to find happiness’ bullshit. The judgements are horrifying to me. I even remember my son, whom i love dearly, saying Mom you have to get over it, not having a clue about the depth of my pain.

    There’s a quote from a website which I believe. “Happiness is not finding the right person. Happiness is being the right person.” Too bad cheaters do not get this. Now i abhor the word.

    I would guess that maybe 40 people knew and 36 said nothing to me. (My children and i talked about it)
    People affected unknowingly also include young grandchildren who no longer see one of their grandparents (on the whore’s side), other family members who i couldn’t make time for initially because i was in so much pain (my elderly mother, my brother in law who was dying, my siblings, my friends who i withdrew from) The list goes on and on.

    • “His OW helped him set up appointments with a marriage counsellor who told him to do ‘whatever makes him happy’ and helped him write cold and rather impersonal goodbye letters, one to me and one collective letter to our four children. So, the counsellor knew.”

      A “marriage counselor” who saw him without his wife and counseled him to be a bastard? That is so messed up. What an unethical, slimy shitwit.

  • I don’t know the real number, he was so messed up, and i didn’t ask around. All I can do is give a range:
    More than I know, less than everyone I know.

  • People suspected but didn’t say until after I knew.
    The owner of the hardware store asked my brother-in-law if FW was still married. He said yes, why? Guy said he keeps bringing this young woman to the store.
    A long time friend went to a pro basketball game with FW and Howorker and fake boyfriend (allegedly going through divorce). Friend said he was ask by FW if he thought Howorker was pretty. He said she’s young and I’m not into black women.
    Office manager told me after DDay, she wondered why Howorker always had his phone….(reading my texts or enabling pill buys? Who knows?)
    Neighbor saw AP in our mailbox late one night and she said FW made a pint to tell her Howorker was dropping off time sheets.

  • FWs sister was sent from her friends and multiple times over several years, FWs dating profiles, as they knew he was married. She never told me. The FW even brought one of the girlfriends to FWs brothers place and the borther didn’t tell me. I’m sure there are lots of people who knew, but it’s awful to be lied to by “family”. I’m sure there were more than just the family who knew, too. At least it wasn’t my family who lied to me….

  • In my 1st “mirage” over a dozen people, including my “best friend”. Some just knew, others actively helped him to hide {alibi or outright lying}. Trust that they, and the flying monkey’s around them, SUCK!! Then, run. Block, delete. As CL says, NC. No contact! Stop whipping a dead horse. Right now your ex is living in your head rent free. Why? Take the energy that you are wasting on both of them, and redirect it towards yourself. You are worth it. They are not. Luck.

  • My teenage kids knew. He would go out after dropping me off at work for my night shift. They said he would then go out and return early hours of the morning. He told the kids he went out for food takeouts. I had no idea as I was at work. My daughter said she wished she had said something to me.

  • For 33 years I was chumped by his entire family. Turns out that all of his male relatives are serial cheaters. They not only knew but would have hook-ups together, hell one even let him use his home for fuck arounds. These were family members that I would welcome into my home weekly.
    But the worst betrayal, besides FW, was our family doctor of 30 years. He had been treating FW for herpes ( and God knows what else) for 3 years and never , not once, did he ever tell me that my health was at risk. If I didn’t stumble onto that prescription I would have never known.
    What an altered reality I was living. It was all fun and games for them, I was one big joke to the whole lot of them.
    How, why, can people be so cruel?

    • That doctor should not be allowed to practice! That is so unethical. 😡

      I know what you mean about male relatives. My fuckwit’s cheating brother invited him to come out and meet the friend of somebody he picked up in a bar. Fuckwit says he didn’t go, but he probably did. His father was also a cheater and I have a feeling the kids were exposed to his behavior. These scum don’t care that they scar their kids forever.
      God knows how many people knew about FW’s whoring around. Everybody he worked with, for sure. One of the most painful things is realizing other people, mostly people I don’t even know, knew more about the state of my marriage than I did. I did know a few of his work friends and I tore a strip off of them for enabling him. They seemed shocked by my fury and scurried away like the cowardly rats they are.

  • We’ll, there were 5-8 co-workers of his that came to me after the fact who never said a word while it was going on. Unfortunately, my kids had suspicions too (they held summer camp jobs at a JCC) and were also uncomfortable, but a little naive. Turns out, he had an affair on the affair partner and I called her husband in Atlanta to fill him in. He deserved to know. Don’t count me in those who knew and never said anything.

  • Somewhere between two and everyone.

    I am no contact because I cannot bear the additional pain of knowing who else betrayed me.

  • Most of his male coworkers knew, but several of them were also cheating losers, and their allegiance was to him, their fellow cheating peer, not to me.

  • Late to the column, but for the sake of stats:

    *His mom (also a serial cheater)
    *His brother
    *His co-workers, one of whom he pressed into service as a “wing man” when he was prowling for whores while at various conferences.
    *Various friends of his
    *Several mutual friends – who have been firmly moved into “acquaintance” status for me, one of whom is a horrible gossip, so who knows how many others.

    I’m guessing at least 20 knew and didn’t tell me. And now I know why several were so uncomfortable around me. I think one of them almost told me, but ultimately couldn’t bring herself to drop the bomb.

    I think cheaters enjoy pulling others into their double-lives, maybe for validation, maybe for some sort of sick thrill. I also suspect that they want to get allies for when their marriage inevitably implodes.

  • I definitely know of only one person that stumbled upon the FW XW and her pathetic boss/AP at the time of their known affair. She was really the FW XW’s friend, but I was friendly to her, despite her inability to realize when to end her boring, monotonous, one-sided conversations w/people.

    After D-day, when I was completely reeling in shock, I ran into her, and she told me a tale of her running into the two of them in a supermarket chain in our area, but a few towns over (too much chance of me running into them more close to home, I would guess. Especially since to try to make the FW XW happy, I was doing most of the food shopping for our family).

    She would have told me, maybe, but, you know, “who knows what goes on in other people’s marriages?” Yeah, that old chestnut.🙄😡

    Once I got further out of shock, I always wondered, would she have liked it if I saw her husband fucking around w/one of his work underlings, and said nothing? I doubt it. Now I count her as as a Switzerland friend, and stay the hell away from her. I don’t need her or any other winged monkeys reporting on me to the FW XW.

    As for whether there were more people who knew the older, rich, married boss was schtupping his married admin asst at their workplace? Who knows? I just know our state’s college system reverberated from the scandal they perpetrated, when it all came out following D-day. I heard that from some of the professors.

    Oh yeah, I was taking classes in the college system at the same time that the AP was chancellor of said system and fucking my then wife. I was trying at the time to please the FW XW by getting a programming certificate that would get me what she asked/demanded of me in my depressive state: a new job w/better pay, and better hours.

    [Because being married to a non-functioning pharmacist who was working as a mattress salesman to try to help support the family was NOT what she signed up for, don’t ya know?]😱

    Well, I’m out of that wretched game, and living life on my own terms. The fuckwits can do whatever they want (except fuck up our kids!). They deserve each other, treacherous assholes that they are.

    Hope all of CN is surviving this cold weekend (at least for us in the NE). Peace, happiness and joy to you all (fuckwit-free, natch!😉).

  • I only know of 1 person for sure. Though it’s unclear to me if my ex had convinced them that we were broken up… Possible as this was an online friend who I only infrequently spoke to.

  • No one outright admitted it. I did get a lot of ‘I had a hunch’ confrontations instead which were BS since a handful of those came from OW (didn’t know at the time.) So I assume everyone who thought he was cool &/ or minimised the impact knew and the rest who were creeped out by him and kept their distance didn’t.

    • Whoops, sorry forgot to add a rough estimation. Not including the OW and their circles, I reckon, easily 9 knew and if you count their partners and/or friends who they loved to gossip with then 20-24 ontop of that. FW and his mates proved to me men can be more toxic gossipers than a group of rival teens. For sure his mates would have loved knowing about the cheating while keeping me in the dark.

  • How many people knew…that’s a tough one. He is a track coach. His side hustle was too but from a different school. At least three of his coaches did. I don’t know if their wives did too. His son knew because he was on the team and saw things. He told my sister in law he suspected something. She told my brother. Did the whole track team know? Even if only 10% of his team knew/noticed the flirtation, that would be at least 15 students. And we both teach at the same school, so…we know how good new travels. His mother, brother, sister and her husband knew before me too. So at minimum around 25 people. And then there are the people who didn’t know before me about this time but knew that he cheated on his first wife and said nothing while we were dating. It’s mortifying. Besides my FW adult family and the coaches, I don’t hold grudges against any of them. But it’s tough looking the rest in the eye. They don’t really look at me either though.

  • The BBC miniseries/drama called Dr Foster spends a lot of time on the issue of “friends” who knew but didn’t tell the chump. The “friends” give lots of excuses for not telling the chump, and ultimately regret not being honest with her once she tells them how much that additional betrayal hurts. It’s a completely traumatizing show, so be warned before watching it.

  • My exDr Dickhead had a patient who told him she was going to tell me he was having an affair. He told her not to tell me because I had just been diagnosed w breast cancer. I have never had cancer I was married to a dick who was fucking his patients….(he has been de registered)

  • I was fortunate that no one was conspiring. I had strong, stable friends who did not accept what he was doing to me. I did fall into the trap of wreconciliation though, and my friends were meeting with him every week to discuss his “progress” with his therapist and make sure he was on the right path to reconciliation. But as soon as I found his burner phone, my good friends cut ties with him and ensured that he was no longer welcome. Scrolling through this comment section is depressing. I wish everyone had good friends and family like I did.

    I hope it isn’t irresponsible to say this, but worldview had a lot to do with it. The brand of Christianity that my friends and I belong to is the kind that is aligned with Scripture: that God condemns cheating. No Christian should accept cheating or cheaters. Those that do need to have a good long look at their worldview.

    People ALWAYS act accordingly to their core value system. A cheater’s value system is one that is self-obsessed and views their own desires as superior to everyone and everything else. A cheater friend and cheater apologist values their own comfort and fears confrontation at best, and is a cheater themselves at worst.

    Don’t fear confrontation. That puts your own comfort over someone else’s suffering. If you know, tell the victim.

  • All of her friends and family and several of our mutual friends knew and all assumed I was somehow fine with it…. I’d say all in all, roughly 20-40 people?

  • I would estimate probably at least 6 other people knew about it – wife’s friend, coworkers, maybe one family member. For sure three knew. I knew them all pretty well after 25 years of marriage. Nobody had the guts to tell me outright or anonymously. Wife had the sparkle and probably had been demonizing to them for some time.

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