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UBT: Tell Me How to Reconcile

The Unicorn of ReconciliationMiss Chump Lady,

I am writing to you as one of those you loathe. I’ve cheated on my husband, through repeated patterns of emotional cheating which culminated in emotional and physical cheating, which is when he discovered all of it. I feel like I’ve been rescued from the person (also me) that was creating this life of misery and horror. In addition to cheating, I also was a lazy wife and mother. I have a long way to climb to get out of the pit I dug for myself.

I say all this knowing that my husband is reading your book (after reading typical affairs self-help-type books). We are also in individual and couples therapies, and I’m getting a new job to get away from the affair partner (with whom I cut ties immediately), and a list of other actions I’m taking to make amends. I am healing from the bullshit life I created for myself, but I’m also working to help my husband heal from the devastation I’ve caused. He sent me some of your articles. I want nothing to do with cake or kibbles. I am going to be a unicorn.

Please send any advice on unicorning. I’m hearing from the affairs books, but I want to hear from “real” sources too.

Thank you. I have no screen name. I’d prefer not to be published on the site but I understand if that’s how this works.



Dear NoScreenName,

Publishing letters is how this works. And yours is instructive, so here we are.

Bless your heart. You thought the Leave The Cheater lady was going to personally respond to you and send you reconciliation literature.

Admitting fault isn’t transactional. It doesn’t entitle you to perks like your husband’s continued investment in you, or me taking time out of my busy life to tell you how to win him back.

OMG, we got a repentant one here. Gather the brochures!

Please send any advice on unicorning.

You must be new here.

I don’t advise unicorns. Or leprechauns. Or Eisenhower Republicans or any other mythical creatures. However, I do have a patented Universal Bullshit machine that translates all such requests. I have fed it your letter.

Miss Chump Lady

Let’s skip the salutations and get right down to the patronizing diminutives.

I am writing to you as one of those you loathe.

And yet I am certain you can help me. #bitterbenevolence

I’ve cheated on my husband, through repeated patterns of emotional cheating which culminated in emotional and physical cheating, which is when he discovered all of it.

I’m a serial cheater.

I feel like I’ve been rescued from the person (also me) that was creating this life of misery and horror.

When my serial cheating was discovered — plot twist! — I decided to rescue myself from that life of misery and horror I was so robustly enjoying. #hero #villain #dramadramadrama

In addition to cheating, I also was a lazy wife and mother.

But a really prolific cheater. #priorities

I have a long way to climb to get out of the pit I dug for myself.

Throw me a rope. There’s consequences down here. Maybe snakes.

I’m a captured creature, suffering in a pit. Behold my misery. My husband’s emotional state, however, lacks description. (Do buzzkills have feelings?)

I say all this knowing that my husband is reading your book

I say all this knowing that consequences are coming. Time to speak directly to the subversive who put uppity ideas in his head.

(after reading typical affairs self-help-type books)

Suddenly, he has abandoned focusing on MY needs to the detriment of his own. I am concerned.

We are also in individual and couples therapies, and I’m getting a new job to get away from the affair partner (with whom I cut ties immediately), and a list of other actions I’m taking to make amends.

I have a list of actions! “Accept the consequences” is not on it.

I am healing from the bullshit life I created for myself

I created a bullshit life for myself. No idea how my husband, children, or other collateral chumps are dealing with the crap I inflicted. But the important thing is — I’m healing.

but I’m also working to help my husband heal from the devastation I’ve caused.

(Editor’s note:  verb smotheringworking to help to heal. Versus the direct “I am healing” when referring to herself. It’s trademark bullshit sentence construction. Weasel-speak.)

We require three separate sets of therapists to clean up my mess. Aren’t I powerful? I caused devastation. Which is not saying “my husband is devastated.”


He sent me some of your articles. I want nothing to do with cake or kibbles. I am going to be a unicorn.

I don’t resemble the serial cheaters you so accurately depict. I’m different.

Please send any advice on unicorning.

How often do you braid your tail? Are rainbows optional? Do we dine on ambrosia or fairy feet?

I’m hearing from the affairs books, but I want to hear from “real” sources too.

Look at me writing to the “real” Leave a Cheater lady! Tell me of your “point of view” Chump-o. What is “remorse” and how can I best mimic it?

Thank you. I have no screen name. I’d prefer not to be published on the site but I understand if that’s how this works.

I’d prefer you just make a personal exception for me as I’m different. Send me hand-picked articles. Some words of wisdom, comfort, a pep-talk. Perhaps a Sorry Cheater™ branded sweatshirt. You know, unicorn swag.

I feel I can expect help from one who loathes me. You must want to win me back after judging me so harshly, knowing how I suffer in a pit of my own creation.

Of course if you’re snarky and unkind after I’ve been so abject (did I mention my Action List?), that just proves you’re not a “real” resource.


Sparkles the Unicorn


Dear Whatever Dude Is Married to This Creature,

You have nothing to work with. Godspeed on the divorce and the STD testing.

Chump Lady


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.
  • When NoScreenName uses the phrase “I feel like I’ve been rescued from the person (also me) that was creating this life of misery and horror” it feels like she is talking about a third person ….. as if it was someone else – over whom she has no control – doing the cheating; disassociation or what?

    Her husband needs to get himself (and his kids if he can) the f*ck out of Dodge; they deserve better.


    • The distance they create is intentional I think. My FW popped out of the blue after 3 years with a text that said, “I seek your forgiveness for what has passed between us.”

      • Wha wha what! “For what had passed between us”? That thing which isn’t worth mentioning-like Voldemort?

      • My ex popped up this year, 2+ years after separation, 1.5 after divorce with a Mother’s Day hoover that began “Whatever else we did… we raised a great kid.” I refused to rise to the bait, but I was screaming “WE MF’r, WE??????” for a while after that.

        • That reminds me of the HS graduation card Asshat sent our son in 2017, two months after DD#2 and one month after he filed for divorce.

          “Your mother and I are so proud of you”.

          I thought, good! He needs to lean on me for his BS with the kids. What a triangulating dick. I’m sure my son saw right through it and I bet he continues to triangulate. They don’t change!

        • The Royal “We” of Taking Credit! The only time a narcissist knows how to not use the word “I/me.” Child graduates high school? “We are proud!” Even though narc spent sophomore through senior year skipping visitation because they were too busy on Tinder dates. Kid’s soccer team wins county championships? “We believed in you!” Even though she’s been trying to force kid to call AP their new dad for the last 3 months…
          Any time cheater wants to sound like a good parent and be there for the shiny moments, but never actually do the heavy lifting of parenting, out comes the trusty rusty ol’ Royal “We.”

          Should be a new CL term.

          Could there be a post about The Royal “We” of Taking Credit?

            • Trusty because they rely on it, rusty because of that incessant creaking noise it makes when spoken…

          • And the ‘it wasn’t the real me’ of not taking responsibility.

          • So true, the last thing to hold onto is I have been a good parent. No you haven’t, you were an alcoholic their entire life and you never prioritized them above your sick sexual preferences.

          • I had to go to a graduation last night with the won’t do heavy parenting ex. I feel this hard today. My son said to me before the ceremony. If I won the lottery I would give you half. He would get nothing. That helped.

        • My ex-FW acknowledges that I single handedly raised our son. I got this text from him a few months ago: “Love that [son’s name]. You did a fantastic job raising him. I mean it and appreciate it.”

          Who cares. I still hate his guts.

      • My FW took a blank inside generic note card and wrote in it to me “For whatever reasons you no longer call me your sweetie, I’m sorry.” 🤣

        Oh yes, those hundred women he hooked up with, the lying, the disparaging me behind my back, the triangulation, the gaslighting… all just “whatever reasons” as though I shut him out for not putting the cap back on the toothpaste.

    • I noticed the third person reference, she was rescued from someone else who made her cheat. It wasn’t me. Whew, thank goodness I’ve been rescued from the evil person who is to blame for this bullshit.

      • Yep, typical FW owning no agency in the affair. “The Devil made me do it!”

      • Years later FW asked me to do something and I responded, “No I don’t trust you.” She responded, “Why, I am not that person anymore!”
        Sounds like it to me.

        • OMG, my STBXFW also uses the “I’m not that person anymore” line constantly! Yes. You. Are. Holy fuck the gall of these people!

          • If I were to dig — which I won’t — I could probably find multiple emails from my ex referring to himself as a different person. He’d actually get angry with me if I referenced anything that he’d done as this different self (even though he was actively, secretly carrying out the same BS even as he outwardly condemned and distanced himself from it) or, god forbid, tried to hold him accountable.

        • Bruno,

          In my experience, Cheaters don’t understand how trust works. They think that it comes “on demand” regardless of how they have behaved in the past. The whole idea that trust takes a lifetime to build/earn and a nanosecond to destroy just passes them by.


          PS – as an aside, I trust Ex-Mrs LFTT much less far than I could throw her and I don’t care that she knows it. When she’s in my house to pick up one of our kids, I watch her – and her light fingers – like a hawk.

        • “Why, I am not that person anymore!”
          “You’re right. You’re worse! You expect me to do things for you.”

    • Noticed that too. Perpetual victim had to be rescued from who she became and needs to be rescued now.
      How can FWs not know how they became “the person they were”? Past tense because they are suddenly not that awful person anymore. She’s still in victim mode, nothing to work with.
      Did love the Unicorn Swag idea though. Can just picture FWs running around with bright colored sweatshirts so they stand out and are easy to spot.

        • Exactly, ex actually said 6 months into AP she became demanding of more. Wasn’t supposed to be like this. 🙄

    • Yup. “It wasn’t me, it was my alter-ego Countess Boochie Flagrante!”

    • That is kind of “dissociative” language.

      Digression alert !Isn’t it interesting that, these days, everyone pretty much recognizes what “dissociation” means? No need to even qualify it– we all roughly get it. I’ve been thinking heavily about this since someone on this site mentioned being sick of the term “compartmentalization” yesterday and then, immediately afterwards, I saw an article on my news feed about how the culture has been taken over with “therapy-speak”– how every other teen on Tiktok uses terms formerly reserved for clinical lit like “coping” and “working through issues.” The article quoted one set of experts who decried how over-democratization of clinical language by plebes unleashes anarchy upon the world and another set who described positive and even feminist effects, like victims gaining tools to understand “narcissistic abuse” and “gaslighting” the better to heal from or guard against these things. But one thing that wasn’t talked about in the article was how sometimes people adopt the language to fight fire with fire– in other words, to defend themselves against abusers’ and shitty therapists’ enthusiasm for hijacking and weaponizing clinical concepts, either as sad sausage alibis or as means to crazy-bait, silence and pathologize victims.

      I remember telling a trauma therapist after D-Day about FW describing himself as frequently “dissociating.” I think I was a little spellbound by the stoic-sounding disclosure, like “Ah, yes, that makes sense. He experienced childhood trauma. Poor helpless dear…” But the therapist looked alarmed and pointed out that dissociation isn’t merely “spacing out” but a serious symptom of serious mental disorders and, when related to abusive behavior, is not an alibi that reduces accountability but a red flag screaming “danger.” In short, when any abuser does it, it’s more Norman Bates/Travis Bickle than, say, Ron Kovic from Born on the Fourth of July.

      She had a point and I snapped out of it. Why didn’t FW’s use of the term send me shrieking out the door? Why did I feel held hostage by the idea I was supposed to show woke “concern” for FW’s past trauma? Hopium is always a pitfall for chumps but I think it’s more than that. I think concepts like “dissociation” and “extreme compartmentalization” have had their edges softened through misuse to the point of meaninglessness because, these days, most people use the expressions to forgive their own or other people’s inexcusable behavior. It’s what’s really meant by RIC terms like “affair fog.” “Affair fog” is really saying the equivalent of “Danger, danger, Norman Bates!” but RIC peddlers (and abusers) count on the fact that, due to corruption of language by abuse apologists, most people hear “Poor, poor traumatized Ron Kovic!”

      On the one hand, dissociation and extreme compartmentalization can be “adaptive,” self-protective behaviors that victims of severe abuse and trauma will do to paste on a happy, functional face in public. On the other hand, it’s something former-victims-cum-abusers do “maladaptively” to reduce guilt and stigma over past ill-deeds and also to pave the way to commit future ones because they’re armed with this nifty mental trick (yay, dissociation!) of snuffing empathy and guilt.

      The thing that’s actually pitiable when expressed by genuine victims becomes a willful tool of evil when wielded by perpetrators. But it’s as if perps, like pigs wallowing in mud, dove into the “victim pit” and rolled around to disguise themselves in “victim mud” and now bleat about their “fog” and “dissociative spells.” It doesn’t really matter whether they’re lying about it or not. It’s a scary red flag if they make it up to grub pity and an even scarier red flag if it’s true.

      Anyway, the article annoyed me by leaving out the fact that it takes basic familiarity with psychobabble to defend against it. Creeps have been weaponizing psych since the first therapy coach was upholstered. It started a kind of arms race and there’s no going back.

      • Your therapist was right. Dissociation is not an “oops I zoned out for a second there…” it’s typically a very serious trauma response. Often victims of sexual assault and rape dissociate as a coping mechanism. It’s involuntary behavior and the brain trying to protect itself. People who’ve dissociated as a response to trauma sometimes will do so when triggered even after the traumatic event has passed. Sometimes this can become dissociative personality disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder) because the mind pushes itself to try to become a whole different person, someone who “wasn’t” assaulted or traumatized.

        Other people have neurological disorders that affect their brain and they will know when they are about to dissociate, during which time they completely lose their understanding of where they are, who they’re with, and how they got there, often resulting in a massive panic attack.

        One of my friends suffers from this. When she’s about to dissociate, she warns her partner, who then takes her to a safe place and stays with her during the panic until she comes out of it. When she does, she’s often exhausted and confused, and her partner has to tell her what happened.

        It’s not a joke nor is it an excuse for cheating. Someone having a dissociative episode won’t just bugger off and sleep with someone who isn’t their spouse, then come home like it’s nothing. That is just not how it works. Even people who suffer from dissociative personality disorder don’t just pop in and out of their different identities. Sometimes they are aware of the condition and can count their personalities, and actively try to understand their actual self vs. what’s in their head. People who aren’t in any kind of treatment probably won’t be able to tell you they have DPD, or how many personalities. Because often they don’t even know.

        So there’s slim to zero chance the garden variety cheater actually cheated because of dissociation.

        • I totally agree that it’s not a joke. When I worked as an advocate for DV survivors, I learned there’s a kind of spectrum of severity in dissociation that impacts people in various ways, even those who only experienced trauma as adults. PTSD is notorious for creating unpredictable reactions to psych meds which can increase the tendency to have out-of-body experiences or blackouts.

          But one thing I disagree with is the idea that perps are all lying if they claim to be disassociating and that to argue otherwise is equivalent to granting amnesty to perps of conflating them with their own victims. The idea that abusers “dissociate” really isn’t perp-coddling because dissociation means something entirely different when an aggressor does it as opposed to when a genuine victim does it. In fact it makes the perpetrators all the more diabolical because of a tendency of abusers to willfully engineer, facilitate, polish and defend their own abilities to shift in and out of different states of mind to facilitate abuse. Taking “cubing” for example– serial killer Denis Rader’s term for his ability to radically compartmentalize his various “personae” so that there was no visible overlap between his “upstanding church deacon and family man” persona and his savage, sadistic killer persona. It arguably helped Rader avoid consequences for decades because, while in “upstanding” mode, he gave away none of the furtiveness and shiftiness of someone either “guilty” of a crime or afraid of getting caught would give off. But in order to more effectively spellbind others with his appearance of innocence, Rader needed to feel innocent and he did this through hacking his own memories and perceptions of his crimes by willing himself into different mental “frames.” Rader called it “cubing” because when you’re looking at one flat face of a cube straight on, you don’t see the other faces of the cube, only one square. Rader described how the effect was not only for others but also for himself. When he was “deacon/family man,” that’s largely what he felt about himself. Except– and here’s the rub– he still had it in the back of his mind that he was wearing masks.

          For another example, the general wisdom on batterers is that they don’t batter because they drink but drink so they can batter. Substances facilitate what DV researcher Donald Dutton describes as the gratifying “deindividuated rage” state that batterers seek to enter which is very closely related to the mental state that people committing mob violence enter into and furthermore seek to enter into. “Deindividuation” is what a baby feels when bonding with mommy so the state of deindividuation is basically a desire to go back to the womb… except while waving a brickbat, bashing heads, raping everything with a pulse or setting cars on fire. When people “lose” themselves in the mob, they can– due to the gratifying infantile state they enter into– count on a diminished sense of responsibility for what they do as part of a crowd. People committing mob violence also notoriously have very poor memory for their own actions in the course of mob attacks which Dutton found true of the incarcerated batterers whom he studied like bugs for decades. From Dutton’s “Severe Wife Assault and Deindividuated Violence”:

          “Ganley (1980) has confirmed the tendency of women victims to have comprehensive recall of the battering incident (since their lives depended on being able to defend themselves) and of the male batterers to blank it out
          When I started to collect questionnaire data on abusive men, I found the same issue with fuzzy memories. (p. 91, Dutton, The Domestic Assault of Women: psychological and criminal justice perspectives 2001).”

          Far from pleading amnesty for batterers, Dutton generally argues for stiffer prison sentencing because only severe consequences seems to even slightly dent recidivism. My sense is that he discusses things like deindividuation and dissociation in batterers partly to warn and inoculate various legal and criminal psych authorities (Dutton’s intended audience) against getting sucked in and fooled by abusers’ spellbinding belief in their own innocence and their quite seamless appearance of not remembering the details of their crimes. This is because the very tendency to erase or “rewrite” events– and then believe their own confabulations– while potentially factual, is part and parcel of what makes batterers so hard to detect, hard to bring to justice and nearly impossible to stop. Dutton carefully separates this from the concept of mental illness– something people can’t help– and instead describes it as a criminal disorder. Like Rader described, some batterers can control the compartmentalization enough to evade consequences. To explain the difference, Dutton discusses “neutralization” or “reduction of self punishment” tactics used by serial offenders to mentally quell guilt and reduce stigma for their past offenses which simultaneously enables them to plan future offenses. There’s a paper on serial killers’ use of neutralization in the resource section of this blog that goes into more depth about it.

          The director of the advocacy organization I worked with felt it was very important that survivors understand these concepts for a few important reasons: firstly, so that they might let themselves off the hook and stop feeling paralyzed by shame for having fallen into the trap to begin with because these motherfuckers are so wily and skillful at appearing sincere and safe that they regularly fool FBI profilers; and, secondly, to avoid getting sucked back into the trap based on abusers’ seamless appearance of remorse or bewilderment over what they had done. A consulting psychologist shared with advocates a very credible theory about how this works– that the reason abusers tend to be so good at playing victims is that they typically once were genuine victims of severe abuse but they misuse that special knowledge and understanding as well as other people’s empathy towards that status in very dark ways. Back then there wasn’t the term “dark empath” but it’s roughly the same. I think of the misuse of former victim status like the light from a long dead star reaching earth millions of years after the star collapsed. The former “victim self” that abusers trot out to grub sympathy is nothing more than an animated corpse. If it looks and feels real, it’s because it once was. They may even “suffer” from flashbacks and traumatic flooding like real victims, and may have originally learned to dissociate while genuinely being victimized, but they ultimately internalized and emulate their own abusive role models and show none of the positive qualities that trauma survivors can develop like consistent abhorrence of injustice, deepened empathy for others, etc. They “maladapt” things like dissociation as a means of feeling better about the terrible things they do so that they can keep doing them. Again, the point is that this makes them more diabolically wily and dangerous, not more pitiable.

          I suppose the construct of perp “dissociation” still resembles genuine victim dissociation to some degree, especially because the origins are essentially the same, but it’s really a monstrous, weaponized, “Frankenstein” or “circus mirror” mutation of the way victims psychically protect themselves, a bit like using insulin to commit murder or beating someone to death with a life raft.


          • Wonderful analysis/synthesis of the “they drink so they can batter” knowledge with this piece about dissociation. The memory thing too – when I wrote to CL years ago about my FW, I mentioned that he “forgot” one of the meaner things he did to me, and did eventually admit to it after many reminders. CL called bullshit on this (she said something like – he needs reminders? What does he have, early onset dementia?). While that is what I needed to hear in the moment, looking back, I think he genuinely did blank out what he said because it was so awful. In order to block out the guilt and empathy he felt, he “forgot” what he said. It was easier for him to live in a reality where he didn’t remember what he did and thus assumed I was a lying/insecure/jealous shrew — rather than facing the fact that he did something terrible. All while continuing the cheating actions/words. He literally made up another reality and actually BELIEVED it. When hoovering later, he once again appeared to have genuinely forgotten half the things that happened between us. He builds up fantasies in his brain to justify his actions and then lives in that world.

            I like this conception of the abuser “seeking out” the infantile state, because he did seek it, again and again. I also really love your description of the animated corpse. It so accurately describes my FW. Or what CL hilariously calls “sad sausage” behavior.

            • Also to clarify he didn’t “forget” he cheated – he fabricated some details and blanked out other ones to make himself seem like a poor victim (of me and my jealousy and inadequacies, or whatever). The forgotten details were the ones that exposed him as intentionally and carefully malicious (rather than accidental/passive/A Trauma Victim).

        • My XH used to zone out and not answer people until we called his name loudly, several times. Other times he would not participate in family conversations, but comment on something weeks later that showed he had listened to our discussions. It was very weird and upsetting to all of us. I learned later that this behavior is called “selective inattention” and “selective attention” & a technique of manipulative people – George Simon.

        • Just an added note: FW in my case had been sexually assaulted by a family friend as a kid and had repeatedly witnessed political violence growing up, including hearing and seeing the aftermath of a huge massacre. I tend to believe he really did have out-of-body experiences at times where he would detach from himself and feel like life was happening on a screen and not real. But rather than having the experiences instill more empathy in him, I think his family’s reaction to his trauma over these events– which was to never mention them and pretend they didn’t happen (or else)– caused him to permanently detach from and abstract them– at least enough to be able to coldly use those experiences like currency to purchase himself a sense of entitlement and fuel his bad behavior with self pity. I don’t think he was entirely in control of detaching and dissociating but he sure learned to use it to his advantage and that, in a nutshell, is what makes the tendency criminal in some people and something separate from “mental illness.”

          While I can feel empathy for the tormented children that many abusers once were, stick a fork in the adults. The evil is baked in. One way to express any empathy we feel for these tragic cases is to get involved in efforts to keep this from happening to more kids in the future. But it’s a waste of empathy to think the adult perps can be “fixed” with tea and sympathy. In fact, it’s like pouring gas on a fire.

      • This is really interesting. My first thought on reading “the unicorn’s” letter was that it’s so frustrating when FWs learn how to weaponize our trauma, our trauma responses and the language around it.

      • I agree with your thoughts about using “dissociative” by people who have never witnessed it. I have a friend whose life was in such turmoil that I thought she was having a seizure. Her therapist finally put her on some pretty powerful meds. When she is in that “place” she cannot retain any info. It would take too long to list what happens to her when she dissociates but it isn’t pretty. Her life has been a series of horrors not the least of it when a family member stole huge sums of money as her husband lay dying.

      • This is a great analysis that I found really personally helpful. My FW had some major trauma in his last relationship/FOO. He displayed some serious dissociative behaviours that I recognized as a fellow trauma survivor. Unfortunately, instead of seeing these behaviors as coping mechanisms that were no longer needed, he saw them as convenient tools of abuse. I was astounded at his ability to completely cut off all emotion, all empathy, the moment he wanted to wield control over me or the moment I became visibly upset at his shady behaviour/cheating. The same way I cut off my emotions when I was being abused as a child to protect myself from the devastation of it, he cut off his when he did horrible things to to me. He felt constantly guilty about things he had no need to feel guilty about (for example, minor conflicts with his friends or family) but displayed an alarming deftness at completely cutting it off when he wanted to cheat.

    • I noticed the third person thing too. My ex did that too. ‘That wasn’t me'(that cheated)’I became someone I didn’t know’
      or variations on that theme. In other words, I bear no responsibility for what that person did.

    • Yep, it’s a total and complete lack of accountability on her part. She’s scum.

    • Yeah that line stands out, “I’ve been rescued” 🙄, like she had no control over her cheating, it was just a nebulous thing that happened by itself, and only getting caught “rescued” her because hey, she doesn’t have to take responsibility, right? NoScreenName, you really must be new here if you think feeling sorry for yourself is going to get you any sympathy here. Mr. NoScreenName, your cheater is not “different”, she’s the same entitled, self-centered pos they all are. Divorce this person, I promise you won’t regret it

  • “What is “remorse” and how can I best mimic it?”
    Ohhhhh snap!

    I thought LACGAL was very clear in describing the actions of a unicorn, apparently NoScreenName is looking for cliff notes. The fuckwit I am divorced with is a former Preacher and Marriage Family Therapist. He used these to source material on how to be better at lying and cheating as well. Aren’t they clever?!

    • Gods save me from “clever” people. Any time I have encountered one of these , I try not to encage in any convo with them. They can twist concepts and meanings so well It is scary.

  • “Please send any advice on unicorning.”

    In other words, I have no real (there’s that word again!) character myself, so I need a primer. I have absolutely no clue, but somehow my husband is supposed to move forward with someone who doesn’t know what character or morals are. YOU do the work, CL, and tell me. I have children, but I cannot be arsed to make any effort toward their security.

    Also, she only wrote this so that he would see it and think she’s sincere.

    • I hope the chumped husband of NoScreenName sees this post. Three therapists are involved yet nowhere in this letter does she apologize or show any understanding of the devastation and irreversible damage she has caused her family by her choices and decisions.

    • My entire comment was already written by you, FYI! I owe you a pizza or something. 😊

  • I’m getting a new job to get away from the affair partner. (Who she cut ties with immediately).
    New job, new opportunities, new ties.
    She was a lazy wife and mother, and making amends from her bullshit life.
    Only because she got caught.

    Something about a cheater being served consequences makes me smile.
    If only she had thought about consequences before she made the decision to cheat.

  • When I was in the initial after math of dday (and I was pregnant with twins and had just had a pretend mental health breakdown from FW where DARVO was happening and I didn’t know it at the time) and mentioned the trauma he caused me, he was really insistent on saying the trauma he caused himself, too. “Look at me. It’s about me. See I need the attention, obviously.” A lazy wife and mother?! The word salad here. No thanks. You don’t really mean it and you don’t really care. It is 100% about consequences now. ‘I’m not interested in cake or kibbles.” Really!? Oh now that it has a name to it? Feeling shame? Or just the perception that you’re a bad person and you need to flip it to you’re doing the work to be better? Bye. Hope your husband and kids can gain a life. You do not have the capacity in your low character soul.

    • They really are the same aren’t they. After I kicked him out I got “Do you think this has been easy for me? I’ve lost all my friends including my best friend “. Maybe you shouldn’t have cheated on, lied to, deceived, gaslit, betrayed, devalued, etc etc your “best friend”. World’s tiniest violin playing. When I found them in the motel (d-day #3) and finally said to myself “fuck this shit”, and after 6 months of keeping it in started to tell people, that’s when the crocodile tears came out. He was telling our shocked friends how much he loved me, how he hit rock bottom and he was going to fix all of this. Fast forward 1 month and he’s emailing the AP while on a business trip to Asia and describing in detail what he and the hooker were doing to each other. Yup. Turns out his game plan was to show the world how hard he was working on saving our marriage yet still gaslighting me with the hopes of me ending it so he could tell people “look how hard I tried, it’s not my fault that LTT couldn’t trust me again…”. Douche Canoe.

      • Yuck. Change a few details and that describes my wreckonciliation trajectory to a tee. They really are the same.

      • This! My stbx did the same. After me kicking him out ,finally, In one of our last ” talks” he let slip, ” You weren’t suppose to know.” I was not to know that he had no intention of trying to ” Be a better Man”. He had dug in his heels. He and was just mimicking doing the work. They really are all the same. Image managers The lot of ’em.

      • Wow, I thought my FW was unique in this. A couple weeks after DDay, while I was still sobbing at the drop of a hat, FW said to me, “This is hard for me too, you know. I’ve lost all my friends. Nobody trusts me. I don’t have anyone to help me.” I stopped crying and yelled back, “ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME FEEL SORRY FOR YOU?!?! YOU DESERVE ANYTHING YOU GET YOU A-HOLE!”

  • I pray that her husband is reading this. Please, husband, when you read Chump Lady’s response just know that she is spot on. Please get a speedy divorce and protect your health — physical, mental and financial.

    At no point did this FW wife detail what she REALLY did. She is not owning anything. She is not recognizing any of the real pain you are going through — everything you and your children are fighting through.

    But trust that Leave a Cheater book in your hands and get yourself a great lawyer. Come here and see what we all have dealt with.

    It’s surreal and lonely dealing with a FW. They do all the cheating… and are “lazy” spouses and parents (see: checked out from the family while they escape adulting and just feed their needs and ego — like children). But even in a short letter you can see that FWs only care about themselves.

    It doesn’t take Chump Lady to fix this. Hell, you apparently have THREE therapists involved. Yet FW comes here??

    This is a FW who is no unicorn (See: unicorns are fiction). Please focus on yourself and your children and get free of this FW. I’m so so sorry you’re dealing with this. Even though your FW has no idea or real empathy, everyone here knows how truly awful and frightening and sad all of this is.

    Best wishes and I sincerely hope the divorce is quick and you get free from any more therapy with her

    • Im amazed that FW would admit that they are a lazy parent and spouse, but that is where putting yourself first in a family will get you. I swear for the 2-3 years surrounding the Susan of Seattle betrayal, I would swear that Cheater genuinely forgot that he evened children.

      He had a unicornish moment (after forgetting my birthday) in the wake of the disaster where he proposed I fly to see him in his new digs 3000 miles away (he wasn’t LIVING there, he was only WORKING there, he never left us, you see…mindfuck extraordinaire). Interesting idea this romantic jaunt of wreckonsillyation…he forgot that we had 3 kids to tend who were too young for me to leave alone…I had to remind him of them.

      • I think the “lazy and selfish wife” line is a sad sausage ploy. I also think she’s pandering to the patriarchy and playing a weird role. Bad wifey… just needs to shape up. Internalized misogyny, externalized character problems. While she’s clearly selfish, and I don’t doubt she’s lazy, this rubbed me the wrong way.

    • It’s awful that the cheater says that her husband reads this site — and she is here, in his safe space, trying to manipulate CL (as if!) and everyone else. He is here to clear his mind from the firehose of manipulation, to get support for himSELF, and the cheater cannot let that happen.

      Husband/chump — please note that now your cheater will engage you in all kinds of b.s. debates about this site, what people said, what she meant, etc. Anything to throw you off the trail of consequences. She wants to contaminate something that will help YOU and you alone. This is YOUR space. Note that the boundary violations just keep on comin’ from this cheater.

  • I believe there are “correct steps” for truly remorseful cheaters mentioned in CL posts. They cover the basics of a fair divorce process.

    I wish divorce lawyers had a package to hand to the briefly, repentant spouse. Anything in addition to a fair financial settlement, however, is apt to keep the cheater’s behavior central to the chump’s future. I wish my lawyer had protected my retirement savings, sought reimbursement for my therapy and moving costs, etc.

    In my fantasy, FW would have been required to make a full confession to his family and our neighbors. And he’d have to sell our marital house if he ever was going to live with OW. And they’d have to move hours away.

    • ICST, all of the things you fantasize about, whether they were legally realistic or not, are completely logical and fair and deserved, IMO. Serial cheating and deception leads to so many different types of unfair and significant consequences for chumps.

      In my fantasies, like yours, it’s not about punishing a cheater. It’s about having people know the truth about me and what I went through (which would be where the cheater publicly acknowledging and apologizing would come in) and about not losing everything I invested in for years (which is where me, not a con artist who took advantage of me, getting the property and community I wholeheartedly committed to for years of my life would come in). Plus compensation for damages, too (like being reimbursed for mental health bills, loss of insurance when I fled, physical therapy bills, gun appointments and STI treatment, moving expenses and all the items I left behind and had to repurchase, etc.). And then I start thinking about the overwhelming opportunity costs…

      So yeah, if a cheater would fess up to and pay for all of the above, so the chump was left to deal with only the lost years, adjustments and inconveniences (such as shared custody, relocation, building a new career/community, etc.) and the lingering emotional/psychological/physical wounds of betrayal trauma and longterm abuse — that would help. And even then it’s years of painful, hard work.

      • gyn not ‘gun’ appts (my ex was the gun freak…)

        Also want to add that public acknowledgment of wrongdoing (lying, cheating and abuse) isn’t actually what I personally desire from my ex. One of those shit sandwich situations…

        • I thought that meant you needed a CCW to protect yourself from your ex!

    • I’d add to this fantasy that the FW got the custody arrangement that the Chump decided they could have.

  • Dear Cowardly NoScreenName:

    Good morning, Bitch. You are no unicorn, just another jackass braying about their specialness and demonstrating an awesome lack of self-awareness, which makes you a dime a dozen in cheaterworld. It is not just Chumplady who loathes you, but all of us here in the chump tribe. We all hope your husband leaves your skanky ass on the curb and finds a better partner, which happily for him will be an easy task.

    Have a nice day!

  • NoScreenName,
    You ARE NOT a uniorn. You are a serial cheater that wants cake. You saw that your chumpy husband saw the light and is probably a member of this community and is reading the book that will lead him to filing for divorce and getting rid of a CHEATER.
    Here at CN, we know your tactic. You will pretend to reform through some RIC BS but the reality is that you will just get better at hiding it. Guess you have the Cheater’s Manual to Playing Your Chump in your hands. Now enough about you. You have had more than enough cake for the day.

    NoScreenName’s Husband,
    Read the book! Live the book. File for divorce. They do not change. Gain a life once you get through the process. It will be hell but it is so worth it. CN and CL are here for you!

  • I agree with FYI, that cheater wrote this “so that he would see it and think she’s sincere.” She wanted her special personal letter so she could brag to her husband and the therapists that she went to CL and got a personal reply congratulating her for being so thoughtful and sparkly, thereby avoiding the actual effort and consequences.
    Or perhaps LW expected a negative reply, or ne reply at all, and hoped to use it to counter and negate LCGAL: “I went to CL and she refused to help me, so that proves she doesn’t care about chumps. Stop reading her!”
    The lack of a screen name points out the absolute lack of effort she’s willing to put in. Not even a “Remorseful” or “Sorry.”
    The entitlement shows through. I think her reluctance to be published on site is also due to fear CL would see through and cut down her BS.
    Which CL and CN do so brilliantly.

  • Few things I’m noticing here:
    1) Miss “no screen name” (as if not including one somehow meant she wouldn’t be published??) only needed to be rescued once her husband busted her. Until then errythang was good in the cheater hood right??

    2) The entitlement is still there. This isn’t about the pain she caused her husband, it’s about HER. “I’ve” been rescued. “Im so speshul I’m going to be the unicorn!” (But don’t put me on blast where your blog can see) “Send me articles on how to do this privately please, I expect personalized advice from you, because I’m not like the OTHER cheaters, IM SPESHUL.” Memememememe me…

    3) The advice on what to do is in the book no-name’s husband is reading. She just doesn’t like it. She knows what the advice is. CL already pointed it out, she doesn’t want the consequences. Which is where the entitlement comes in again, like writing to CL will grant her some super secret unicorn advice only doled out to the most extra special people who PROMISE real hard that they’re unicorns. No. What you see is what you get. There’s no secret go-around alternate CL for cheaters.

    4) She never says the words “I’m sorry” in this letter.

    5) She’s still trying to sneak around. Re: Don’t publish me! Sneaking around was the deal of the day (week, month…) with cheating, so sneaking around is still her MO now.

    6) Seems she wants to ask literally ANYONE BUT HER HUSBAND what she needs to do to fix this, and she’s not going to consider that he doesn’t have to forgive her.

    6) Since she didn’t deign to give us a name, I’m going to call her whatever I want. I like the ring of “Moist Hot Dog Banger”

    • Miss no screen name counted on her letter being published and counted on her husband reading the post. Part of her game plan to reel her husband back. She is a real piece of work and the husband should be meeting with divorce attorneys.

    • “Seems she wants to ask literally ANYONE BUT HER HUSBAND what she needs to do to fix this, and she’s not going to consider that he doesn’t have to forgive her.”

      Yeah, that pissed me off, too. All she has to do is ask him. But that wouldn’t garner attention from outsiders, which we know she’s heavily into. In her head she saw CL congratulating her for her alleged efforts and pronouncing her a unicorn. Then, and only then, would she have shown CL’s response to her chumped husband. “See! Even Chump Lady thinks you should forgive me!” she would say, triumphantly.
      Not a chance in hell, Noname.
      You wanted a private response from CL because you suspect he reads here. Looks like you screwed yourself.

      Noname’s husband, how fast can you run a mile? After you’ve done that, run 9 more.

      • Yep. Whether her letter was published or responded to in private, she had this idea in her head that she could use CL as a tool to get off the hook here.

  • Dear Lazy&Vapid (suggestion for a screen name),
    You forget to mention any imbalance of income between you and chump. If chump kicks you out, will the unicorn have to get a real job, like pulling a plow under the sun?

    • I read “lazy” as unemployed as well. It also implies she did little of the housework and parenting.

      To her husband: Is this the marriage you signed up for? A wife who cheats and does what she wants while you are holding everything together? File TODAY. If she truly wants to be a unicorn then she should agree to any separation agreement you feel is fair.

  • Be honest, be kind, don’t cheat….repeat! You knew what was needed, you didn’t do it, you suck 🦄

  • One, this letter sounds fake. Two, if it’s real, the writer wants a quickie absolution from CL. Conveniently the writer overlooks the spouse and children who have been physically and emotionally harmed –perhaps permanently. That is where the energy should be focused. If the writer has any self-respect (doubtful), she will offer a peaceful and generous divorce and make a commitment to give space for the chump and kids to heal. The writer can and should continue with therapy to find out why she is the way she is. What fueled her bad choices. Vow to stay single for a few years so as not to inflict more pain on more people. Focus on being a good mom and just a good person all around. Get clean. Your quest for forgiveness should be directed at your family, not CL. And bear in mind that forgiveness may never come from those you hurt. You have to accept that and understand you can’t ask for it or demand it. It’s means a lifetime of doing the right thing for NO REWARD. It definitely won’t come from simply writing an e-mail to CL. IMHO.

    • No Screen Name wrote Chump Lady for advice on how to avoid consequences for serial cheating. She is trying to orchestrate the best possible outcome for herself. She continues to avoid accountability/honesty while attempting to maintain secrecy and control — distancing herself from herself, asking for a private response, calling herself “no screen name” (to avoid a cheater moniker?).

      If NSN wants to be a unicorn, she can proceed as DrDr and ICanSeeTuesday propose. But alas, she’s an FW and can’t/won’t respond with integrity. Justice, closure and amends are rarely part of LACGAL — in fact, quite the opposite —but chumps nevertheless find a way to move forward. Hope LACGAL and this UBT response help SNS’s (fingers crossed) STBX take some shortcuts to freedom.

    • “One, this letter sounds fake.” Yep and if it is real the husband has nothing to work with.

      • I wonder if she wrote this letter with her therapist and/or husband as some sort of confessional? She says she is a “lazy wife and mother.” That’s a weird thing to write into a letter to CL while confessing to cheating. So she is saying she sucks in total but she is working on it now that she’s been caught and has to confess to everything. Unless there is more there that she is not disclosing, like she went on “business trips” every other week to meet with her AP that had nothing to do with business. So she missed holidays, birthdays, school events, and the trips were not reimbursed????

        • Good point, Stephen. She thinks she can do the same trickle-truthing to CL that she did to her husband. There’s almost certainly more she’s done that he doesn’t know about.

  • To all FWs who may want to help heal their Chump, how about a generous divorce, child support and custody agreements. Then perhaps be cooperative and show up as a parent. No kids, even better, don’t show up.

  • Don’t forget the DNA testing of the children, as well as ALL the STD testing available.

    And a lawyer. Please consult an attorney this week. Today, preferably, current husband of Sparkles the Unicorn (can we call her Narckles?)

  • It’s still the height of laziness to ask for a ‘to do’ list to become a unicorn. Not from Chump Lady, not from CN, not from therapists, not even from the chump. A unicorn has to do the work of figuring it out themselves, because it requires huge personal change.


    Dear Dude who was chumped by this FW,

    RUN like your hair is on fire! This girl is a train wreck of epic proportions. Remember, a tiger doesn’t change their stripes. She knows she’s an entitled POS (lazy mom and wife) and blatantly has the gonads to ask the author of the book YOU are reading for trade secrets actually under the impression CL would be nice and help her so she can “get herself out of this hole” which is code for so she can snow you over and continue on with her life hurting you and the kids without consequences. Someone who has that kind of audacity and entitlement has to be on the spectrum for Cluster B personality disorders. Staying with a vile person like this isn’t good for the kids, so don’t even go down that road or allow her to play that card. Good for you on reading the book, that’s the first step to freedom. Now, shields up Dude Chump! Go the distance and remove this leech from your life.

  • This letter is so cringe. It reminds of the things my ex would send me. Full I-Me-Myself, nothing about the husband or other people she has hurt. I really hope her husband takes our advice and moves on. Yes, it is hard, but so worth it to get away from a serial cheater and a self-proclaimed lazy wife and mother (she sounds like a real winner)
    PS Unicorns aren’t real, and neither is her nonexistent apology.

  • She’s sounds like a self absorbed narcissistic whore. Nothing said about her chump husband, children she was “lazy” to. All about her for some sort of forgiveness. Disgusting 🤮

  • Dear Chumped,

    Yes this is the source for your healing. Right now you’re jumping through hoops to save her from herself. I had one of those (serial cheater) who THANKED me for saving him from his dark side.

    You caught her and now wants your help? RUN! You’ve got nothing to work with.

  • Trashy Ho,

    Here’s how you prove your sincerity–move out of the family home, file for divorce, don’t ask for alimony or child support, and give your husband primary custody of the kids. You don’t deserve the family home or financial support from him. If you’re really a unicorn you can spend the rest of your life proving it and maybe your husband and children will forgive you. Maybe.

    Husband of the trashy ho,

    Keep reading here. She really, really sucks. She won’t file for divorce because cheaters NEVER do. They usually demand a divorce and then wait for the chump to file. Stop going to marriage therapy with that piece of trash. It never works with cheaters. Divorce is horrible, but it’s the only way to get out of the miserable place you are now. Life on the other side can be beautiful.

  • I don’t need cake and kibbles…but let write an email seeking—ahem…cake and kibbles. Ugh…I feel for the husband and kids. No self awareness with this one despite being IN THERAPY!

  • Once a chump stops buying into the reconciliation cycle and finds Chumplady it’s a life changing experience.

    A cheater lacks a moral compass. They abandon responsibilities and children.

    What they fight for isn’t their marriage. They fight to avoid consequences.

  • That letter was not for CL or CN…that letter was written for cheater’s husband’s benefit. Just a ploy to fool him into thinking she is repentant and serious about changing her ways. I don’t buy her having an epiphany after numerous affairs, being a shitty wife and mother. She’s scared he’s going to dump her ass and he should dump her ass. She also claims she broke off the affair immediately…more than likely the AP broke it off so he wouldn’t have to deal with his side piece’s mess.

  • Promises to be good and change come easy when consequences show up. Keeping these promises and putting them into physical form is another thing entirely. If you actually sign a post-nup, actually restore funds to the spouse who was hurt by monetary theft, actually publicly admitted to all the lies told to those he/she lied to, you may be a unicorn. When I offered this as a resolution to my children’s father, he said, “But that would ruin me!” Really? What do you think your actions did to me?

    I didn’t ever believe he would do any of those things. I just wanted to hear his reaction. Once again, it was all about him. It is indeed unfortunate that there is a word which describes these dysfunctional folks: Irredeemable. Maybe there is a Supreme Being who can forgive them? It is beyond my abilities. He is dead now, and we were long divorced when he died. Every time someone brings him up the first words which pop into my mind are liar and cheater. That is his legacy because that is who he was. It doesn’t hurt anymore, it’s just a fact. That is as MEH as I can get.

    • Seems like he said “that would ruin me” because he expected to cheat again. But anyway, standing ovation for his continued default use of “me” instead of “us” even as he was negotiating for reconciliation. I am delighted you got his number. Sorry for you and his kids.

    • My FW used the exact same phrase as the attorneys were drafting an equitable settlement agreement — BUT THIS WILL RUIN ME 😩

      Cheaters believe they are entitled to everything and exempt from consequences. They may pay lip service to the concepts of a joint life, but in their minds, everything is about them. They are the Main Character. The spouse and children are not even secondary characters, they are part of the setting, along with the home, cars, possessions, bank/retirement accounts.

      Cheaters do admit fault, but never because they are sorry; it’s always and only to manipulate. I didn’t want to believe it, but after months of unnecessary and prolonged suffering, I found CL and CN. I thought I was alone in this nightmare, but found my story (and FW’s exact phrases) mirrored by thousands of others.

      To Whatever Dude Is Married to This Creature, please don’t eat Sparkles’ sh*t sandwiches, even if she assures you they’re made with unicorn turds. The only solid truth you can both believe is that she believes she’d entitled.

      She wants to commit adultery but not be called an adulterer. She wants to “admit her faults” but not be cast in a bad light. She will flay you to the bone, but expect you to massage her feet.

      Cheaters exist on a completely different plane, disconnected from reality, blinded by magical thinking. As my therapist sagely predicted, you’ll see just how sorry they are once you start divorce proceedings. As soon as their centrality and resources are threatened, you’ll see who they really are, and it’s not unicorns and rainbows.

      Dude, we hope to see you at Chumpalooza in Baltimore!

    • Yes..I’m not sure what meh means. I don’t hurt anymore just left with disgust and a very bad opinion of him.

  • To Miss NSN:

    I believe in redemption for all people. I also believe that if you truly want your husband to heal, you will leave him alone. You will respectfully divorce, you will make all the concessions he wants and deserves after the extreme injury you caused.

    YOU unilaterally chose to do the “things” you did that destroyed your marriage and devastated your family. YOU.

    Just because I believe in redemption, doesn’t mean I have to stick around and watch it play out in my FW’s life. And you can believe all of us here when we say it is something that we will never (NEVER) forget. Who wants to live in a marriage where there is no trust, even if there is an iron-clad post-nup in place that will leave you penniless and him with full custody if you cheat (in any way) again?

    The best thing you can do for yourself is to acknowledge this is ALL on you, vow to yourself (because your words are meaningless to anybody who has experienced the searing pain of being a chump) that you will create and enforce boundaries in future relationships, that any form of flirtation is off the table.

    And I will repeat what so many others have said: there are serious consequences to having affairs, and they suck. You knew this, which is why you led a double-life. Is a temporary dopamine rush really worth it?

    • Yes, I too believe in redemption. As I read Lazy&Vapid’s letter to CL, I kept hoping for a Road to Damascus moment. Alas, it seems we will have to wait 2000 more years for this to happen.

      I bet L&V is desperate for a roof and income.

    • Ivy, I agree with everything you say. I also believe in redemption for all people. I just don’t believe in redemption for a marriage like the OP’s. She has fatally wounded it with her serial cheating. And even if her chump husband attempts to reconcile, it will be a dead thing they’re dragging along, Weekend At Bernie’s style.

  • “Please send any advice on unicorning.”

    What, she can’t muster up the money to BUY THE EFFING BOOK?!?!? The advice she seeks is LITERALLY ALREADY PUBLISHED and she knows EXACTLY how to get her own copy of it! But she wants CL to hand her the Cliff Notes, and not just for free, nooooo. For the low, low price of one less book sold.

    Jeeeeeeeeeeeebus, what an entitled douchebag.

    Here’s my advice on unicorning for ya, Cheater. If you aren’t so horrified about what you’ve done that you legitimately feel your husband is better off without your abuse, and therefore too mortified to ask for forgiveness, you’re not paying attention.

    You really want to “be the unicorn”? Facilitate your husband’s best life.

    Step one is to let him go completely without argument. Step two is to give your full support for everything that will set him up for success without you. And don’t ask for ANYTHING for you.

    Then wait. And do your own work. Commit to being in therapy forever. Choose a therapist who supports your changes and won’t validate your excuses.

    Never contact him, at all. And no social media lurking. Let go all the way.

    If somehow he comes back to you, eat all the crow without expecting history to be forgotten. Be completely transparent without resistance. Stay in therapy. Don’t fuck up. Not once.

    If you can’t offer those things, don’t be with him. Or anyone. You’re an abuser, and nobody deserves abuse. Own that and remain alone if you can’t get your shit all the way together.

    That’s unicorning. It’s understanding that the relationship is permanently damaged and that will always be your fault, even though the other person wasn’t perfect. It’s owning those truths enough to live a whole life of it never being over, because you can’t un-abuse a person you’ve abused, no matter how much you grow up.

    Seems like too much work? I agree. Therefore, the kindest thing you can do is help your victim move on without any bullshit from you. If you love the person you hurt, show it by supporting what’s best for that person, which is to stop being hurt by you.

  • This author sounds like my ex. When I found the drug paraphanalia and confronted her with it she said she was so relieved and then proceeded to empty her tank, word-vomit, confess, or whatever you want to call it. All of this happened ONE FULL WEEK AFTER SHE CAME HOME FROM HER DRUG BENDER WITH HER BOYFRIEND AND ONLY AFTER HER 15 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TOLD ME HER MOM SMOKES WHEN SHE IS STRESSED OUT (news to me). So, she was still lying to me and her family even after she came home apologizing for running away. The “sincere” confessional included walks through the apartment complex across from her apartment looking for pot from men and using prescription pain pills while we were engaged. I replayed the times I saw her (caught her) leaving her neighbors house when I was coming home from work. Word vomit… not a confession. Clean up on aisle 10.

    Once the response by CL to this submission started I realized the key to this entire submission is at the beginning: “I’ve cheated on my husband, through repeated patterns of emotional cheating which culminated in emotional and physical cheating, which is when he discovered all of it.”

    In other words, this submission is written by a pathological liar who’s only real grief is that she got caught and now needs time to reset herself. Pre-soak, wash, spin, dry, repeat.

    CL is right, her husband has nothing to work with and needs to cut off the bullshit early and leave. She has a pattern of behavior and she has told us all who she is; and I for one believe her, so should he… before the letter from the IRS arrives asking for back taxes on unreported investment income that somehow disappeared behind the scenes.

  • This could have been my FW cheater (now XW) writing this, they’re all the same wanna-be Unicorns! They all carefully curate these “action lists” to feign commitment but keep their grift going. In my case, she worked in the same part of town as APs, but rather than switch jobs she promised to call as soon as her shift ended. However she never had set hours so, whatever! Also, she said she would delete all her social media accounts, but she really just paused them for a few weeks – then there was that 2nd instagram account that she didn’t know I knew about. There’s no such thing as a Unicorn, but we all here know this!

    • This is the first I have heard of an ‘action list’ for cheaters! What is that exactly?
      Here is my guess:
      1) Hire three therapists to mindfuck spouse and side with me for ‘forgiveness’
      2) Deflect blame
      3) Call myself ‘lazy’ which sounds better than deceitful, dishonest, liar, untrustworthy, selfish, etc.
      4) Stop affair – to buy time until the next schmoopie comes along
      5) Do not apologize
      6) Write to CL for advice on becoming a unicorn

    • Christ on a cracker. The action lists! I’ve been re-reading my journal from the months after the first D-day. I’d forgotten how FW would randomly announce he’d bought a journal or made a list. He seemed to believe that his scribbled inventories were enchanted spells that would –poof💨– return him to “the guy he used to be,” or “make [me] not be sad anymore.” He’d invite me for date nights where the evening’s special focus was 💫FW Presents A Magic List 💫, but of course he’d get all butt-hurt if I failed to celebrate his wonderful intentions.

      In that era, we talked a lot with our MC about intent vs impact. FW didn’t like that. Conception is easy; execution is hard. Words are free; changed behavior is costly.


    According to, which was co-founded by Abigail Marsh, a psychologist and neuroscientist at Georgetown University, these are some of the key traits that manifest in extreme psychopathy:

    ● Callous and selfish approach to interpersonal relationships

    ● A lack of empathy in response to others’ suffering or distress

    ● Does not show remorse after hurting others or breaking rules

    ● Little sense of identity or self

    ● Manipulates people to get things

    ● Engages in risky or dangerous activities

    ● Superficial charm

    BOOM …. Trust these types suck as partners… nothing to work with. No such thing as unicorns, no name.

    • MC99: Thank you for that.
      This is off topic, but they suck as siblings, too. “Nothing to work with” says it all. And no contact is the best salvation.
      I broke free from my ex-cheater decades ago, in my 20s, without the help of literature or forums such as this.
      The mantra that helped me break free, when I was naively struggling to suss out charm from cruelty and to kill hopium, was: Kind people don’t intermittently pretend to be cruel. (When they’re done, they’re done, but not during the relationship.) But cruel, callous people DO pretend to be kind sometimes, to covertly control the relationship, which means callous is their TRUE character.
      I have come to realize that my programming to be a chump originated in childhood as the once-admiring younger sibling of a callous, selfish person such as described above. It took me a lot of years to recognize, but now, “callous in interpersonal relationships” is a standalone dealbreaker I apply to all manner of relationships. And the no-contact that was finally necessary from that callous sibling is why I visit here even now, for validation and to have names for it all.

  • I couldn’t quite put my finger on why “help my husband heal” seemed very wrong, but CL nailed it, “Admitting fault … doesn’t entitle [them] to perks like [their] husband’s continued investment”. I also noted the only real emotionality was about herself. CL is right, “[Their] husband’s emotional state, however, lacks description” likely because they don’t understand. Many disturbing parts to this letter.

  • It’s clear to me that the poor husband who is married to this soul sucking selfish monster is not only cutting off the kibble train but the money train. For someone who willing admits she’s lazy says to me that he’s the sole source of their income. All of a sudden she realizes that her lazy ass might have to a actually get a freaking job! Quel damage! That, IMO, is what’s motivating this sudden avalanche of ‘remorse’ and hunting for her strap on unicorn horn that she bought at the dollar store.

  • You can’t unmurder someone.

    You can’t unrape someone.

    You can’t unburn-down a house.

    You did all of that to your family.

    You poured gasoline all over your home, your husband, your children, while they were thinking they were safe from the horrors of the outside world, and handed the matches to whoever you were secretly fucking around with.

    It turns out they were living with one of the horrors of the outside world.

    You can’t fix it. If you were a unicorn, you never would have done what you did in the first place.

    To the husband of this horrible woman,

    You have my sincere sympathy and deepest condolences. We here understand the unimaginable pain you and your children are experiencing.

    I hope someday you will be able to trust again, and that you meet someone safe and trustworthy, and because children learn by modeling, it is someone worth copying.

    • Below is from 16.5 year old Little Hammer, who was also raised by our awesome family therapist, and has had her own therapist since 2019 Traitor Ex blew up our family:

      “It’s good that you recognize you have a problem, but there’s a problem with your language here. You’re phrasing this whole thing as if you are a victim.
      It’s a big possibility that you are writing specifically to this website so that your husband reads it and thinks what a good person you are.”

      “She is not taking responsibility.”

      She wanted me to add that she will never trust her father ever again.

      (She reads the DSM V for entertainment)

    • Speaking of digging pits….

      This place is to help your husband and your children out of the deep dark pit you dug, with great and diligent intention, and threw them into.

      Please excuse my multiple posts. I’m not able to swallow and process this much horse shit at once.

    • “You can’t fix it. If you were a unicorn, you never would have done what you did in the first place.”


  • Dear Chumped Husband of this worthless, miserable twat:

    Someone who behaves better to avoid consequences for themselves will constantly be re-calculating as conditions change. Let them off the hook even a tiny bit? She will be back flirting with co-workers and not packing lunches for her kids, and justifying to herself why she deserves to act out against all of your Horrible Rules. She will get bored and resentful and will find some dude at work who “gets her” and she will build the story of how you are so Controlling, Judgmental, and (of course) Abusive.

    Upon your next D-Day she will telling everyone stories of how you are dangerous and will be filing false reports about your treatment of her and the kids (ask our legions of Chumped men how often that happens, it is disgusting).

    Don’t ever forget that she was not sorry when you did not know the truth, and she will not be sorry for whatever she can hide from you in the future. Cheaters get very good at taking things underground and in the end she will tell you why everything was actually your fault anyway, and you will be lucky to escape with partial custody and huge monthly payments to this whore who will use your kids as pawns to punish you for daring to stand up to her.

    Save yourself and your kids now. You can’t fix this and must act quickly before she starts lying about you. You have it in writing that she admits to cheating and that she was a lazy mother, use it in court to get your kids.

    • They do not think like regular people.

      Fortunately, FW did not make any formal DV allegations/reports, but I brushed up against it during the divorce process. I was playing DIY divorce lawyer after she had moved out. I had adapted the sample interrogatories from the local Bar Assn and sent it to her. At the time, I did not know that she had had an exit affair and moved out of state. She had said that she was living with a female coworker locally. Responding to the seemingly innocent question of where and with whom she currently lived, she stated that the person with whom she was living was too fearful of my aggressive and intimidating attitude to provide any information. As a people pleasing introvert, I really don’t do aggressive and intimidating. I followed up with questions to put her on the record regarding any and all DV allegations. She answered in the negative regarding all the questions about DV, but she still demanded a DV protection order should I ever learn to where she had moved. She claimed that she had to quit her job and relocate to another state in order to avoid name calling from her horrible husband.

      The minute you put them on the spot about what they have done or stand in the way of their happiness, look out! My FW had zero qualms about lying under oath, even stupid small stuff. That’s the thing that keeps me up at night. I could have ended up arrested and/or ordered to be removed from my own home if that was what she needed to get what she wanted. I had no idea who it was that I married or what she was capable of doing.

      This guy has kids with this wannabe unicorn. He also has to worry about false allegations of sexual abuse of the kids.

  • A cheater who has three therapists on board and is writing to Chump Lady is trying to use her and the rest of us in a desperate bid for impression management. IMHO.

  • Before “I am going to be a unicorn”, I was almost sold.

    Then it spiraled from there. Amazing how they can’t keep the mask on even long enough to finish a letter.

  • You not only robbed a store, you robbed several banks, you stole from the Salvation Army, you hit a kid driving a getaway car and you want someone to fix your life.

  • So I have been working on a machine of my own…its currently in the R&D stage but has shown some encouraging successes in preliminary testing. More rigorous testing is needed and I’m hopeful that by the “second Tuesday of next week” I should have a prototype. I call it the ” LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHTENER”…
    So,this device’s intended use is on general cheater-speak word vomiting and on ” are you fucking kiddingmeisms”
    So the last heap of slag sent by little Ms How Do I Reconcile was fed into the matrix. Here it goes
    You are asking for unconditional forgiveness from an innocent bystander victim of a drive by betrayal ?
    You believe that by making some phoney act of contrition everything can go away and be the same or better than it was before you decided to suck off Chad at the office?
    You expect that all the selfish self help falderal is mysticaly going to make the forever mind movies, triggers self doubt,and feeling “He’s Not Good Enough ”
    go away just like that?
    You believe that by changing jobs and proclaiming you’ve cut off the AP that hubby is going to trust you and himself enough to trust that to be true? That everytime you walk out the door you aren’t betraying him once again?
    Your husband is currently like Andy in Shawshank Redemption, he’s crawled through a sewer pipe full of shit and the foulest of debris to freedom, an uncertain freedom, but freedom none the less, and you want him to crawl back through it all to get back to this emotional and psychological incarceration?
    You think your self proclaimed victimhood entitles you to being treated like a furry woodland creature and having people do the heavy lifting for you?
    I apologize CL and CN but I need to tweak this better but the preliminary results say this person is FUBAR.

    • NYN….👏👏👏👏👏

      No Screen Name,

      Forget about reconciling, which would imply that you are a safe and trustworthy person, which you are not.

      If you’re a liar, a cheater, a thief, a batterer, an emotional/mental/psychological/sexual batterer, which you are,

      You are UNFIT to be in ANY kind of relationship, be it friend, romantic partner, spouse, or parent.

      • Velvet…you’ve told her what RIC will never admit….fantastic

  • This lady is no unicorn. CN has made glorious responses to this person; I have little to add… just the hubris of saying “I WILL BE A UNICORN” shows the lack of empathy, the lack of understanding of the damage she has caused, and how little she understands how hard BEING A UNICORN will be. She didn’t even have the superficial charm to say “I know unicorns are rare, and I know that means that I have a very hard road ahead of me, but I’m willing to really TRY” … nope, she just wants to Pass Go, collect $200 immediately, with free Cliff notes (as someone else pointed out, thank you). It’s a wild position to live one’s life from and I hope very much her current husband is well on his way to being the STBX husband.

  • I would have thought of the ex as a unicorn if he’d have respected my right to leave him, given me a quick easy divorce, didn’t feel/play like he was the victim, not fighting against a settlement I deserved, respect no contact, or continued abuse through the courts.
    He’s just a transactional fuckwad cheater. Nothing special. Ordinary. Predictable. Entitled. Horrible partner. Neglectful parent. No respect. Never reciprocal. Will never change cause it’s his character. Always has been and will always be against consequences. It’s all good until that happens. He’s just a textbook abusive ex like no name who wrote this letter.

  • i don’t even want to respond to this person, this empty vessel of a person, who doesn’t have the emotional capacity to receive it anyway. i’m so tired of having to respond to the FW in my own life–the never-ending legal stuff, the emails that are vaguely or directly threatening, the troubled kids in therapy that need lots of support, etc. etc.–that the idea of responding to this FW is too much for me.

    i will not hold this FW’s hand through their “unhappiness” and “need for excitement, don’t you understand? i’ve been sleepwalking through life. i want to live, LIVE” and give ADVICE.

    instead, i respond to this person’s partner. sorry that you’re here, in this club of stressed out folks with legal bills and PTSD and a dark sense of humour. we curse. build a team: GP, lawyer, therapist, and a couple good friends. go no contact and take care of your self but this FW doesn’t care about you, she never had cared about you, she doesn’t know how to care about people. the caring part of her self is missing.

    good luck, friend.

  • I passed a shop window with a display of unicorn themed merchandise. To highlight the children’s section of the boutique.

    Dear Letter Writer’s Hopefully Wasband,
    I’m sorry you married a petulant, childish person. She never grew up and doesn’t want to accept consequences for her behavior. Good luck with the divorce. Chump Nation is here for YOU, not your abuser.

  • No name-just go away and leave your husband to find peace without you! Cheaters suck! I got a text from my exFW a couple weeks ago, asking me please for some documents that he couldn’t find. Telling me how much he would appreciate my help. It’s been 6 years since DDay. I thought that I had blocked him on my phone but realize that I had deleted him from my phone and as such his text came through (please note). I didn’t respond. The thought of doing one damn thing to help him still makes me nauseated. Maybe I will always feel this way about him..oh well! I can’t imagine staying with someone who would violate everything sacred in a marriage. Hugs to chumps!

  • Mine wants to reconcile and has pulled out all the stops to make it so. It is not working, but it is killing me because I actually feel bad for him. Not enough to try for a rec that I know will fail, to try to save a marriage that is not acceptable to me, but I am a live witness to his coming to terms with what the consequences will be and he is devastated. And my chumpy heart actually feels horrible for him. To be clear, I am just as furious and “bitter” as the next chump, but I can’t look at what he is facing and think “ha ha, you deserve this.” He did make all the choices that lead here. And he so desperately wanted out… until…he didn’t. It’s not like this horror just fell into his lap. But I do think he realizes he never thought this through, and now it’s too late and I do have empathy for a person who is now realizing he decimated his entire life for nothing.
    He told me about the affair 3 years ago, during the height of Covid lockdown, AP lives on the other side of the country, he claims it is an EA only (and truly, he wouldn’t have had many opps to see her in person, but he could have at least a few times and god knows he wouldn’t tell me the truth so I assume he slept with her, just not frequently. And to me that doesn’t entirely matter, he told me that I don’t make him happy and she did, so whether sex was involved or not- we’re done) Anyway, the point is that we still live together. At first, that was convenience. And then it dragged on because I was just terrified of what lay beyond and he was in no rush to make any move. I think that was cake, but also geography as schmoops lives on the opposite coast. So we just lived in this bizarre limbo. (that They have been off and on, (though to be clear, i didn’t often know when it was off or on, other than the time she broke up with him and he sobbed in front of me for a week) and while he told me about the affair 3 years ago, it started years before that. Had he not told me, I would NEVER know. He hid it well and since most of it was online, it wasn’t terribly obvious other than hindsight. Over the past 3 years, I have suffered for living with him. He spent a lot of that time telling me all the ways I fell short of his expectations as a wife. Now, something has changed. He says he dumped her to work on “us”, but I don’t believe a word of that. Either she dumped him, or he decided she wasn’t the all powerful twin flame love that he thought she was so he dumped her. Either way, I am sure that it had nothing to do with me. Suddenly, he is aware of just how badly he screwed up. And he is laying it all at my feet. Apparently, I am “giving up on him” and not giving him a chance to fix it. Never mind that 6 years ago he gave up on me and pursued his AP and I was none the wiser until years in. I very much hate this current situation. I know that I have to leave, there is nothing there to work with, I don’t trust him and will not spend the rest of my life as the marriage police. But splitting up is not easy even with good reasons, and I hate that I somehow have had to eat the shit sandwiches of the discarded spouse all this time AND now that he is actively looking at rental listings so he can move, I am also eating the shit sandwich of being the one to actively pull the plug on the life we built. As a chump still in the midst of it, I know that we have to divorce, but I am still scared of what my life will be after divorce. And I resent that I have him dangling this rec in front of me when we are so far past the point of no return. (And that I have to internally debate if he truly regrets losing me, or if the available rentals in our area are just that bad because it really could be either)

    • When the pain of staying overcomes the fear of leaving, you will feel it in every cell in your body.

      • ChumpyVC, Thank you and this is 100% true. To be clear, I got there. I was SO there. And it was like you said, every damn cell sang that same tune. I am actually still there. I see no possible rec bc I know I can’t get past what he did. And I don’t for a second think he will stop. Hell, he is possibly lying about their break up, he could be crying to me while texting her. Who knows what is real? And I am over trying to sort it out. It all sucks, who cares what is true or made up? I reached that point of knowing it was 100% over quite some time ago. But the practicalities, of splitting up, were dragged out way too long. (That part is on me as well as him and I am currently in therapy to sort out why I am like this- I was afraid to push for a swifter momentum and make him “mad”– imagine that, I didn’t want to make HIM mad?) But now he wants to change his mind. And my mind isn’t changing at all. But this IS making me feel awful. I really wish he cold have had this epiphany a year from now, once we were not cohabitating so I didn’t have to bear witness to all this sadness. (Or ideally, years ago before he embarked on a whole ass relationship outside of his marriage)

        • Sortofoverit, leaving is hard, divorces are messy and emotions are complicated but you have reached the point of no return in your relationship. You are clearly an empathetic, kind and caring person to feel sorry for him, but staying because you pity him is not healthy for either of you.

    • What is the twin flame thing? What is the thing with soulmates? Out of 8 billion people you find that one person that is your soulmate or your twin flame. It’s ludicrous.
      My idea of a good mate(long term marriage here)is where you are not actively plotting their murder.
      My brother’s ex, on the other hand, is the nightmare all of you married. I am so sorry. Truly.

      • In my FW’s case, and I am sure many others, I think they want to make it something supernaturally powerful, and yes, incredibly rare and unlikely so that it justifies what they are doing. “I wanted some strange and they were down for it” doesn’t have the same ring as “we were in love in many past lives and our spirit guides brought us together in this life as well.” (and yes, I was actually TOLD this bunk) It reminds me of a meme I have seen that says something like “Sis, God isn’t going to send you someone else’s husband.”

  • I’m a little amazed since this is a chump site that there are so few attempts at offering any kind of actual roadmap. I see two so far. It IS possible to follow a map to Unicornville. But the thing that makes it so unlikely is that it requires such a dramatic turn away from a cheater’s nature. Few can sustain it or are willing to try when they realize what’s required, and that’s why they’re unicorns. I think we should offer this soul more of an idea of what’s truly required, not just belittle her for at least having the idea that she wants it.

    I’m with the people up there who more or less offered the map. If you want to be a unicorn, you have to accept complete responsibility, view the devastation you’ve caused, and say “it was me. All me. Every bit of it. I’ve abused him. I am an abuser. And now I’m going to atone.” You have to get back to trust. The only way is complete, terrifying, ugly transparency. You have to be like Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones and accept public humiliation, or like Hester Prynne, wearing the scarlet A – but voluntarily. You have to give your chump 100% access to everything until he gets back to trust. And you have to accept that it may never happen. Or it may take years. This is your life, not a three-month certificate.

    If you think you can fix yourself, go do it, without any expectation that he’ll take you back. Give your chump his life back, and if you can be worthy and a real partner eventually, go prove it. Give him everything, and leave. Because you have taken everything.

    This is exile of undetermined length, maybe forever. It can be done. But it can’t be done through a quick fix or a check list. If you aren’t capable, then leave and don’t fix yourself. Give him that gift, even if you can’t give him what he deserves.

    • You have some good points there Blur; while I only can speak for myself, I think not offering a roadmap is not spiteful. This letter doesn’t appear to be a part of a sincere effort, rather an attempt to further dupe a fellow chump. The refusal to validate it is saying we won’t help a cheater continue relational abuse.

      That being said, I do agree with your map. I just don’t think Sparkles is really self-aware enough or dedicated enough to wear the horn.

    • Reading the letter, what was missing for me was any discussion of how her husband had experienced the marriage. Even assuming you take her seriously … there isn’t anything you could say to her. At best, if she wants to become a good and trustworthy wife, she’ll probably have to accept that it will be with a different husband, because her current husband has his own trauma to handle going forward.

    • Why the surprise? A chump doesn’t need the cheater to gift them freedom and peace.

      We leave the cheater. It’s self explanatory

    • NoName, I think that for full atonement, after first giving the betrayed spouse a generous divorce settlement and never darkening their door again, a cheater should read every CL column, every weekday, and every single comment for each post, for at least 3 years or however long it takes to fully understand the harm and horror they inflicted. When that realization finally sinks in, the cheater should then live a life solo, quietly devoting themselves to good works, such as charities that help the disadvantaged, hungry, and homeless, in the hopes that someday their karmic debt will be repaid. Only then, at the end of life, do they possibly earn their unicorn horn. Anything less than that, you can miss me with your bullshit.

    • There’s an actual road map in LACGAL, have you read it? Slack bitch evidently hasn’t, or can’t be bothered to connect the dots, and wants CL and Chump Nation to do it for her. Why the fuck should we ??!!! The only idea this slag wants is tips on how to play her chump better, and I’m not giving her that. * Dear chump married to “no screen name” fucktard, forget the therapy, kick her out, change the locks, and get a lawyer, asap.* Xx

      • If you’re asking me if I’ve read it, yes, twice. But it’s definitely the chump’s roadmap, not the FW’s. Maybe it’s just my nature to want to find some possibility of good in people somewhere, despite my misanthropy. In my own experience, I feel good that I had the fortitude to say “here’s what you have to do.” When she gave me an ultimatum to change the terms back to her favor, I left. But I’m glad I showed her what it took. To each his own, I suppose.

        • LACGAL, Chapter 7, page 97 – Real remorse versus Genuine imitation naugahyde remorse. Yes, it tells chumps how to distinguish between them, but it’s also a roadmap for a cheater who feels genuine remorse. (hahaha). All that evil slag had to do was read it. The fact she’s writing to CL to ask for ‘tips’ shows she’s full of shite.

    • All a Blur,

      Chump Lady’s POV here is Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life. Not reconciling. Many people here today, myself included, also do not believe that the letter writer is sincere, based upon what she herself wrote.

      Cheating is the emotional/mental/psychological equivalent of physically beating the shit out of someone. Intentionally and repeatedly.

      Would you advocate a person reconcile with a someone who intentionally and repeatedly beat the shit out of them? I wouldn’t.

      Maybe batterers can change. The recidivism rate is grim. Less than 1% change. If someone has battered me, which is a choice and not an accident, I am going to protect myself by leaving. There is nothing that can ever be done to “restore trust” when someone has deliberately so grievously harmed you. You might be able to deny it and forget it and go foggy about it, but your body won’t. I’ll let someone else assume the risk to see if they’ve changed.

      I see advocacy of reconciliation as a failure to respect cheating for the off-the-charts abuse that it is, denying and dismissing and minimizing the pain and suffering and catastrophic damage it causes. The wounds are not visible like broken bones and bruises and gunshots and stab wounds, so it’s easier to debate.

      I wouldn’t keep someone with a record of embezzling from me as my bookkeeper or accountant. I’ll let someone else assume the risk.

      I wouldn’t ask a known sex offender to care for my child.

      I wouldn’t be the roommate of a convicted arsonist.

      Would you?

      Why should I stay with anyone who has intentionally beaten the living shit out of me?
      People in certain professions get their licenses revoked when they have committed certain violations and are never permitted to practice in those professions ever again. Of course they can always go set up shop somewhere new on the map but I won’t be using their services.

      I’m not going to tell a friend what to do if they’re cheating on, but I cannot and will not in good conscience advocate for reconciliation.

      A cheater is a batterer. And so is a side piece. Let someone else assume the risk. They’ve blown it with me. If beating the absolute crap out of me is not a dealbreaker, I don’t know what is.

      • I would not advocate that the chump do anything except leave.

        I am not a promoter of reconciliation. I think it’s a basically impossible road. I am advocating for one thing only: showing the FW what that road actually involves, so that maybe they get it. Nothing more than that.

        Even if the FW gets it and commits to it, I would tell the chump to leave. My only surprise here is that I am apparently almost alone in believing the FW should receive that.

        • Why for fuck’s sake??!! Do you really think a grown adult is entitled to advice from chumps on how to be a decent human being? If you have to tell anyone how to be decent, you’re dealing with a fucking sociopath/psychopath.🙄

          • No. I don’t think someone is entitled to advice. I choose to give it, while protecting myself. As I did in my own case. As for why, I think it’s the right thing to do. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only reason there needs to be. I’m bowing out now. Thanks for your reply.

      • “You might be able to deny it and forget it and go foggy about it, but your body won’t.” 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

        YOUR BODY WON’T! It keeps the score. Nothing a FW seemingly has to offer is worth this cost.

  • A cheater saying, “Tell me how to reconcile” is basically a veiled way of saying, “tell me how to make the chump do what I want.” It’s about control. Cheater’s focus shouldn’t be on getting something from the chump but on making amends and being a better person, regardless of the cost or the relationship outcome. P.S. If you’re involved with someone who needs to have it explained to them how to be a decent human being, they are not relationship material. Might as well marry a tapeworm or an intestinal virus, because all you are to them is an opportunity to feed.

    • Nomar, I agree… and I’ll even take it a step farther. I think this FW really thought that she’s smarter than CL and CN. She was attempting to treat CL like her husband and gaslight her (and us). She really believed her sad sausage crap would work FFS. So that’s why my response was completely to her Chump husband. Because… fuck her

      • Agreed Michelle. I also wondered if she wanted a list from CL so she could bring it to her husband and say “see! I have a list. I am going to do all these things and it’s an approved plan by CL herself.” To sort of negate all the good advice in LACGAL. Problem is, nothing CL says is going to HELP the cheater. The cheater is looking for items like “share phone passwords”, “delete social media” and “never speak to AP again.” All things that a cheater can do NOW and renege on at any time, or that they can just SAY they will do and take the affair even more underground. In the meantime, CL’s list is stuff like “let your spouse leave, let them heal, don’t fight the settlement.” All things the cheater doesn’t want to do because as usual, all they care about is themself.

    • I would add an analogy as an explanation to my point above about this cheater’s improper focus on getting something out of the process. Specifically, it’s like someone killing several people in a drunk driving accident or road rage episode appearing at her arraignment and talking about doing whatever she needs to do to get her driver’s license reinstated. Not the time or place, lady.

    • “Cheater’s focus shouldn’t be on getting something from the chump but on making amends and being a better person, regardless of the cost or the relationship outcome.”

      Yessss!!! Exactly this.

      I might have mustered a bit of empathy is she’d asked CL how she can earn back the chump’s trust after abusing him.

      But no.

      And, what I find offensive, is that she seems to think she can manipulate CL (of all people!!!) by using CN lingo: “unicorn,” “kibbles,” “cake.”

      Nope! Not here. Don’t even.

  • She’s so sorry, sorry she got caught. Consequences realized. Oh brother.

    • Mine didn’t get caught. He TOLD me. Thank god… because I never would have figured it out. That was 3 long years ago and it’s time for consequences and he is losing his damn mind. He wants a rec NOW. And keeps bringing up “you are ending the life we built” and pointing out all the ways this will be bad for him. Truthfully, it is a terrible time to do this on a financial level as well. And our kid is not going to love it. And all I can think is “3 years ago you told me about AP because you wanted to make plans to be with her. Did the cost of real estate and child support and the issues with shared custody not cross your mind at all at that time?” They broke up recently, so now leaving is not looking quite so great for him.

      • I kept asking if he was cheating, denied, adult daughter asked, he vehemently denied. Then young howorker shows up at airport on my birthday. No more denying. Lying liars lie….

      • “You are ending the life we built”. 😂🤣😂 I got something similar, “so you’re just going to throw 24 years down the drain?”. No arsehole, you did that when you decided to fuck a rat faced whore. Ooh, they don’t like it up’em. 🤣

  • Dear Whatever Dude Is Married to This Creature,

    You have nothing to work with. Godspeed on the divorce and the STD testing.

    Chump Lady


  • My first thought was “for Pete’s sake, this person is asking for the roadmap to be a good person?”

    Nope, sorry, you were given that your entire life and yet you chose a different way. You made decisions to destroy your family.

    You already have the knowledge of how to be better, to do things right. but not the character to do so. Maybe you can develop that somehow someday, I hope.

    Asking CL for “any” advice, “real sources too” just shows how you want to manipulate your spouse. Why not do the actual work of talking with him, and accepting the consequences? You’re still pushing for your agenda, and trying to find a shortcut.
    Ugh. Reminds me of the spouse I divorced- always wanting someone else to do the work.

  • NoScreenName: I want nothing to do with cake or kibbles.

    Also NoScreenName: Validate me, Miss Chump Lady!

  • Chump Lady, I know you don’t do UNICORN swag… but how about some CHUMP swag???

  • I’m a narcissistic cheater; I’m transitioning to a unicorn. Help me transition to a unicorn, Obi-Wan Chumplady!

    Jesus Christ. Grow up and accept the consequences of your actions, you horrible person. Realize your husband deserves way better than you. Probably your kids, too, but they’re stuck w/you. More’s the pity.

    Abandon the arrogance you obviously feel entitles you to beseech a woman who wrote a book w/the admonition, “Leave a cheater, gain a life,“ to help you now that you’ve fucked over (literally and figuratively) your husband and family w/your shitty, adulterous actions.

    Work on yourself. ON YOUR OWN. You want to be a better person? Then you’ve got a shitload of work ahead of you. It’s all yours, and neither CL, your husband (soon to be ex we all hope for his and the kids’ sake and sanity), or your kids need to be a part of that struggle.

    And for fuck’s sake, show some real remorse. Actually try to make amends. And if your husband and kids don’t go for it? Suck it up. Consequences, lady. I’m rooting for your husband and kids, not you. You’ve done nothing to deserve that.

    They deserve freedom from you and your awful sense of entitlement. I doubt you or any other narcissistic fuckwit has what it takes to put things right. Mainly because there is no putting it right. There’s only the outside possibility of decreasing your fuckwittedness. And nobody here will take a bet on even that.

  • Dear Whatever Dude Is Married to This Creature,

    You’ve got nothing to work with here. What she needs is a character transplant. She needs to become an honest, kind, caring, decent person when she is a self-described serial cheater and lazy mother. And now she’s showing off her entitlement and manipulative skills.

    And notice how the whole letter is full of I, I, I, I, and me, me, me. That’s a dead giveaway as to what she really cares about–herself. Some cheaters want to stay married to someone who 1) has a paycheck, and 2) has a paycheck that allows the cheater to risk her own job boinking a co-worker, a superior, or a subordinate. In your case, you are probably doing a lot of the heavy lifting with the kids.

    You can do so much better than this.

  • This one is so spot on!! It has such highend snark and hit every nail on the head ☆BAM☆!! How do you cut through the weeds of lies and half baked non -promises? You weld a surgeons scalpel and excise the tumors of mock unicorns. I read you every day and cry when I’m done with the articles. After 3 total cheaters… I am reading my life story. The first cheater was my first boyfriend at 16. So I cut my teeth on him as i begged for another chance. My second cheater just dumped me after gaining hundreds of pounds eating the cake I was unaware of. Married a sweet guy and got him.
    The third one told my whole church he had tried and tried but I needed to change after his multiple affairs which were ALL MY FAULT.I didn’t have Chump ladies wisdom yet but once I did, the advice rings true. I ran for the hills because my last cheater had zero remorse. He didn’t even try to fake it, for which I am grateful. I had less than nothing to work with. Cake had been happening for years without my knowledge, permission or awareness. The pick me dance was fun for him especially because I was in the dark. Once I knew, well, it took 10 days, I filed.
    This unicorn today is in costume only. A lying liar that lies. I hope her chump reads you today. He needs to get out NOW! Bless you Tracy for keeping me in the wisdom of your experience. I needed you 50 years ago when my 16 year old boyfriend cheated on me. One of 3 men who did. I am so grateful now for your comfort and truth speaking. It is rare and Beautiful

  • I know the husband isn’t reading these unfortunately, but in case he is: she is using the three therapists to gaslight you into staying.
    Couples therapy doesn’t work if there is an abusive partner, and a cheater is an abusive partner.

    Trust me- i have been through infidelity counseling and my cheater would say exactly the same diatribe about remorsefulness and wanting to be the exception… they will say literally anything to avoid consequences. They are convincing liars and will therefore trick the therapist into believing their bullshit, and meanwhile they’re still talking to the affair partner. It’s a super mindfuck- run.

    • I think I am reading these. This sounds verbatim from wife. D-day was April 15th.

        • Dear skeletor, read today’s June 12 post about exceptionalism. Good Luck. “when you’re going through hell- KEEP GOING”…

        • She is vile. I hope you get away from her and live a lovely happy life free from her manipulation!

        • Dear Skeletor,
          I hope you’re OK and hope you take Chump Lady’s advice.
          PS: what does your “Unikorn” think of Chump Lady’s response? I’m so curious lol.

      • Skeletor, we have your back. Please come here every day for the reminder that you deserve more than whatever abuse the cheater is dishing out that day. Affairs ARE abuse. Would you stay with somebody who deliberately broke your knee-caps with a bat? Also, liars LIE.

        Yes, she could be transformed into a faithful, loving, HONEST person. But, be honest with yourself: will you ever be able to trust her again? Is this the kind of relationship you want to be in? One where you will be triggered and constantly reminded of her abuse of you?

        Finding out you have been betrayed by the person you should be able to trust the most is not only devastating, but can cause a form of PTSD. The quickest way to heal from this is by moving on, going no contact. Please reread that last sentence. It took me 3 years to understand that, 3 years I cannot get back.

        Don’t be me.

  • I am wondering if this letter was sent in as a joke by someone at an RIC. It is too on the nose. The word “real” put in quotations made it seem like writer was was mocking. If the letter wasn’t sent in as a joke and that lady is real her husband needs to run.

  • I can hardly get my brain to function after reading that bullshit. Mr. Soon to be ex NoScreenName, if you read this post, I beg you to believe the truth. You have nothing to work with. Spend that therapy money of a good divorce lawyer.

    I reconciled with a cheater, and he kept on cheating. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Then I left the cheater. Now his married affair partner has the pleasure of being coupled up with a serial cheating, lying, financial abusive asshole.

  • I think it’s fairly self explanatory that if you love or care about someone else you don’t do this. You don’t just “accidentally” do these things- they’re usually hurting the person who has cared for them the most so I guess don’t be surprised when it doesn’t fall back into place. To me, they’ve done everything they could to ruin their relationship with you without a care in the world…especially about you. The other bullshit matters more.

    • Please leave her ass and get a lawyer. She made her decision.

    • Sorry that she has invaded your support space. That is really very manipulative and selfish. She has to make even this board all. about. her.
      I suggest you keep reading CL. She has likely already quit reading here, because she didn’t get the answer she wanted. Hope you can go no contact very soon, because this one will try to mess with your head every chance she gets.

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