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How Much Worse Was It?

Serial cheaterAs we say around here, what you know with cheaters is probably the tip of the iceberg. Or secret sexual storage locker. 100 percent, yes, it’s worse than you know.

I suggest that at the earliest tipping point, you stop looking for more evidence. Just protect yourself and get out. But sometimes the evidence finds you. And sometimes chumps just go on fact-finding missions because the gaslighting compels them. Oh, you were at a Comicon in Detroit? EXPLAIN THIS TICKET TO LAS VEGAS!

So, today’s Friday Challenge is for the Sherlocks out there who made further unfortunate discoveries.

How much worse was it than you originally knew?

I’ll start. At D-Day, I thought it was one former girlfriend, a one-off. What it was: a never-ending affair that spanned three marriages (and probably more by now). She wasn’t the only Schmoopie, just the most persistent. Her adult child was the spitting image of my cheating ex, poor kid. She pawned the paternity off on another guy. There’s probably more malfeasance. I don’t care.

I think of double lives as Mary Poppins carpet bag. You can stuff a lot of secrets in that sucker.

Your turn!


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.
  • I thought it was one affair with a very needy (very attractive) coworker and a year long affair. After he died I found it was 15 years of a double life, many many affairs, sex hook up websites, porn fetishes, and character assasination (him of me to convince these women I was the monster). There isn’t enough bleach in the world to erase the things I discovered, who knew the world was full of so many freaks.

    • I relate so hard with all of this. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I know that healing will never be complete, but I wish you peace and strength.

    • I had forgotten that you were married for so long. Our stories have so many similarities…so many here speak of men who cheat with less attractive, less successful women, but my Cheaters big affair was with a woman who was attractive and more professionally accompli$hed than me (at the time) ….and after the death, I learned there were quite a few more.

    • Me too I found out all the cheating dirt from my son he was only 9 at the time!🥶

  • It was my third dday. He said they were just talking, nothing happened. Then I found out about the romantic cruise they enjoyed shortly before our 20th anniversary. After that, I realized all the times he raged and hated on me were probably because he was cheating. From the first moment we met until the end over 20 years later, he had others. I only found out about three because of the proof he couldn’t deny or they showed up at the door thinking they could whisk him away from me and the kids. It was hard realizing our whole marriage was a lie, something I had made up and put the role of a doting husband on him. He never was doting or loving, he was cruel, and distant. I slurped up crumbs while he feasted. It was worse, but once I admitted that to myself, it was much easier to leave and have no contact.

    • The over the top rages, cold shoulders and character assassination were common. Neither me nor our kids could understand them. She was having mental health issues, seeing a psychiatrist and on medications so I tried to be understanding and supportive. But so much of her abusive behavior was attributable to her cognizant dissonance caused by being a Jesus cheater.

      • My STBXH used our church as a shield. He went up and down the aisles convincing church members that I was withholding and cold. He won over our pastor, the associate pastor and the head Elder. I’ve never witnessed such an Evacuation of principles. He was rebaptized with Schmoopie in the front pew. It still hurts but my friends held me steady. My STBXH was dx mentally ill so I attributed all his cruelty to this. His lies, gaslighting and abuse delayed my leaving as” how can you leave a sick person? CL & CN helped me run. I only knew about his coworker affair but that along with the way I was devalued and intimately Abused was my tipping point. There was a lot more but I didn’t want to know. Once was enough for me. Believe that they suck. Know they are brilliant manipulators & liars. Academy Award levels performances.Get out while you can.

        • I understand the gaslighting and devaluing, mine did the same. Had church elders on his side, me and the kids were the problem. He got the love and support, I left after realizing they were not on my side. These type of FWs are charming. Even our counselor, an elder in the church, fell for it. Manipulation is their superpower.

        • I used to lead DivorceCare groups and I heard your story way too often. Great book for Christians going through divorce is “Life Saving Divorce” by Gretchen Baskerville. There is also an active Facebook group. She links to Chump Lady in her book.

        • Sorry- I just have to step in here. Mental illness does not make someone cruel. Cruelty is a choice, not a symptom.

          There’s a huge difference between “my neurons misfire” and “I’m capable of unspeakable things”.

    • “It was my third dday. He said they were just talking, nothing happened.” For me it was #1and he claimed that they “shared hotel rooms” but denied to his death that they had sex. You all know how silly it was for me to ever believe this, but for huge chunks of time, I did. The alternative was too frightening for me.
      “I realized all the times he raged and hated on me were probably because he was cheating.” This sentence is PROFOUND to me…it encapsulates much of my experiences of the 10 years since he died. He raged and hated on a regular basis and I tried to untangle his fuckedupness in a thousand ways yet this is where I ended.
      “It was hard realizing our whole marriage was a lie, something I had made up and put the role of a doting husband on him. He never was doting or loving, he was cruel, and distant. I slurped up crumbs while he feasted.” Exactly this

      • We all have shared experiences, almost like we were married to the same FW. Sad.

    • Very similar to my story. I could have never guessed that it could be worse than him announcing he had had an affair with a coworker and she was pregnant. I did the pick me dance and was on verge of winning. We had just been to Sardinia and it felt like we had turned a corner. Then he got on a flight back to Switzerland where he worked and I came up to my office to do some work. He had left his email account open on the computer. He had never done that in the 20 years we had been together (claimed privacy concerns and because he was German, I believed him). I decided to look through his email because I noticed an email to schmoopie about pelvic floor exercises. Then I saw a folder with my name on it. I assumed it was the emails I had written since D-day. It turned out to be emails from 1999 when we met. Then I noticed folders with the names of other women, some of whom I knew. I proceeded to read through the entire real history of our relationship. The other pregnancy scare. The affairs he had when I was pregnant. The horrible way he talked about me. The way he used me.

      Because they were emails, I knew the dates. I could place myself in every one of these mails. I remember a nasty fight that corresponded to the pregnancy scare. He called me a poisonous dwarf. The guy stole my entire youth. My daughter and I haven’t seen him in 4 years though he does text me several times a week. I assume this is because I am the only route to his daughter who will not talk to him. I don’t go no contact because I fear he might not pay child support if I do. Trying to force him to pay cross border would be an expensive business so I console myself with the fact that he is doing with me now exactly what he was doing to me with all those women. One day schmoopie will find out and get exactly what she deserves.

      • In a realm of unforeseen depths, a revelation emerged,
        Far worse than the affair, his betrayal, and what had surged.
        Amidst the dance of desperation, I danced the pick-me tune,
        On the precipice of victory, but fate played a different rune.

        We had wandered Sardinia’s shores, a glimmer of hope restored,
        A turning point, we thought, our bond strengthened and adored.
        As he soared on wings to Switzerland’s distant land,
        I ventured to my haven, my office, to take my stand.

        Unbeknownst to him, his secrets lay bare,
        Ajar was his email account, a glimpse into his lair.
        For two decades, his privacy guarded with staunch defense,
        Yet, curiosity whispered, igniting doubts, tearing down pretense.

        A correspondence caught my eye, ’twas to a mysterious name,
        Whispers of pelvic exercises, stoking the burning flame.
        Then, a folder unveiled, bearing my own name,
        A trove of memories, dormant emotions, aflame.

        But it was not what I had expected to find,
        Instead, a journey through time, to the past, unkind.
        Letters from 1999, when our love first took flight,
        Unveiling a tapestry woven in shadows, concealed from sight.

        Amongst the digital chronicles, a harrowing truth unfurled,
        Pregnancy scares, affairs, his venomous words that hurled.
        He used me, his puppet, with cruel and heartless glee,
        A thief of my youth, my innocence, a malevolent decree.

        Within the emails’ dates, I could place myself,
        Reliving each heartbreaking moment, like a phantom, myself.
        I recall that bitter clash, a fight that coincided,
        When he spewed venom, called me a poisonous dwarf, unguided.

        For four years, my daughter and I have known no sight of him,
        Though his messages persist, a constant, dimming hymn.
        I, the sole connection to the daughter he yearns to reach,
        Silent tears, forgoing no contact, her absence my heart’s breach.

        Fear of forsaken support, the chains that bind me close,
        Crossing borders, a costly pursuit, a path I dare not impose.
        Yet, solace finds me in the knowledge that his deeds repeat,
        Now with another, he repeats the cycle, his treachery complete.

        One day, schmoopie, too, shall see the truth unfurled,
        And the retribution deserved, for a soul now uncurled.

    • “I slurped up crumbs while he feasted.”
      So sorry you suffered all that! And, damn, what an image and memorable phrase. Thanks, and let the meh be with you.

  • so many! one in particular: always after he posted a picture of himself on Facebook (godddd so many selfies that narcissistic fuck) women would post hearts or “so handsome!” or bullshit like that. one woman in particular always did. i think even calling him “babe” on one on his birthday. He was swearing he never even met that woman. That perhaps she is one of (like all of them) the women he started chatting with on dating apps that never went anywhere. Before me. (more LIES!) after finding other evidence of his fuckery (videos of him touching himself telling another woman how this is all for her) I reached out to said “babe” through fb messenger. about a month later she answered. lovely person actually. she was shocked and appalled that this mf was in a committed relationship. she had sex with him a year prior, she described his apartment. “I never met this woman” I am so certain that is just the tip of ANOTHER iceberg. This motherfuckers lies were like cockroaches. When you see one, you better recognize that theres a million more behind the walls. Love you fellow chumps! And especially you ChumpLady. You have no idea how much you have helped me and are still helping me with every post. <3

    • I LOL’d at the “so many selfies” – same asshole over here. He had a ridiculous number of selfies on his phone. After d-day I saw one in particular that still scars my heart and brain – naked and in bed. His excuse? He just liked knowing what he looked like. LMAO – mm hmm…

      • TSINMS-
        I want to respect your pain about seeing the naked photo. But keep in mind the way narcs are. It’s likely he stares at it, thinking about how great he looks.

    • my FW made fun of selfie culture, right up to the time he started sending them to schmoopie. The best selfies, though, were the ones he’d take when we were on vacation together as a family. Chump takes kids to the bathroom, time to check in with schmoopie! Those are really near and dear to me. /sarcasm/

  • Somewhere in this challenge has to be a hilarious book. I can’t even begin with all that people offered to tell me once FW was gone. I just have to say to myself occasionally “ what goes on in these cheaters heads. Real people don’t think or live that way”. There must be a manual on-line somewhere that they read. Or a cheaters group. Like they get together and compare notes and offer up suggestions. Kinda like a Tupperware party. I was chatting with my daughter about retirement planning etc and it came up that I am so better off without FW and she said “ looks like you dodged a bullet on that one. You would have been supporting him instead of planning your 3 months in Mexico”. Got that right. That iceberg goes all the way to hell and there is no way I can comprehend that dark mess. But… I heard a great line in a song that made me smile. Narcissism disguised as altruism. That explains part of their warped minds. I’ll ponder that more when I’m sipping a coconut something with my toes in the sand. Happy Friday.

    • Regarding comparing notes and offering suggestions: there is a thread on Reddit named “adultery” where they do exactly that. Absolutely vile stuff.

      • If you’re looking for the group that takes all those posts its called -hate after the first word. I wouldn’t suggest in hating anything but that group definitely makes you feel better about the stupid things they post.

    • “ There must be a manual on-line somewhere that they read. Or a cheaters group. Like they get together and compare notes and offer up suggestions. Kinda like a Tupperware party.”
      This is hilarious!

    • “That iceberg goes all the way to hell and there is no way I can comprehend that dark mess.”

    • I’d love to go live in Mexico near the water and beach for three months!

  • He wasn’t going into work on Sundays, he was going to church with the howorker and her family and pretending I didn’t exist.

    • Lovely.
      Mine went to church with the AP the morning after drunken sex fests in a cheap motel. They read Christian marriage books together.

        • And her brother the Baptist pastor who married us would not return my calls. The guy who would corner me at family events to help me get right with God.

          • I can’t imagine what sort of notions they have about Christ but they clearly have NO idea whatsoever of who He actually is!
            Their hypocrisy, warpedness and blasphemy stinks so much I can smell it through my screen here in Ireland! God will NOT be happy with them, so you will get justice and vindication, just wait, watch and see!
            Cheats/adulterers are really just dirty, lying little parasites!

              • Fair play, that’s for the best, having a nice life for yourself with peace of mind and only trustworthy people around you in future is a sort of vindication and justice for you though, isn’t it? I really do wish that for you and all of us who’ve been betrayed in this foul way!

        • Could be because you are at meh?
          Could be because if you don’t laugh you cry?
          I agree with the comment above that there is a great book in here. I’m laughing now too but the whole thing is just such a waste of mental resources that chumps could have been putting to much better use. I think we are a bad-ass group of people by nature – who knows what the world has lost.

    • 😳😳😳😢 Wow. I can’t even!!! I am so sorry he did that, Electric Sheep. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I felt a sympathy pain for you.

      That fuckery has more layers than a gourmet cake. The overall deceit, him playing Happy Family with someone else (!!!!) at church, no less.

      Although I’ve learned church can be Fuckwit Central. It’s so sad. Church is for fucked up people, there are no perfect saints. BUT- it’s also supposed to be a SAFE place.

      Thirdly, he was also neglecting to go to church with his OWN family. That would slay me.

    • 😳😳😳! FES, that would kill me! That deception has more layers than a gourmet cake.

      He plays Happy Family with someone else on top of not going to church with his OWN family, all wrapped up in the overall deceit. Fuck!! I can just see the smirk on his face as he shakes hands with strangers.

      Churches attract FW’s by the hundreds. Church is for messed up people, (I’m glad, because I am one of them). There are no perfect saints
      FWs at church are exponentially worse because church is supposed to be a SAFE place.

      Ugh, I am going to vomit…Wasband always paraded around church with our handicapped daughter, garnering sympathetic and adoring looks from everyone. 🤢

      Then he’d put his arm around me in the church pew. (Wait- is that why they’re called “pews”? Armpit stench? Hahaha) and I’d move away. Of course then I’d be seen as the crazy bitch who hates him.

      It took me over three years to be able to walk into that sanctuary without having a panic attack. But I persisted. He took everything else but he could NOT have my church home.

      Now I don’t worry about seeing him there. He dropped the act and only shows up at Easter. 😂

      • Ugh, sorry, I thought my comment was getting deleted so I wrote it twice.
        Go with the second one.

  • Divorced in 1982. Discovered another one that occurred in the early 70’s.

    In 2016, (Is that 34 years after divorce?) I was approaching retirement and to assist my nest egg, I took on software testing jobs that could be done at home in the evenings and weekends.

    One of the jobs was for a website where classmates could sign up to share photos, plan reunions, chat etc.
    My ex and I had graduated from the same college. I knew from my daughter that he never used the internet and didn’t own a PC. So I created a profile for myself and another for him using a couple of throwaway email addresses for testing purposes.

    One day I had a message on behalf to ‘my ex’ from a third classmate. [More complicated, she eventually married my ex’s first cousin, also a student at the college.] She said hello and ‘my ex’ said hello back to her and asked her how she was. She replied with something like ‘have you forgotten our wonderful times together at the $7 Motel?’ My ex and I were married when we met her and I was very familiar with the $7 Motel.

    So there my ex was — already cheating within the first year of marriage.

    • And the AP is still a piece of shit…. Trust they suck (forever).

    • Mine cheated within the first year of marriage too, Emma, though perhaps not as long of a period of time (nearly 8 years together, 6 married). And that’s only what he admitted to. Can you imagine what else there could be?

    • I would love to write back, “Sorry, I fuck so many gross, cheap whores like you I can’t be expected to remember them all.” But I may be petty like that.

  • Oh man… I found out through his snarky comments that he had been cheating on me before we even got married. I got blindsided by my Amazon alexa who informed me about their pedophile roleplay materials arriving. I kept getting smacked with new information long after I stopped looking for it. The worst for me was when someone would say something and I would go “wait, what?!” and then they would give me some bullshit about how they weren’t going to explain anything about what they just shocked me with or tell me what I didn’t know because it would hurt me. So basically just kick me and then run off. Like that’s kindness. My whole marriage was none of my business apparently. So fuck them. I don’t care about knowing anything now, I just want all those shitbags grinning and rubbing their hands together over their secrets of MY life to go fuck off and die. They’re already dead to me.

    • I’m sorry… It hurts on top of everything else to have to cull friends

    • KatiePig,
      I am definitely one of those Chumps that is particularly bothered about what I DON’T know re: affair. Ironically, I also recognize that more details just means more things to be hurt by or stew about. I know enough to know the only option is divorce and that really should be enough. I live in a no fault state so I don’t need to prove adultery, I can spare myself the gory details. But we aren’t just hurt because they cheated. We are hurt because the whole sordid situation makes us feel like outsiders to our own marriages, the place that we are meant to be the experts on. Those people who are giving you a crumb of info and then refusing to explain are infuriating.

      • I was bothered by what I didn’t know for quite awhile. It’s only really recently that I stopped caring and I’m about three years out. I was in agony trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t for awhile though and yeah, those people who let me know they knew… but wouldn’t tell me really hurt me. That’s why I got rid of pretty much everybody. It was too exhausting and painful.

    • Paedo role play stuff being sold on Amazon and that anyone would dare buy it has gobsmacked me so hard my cheek is scarlet! Just when you think people and life can’t shock you anymore!
      KatiePig! You are SO well rid of that dirty perv, my duck! Uuuugh!

    • Katiepig, “pedophile roleplay materials”? Such things exist? I’m not seriously questioning your credibility, I’m just shaking my head in amazement.

      Man, I’m 61 years old and have never come across this before. Thank goodness!

    • pedophile roleplay materials

      OMG, WTF??? That’s horrific. I’m so sorry.

      they would give me some bullshit about how they weren’t going to explain anything

      I experienced this, too. Even years after my escape, I’d stumble upon old social media posts where our mutual “friends” were making fun of me being abused – which means they not only knew the whole time, they thought I deserved it.

      Best thing I ever did ghost every single person in that social circle. I unknowingly dragged the pain out a couple years longer by trying to make it work with mutuals who were just as evil and disordered as the primary offender.

  • As much as I hate to admit it, I became a super sleuth after DDay2! I guess the first and worst is that my son found FW and Schmoopie’s amateur porn on his shared photo account (son is in the Navy and he shared his travel pics with us). After that, I found more stuff on the shared computer to include receipts, funds transfers, secondary Schmoopies, evidence of his contacting hookers, his dating profiles on various hookup sites, receipts, and more videos that he filmed doing the deed. It was upsetting and hurtful at first but by the end it was just plain funny (he was trying to be a porn star but had neither the looks or the right equipment).
    Everything got turned over to my lawyer. We were able to file for adultery in our fault state. FW tried to fight nd did put up a good fight until we caught him lying to the court and could prove his lies. We finally ended up with a judicial settlement conference where the retired judge comes in and hears both sides. He did not care that much about the adultery but he did care about the dissipation of assets and perjury. He gave his opinion and although FW wanted to fight, within 48 hours I got a settlement agreement with everything I wanted and even a bit more. FW and his attorney knew what would happen if we went forward and my lawyer made sure they were aware of how we intended to move forward.
    Although I still cannot get some of his videos entirely out of my mind, now it comes to my mind when I really need to laugh at the stupidity of others (especially FWs). I still have the entire collection of evidence (my copies). It takes up two and a half of those legal size boxes. FW has to live with the fact that I have this stuff each and every day of his life. The boxes are in my attic and are even labeled “FW and the Stupid Shit He Did”.
    FW even had a manifesto where he addressed why he had an eight-year affair. It contained the usual FW garbage and blamed me for most everything and to a certain point, he blamed our son for consuming too much of my time as child (yep, babies need to be fed, changed clothed, bathed and all that). Based on his manifesto I do have a Superpower because just being near me would compel any man to cheat!!! I was just so awful that he was married to me for 28 years!!!!! I am just glad he is out of my life and that I am free now. I hope I never have to go back into detective mode and if I do I hope that it will not be investigating if someone is a cheater. Right now my biggest detective job is to find the perfect birthday gift for BF (also a chump). This is hard work because he claims that he will be pleased with anything I would give him.

    • I have a briefcase in my shed full of documents and photos in case she wants to rewrite history someday. I almost hope she goes there.

      • I have four medium plastic totes so I could carry them myself and a large one stored. My attorney was cleaning and just sent a box of things to me. It sat on my porch kicked to the side before I added it to the other boxes. That bad juju was not coming in my home. Labeled with things like dead eye, warning do not open, stupid court shit, etc.
        I keep ‘em in case he wants to harass me again through the courts. I have a friend that will remove them if anything happens to me. I don’t want my kids to have to see it all. I’ll happily destroy it myself at some point.

      • Even if she did, your evidence wouldn’t matter a tuppeny damn, they’re quite convinced they can deceive everyone, they live in a world constructed by themselves.

  • The great a powerful OZ was a fraud. He obliged a neighbor who wanted children and a medical condition made her desperate. Limited signed up with no strings attached.

    A third pregnancy was with a coworker he brought to the hospital to see my second child. I found out later her child passed away six years later. Child looked just like him and the timeline matched.

    Took children to OW’s house to play with kids while he F**led them.
    Acceded porn and blamed it on his child.

    What I thought was all an illusion. I married a monster.

    Passing that torch was my greatest accomplishment. Happiness for a FW is always about their disordered needs. It follows them wherever they go.

    They do not change.

  • DDay#1 was an affair with the woman he met (allegedly) in a Cabela’s cafeteria (Do they really have one? I have no idea). Thiat was followed by what I thought was 4 years of successful pick-me dancing until DDay #2 with a stripper. Turned out that DDay #1 was PRECEDED by years of porn and strippers. He carried a notebook of pictures downloaded from porn sites and porn CDs in his briefcase to work every day either for “breaks” at work (so gross, I feel for the custodians at his former places of employment) or so that I wouldn’t find it. His monthly business trips out of state were opportunities to visit strip clubs. During a disclosure he said with apparent sincerity that he stopped his stripper habit while he had affairs but started up again between them so in his mind he was “faithful” at least to the APs. And then there was the spreadsheet (pun intended) I found with hundreds (maybe thousands) of stats on porn stars: birthdays, measurements, where they were born, who they preferred having sex with and what sorts of sex, etc. Like porn star trading cards! Typing this now, 10 years after DDay #2, 6 years after divorce, I am stunned that it took ALL. OF. THIS. to finally get me to walk away. Absolutely for me the affairs were the tip of a giant iceberg of disfunction. The weight of of all that secrecy in the background of my life was killing me and I didn’t know it. It had a profoundly negative affect on my mental and physical health. I am convinced I would not still be alive if I had not escaped that marriage.

    • Beth, I can sympathize. I once found his porn “notes” that he had dropped on our stairs. So may pages of websites, “scores,” their email addresses, names…sigh!

    • Beth – well there’s a gap in the market you’ve identified. Possible business opportunity.
      Porn star trading cards! Where all good freaks go when they’ve outgrown pokemon.

  • Pandora’s shoebox.
    Post DDay, she had a violent outburst when things didn’t go her way. Broke down the master bedroom door, trashed it the room in front of our son and enlisted him in cleaning up her destruction. That got her a restraining order and forced her to find a new place to live. I cleaned out her closet and put everything in boxes and Hefty bags. Inside a shoebox there was a small stash of notes and printed out emails that clearly showed she was also having sex with yet a different co-worker.
    Ding! Ding! Ding!
    Suddenly a lot more peculiar and unexplained behavior came into sharper focus. Like why she chose to work at one school district across town,, instead of the neighborhood one where our kids attended and paid much better. And why after just a couple years she transferred to a different school and this co-worker also made the move. And that phone call I got from an anonymous person that said the FW was up to no good. (She set me up for this by complaining that the other teachers were in a clique and made the workplace miserable) Post divorce, I met a woman who worked for the school district office and was a close friend of my brother. She told me the FW had quite a reputation in the little school district for her bizarre behavior and was generally despised. I wonder why? She manipulated me and our sons so she could get “alone” time by sending us on boys camping trips. Her notes indicated “girls night” out were excuses for visits to her lowlife coworkers apartment.
    She still doesn’t understand why many years later I still don’t understand her.

    • Another tendril from Pandoras shoebox.
      She told me she was pregnant at 47. She was an emotional wreck. I tried to be as supportive as she would allow, but she was oddly reclusive. A couple weeks later she miscarried.
      After the shoebox reveal I realized there was a good chance the pregnancy wasn’t mine. We are light skinned and blue eyed like our sons. Her AP was brown skinned and brown eyes. It would be hard to explain except that the timeline matched.

  • He wasn’t “working late” he was at OW’s apartment.

    Every event/night out/trip he said he was taking with a male friend or with “coworkers” was a one-on-one with OW.

    The “emotional affair” was sexual from the beginning.

    The “play dates” at OW’s home with her kids often had the two of them sneaking into the closet together to make out. (Saw that in a letter he wrote her. No wonder I was never invited. It had nothing to do with her apartment being “too small” for more people. Which was funny because I saw her place once and it was a two-story townhouse.)

    During our wreckonciliation, there were no “boundaries” like he’d promised. They were still seeing each other and texting and having phone calls. He’d call her on his way to and from work, which is, I suppose, why we never shared a car even though we WORKED AT THE SAME PLACE.

    There were just endless lies. “I’ve never been alone with her” (oh, her’s a video of her on my front porch, no kids in sight), “We’re just friends” (oh, here’s a boudoir photo shoot with a picture of her bare ass that he took of her very early on), “I don’t know what that key is for” (it was her apartment key), on and on and on and on. [During covid lockdown] “I’m so alone” (oh, here’s a podcast they recorded where they talk about shopping together “early during covid”). I eventually stopped believing anything he said. I’d ask him for an explanation of whatever it was, but only to hear what he would say, because I already knew the truth.

    What was worse was finding out that I was literally the last person to know about the affair, and that all my “friends” not only knew, but condoned it. They welcomed OW. They gave gifts to the two of them. One friend once commented on a photo of my son “you [FW], ISTL, and [OW] are such good parents to G- [MY SON]” as if we were all one happy family. Another time I saw someone comment on FW’s facebook like OW was my son’s mother. I corrected both these people, but probably just looked desperate to them. Everyone was laughing behind my back. FW and OW made a fool of me and I didn’t even know it. I would go to parties and events with these people and they would act normally to me and I had no idea what was going on. They must’ve thought I was either an idiot or I was cool with it. I know FW and OW lied about me, about the timeline of their relationship, etc. It’s so embarrassing. Not one person had the decency to say anything. No one asked me for my side. No one, not a single mutual friend, asked me if I was okay. Everyone sided with AP and FW, even though they’d known her for only a few months and they’d known me for 10 years. I was excluded from events that were for the movied I had helped FW make. AP got to go and stand on the red carpet with FW, do interviews with him, etc. The movie had been released before she even MET him.

    I never found evidence of any other affairs, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t. He used to go out of town for work, and I know he had Tinder on his phone. Maybe he’d just never had anyone take the bait until OW came along. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ever found out that he’d banged some of his film actresses.

  • I took your advice, CL, and just got out. I didn’t need any more evidence than his texts boasting about fucking the rat faced whore, and didn’t bother looking for any more. But I can imagine how gut wrenching it would be to find more evidence when you weren’t looking for it. Hugs to all, and thank God we’re away from all the mindfuckery! 🤮💝

    • Same here. I didn’t pursue it further. He did me the huge favor of getting the hell out of my life fairly quickly. What he told me was enough, he had been a cheater for a long time, and never loved me. I chose to believe it.

      He and the rat faced whore did however, a few years later try their best to blow up my sons family. They didn’t succeed, but it created another level of horror for my son and of course for me.

      He left the whore in debt and living in a run down trailer, so he pretty much returned her to the same place he found her before he passed.

    • I left a lot of stones unturned too, despite really sketchy activity heading out of the marriage and evidence to indicate further shenanigans. I didn’t need to know. I knew enough.

      • Same here. I found a message from a slapper on FB messenger, that Tinder had his smartphone number and I knew for a fact he was lying about where he was when he didn’t come home straight from night shifts til the early hours of following mornings!
        Then he admitted to me he’d “been meeting a one in Thurles” but tried to blag me he only started after I’d chucked him out. Yeah right! Then he let slip he’d been sniffing out strange on Snapchat, which the messages and photos disappear from, because I wasn’t giving him the love he NEEEEDS! Snidey bastard! He didn’t half get a shock when I emailed him I want an annulment and a divorce!
        He told me all that with drink in him. In vino veritas eh? Or as much truth as you’d be likely to get out of someone who’s become A Liar like he has!
        I know enough to know I’m out and I told him that I’m fecking off back to England! It all hurt like mad and still does a bit, but for the first time in I don’t know how long I feel some sense of hope and that my vitality is returning, because he had me “vampirised”! Onwards and upwards!

  • He had begun to be very unkind to me. Criticizing me, unable to spend time with me when I had a (rare) night off, disagreeing with anything and everything I said and telling me how “negative” I had become (ya think?). Well, one day he was at work and I was spending my day off cleaning. I moved his briefcase to vacuum behind it when I noticed my name on a paper sticking out of the side pocket. I took it out (doctor’s bill) but right behind it was a hotel receipt for a place neither of us were ever supposed to have been for a day when I was staying with friends. After much gaslighting and agony he admitted he had been seeing a woman he met through business. Then, I put my spy hat on – found his personal credit card receipts, charges for Meetup group activities, I joined Meetup and found some of his groups and there were photos of the various events — many events, many women, who all thought they were his one and only! I also found classes and material from a group that purports to teach how to pick up women. Our counselor (of course!) suggested he give me access to his email – which he did, after he scrubbed it – but he forgot to delete his sent messages which contained entire threads for seductions going back years! It was a devastating process that I couldn’t make myself stop and boy! was it ever productive. I never knew the man at all. People were always telling me how lucky I was and how crazy about me he was, but that impression management all stopped the minute we walked through our own front door.

    • You are one of the few others that I’ve found whose FW studied how to cheat better. Mine took online courses and bought books on how to pick up women. Honestly of all the horrific things he did (and there is three decades worth) that, to me, is the worst. I’m so sorry you know how that feels too.

    • Linny, it really is still a shock to know we didn’t know these people at all. Now, looking back, and with CN insight, I can see what I missed. Today I just don’t feel like digging up all the stuff I found out. It’s like mucking through vomit again. Sometimes I want to, but sometimes it’s just nauseating. I also felt mine was really in love with me, that I was so special. I thought that because he told me that for years…. Meanwhile, in his secret basement, I guess I no longer existed. How do we even hope to have seen this kind of secret behavior when it’s just so beyond comprehension?

    • The unkindness – it was so baffling to me. He was constantly raging at me over things I had nothing to do with! It was only in hindsight and after research that I understood he was feeling guilty and trying to justify his abuse by finding fault with me. I got to the point where I would not get in a car with him because the verbal abuse would start up and I could not escape it.

    • Klootzak also found lots of OW on Meetup. I am sure there are people who meet lovely groups on there but I will never join it. They may as well rename it Hookup.

  • I discovered phony degrees (MBAs from Dartmouth AND Harvard), phony international awards, phony claim to be a veteran, and more. I used to post them here. Now I’m near or at that marvelous meh. I don’t want to take the time or energy to type it all up again.

    • This doesn’t relate to the actual cheating, but after I kicked him out, and was throwing all his stuff into bin bags for him to collect, I found copies of emails he’d sent to his daughter, where he claimed to own a taxi company, (he was one of the drivers🤣) and was also the CEO of an exercise equipment company, and had done a parachute jump over Wembley Stadium, when his parachute failed to open, and he’d “broken every bone in my body”, and that he’d been seconded to the SAS from 1Para and had taken part in the Iranian Embassy siege.🤣😂🤣. Some of them have a rich fantasy life.

      • I know I shouldn’t laugh, but oh that made me chuckle! Parachute over Wembley Stadium and broke every bone in his body!

          • I did too , thanks for the laugh, hehehe! They are only muppets really, aren’t they? Absolute clowns, the horrible sort!

      • had taken part in the Iranian Embassy siege

        I read a website for UK squaddies and ex-servicemen called ARRSE – mostly to find out about the war in Ukraine. ‘He was just behind me on the balcony’ (that is, the balcony of the embassy) is a kind of shorthand running joke which comes up very often when blokes are taking the piss out of military fantasists. So (to use one of CL’s own running themes) – once again, they are not original!

        • He actually was in the Paras, but he used to boast about when he was ‘seconded to the SAS’. My brother was in the CID, in the CTU, and knew a few SAS. He told me these blokes never, ever talk about what they’ve done to anyone. 🙄😂

        • And what a load of old ARRSE these cheats do chat, don’t they, hehehe!

    • “I discovered phony degrees (MBAs from Dartmouth AND Harvard), phony international awards, phony claim to be a veteran, and more.”

      Wow! That’s a straight up con man.

  • I thought he was cheating so I looked in his phone to confirm my suspicions. He was cheating, but that wasn’t the worst. I saw things on his phone that absolutely broke me and convinced me there had to be more. I spent the next few days searching the house thoroughly and ultimately wound up at the police station for 4 hours being interviewed and writing a statement about what I found. He was arrested the following week and is now in jail and on the sex offender registry.

    Discussions with his previous ex-wives revealed a lifelong serial cheater who financially abused people and exposed countless men and women to diseases he never disclosed. He was a porn addict and probably coerced sexual acts from people who worked for him.

    He had me fooled from day one with the “simple guy” act. How did he maintain the mask? He was a really, really good liar.

    • This is terrifying, and yet sadly so many of our stories to one degree or another.

    • Good for you! I’m sorry you went through that, I know how horrible it is. But I have huge respect for you for helping the police catch him. My ex just got caught finally in April. I couldn’t find enough to do anything but he finally got sloppy and should be on the sex offender registry soon, his court date is coming up.

      • KatiePig – I am so sorry that you’ve had to live with this kind of psychopath. I’m so glad he was finally caught and charged. During my ex’s sentencing, his lawyer read off a hundred reasons why he did what he did, and so much of it was “somebody else’s fault” bullshit. The absolute devastation that these horrible people cause in our lives is unimaginable. Sending hugs to you and your family.

    • I’m so sorry you went through this, but you’re a hero getting this scum off the street. I hope you know that.

  • The one-off switched to finding someone a woman with assets who would support him financially.

    With all his broken parts and disturbing false narrative there were no takers. Throwing darts no longer hit the mark and with slim pickings he found a whore. Let’s just say she’s stuck with it. What he wanted and what he got is laughable.

    What’s better is my freedom in retirement to live free of financial abuse and a toxic narcissist.

  • The basics for me. “Suddenly not happy,”blindsided by he’s leaving me. Finding out there’s a friend who doesn’t know anything about this 😂. Finding sex/wuv notes from
    ‘friend.’ Being enlightened (never ever a complaint before), that I was not a great partner Got him to admit that the very recent loving card given to me speaking to our future was BS. Found out that not only was he suddenly leaving me and his stepchildren who he pretended to really love and care about, he was planning on buying the house off of me and moving OW and her kids in.
    This is the cheater that traumatized me and I cried for way too long about. He flicked a switch, kicked me when I was destroyed (by blaming me), then kept returning to do nice things to help out after I kicked him out. He was committed to the office whore, but wanted to be nice guy as long as I devastated and grateful.

    No contact took me a while., but I made sure NC with my kids.
    My kids developed anxiety that needs to be treated. FW’s are awful.
    I’m glad I didn’t find out more, that was enough of a shit show.
    I truly feel because there’s very little acknowledgement from society, on how abusive these Fuckwits are, that it slows down the healing process. I just could not believe he was a shit. I thought he was loving man who had problems; I didn’t understand the whole thing and it kept me very stuck… because he was nice guy cheater.
    Imagine your spouse died, and all the messages on TV and movies etc. was just to get over it, that it’s no big deal and that your deceased spouse probably wasn’t happy with you and the relationship and that’s why they died. It’s the widow’s fault!

  • Please trust that they suck. Natalie Portman’s husband cheated on her. They have a freaking pocket dimension for all their lies, secrets and general garbage and they use it to your detriment and their delight.

    I wish she would toss him and his dance gear out on his ear but that’s beside the point. It goes to show – AGAIN ( ) – that cheaters are idiots.

    • No surprise there… he was living with a girlfriend (Isabella Boylston) when he met Natalie on Black Swan… you could argue she was the OW and all she got was a cheater. #karma

      • Whoops, just saw this after I posted. This was my first thought. When you shouldn’t be surprised, and yet…

    • Yes, I read about poor Natalie this morning. He cheated with a 25 year old. So original. Look at how beautiful Natalie is! It doesn’t matter. The FWs need more cake, more kibbles, secrets, lies, chaos, drama, centrality. I understand what Natalie’s going to go through now. Before my own experience, I didn’t get the enormity of what betrayal is all about and what it feels like. Natalie should get onto the Chump Lady bandwagon asap!! If anyone knows her, send her a link!

    • Natalie Portman’s husband also left his live-in girlfriend to be with Natalie when they met filming the Black Swan. Seems to be his MO?

      • If someone leaves someone for you, besides the fact that you conspired against an innocent person….and often a family with children who suffer – imagine the pressure…you would always have to be worth it. I bet so many cheaters wish they hadn’t blown up their lives. I wish there were stats on that.

        • Zip, we chumps make this error of assumption again and again: because WE would feel regret, remorse, and sorrow that we hurt others we assume that others would feel similarly. Hard-but-essential-truth: Cheaters do not feel these things, at least about hurting others. They MAY feel these things–regret, remorse, sorrow; we’re talking healthy, productive, behavior-changing guilt–that they got caught, and/or that there are consequences. It’s essential for us to learn this truth; folks who feel genuine guilt, do not continue to make and live the choices that cause that guilt.

      • Who knows what lies were in play? FW convinced AP we weren’t sleeping together. He also told her I had seen an attorney, I had seen one, about my mother’s estate, as the executor.

  • He left our family and moved one town north to live in the buildings [at our business] “to save money to buy a house.” That was a cover story. He was actually living in a very nice rented apartment with the Primary Craigslist Cockroach, with a pool and all the amenities. How was he paying for the apartment with the money I knew he had? This led to discovering he had hidden almost 300K over 20 years of marriage. There was likely more. The living arrangements he provided for our daughter? An illegal unfinished loft in the middle of a manufacturing facility. Like what a ten year old would think is cool fort. At the same time, he basically ghosted same daughter, who also caught him on Tinder while using his phone to watch a video. This discovery occurred a little over a year after he left, and is a snapshot of events that illustrate how super-messed up he is.

    I have never claimed to be an issue-free individual, but my issues do not include lying, cheating, stealing, abandoning my child, embezzling, stabbing people in the back, defrauding people, or holding someone hostage by pretending to be a loyal family-loving spouse while maintaining a secret sexual double life.

    You are supposed to live with your child.
    Not visit your child a couple hours a week and live with a disordered freak. But I guess if you’re a disordered freak too, how to be a parent and behave appropriately does not compute.

    For those of you who have children whose Dear Old Cheater Dad disappeared, check out Dad, How Do I? On You Tube and Instagram. A very sweet channel created by a man whose dad abandoned him at age fourteen who posts videos teaching kids how to do things he wished he learned from his dad.

    • I read somewhere today in my morning reading travels:

      “Who they are when you break up is who they’ve always been.”

      True dat. And Schmoopies choose that.


      • Like: “Who they are when you break up is who they’ve always been.”

        My attorney said something similar when I expressed how horrible I felt sitting at his big conference table, giving him hints on how to deal with my STBX. I actually asked him then (shudder) if any of his clients ever reconciled. He was kind but said, “Of course. Sometimes though they show how little they thought of you all along. I think you need to stay the course a bit longer.”

        That was an understatement.

    • Friday Side Challenge…

      What’s their Cheater Name?

      First name of a side piece. Last name is a dating app you discover they have a profile on.

      Traitor Ex’s Cheater Name is Amanda Tinder.

      It’s the name I use in my phone for his contact. It really does help to instantly remind of who he really is and keep my perspective in the right place.

      Their Cheater Name can also be an unflattering accurate acronym using the letters of their real name or initials. I can use his real name without gagging, enjoying my assigned meaning.

      • I use GM for “garbage man.” Credit for the nickname goes to my supportive sister.

      • Knaveman, because he’s both a caveman (his genome is composed of more than 3 percent Neanderthal genes) and he’s a knave.

        About today’s other topic, when I confronted him with juicy texts as evidence of one affair, he admitted to two others ( ! ) so, uhm, that’s quite enough thank you, and no more detective work was necessary. Whatever I could imagine if I wanted to go there and waste that energy, I’m sure he’s done it — because he truly sucks.

      • Harlow Stonewaller. A nod to Harlow’s study on baby monkeys trying to bond with wire monkey parents because that’s all they have to supposedly nurture and protect them. Google what stonewalling is for zero communication skills.
        Darvo, for “Deny, attack, reverse victim and offender”

      • I call mine STBXFW ” The Changeling” because before he started sniffing, he was more like “Shed Man”, and seemed to love my company. He did seem devoted to me, my son and our home life. However, the weaknesses and flaws in his character that lead him to choose such a maladaptive coping mechanism as cocaine abuse in reaction to some harsh life events-his horrible father’s horrible death and then being dropped from a job because there “wasn’t enough work for him”, among other quite serious issues- were ALWAYS there.
        I always knew I was the emotionally stronger one of the two of us! He is a very damaged person and his FOO are dysfunctional to say the least.

  • She was “just sex, just convenience” he only ever went round for sex”.
    The truth (or the parts that I know) it was an ongoing 3 year affair where he joined her family, helped raise her kids, basically had a second life). Now, he has introduced our son to the children as “siblings”, booked holidays abroad (before my son had met anyone) and now is blaming me (to our son) for all of our son’s bad points, the fact that he was “never happy” and that I “forced” him into marrying me by threatening to steal our son away.

  • He was always coming home from work with stories of “other guys.” What the other married guys were doing. I remember one other guy had recently gotten married and his wife had just had a baby. Not that it couldn’t happen but it seemed unlikely and it happened to be one of the most graphic stories he’d told me. Ex must have read my face because at the end he said listening to the guy tell the story made him want to throw up. I think that was the first time I actually stopped fr o a moment and thought there’s something off… Different stories and different circumstances continued and became more frequent as did the moments when I stopped and thought there’s something more to this story. I don’t know if I’m 100% right but if I’m betting I am.
    One afternoon he came home from a business trip and walked in the front door, started chatting.It was weird, I listened to him ramble on and interrupted him, I don’t know what came over me, but I blurted out, you’ve been with someone on this trip haven’t you?
    He paused for moment, then, chuckled and said who me? you know me, I’m not that kind of guy. How long have we known each other?
    You’re funny, Brit, you should write for a soap opera, or maybe consider writing a novel, you have quite the active imagination. he laundry listed reasons that I’m insecure, (I was not, nor did I need a hobby) I needed a hobby, he wasn’t the kind of guy.. heh, heh.., I knew he was lying, without question. His response sounded planned, like when your a teenager and late for curfew, you have a list of excuses as to why, needed gas, traffic, had to pick up friends sister. All the other moments I had the feeling he had cheated were confirmed that afternoon. I didn’t say anymore, and agreed with him. I didn’t want to believe it but I knew then. That also is likely the tip of the ice berg. My therapist told me the same thing.
    It’s probably better I don’t know more than I do.

    • Brit, I got the ‘other guys” stories too. He always acted so disgusted by these “other guys” that it never dawned on me that the stories were actually what he was doing.

      • Same here!! Stuff about strip clubs and prostitutes and his “friend’s” or “co-worker’s” behavior. Absolutely fucking mindboggling the amount of projection. It was like a twisted way for him to test confess or see how I would react to such things.

      • Oh yeah, I used to get the “other guys” stories too. He would talk about how it was awful that they would do that to their wives and families. I’m pretty sure now all the stories were actually about him. They are so fucked up.

        • KP you’re spot on – more bs from nutters. A bit of “testing the temperature” to normalise or see how much you already know, or dangling the evidence right in front of you to get their juices flowing. What a thrill. VOMIT.

      • Mine came home from work one day and asked me what I thought about two colleagues who were having an affair at work. Apparently other people were uncomfortable with the situation. Turned out he was the one having the affair…of course.

    • It blows my mind how common that is – when cheaters pawn off what they did as something someone else did and tell you about it. Not to untangle the skein, but I’m sure it releases the pressure that their lie might slip out because they already “told” you. There is also probably a heaping dose of duper’s delight.

      I am sure you sensed that hyped up glee when he walked in the door. Once you become sensitive to it you see it everywhere. That tiny smirk, that glint of smug satisfaction that they get when they lie and get away with it.

    • Yep I occasionally heard “co-worker” stories from him. He went with a coworker friend to Vegas and Tony (who was single) almost slept with a stripper which probably translates to I indeed slept with a stripper. Wayne married coworker met up with another coworker in the city and had sex. Translation oh see I’m not like Wayne I would never do that so just don’t pay any further attention to what I’m doing on my days off.

    • I too heard stories about what the guys at work were doing – cheating on their wives, drugs – found out it was actually HIM. They are epically disordered and evil.

    • XW best friend’s husband was cheating on her with another woman. XW was so, so upset about it and railed about his selfishnish.
      She was cheating on me at the same time. What kind of soulless person can do this?

      • FW got very upset when her “friend’s” husband cheated on her friend. She complained for weeks. I later found out it was because FW was cheating with “friend’s” husband so FW was cheated on

    • Yep – I got the story of how – years ago – a manager at his work had a long affair with an assistant manager at his work and they both got fired. Ex-wife #1 confirmed that happened while he was married to her. Scumbag.

    • Yeah when they have an excuse it’s always tell tale.

      Xhole said:
      “I swear on my Mother’s GRAVE, I am NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR!!!”

      Ummm… your Mom was cremated ASSHOLE.

      • ““I swear on my Mother’s GRAVE, I am NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR!!!”

        Ummm… your Mom was cremated ASSHOLE.”

        Hahahahahaaaa! What a twit.

    • My ex would also talk about “other guys” and well as what women were sleeping around. After awhile it certainly made me wonder if at the very least, he wanted to be one of the “other guys” sleeping with the women he talked about.

  • Yes, I’m sure that it would have been bad if I had dug further. What I knew was very upsetting to me, but I drew a line with my attorney during the divorce. No PI unless we went to trial, and don’t share the adultery details that his attorney was blabbing to mine. My ex’s mental health issues were also flaring during the divorce, and I told my attorney to summarize. At one point, my ex’s attorney was considering calling the police where my ex lived to do a mental health check. We don’t know if he did.

    People have asked me when I stopped feeling jealous and resigned myself to my ex’s bad behavior. I think it was after my second appointment with my attorney. He also used the “tip of the iceberg” analogy. By then, I just wanted it done. At this point, truly nothing would surprise me though. My ex was not exactly in a place where he valued marriage, family, and faith when we split, and that sort of thing became a mindset where he sought out people with similar values and beliefs.

    Thankfully, my ex lives far away and very rarely will appear via email/mail, but that has dropped off of late. I was all business during closeout and stopped initiating contact several years ago.

    • Your ex sounds very similar to mine! Mine was no longer valuing marriage, family and faith near the end either and he also sought out those with similar disdain for those things, and for women in particular I suspect. He shut my son and me out to spend as much of his free time as he could (he was also working with some of them!) with what I have dubbed “sewer dwellers”, my son calls “cancerous people” and my mate in England calls “dirty piss-tramps”, hahaha!

  • During the divorce, he actually texted me that he wondered if my lawyer was going to investigate “ALL THE WOMEN.” I’m not sure what shocked me more–that there were other women or that he was stupid enough to put that in writing. To think that for 35 years, I thought that man was oh-so-smart AND morally beyond reproach. 🤦🏻‍♀️

    Bottom line: I guess there probably were others. I don’t want to know. For me, it’s really painful to consider. I feel for my fellow chumps who are hurt by evidence of more affairs.

  • Me: I want a divorce.
    Him: I have racked up over 20k on a secret credit card that you’re going to have to pay half because Texas is a community property state.
    Judge: Yep.

    He had charged all the household expenses for months because he had been fired. Again.

    • It is so wrong that they can do that ….if only they know about the credit card and you have no access to it …how can we be responsible ….I was told the same thing … I got out of it was I told him I wanted an itemised list of everything that was put on that card ….anything that was not a family purchase was his debt ….anything that is in the house …he can come and get ….and is his debt …..I knew he didn’t want to let me see what he had been up to…. so he eventually had to wear that debt …and so he should …he ran it up!

    • Mine too, with the credit card debt and paying half. Three of the cards I knew nothing about.

      He used to pay bills with the credit card. Because I was accruing late fees for paying bills and the credit card interest is lower than the late fee.

      Creative accounting at its best.

      • I forgot to add:
        He was in charge of the bills and
        The credit card interest rate was FAR higher than the occasional $10 late fee for the electric bill. 🙄
        But he would not hear it. Dumbass.

        I took 10 years off work to have/ raise his children. We both have an advanced degree and worked in the same field.

        I am so thankful to be able to stay home with my kids. I know many moms can’t afford it. I just wish there was some equity.

        He’s making six figures now. I’m positive he’s pissing it all away. I hope his (my former) home goes into foreclosure so that I can buy it back. Or not? He’s a terrible housekeeper so it’s probably ruined inside.

        I don’t go in there. It is way too painful. Dropping the kids off is really hard. I hope to reach meh about the house very soon.

        Letting go is so hard.

  • My ex had an actual picture pinned up by his office door of an iceberg showing the entire above water and below water structure. Although I’m sure he had some high falutin’ word salad to explain this to his students, to me now it was as if he wanted to make his hidden life clear.

    I never put on the dive suit to explore the hidden contours of what was below the surface, but what he told me, either directly or by his hints, was more than enough, and more than sordid and hurtful enough for me to decide not to go diving. My ex had numerous emotional affairs (at least) and boundary-breaking entanglements with women students, colleagues, and alums, many of them disguised as “mentorship,” and I had a front row seat to these for over 30 years, while berating myself that I was a jealous woman with low self-confidence. (Now I realize this low self-esteem was something he was cultivating in me.) The last few of these he rubbed in my face–delighted in rubbing them in my face, actually.

    When I decided I knew enough, for the sake of my sanity I made a deliberate decision not to dig deeper. I do wonder, though: when my colleague in the Theatre department invited me along to a dinner with her and another Theatre prof, the first time in over 20 years I’d socialized with her, and then the two of them told me about, and drove me past, an infamous gay cruising spot in a local park where they claimed they’d seen another of our colleagues, was she trying to tell me something? Turns out several people thought my ex, who revealed to me after 32 years of marriage he was a fetish crossdresser and woman-wannabe, was gay, and thought we had a marriage of convenience. When I heard that, I started to wonder about events from earlier in our marriage, like the solo vacation he took to Provincetown (east coast gay mecca) early in our marriage, to go whale-watching, which he insisted was fair compensation for the trip I’d taken to see my mother earlier that summer.

    • Intrusive memories of previous events (his Provincetown trip, for instance) can force us into a dive suit even when we’ve made a conscious decision to avoid the water. It sucks.

    • “…boundary-breaking entanglements with women students, colleagues, and alums, many of them disguised as “mentorship,” and I had a front row seat to these for over 30 years, while berating myself that I was a jealous woman with low self-confidence.”


      how many junior female associates was my X mentoring, encouraging, coaching over lunch, etc. etc. all them just a little fucked up and grasping. single moms and sad divorced women, those with troubled family lives, etc. etc. he promoted them all so they could “adore” him.

      it’s diabolical.

      • Oh the adoration of those they mentor!
        My ex exploited the built-in nurse/doctor power discrepancy.

        Here’s a guy who could hardly get a date in college (super shy), and now he’s got women fawning over him. Or at least he viewed their kindness as fawning and flirting.

        He married the much-younger nurse with whom he had a nearly 3-year affair. Both were well aware of each other’s spouses–a pair of FWs.

        Now he’s mostly retired and living in a far-away state. No more retinue of nurses and drug reps. Huge kibble deficit, I would imagine. Then again, he might get his kibble hits in other places: he’s someone who thinks the young, attractive hair stylist is into him because she touches his hair and makes small talk. That they do that for every client is lost on him.

        • Yes, Cheater excused his time spent with Susan in part as mentoring, she fawns at his expertise. He told me that men want to be admired. I told him that the first step tp being admired was being admirable and as a cheater, he was not.

          That was during the intense Pick Me Dance and I was generally inclined to do whatever dance he demanded but that one fell flat with me. The Hell I was going to force myself to admire him while he was abusing me.

          • ” I told him that the first step tp being admired was being admirable and as a cheater, he was not.”

  • I found out about the Tumblr pornstar/escort when I searched his phone. They were, of course, just friends, but at that moment I started getting my ducks in a row. About three months before I left him, something struck me as odd and that was his collection of old iphones. I mean, who needs to keep all the old iphones? I remember him resisting trading them in and got curious. He was out of town when I went down to the basement, plugged those phones in and started snooping. What I found were hundreds of videos over the years of him essentially stalking women and taping their body parts. Upskirting women on escalators, following women around the campus of our daughter’s school, taping waitresses while he’s sitting with his family at brunch, taping women while I, his wife, am standing next to him trying to have a conversation. I saw it all and heard it all and that’s when I was done.

    • I wasted a year of Wednesday nights (and some money that I can’t get back) in group therapy with some former therapists. One of the former therapists liked to perv on women by standing under staircases to look up their skirts. He had two failed marriages and was living with some woman. What he admitted to the group members was probably just the tip of the iceberg. He started to fixate on me as well, which was alarming.

      Former male therapist #2 was cheating on his wife with a Tantric masseuse and claimed his wife was screwing around with her tango instructor. Meanwhile he whinged about one of his sons being groomed for sexual abuse by the son’s soccer coach. “Hey asshole, maybe if you weren’t so busy effing around and parented your son, the coach wouldn’t see an opening to prey on your kid because you’re neglecting him !”

      Former male therapist #3 was beating up his Japanese girlfriend but wouldn’t admit it. You know, just punching walls and throwing stuff. A little nebbish so it just goes to show that physical appearance is not a way to judge if somebody would physically bully another person.

      The male therapist who ran the group NEVER challenged these men on their behavior. I suspect the leader who had two failed marriages under his belt cheated on his first wife after their newborn died. In my opinion, he shared too much about his personal life. And he was quite proud of himself getting a teaching spot at one of the local universities with only a master’s degree.

      ps One of the women in the group was screwing around with a married man. Again the therapist never addressed her behavior. Smacking my head. Well now that I know better, I would never waste time and money with a “crazy” therapist as he called himself.

    • I found old iPhones especially useful. FW didn’t turn off his iCloud on them, didn’t seem to know to empty his trash or deleted photos, and there are often files in the email outbox that are too large to actually send.

  • Another story. I met ex when he was a Lt. in the Air Force, he was just out of flight school. It was during the time the movie Top Gun came out. Just so you get the idea of the era. Anyway, ex had a low ranking NCO friend. They would go running together during lunch breaks when ex wasn’t. flying. This guy friend seemed to look up to ex and almost worship him. I chalked it up to ex being a pilot. I also know the the Air Force frowns on personal relationships between an NCO’s and an officer’s. It surprised me that ex occasionally would invited him over and be friending this guy. Then anytime ex would get called to fly, I began receiving weird phone calls in the middle of the night. His friend would know if ex was out flying being in the same squadron. As time went on his little friend seemed to ne pouty if I was around.. People who knew this NCO and ex had mentioned there was something weird about the relationship. Me, being a Chump thought they were joking..Thinking back and knowing what I know today. The comments weren’t joking and they more likely were sending me a message.

  • I thought running personal ads on OkCupid, AshleyMadison, Yahoo Personals, Backpage, Craigslist… and using photos of himself from our wedding day and our son’s baptism day was bottom-of-the-barrel behavior, but as CL reminds us… it is often just the tip of the iceberg.

    I had installed keystroke software on to his computer and accessed his passwords to his ONE of his email accounts. In it, I found (in the trash folder – cuz who empties the trash folder) that he was corresponding with someone who arranged “orgies” out by the airport… and the emails contained photos of the “professional” women who would be in attendance (many appeared to be in their 20s… and this is a man with two daughters). As if that weren’t enough, I also found an email where he was in contact with a couple and describing himself as a Bi MWM. Fun times.

    I was so disgusted that I stopped looking further. What was the point in knowing more? But the truly worst part was that I stayed and signed up for marriage counseling (my son was 3 at the time and I couldn’t bear the idea of a custody arrangement). He discarded me six years later for a younger “me” (see CL’s book LACGAL, the Jennifer chapter)… remember, they always need a mask of respectability to the world… cognitive dissonance is real.

    We didn’t have sex for the last two years of my horrific marriage because I refused until he got a blood test and wore condoms for 6 months. Stalemate. The irony being it only meant no sex for me… he kept right on going, gyms are great places to find women with low self esteem and eager to please men who describe themselves as “separated but living with their X” (no offense meant to the strongminded who go there too)… he just picks the ones slightly overweight/vulnerable, he’s a predator.

    Even now when I see him at functions, my skin crawls and I can’t make eye contact – I’m just that disgusted.

    • omg mine had accounts on cuckold sites calling himself “daddy chocolate” using headings like “let me please your girl or wife” and I’m like asshole you weren’t even pleasing me you selfish fuck.

      commence the throwing up in your own mouth that i was engaged to a piece of shit nasty lying motherfucker. and i was playing nice

      • My ex also wanted me to get into the cuck world and share me. BLEH. I think he really thought it would ‘make up’ for all the betrayal. He was very open and honest about everything up front so it makes me wonder exactly…what DON’T I know? “daddy Long rhymes with ick” was his screen name

        which IT WASNT BTW but ya know…grandiose delusions. Not that that size is a deal breaker now with adult stores, it was just important to point out the level of delusion–anyone willing to try will always beat out a FW which wants all the cookies but doesn’t want to take the time to bake them. Another name he uses infers being ‘blessed’ in that department. So funny to me now.

        After a while I stopped caring (about finding out–I learned to expect it) and started treating the infidelity with excitement to see if I could totally kill the joy of any lying and deceit …still found a way. It was the kick that made me leave him. He had the OW send a package addressed to my children, with personalized items for them. He knew it would upset me, but I think he planned to intercept it when I was at work–what he didn’t plan on was his father taking the package and giving it to me because he thought I ordered it. It was address to X. He never worked, even his father with (losing memory) was able to understand he didn’t order it and I worked so of course, It was MY PACKAGE.

        Whoopsie. FIL did me a solid.

  • How much worse was it? Worse than I will ever know.

    After D-Day #1, I embarked on a three-year career as Chief Investigator with FSPD (Fuck Shit Police Department – fuck shit was my umbrella term for all the Lying Cheating Loser’s clandestine efforts to cheat and deceive).

    And I found So Much Fuck Shit, but almost lost my soul in the process. I knew the whereabouts of his phone at all times. I tracked his location and monitored his text and call activity (his phone was on my family plan – and bill – because of course it was). I had a veritable spreadsheet of Schmoopies, and reams of “evidence” (he left work at X o’clock, not Y o’clock like he said, he was at location A when he said he was at location B, etc) to counteract the gaslighting he was subjecting me to.

    And still, it was just the tip of the iceberg. The dark, massive, unseen but deadly portion of the fuck shit iceberg will never be known to me. I realized that when he casually dropped a couple of bombshells about a year after I dumped him, during a brief, exploratory mission into the land of long-distance wreckonciliation.

    My time on the FSPD force was crazy-making. Literally.

    That’s why leaving the cheater is the only option.

  • So how much worse was it? Its pitifully laughable that as we fought our way through DDay #1 (as I share above) he admitted they were in a relationship and that they had “shared hotel rooms” but after a momentary (like 2 seconds) admission of a “physical nature” of their relationship, he denied having sex with anyone and held to that to his death. There were things that I considered weird and annoying while he was alive that I didnt admit to myself were smoking guns of betrayal.

    A warning to newbies…on DDay #1, I would have sworn on the lives of my children that he had never had an earlier affair – I was certain. I later learned that he likely had fact I think I may have been an innocently naive OWgirlfriend when we first started dating halfway through college. He had (what he told me was a) “former gf” at school who later left school and I think she left because of him dating me and gaslighting her over it.

    So I had who I thought was a deeply flawed but quasi-decent husband who flipped out in early midlife and had a midlife crisis affair. What I really had was a deeply disordered decades-long serial cheater who lied and abused around nearly every corner.

    • “……..What I really had was a deeply disordered decades-long serial cheater who lied and abused around nearly every corner.”


  • I only ever saw the texts from one OW, but I have circumstantial evidence he was also sleeping with 2 other women, who were sisters, one of whom had a boyfriend. Even more awkward the sisters, the boyfriend, the Glorified Gigolo, and I all played D&D together. He was literally boinking or cuckolding every member of our D&D group. I also found circumstantial evidence he was having an affair with one of his male tutoring students. After D-Day he suggested an open marriage, which I stupidly agreed to although I never dated another guy until after the divorce, and suggested the suspected OM as my partner. This after he had spent more time than I did on the Marriage Police Force because he was convinced that I was having an affair (people of low character engage in projection too). Turns out he didn’t have a problem with me fucking another man, as long as it was one he had soiled first 🤮

  • Mother’s Day eve I discovered his car at OW’s house. She was introducing him to her parents. Two years later, I was questioned by the FBI, last month, he was arrested by the FBI.
    It’s always much worse…..

  • He told me his AP was a former client who contacted him about further business not knowing his business had folded years ago. That was at dday 4.5 months ago. All my sensible friends questioned this story when he also told me (why????) that they were into fetish sex that he described using the word torture (honestly, he did!). My friends thought it was too weird that he would just bump into someone who was into that too. One had me in fits when she asked how you would bring something like that in conversation! Three weeks ago I found out it was all lies. He met her on a fetish/swingers website called Fetlife. I’ve not dared go on there. But I’ve been provided with a couple of downloads of his profile. He’s been on there for at least a year and had friends with benefits and play partners before getting into an open relationship with his AP (apparently his soul mate). He even listed his marriage to me on his relationships on his profile. Just didn’t mention any of this to me. We were together for 24 years, married for 20. I have access to very limited info on him (I was so trusting), but know he has probably been unfaithful for at least a year. But I wonder now if he was ever faithful. I’m a bit stuck on knowing but fighting all urges to break the no contact. Just to add extra sparkles they FW & AP like to publish images of themselves having sex on their Fetlife profiles. I haven’t dared ask if these are static or moving. Knowing my FW he will have bought the BEST AV equipment for this purpose which I probably paid for.

    • I hope you are taking screen shots of them on this site to give to your lawyer

      • I’m in the UK so it’s a bit different here. So took them into the last mediation along with bank statements showing how he was moving family money out into his “w*ank” account and credit card and another showing £150 spent on Only Fans in one evening. Knocked him down further on the equity share. Not as much as I would have liked (22%) but an amount I wouldn’t have thought possible at the start. Thanks for the advice MB.

    • Oh yeah, don’t go on fetlife. I still have nightmares from some of the stuff I saw on there. It’s full of unbelievably disgusting people.

      • Ah, Fetlife. One of my exes’ young schmoopies posted about their relationship on the site and it was so pathetic, I felt sorry for her. When she wrote “kink breakups are so much harder than vanilla breakups” I lol’d my ass off.

        Oh, honey, try having a marriage, mortgage, and two toddlers with him. You have no idea.

        • Yeah, that seems to be a common theme with those people. Their relationships and connections are so much stronger and more pure than those of us who don’t need to be beaten in order to orgasm. I guess I’ll just never know the ultimate “love” of having someone shit in my mouth. Somehow I’m perfectly fine never knowing that.

    • Klootzak is also on Fetlife. If I had photos of him engaged in that behavior, I would at this very moment drive it to my attorney’s office. I know my attorney said judges don’t much care, but I also know such evidence would be the last thing klootzak would want as part of the public record. I think it would be very valuable in settlement negotiations. Depending on your jurisdiction, that info could be very valuable. I wish I had friends who could hunt down that kind of intel!

    • I don’t recommend going on fetlife unless you have a STRONG stomach. Videos can’t be posted but photos can.

  • It is way worse than I will ever know, but I know a lot. His financial trail was the easiest to follow once I caught on to it. He told me he was planning on hiring an employee for his business, and I said that seemed foolish, considering he was already barely turning a profit and didn’t have enough work for himself. He shrugged and said he made plenty of money for it. Then he seemed to realize his mistake and started crying and saying that he really didn’t make much, but he was embarrassed and wanted to pretend he did. I felt bad for him and comforted him and told him he didn’t need to lie to me about money. But it stuck in my mind and later when I found something else about our money that seemed off, I went to the bank and got print-outs of the statements. (He had changed the passwords on the computer financials because he “didn’t want his wife to worry.” Well. What I gradually uncovered was a huge conspiracy of fraud. He was making about ten times the amount he reported on his taxes, but vast amounts of money were just missing from our accounts. He also had us on all kinds of welfare benefits and had taken out loans in my name (forging my signature) and hadn’t paid the mortgage in over a year. Two different lawyers told me that I could go to jail for all the fraud he put my name on. He never would admit to where all the money went, and I suspected mostly other women. I think I was right about some of it, but since we’ve been divorced, a huge gambling addiction has emerged into the open. In fact, even though he got double the amount of money in the settlement that I got, and all the kids are with me and he only pays $700/month in child support, he is completely out of money and living in a camper. I think he always had a gambling addiction, but I have no way to prove it. It would explain where he kept disappearing to every Saturday all day long.

    I warn people now that what you don’t know can DEFINITELY hurt you. I work as a domestic violence advocate now, and I have seen several people go to jail for crimes committed by their partner.

    • Gosh. These people!

      A friend of mine from my divorce group went through something similar. They had a remodeling company, the family house, and then three rental houses. Her attorney had a finance degree, an MBA, and then went to law school, and after looking at the financial statements for their company, told my friend that they should get the divorce done quickly before it crashed around her. It worked out that giving her ex the company was about equal to giving my friend the houses. Her ex was happy with that, and once the judge signed, she quickly did all the legwork for closeout. Her ex’s girlfriend was pregnant, and they married right away. He was eager to get closeout done too.

      And you guessed it. It took awhile, but the company went down in flames. Her ex ended up in jail. When it all fell apart, it had been long enough that the police talked to my friend but didn’t bring her into the charges. His wife divorced him and left the area. He served his time and left the area. And my friend has a nice life managing the rentals and has gone back to school herself.

      And yes, they met at church. That’s where I met my ex too. Such lovely guys.

    • Financial infidelity is definitely a sign of sexual infidelity. Sadly, I know of where I speak. I’m just lucky that he had charged the limit on his credit card and it was a business card. This was a man that used to insist on no debt. We paid off our house, vacation home and commercial property. Then suddenly he has credit card debt.

    • I think about that all the time now that my ex has been caught for being a pedo. What if this had happened while I was married to him? What if the cops had showed up at my house to seize everything and look for child porn. My God, I can’t even imagine that. How awful. Even if they realized I was innocent right from the start, the experience would be horrifying.

      • And the unknowing spouse has to waste money on their own legal representation. Yikes

  • I found a review of a wedding dress shop and a photo of the Ho-worker holding a sign that said “I said yes to the dress!”. The review was written a month or so after FW had abandoned us and I still though he had a brain tumor or PTSD.

    While my children and I were struggling and deeply in shock, he was engaged and planning his wedding. I hadn’t even started the divorce.

    He was so much worse than I knew. This review, however, did get added to the file that eventually had her kicked out of the military.

  • Learning that he had an Ashley Madison and an Adult Friend Finder account, and a new female friend he “met at Chevy’s” (???) all while leaving the family for his soulmate ex hookup, whom he found on Facebook. W.T.F.
    Ew. Bye.

  • After DDay and before kicking her ass to the curb, unfortunately I pick-me-danced a bit and RIC’d. During this time, I told her that if she was really serious about staying together (she wasn’t and talking to AP the whole time), she would have to cut him off and do it in front of me, either call or text. She said this wasn’t possible because both him and his mother (who he lived with) were very unstable, almost crazy, and had lots of guns. I mean, if they are that crazy, why the hell would she even go near them! I have a feeling what I found out was just the tip of the iceberg, and glad that the FW is now XW! Good riddance to bad rubbish!

  • “But sometimes the evidence finds you.”

    Ain’t that the truth.
    The day after I saw “my friend” giving x a bj in his truck, In front of the living room window where the kids were, x was giving every and any lie he could throw out.

    The phone rang. Some guy Greg called. Wanted me to know x was seeing his wife and had ruined his marriage. His wife was someone he was cheating with way back when and who had hpv and so x told me. But “it was over years ago.”

    It took me way too long to cut x out. But d was final 3 days before the 40th anniversary. 3 years ago. Life is so much better fuckwit free.

  • I’ve got a lot to unpack here.

    D-Days suck for obvious reasons ….. but when it’s your eldest daughter (then 18) who breaks the news that “Mum is having an affair” I guess there’s some extra suck right there.

    And when she left the kids and I to be with her AP, she cleared out the joint account (where my pay went) leaving me with nothing to support the eldest at university, pay school fees for the younger two or cover the mortgage (more suck). I dealt with that, only to find out …….. that she’d taken a £15K unsecured personal loan out (paid into her account, to which I didn’t have access to) about 6 months previously, but had put the standing order for the repayments in the joint account (leaving me technically liable, at least in the short term), and, furthermore, that she’d emptied the youngest two kids’ savings accounts and had – for the last 10 years – been diverting funds that were supposed to be saved split across my name, her name and jointly … into her sole name (even more suck).

    Oh, and the small matter of finding out that she had withheld from me that she had been diagnosed with (and was being treated for) depression and high blood pressure ….. not so good when it is clear that she was (and is) an alcoholic, although very much in denial about it (extra side order of suck).

    To be honest, her cheating on me with an old boyfriend of hers (they had had an affair when he was married and before she met me, so I guess that she had to return the favour) was the very least of my problems.

    She was, and is, a flaming dumpster fire of shit. She sucks and her AP is welcome to her.


    • This is SO true for long term relationships with these idiots. Him F*&^ing the company whore was literally the least of my problems. It was gratefully however, and easy-out of a total shit show life for me and the kids. The extreme financial abuse, emotional abuse, gaslighting, PTSD-invoking shit, surprise HPV, and trying to make sure the kids were going to be okay emotionally and financially were by far my biggest problems.

  • Part of me wishes I had never looked up one of the APs. She shared everything. Screenshots of conversations, pictures, timestamps, everything. She also wasn’t doing it to help me. I know this because she didn’t share these things with me directly, but posted them publicly on her social media for me to find. She was counting on me looking her up, and it gave her some kind of high to know that she was the sole keeper of these secrets. Without that, I’d certainly still be trying to reconcile, but it also was rough to see details laid out like that.

  • I originally knew that he had a very intense crush on my cousin. He claimed to be in love with her. I knew this lasted over the course of two decades at least (and still goes on today). She does NOT return his affections, she’s repulsed by him. Stupid, gullible, young me thought I could “fix” this by never having him see her again. We lived on opposite coasts so it seemed easy enough. What I didn’t know was that it wasn’t only her. There were multiple women, spanning three decades, that he basically stalked. There were also dozens of strippers and sex workers. Then it all ended with him in bed with a married, lesbian, ho-worker. That’s when he couldn’t take the guilt anymore and started spewing it all out, coming clean about every sordid thing over several months during the Covid lockdown. I had trickle truths coming at me every day, sometimes multiple times a day, for months. He was vomiting up every disgusting thing he had ever done in our 30 year marriage. I’m ashamed to say that I still did the Pick Me Dance during that time. But I snapped out of it on Oct. 1, 2021 and kicked his ass out. Still waiting for the divorce to be final, but hopefully some time this month.

  • His I’m just supporting my female best friend (always gave me the ick) through her divorce.. turned out to be we need to tell our only child (10) that she has a half brother (16).
    Her oldest child was his.
    Fucking lying liars who lied for over 16yrs.. unfuckingbelievable..

  • I found out there were three others before the one he discarded me for and married immediately. In the early days of divorce, that would have crushed me. Fortunately, I learned of it at a time when I was healed enough for it not to really bother me much. Disordered people. I would have done anything for that turd. Byeeeeeeee!

  • During discovery, I got his answers to interrogatories, which revealed a lot of horror – so much so that I could only read a little at a time. By far the worst was his answer to this one – “List all vacations or travel that you have taken in the past five years with women other than your wife.” By far the worst revelation was that he took his AP (now wife) to Burning Man. He had asked me to go online to buy him two tickets to Burning Man, because he was too busy at work that day. When I asked why he needed two tickets, he said he was going to sell one. If you’re following along, you’ve already figured out the thing that made me scream in horror – he had his wife buy tickets for him and the AP to have a weeklong vacation together.

    • Ah yes, mine was a Burning Man cheater. During the wreckonciliation pick-me-dance, I went with him twice. Uggh.

  • I get so upset when I read about how people STAY and STAY with their cheaters. How they need proof after proof. I get so angry at people who talk about staying for money, for kids, for family, for jobs. Etc..ALL THE WEAK KNEED reasons to continue to be abused. Believing lie after lie being the door mat with a WELCOME sign on it saying, go ahead and step on me! And then I realize it is me I’m furious at for taking so long to realize that abuse is not love. That lying is not love, that deception is not love, that intimacy should never be coerced and that love does not seek its own pleasure but considers me. I am relearning how I care for my precious self and how to forgive you for staying…but really how to forgive me. I am out now and going through a horrific divorce. But it is so worth it to get myself back. It takes courage to find the road back to me. No one will ever hurt me again. Ever! It is ALWAYS the tip of the lies that we hear. Believe it and get out. Save yourself

  • I found out accidently, looked at his cell phone bill when he didn’t get to the mailbox ahead of me
    Saw him calling the same number dozens of times a day. I called it and got her answering machine

    What he said was a ‘friendship’ with a family friend who needed his help…. was really the pair of them looking at houses to buy and planning their wedding.

  • I would advise anyone who will listen not to go looking-just get out. I had spent too many years trying to unravel the skein of why I was constantly devalued in private and praised in public. I own a pretty decent library of marriage books, how to be more exciting in the bedroom books, personality disorder books and how to recognize a liar books. After the first D-day he convinced me I didn’t see what I saw. Because he travels extensively for work and the demands of having children kept me home at times, he was able to hide his secret life for ten more years. When I then uncovered three schmoopies on our shared email account, he cried, he begged ( actually on his knees at my feet) he showed me the wreckonciliation industrial complex literature, ( lots of blame shifting there) he made huge promises for change and I let him stay. We had kids and I thought staying together would be best. I live in a small town in a rural area. There is little in the way of counseling but he drove two hours to see a counselor regularly. I thought he was making progress. When I eventually found that it was all a lie, I uncovered at least ten more schmoopies, lots of stories to them about how I don’t like sex (I do), masturbation videos, sexting text threads, photos of genitalia (both parties) plans for trips, a secret rented apartment in the foreign country where we work, proof that the times he left me alone during crisis for “emergency events with his work” he was actually with his flavor of the month, and love notes to one in particular that poured his heart out about how he’d never been in love until her. He is still trying to minimize everything I found but it did help in our divorce—even though it was irreconcilable differences we planned to depose him to prove he’s a liar. We settled because he didn’t want it in the record. But I can’t unsee what I saw and can’t unknow what I know. And i realize it has done some damage to my self confidence and my trust of others. What I hold to is my wonderful children— all successful adults now doing positive things in the world.

  • When questions like this come up, I am reminded of my first experience with a cheater way back in my 20’s.
    I caught him with one girl online. He had secret social media, where there were photos of them together and she referred to him by name. I was furious, our relationship had been struggling, and he had moved (more like my mom kicked him out) but he had said I could still tell people he was my boyfriend. I asked him if there was anyone else and he said “Sometimes I feel like there is, but not really no.” What kind of answer is that???? Anyway…I thought she was the only one. Oh…oh how wrong was I.

    About 7 or so months later (I had been NC) I was introduced to a woman who was in one of my new boyfriend’s classes. She was pretty cool (we’re still friends all these years later) and we were discussing how it seemed like she just knew everyone. I dropped a couple friend’s names and sure enough she knew them. Then I dropped my exes name and her face changed. “I. Hate. Him.” she said. When I asked her why, she said “He cheated on me!” That’s when I found out How Much Worse It Was.

    The girl I caught him with was girl number 6. This new friend I had just made spilled the tea. I dated him from December 2006 to February 2009. …She was dating him from 2007-2008. And no, she did not know about me, but she said once I told her about it, SO many things made sense. Times when he was absent and unreachable to her, he was with me, times he was absent and unreachable to me, he was with her. His car needed repair and I gave him $300 for the costs. He didn’t take it to an autoshop (though it’s not like he wasn’t going to one and being shady anyway…we had arguments over the girl who worked there…who he wouldn’t SHUT UP about…), he gave the money to her and SHE did the repair. She said it made a lot of sense why he never invited her over, he said he lived with a “roommate who doesn’t like strangers,” but knowing NOW the truth was he lived with his girlfriend and her parents. Then she told me he had cheated on her with one of her friends, then cheated on that girl with a dude. She also had photos of him wearing one of HER dresses one of the times they were together.

    Gets even worse. The girl I caught him with? Well…my new friend knew her too. A couple weeks before I was introduced to my friend, ex had tried to poke his way back into my life and gab about getting back together. I kept asking him what happened to the OW? He wouldn’t answer that question. …Well here’s why.

    Because he’d gotten her pregnant and the only reason was because he was trying to abandon her and he figured if he ran back to me, then he could tell her he was with someone else and not have to be responsible for the baby. Well that didn’t go so well for him considering I was ACTUALLY with someone else and said no. Then, his pregnant schmoopie found the text messages he was sending me, begging for me back, going on and on about all the things he remembers about me, and the shock of finding out her cheater boyfriend was…well…A CHEATER caused her to have an emotional breakdown and she miscarried. While I acknowledge how traumatic an experience a miscarriage can be, and the good news is she was okay and recovered well, I also know that she shouldn’t have expected anything better out of a cheater. HOWEVER…once he found out she wasn’t pregnant anymore, he went skittering back to her. AND SHE TOOK HIM BACK. …For about a month until she dumped him. …For cheating.

    And that girl at the autoshop? Yeah. …I was right about her too.

  • She confessed to walking through the apartment complex across from our neighborhood looking for pot and smoking pot with a stranger in his apartment AFTER telling me pot really improved sex for her. I saw her walking out of her next door neightbors house more than once. I found a telephone number in her phone records that I learned was another man’s number. I caught her scrolling through a neighborhood website looking for men. I found out that she cashed out some of her inheritance money 2 months after we got married and that half of it disappeared after I got a letter from the IRS about unreported income (PS the IRS is understaffed and the letter came 2 years after the taxes were reported. I’m waiting now for the next letter from the last year before she ran away from home on her drug bender with her boyfriend). I thank God every day that I was her second husband and we never had children together – no paternity tests needed here… phew…

  • FW immediately told me he loved the OW, so I was not misled about how over me he was. Despicably, he lied to me about things that would help me to process the betrayal and get over it, but told what he thought was the truth about things that would only hurt me. They were petty, stupid lies in situations where telling the truth couldn’t actually affect him, lies that were easy to disprove. The “truths” were only self deceptions. He didn’t really love OW. He threw her under the bus immediately after Dday. So he hurt me with that statement, and many others, for no reason.

    I now suspect he had cheated on me before that OW, or at least tried to, but I wasn’t ever able to prove it and at this point I don’t care. He would still lie about that to this day if he was asked, even though there would be nothing to lose by telling the truth.
    When a person is that committed to secrecy and dishonesty, there is nothing to work with. I figured that out pretty quickly after Dday.

    So the answer to the question is that FW himself is so much worse of a human being than I ever knew before Dday. The affair itself doesn’t bother me much anymore and now I wouldn’t even give a shit if he said she was the wuv of his life, his twu soul mate, all that clichéd crap. I see the affair more as my ticket out now. I can’t be grateful for it, because at the time it crushed me, but it did free me. What still bothers me is being duped about who he was for most of my adult life and losing opportunities for a better life as a result. If I had known who he really was, I’d not have married him. There is no getting all those years back. I don’t think I can ever really get over that. If we had only been together a few years, it would be okay. But this was more than thirty years of my life.

    • 24 of mine. I wish I could say I wouldn’t have married mine if I knew, but I did know he cheated on his first wife, so that’s on me. Sigh. Hugs OHFFS.

      • I think you should forgive yourself for that mistake, CNM. Hugs right back at ya, lovey!

    • 38 years for me. He is a porn addicted freak with a hooker habit. I was completely blindsided at D-Day.

      • Ugh! That’s horrible, Erin. I had a porn addict too. I don’t have any reason to believe he used hookers, but I sure as hell wouldn’t rule it out. I found out after Dday that he had a friend who did, so maybe. I think all cheaters are probably capable of vile deeds like that.

        Do you sometimes wish you didn’t know how bad it was, because finding out was so traumatizing?

        • OHFFS, I needed to face how bad it was. Without his confession, I would not have fixed my picker. I would have continued to turn myself into a pretzel to make my needs smaller to please him. I now have validation that it was NEVER me. It was him. Now, I can rebuild.

    • “I can’t be grateful for it, because at the time it crushed me, but it did free me. What still bothers me is being duped…. There is no getting all those years back. I don’t think I can ever really get over that..”

      Same 35 years. I could have written this. I’ve moved on for the most part, but I don’t think the pain of what happened will ever leave me.

      It’s a strange feeling. I know I’m better off. But one friend even intimated that the affair was a “good thing” because I ended up with someone better. While it’s’ true that I’m with someone better, her comment struck me as odd and insensitive. It’s like saying a devastating car accident was ultimately a good thing because an x-ray revealed a cancer that can be cured because it was caught early.

      I mean, ok, yeah, that’s a good thing, but my god. The accident! The pain.

      • That’s a good analogy. It sounds like your friend doesn’t quite understand what you went through and was just trying to be positive and upbeat. I’d give her a pass on it.
        Unless you go through it yourself, you can’t fathom that level of pain.

        I was talking to somebody on another blog today, and her philosophy about being cheated on was that one should just “adapt” and “wish your partner well in the new relationship” and that if you don’t, it means you “lack self confidence.” I tried to set her straight, but I doubt she’ll get it. Her philosophy might have a bit of merit for short term relationships that weren’t that deep, because then the wound isn’t that deep either. Those of us who were in a relationship for decades, who were deeply attached to our spouses and totally blindsided by the cheating, are not going to be able to snap our fingers and “adapt” to the new reality.

  • “You grow more and more a stranger to me at each word. And I had loved you so…” —C. S. Lewis, author

  • Mine was such an adventure! A boyfriend? Sure! How about another one at the same time? Great! Oh, and another one? Cool! How many does one married woman need, fer Chrissakes? And how about uncovering the emails revealing an pre-marriage history of undisclosed, dramatic, and distasteful sexual encounters rivaling Everest for altitude?

    To think I caused all that. Even the parts that predate me! I’m just that good!

  • My traumatic D-Days mostly centered on being devastated at the super strong emotional, spiritual, romantic, loving connection my H had with the OW for over 3 years (while rather neglecting and discarding me and just overall mistreating me). On D-Day #2 when I read a long string of texts between the two of them, part of what constituted being FAR worse than I could ever imagine, was how H was fantasizing about, dreaming about, and strongly desiring OW to be part of his extended family.

    Of course, to me that meant that he wished it was HER with him when we were with his family, and NOT ME. During a particular family gathering, he was taking all the pictures I shared on our family group chat so that our young adult who wasn’t there could see them, and sharing those pics with OW, saying things like “I wish you could be here to meet Cousin So&So and my favorite aunt, or You’d really like X, etc.” Note that the OW had just gotten married a couple of months earlier to someone else. Who would do and say something like that to a newly married direct report from his work? Reading that I realized that I didn’t know him, and that his real self is without character.

    Worse yet, after he had a dream about the OW meeting his beloved grandma in heaven, he shared how happy this made him seeing them meet and interact in his dream. Now, his grandma (who passed away 20 years ago) was his rock, his very favorite person in the world, a saint in his eyes, an incredibly strong and wise inspiration. I deeply loved her, too, and she clearly loved me back. Because I had had a crappy childhood and never knew either of my biological grandmas because they died before that could happen, I adopted her as MY grandma, and she was pleased. So reading this shot me straight through the heart. Having a vivid dream like that reflects what he was thinking about and desiring way down deep.

    Because of my crappy childhood it took a lot of effort for me to eventually trust him to treat me right and honor his marriage vows (I had been cheated on by boyfriends before). Once I trusted him, I trusted him completely. He blew it up in such a hurtful, strike-me-at-my-core way. 🙁 No more!

  • At first it was Fuckface meeting with a couple, and him “only going down on the wife because I couldn’t get hard” and “I only got off on messaging those escorts”. “It only happened in the last three months”

    The truth was, he was NEVER faithful the entire 10+year relationship. He had unprotected sex acts with HUNDREDS of RANDOM people – men, women, couples, groups, escorts – he was ingesting bodily fluids and coming home to me like it was nothing. HORRIFYING.

    I also discovered so many other lies – he was doing cocaine and probably crack with his crack whore. The level of depravity and cruelty was off the fucking charts. He is a complete stranger to me.

    He deserves a fucking Oscar for his performance over the course of our relationship – he never stopped telling me how much he loved me, how lucky he was to have me, how in love he still was with me after all the years together, how we were soulmates. HIS WORDS MATCHED HIS ACTIONS. He was loving and attentive. SUCH A MINDFUCK. He is an evil sociopathic monster void of empathy who put my one precious life at risk for YEARS. And people wonder why we get PTSD from these evil fuckers.

    • He deserves a fucking Oscar for his performance over the course of our relationship

      Well said! And totally relatable on my end also… 🙁

  • My discoveries were mostly financial. FW asked me for a divorce saying he was “checked out of the marriage”– leaving out the part about his long-term affair (which I discovered 6 months later). Honestly, that was affair number ??? I never went down the affair rabbit hole after that, I went after financials. I discovered that his father had gifted him $30,000 (in 2017) and he pocketed EVERY cent while telling me we had no money and making me pay for everything once his measly paycheck ran out at the middle of the month (he makes 7 times what I do). I also discovered that he had been getting a raise every year and taking the raise portion and depositing it into a private bank account that I didn’t have access to. Once I did the financials for my meeting with lawyers I finally found out his ACTUAL salary (which was $25,000 MORE than what I thought he made). I have no idea how much money his father gifted him (while constantly complaining to me that we had no money and I had to pay for this and that out of my savings), but I estimate a few hundred thousand dollars. The good news is he didn’t run up debt doing whatever the hell he was doing with that money- gambling, hookers, who knows…. Now that’s APs problem!!!

    • I let my husband do our taxes every year. I claimed O exemptions, he claimed 10… he was skimming money from me through our tax returns. He later remarked he only did it because his paycheck was smaller than mine and he had to pay child support for his other children… leaving him with hardly any money. Rage/Charm/Pity… yup.

      • Same here with taxes and too many exemptions. This is how FW skimmed money for strippers and porn during our lean years and I paid tax bill shortfall out of my small business revenues. Once the mortgage was paid off and FW hit peak earning years, his hooker/stripper/porn bill rose to $50K per year.

  • I thought it was maybe one guy, recently, when I got to D-Day. It was at least three or four over the span of half our marriage. Way worse than I imagined. I don’t ever wish to learn more. I know she probably did way worse than even that.

  • Recently I came across an email from my attorney to FW’s attorney. I never saw this email. It was a response to FW’s attorney saying FW was a supportive wife. In email my attorneys speak about how FW was “having sex on school property with worker”, “dated married men with children”, “took couple’s son on date with her and a man she told she loved”, “carried on affairs while husband was being treated for cancer”…… it went on
    When I read this I finally realized it was so much worse than I could have imagined.
    My lawyers knew so much because they had handled the divorce of the wife of one of the APs. Total coincidence! They had all AP and AP wife’s discovery including FB messages and text. I didn’t know this when I chose my lawyer. When I had initial consultation my lawyers told me FW was horrible person and I had to leave. I thought it was just generic lawyer spiel they tell chumps. Once wife of AP allowed us to use her discovery my lawyers told me some things including the fact that FW was subpoenaed for AP’s divorce. My lawyers never showed me what they had but assured me it was very bad. It will be 2 years from DDay and one from divorce and I am finally realizing it was so much more than an “emotion affair”

    • AP’s wife allowing you to use her discovery material is so awesome. Your lawyers sound very respectful of your boundaries. Love to read this!

      • My lawyers were the best. They knew I was heartbroken, but knew what type of person FW was. They were so ethicaland but badasss!
        The night before FW’s second deposition they called all the APs and their wives and told them they were all going to be subpoenaed for our divorce. FWs phone must have rung off the hook. That morning FW and her stupid lawyer folded and signed away everything. Yes she got half of our savings and half the house, but no alimony ( I’m a spine surgeon!!) no piece of a big settlement, no piece of the 2 companies I own, and she is responsible for 1/2 of sons education through college. She is now working full time so she gets health insurance

        • Different circumstances, but my legal team was outstanding as well. It turned out that his attorney greatly respected mine and didn’t want to face him in court. He actually told mine that he was thinking of quitting because we had too much dirt on his client, and he didn’t like his client anyway!

          So at the peak of my ex’s attorney ranting to mine, we gave them 24 hours to sign, or we’d book a court date. At that point, we had been arguing about basically nothing for weeks. His attorney added that he’d quit if his client didn’t sign. And my ex signed!

  • I thought it was: an emotional affair at 12 years of marriage (and a heartfelt reconciliation and therapy to “heal the marriage”) and then one “real” affair with the company whore right at 20 years marriage and his 50th Bday Mid-Life crisis.

    What it really was/what I learned after 25 years of knowing him and 20 of being married: There’s surely more, but I reached the point of not wanting to know more. 25 years of affairs (also during both pregnancies) with co-workers, subordinates, clients, stranger hook-ups in hotels at business trips, threesomes, “business trips” that were really trip to see “girlfriends” all over the country, a massive porn addiction, alcohol abuse, stealing kids’ pain pills after oral surgery and ankle surgery, no college degree (multi-decade lie that is STILL on his work bio,) Never played NCAA D1 basketball (Apparently from guy friends that was laughable all along because he is 6’2″ and not even a good pick-up ball player) When dating, he asked me to move in with him & “share” his car because his credit was so bad he couldn’t get a car loan nor rental on his own NOT the reported “I want to symbolize our shared future.” Decades of gaslighting – “you have trust issues you need to see someone about that” to my “why is a local hotel calling for a review on our stay there?” “You’re screwed up from you childhood and I’m sick of it effecting me– get some help” and then hostile silent treatment for a week and me begging for forgiveness and apologizing, to my “But there isn’t a conference in San Francisco?”

    Some women don’t have to quit their job because of emotional & verbal abuse of emasculating him by making more money and being in management before him. What it really was: yes, ego wounded, but also it’s hard to F*%^ everyone at work when your wife also works in the same industry.

    Upon escaping I also I learned that it’s not normal to be “in trouble” if kid toys are not put away and hot dinner not on the table when he waltzes through the door after a day of work, workout and assistant screwing. Other husbands don’t mind if you talk to your friends or family on the phone. Some women aren’t required to stay under 110# at 5’5″ lest they be “disrespectful and letting themselves go.” Some women are allowed to buy clothes not from Costco, Target, odd gift from mother-in-law while husband gets a new luxury car every two years and only wears the best.

    Also not normal for a 25 year old to love bomb (read groom) an 18 year old who had never been in a relationship before to be this doormat pseudo-wife for 20 years.

    • I love not being “in trouble” all the time. I learned it’s not normal to be more worried about his reaction than the scrape on the bumper, the bruised orange or the busted washing machine. A girl friend and I put together my new Ikea bedframe after I moved to post-divorce tiny home. She laughed when it fell apart. Laughed! And then we took another whack at it. 27 years of being his rage sponge, sigh.

      • The freedom of being away from being “in trouble” for just living life. FWs fucking strange was apparently OK but chumps accidentally bumping the curb with the tire is a grave crime. And yet the OW run around with filthy car interiors and bagged salad and are worshipped like goddesses. Because FWs have to justify to themselves why chumps deserve to be cheated on. Their forcing us to walk on eggshells over bagged salad is all to deflect and keep us anxious and focused on ourselves instead of on what they have been up to. FWs love their crazy making.

        My son and I laugh when we make mistakes or things don’t work out right. I completely understand the laughter about the bed falling apart. I think they say you learn a lot about a person by going on vacation with them because it creates opportunities for things to go wrong and see the other person’s reaction. I will never again have a partner who cares more about bird poop having landed on the car than about my feelings.

        • I think you nailed it with why anything we do is horrible even if precious OW is doing 10x worse. Because they use it as a reason to justify abusing us. It shocked me when I found pictures of OW who weighed over 400 pounds when I was too fat as a size 6. But he needed some reason to smear me to excuse his behavior.

      • Oh, Eve, “rage sponge” is such an utterly perfect description of my experience too… I had mentally searched for years for a succinct way to express this feeling to myself. You’ve just done it, thank you!

      • “Rage sponge” ties with “chaos janitor”. Or was it “chaos manager” ?

    • BeenChumped,

      I was also always either “in trouble” or worried about getting “in trouble” for something minor and not my fault. When D-Day happened, I was obv angry and hurt over the betrayal. But what was even more of a slap in the face for me was realizing I spent years being lambasted for these minor things by a man that was cheating on me. Where did he get off complaining about ANYTHING I did while he was living his gross double life? That was possibly the hardest pill to swallow. Not that he betrayed me, but that he treated me so badly in all those mundane ways WHILE cheating on me.

  • I knew he was cheating….what I didn’t know was that he’d taken thousands of dollars from one of our IRAs to pay off huge debts incurred from escorts, Only Fans, Hermes, expensive lingerie (as in one charge of nearly $4,000), staying at nice hotels every week during the day. Not to mention the STD tests. All while I’m working and hauling the kids around, completely oblivious for years.

    Good riddance.

    • I found most of it out in divorce discovery, which he fought tooth and nail for months. Ick ick ick.

      It’s so nice not to have to give a shit what he does now.

  • My ex admitted to meeting people that he met online for the last 10 months of our marriage. It was like a series of dominoes falling in my head and I knew it was much much worse. I paid from a background check, and found a couple of women linked to him but no real evidence. At chump lady’s advice I stopped looking. Trickle truths found me anyway. A month later I remembered him arguing with a woman at a trail head a year before where he was waiting to pick up my friend and I after a bike ride. In hindsight I realized she was a prostitute. My friend agrees. About a year later I got a series of texts from some poor lady who wanted to apologize to me for being “a member of the second to last affair that destroyed your marriage” and now, two and a half years later I run into a lady at work. She tells me some things that made me realize that 15 years ago when something suspicious happened and was explained away to me he really was cheating and my brother in law knew about it and never told me. Basically someone had been blackmailing my brother in law saying that my ex was cheating. I knew about the blackmail! Now I think how could I have been so stupid? Obviously she had some proof or how could she be extorting my BIL and my ex? All this is still probably the tip of the iceberg because my ex is a completely disordered lying cheating person. It’s shocking to me that I almost my entire adult life to date with someone like that.

  • I only know what I know, but now I look back in the 20+ years and think to the times he was horrible and say to myself he must have been cheating, I just didnt know the signs. I had no idea at that time that being mean, raging was a clue that he must be cheating. Seems obvious now that almost everyone here says the same thing about the abusive behavior because of the cheating. I thought marriage had its ups and downs, everyone says that. Thought it was just normal marital downs. He was so loving, effusive, wonderful, did alot of nice stuff for me took care of things. I felt loved, valued and supported. I had people say to me I was so lucky, our relationship enviable, he would never cheat because he adored me, blah blah blah. Hahaha. Found out he is mentally ill. Diagnosed after Dday with OCPD and NPD. I thought NPD was grandiose, but now I know about covert. Trickle truths along the way. So fed up when they say something minor non chalont, and you say mother fer! You said that to AP, like oh my wife is mean to me. In true narc fashion, they let sh@t slip here and there. I would not react and file it away. You just get to the point where you are paranoid and everything they do has ulterior motives to you. No coming back from that. The Ddays add up and then you are done.

    • This. I can look back and see it clearly now too. He would rage and mope and cause fights when nothing was wrong.

      It was all so he could tell a sob story to someone else about how “bad” his marriage was.

  • I know deep down in my gut there was so much more secretly going on with my ex. Pretty sure the trust fund baby and “life coach” he always kept oddly bringing up years ago met him on a hookup site and uprooted her kids away from their father to be his hiding-in-plain-sight/“Just friends” OW during our marriage. My attorneys were sure of it, but said it was going to be expensive to prove and unnecessary to getting me a great settlement – which they did. There was also another “Just Friends” OW, who was a lawyer, who my lawyer knew of and advised me to avoid like the plague because our judge had a crush on her. 🙄 It’s all just so weird with these secret life dudes. Ugh!

  • Post DDay where he told me he had: being going to BDSM sex clubs, buying hookers and then decided to have a GF (I caught him on that part), I found out he had a hidden sexual fetish that had been active on the side our entire marriage. He gave me some trickle truth but I mostly found out by sleuthing. I managed to get into his google account (he left himself logged in but I never bothered to look). He had FB contacts, multiple escorts, fuck buddies everywhere. Then I found the hidden huge black sex toy bag that sent me into a rage. He went black-snake eyed and confessed a bit more. What it revealed was how deep the lies were, for how long and how little he cared about me and how this new info might feel. It felt exactly like those serial killer confessions where they just finally give up and then calmly tell all about how they did it and to whom and when. I got that kind of ho-hum confession until I put my hand up and said “enough”. Then I went around trying to piece my life together and learned that a lot of people hated him for various reasons or didn’t trust him or thought he was a liar (in the professional world). Others just thought he was weird or maybe closeted. I discovers he hadn’t been paying our taxes. I discovered some false insurance claims. I know enough now that he was a liar, living a secret life on many fronts and is a con man with serious issues. He’s in a different town now, no doubt trying to reinvent himself with the 20 years younger GF. He has no contact with his family anymore so no one knows for sure what he’s up to.

  • I can’t go into details because I am still awaiting my decree. I just survived a two day trial, so hopefully I will be able to share more soon. Suffice it to say, the tip of my ice burg is HUGE. During trial, the STBX’s lawyer kept objecting to my witness’ testimony. The judge overruled the STBX’s lawyer. When I commented about it to my lawyer later, he said that our case was SO sensational that our judge wanted to hear more!

    About a month ago, my car was in for an oil change and when I went to pick it up, the guy taking my payment asked how my day had been. I paused, then asked him, “Well, do you want the boring lie, or the juicy truth?” He went with the juicy truth and was pretty shocked!!!!

    The good news is that I am all lined up post decree to learn WAY more than the STBX can imagine! He thinks that he got away with SO much. (Insert evil laughter!)

  • At D-Day, FW told me that he had full sex with one massage parlor hooker once a month for the past seven months. Then he said it was hand jobs “only” for the previous two years.

    Three months later, FW said he had blow jobs, hand jobs and full sex at 3 different places with “probably a dozen or so” different hookers over the past 6 years.

    The final revelation a month later was that in addition to the above, he had been std tested, had paid internet cam girls and had been jerking himself off to porn daily since he was 11 (47 years).

    I asked him how he found time to work every day.

    • ^^^^^^ this ^^^^^
      In retrospect (married 36 years, divorced 2) I think this or similar was done
      – when working late
      – when working all night
      – when coming home from the airport
      – when running errands
      -when staying up instead of going to bed with me
      -at work
      – on business trips
      Little bits of trickle truths allowed me to realize that he had been arrested for indecent exposure, he used prostitutes, phone sex, his computer (usually a work place laptop). The trail of large ATM withdrawals (for “tips”), credit card statements, and history of being asked to leave companies (executive reorganization) was constant over my life, but not a big blow up all at once. DDay was “ I got carried away when drunk in a bar, just happened once & it never will again.”

  • Not one but two members of my dance company, fyi amateur and all adults Narcula at least had ‘standards’ when it came to the age of his conquests, one was my best friend who was an officiate and was scheduled to officiate our 20th wedding vow renewal. The other one worked her way up from the basic classes to company so she could spend more time with the Narcula. He took her on a ‘business’ outing that I was supposed to go on and told me the Tuesday before that ‘I would just be sitting in the hotel and be bored’ the same thing he told me the first year we were married when he spent it in Sicily with some gal he met at work in the Air Force. Bought Ms Plastic a pink stoned ring from the same shop he bought my 20th anniversary ring. She loved wearing it around me and holding it up by her face so I was sure to see it. Funny thing, the 20th ring fit my index finger and I loved showing it to Ms Plastic and flipping her the bird at the same time. lol Ms Plastic had a habit of twisting her hair so I started doing it around Narcula. He would always look sheepish when I did it and he made sure he got better at hiding the harem after that. Funny thing Ms P finally got married herself after my divorce. Not to Narcula but to some other idiot. All I can say is I wish her 10 times what she wished me in my marriage.

  • He lived separate lives than us. I was the marriage police and the pick me, pick me person. Tons of gaslighting, bold lies, abuse, same as most here. Everything I discovered being the marriage police were surface discoveries. I finally accepted what I found but It wasn’t until I left and went NC that I had epiphanies and stone cold realizations/ truths of what I’d truly escaped. There is no basement within him. He will always go lower than I could ever imagine and I will never know the true depths he went over those 33 yrs.

  • When the book,The Pilot’s wife came out.people would ask me if I ever thought ex would cheat when he was working. I found the question almost offensive. I’d respond cheerfully, no, not at all, he loves his family too much. One morning at my son’s school someone asked and I laughed, looking over at ex and answered with my same answer. His face showed no emotion. I remember thinking that was odd. Being a chump, I shrugged it off, made the excuse to myself that he had other things on his mind. Today, I’d agree he had other things on his mind and it wasn’t his love for his family.
    Which reminds me. It’s been a few years since I’ve mentioned this story. another example of how naive I was. Cheater and crew went to Alaska, checked into their hotel, had dinner, then all met in the bar for drinks. There were other crew members from different airlines at the bar as well. I was told there were a few girls at the bar also who had been drinking. One girl was more drunk than her friends. A full bar of pilots of all ages, and this girl wouldn’t leave cheater alone all night. Even after he refused her advances, she still wouldn’t leave him alone. I asked if she behaved that way with anyone else in the bar. No, she just wanted Mr. Nice Guy.
    If cheater doesn’t like someone or wants them to disappear he makes certain they know how he feels.
    I almost forgot to mention, cheater’s such a nice guy, he was concerned for her safety getting back to her room. with her being so drunk. Such a gentleman, he did the honorable thing, walked her up to her room that night.
    My husband, called to let me know what happened before his flight home the next day, just in case I heard the story from someone else. He wanted me to hear the story from him first. A few pilot crews in the bar, maybe 20 pilots and this drunk woman, only wanted my husband and he did the honorable thing.
    Yes, I. believed him. I was so lucky to be married to such an honest man.
    The ladies I worked with were older and didn’t care for cheater. I remember the weird looks and silence after I told them the story. I thought it was because they just didn’t like him. Now I think they were probably concerned and didn’t know what to do or say to bring me back.

    • Yup, the “I want you to hear it from me first” story. I was in a professional training program that had class all day on Mondays (even holiday Mondays when Cheater was off). He called me during class (something he never did) to tell me that he had been in a bike accident. He was biking somewhere that he had never been and was attacked by a dog who forced him to crash and his knee hit a rock, fracturing his large kneecap bone. I told this story at work (hospital) and an ER doc heard me and said “the patella is hard to break, Ive seen horrible car crashes without knee fractures”…I think she was trying to warn me.

      I did, however, win a ChumpLady award for believing the stupidest story. Who wants to take bets on a jealous husband hitting him in the kneecap with a baseball bat?

      • I prefer very active vacations, cycling and hiking. The only time I crashed and burned was hiking up to the falls along the Na Pali coast in Hawai’i. Slogging through a creek the way up and hopping from rock to rock. Slipped, smashed my knee cap (patella) and it swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe. Good thing I didn’t sprain or break my ankle. Signs posted along the trail warning of the risk of drowning in very little water because of face plants.
        I vote that somebody cracked his knee cap with a crow bar or cricket bat. Well deserved.

    • “The Pilot’s Wife” ended a friendship with my walking partner. She postulated that the mistress character experienced equal pain as the wife. I tried explaining about “agency” and the advantage of knowing what is going on. She continued to argue her position.

      My ex-FW was a part-time musician, in addition to his full-time job which required being on-call. I feel like I spent our whole marriage waiting for him to come home.

      • I can relate to the last pharagraph so much. My ex- husband enjoyed a lot of hobbies outside of his full time job and those hobbies required many hours of practice, time, and most of the weekends we had. As a chump, I always supported him. I never thought that he was not putting his family first and was acting like he was in college. I will not even mention never ending happy hours, gatherings after work, plans that were never discussed with me. I also felt like my whole marriage was about waiting for him to come. When he did, he just played computer games. I was working two jobs, one of which was fulltime. Yet I was doing everything, I mean everything at home, cooking for us everyday, welcoming him with a huge smile and focusing all my attention on him. Of course, nothing is enough for these people.

    • It might make infidelity more likely and more socially acceptable, but being a pilot (or other careers that involve business trips and a culture of permissibility and indulgence) is no excuse. Brit, you did not sign up for that. You didn’t deserve, nor did you condone, your ex’s double life. If it’s par for the course, it shouldn’t be. I suspect anyone who implies that is grappling with their own infidelity-related issues. Being a pilot and a dirtbag…? That’s another story, and of course it would alert my suspicions, too. Even then, you’d invested your life in your ex, and we all know that spackling + manipulation is a recipe for longterm abuse. Still very much not your fault for not seeing/expecting betrayal.

      Sometimes, I feel guilty or naive for how trusting I was in my somewhat unconventional relationship. Then I remind myself that I, too, traveled extensively and even worked abroad for a year; I also worked alone with a man I considered a good friend, for years. There were surely plenty of “opportunities,” if I’d been interested, but I wasn’t looking and cheating was never on the table, no matter how poorly my ex treated me nor how unfulfilled I felt in my life or relationship. My ex was my person, and I thought he was mine. I had his and our best interests in mind — indeed, above my own. No one could take his place, no matter how charming or compatible they seemed. When I began to face how badly I needed to change something because my relationship was not acceptable to me (this was pre-DDay), I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. I remained loyal even after DDay, after he revealed himself as a pathetic serial cheater and liar, for that matter! This tells me that time apart does not make cheating inevitable, and neither do close working relationships with the opposite sex. It also dispels the monogamy is impossible/boring myth, too.

    • We must have been married to identical twins! I didn’t read the book either, sure it was full of improbable plot twists and stereotypes leading to a soppy ending. I trusted FW completely based on a conversation we had before we were married. One of his fellow pilots was having an affair and FW said something to the effect that a broken promise in a marriage was a deal breaker. In hindsight I can see he was addressing that to me, didn’t include himself.

      Fast forward thirty-some years to a few months before retirement and I accidentally discovered the email addresses of two women. When confronted he told me what he did at work was none of my business, that he was a man and could do what he wanted. He claimed he no longer saw the one in Germany and the one in Brazil, well, lots of guys had girlfriends in Brazil. The trickle truth had started and it sure sounded like she was a hooker.

      He came unwillinglyly to marriage counselling for three sessions and more of the story came out. Turns out that he was cheating even before we got married. Then the light went on – that wasn’t a UTI he had, it was chlamydia. He was furious when my GP insisted I be tested for STI’s and I chose to go private and submit the bill to his insurance at work. He told me I didn’t need to waste the money because he was being tested every six months at work (along with routine blood tests) and the company doctor was providing him with condoms (and Viagra BTW!)

      It explained why he never wanted to socialize with workmates or to introduce me if we bumped into someone he knew from work. Heaven only knows what he told them because I think many of them knew he was cheating. Probably said I was cool with it.

      I stayed, thinking that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to cheat when he wasn’t working and staying in free, four-star hotel rooms. Did I mention he is really cheap too? I was afraid I would be left on the street pushing a shopping cart filled with my possessions. Well, of course it took a little more time and ingenuity but he waited until I was away visiting family and he brought her into our home. Big mistake because she left clues, whether deliberately or not I don’t know or care. This time I did some research, found out I am entitled to half of everything he acquired in our marriage and I filed. When I confronted him the look on his face was priceless because until that moment I’m certain he was sure I would never leave.

      He is fighting with everything he can muster and has a very sleazy lawyer but I am slowly getting to the finish line. My attorney has been forced to go to court at every step of the way to get them to comply but we’re getting there. They chose to go to trial and now we’re waiting for the court to assign a date. It will probably be several months away but it’s another step closer. Slowly, slowly ….

      • Ex was forced to comply by court. It was terribly incomplete of course. I filed for continuance at one point because business taxes hadn’t been completed. Continuance granted, but vehemently opposed by his attorney. Then motion for sanctions. 2.5 years to complete, COVID did play a role but I’m sure at least a year was wasted. Good luck Janie.

  • I think the worse was when I learned not only that the OW spanned back to when we were engaged, but also when I learned about his disgusting fetishes. Particularly the high he gets off incest stories. It always struck me that his sister seemed jealous of me and as I learned more about narcissism, I realized the triangulation he set up between his sister and me. How he had me pick me dancing with his sister. I had thought for years she and I were just typical in-laws who didn’t get along. But then I saw his role in it. How he refused to stand up to her. How he was enjoying the show. And it sunk in that if they did not have a sexual relationship, he likely fantasized one. So gross. As if the OW and cheating weren’t bad enough, to realize FW lusts after his own sister. 🤢

    It just confirmed for me how disordered he is. As if I didn’t already have enough reason to run away from him as far as possible and give up all hope. Klootzak is an absolute pig. He also looks at prepubescent girls in a way that makes me squirm. If I had evidence of anything illegal I would be at the police station with it in a heartbeat. I regret that I bred with him. I love my son with all my heart but having him keeps me tied to this sicko longer.

    • “I think the worse was when I learned not only that the OW spanned back to when we were engaged, but also when I learned about his disgusting fetishes.”

      Me too. Finding that out sent me into PTSD. It was horrifying to learn what kind of sick fuck I had been sleeping with for all those years. I felt dirty and violated.

      “He also looks at prepubescent girls in a way that makes me squirm.”

      Shit, that’s scary!

  • Thought it was just a couple of times when he was feeling bad about himself. He admitted that he never intended to be faithful when he married me. So many things started to make sense after that. He is a worthless MF who gets to walk free in this world. How is there no consequences for 35 years of wasting my time? Abusing me by denying me informed consent. I do really well most days but every so often especially when I have to spend the day with coupled people I feel like a societal shadow. Female, in my 60’s and unmarried. How dare I take up space!

    • “How is there no consequences for 35 years of wasting my time? Abusing me by denying me informed consent.”

      This is why I say we should be ruthless and get all the money we can. It will be the only compensation we get, and it is the only consequence the FW cares about. Leaving them is not a consequence that matters to them.

      Spoony, you go ahead and take up all the space you want. Fuck ’em all if they don’t like it. By the time you reach your sixties, you’ve had a lifetime of dealing with other people’s bullshit, especially if you were with a cheater. I’m just not tolerating it anymore.

  • I hope our testimonies will help other chumps trust they suck and that it’s always way worse than we can even imagine. If I’d found LACGAL and this blog sooner, I might’ve managed to get out sooner and to get a fairer outcome — while also maintaining a shred of dignity.

    When ex got sober (he was already cheating but it was still years before DDay), he confessed that what I knew of his alcoholism and how he’d been spending his time was the very tip of the iceberg. After DDay 2 (or was it 3?), he also shared he’d briefly (?) gotten into pills with one of the AP’s.

    DDay 1, the fuckwit confessed a brief, “inconsequential” summer fling. That shocked me (and the close family/friends I eventually told) and was bad enough, so although things didn’t add up, I believed that was it. Subsequent discoveries revealed a seven-year (plus?)-long double life (if you don’t count the secret drinking, drugs and daily porn use he kept hidden from me our entire fifteen year relationship), with at least two revolving AP’s who were a decade his junior and college-aged when these affairs began. I’m pretty certain our unconventional but seemingly wholesome and intimate shared life was constant lies and betrayals, and nothing would surprise me now. At the very end, he confessed (bragged? who knows…) that there were many more “opportunities” that he passed up (yah). All those years, his trips, work away from home, errands, confusing comments/stories (some quite elaborate), subtle devaluations, over-the-top praise, gifts, “fights,” etc. were part of the con, but I was an unsuspecting chump/chaos janitor/spouse appliance/cheerleader. Everything I experienced and the evidence I saw (surface vs. reality) exposed my ex as a stranger I could neither love nor respect; he was/is repulsive and pathetic. Now, I occasionally have a belated revelation when misc. memories fall into place, but this just makes me feel relieved of the burden of needing to know. He’s not actively central in my life (even though the consequences of his abuse still are), and I no longer depend on him for anything. Likewise, although my life is much smaller, I also don’t regret cutting ties with those who knew and weren’t there for me. The betrayals from acquaintances, friends and even family were so much worse than I could’ve imagined, and even now I don’t know who knew/what they knew/for how long. I’m mostly over the hurt, but it does make me feel woozy to think/write about the years long betrayal and deception even now. I also feel like a cliche, but I can’t imagine trusting anyone, romantically or otherwise, ever again. I only 100% trust one of my sisters. That’s it. These stories of abuse and deception are so common — and many are far worse than my own. It’s overwhelming, and I don’t understand how everyone isn’t as skeptical as I am.

    I think it’s worth adding that it wasn’t until after actually leaving that, with time and reflection, I was also able to recognize that what I directly experienced was far worse than I admitted to myself at the time. It wasn’t just the secrets vs. reality that didn’t match up. One example of this is that my ex was physically abusive for years, but in ways that I normalized because of his gaslighting and my own chumpiness/FOO; I was also in a vulnerable position after years of financial and emotional abuse. It wasn’t until things escalated (physically and otherwise) to a point I could no longer spackle over that I left, but even then, I didn’t think of him as abusive. Now I know, but I think most people can’t/won’t believe me (even though he admitted to it in writing and is a proven liar and cheater) and he’d just DARVO is I tried to set the record straight — and I don’t see the point in subjecting myself to all that just to make things worse. I didn’t care about my life then, and I feel pretty detached from it all now, but I can admit — if not fully comprehend — that I was in a very unsafe situation, especially at the end.

  • With FW#1: It was a 3 month affair. Then I learned he was on this odd erotica co-writing exchange where people pretended they were animals (was he a furry?). Then I found out he was on Adult Friend Finder (It was just a lark!). Then I learned he was watching porn from when he got home at 4:00pm until 2:00am (He claimed he was working). Then I learned he was reading erotica online at work to get past the porn filters (this was pre smart-phone). Then he claimed he had a sex and porn addiction so he put special filters on the computer so he switched to watching sexualized YouTube videos (light porn) for 8-12 hours a day. Each discovery crushed my soul and self-esteem more. Then I finally left and regained it.
    With FW#2: I left him when I found out it was not a ONS and in fact a longer (not sure how long) affair. No need to explore further and damage myself more than he already did.

  • It wasn’t one affair with a former boss that ended 8 years prior and lasted “only 2 years.” It was more like 6-8 affairs (all married men with kids) going on intermittently the entirety of our 22-year marriage—and continuing during MC after D-day 1–including affairs with TWO of my groomsman, one of whom was my best man and best friend since 6th grade. Also fake airline tickets, fake trips, introducing my kids to APs, a self-portrait of an AP hung in our home, etc. And I’m certain there’s plenty I don’t know. I virtually lost my ability to think something’s impossible.

    • “including affairs with TWO of my groomsman, one of whom was my best man and best friend since 6th grade. Also fake airline tickets, fake trips, introducing my kids to APs, a self-portrait of an AP hung in our home, etc.”

      Slut is too nice a word for her. I hope you went NC with those so-called friends who fucked your wife.

    • X was so fukked up. and ap’s are fukked up. glad to be rid of them all.

    • Oh wow, that sucks. I’m glad she blew up our life after at least one. I’m not going to investigate after that.

      Fortunately, my best man and a guy I consider my brother read her the riot act when she called him to plead her case on why she was leaving. She was that delusional.

  • I really wouldn’t know but one thing I do know is that people have no morals so nothing would surprise me anymore. I’ve dealt with a lot of gas lighting but absolutely zero clearly said to my face. People are cowards, they don’t want to tell you but want you to know I guess. Some woman have no problem just going through guy after guy then playing innocent like everyone gets the wrong idea about their disgusting behavior. No one has the wrong idea. You’re a hoe. That’s an an attractive quality for some. I really don’t want any of it in my life. It’s truly vomit inducing to even think about.

  • On D-day I found out about one 2-year affair and a couple of other one or two timers. Over a span of the next 6 months I found out about approx. 18 girls over our relationship of 6 years. That he “cheated” on this long term schmoopie as well. That he had a threesome in my bed. That he went on a “work trip” with her and they were swinging with another couple. That he kept photos and videos of all exes and hook-ups of like 20 years in a secret folder. That he’s a narcissist psychopath, who had lived a double life ever since he started dating in his late teen years.

  • Shortly after DDay I started investigating and found out that while we were on our Hawaiian family vacation at Aulani (just one month before DDay), he had rented a hotel room in Waikiki and hooked up with someone there. I saw the credit card charge. He had wanted to go on a helicopter tour out of Waikiki and our daughter and I didn’t want to so he was going alone. He announced that morning that he would do some sightseeing alone in Waikiki. I thought that was weird while we were at the resort on the other side of the island. But Chump ol’ me went along with it. And he f**ked some stranger while my daughter and I were on the lazy river.

    I also discovered he spent $17k IN ONE MONTH flying three women into our local airport, paying them, and putting them up in a local hotel. Professional fetishists, he met online.

    Of course, DDay revealed 7 years of serial cheating. He is currently planning to propose and marry his 22yo sugar baby that he met on an arrangement site. He bought her when she was 18 and they’ve been cheating since (going on 5 years). But, you know, a 22yo ‘gets’ him in a way that I never could. [insert eyeroll]

    21 years together (17 married) and I clearly never knew this person.

    • Oh, I should mention he’s currently dragging out our divorce because he doesn’t want me to get alimony and only wants to pay the bare minimum of child support. I’m sure the child mistress thinks I’m the one dragging it out but he needs to maintain his facade of being her wealthy sugar daddy until he locks her down, I guess.

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