Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

The Infidelity Fallacy of ‘Unmet Needs’

If I could wave my magic Chump Lady wand and rid the world of one founding principle of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex, it’s that affairs happen because of “unmet needs.”

(I know, as long as I’m waving my magic wand, why not go all the way and rid the world of the RIC itself? POOF! )

The argument goes that cheaters cheat because they weren’t getting what they “needed” from the relationship, and so they sought out affairs to fill those “unmet needs.” Who wasn’t meeting those needs? Chumps, of course. You need to re-evaluate the relationship (with the help of the RIC) and figure out all the ways you were failing your partner, which caused them to cheat.

Cheaters are then chagrined to be less timid forest creatures and voice those unmet needs with you. Sure, cheating wasn’t  an ideal form of expression… But you know, toxic shame and your anger are a big buzzkill, so the cheaters might be less than forthcoming. It’s all a process…

Oddly, cheaters are rarely challenged about the legitimacy of their “needs” — hey, they’re UNMET and that’s the important thing!

But this unmet needs thing really hits chumps where it hurts. We reflect. We wonder about all the ways we failed to less than stellar. We have to admit that yes, we aren’t always ideal spouses. We blame ourselves and then we strive to do better to ensure that this Terrible Thing never imperils our marriage again. After all, we have to own our part.

Recently, several people have sent the Universal Bullshit Translator some of these blameshifting divorce articles to put through the bullshit thrasher. Unhappy Husband? 6 Ways to Save Yourself from an Unwanted Divorce! and 7 Reasons Your Husband Left You for His Emotional Affair Partner. (Subtext: YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT A HUSBAND! SUBMIT!) The latter actually goes so far as to write after each failing: “The missing link in the marriage.” And the former has helpful hints like “Take Pride in Your Appearance.”

Sadly, the UBT blew a transformer after reading these, and needs some alone time right now. Suffice it to say, this unmet needs business sends chumps down rabbit holes of self-recrimination. If you object to this “advice,” the argument goes something like this.

Chump: I’m not sure his hooker problem is on me.

Quack: What? So you object to taking pride in your appearance to please your partner? Look, it’s hard to admit that we’ve let ourselves go. You could stand to lose a few pounds.

Chump: Um, well yes, I could stand to lose some weight, but I just spent $300 on highlights!

Quack: You should appreciate him more. Be forgiving. Don’t nag. Don’t run him down. Be sexier.

Chump: I try to be all those things. Again, I’m not sure how that relates to his hooker habit.

Quack: So, you’re saying you have a PROBLEM with FORGIVENESS? You don’t agree with PLEASING YOUR PARTNER? You think you can just grow fat and sexless and expect that people will love you unconditionally?

Chump: I think you’re asking me to love my cheater unconditionally. He just spent $40K on sex workers.

Quack: Well, of course. He had unmet needs.

“Unmet needs” puts chumps on the defensive. Now you must go line by line down the “needs” column and defend how you did or did not meet those needs.

The game is rigged. First off, the cheater can always add more needs. Hey, you missed a spot. Second, by going on the offensive — your failings caused their failings — it diverts attention from the cheater’s actions and the harm they caused. Third, it creates a straw man argument about whether or not attractiveness, attention, and sex are important to relationships. (Of course they are.)

Every quack therapist and idiot life coach should be slapped upside the head with this 2×4 — We don’t MAKE people abuse us. We don’t compel them to hit us, and we don’t drive them to drink either. Cheating — which is emotionally abusive (gaslighting, blameshifting, minimizing) and physically abusive (endangering our health to STDs) — is a disproportionate offense to ANY of our very real failings.

Unhappy people who aren’t getting their needs met can SPEAK UP and they can GET THERAPY and they can LEAVE.

Here’s my imaginary conversation with a quack.

CL: Your advice sucks.

Quack: My advice does not suck.

CL: I’m going to steal your wallet and charge a lot of pinecone elves to your account.

Quack: You can’t do that!

CL: But hey, your advice REALLY SUCKED. Let’s examine the ways you contributed to my unhappiness, which made me steal your wallet and buy pinecone elves.


CL: It’s hard to admit that your advice sucks, isn’t it? I think you should own your part.


This one ran before, but the RIC still sucks.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My needs were not met excuse. Throughout my entire marriage my needs were not met. I often felt neglected I felt unloved and always disappointed. I chose to stick it out throughout the marriage and try to make things better. He decided he bang my cousin. I’m so sick of my knees we’re not met excuse.

    • Yup. My needs were totally not met!
      Talk about awful to zero sex…let’s not even go all the way to any sort of emotional support.
      I’m sure he thought sex was bad and boring but don’t think it ever occurred to him how awful I found it. All about him.

      Glad that’s behind me now 🙏🏻

      • I can relate Rebecca. Sex was always about him but I still wanted the intimacy. I think they get bored and just want fresh pussy and someone that hangs on their every word.

        • Can be, but then they should communicate it honest: ” I need the thrill of adventoure, I want fresh pussy. How do we do?” Maybe the wife would like the new sexuall experience as well, while staying married?

    • To this day, almost every time I see him due to parenting, he brings up his grievous pain over his unmet “needs.”

      His need? To have sex whenever he wanted it and have no responsibilities.

      It was so cruel of me, you see, to be the sole breadwinner, parent, accountant, and household manager while he napped and played video games. I forgot that I had to be sexy too.

      Not to mention that even that goal post moved. Times when I did dedicate myself to meeting his “needs” to avoid his moods – then I wasn’t “enjoying” it enough.

      How could I possibly enjoy being guilt tripped and bullied into sex?

      Funny how they never care about your needs for a single moment, while going on and on about theirs.

      • Shut that shit down! “Yes, so you’ve said. Anyway, I’ll bring Kids back at 6 pm.”

      • Right. “Do these sex acts I know you detest or cause you tremendous pain, and if you aren’t behaving like the porn actors I watch for hours at a time, then you are a FAILURE.”

      • This right here: “Not to mention that even that goal post moved. Times when I did dedicate myself to meeting his “needs” to avoid his moods – then I wasn’t “enjoying” it enough.”

        That is a “no win” situation. He always suspected I was not into him. That was not true, I was just not a big initiator. But when/if I did, then it was “you don’t WANT to do this.” We had plenty of good sex. He will admit that. But I didn’t fawn over him enough.

      • The line/excuse I was given was that “I was not happy”. No doubt she was unhappy. Her job sucked and many of her friends did not work and lived in $3M ++ houses. That is when they weren’t summering at their vacation homes.

        Instead of dealing with her emotions, she decided to try something shiny and new despite having two young children. Guess what? The job still sucks and her life is much harder because she has the kids half the time (she insists on this). Previously, I did everything with the kids which allowed her to “work”. We’re both lawyers and earned the same amount.

        While I’m forced to eat sh!t sandwiches on occasion, I know exactly what happened and why. And deep down in side, so does she.

    • Same. One of the things I realized while going through my divorce and looking back at the marriage was how lonely it was for me. He always had something he had to do, leaving me alone to hold everything together and raise our son.

      Plus sex was awful. He would get mad at me that the things he wanted to do hurt me. I remember him saying angrily that he should be able to go as hard as he wanted in any position he wanted. He didn’t care if he was hurting me at all. But he bills himself as this great lover. It’s pathetic.

    • Me too, 42 year relationship, 38 year mairrage, all the time slowly and surely being manipulated like potter’s clay until I had become a totally different person who always gave in to his wants and needs while he was unfaithful from the very beginning. Talk about a chump!!!!

    • Exactly , 23 years he pleasured himself with Porn. Leaving me frustrated, angry, hurt, rejected, insecure, and a whole host of other unpleasant feelings. I stayed faithful and loyal suppressing my own wants and needs. Last straw was him buying hookers. I didn’t even think he liked real women. Ti think he would rather pay then be with me just hit harder then all the porn years combined and finally got the divorce I should have got 29 years ago. A long way to go in healing but I’d like to think ivam getting there. F him and Un met needs. F the RIC blaming chumps. Thank goodness for books like Leave a Cheater !

    • Honestly, looking back on my marriage my needs were hardly ever met. In fact, i’m the one that should have been having affairs. However, those silly things called integrity, character and loyalty kept me on the straight and narrow. That needs excuse is such bullshit.

  • I really love this dream of yours. Maybe if this was included in every therapist’s handbook it would remind them that accountability isn’t all on Chumps.

  • Our therapist stopped contacting us(as did we stop reaching out to her) because she cancelled twice due to scheduling issues but she would say mmhmm mmhhmm mmhhmm and shake her head while he was talking because I think he annoyed her
    It was sort of validating.
    But she also stressed making time for each other and communicating and he did none of it.
    This is all aside from the cheating which she never mentioned(?) I wondered if she was getting to it or really wanted to avoid that part(?) I’ll never know
    But during our sessions he would say what I’ve been doing to be mean or cold or how I stormed off during an argument. It was like a reporting session. Very strange. Deflection???

    • Reminds me of that recent commercial for old spice and the couple is in the therapist’s office: mmmhmmmm shaking her head ever so slightly.

    • This is an extremely unprofessional way for a therapist to end a client relationship. She needed to meet with you both and say that she felt she couldn’t help you and list the reasons.

  • How to blame a victim:

    I cheated on you because of your inability to meet unspoken needs (bad at mind-reading), your constant adulting (give it a break already), your certain angry reaction to learning that I was simply trying to be happy (with another person, in secret, in a hotel), and your vindictiveness. You made me sneak around. I never felt I could be honest with you because of how you would react. #DARVO

    I mugged you because of your nice outfit that screams wealth, your expensive haircut, your Rolex. You basically asked for it.

    I burned down your house because I enjoy fire. And you purchased a house made of wood AND in a dry climate.

    I killed your dog because it barked when I had an unmet need for silence.

    • 👍👍👍👍. Spot on to all.

      I suppose that’s one thing I can be grateful for, the total NC meant fuckwit never had the chance to mindfuck me with his ‘unmet needs’, although I’m sure he’d have loved to try.

      • After 21 years, of pretending to love me, and “dating” behind my back, (his words not mine), the only unmet need he could muster up was I wasn’t a good enough house keeper.

        I wasn’t bad, just not up to his lofty standards. I guess fucking random whores made it all better. He showed me.

  • I do believe if a woman stops having sex with a man, he is going to find sex somewhere else. He may still give her his pay check, and come home at night – but he is going to have sex. He is going to have some release and it might involve another person. Maybe some women, too.

    It reminds me of a group lunch with a bunch of catty women lawyers at the Cheesecake Factory about 5 years ago. One woman was sort of humble bragging that she had not had sex in one year with her husband. These were people in the 30s. How she makes him beg for it, how she lost her sex drive. How she has encouraged him to drink so he will go to sleep and not want sex.

    And a male waiter who was bringing cheesecake said: You may not have had sex in one year, but he has. Of course, she was outraged. But I paid attention to what he said.

    I say this as someone who was chumped and was broken for 3 years. The irony? I had sex ALL THE TIME with my Piece of Shit Cheater. We were downright kinky.

    Through the years, I have represented various forms of the sex worker: street prostitute, stripper and now OnlyFans women. All of them tell me – all of them – that the majority of their clients are married men. And remember- those OnlyFans hoes meet up to have sex. The online sessions are just the appetizer.

    As a person now who has some serious health problems, where I don’t want anything coming near those parts unless it is a heating pad, I can sense a real impatience on my partner’s part with sex. He wants to have it. I don’t. I mean, I REALLY don’t. It feels like a torture session. The only way I can get through is hydrocodone.

    Will he cheat? I deeply hope not. I am sure I should give him a blow job or a hand job, but I am doing great just to work and get my hair washed and the water bowl filled for the dogs.

    • PP – Not clear who you represent (as an advocate or attorney)? Just want to re-direct you and today’s readers to the archives on blame shifting, etc. Please don’t perpetuate the misinformation about what “makes a cheater cheat”.

    • Ok. Well, if the marriage isn’t going well, and one partner wants sex but the other doesn’t or has some other “unmet need,” then they need to have a hard conversation.

      It’s not the need for sex that’s the problem; it’s the lying and sneaking around. It’s blaming the chump for not meeting needs, needs that are often not stated.

      I would have been devastated, I admit, if my ex had told me that he wasn’t happy and wanted to be with another person. But that would have been so much better than his betrayal.

      I’m sorry about your own situation and wish you well.

      • Right. If you haven’t had sex with your spouse for a year, that’s a pretty strong indication of a problem that should be talked about. Maybe it’s OK. Maybe it’s not. I’d even go so far as to say that both parties have an obligation to address the “not talking” issue. But that’s very, very different from saying it’s a justification for committing adultery.

        • I will just say that at one point in my struggling marriage, I did have feelings for someone at work. Nothing happened, other than I felt super attracted to him. So I raised it with my ex. I said I was having a hard time and wanted to talk about it. Do you know what he did? He literally ran from the room because he could not handle the conversation. I walked through the house behind him trying to get him to engage. Nope. These cheaters can’t stand open and clear communication. I should have left then. He was running away because he couldn’t stand how bad I was making him look to himself by my having handled it the right way.

          • What, exactly, were you trying to communicate ? That you were attracted to someone not your husband ? Sorry, but that sounds to me like you were trying to make him engage in the pick me dance. I don’t think you’d have found it acceptable if he’d done that.

            And I don’t think you “handled it in the right way”. Raising your attraction to someone else isn’t handling a marital problem in the right way.

      • As it turned out, I’m honestly not sure that I would have preferred if my ex-FW had spoken up early in the marriage and left honestly. I think he actually regrets the marriage and the lost years as much or more than I do. I feel guilty in a way because I sometimes (almost always) think it actually turned out for the best for me that he tried to hang on to the marriage so as not to hurt me. (I really do think he was trying to do this, although I acknowledge he may also have been looking for the right exit affair.) He spent many years cheating (that I knew nothing about), but by the time I found out almost 25 years later, his family had become wealthy, some of that wealth had come to us, we had developed our own financial security largely due to his salary, I had a son that I adore, and even though he was living a double life, I was living an authentic one and was “happy.” By the time we divorced, there was plenty of money to go around, I’m doing well financially, I don’t want another man, and I’m pretty close to Tuesday. 🙂

        I always think to myself…would I really have been better off if he’d left me in my 30s? I know myself, and the chances I’d have found someone else (which I would have wanted at that age) are slim to none. I would also not have benefitted financially in the way I did. I know this says something about my self-esteem (or perhaps my “mercenary” tendencies?) that I might have preferred being lied to and gaslighted all those years, so maybe I need a good therapist. It’s just something that I think about sometimes.

        • Interesting that the one thing he didn’t do was try and fix the marriage, no?

        • Not a therapist but I think you don’t need to ascribe decent motives to a serial cheater (lying out a desire not to hurt you) just because you got a great settlement. No one here would think you mercenary and God would not fling thunderbolts at you if, instead, you simply wrote “Hah.”

          I also worry that, along with ascribing decent motives to him that he clearly didn’t deserve, you’ve internalized his disparging view of yourself– the idea that you’d hit your sell-by date in your thirties and wouldn’t have been able to find love. That’s not to stoke regret or suggest that you can’t be happy being single by choice. But I suspect it was HIS perspective that your chances were “slim.”

          I actually find your modesty about money movingly moral, maybe too much so. But, as an exercise, check out websites showing the market value of homemaking and “women’s work” and I think you’ll find he couldn’t afford you, especially if you do what some chumps do for fun– tally up the market rate for sex and add that to the bill.

          If the settlement still bothers your modest soul, I recommend spitting into an envelope– the exact market value of his opinion of you– and sending it to him anonymously to “buy back” your right to self-assessment and your right to judge his abusive MO.

          As far as the profitable timing of the divorce and settlement, I wish it had been triple. Scratch that. You’re so sweet and unassuming I’d quadruple it.

          • Thanks for your thoughts, HOAC and Apidae. I think there is a lot of truth there and I should re-frame things in my mind — and try to find a good therapist to boot. It’s true he didn’t choose to work on the marriage. And of course, I’ll never know how things would have worked out if he’d left honestly. I shouldn’t presume it would have been worse. It could have been fabulous. OK – I think I have my head screwed on straight again. Thanks for the wake-up comments!

        • No need to feel guilty about any good outcomes. At least you are both free now.

    • My ex refused to have sex with me. For 5 years. He told me I was physically repulsive. That I was “too emotionally needy.” That I was far too old to be having sex (I was in my early 40s, same as him). That I was sexually abusing him by suggesting sex or even trying to give him a hug.

      I never cheated on him. I never even considered it. Instead I told myself that he was probably right and I was being selfish and demanding and I needed to be more mature and stop asking for or even wanting any kind of physical affection.

      Of course, the whole time, he was sleeping with all his female “best friends.”

    • As a male chump who valued the promises I made to her (and more importantly, to myself) despite her pushing me away for years, I protest the generalization made here. More “slaves to the gender biology” claptrap.

      • Me too (also male). I’m not sure I ever went a whole year during my marriage, but I could do six months standing on my head.

        I didn’t date for a year after XW left; nothing exploded and I never ended up accidentally conversing with hookers.

        • Thank you, UX and IG. I’m so sick of this myth that men must always have sex available. You’re human beings, not stags in rut.

      • Also — “He may still give her his pay check” even if wife won’t have sex. C’mon, PP. Please don’t reduce men OR women to such caricatures.

      • Totally agree UX. I’m saddened that people think men HAVE to have sex or they’ll die and that it’s okay that women don’t have sex. WTF? I’m tired of that very wrong stereotype.

    • Uh, calling them “catty women lawyers” rather betrays your bias here. I hope that you heal from your physical issues and also from the cheating. But you seem to have some ideas about women that aren’t healthy. No one OWES sex to anyone else. People with integrity are fully capable of having open conversations, work-arounds, compromises, and mutual understanding. If they can’t agree, they break up. They don’t stay and torture each other.
      It IS possible to live in the truth, with respect for self and the other.

      • Louder for the people in the back, NO ONE OWES SEX TO ANYONE ELSE!

        Pure gold, FYI. Spot on.

        Seems to me that whenever I see two people who have been together for a long time and still love sharing sex, those two people are genuinely nice and respectful and honest with one another the rest of the time. Almost like that’s how you build a healthy relationship or something. 😁

      • “Uh, calling them “catty women lawyers” rather betrays your bias here.”

        Yeah, it almost seems like this is written by a misogynistic dude pretending he’s a woman in order to give the whole men need lots of sex or they’ll cheat thing legitimacy.

    • You say, “I do believe if a woman stops having sex with a man, he is going to find sex somewhere else” as if that’s somehow exculpatory, but then go on to tell us you were a smorgasbord of kinky sex for your cheater, but he cheated anyway, as if that’s therefore inexplicable.

      I don’t really understand your point, could you expand ?

      For me, in either case, it comes down to straightforward entitlement. A man who finds sex somewhere else if he’s genuinely not having it with his wife, and keeps it a secret, is an entitled, cheating arsehole because a) why is he keeping it a secret ? Because he’s extracting some value from the situation. Instead of trying to sort it, he fucks on the side. Instead of leaving, he fucks on the side. Instead of divorcing, he fucks on the side. Nothing exculpatory in any of that. b) a man has access to a smorgasbord of kinky sex, whenever he wants it, but cheats anyway. Nothing inexplicable about that, he cheats because he feels entitled to do so, and probably because the thrill of a new body trumps even kinky sex with a body he’s used to. That’s how shallow they are.

      The rest of your post I feel very sad about. You say you now have serious health problems, which affect your ability to have and enjoy penetrative sex, and worry that he’s impatient to have sex, and if you don’t comply, by masturbating him, he’ll then cheat on you.

      Is that all you mean to him ? A receptacle to have sex with ? An appliance who exists to give him a blow job/hand job when you can’t manage penetrative sex ? And if you don’t do that, he’ll be justified in cheating on you ?

      Worst if all, you seem to think this is a natural way to think/behave, it’s justified. It’s not, and I’m so sorry you have so little sense of self-worth you think you’re only worthy of consideration if you’re handing out sex. You’re worthy of consideration because you’re a human being in a relationship with another human being. I’m not normally an advocate of therapy, but I think you should seriously consider seeing someone, at the very least, Google why you think you have an obligation to provide sex in any circumstances. All the best to you.

      • I should have been clear I was referring to male *and* female cheaters. Apologies to any male chumps who thought I was having a pop at just men.🥴

    • You’re projecting a LOT of your own anger and anxiety onto other women and it’s not pretty.

    • This idea that me are horny animals that can’t live without sex is a modern one. In the Middle Ages it was women who were considered sexually insatiable while men, being “rational” creatures, possessed self-control.

      Using “well it’s just how men are” (or women) is bullshit, because those ideas change with time and culture. As someone said already, it’s about entitlement, not biological need. Plenty of people live celibate for one reason or another and survive just fine. Aside from procreation, sex isn’t a need. It’s an enjoyable activity. It’s one way to be intimate in a relationship, but not the only one.

      My ex used my inability to have frequent sex due to health issues as an excuse to cheat. But when HE had had health issues where he didn’t want sex for awhile, I never even considered cheating. It’s poor character, not “unmet needs”. My ex certainly wasn’t meeting my needs for love, affection, support, kindness, etc. He was abusive and neglectful. Again, I never even considered cheating, even emotionally, to make myself feel desirable and special again. Because I promised fidelity.

      • Every word of this. Exactly. I love that you brought in historical context too.

        Also: “My ex used my inability to have frequent sex due to health issues as an excuse to cheat.” My ex used my getting painful infections THAT SHE GAVE ME FROM THE CHEATING as an excuse to cheat more because I was in too much pain for sex. And she’d go to all of her friends for sympathy (and sex) because I was supposedly so frigid.

    • PP: why can’t your partner do what I have done countless times? Whip out a toy. You two can still cuddle/hold hands while looking at a sunset so the intimacy is still there. Why is the guy climaxing only equated with intimacy? the end goal of intimacy? Me thinks we’ve been hoodwinked into believing this by the RIC. If he does cheat, don’t let him or a therapist bully you into taking the blame.

      • Yeah, it sounds like they took the first half from some bad email/WhatsApp forward fake story, and the rest is some odd combo of… Idk what.

        • Yes, re-reading PP’s post, the sentence about the male waiter seems fake. I can’t actually imagine a waiter or waitress muscling in on a customer’s conversation like that. I should have picked up on that right away.

    • The ex withdrew sex from me 10 years before our marriage ended. There was no discussion on his side. I was very unhappy about the situation and often tried to discuss it with him. He would literally close his lips tightly together and turn his head to one side. I did all I could bar leaving him to encourage him to have sex with me. I failed. You know what Pro Procastinator, I didn’t have an affair with anyone although I did have offers which I told him about. No reaction. Of course, I should have left him but I didn’t. I tried to work it out because I loved the piece of poo! My needs weren’t being met but I tried to be an adult about it. Some of us look at a human being and see more than a body.

    • My XH cut me off sex even before he met his AP(s). At the time we had been married only 18 months. Like the female lawyer you mention he got a kick out of watching me beg for it and then refusing me anyway. Do you know what a tease it is to have a good looking husband that won’t put out? Nevertheless I was not the one who had an affair. Not because I would have found it hard to find an AP (I divorced the FW when I was 30) but because I believe adultery is wrong. It’s not a sex issue; it’s a character issue. Full stop.

    • Pro, I’m sorry to have to tell you, but a guy who is willing to cause you pain to the extent that you need opiates just to get through sex is definitely the personality type of a cheater- completely selfish and severely lacking in empathy.

      What you’re talking about is male entitlement. That’s what drives men to use trafficked women with no concern for their circumstances. That’s also what causes your husband to have sex with you without concern for your pain. The sexually entitled male will eventually cheat no matter how good your sex life is, as you found out. A man who does not feel he is owed sex will not do those things. Sex isn’t essential to life, FFS. It’s a want, not a need. If his wife is too sick, a man needs to get over himself and his petty wants and take care of her. This whole men need a certain amount of sex or they will cheat myth was created by misogynists to get women to submit to male demands. Marriage should not be about sexual slavery.

      • I might add that the men must have sex or they’ll cheat myth is insulting to men as well. It equates them with animals in rut. Humans have reasoning powers. We are supposed to know when something is wrong and harmful and put the brakes on accordingly. If people don’t put the brakes on (provided they are not severely mentally impaired) it’s only because they don’t care about doing harm.

    • In what pro-male fantasy world is a man constantly entitled to sex?
      “I do believe if a woman stops having sex with a man, he is going to find sex elsewhere.”???

      No…a creepy high school boyfriend might, A horny college frat dude might. But a grown up man in a committed relationship is — presumably — more able to contain himself. If they’re finding it elsewhere, it’s because they’re choosing to. Dry spell for marital relations? Hey, they do have a hand, right?

      We might be a happier world if one of the first things we taught men and held them to is that if things aren’t total fireworks in the sack, maybe they need improvement. Next we should teach them that porn isn’t reality. After that, perhaps they should have a good lesson in the fact that yes, women get very, very tired and we don’t turn on and off like a light switch.

      A man who decides to cheat because he isn’t getting “enough” sex is exactly the same as the cheater who is getting enough sex: they are both self-entitled, immature, selfish abusers. They both suck.

    • I think, the narrative thar majority of clients of prostitutes are married men, is urban legend.
      How would they know for sure which one of the punters is married and who is single? Do they ask for marrigae certificate before they suck his dick?

  • His needs were not met? How about our needs? That’s the part that gets me. My need for sleep was not met when our twins were babies. My need for a shower was not met when our twins were babies. My need for a hot cup of coffee was not met when our twins were babies. So many of my needs were not met over the years. Like the need to be treated as a human being in my own home and by people who reportedly ‘loved me.’ My needs were not met when our babies were small cos he was out banging some woman he met on a train. And then when they were bigger he was banging another woman he met on an app.

    Someone tries spewing that needs not being met crap at me not long ago and that’s what they got in reply. Their need for sex, devotion and ego stroking is trumped by the needs of small babies who need feeding and changing.

    • Yeah how about my need to obey my doctor’s orders not to have sex during my high-risk pregnancy. Or my unmet need for sleep and support during the toddler plus new baby stages. Or my unmet need to be respected as a whole person and not just a desired orifice.

      Thankfully I never got confronted with it by therapists because I lucked out and got one who insisted we couldn’t do anything about the marriage until FW dropped contact with the AP. So FW dropped contact with the therapist. Really that should have been yet another clue I had nothing to work with, but I hung in on hopium for months afterwards.

    • I asked FW about meeting MY needs. I received a shocked expression because how can an appliance have needs.

      Sorry Em. It’s so hurtful to realize you are not considered a human to your SO.

    • Yeah this, and of course was thrown back at me ‘I didn’t think having a child would mean I lost my girlfriend’. You know what I wanted to get to bed early and get some sleep, I was absolutely shattered truth be told. The guilt you feel about not meeting everyone’s sodding ‘needs’ while your needs, as you put it Em, aren’t considered one bit. And one partner always blames the other for ‘not meeting their needs’ but doesn’t consider that it works both ways around. It’s just the good old-fashioned wife appliance narrative. It makes me sick.

      • “I didn’t think having a child would mean I lost my girlfriend”

        He needs to grow the fuck up. Of course you stop having the same level of spontaneity as when you were gf and bf once a child enters the picture. How is anyone this stupid?

        • I married one that stupid too. It really means “I didn’t think that anyone would actually expect me to do anything different once we had a child.” memememememe

          26 years later he still tells people, including our children, that Fern changed once we had kids. duh, that is what is supposed to happen! Only stupid, selfish, entitled FWs think things won’t change.

        • They say men need to support their women who support their children. Men who are dads with moral compass do exactly this. Men who don’t do this are sh**s.

  • Thank you, CL! This is one thing that still makes me viscerally angry. I’d like to respectfully add a point to the argument:

    Nearly every Chump goes through life with “unmet needs.” Sometimes for decades, and sometimes they are literally needs not wants (like any leisure time at all, or sleep, or medical care in addition to emotional needs).

    And where is the Chump, out hiring hookers to pacify him/herself? Of course not! at home doing what he/she is supposed to be doing and covering down for the AWOL FW as well. Then on top of it, being devalued because the he/she is tired or depressed or lonely, not sparkly. Having needs unmet to the point that you have nothing left at all, nothing for yourself let alone to give to FW – and then being punished for it?? And told that YOU weren’t meeting FW’s needs??

    I feel like that is most Chumps. It’s just not so evident at RIC time because it takes us time to deprogram and even ask “but what about MY needs?”

    It took my new partner to say “Wait, you have ONE dress?” I said, “No of course not! I have these hand me downs, I just never got around to having them altered. And these two from high school still fit, and this ten year old bridesmaid dress….” And then thinking about that in the context of a) I spent too much money! b) I wasn’t thankful for breadwinner FW and wasn’t meeting his needs for gratitude! c) I didn’t look good enough (in baggy hand me downs) for FW after pregnancy! (<- but he was off doing whatever-the-f while I had the kids 24-7 but sure I was supposed to get to the gym!) Anyway, I could go on and on, and in circles!

    Realizing how our own very basic needs weren't met, and the fact that this literally contributed to the very "unmet needs" that FW's mindfuck us with, it's almost too much. They created the situation they're blaming their actions on; it makes my head hurt.

    • My STBX used to get mad at me because I wore, “house dresses”. I used to model in my teens until I got pregnant at 36. My body bounced back after pregnancy. I love dresses and everything feminine, painted nails, make-up, lingerie. I never wore sweats. He hated my house dresses but I think it was a way of trying to put me down. Despite always being polished he still loved porn and was using prostitutes. He tells his friends I never met his needs. I never said no. He was just entitled.

  • The ex came back from ‘headspace week’ which he took ON HIS OWN (but in fact with exgfOW – the water- stained imprint of her wet bottom filled the passenger seat of our car because the weather was terrible in the north west of England when they went on their love holiday). He told me he was leaving me but pulled the classic sad sausage face when I very reasonable asked why. At the point at which he finally left, he was able to give me a long list of my flaws, many of which seemed to have been crafted by exgfOW, who plays at being a life coach. I took the flaws on board and to heart. Inevitably a couple of them were fair. And most of them were completely bogus e.g ‘our holidays weren’t that great’, ‘you wasted your talents’ (I had been a partner in two law firms and CEO of a high-profile organisation but, hey, I wasted my talents), I ‘self-harmed in a way’ (I didn’t), on and on to ‘the marriage was joyless’. Three weeks or so later, I discovered the affair, and his recent complaint that he had been unhappy for a ‘very, very long time’ made sense. I started the divorce process immediately which took him by surprise (lots of sulking and pouting and jutting out of the lower lip about that). The ex’s unmet needs really were endless. He was allergic to everything when at my parents’ house. He couldn’t eat any food that I enjoyed. An ambulance had to be called every time he bumped his large head. He had to win at everything – gave up cricket because he kept getting out for a duck because he would never go to nets. He wanted the lifestyle of the rich and famous but he was never prepared to work for it. He was passed over for partnership because he wasn’t good enough but his response was ‘I shouldn’t have to prove how good I am, it’s obvious’. It wasn’t! Meanwhile none of my needs were even asked about, let alone met. When I expressed them, they were ignored. On the rare occasion he agreed to do something that I wanted to do, he would find a way to spoil the occasion. It was as if I did not exist as a human being. I was a thing to be used up and chucked out. Before I knew about the affair, I spoke to UK Relate with a view to joint counselling. The counsellor who I saw on my own told me that the ex was abusive and that reconciliation was a bad idea. Until I knew about the affair I persisted to hope for reconciliation. Now, I would not touch him with the longest of barge poles. In the words of Miley Cyrus, I can buy myself flowers and I often do (not crappy ones from the supermarket either). The RIC is abusive and does not have the best interests of the chumped at heart.

    • I’m sure klootzak would say I have “wasted (my) talents” as though I went to law school, I work from home in a non-practicing capacity. Why? Because I followed his career all over the place and he told me I may as well give up my licensure in the one state I was licensed as maintaining it was not worth the expense. And while I could seek promotion where I work, it would out me in a management position where I would work many more hours than I do. Right now, my position is flexible and allows me to not miss out on taking care of our child. I make breakfast and drop off in the morning and after school, I work only one more hour and then supervise homework and cook home made meals. It’s full time work that pays pretty well considering I am not a slave to the job. Klootzak would prefer I be a slave to the job and still maintain everything else because it would net more $$$ he could raid from my bank account. I am quite pleased with my position, actually, and I think he can’t stand it.

      And as soon as I file, he will likely be more angry that I am not earning more and he will pay a greater share of child support and possibly spousal support.

      FW disappointments are all about what is in it for them. I would rather spend the rest of my days a single lady than hear any more drivel about his “needs” and how I have not met them. He knew EXACTLY who I was from our four years dating. I have not changed dramatically nor did I misrepresent myself. Klootzak was one big walking falsehood and has been bitter since I figured out what he really is. Their actual “need” was for us to not find out. The rest is excuses trying to justify his wandering dick.

      • MWE, here’s to you earning more and his jutting lower lip! I got more work after he left because I had no sense that he would do the right thing. I ended up having to give him money because I got work. At by then 60, I could have sat around doing nothing and claimed spousal support (he is 6 years younger than me). But I have too much pride to take anything from that toerag.

      • MWE – – and when you do finally file, please let us know. I cannot speak for any of the other citizens of Chump Nation, but I for one shall raise a glass of strawberry parfait, and also say a prayer, for you and your success.

        • I will do. The countdown is on. I’m terrified but the time is approaching. I’ll raise a smoothie as I don’t drink much anymore. 🙂

      • “He knew EXACTLY who I was from our four years dating. I have not changed dramatically nor did I misrepresent myself. Klootzak was one big walking falsehood and has been bitter since I figured out what he really is.”

        FW told me, at the end, that he needed someone “bubbly” and outgoing. And I was like, “why did you marry me???” I am not and NEVER HAVE BEEN “bubbly” (eew, no). I’ve always been quiet, a homebody, etc. He knew this from the day he met me. (OW wasn’t bubbly either. She was just loud and brash and reacted to everything like a 2 year old, jumping up and down and clapping her hands when happy, and stomping her feet and yelling when she was angry. No thanks. It was SO over the top. I found her exhausting and it felt fake.)

    • If that’s not the symbol of all FWs – out for a duck – I don’t know what is!!! Now I guess he can go and fuck one!

  • I think this gets under everyone’s skin. The only “needs” that seem to matter are the cheater’s.

    When FW left, I was openly blamed for not meeting “his needs.” The assumption is that the Chump is a cold fish. I was even told by FW’s grandma to “lure him back with your feminine wiles.”

    FFS… FW was (is) a complete dud as a human. I married him because I thought he was a good guy — a nice quiet man. I had been in a very sexual relationship prior and that guy was a lot of crazy (outside of the sex) to handle. So I thought FW was boring but good. My mistake. I guess I settled — thinking I was doing the healthier thing.

    FW just became more boring. He didn’t want to do anything. He was dead weight. He never wanted sex. He didn’t want to touch. He’s dull as a dishrag. And none of my needs were met. I love sex! I tried and tried. But any assumptions that men always want it and women withhold… a lot of that is bullshit and more false crap being shared as fact. He also didn’t have friendships. He was crap at work and lost jobs every year. And I was raising our son almost entirely alone. As soon as our son was born (he wouldn’t even be in the delivery room — he watched a movie in the waiting area instead) he stopped coming home until late after work. I was stranded that first year.

    The good news is that although I loved FW and was invested in the relationship (which is why chumps allow our needs to go unmet — yet there’s no support for being loyal to useless FWs), it also helped me feel FREE when he left. I went through the grief. I went through the pain and anxiety and horribleness of the divorce. But I was finally able to go places and do things and be ME again!! Yay! And sex didn’t suck anymore – hallelujah!

    Now… how do we get therapists to learn this and start putting the blame where it’s deserved? —- on the FWs cheating. We played no part in that.

  • Yes, it’s so immature. My ex was a bucket with holes. Nothing I did on any front would satisfy him in the end. We spent hours every day in the bedroom. Not good enough. He told his family later that I was denying him sex. I cooked only what he liked. Not good enough. Ultimately, he decided that living like a single man near the beach was preferable, and I refused to follow him.

    I remember horrid people asking me in public if I cooked good meals and had sex with him daily. None of their business! But yes, I blindly thought that would keep him home. Nope. We split anyway.

    Looking back, he truly despised me, and that was the theme of the divorce. After telling me he’d make it quick and easy, he burned every bridge on the way out because he was still in love with me. No, he wasn’t, and I knew that.

    • The truth IS that deep down they despised us. (And many are deeply misogynist).

      • Let’s go deeper — they despised us because they were deeply jealous and self loathing

    • Yes. I did everything he asked and more. It was never, ever enough. It took me far too long to not blame myself or ask what else I could’ve done. The answer is nothing, because nothing would have been enough.

  • No way to satisfy all the unmet needs of a black hole.

    Liar, user, abuser, poopy diaper face adult toddler. No matter how I spackled, there x is. Schmoopie 18 (or is it 19) is on the hook now.

    Life is good without a fuckwit.

  • I believe it is very common to want an explanation for actions that do not seem fair or reasonable. We want order and stability in a world of disarray and imbalance. It is hard for us to accept the answer that people do things simply because the opportunity arose, and they can. Everyone does not have a moral compass. Communication is essential to a good relationship, but you cannot have a good conversation with someone who speaks a different emotional language. You simply cannot understand each other because the exchanges don’t make sense.

    If you say, “I need help with the children, and you are never available,” and your partner says, “why don’t you ever buy beer,” you are not communicating. It makes no sense for us to feel guilty for another person’s choices and actions. I feel the same way about sex. When I had my children, both by c-section, I did not feel happy or healthy with my body while I healed. He may have desired sex, but since I had just given birth to our children, it seems reasonable to me that he could have put his urges on the back burner. It is possible for humans to make the choice to endure a period of time without sex. Why is this an impossible ask for us? When I discovered his lying and cheating, my first response was revulsion at the thought of having sex with him. Why would this be an unreasonable reaction?

    The world of the RIC expects women to be like Stepford Wives. It is all about keeping hubby happy. They advise the men to remember “Happy wife, happy life,” but it is all about the material trappings of marriage. This is an unrealistic expectation, in my book. When I think about having a loving companion, my first thought is about being able to have a real conversation and sharing a set of values with someone dedicated to living an authentic life. Sex is way down on my list of important things. If the other “needs” on my list are being met, sex is a natural expression of happiness and compatibility. I don’t want to have obligatory sex.

    No matter what, any time spent with a FW is wasted time. You may not have realized you were with a FW, but the reality is that you were. You cannot get back wasted time. Accept it, and move forward with your newfound knowledge, trying to avoid FW’s along the way. That way, you won’t waste any more of the time you have left. Don’t look for guilt or accept blame for the FW’s choices. The FWs certainly are not admitting any wrongdoing on their part.

    Just remember what’s done is done. Move forward, enjoy your present and future FW free. It seems reasonable to me that you will find more happiness and fulfillment with your new life, than you will worrying about your past life. I could be wrong, of course. Life may not be reasonable, but I believe the odds are in my favor with this attitude.

    • “If you say, “I need help with the children, and you are never available,” and your partner says, “why don’t you ever buy beer,””

      Good example. It reminds me of the weird conversation we had one night as he was headed out to “ride around with one of the guys” (police)

      I was reading a book, it was about tenish. He looked at me and said out of the blue “you just read to escape”. I looked up at him confused, but then said “well yes reading is relaxing to me after a long day.” Then he looked flustered and said “and thats ok”.

      I think in his mind he told himself he fucked whores to escape, and I read, same thing.

      Of course no doubt he was on his way to fuck the whore he married. He wasn’t going to get that pile of shit scraped off him shoe no matter what he did. She was his direct report, “she had hand.”

    • “The world of the RIC expects women to be like Stepford Wives. It is all about keeping hubby happy. They advise the men to remember “Happy wife, happy life,” but it is all about the material trappings of marriage.”

      Yes, that’s true Portia. The expectation is that women must submit to whatever sex men want and men must buy women a ton of jewelry and other material things.
      This is the superficial perspective of shallow people. None of that is the stuff of marital happiness. Connection and devotion to one another are what is needed, not an infinite number of blow jobs or diamond bracelets.

  • Great observations CL!

    I had damage done to me by ‘therapists’ and ‘marriage counsellors’ that greatly worsened my life, thank you for speaking up about these quacks

    Amazing that the chumps needs count for ZERO according to the FW’s.

  • Never does the RIC ask if Chumps needs are being met. Like having a partner who is honest, has morals, integrity and self respect.

  • I’m sure XW had unmet needs. I’m not entirely sure what they were as she never expressed them during our marriage, but I remember her airing a long list of grievances dating back decades as she was leaving. Details are kind of fuzzy as my brain wasn’t really operating at full efficiency. As I sometimes describe it now:

    “As bad as getting the “it’s not you, it’s me” breakup speech, the “it’s not me, it’s you” speech is worse.”

    • “As bad as getting the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ breakup speech, the ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ speech is worse’.”

      Or the the ones who use the Venn-diagram approach, arguing that the chump was at fault, too. “See, we meet in the middle. You failed to buy enough caffeinated coffee, and I lied all the time. Even-stevens.”

      My ex had a few firing neurons of good sense to own up to the cheating and say that the cheating per se was his doing and his doing alone (with the help of the AP, whom he seemed to revere as some sort of sexy saint even though she was sleeping in our marital bed and cheating on her own husband). I digress.

      He stated that he accepted blame BUT (and there’s always a “but”), I guess I was responsible in some ways because I wasn’t “perfect either.” #mybad #notasaint

      He said he left me because he was listening to his “soft voice of defiance” (whatever the hell that is) and that he thought he’d “be happier with her.” So, basically he left a 35-year marriage on a hunch.

      He said that we’d have to admit that we’d never have better sex than we had with each other, revealing his high opinion of himself and also that he wasn’t leaving me for better sex. Would that have been easier? I don’t know. He made it sound as if he were leaving me for a loftier reason. But then again, he’s full of 💩. I will never believe a word he says.

      • ‘with the help of the AP, whom he seemed to revere as some sort of sexy saint even though she was sleeping in our marital bed and cheating on her own husband). I digress.’ How does the married side piece, cheating with a married man get saint status? This one always boggles my brain.

  • My first therapist told me that she could see why he cheated on me. I clarified that she meant what said at the following session and she confirmed that yes, that’s exactly what she meant. I was raising our son basically by myself while working full time. He didn’t get up once in the night to help me when he was an infant. I was criticized for everything I did. Ex was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive. Two therapists since told me she should have been reported but she was my first therapist and I believed her. Hearing that from a professional is even more damaging when you already feel damaged.

    • She’s a piece of shit. I’m sorry she did that to you. I’ve had bad therapy experiences too. It can do a lot of damage. I’m glad you’ve found better ones since.

    • I’m so sorry, Amy. Therapists like that aren’t much better than domestic batterers.

  • This one pisses me off so much. I tore into somebody over this in the early days. Basically, “So let me get this straight, I was supposed to gain 300 fucking pounds, cut off my tits, roll around in shit to take pictures of that and put them on the Internet, tell people my pronouns are it… and what am I missing, oh yeah, was I supposed to bring him children to fuck too? Fucking seriously?!”

    The person literally backpedaled. Like literally staggered backwards several steps. “What are you talking about?!” You want me to show you the fucking pictures bitch? You want to have fucking nightmares about the disgusting people he’s screwing and their disgusting fantasies like I do?

    Try to tell me I don’t measure up to people who are a combination of the people of walmart, the least hygienic sex dungeon on earth, a serial killer’s basement, and NAMBLA. Bitch, please.

    • “Try to tell me I don’t measure up to people who are a combination of the people of walmart, the least hygienic sex dungeon on earth, a serial killer’s basement, and NAMBLA. Bitch, please.”

      In my case, I would have to have been an alcoholic, child abusing serial cheater who hated sex and had the mind of a petulant 13 year old. That was the OW, who supposedly met his needs.

      These people are ridiculous with the rancid bullshit they spout. I love how you told that blameshifting asshole off.

  • I f^cking HATE how these days:
    – forgiveness is weaponized
    – blameshifting is the norm
    – anyone (or any cause) that is having to defend themselves is labeled as the problem and should be reformed to the extreme while they view the offender as the victim.

    This is the same dynamic in any issue with society these days….chumps being cheated on, criminals robbing/killing people or creating mass chaos, gun control, bullies, etc. Our society is absolutely broken!!!

      • Some of us don’t share your politics on things like gun control. OMG, like so confusing, I know! Welcome to reality.

      • I think, but am not sure, that the point on gun control is that now in USA when people young and old are being shot in school at a fast and furious pace, some of the media is working very hard at blaming the victims- ie the report that “an investigation has found that x out of y schools did NOT have all their exterior doors locked during school hours” so our “schools” are failing us not the politicians and the gun lobby; also the mass (typically right wing) media cry- “why aren’t our teachers armed!” which is so nuts I can’t even go there
        Signed a 29 year teacher

        • Never—-I am skeptical that what you so earnestly explained is what the original poster meant regarding gun control….

  • I love that my FW XW sent me an email back in October hinting that we never discussed what was wrong in our almost 25 year marriage. Despite the talks we had after D-day, even after she moved in down the street w/her AP who was still her boss at the time.

    Also including the marriage counselor I got her to go to, even though she made it clear she wasn’t going to come back to the marriage to try to work anything out. And where the marriage counselor pointed out I wasn’t a mind-reader, and that she should have told me clearly what was bothering her in our relationship (never mind that she’s incapable of being honest in a relationship).

    I can only guess that she’s now had enough time to come up w/all the ways I wasn’t meeting her needs (shortly after D-day, one of her older sisters explained to me she hadn’t been happy in the relationship for awhile. Protecting her little sister as always and putting me in my place at the same time. Bad husband!🙄)

    Oh, I doubt she’d ever admit it was mostly the fact that I’d left a high-paying, high-status, high-stress job that had left me feeling unfulfilled for years and was taking a serious toll on my sanity at the end.

    So, I should get together w/her now so she can tell me all the ways I went wrong in her eyes (and demented brain)? Because, ya know, the children are anxious about the fact that we aren’t cordial w/each other. Just civil.

    That’s funny to me. The kids are cautious about talking about their mother w/me, but I always got the feeling it was because they knew how much she hurt me, and wanted to spare me more pain.

    [This was somewhat brought up this last weekend, when my younger daughter told me how she can’t stand her mother’s AP, who she finally married four years after D-day (yup, she married her former boss. Classic fuckwit 🤣).

    My daughter apologized for talking about her mother to me (there was more mentioned, like how her mother wasn’t honest w/her). I’ve tried hard not to make my kids feel ashamed or uneasy about discussing their mother around me. So I felt bad she felt the need to apologize for bringing her up in conversation.

    My son, our youngest, nodded enthusiastically when my daughter said her mother’s partner can’t do anything monetarily for her without holding it over her head. He’s basically a rich, yet cheap douchebag.

    I’ve never told my kids they can’t talk about their mother in front of me. I just don’t tend to react much to what they say (you know, cool, wow, bummer as CL preaches is how I go). But this just left me speechless and gaping. I was not expecting to hear this news. Despite the fact that I could completely envision it.😐]

    So anyway, fuck that. We’re just over six years out from D-day, and over four years from final divorce. We are WAY past the point that discussing what she thinks I did wrong in our marriage will do any good for our estranged relationship. I find it ludicrous that she thinks it might.

    And I know it would be only what she thinks I did wrong in the marriage. She’s not one to take any honest responsibility for her shitty actions or choices. She’s never been able to do it before, so why would I believe she’s capable now?

    I should also mention that the FW XW, who has no shame, decided to run for for a position on the new city council our village turned into after she lost both the vote for the merger of our village w/our surrounding town two years ago (which created the city in the vacuum), and lost her position as lead politician in the town at the same time. She lost her position by two votes in a recount (down from four votes originally). Yes, I was one of those two votes.😉

    I haven’t been able to bring myself to check the results yet. The vote was yesterday. I voted early and against her. There are three candidates for two positions on the council (or whatever it’s called. I’m not 100% sure council is correct, but you get the idea. Governing body).

    I’m hoping karma hands her another loss, but she may have a better chance this time. (she has more winged monkeys in our city/village for this vote. Last time, she lost the vote w/the village/city and town representing. And she had a lot of opposition in the town).

    If she wins, well, I’ll deal w/it. I don’t want her representing me, but I understand it’s not just me that gets a say. Democracy by nature is not a unilateral thing, right? Just like choices in how a marriage proceed shouldn’t be unilaterally decided by one partner. But then, I always knew that.

    I did get a huge chuckle out of reading our local online newspaper a few weeks ago, where someone I’m unfamiliar w/sent in a letter to the editor (they only print one a week) detailing shitty things the FW XW was texting to her fellow local politicians (I think after she lost the last election but before her term as grand poobah was over) about how she hated having to listen to the parade of assholes coming up before the governing body she was the lame duck head of at that point (you know…her constituents!😡).

    It basically made the case she shouldn’t be elected because of how awful that act was (and how disconnected/bitter she must be), and that it was time for new people to govern (her two rivals are brandy new).

    Of course, the next week, her sycophantic comrade formerly from the village board wrote in to say how great she is in another letter to the editor. He didn’t try to rebut anything said in the previous letter to the editor. Hmm, I wonder why? Could it be that it was true? 🤣

    Anyway, I’m way late for getting ready for work. Lots of love and hugs to CN and CL. I hope we’re all making progress towards meh and Tuesday. I know I am, though it may might not seem it right now. Thanks for listening to my rant.

    • Ugh. Follow-up on FW XW’s bid to be re-elected to our local and (new) city council: she won w/the most votes. Karma seems absent here right now, but who knows what the future may bring? The scary part is somewhere between 500-750 voters in our new city left it blank on the choice for city councilors.

      This could have made it even more of a win for her and her fellow winner, or broken her and her fellow winner. And made the guy in third place a winner. I do not understand how you could vote for everything else on the ballot but leave these positions blank. What is going on w/the voters in my area?🤦‍♂️ Fight the fuckwits!🤣 If I were inclined to drink, I’d make it a double. Hope everybody else in CN is having a good day.😁

    • TLR, she wants to keep blameshifting years after your divorce?
      Methinks she knows she was an absolute bitch and it still haunts her, thus she still needs to justify herself years after the fact.

      • OHFFS,

        You may be right. Or it could be she’s just that out of her mind and in love w/herself.🤷‍♂️ I’m really not sure, but ultimately, that’s her problem. I’m not interested in listening to her stupidity anymore. Haven’t been for awhile.

        Six more months till our son is eighteen. I’m so looking forward to that moment, when my interactions w/her diminish even more. I’ll never be totally fuckwit-free from her, but less is more when it comes to her.

        Thanks for your input, though. I really appreciate it.😊 I hope you’re finding more peace than fuckwittery in your life.

  • The “unmet needs” claim loses all validity the minute someone cheats.

    That is all. That’s the comment.

  • If I need more money, I don’t get to rob a bank.

    If I need an A in a class, I don’t get to cheat on a test.

    If I need ANYTHING, I don’t get a pass to do whatever I want to get it.

    But cheaters don’t want to choose. They want fries AND vegetables with their entrees. It is about feeling entitled to have whatever they want (but YOU’RE not).

    In my own case, the primary adultery partner was a Chinese national he found on Craigslist Casual Encounters. His main excuse? His Big Need? He told me he had always been attracted to Asian women but had never acted on it. Now I knew where all the spam from Asian dating sites was coming from on the computer, which he claimed was random happenstance. I also found out he was a loyal customer of the local illicit massage parlors that were Asian specific. I am Caucasian and will never “meet his need” for an Asian woman.

    But to underline today’s point, he moved out and, for an time unbeknownst to our daughter and I, he was living with her. During this time, our daughter caught him on Tinder. She was using his phone to watch a video when he got a drop-down message from Amanda. Caucasian. Who had “blonde poofy hair”according to my daughter, who was old enough to know what Tinder is.

    The need is to have whatever they want, to deceive and lie and power trip and abuse and control and get off on their secret sexual double life. That’s the need. And I am happy to let someone else fulfill it.

    • I am meeting my need to have only safe and trustworthy people in my life by divorcing him and staying absolute minimal contact.

      Speaking of needs, children need parents or caregivers who are safe and trustworthy too. Children learn by modeling, and require superhuman amounts of physical and emotional support (as my psychology professor memorably said.). A cheating parent, who is absent and inappropriately preoccupied and basically burning down the birds nest with the baby birds and the other parent bird in it, is a travesty of a “parent”, and not the kind of parent any child needs.

      • This article is the type of crap that really burns me. IMO, I think it is in part a wanting more / different in the sex area that led them to cheat…(in this case), but regardless…..what gives them the right?
        The response is infuriating ( convenience over necessity). Also, the sex with cheating partner is 1 thing. They may have 100 things with their spouse.
        What gives them the right to be so duplicitous? Why doesn’t the advice giver call him on what a lying, cheating, manipulating, cake eating, entitled, controlling, user he is?

        • The advice columnist should be saying ‘ hey, scum bag, your spouse has the right to make choices for her life based on reality. She may want to dump your cheating dad, daughter fuckwit ass if she knew the truth about your abuse of her and your marriage. She has a right to the truth, you entitled user.’
          Not, ‘ your wife may be open to polyamory, so you should tell her.’
          Advice columnist are often the worst!

          • It seems cheating and doing whatever the f*ck one wants regardless of how it affects others is the zeitgeist.

    • Well said. My attorney (married 40 years then) was planning a for-cause adultery trial if it went that far because the signs were there. His attorney also overshared that he was out if that occurred because he hated trials with adultery unless both parties were guilty. Ok, confirmation.

      Then my attorney told me point blank one time that a man who “can’t keep his pants on when he should is not a man.” Same with women, he added. Human beings are not animals. They can control themselves.

      Ironically, my ex’s religious family believed the “men can’t control themselves” lie. So I asked one of them one time where in the Bible does God give men a special pass for lust? In my reading, lust is lust, period. It demeans men to say that they can’t control themselves, and it objectifies wives to say that wives are the “methadone” for men’s “problems.” Ick.

      EVERYONE makes a choice here. Just be an adult.

      • Two of the Ten Commandments address adultery and covetousness.

  • ‘You can’t steal someone who doesn’t want to leave’ I just heard that in a movie. Ugh! Many of us would have liked a do over, especially when we were being treated we like we weren’t loved/ valued and with passive aggressive shit because they were focused on someone else.
    We had valid reasons to leave, but we work at it. They have flimsy reasons to cheat and society justifies their behaviour.
    Also, when they start leading their double life ( and it only takes 1 cheating partner for this), we are treated differently, which causes us anxiety because we don’t know what’s going on in our relationship, but we know there’s a neg. shift….so we are no longer our best secure self. Then that is used against us….
    Cheater is getting adored by cheating partner while spouse is becoming more unravelled, maybe depressed because of what the marriage has become. We have nothing to work with, the abuse is covert. It’s so awful.

    • I have heard the “you can’t steal a good husband/wife”.

      I also think it is true. But I would clarify it to “you can’t corrupt a man/woman who has good character”.

      Unfortunately many of us (me) over looked the red flags of a very flawed character. For example, when we were young we used to play monoply with some close friends (both husbands were police officers). They would cheat and then laugh about it when we figured it out. Also, he loved to “pull one over on me” whenever he could and then joke about how naïve I was. Huge red flag, but I spackled. He was right I was very.

      He did start to seemingly grow out of that, but really he was just building a better con until he was done using me.

      • I like your quotes better Suzie! Honestly, I didn’t see any signs of poor character, and in general, I’d say FW had good character except for the FW part. I did notice a slight lack of empathy, passive aggressive stuff, schmoozing and people pleasing galore, but he really seemed like a very good human being. I did start to hear some white lies, because he favoured keeping everyone happy over the truth.

      • For many years, there was no tangible evidence that I was being ripped off.

        For almost three decades, Traitor Ex was happy to let me think we were in an exclusive committed relationship while he maintained a secret sexual double life. He was right there under my nose, conning me, and as many of us find out, lying to everyone he was f**king behind my back.

        Criminals who are up front about who they are and what they want from you are far above cheaters in the hierarchy of lowlifes.

  • My ex cheated in part because he had Erectile Dysfunction but did not want to admit it, much less discuss and address it.

  • You bet my FW had unmet needs: I just wouldn’t shut up with the annoying, explicit pointing out of all of Schmoopie’s faults! (I didn’t know she was Schmoopie at the time.)

    Since last I knew they weren’t together and they didn’t last a year, I can only assume Schmoopie took care all of his unmet needs real quick.

  • Apparently, my FWs needs weren’t being met by my father. During the discard phase he said my father didn’t get him a son-in-law membership at my Dad’s country club. When I pointed out that we couldn’t afford the initiation fee nor the monthlies, he screamed that my Dad should have paid for it. I pointed out that Daddy had ongoing orthodontia payments, four more college educations to fund and four more weddings to shell out for (there are five girls in my family). He asked me wasn’t he family, too? Didn’t he rate getting something from him? He was his SIL, for f*cks sake.

    Later I found out that the guys he played golf with were told by the FW that they wouldn’t have to play public courses ever again after we married. They would be his guest at his new club. Later, they constantly ribbed him every time they played with comments like “I wonder how the course is at “X” Country Club today?” and “I hear they got a new pro at “X” Country Club” or “Wonder if it’s raining at “X” Country Club” and “Did you hear they’re redesigning the courses at “X” Country Club?”

    I didn’t find that out until after we divorced and one of the guys told me.
    (Yes, the Schmoopie bought him a club membership. But it was at the kind of club that anyone could join. Sign the check and you’re a member. Sorry to be snobby here, but FW would have died and gone to heaven if he had been able to get through the initiation phase at a restrictive club.)

  • My ex and I were having sex several times a week when he was cheating on me. He said our sex was great and he’d talk about how sexy we look doing it (yeah, he liked to look in the mirror – red flag?). After D-day he said he thought I’d be happy for him that he found someone (WTF!?!) and that he deserved to have a mistress after all he had sacrificed for our family (again WTF?).

    Cheating is about entitlement, not unmet needs.

    • I agree! Out of everything CL preaches, I would say any type of devaluing/ controlling FW behaviour (even if there isn’t cheating per se), is primarily about entitlement and the belief that they are better than the other person and deserve what they want.

  • The RIC is a fraud…. Benefitting from our pain and despair. Sickening. Unmet needs theory is a ruse. If anyone blames me for anything I show them the door— nope noppity nope.

  • “Vowing to “forsake all others” includes forsaking all others as it pertains to romantic, emotional relationships.
    Engaging in dating-like behavior with someone other than your spouse is certainly wrong. Those sort of energies were pledged to the spouse. If they are given to another, they are stolen from the faithful party.
    And it is ludicrous to blame the victim of such a theft for being robbed!“

    Thanks, Divorce Minister!

    (It’s also wrong to receive stolen goods)

    Further, Dr. Frank Pittman says to cheaters, “YOU are what is wrong with your marriage.”

    It’s also ludicrous to expect a marriage to someone profoundly dishonest to succeed. As a rule, cheaters put the cart before the horse, claiming the relationship failed because of their partner’s shortcomings. Chumps buy it and hopefully realize cheating and lying and stealing and betraying are character defects of the cheater which cause fatal wounds, irrespective of what their partner does or doesn’t do.

    Don’t go offshore in a vessel where your first mate goes below to drill holes in the hull while you’re at the helm. Find a new boat partner or learn to sail single-handedly.

    • I heard it put very simply and it’s a one-liner keeper which comes in handy:

      “Cheating is about the cheater’s character issues.”

      That’s it.

    • ‘Engaging in dating-like behavior with someone other than your spouse is certainly wrong. Those sort of energies were pledged to the spouse. If they are given to another, they are stolen from the faithful party.
      And it is ludicrous to blame the victim of such a theft for being robbed!“

      Thanks, Divorce Minister!

      (It’s also wrong to receive stolen goods)

      Yes! This should be taught in HS and marriage classes- although it seems obvious

  • The shit hit the fan in my life when I started to ask the very relevant question: “What about my needs?” Things like, needing to have a financial security and not wonder how much bring home pay he was spending on his extra-curricular “need’s”. Or asking for emotional security by spending quality time with me, and actually enjoying it and not throwing wrenches around and creating chaos to prove how miserable a person I am. Or just being able to count on that person who promised to be true to you to just feed the dam dog and pick up his crap off the floor and put it away for christ’s sake!

  • My FW’s unmet needs seemed to be entitlements. My unmet needs were weaknesses.

    So now he has other unmet needs: nobody is cooking his meals or cleaning up after dinner. Nobody wants to go with him to baseball games. Nobody makes the bed every morning, or even by the afternoon or evening. Nobody decorates the house for Christmas with him, or admires the decorations he puts up. Nobody watches HBO with him. Nobody remembers to buy toilet paper before the very last sheet in the very last roll in the whole house is gone. Nobody throws out the rotten food in the fridge. Nobody fixes the wireless boosters when they disconnect from the main router. Nobody puts fresh batteries in the tv remote. Nobody changes light bulbs.

    But at least his dick gets its needs met.

  • During a therapy session, my counselor said no amount of validation, love, help, or empathy would ever satisfy her, she’s blackhole, a narcissist. It woke me up to the fact that a lot of my marriage sucked with her and I’m glad I’m not with her anymore. She did me a favor.

  • Lol, oh yah, we did a little of this back in the day. I am 7 years divorced, so I can laugh about it now. All FW could come up with was the way I did the laundry, that sometimes we ran out of milk or cereal, and we didn’t share enough interests in common—specifically, I wasn’t specifically up-to-date on Hollywood news and pop culture, and I found other things to do when he wanted to watch NFL on TV. I think even our marriage counselor was a little stunned. I answered that he can use the laundry sorter that I had set up or do his laundry himself, he could add things to the whiteboard shopping list or he could do the shopping himself. I pushed back on his assertion that we lacked things in common by commenting “nevermind a 25 year shared history and two children.” At that, he became defensive that I was making his needs sound shallow. I only wish now that I had said, “No dear, I’m not making you sound shallow—in exactly the same way that the room lighting here is not making your hairline look receded.”

    • 🤣😂🤣👍
      It’s sickening how too often we only think of these zingers when it’s too late. Never mind. xx

    • Oh yeah. The after-the-fact zingers!

      Your ex’s complaints are, indeed, comical. You didn’t keep up on Hollywood news??? Sounds unforgivable to me! 😜 Glad you can laugh now.

      Your comment has prompted me to think of the stupid stuff ex complained about:
      *I bought the wrong ratio of caf to decaf coffee!!! MY BAD
      *I didn’t like fly fishing enough
      *I didn’t like watching NHL games on TV
      *I didn’t (and this came OUT OF THE BLUE) want to move to Montana
      *I made salmon twice in one week!!!
      *I didn’t initiate sex enough
      *I was too close to the kids
      *I was too sensitive…but also psychologically stronger. Go figure
      *I was too reactive (ok, this seemed true at the time and I remember apologizing profusely for reacting with anger when he did/said something that, well, angered me. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I now see in retrospect that FW would bait me to get angry. He engineered fights so that I would erupt. This served two purposes: 1. made me look crazy and him calm, and 2. helped him justify the entire affair (who’d want to be with Spinach?)

      • Oh we’ve been here before about Montana haven’t we. I left a great job in Switzerland to move to the States with him. Got a job at the World Bank in D.C. and then I had to give THAT up to move to Pittsburgh to be near his mommy (who I happened to like – I just didn’t want to live in Pittsburgh ‘cos it can’t compete with Switzerland). I was offered a job back in Switzerland and we BOTH jumped at it ‘cos his job sorting mail at the Post Office on the night shift wasn’t doing it for him. About 15 years later, both of us have good jobs, good medical, pension funds, I have home leave and education grant for the kids and he suddenly decides he wants to build a log cabin in Montana (neither of us had ever been to Montana). I asked him why we couldn’t build a log cabin right here in the French alps (just across the border from Geneva) and then told him to hop on a flight to Montana, get a great job with all the corresponding benefits and maybe me and the kids would have joined him later (note, I wouldn’t have gone). That took the wind out of his sails because of course every time we moved I had to be the one to get the great job and make it work!!!

        • Attie, haha. I remember. We both have FWs who longed for Montana.🙄

          Mine actually moved with wifetress to her hometown, which is very near Montana. It all makes sense now.

          • Klootzak got all juiced up about wanting to move to Ohio. Guess where the schmoopie he wanted to monkey branch to lived at the time! 😂

  • Hey-my needs weren’t met when he discarded me so I kicked him out and divorced him. And I’m glad I did. I celebrated my 6 yr anniversary of DDAY last weekend. I played golf in the pouring rain-got soaked-it was good. It was hard the first few years, it is not now. I am grounded, low expectations of other people and pleasantly surprised when someone shows up in a positive way. It’s better this way. Good relationship with family, good friends. Hugs to newbies-I feel your pain. Wish I could remove it. Take care of yourselves. Do nice things for yourselves. It gets better and then it gets good.

  • Lol. I read the link to “7 Reasons your husband left you for his emotional affair partner” since that was my X’s specialty – the EA
    The first comment after the article was this:
    “Article gives some fancy definitions to plain old cheating. Insecure baby men, shallow, fearing age, desiring constant stroking and attention dimenish their spouses to justify their lack of emtional availabilty or committment when real life kicks in.”
    Gave me a chuckle and an audible “Right On!

  • These therapists are just validating FW’s view that the only needs that matter are their own. What about a chump’s need not to be lied to, cheated on, or exposed to STD’s? Those are some pretty weighty needs right there. And here’s a thought – they are in no way equal to FW’s need not to make dinner on Wednesdays.

  • Stupid love languages! The “need “ for physical touch, in the ways he wanted it, was not met. Oh, I was also deficient in “words of affirmation.” So, I needed to give BJ and be his cheerleader for each little chore he did.
    Funny, I can remember the look of delight on his face when the counselor handed him the reasons for his unhappiness & our “marriage” problems, while he was hiding his hooker habit from me, and the counselor.

    • My STBX pulled this on me as well. I finally told him that it was impossible to meet someone’s “touch needs” if that person fails to even be on the same property as you. How am I supposed to touch him if he is gone all of the time? Plus, my love language is QUALITY time spent together. So, how was that working for me when he was gone nonstop? Even worse, he insisted that my love language was gifts given. Train wreck waiting to happen!

      And LOL, I have yet to see a picture of Gary Chapman’s wife where SHE looks happy in their marriage!

    • Even the guy who wrote the (extremely questionable) ‘love languages’ book laughs at that excuse. In an interview, he said that guys are always telling him “har har touch is my love language”, and when he asks them what NONSEXUAL touch they use to express love, they look at him like he started speaking Martian.

  • I wish I had chump nation during the early days of D-day. He blamed his cheating and impregnating AP on -in his words’ me leaving him alone’ . I had ‘left’ him alone because I had had 4 miscarriages and his doctor relatives had taken me in during my high risk pregnancy. He had rejected temporarily moving in with them as well. Its a 30 minute drive. I had stayed post-partum due to covid
    lockdown, my family couldn’t come and help with baby so I stayed on with his relatives as he had refused to scale back on activities that made him be in contact 24/7 In fact he hardly wore a lo and behold we finally reunite in the same house, he would see us when he felt like it,when baby was 7 months and unbeknownst to me he is deep in an affair. He also blamed me for ‘forcing’ a house relocation. I had suggested we move into a 2 bedroom house from a one bedroom one because we now had a live in nanny . The said house was 5 min walk to my job and 15 min drive from his. He said I undermined his authority as a man. Said i never cooked the way he wanted yet he would gladly eat all these things in restaurants and other people’s homes and most times it was me to helped with these cooking in those homes. My recipes. He said his AP made him feel like a man. That I constantly emasculated him. That I was pushing him to her. He felt unheard. This coming from a man who hardly attended clinics with me , who wasn’t there for me during the miscarriages, in fact he asked for sex 2 weeks after one of the losses and like the chump I am had agreed. A man who had taken me along to buy lunch for his friends 20 minutes after burying my son when I had insisted I wanted to just go home. A man who left me that same day to go watch a football game with friends and left me alone for 5 hours after the funeral. A man who never bought or did anything on my birthday or valentines day, never initiated dates unless I planned them. Complained on my wearing makeup and OW had piercings everywhere and wears tons of makeup. Who left me in the house all weekends as he cheated. Who blamed me for loving hospital admissions for our baby yet they were vital medical intervention and yet was busy cheating while baby was admitted on Christmas day. I could go on on my unmet needs. Bottom line is, unlike him i did not cheat. With my extremely long list of grievances aganist him I remained faithful. Cheaters are simply selfish self centred beings with nothing but their own sexual gratification at the top of their hierarchy of needs.

  • Turns out it’s not just chumps who cause cheating — my FW called our marriage therapist to tell him what HE had also done wrong that caused her to cheat! It was both our faults. This is after she made it a condition that equal time be given to “what I did.” (Hint: not cheat.) Further, she demanded veto power over anything she deemed a false accusation, even if I had proof. That led her to walk out and later to make that call.

    • Woah, that’s next level defensive entitlement. “My narrative WILL be the one that stands.”

      • The frightening part is how many people she apparently convinced. I had actual screenshots of her messages, but she still declared them false and left, and my bringing them up was called, get this – gaslighting. Anything at all to deny herself the truth of what she did, IMO. That’s still where she is.

  • I did about six weeks or so in the RIC. It was awful. They actually want the chump to take a share in causing cheating. I am sorry but I could not get with that program. I did not cheat. I decided at that point to file. I was divorced in just slightly less than two years (lots of fighting over assets but he finally caved).
    About two weeks ago, after the FW made the final payment to me for my share of retirement and investment accounts, I got a long email from him. Basically, he also talked about his “unmet needs”, how awful I was, my looks, my age and about anything else he could think of. The nice thing was that it did not upset me. It had me laughing about all the things he mentioned and how much projection was in there. I did send a copy to my lawyer since there is a harassment clause in the decree so should he send any more, well, then it will cost him. I deleted it everywhere else but it was just hysterically funny (is that strange????). I guess my superpower is my ability to make someone cheat on me. I just trust he sucks and go ahead with my comfortable new life.

    • Good for you. As if your age is something you can control. Time is linear for chumps and FWs alike.

    • I think when you can find things hysterically funny, you’re at “meh”. After FW died, I found a whole sack of love letters OW had written to him while we were married and still living together (some during our wreckonciliation). I thought they might upset me, but when I finally read them, I just laughed and laughed. They were so ridiculous and over the top. Like something someone in junior high might have written. Or maybe just someone with crushingly low self esteem (in one she suggests he tell me about her and maybe we could all be one big happy family because I seemed to enjoy her company – WHAT?!?). And she was so clueless I almost felt bad for her. Almost.

      • A few months ago, I would have taken it to heart and probably believed some of the things he put in the email. Not anymore though. It was a lot of projection, tossed in with confusing word salad and then just outright nastiness. It was his last chance at trying to blow up my sense of self. He failed. I just cracked up laughing. That night my two girlfriends and I cracked some wine open and we picked it apart in a UBT kind of way. It was just so funny. The thing is I really don’t care what he thinks of me anymore. I have a great life and he is not part of it.

        • Now that I have my own home, and a fire pit, I’m planning to burn those letters, and some photographs (OW’s “boudoir” photoshoot FW did and lied about to me: I saw one of the pictures where OW was fully dressed and asked why she had such a “come hither” look in her eyes and he was like “What?? No. She wanted me to help her choose a new author photo and this was one of the ones she sent me for my opinion.” After he died, I found the rest of series, which showed her in progressively less clothing, in lingerie, bare-assed, etc. so not only was it not an “author” photo, it was a sexy photoshoot and HE took the pictures), as well as all the rose petals I have saved (since I save the petals from every rose FW ever gave me) in a wonderful celebration of my freedom, and drink a glass of wine while enjoying my AMAZING house and huge back yard which are everything I’ve ever wanted.

  • I hate to admit this …I’m still crying for my soul…but my STBXH got sex from me even after i had life threatening abdominal surgery. I allowed him to rub on me anytime he wanted to,even if I was almost asleep. Anytime, because I was so afraid of the lies he would spin about me if i refused and he punished me by his fits of anger and turning away from me. That was his abuse currency. Sex anytime he wanted it, anyway he wanted it.No matter how I was feeling or how my day had been. Finally with his ED problem, likely from masterbating his muscles to death by hand etc..I was never enough. He would try and try and try at my expense and up to my body’s breaking point. At the end I started to hate his horrible misuse of my precious body. how I didn’t matter at all. He was already on dating sites and finally jumped on a coworker at work in an empty patient room ( hospital) and confessed under duress. He had given me an STI when I was 67 after 32 years of marriage. I was put out to pasture for a foreign lady who was saying yes and a fresh mount.
    I know now, what I did not know then. That it did not matter what I did. I WAS NEVER GOING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH. NEVER. I was not new I was not shiny. I was a chump and only WE feel guilty in therapy because we care. The RIC would be nothing without us, bankrupt. Do you think cheaters are paying the bill or putting out the sweat equity? Guess again. I believe ALL therapist would be on the bread lines without us chumps. We get help, cheaters do not care. Almost too late for me. I’m 70 but i escaped the prison of my husband’s disease and I know there is no cure. And I’m not a doctor or therapist. I’m O UT of those shadows. I hope you escape too.

    • That’s sexual assault and extreme cruelty. What a psycho! I’m so sorry, 2X.

  • I was working 2 jobs while XBF was in school. He was in class for about 3 hours a day, then just goofing off – mom and dad gave him spending money but he never spent a dime on our living expenses. Due to scheduling, there was 1 day a week (sometimes 2) when I worked 18 hours straight (midnight – 8, then travel to day job and work 9 – 6). All I wanted to do on those nights was get some takeout and go to sleep. He bitched and moaned to our therapist, multiple times, that I was denying him sex and a home-cooked meal. [Note: I rarely refused him either of those things when I was rested.] The therapist was noncommittal about it and urged compromise; I was too tired to argue my case, so our therapy ended in a stalemate. I guess that’s why he felt entitled to go to “study sessions” one-on-one with his favorite female classmate, often returning well after midnight smelling of wine – and why he also felt entitled to sleep with my sister (!) and later tell me, in a roundabout way, that she was much more accommodating than I was. Oddly enough, I was just as angry (maybe even a bit more) when he ate my takeout dinner one night while I was in the shower. [I had called when leaving work and asked if he wanted anything; he said no, he’d already eaten.] He laughed in my face when I confronted him and basically called me fat and unattractive (“the way you look, you really don’t need to be eating anything” etc). Doormat me stayed in the relationship for another few months (and too many other humiliations to discuss here) and finally left when I’d been accepted into grad school, much to his surprise, and moved across the country. He tried to contact my new therapist but thankfully she shut him down.

    • Appalling ass clown. He tried calling your new therapist? For what purpose– to sway her against you?

      • I’m guessing that was the intent (he “just wanted her to know about your mental state” which by the way was off kilter precisely because of his abuse). He tried to have me committed once, with help from my mother (!) who was visiting at the time. When he started ripping up towels to tie my arms and legs, I ran out and hid at a friend’s house. This was just before I moved for school, so I figured I’d be rid of him. Lo and behold, he ended up taking a job in the same city and tried to sabotage my education by (long long story) taking advantage of some connections he’d made to get me either locked up or at a minimum bring me to the attention of the administration at school so they’d think I was nuts. So much effort on his part and to this day I’m not sure why he took it that far. Thankfully, it didn’t work and he eventually faded into the background. Another therapist helped me tremendously (I was obsessing about this and also about the perfidy of my ex-husband whom I’d just divorced at the time) using EMDR, which I highly recommend!

    • sleepyhead, I don’t see how you were “denying” him a home cooked meal. That is, unless you’d forbidden him to cook! 😉

      • He was the poster boy for weaponized incompetence! Whenever he cooked, there would invariably be some sort of kitchen disaster and he’d always ask me to take care of it, so it became easier for me to just take over that task (yeah, I know). I never forbade him to cook but he tried his best to keep from having to do any kitchen work at all and would then go on to blame me for not making dinner because he “didn’t know how.” [Oh, that reminds me – we were supposed to take turns doing the dishes but on my days, I’d get everything cleaned and put away right after dinner, and then he’d go get a bowl of ice cream just before bedtime and leave the bowl and spoon in the sink. “You didn’t finish the dishes last night so I don’t have to do them today – it’s not my fault you’re a slob.” Leading to the more generalized argument that I wasn’t taking care of him at all so he of course had to look elsewhere for his needs.]

  • During the awful RIC debacle and for lack of any other legitimate complaint (except the usual attempt to disarm me in a gunfight– tell me I was “too cwitical” as I was being mercilessly critiqued) FW picked up some tagline about “passion.” He clung to it and repeated as if it were an all-purpose alibi that covered every manner of sin! Apparently he thought sex in the first years of our marriage was “passionate” and this “passion” had decreased. Yeah, that’s the ticket. See, he had reasons, uh huh.

    I was still in shock and it made me sick but I was secretly getting ducks in a row with my lawyer and was sort of crossing over into punk mentality. I found what he said funny on many levels. For one, I knew he was either lying or confabulating. Just prior to the affair, he’d told a friend that the last time he’d had sex with his wife was always the best sex he’d had in his life. I’d felt he’d overshared and violated trust at the time he said this but, hey, he’d gone on the record with it. Secondly, I thought the reference to the early part of the marriage was absurd because he’d been completely clueless in bed. I’d forgiven him because I thought he had other qualities but, if he’d been rocked with passion back then, it was all by himself. The image of that was hilariously “parasocial,” like a dog having a transcendent experience with a plushy. My experience at the time had been more like, “Ow, elbow. What? Sigh…” Thirdly, it was funny because he was obviously comparing married sex with PornHub and porn-reenactment affair sex. In other words, he was opening the door to every misogynistic, insecure male’s worst fear… the dreaded comparison game. Oh noes!

    I also understood the unspoken rules and the trap of this exchange whereby, as a man, he had the advantage of being culturally allowed to claim vast sexual experience and expertise while, as a woman, I was supposed to play twee and de-emphasize any previous experience lest I be cast as a THE BIG DIRTY HO. During the affair he’d even tried to bait me over the fact I’d been with two more people than he had. But I wasn’t raised in the Madonna/whore tradition and only saw sex as “dirty” if it was unsafe, hurt people, involved lies, exploitation or spooky fakery, etc. In order to shame someone, the target has to feel shame and I genuinely had none. All this pressure to play virginal, “uncwitical” suck up did was make me want to do the reverse, the verboten thing it never previously occurred to me to do because making someone jealous on purpose seemed destructive and awful. I went down the list of previous boyfriends and reminisced in loving detail. Passion, you say? Aaah, yes… Get ready for memory lane!

    I got kind of caught up. I was aware that all he was probably hearing was a subtext of dick and sexual prowess comparisons but, as I reminisced, I realized that I’d had a lot of wonderful experiences, sort of like Julie Andrews prancing through mountain wild flowers… but naked and having lots of healthy, safe, fabulous, romantic, unpretentious sex with nice, intelligent, strapping boyfriends who made me laugh, talked for hours, opened doors, had feminist moms, shared hopes and fears, listened, minimally mansplained, didn’t require boring role-playing and didn’t get nasty during breakups, usually over geography or just being too young. I skipped over one bad experience but the rest was all romance, laughter and exotic locations! Riding in an open car in Rome, backpacking in Provence, watching the sun rise in Paris, dancing all night in NY, road trips and rodeos on Route 66, New Years in New Orleans, etc., etc., la dee dah. But no STDs, no creepy kink, no “Build-a-Bitch” complaints about my body, no need for “atmosphere” or overspending, no cheesy hotels, no substances, hustling, coercion, sneaking around, barfy sexting, age gaps, hangovers, triangulation, victimization, betrayal, sleazy props or performative crap. I was never anyone’s side piece, didn’t need to troll middle aged married dads, change my personality or appearance, never had to play the slut or the virgin, bait and switch anyone into “commitment,” fake an orgasm, fake vulnerability, set jealousy traps, bilk money, do painful porn gymnastics, fawn or flatter, threaten, Pickme dance, call a rival ugly names, lie about my past, wax my ass, bang my ancient professor for an internship or do Tinder hookups for free booze.

    I went on and on. His face was hilarious, like he’d seen the Ghosts of Christmas. He never brought up the passion bs again.

    • Oh Lordy HOAC, if I could upvote multiple times, I would just be clicking on the vote for this post until my finger was numb! Awesome stuff!!

    • “boring role-playing” and “performative crap” pretty much sums up what FW wanted from me, both of which take me completely out of the moment and neither of which I enjoy. FW wanted me to “talk dirty” and I couldn’t think of anything to say, and what he said or suggested to me just sounded gross and silly, not sexy. I don’t want to try and come up with porn-speak while I’m trying to just feel the feelings and enjoy myself. And doing that just killed it for me. Thinking back, while I often did what FW wanted, I can’t think of a single occassion where he did anything I said I wanted to try, or wore anything I told him I thought was sexy. It was all so one-sided. Towards the end, especially once the affair started, he ALWAYS wanted me to dress up or role play. I got upset a few times and told him that it felt like he didn’t want ME, that I was just a body for him to use while he was imagining someone else. No thanks.

      Unfortunately, I was brought up super religious and conservative, and in all my life FW is the only person I’ve ever had sex with. And at this point I’m kind of repulsed by the whole idea of sex and would rather just avoid it (I’m also ace, I think, and the idea of casual sex holds little appeal, but I don’t want a relationship right now because I’m happy being independent). Your history of having a lot of fun and varied experiences as a young person sound really nice. I kind of wish I’d had a wider life experience before FW (I will add that he was VERY afraid I’d realize that I wanted to “sow my oats” a bit since he was my first, and would cheat on him or leave him; I never even considered it, though).

  • Honest and open communication or choosing to leave a relationship before entering another, is obviously the ‘boring’ choice for cheaters.

  • Oh Lord, my cheater ex of many many years still clings to this theory and has tried convincing our shared daughter by offering to tell her his version of why we split (despite her not asking) and then proceeding to tell her even when she’s actively walking away and asking him to stop. He’s a peach!

    The reality was, his “unmet needs” presenting a never ending moving target. His “unmet needs” ran the gamut from “you don’t give me enough praise for trimming the hedges” (cause thanking him twice and marveling at the completely ordinarily trimmed hedges was not enough) to “you don’t rub sunscreen on by back lovingly enough” (when I was in the midst of sunscreening multiple small children AS WELL as his precious back) to “you abandoned me when you decided to pursue higher education for a better paying job” BUT ALSO “you’re not meeting the income expectations I have for you and you should figure out a way to make more money.” It was just constant.

    Thankful every day that me and my current partner don’t subscribe to this kind of outsourcing. We work on meeting our own needs and allowing our fully formed selves to compliment one another, and being helpful to one another where it makes sense. You can take care of someone and yourself, it turns out, when the other person’s definition of caretaking isn’t absolutely bananas.

    • Your comment just made me realize there’s a better word for “unmet needs”: nagging.

    • NotANiceChump, “income expectations”? Seriously? Wow, just…wow.

      You can’t make this stuff up!

  • Oh yes of course the unmet needs that only seem to come up AFTER they start cheating. Chumps are supposed to be mind readers don’t you know.

  • This Jeff Murrah who appears in the same FeedSpot emails as CL is part of this RIC problem!! His article yesterday suggested reconciliation is more likely when both partners can openly analyze their own roles in the infidelity. Good grief. In the wake of my divorce I have truly invested in reflecting on my own issues and shortcomings in the marriage. I think it is important to do the self analysis but I’ll NEVER take ownership for my ex’ sex worker addiction.

  • Fantastic! Hilarious and on the spot, this describes so much of my FW‘s thinking. I want to buy you a pinecone elf.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: