Are ‘Emotional Affairs’ and Texting Other Women Cheating?

emotional affairs and texting

She’s married to a man who engages in repeated emotional affairs and is constantly texting other women — but is it cheating?

***

Dear Chump Lady,

I’m eternally grateful to my friends for directing me to your site, even though it complicates most of the advice I’ve been hearing about my marriage.

Here’s my situation: I’ve been married to John for 9 years. We have an infant son. About four months ago, John told me he and one of his teammates from softball were developing feelings for each other and had essentially spent the last two weeks in an emotional affair.

Shocked but fighty, I said he could take that moment to choose between her and his family, and if he chose his family, he was going to have to walk the walk.

He agreed to immediate and complete no-contact with the OW.

He quit the softball team and doesn’t speak with their mutual friends. Also, he gave me all his electronics and agreed to have a professional search his phone so I could see any deleted data. It’s been five months, he’s been strict with the no contact (I hired a PI… not too trusting), and he seems to be deeply reinvesting.

At times, it seems obvious that our marriage has a future. I know no one is perfect, he did confess very early, the phone search seems to confirm a lack of physical intimacy. He’s being really great now.

I think I can get past the pain if he’s just an idiot who played with fire…

…let it get out of hand, and had to run back to his real life with his tail between his legs. However, there’s a sticking point. Although electronic records confirm the sexual texting with OW was only happening for about two weeks before D-day, they also show he’d sent this woman non-sexual text messages almost daily for the prior 8 months.

My husband is notorious for never remembering to reply to his friends, and his text ignoring has been a major issue in our marriage. I hate that for those 8 months, I wouldn’t get what time he’d be home for supper, but she’d get funny stories and thoughtful news items.

And then some history: there have been two other times in our marriage where he had friendships with other women that made me uncomfortable. In both cases he reassured me and also completely cut off contact with the women in question. I was left doubting if there had been a real issue.

So now, what do I do with someone who has never truly cheated and will demonstrably toss all other women out the window when our marriage is threatened, but who has routinely spent time and energy on emotional “friendships” with women, and whose curiosity: boundary ratio is exhausting for me at best?

Yours,

Not Too Harsh in Colorado

****

Dear Colorado,

Don’t you have an infant to be exhausted by? Do you really need to be chasing your husband’s wandering dick friendships too? (Is there a way to child-proof that? Velcro tethers? Socket-plugs? Monitors?)

Big step back, Colorado. This is a pattern. While purportedly committed to you, he pursues other women. That’s where he invests his time. (And finds more time for softball too!) When busted, he promises to end it. Finds a new Schmoopie. Rinse. Repeat.

Google the abuse cycle. You’re living it.

But, but! Emotional affair!

You’re doing the pick-me dance for your husband’s attention.

You’ve temporarily won the turd. Whether he consummates his affairs or not doesn’t lessen the toxic power dynamic here. He “invests” in you. You have deep sunk costs — a marriage and a baby — and he gambles that. Repeatedly. Essentially threatening abandonment and never letting you feel secure in your attachment to him, or his commitment to your shared life.

Enter private investigator, stage right.

How secure do you feel about these “friendships” (emotional affairs and texting) with other women? Marriage policing is what frightened people do. It’s trying to control the uncontrollable. Trust But Verify is what foreign nations frenemies do to each other. This is fine when we’re dealing with copyright piracy or Soviet spies. It’s not okay between partners.

Do you want to be hypervigilant?

I’m not snoop judging you — chump’s gotta do what a chump’s gotta do. I’m saying — IS THIS HOW YOU WANT TO LIVE?

Well, obviously NO, Tracy. He’s being “really great” now!

Yeah. How’s that been working for you?

You can invest in his potential to be a grown-up loving partner — and our evidence of that is what? His dick is tethered to a bedpost? Someone took his Twitter away? He’s being nice to you? — or you can invest in yourself.

Examine what ties you to him and if you really need it that bad.

He’s checked out.

Fact is, this guy’s character is A-okay checking out on his young, vulnerable new-mom wife. That’s a shit stain that is very hard to rinse.

My husband is notorious for never remembering to reply to his friends, and his text ignoring has been a major issue in our marriage.

Red flag. Ignoring texts, dark periods of off the grid — CN, raise your hand if your cheater’s cell phone dropped in the craziest places.

Also, it’s a dynamic of You’re Not the Boss of Me. Lack of accountability is as delightful in friendships as it is in marriages.

agreed to have a professional search his phone so I could see any deleted data

For the phone you know about. This is a very easy work around. Ask a few thousand people here how they know.

YOU’RE SO GLOOMY, CHUMP LADY!

Bad character is what it looks like. You’re asking a unicorn-skeptic if you have a unicorn.

No, I don’t think you do. That’s as un-harsh as I can be.

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KG
KG
4 years ago

“I must have left my phone in the crapper.”
Actual excuse used by cheating ex when he was working out of town to explain not answering texts for 4 or 5 hours in the evening.

IMarriedAnAsshat
IMarriedAnAsshat
4 years ago
Reply to  KG

“Go ahead, check my computer!” Yep, he borrowed another from work and hid it in the basement. I would have never thought I’d be here after 28 years. please protect yourself and your little one, hugs!

Lynn
Lynn
4 years ago

My husband doesn’t have a computer he doesn’t have a cell phone either , he’s not very good with cell phones he says But he seems to be able to use other people phones just find So no checking up on him that way ,

Sisu
Sisu
4 years ago
Reply to  KG

“My phone died,” said my ex who carried a portable charger with him all the time.

Another good one was “I didn’t have cell service” when he was supposedly in an area with fine cell service.

Used to be a chump.
Used to be a chump.
4 years ago
Reply to  Sisu

I have experience of this. My ex supposedly never cheated physically. Unfortunately the emotional affairs kept coming. I realised that it was actually way more than just a need for something outside of the relationship but actually a rather clever control strategy.

He won’t stop. Eventually it will go further and you will be blindsided because you have grown used to him conducting these weird little “friendships” with extras.

Jump.

Thirtythreeyearsachump
Thirtythreeyearsachump
4 years ago

Colorado, I’m so sorry. He has another phone. He is communicating through gaming apps. He can conmunicate in various in-line communities. You are not physically capable of screening all the ways he can illicitly communicate with his AP. He won’t stop. Ask me how I know?

You only create a more proficient cheater with marriage policing. Cheaters live for duper’s delight, the furtive secretive thrill of fooling another. You are a new mother. You could be reveling in the joy of a new baby. But because of him you are screening his phone, doubting his word, second guessing every word.

He told you it was an emotional affair. Nope, it was an affair. There is no lesser no-harm, no-foul affair. He chose to abandon his marriage when his pregnant wife needed him more than ever.

My STBX used to claim he had left the phone in the truck. He could answer my texts THE PHONE WAS IN THE TRUCK. Right. At all other times that phone was glued to his hand. He would clutch it while sleeping. He was cheating and my texts and phone calls no doubt put him off his stroke.

You don’t have anything to work with here. I deeply regret not leaving the first time I knew he cheated. I could have saved myself the pain of multiple affairs over decades. Saved myself the humiliation of discovering he gave me an STI. Saved myself from the abuse that is adultery. You can do that. You can save yourself.

Been there
Been there
4 years ago

I didn’t know what a burner phone was until my now ex husband told me about them. It makes me sick to Fred this Bc I see things so clearly now after 2 years post leaving my ex. Everything your husband is going is mind games. He’s giving you access so you think he’s not f’ing up or f’ing around when he really is. Trust your gut. You know the answer but it’s devastating to admit it. I let my narcissistic ex after 10 years of marriage and 3 kids under the age of 5. I know the pain you’re going through and he won’t get better. He will only get worse and then blame you and make you feel crazy. Get out now while you can. I’m so sorry. It will save you years of unbelievable heartache and you can learn to live a life without the chaos and drama a narc brings into every situation.

BetterOff1Day
BetterOff1Day
4 years ago

Thirtythreeyearsachump – “He has another phone. He is communicating through gaming apps. He can conmunicate in various in-line communities. You are not physically capable of screening all the ways he can illicitly communicate with his AP. He won’t stop. Ask me how I know?” “At all other times that phone was glued to his hand. He would clutch it while sleeping.” “You don’t have anything to work with here. I deeply regret not leaving the first time I knew he cheated. Saved myself the humiliation of discovering he gave me an STI. Saved myself from the abuse that is adultery.” This.All.Of.This. Colorado, please use all of this advice to your advantage. Do not be like many of us and allow several discovery days (3 for me). Much love.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  BetterOff1Day

Yep – mine has his phone an inch from his eyeballs 24/7 except when I’m trying to get ahold of him.

Colorado
Colorado
4 years ago

Hi CN, it’s Colorado.

I can’t figure out how to post a comment on the main thread so I am replying here… somebody let CL know I’m commenting, I know she requests it if she publishes our letters!!

Ughhhhh, thank you for the comments back to this. Does anyone else hit a brick wall where the issue is that they just DO trust their partner though? Like I just don’t think he has a burner phone. I intellectually realize he might but I don’t believe it. But I guess I do partly believe it because as CL says… PI, “frenemy nations”. God. Got to love not even knowing what my own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are.
Love you CN

Onemoreday
Onemoreday
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Colorado,

I was particularly interested in your letter and story. My H had an intense 2 month emotional affair before admitting it. The way he admitted it was cowardly and abusive, however, that is another thread to my story. But the strong emotional connection did not begin with that one email or interaction. They both primed the pump, played with fire for a few months before admitting their feelings for each other. The emotional affair then really began long before they admitted feelings.

Understand that sexual or not, he shared intimacy with this woman and not you. Your concern about the texts are only an illustration of this. He was intimate with her INSTEAD of you, sex or not. Choosing to share anecdotes with her and not texting you back or sharing those anecdotes with you is infidelity. Keeping secrets about a relationship is art of infidelity. Good for him for recognizing it and coming clean before it progressed. But you don’t get to breathe easy, yet. He has a problem. Does he recognize this? Is he willing to work with a professional to explore his poor boundaries and learn healthy boundaries? Does he care enough about the marriage to work on his issues?

Lastly, don’t be the marriage police. Either you trust him or you don’t. He’s working on his boundary issues because he wants to or he’s not. Trust him on his actions and not his words. But trust your gut and that infidelity is not defined only by sex. It is also defined by secrets and intimacy. Don’t brush this under the rug. It IS a big deal.

EMC
EMC
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Hi Colorado. I am also a fellow Coloradoan, which I affectionately have labeled God’s Backyard ???? I have been reading CL for 6 years.
It starts w an emotional affair….pushing the boundaries…they just don’t choose you, keep you on your toes, have a fear of missing out and always looking around the corner…
Mine, while we were dating, also told me he had a crush on a girl then asked me if they could be friends. I said no, and cut him off so he could be with her. Should have left it there and moved on permanently. 3 months later, his whirlwind affair ended badly and he came back to me, which I stupidly thought he learned his lesson the first time, (that I know of…found out about many others after final divorce…and yes, they fucked.)
4 years later, married with toddler, and I found another one that ended in divorce.
IT STARTS WITH AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR.
Trust me when I tell you that it’s exponentially better being a single mom, than being paranoid with self esteem dwindling. Just as you begin to trust them again, and let your guard down, they’re at it again. I’m not the jealous type, never been and wasn’t about to make him give me all his passwords, end all his female friendships and look through his phone. I wasn’t HIS mommy.
I thought that since he was honest about having close female friendships, or admitting his crush, it meant he was sincere about saving our family or being trustworthy again…nope…sorry lady. No such thing as an honest cheat.
Take the last of your self respect and kick his ass to the curb! I promise, in time, you will rejoice that you did and you will be more than ok! ????

EMC
EMC
4 years ago
Reply to  EMC

I might also add, emotional affair my ass! Guaranteed they slept together and he feels guilty about it; either because the bedroom sparks weren’t actually there, or, he stuck his dick in crazy, and needed to cut her off; but only told you it was an emotional affair, so that he could still have female friends, and also eat cake. No such thing as an honest cheat.

Lifeisgood
Lifeisgood
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

You don’t believe or you don’t want to believe?

My “family minded, conservative” ex had a burner phone and communicated through twitter mail. He didn’t give me access but knew I was studying the phone bills. The burner phone was to communicate within the hospital where the reception was worse with t-mobile. ..

The big red flag to me was your husband handing over the phone for you to check out. Classic decoy distraction move.

As a noninterested 3rd party, I smell a rat.

I used to be a chump
I used to be a chump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Yes. This was me. I obstinately trusted my ex. I believed everything he said about the emotional affairs (how they were always instigated by the woman and how he felt neglected by me) and believed that my feelings were unjustified.

However I don’t blame myself really, I couldn’t have known it would become a patten and I don’t want to be the partner who polices her other half.

What I do regret is ignoring the elephant in the room. The one time I knew for sure it was him escalating the friendship I forgave him, told myself it was a one off mistake and just a friendship that got too close.

I realise now that that was always his endgame. He likes to triangulate and having other women around willing to be there in that capacity gave him a massive buzz. He didn’t care one iota how it made me feel while it was going on and that should have been enough for self preservation to kick in.

I ended up paranoid and full of self doubt because I didn’t listen to my better judgement.

chumpdownunder69
chumpdownunder69
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Hi Colorado, it’s great that you’ve found CN but it’s awful that you’ve had to. I’m so sorry for what your going thru. Your husband sounds very much like mine. Is he very needy for affection? Mine cheated through 9 of our 12 years together. Unfortunately when the pattern of going to others to get their emotional needs met is established it’s very hard for them to change. I know you want to believe him but take it from me, there’s probably a whole lot more you don’t know about. I so wanted to believe my cheater too, he is so unlike most of the narc cheaters described here. But then I looked up covert narcissists & discovered who he is. They are able to wear that good guy innocence like it’s a second skin. When you realise he’s got a whole other side that you never see, it will be heartbreaking & a mother of all mindfucks. It’s really hard but unfortunately you will probably go through a couple more d-days before you realise that you deserve better than what he can give. It sucks it really does. It’s going to hurt like a motherfucker but gather your support network around you & youll be ok.

superchumpsince2014
superchumpsince2014
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Giant (((HUGS))). It’s your relationship and ultimately you decide if you stay or not. This is a great site and blog for *leaving* a cheater and moving on with your life. You may stay and eventually be happy. There are a number of FB groups for after the affair that have contributors and left their Cheaters and others that stayed.

My best friend is in my guest room right now debating if her husbands emotional affairs were acceptable to her or not. I can see on her face she’s in hell. But she has so much invested. Years. An organization. A community in commons. Plus – the pressure to make a native relationship ‘work’.

We’re seeing the few paragraphs of probably some of the worst bull shits he’s flung at you. And it’s not pretty. Sounds like crap to me. We are all likely to see our cheater in there somewhere. It’s totally up to you if you want to give a go at trusting him. If you keep coming back to this site it’s likely 1) you don’t actually trust him and need a little time and a LOT of support to finally leave 2) you’ll have a hard time moving on because you are not going to hear tips for reconciliation here – just more story of doubt and destruction.

If you‘ve decided to trust him and the current relationship is acceptable to you there are other support resources such as marriage counciling and ‘after the affair’ online support groups.

* we are not a group of psychics. We dont *know* that he has another phone.

** the last thing you said, ‘nothing like not even trusting your own thoughts and feelings’ – sounds like the definition of gaslighting

sunshine
sunshine
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I would’ve bet $1 million that my now exH never cheated on on me. That’s how much I believed in him and trusted our love for each other… until he and everyone we knew told me that he’d cheated on me about 1,000x over our 17 yrs together. They train you and gaslight you and manipulate you until they have you convinced that black is white and vice versa. Only when you get away from them, go no contact for a healthy period of time, and process the abuse through therapy or some other method is possible to regain the ability to see their true nature clearly.

Neverknew19
Neverknew19
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

My only advice is to trust your gut. You are feeling uneasy for reason. It all comes down trusting that voice that is telling you something is not right.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Neverknew19

Amen Neverknew!
I felt uneasy my entire marriage, heck even before my marriage but I kept making up stories to explain how it was my issue or that he was acting this or that way because of work stress. Nope. Cheating the entire marriage.

Feeling uneasy and like you can’t trust someone is all you need to know.

Karma Train
Karma Train
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Hey Colorado…. my STBX was computer, cell, internet illiterate, truly. But after I found out about the affair and his whore found out I knew, guess who helped him secure a burner? Whore was tech savvy, this wasn’t her first rodeo and she was all too happy to help. He kept the burner at work in his locker and I was none the wiser.

Enter 4 years marriage police, some here have invested so much more. It was a crazy time, for me, not for him, he still had the whore. I pain shopped daily, it never left my thoughts and I always wondered. Why is he late from work, what store did he stop at, why is work calling? Unless you’re super human and have mind control powers, you’ll never forget.

Everyone here will help you, will help you understand the years they invested. A majority had the ending of nightmares, and there may be people out there that actually had a unicorn (a spouse who only cheated once). This doesn’t change you. Your brain, your thoughts and feelings. CL is right, is this what you want for you? Your baby? Although he had consistently made this about him, with his selfish narcissistic behavior, what do you want?

Please be kind to yourself, he should not even come into the equation when considering your mental health and self care. He didn’t think about those things when he was doing what he was doing. Take care and come here as often as necessary. There is also a Reddit forum. We are here to listen and help. Always!

MovingontoMeh
MovingontoMeh
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

There’s a term for this. I can’t remember and Google didn’t help right now but it’s the opposite of confirmation bias. Basically you can’t imagine someone doing certain bad things because you would never do them (or even think of them) yourself. My X had PO Boxes, payday loans, participated in depositions that I had NO IDEA about. In my wildest dreams (nightmares) I couldn’t have thought up the stuff he was up to. After our first separation kid swap my kids came home telling me dad had a bunch of old phones they could play with. Like 7. That appeared within 2 weeks of him moving out.
Colorado, I know where you are ’cause I was there myself. I discovered my husband’s at a pre-natal appointment for my 3rd pregnancy. It started as a wanted, joyful pregnancy cause I thought things were great. Happy marriage, devoted husband, cute kids. Some poor nurse had to tell me I had HPV (the cancerous kind) and Chlamydia. Dealing with the prospect of a cheater and an infant is terrifying and hard. I actually love the advice Mr. CL once gave: “You can work out exactly who he is later, what is evident right now is that his actions are harming you.” Marriage policing while dealing with a newborn is a psychological torture I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. If he’s all in, separate for a time and let him prove his unicorn status. I know I couldn’t face the prospect of divorce with a newborn and two young children so telling myself it was just a separation was the nudge I needed to do SOMETHING. Wish I’d have done it sooner.

Crazylady
Crazylady
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I didn’t think mine H would ever cheat on because of the way his dad cheated in his mother…well he did. I trusted him. Found out the affair went on for three years and yes he had a burner phone. I was the crazy bitch and the girlfriend was wonderful .. i was controlling and demanding – don’t know how because he was long haul truck driver. All i did was control everything at home. Go with your gut feeling. I wish I had earlier instead of being made the fool for three years. Best of luck to you Colorado.

Quetzal
Quetzal
4 years ago
Reply to  Crazylady

Mine’s mother cheated on his dad, left and broke up the family and this was all the more reason he hated his physically abusive mother. So i thought he wouldnt cheat. Wrong. Not only is he like his mother in many ways, he has a thing for women who are the spitting image of his mother. It chills me to the bone I ever slept with him, so disgusting.

Soldiering On
Soldiering On
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Read and follow:

https://www.chumplady.com/2015/01/leveling-financial-playing-field-way-door/

He’s already gone. Save yourself.

neverachumpagain
neverachumpagain
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Whether or not he has a burner phone or is continuing to communicate some other way with Schmoopie is irrelevant.

He has a history of putting his desires above your needs.

Forgets to text you back for hours – TOTAL B.S. He DID NOT forget, YOU JUST DON’T MATTER THAT MUCH to him. Let that sink in for a minute. He proved that he is not forgetful, because he responded to Schmoopie pretty quickly and sent her thoughtful texts and articles- but he can’t be bothered to let you know when he will be home for dinner? Come on now.

Many cheaters and narcissists are very good at making people believe that they are bumbling, forgetful but lovable people. The harsh truth is they are neither bumbling or forgetful, they are manipulative.

He confessed and that’s great, right? Well, not when he has a history of emotional affairs, and has no desire to change the behavior that led up to those affairs. What he is doing now, that is not real change. He is simply doing image management, and what I call get-aheading. Chances are he only told you about THIS emotional affair because either the OW was about tell you, or you were about to find out some other way. He didn’t tell you about the other 2, did he? No, you listened to your instinct about them.

If he hadn’t told you about this one, then what would have happened? It is a thin line between an emotional affair and a physical one, and it only takes opportunity to cross that threshold. Emotional affairs make it easier to justify crossing boundaries. Emotional affairs are just as bad as physical ones, because they are among other things, a breach of trust, a breach of marital vows/promises to be exclusive, and most importantly, the spouse/SO involved in the affair takes precious love, attention and emotional intimacy away from their partner and instead of investing in their relationship, they give it to the affair partner. You were robbed of what is rightfully yours.

This man put his marriage and family at risk for a fling, he put his selfish desires above his wife and infant child. He needed to be there for both of you and he wasn’t because he wasn’t happy/his needs weren’t being met/you ignored his needs/ or whatever excuse he gave.

It is up to you to proceed. My suggestion is for you to follow Tracey’s list on “Is it real remorse, or Ginuwine Naugahyde remorse.” Do everything on that list, including getting a post nup- no it does not mean you will get divorced, but it will let him know you are serious, you can tell by his reaction if he really wants to change, and it will make things easier should you decide to divorce.

Counseling is a must, for both of you.

Good luck and let us know what happens. We are here if you need us.

DuddersGetsChumped
DuddersGetsChumped
4 years ago

Many cheaters and narcissists are very good at making people believe that they are bumbling, forgetful but lovable people – THIS.

Mine said when I found out he was not overnight where he said he was that he slept on the sofa fully clothed and it was just ‘producers looking after calamitous directors’. They lie all the way, mine lies constantly for over a year and a half and when I thought things were off and mentioned it he told me some reasons why I had always made him feel bad but he stayed for love and all the good that outweighs the bad. They will say ANYTHING. Had it been the first time I MIGHT have said give it a go for the immediate confession but I would go. Actually I would get that pre-nup worked on first on the premise that if he is truly sorry he will see that with a young child you need to secure your position and I bet he doesn’t want to.

neverachumpagain
neverachumpagain
4 years ago

This, too. They change the story when caught. “Oh, oh I forgot .. I must have been mixed up… you confused me… that’s not what I said…. I’m tired from work/dealing with you/kids… ”

When I began to suspect that cheater mccheaterson was cheating on me again, I told him a little lie, to confirm if I was right. He told me some story about how power line fell on the car and that is why he was late picking me up from work and why he had been out of the house all day. Also why he just HAD to spend $250 (we were broke we needed that money for bills) on a new car stereo.

I knew then that he was cheating on me again, because when he did the first time, he lied about stupid sh*t and made up these elaborate stories. My lie? I told him that I didn’t believe him (not a lie), because if that had really happened, if a power line fell on the car while he was in it, he most likely would have been electrocuted (not sure about that but he was kinda stupid), there would have been a power outage (not a lie) and that the electric company would have notified all the utility companies in the area (not a lie) and I would have been notified (lie, because although I worked for the gas company at the time, I worked in collections of delinquent accounts, so last to know if at all).

He changed that story 3 or 4 times before I finally decided to tell a little lie.

He cracked. He had nowhere else to go with that story. He knew it, too. Then, of course, when he couldn’t lie anymore, the blame shifting began.

Colorado, if you are still reading this thread, be aware of this behavior. Ask him multiple times to repeat details to you. WHEN he falters or alters something, grab a hold of that and don’t let go. You will see then what he really is.

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago

DoddersGetsChumped,

Same description jumped out at me. His response when asked why he wasn’t honest in the beginning was that, ‘I was confused’.

Said in, what I now know is, classic TFC fashion.

I am no longer fooled by those plays now that I know what to look for thanks to CL and CN.

Just this morning my son did a blameshift on me. I caught it. Knew not to react vocally although I wanted to. So nice to know that what I learn here is applicable in many other situations.

Feels good to be able to see the moves now.

Bloody hell getting here though. 🙂

Lucky
Lucky
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I trusted mine – he left his high paying job to get an education to become a minister!!!

I trusted, spackled and danced pretty for 10 years. I just could not imagine that My Husband would be that guy!

I thought he was having a mid life crisis. Or a brain tumour. I felt sorry for him!!!

I became a person I did not even recognize.
The kids were NOT better off in their in-tact family.

I kept ignoring my gut. I mad my needs so very very small.

When he found his Soul Mate Tru Lurv he blew up our lives.

Run from this man child!!!

DeeplyChumpy
DeeplyChumpy
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Dear Colorado, my husband had an emotional affair- saw the pain he caused, promised if he felt that way again he would leave or tell me. 3 years later and I have found out about an affair. If CN could save one person the pain by getting out now even though you “hope” he changes we would.

If he is capable of lying, deceit, investing in another person – it’s a sign to RUN! Please run!!!

Sugar Plum
Sugar Plum
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Hon, even if actual sex wasn’t involved, do you want to be forced to be the affair police when you should be enjoying that tiny bundle of joy. Even if you can’t leave right now, you can detach. Focus your attention on the baby and yourself. Fuck him. Let him get his ego and dick stroked elsewhere. It is not a spouse’s job to make the other spouse be loyal. You will waste so much time and energy being the affair police instead of living and enjoying life. Right now you are just surviving in your marriage when you should be thriving as a wife and new mother. Today, stop the madness. Today, make your life thriving. And anyone that can’t keep up, or who holds you back from that, cut them loose.

EnergizerChump
EnergizerChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Colorado, I feel for you. I lurked here for months and just posted for the first time yesterday. I, too, have a new baby with cheater. I, too, took him at his word when he said things were innocent between he and female friends or when he said he was going to stop an activity that was creating tension in our relationship (part of our wreckonciliation after Dday). His disappearing acts and utter disrespect (not responding to texts from the woman he loves who is carrying/delivered his child) were a constant battle. I didn’t have the proof you have in front of you. I longed for it so I could feel that I was making the right decision in finally walking away. Ultimately, it was a new playlist of music he put together that was the silver bullet. It was Father’s Day weekend, he was making a big dinner and said, ah, let me put my new playlist on. (When did he have time to do that – he hadn’t mentioned it…) And in that moment, I looked at him and thought “it will never be just him and I. I will never feel like there is not some other energy.” At the time, he was not affectionate at all and had no physical interest in me. He wouldn’t even lay next to me in bed. I was done in – that playlist was made with/for someone else. Saying that outside of this community would make me sound like a lunatic, but Chump Nation gets it.

It has been a challenging and painful few months, especially seeing the patterns of behavior and the times when in our chumpiness, we give them the benefit of the doubt, when you see in hindsight, THEY WERE LYING! Cheater insists on video chatting with the baby, but is unavailable on the weekends to do so because he “deserves to live his life now that I’ve walked away from our family”. Cheater calls from his car during his commute because he’s going to turn in early (on business in New Orleans!!! Yeah, right.) Cheater calls visibly drunk and sends me abusive messages that there is something wrong with me when I hang up. It’s infuriating, gaslighting bullshit and makes me realize all the times I trusted him – because he asked me to – and he was lying.

I will say this – as hard as it has been, the peace of mind I have regained is invaluable and if I could go back, I would have walked away so long ago and spent all of that time investing my energy in my baby and myself. These are energy vampires we are dealing with – they crave attention and go looking for it. New moms delve deep and find reserves of energy beyond the depths of what we thought we were capable of and they are there to take from us! At the same time, they resent that your focus is not on them and they are going to make you pay.

One last thing – don’t discount the fact that someone will stick around because they want to avoid paying child support. They may seem newly rededicated to the family, but you have to ask – are they really looking out for themselves. I followed my instincts and they proved that I was right and being used. Today’s post reaffirmed that for me. I didn’t have the receipts as you do. You need to make the decision that is best for you and we are here to support you and have your back. It is complex, not black and white and just a terrible situation to be put in. You are a strong, capable, worthy and deserving person.

chumpupthevolume
chumpupthevolume
4 years ago
Reply to  EnergizerChump

I’m as positive as I can be that my cheater does not have another phone and does not communicate with his ex-mistress. He has apologized endlessly and is trying to make amends. He does therapy. So sure, I trust he’s not up to anything right now. Do I trust he’ll never cheat again? I do not. He’s a fraud and a liar. He enjoyed duping me, knew he was hurting me and didn’t stop. He wanted power imbalance due to his personal insecurity and misogynistic hostility. So I dumped him. After 32 years together, it was hard, but not as hard as playing marriage police the rest of my life and living with constant dread and anxiety.

Ask yourself not if you trust he’s not cheating right now, but do you trust that his pattern won’t repeat.
Unless he gets a shit ton of therapy and really works on himself, the strong odds are it will. As for him being really great right now, Google intermittent reinforcement. It’s a tactic abusers use to keep you hooked and it’s part of the cycle of abuse CL mentioned.

Liz C.
Liz C.
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Hi Colorado–I understand that you feel like this isn’t perhaps divorce-worthy behavior at the moment, especially with the new baby. Hugs to you in this terribly difficult situation.

I would say that apart from whether he does/doesn’t have a burner phone, or whether he has gone further with these women in the past…what, looking forward, is going to be one straw too many for YOU?

If I were you, I would perhaps consider telling him that one more toe out of line will result in the end. One more female friendship (since he can’t handle them), one more instance of not handing over his phone, one more unanswered text (unless he has an emergency room receipt to go with it)…..let him know that it will result not in marriage counseling, not in professional phone analysis, but in divorce. This is due to the pattern. It gives him all the chances in the world to NOT step out of line, because emotional affairs (like all affairs) are a conscious choice. All he has to do is NOT be an asshole, and everything will be fine.

I am also a big believer in the theory that marriage policing leads to a more subversive cheating spouse. But I know that your sunk costs and perhaps a little bit of denial about his patterns might make you want to stick it out. I get that. Just please be careful, and remember that what they disclose to you is often only the tip of the iceberg. I know you don’t want to overreact or leave a marriage on what you might see as scant evidence…but allow yourself to be skeptical at all turns.

**This message is brought to you by a chump whose spouse had several suspicious female friendships over the years, that I ignored….and I knew of the AP for over a year as *just a friend* then *just a friend that likes to say I Love You to all her friends* Then I accidentally saw the sex photos, and he ended up being secretly engaged to AP before our divorce was close to final. They only disclose the tip of the iceberg.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I totally understand this. But if you did trust that everything he’s saying *now* is honest then why the PI and forensics on his phone? Part of your brain is telling you not to trust this guy, that his story is suspect.

After catching my amazingly loving and attentive husband sexting/flirting on Facebook messenger I believed him when he said that’s all it was – a flirtation because he was having a ton of anxiety etc. I really believed him because it was clear he was head over heels for me and totally committed. He was apologetic etc.

Well, 18 months later I found out that the entire duration of our 2 year marriage he was seeing escorts, massage parlors, on hook up sites, hitting on co-workers, consuming massive amounts of porn and about 20k in debt over all of it. During these 18 months, he was still acting very much in love and very committed.

And yeah, my ex couldn’t be bothered to return a text to me because as I later found out he was at a massage parlor or sexting or at a hotel with an escort. Hell, he even ignored my texts one day because he’d posted something cute about himself on fb and was reveling in the likes and comments.

Narcissistic and selfish.

They may know they did something wrong and they may feel badly and vow to never do it again but it’s irresistible to them. They can both be compelled to cheat and their version of *in love* and committed to us at the same time. It’s easy for them.

I remember old relationships in which I never worried, didn’t feel the need to snoop, didn’t have anxiety when the guy was on a business trip – it is possible to be in a relationship without constant fears and needing to surveil the person. We don’t have to live this way.

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

First, ((hugs)). Second, I was like you with OW#1, the “she’s just a friend” emotional affair. Lies, lies, gaslighting, blameshifting, hostility, and finally he admitted it. He had no problem lying and then staying he had to lie because I couldn’t handle the truth. I pick me danced and won that turd, if only because the OW was a cockroach who scampered away the moment I challenged her. What a delight for him to have 2 women fight over him! I was humiliated.

9 years later he abandoned me completely, by e-mail, for OW#2. And blamed me for it.

Every single day in between I trusted him, and every single day he was lying. We had “been through so much” that I just knew he would never do anything to harm us again. I was wrong because he was lying. Simple as that.

He spent so much energy invested in other people, especially women he worked with. He ignored me and spent hours and hours with them, exchanging little quotes of the day and funny stories. I was just the Appliance at home raising his daughters. He loved the attention of other women and could paint me as crazy if I challenged him. “She is just friend.”

In the end he left with one of the work women who latched on. She is 26 to his 51.

I understand if you want to make a go of it and want to give him just one more chance. I have been there. Sadly I guarantee he will be back to doing this schtick of charming the ladies and will build a resentment toward you for being the police. His entitlement will grow and in the end he will tell you it is your fault. Eventually he will find a woman who is willing to set a match to your family along with him and they will talk about how awful you are and mock you behind your back as they make plans to skip off to happiness.

If you want to live that life for a while you can do so but please line up your ducks by making sure you understand all of the household finances, have copies of all vital records and precious baby photos secured somewhere out of the house, and have some skill to support you and your child in the future.

This sort of behavior from him is not going to get better, it only gets worse. He has you right where he needs you to be with his plausible deniability and sunk cost fallacy.

In the end he will leave you and blame you for it.

Quetzal
Quetzal
4 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

Absolutely! I dont have the experience of him leaving, but only because we were a decade into this mess.
By all the stories and research I did, I am positive he would have left cold, and not before doing something horrible during a pregnancy, if there ever would be one.

It’s not just a Pattern, it’s a Script, which is how terrorists operate.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

Get a post-nuptial agreement if you stay. Spell out what you want and what you GET if he has another affair of any sort. You want full custody. He gets visitation. You get the house of the bulk of the equity. He pays max child support directly through the state.You get Christmas night and morning with your kiddo. He gets Christmas afternoon. You get 1/2 the cash, 1/2 of other assets. And so on.

SmarterNow
SmarterNow
4 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yes yes yes. Colorado, do this at a minimum. It protects you and your son, your future, your worry AND it wil show his true colirs whatever they may be. Do this. You’ll be so happy you did and I’d just be so proud of you for hearing all this advice and being able to take it in and did something logical in the midst of all the emotion. Don’t just think 50/50 either; think 100% of things and if necessary negotiate down from 100%, never up from 50%.

Soldiering On
Soldiering On
4 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

Colorado, please note and follow this advice:

https://www.chumplady.com/2015/01/leveling-financial-playing-field-way-door/

You don’t trust him now, you can’t ever trust him again, and a committed couple must have trust or there is nothing.

He’s gone, he’s just not moved out of your house.

Get an attorney.

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
4 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

I should add- I was married 28 years. It never gets better, there is no safe numbered anniversary that assumes they are finally over their wandering. It actually gets worse with their receding hairlines and expanding midsections. There are so many Chumps here who had DECADES of this crap wishing it would get better. So much invested, so much stolen.

UnderConstruction
UnderConstruction
4 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

Exactly. It doesn’t get better or easier – but, it can feel less painful, slightly, because you do end up sanding down your own boundaries, your individuality and your expectations for an honest, loyal, trustworthy partner. Beware of the slow disintegration from the inside. I walked away a shell of my former strong creative self after taking my x back for another round of years after his first affair.

Also, I’m so sorry that this is happening in your life. He’s effectively altering the way you’ll remember your son’s infancy. Which is terrible. Take good care of yourself and respect yourself and your son above your husband. He’s sure not showing you or his son your deserved respect, unfortunately.

Magdalena
Magdalena
4 years ago

Honestly. I’m probably not the best person to say something, because I’m still stuck in my own shit with a cheating husband. I’m trying to get out. It’s a long process. One thing I can say, is on the empty shell you end up. I am there. I used to be so happy, so free, so loving, trusting. He broke me, long time ago, little by little, I have myself to blame. Don’t let that happen to you. It’s a horrible place to be in, and to build yourself again…it’s going to be a long road. I miss my old self.
Being so empty walking around like a zombie, is no fun. Don’t let anyone destroy you, like I did. Try and be strong, stand your ground. I was like a tower build of stone, now I’m chopped away and crumbling. Save yourself from that. It’s really not worth it.
Hugs!!!!

Onemoreday
Onemoreday
4 years ago
Reply to  Magdalena

Dude. No.

I will not victim blame you because I know how bad and dark it is. But I will say that you can’t be a doormat if you don’t lie down. Stand back up. Go take a shower. Right now. Luxuriate in it. Do your hair. Put on make up. Look at yourself and play a different tape than you’ve been playing. You are a beautiful, capable, good person. You are worthy of love and will actively work on loving yourself again. I know this to be your true desire because you are here. Do Not own his crap. His choices do not define you but reveal his true character. Stop living to gain his approval. You don’t need it. And he’s not really paying attention to anybody but himself anyway. Stand. Up. Be.

JP
JP
4 years ago

Yes what an amazing time this should be building memories of the beginning of parenthood, the love, commitment and togetherness. None of that is here.

marissachump
marissachump
4 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

Exactly, NowI.C.! It doesn’t get better with cheaters. It only gets worse.

Everything he is doing is testing your boundaries of just how far can he go and get away with it. Each time he’ll push further and further. Ask me how I know.

Don’t model this for your new child. Show your child what healthy boundaries mean and that you must always respect yourself in any relationship.

Not to mention, he’ll probably drain the joint bank accounts and then skip town leaving you with nothing if you stay.

WarriorPrincess
WarriorPrincess
4 years ago
Reply to  marissachump

You are right Marissachump. They are like little children always testing boundaries to see how much they can get away with. The more you tolerate the more they keep pushing those boundaries to get what they want.

It is NOT okay for your spouse to text other women. Daily. That’s bullshit. Shut that shit down.

Adaira
Adaira
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I also did not (want to) believe that my exH had a burner phone after I caught him in an affair. He was sobbing in marriage counseling! He was recommitted to the marriage! He was begging me for a second chance!

Spoiler alert: Totally had a burner phone. Totally never ended the affair. Totally was banging his coworker right after bawling his eyes out in counseling.

Many of us have been right where you are, wondering if we had the unicorn. Nobody does.

Dumpthebutthead
Dumpthebutthead
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Colorado- it’s called cognitive dissonance. Your brain believes two things to be true at the same time. He cheated, yet he’s trustworthy.
The real truth, that we all know, is he is not trustworthy.
Believe me. I would have believed a purple penguin did the waltz in my living room before I ever would have thought my ex was a cheater. But he was.

Not Crazy
Not Crazy
4 years ago

I found his phone deeply hidden in his car wheel well after coming upon him and seeing a look that sent warning meters off. I would NEVER have thought he would have a secret phone let alone a secret life after 30 yr married. Ugh. Run. He is lying. Good luck getting to the point you can believe it. I know it is very difficult.

He stayed in denial until I finally left. Actually not sure he ever came out of it. I divorced him and am now so happy to be rid of the policing and gaslighting.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago

I’d think the third time he went for an emotional attachment to another woman would prove, at the least, that he’s a sneak and a liar.

WonderNoMore
WonderNoMore
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Yes, I did trust him. Even when his phone blacked out at various times during wreckonciliation. I rationalized the trust so very confidently in a number of different ways. 99.99%

It’s not even whether he is currently continuing on an affair of any kind in other ways or not though. When I read the first part of your letter, I was thinking “great, he did the right thing—” Maybe he was a good guy coming clean by discussing it with you and cutting all ties in hopes of building a great marriage from there on forward. —- But then the history—- and the disrespect of no response to many times—- That says it all. And the lack of you feeling emotionally solid with him.

My final thought before filing for divorce, after a few months of taking it all in, was the realization that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering. It just wasn’t going to work for me. It wasn’t the cheating or the lies anymore. In the end, I just didn’t want to always wonder. Hence, my screen name: Wonder No More.

Quetzal
Quetzal
4 years ago
Reply to  WonderNoMore

If it helps: coming clean, discussing it, being heartbroken, promising (and pulling through) were all things my “good guy cheater” did….THE FIRST TIME.

He claimed a “friendship” had gotten too close and “scared” him, so he was supposed to cut all contact (he didnt). Then he got busted again. Then he just kept chasing other new, different women, started going out with them behind my back, even lied about going to a wedding, where he went alone!!

These things escalate. When you have a pattern, Colorado, you have PROOF that they won’t change anytime soon, generally never. Now i would bolt the first time, not even wait for a a pattern, because i know better.

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
4 years ago

Run away. It is a pattern. Don’t wait (waste) 20 30 years.

Discarded Wife
Discarded Wife
4 years ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

Sooo true. My ex had many “gal pals” through the years. I stifled my healthy jealousy through the years, telling myself that he worked in a female dominated profession, so of course his work friends were female. It turns out, my passive-aggressive ex was just waiting for the one gal pal who made the first move, then he was happy to fall into her arms. Listen to your jealousy meter.

Kbchump
Kbchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

Exactly. Ugh I remember combing my ex whores phone records, paying for phone number info on reverse phone number lookup sites etc etc..as hard as the breakup was and her leaving, living that life was a nightmare in comparison.

Quetzal
Quetzal
4 years ago

Anything that people need to hide is an affair, by definition.

Don’t matter if it’s water polo, why u hiding it Jack..?

Susan Devlin
Susan Devlin
4 years ago

Horrible to say, he likes the attention of other women. He can’t text his friends, but can text “ow”. What does that tell you. A emotional affair, is the start really, but how do you know the truth, unfortunately some people never find out the truth.
He seems to know what he can get away with. Your vulnerable at the moment, young child, finances. He knows it as well.
You deserve better, its about him and his inadequacies.
Good luck
How do you know where he is, really.

Christi
Christi
4 years ago

My ex made sure he had a burner phone to contact his prostitutes. This way, when he offered up his phone as proof that he wasn’t cheating, I found nothing. It left me right where you are until he got stupid. You don’t need that trauma in your life. If he’s *this close* to stepping out on you each time, he will cross the line.

chumpchange007
chumpchange007
4 years ago
Reply to  Christi

My ex was too stupid to have a burner phone, but he didn’t need one at the time because I trusted him completely! That is until one day I got a phone call from a nasty prostitute who told me about their affair of several months.. She provided proof, too. The dates of a business trip he took. It hadn’t been a business trip at all. Her parting words to me were “there are others”.

I realize now I was in a state of cognitive dissonance throughout all of my marriage. I was gas lighted horribly and thought he was a really great guy. He was extremely adept in knowing exactly how to act around me. He seemed so normal, decent and in love with me, that’s what was so hard to believe. He was home every night. He was self employed and it turns out he did his cheating during the week days, when I was at work. But my gut told me the prostitute was telling me the truth. She wasn’t trying to do me any favors. She was getting even with him. I later found out she had been blackmailing him and he couldn’t pay her the $15,000 she wanted to keep her mouth shut.

I kicked him out on D day and got an attorney within days. His attempts at gas lighting didn’t stop and continued for months after the marriage was legally over via email and voice mail. His pity plays were incredible. During the legal process, I was still finding OW’s (he had more than one at any given time) and there were several dozen, and then I made what proved to be an incredible discovery. I was on our computer one night and for some reason, I typed his email address into the browser and I was taken into a new screen!

The man who always needed MY help on the computer had set up a private desktop on our computer. I don’t even know how to do that or that a person could do that. I suddenly had access to all of his hidden emails (all OW’s), their communications, and to his folders and all of his files. It was quite interesting reading actually, to gain some real insight into the mind of a psychopath.

His attempts at gas lighting me after that were almost comical because I just laughed at him and told him to f off. He dinged me financially during the marriage because his business was failing, and now I know why it was failing. He was having himself a great time at my expense. I got a legal annulment based on fraud. The judge didn’t even hesitate after hearing my story and hearing my proof. I had a 401 k and other assets that were mine and this prevented him from getting his hands on them. He got nothing but $50 from me so he could put gas in his car. I only gave it to him so he would get the hell away from me and I suggested he make it last or get a job. Poor muffin couldn’t afford a lawyer to fight me in court and he then had to declare bankruptcy because having a job was beneath him. Whenever he tried to contact me after that, I would remind him that I had proved fraud in family court and if he wanted me to take the case to criminal court, that would make my day.

That said, I still developed PTSD. It’s the kind of thing that stays with you, even if you think you’ve recovered. A few months ago, I suffered a traumatic injury and the PTSD came back big time. It is much better now.

Just like all of us here, I am a good woman and it is hard to keep a good woman down!

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago
Reply to  chumpchange007

CHumpchange,

Wow. What a story. How nice that you were able to maintain in control of finances. Courts in the state where I live don’t care who is at fault….a huge slam to those of us who have trusted so completely for so long.

Anyway, I wanted to make a comment on PTSD. I was reading somewhere and the term,
Post Traumatic Growth/PTG came up. I now use that in place of PTSD because it is more positive and does fit. At least for me it does because I sure have done some rapid growth in these past 2 years!

UnderConstruction
UnderConstruction
4 years ago
Reply to  Elderly Chump

What a great and beneficial perspective on this, EC! Thanks for sharing it here and best future life to you. 🙂

Chumperchipcookie
Chumperchipcookie
4 years ago

My ex never could stop texting women, even after getting caught multiple times. He eventually got on Craigslist and had a physical affair. He used a second cell phone and Words with Friends chat function to stay in constant touch with the Craigslist whore. He did all this while pretending to be the devoted family man. Run.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago

OMG – my STBX computer records has shown visits to words with friends – even though I’ve never known him to play that! He’s obviously using the chat function!

I didn’t think anything of it at the time but omg!!

And, after his most recent DDay he handed over all his credit cards, only to get a new one as soon as I went out of town for work.

They never stop!

Attie
Attie
4 years ago
Reply to  Jchump

Somebody mentioned Words with Friends to me a few months ago and I was blown away. I tend to only play with friends all over the world but I am now playing with a few women I don’t know and it works fine. One older chappie in NY who is a friend of a friend. When they play well I send a “good play” but that’s it. UNTIL a guy in Texas started a game with me. After a couple of moves he sent me a message asking for my email so we could “get to know each other better” – and here on his FB picture he has his arms around a lady. So I wrote back saying “I’m in France, you’re in Texas and seemingly married, why do you want to get to know me better?” And he stopped playing and disappeared. Got another one recently who played one moved and then sent me a “hi”. I didn’t respond and he poofed too. So no, I didn’t know words with friends was “a thing” either but seemingly it is! Snakes are gonna slither!

Sisu
Sisu
4 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Attie, I’ve had the same experience with creepy guys on WWF. So disgusting…especially since my first experience with these creeps came months after my Dday (which was also my GTFO day).

Attie
Attie
4 years ago
Reply to  Sisu

Mr. Texas was my first but in a way I wish I had screen shot that message and sent it to the lady he had his arms around. Maybe I will next time.

Colorado
Colorado
4 years ago

Did he also say they were just friends at first? Did you feel creepy for policing his friends?

neverachumpagain
neverachumpagain
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Every OW my ex cheated on me with started out as “just friends”. He was just talking on the phone to a friend, texting a friend, playing cards with a friend, going to give a friend a ride to work, you name it.

He would try to make me feel guilty about policing him, but then he would get caught behaving the same way. Then he would “behave” for a little while. Then he would start asking when I would forgive him and move on. HUGE RED FLAG. When someone truly loves you and regrets hurting you, and they want t change, they DO NOT ask you when you will forgive and move on. They move forward with you and are supportive of you. They certainly do not make statements like: I wouldn’t have to go behind your back if you weren’t so suspicious of me, or you can’t forgive me anyway, so why shouldn’t I cheat?

Does any of that sound familiar to you?

FYI, you shouldn’t have to police a grown up.

neverachumpagain
neverachumpagain
4 years ago

Also, he would move heaven and earth to make sure that I never met any of these so called “friends”! Seriously, he let the air out of a tire on the car on purpose, then took forever to change the tire, so that we couldn’t go to a party that one of them was attending. How do I know he did it on purpose? I found the little cap to the tire plug (don’t know if that is what is called) in his pocket when I did laundry the next day.

Of course, there are plenty of cheaters/OM/OW who befriend the chump, some even long term decades long friendships that started before the cheating. But I’m inclined to believe that most cheaters don’t want their spouse/partner anywhere near the OM/OW, because they don’t want to be discovered. Because they thrive on the triangulation and thrill of cheating. It is kibbles for them.

Chumperchipcookie
Chumperchipcookie
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I really didn’t police him, I just asked him to stop texting female acquaintances (he claimed it was harmless chatting.) It wasn’t until the very end that I realized he was sexting and then having physical affairs with these women and probably had been doing it for years. I did the deep dive and dug up a bunch of info. When I discovered the 2 yr affair, I was done.

chumpupthevolume
chumpupthevolume
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Married or otherwise partnered heterosexuals should never have secret friends of either gender, but most especially not secret opposite sex friends. That’s a boundary you set when you commit to somebody- you have no such secrets. If he crosses that boundary, he’s the creep, not you. Think about it; if it’s just an innocent friendship, why would he feel the need to be secretive about it? 9.9 times out of ten it’s because he’s either already fucked them or he hopes to do so soon. Sorry, that’s just how it is. If you have seen sexts, it’s a confirmed affair.

UnderConstruction
UnderConstruction
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Yes. “Just a friend from work” “a friend who needs some help with a resume” “an old friend (from their shared country of origin)”. Until the ow and I had a talk about what exactly was going on between them, he’d been concrete on the fact that I was simply “paranoid” and that he would never be able to lie to my face.

“My little family” “my girls (me and our dog as we had no children)” “my best friend” I heard it all right up til Dday. Kissed me, slept with me, shared many fun times right up til Dday. He told me I insulted him by accusing him of such terrible things. After I figured out his 1.5yr VERY well-kept affair, he still denied the extent. Until I sucked it up and allowed his ho to come to our home to confront him together. That’s when he chose to run out of our house wearing nothing but boxers and flipflops, ran down the street until he realized that this was not some dream, but rather the sick reality HE alone had created. He finally broke and confessed. Well, confessed what I’d confronted him with. Much more trickled down for months after I told him to go be with her. Be ready for much trickle-truth. It’s a real punch to the heart. Anyway, yeah, “just friends”. Lol.

PS to one of your other questions here – yes, a few of our mutual friends told me afterward that they never thought cheating was something that he was capable of. He had us all snowed, sadly.

Onethingeveryday
Onethingeveryday
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Colorado, you said above that you DO trust him, however you also wrote to CL, hired a PI and a professional to check his phone. Ask yourself if those actions you’ve taken really indicate trust?

He backed you into a corner, your gut spoke so loudly that you’ve taken action to seek the truth. Only when you uncovered some evidence did he come clean with a little bit of affirmation of what you’d already found. Only once you were exposing the lies did he start to act really great. Ask yourself again, would he have opened up and admitted fault and behaved in an honest loving way if you’d not gone hunting for answers?

We ignore the red flags and obvious evidence because we don’t think we can face the pain. We are scared, we’ve been played and we wanted to believe the fairytale. But we know. We really do know what’s going on, or we wouldn’t be here. Ask yourself one more thing, if all my fears and the worst case scenario is the truth, what do I need to do about it?

Now is the time to steele yourself. Get your ducks line up whilst he still thinks you’re an idiot who will continue believe his lies. Let him think you are accepting his play acting. Plan and prepare for your escape. Only tell a very close select few forever friends/family and seek their support. Start to observe his actions, ignore the words or emotional manipulation tactics. Slowly put in place your way out of this. Think practical things like a separate bank account, where you will live, custody, how you will support your child, part time work, who’s names are on what accounts, legal representation, therapy, who can you trust really.

It took me 18 months of live in hell. I wish I had set myself up better in the beginning when I started to suspect. I wish I hadn’t given him the tip off so early because he got really cruel really quickly. I was stuck without my own income, without an escape route and with a young preschooler. He used my vulnerabilities to try and destroy me. He still, 2 years later, uses our daughter to play games. It is who he is.

You can do this! Trust in the wisdom here, we have a collective experience and are sharing our strength to try and help you. We cannot take away the pain, but we can empathize and lend you our MIGHTY. We’ve taken off the rose colored glasses and we are giving you our clear vision. Let it be your guide.

Many hugs!!!

DuddersGetsChumped
DuddersGetsChumped
4 years ago

This is very true too. He will turn very quickly. Can you make sure things are set up for you financially, that any income is going half into a bank account for you. Anything just do it and then even if you don’t need it it doesn’t matter but you need to get an exit plan. He will still play nice for a while as long as you don’t accuse him of anything or dig too deeply. Milk it.

jchump
jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I felt creepy for a minute but then I realized all of his “friends” are attractive younger women or rando skanky women on social media posing half nude.

There weren’t any messages to male acquaintances offering to buy them lunch or drinks. There were no late night chats with anyone besides young, attractive, and preferably super slutty women, who were clearly looking for hook ups.

Oh and then the 20 something colleague he was with on a business trip with – out drinking till all hours who he messaged at 1am.

Yet, he continually gas lit me and made me feel pathological for questioning him about the appropriateness of this – even after his dozens of infidelities were discovered. Even then I was creepy for being suspicious.

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Colorado sweetie, huge hugs to you and your son. Like your cheater, my ex was rubbish at keeping in contact. His only oldest friend virtually gave up on him when we moved away as he never heard from ex. He told me the ow (also an emotional affair like yours, though I have suspicions about that) was a friend. Then she was a good friend, then his best friend, then his best ever friend. Then when I told him I was worried about the amount of time he was spending with her and he said ‘If I don’t see her for a day I feel like my right hand’s been cut off’. Light dawned for me but it still took another 18 months of wreckonciliation and distress before I told him to leave for good.

He hid his feelings from you knowing full well what they meant and the implications for you and your son. Don’t be fooled, he knows. He’s been dishonest and secretive more than once. You cannot trust him. You are spackling like I did. I really thought that once he realised how serious it was, he’d come to his senses. But he knew all the time and was only seeing how far he could push it, how much I would forgive and tolerate. No doubt he thought I was stupid not to see it. Colorado, I feel for you, but your gut is right.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

My ex made me feel like a horrible person,”she’s a friend….I should be able to be friends with the people I work with…..because she’s a nice person……” Found 2 years of emails, cards(they had a Valentine’sWEEK!), a 4 year affair where they took vacations( they were supposed to be in DC working). That was one of 4 affairs that I now know about. What has taken me the most time to get over after a 27 year marriage, 3 kids( how vulnerable having babies makes us)……. The LIES….. they look you in the eye and make you feel like shit, like a bitch for doubting them. And the whole time they are doing that and worse. What you are seeing is the tip of the iceberg and the tears are part of the game…..He won’t stop, this is who he is, and he has a lot of company willing to play the game with him. You are a part of the game that just keeps the adrenaline rush going. This is who he is……believe it.

Thirtythreeyearsachump
Thirtythreeyearsachump
4 years ago
Reply to  Hope Springs

Colorado, all of STBX’s whores were “just friends”, or “just a co-worker”. I didn’t Police his just friends or his just co-workers because I trusted him. Do you know what that got me? A sexually transmitted disease for one thing. Add a little severe anxiety and nearly immobilizing depression for fun and games at the hands of a narcissist. I wanted to die. Then I found a therapist and Chump Lady. I truly feel like Chump Lady saved my life. Thank you for the 2×4’s of brutal truth, Chump Lady.

Trust yourself. You know he isn’t doing right by you. He hasn’t in the past and he won’t in the future. Why would he? You forgive him every time.

This time chose you. It isn’t creepy at all to chose to live a cheater free life. It gets better every day.

ivyleaguechump
ivyleaguechump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Colorado, I came to realize the only women my X wanted to be “friends” with were women he wanted to have sex with. Period. All it took was for one of those women to give him the green light. A woman who is a “friend”? For MY X, that was cheater-speak for AP.

A fellow chump friend of mine put it succinctly in describing her realization: “I will never be enough”. These cheater people seem to need constant affirmation of their attractiveness by other people. YOU are not enough, no matter how wonderful you are, no matter if you are a super-model, no matter how wealthy you are, no matter if you are a porn-star in the bedroom. My guess is your husband will always be seeking outside affirmation of his splendidness.

But he doesn’t want to give you up because you probably are great at doing all the adulting, and at providing maintenance sex.

How much marriage-policing do you want to do? If you decide to stay with him, get a post-nup post haste. If he is truly sincere in wanting to be an adult, in wanting to change his spots, he will essentially sign over ALL of your joint assets in case he ever screws up again, plus you get full custody, AND he pays a hefty monthly child-support. Lay out what YOU consider to be an emotional affair, a sexual affair. I would even go so far as to say, “don’t be talking personal stuff with another woman”. And if another woman comes on to him, he has to shut that shit down by going all grey rock on her.

And get that post-nup notarized.

chumpupthevolume
chumpupthevolume
4 years ago
Reply to  ivyleaguechump

Yeah, I got that post-nup, notarized, all the shared assets to me, plus 75% of his income if I can confirm any illicit involvement with another woman, physical or emotional. I still don’t trust the bastard. I suspect he’d just consider it a challenge as to how to hide it better.
So I told him I’d rather have 50% and not have to live in fear for the rest of my life.

ivyleaguechump
ivyleaguechump
4 years ago

That’s the thing. Even though a post-nup might offer some consolation, it will never, ever restore trust.

Laura
Laura
4 years ago

“I am so lucky, she is my best friend and you are my wife”. GTFO. Yeah, no, emotional cheating is just as devastating as physical cheating. He is neglecting your emotional needs to fulfill his own. Not worth the toll it is taking. Trust me many of us have been there done that got the shit stained t-shirt.

OneStepAtATime
OneStepAtATime
4 years ago

Oh yea…..they always have multiple cells phones. The one he “surrendered ” to her was just part of the game to make her believe he is being sincere. It’s all just a game he is playing! Multiple cells phones, multiple email addresses, and etc. He outright tells her of his emotional affairs so he can get her to do the pickme dance. I’m also pretty sure he’s gone beyond the “emotional” part at this point since he has a history. I would get tested and lawyer up. No one should live policing their spouse. He broke the trust to the point of no return.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago
Reply to  OneStepAtATime

Jackass and the MOW didn’t use text. They used Facebook Messenger, probably because she didn’t want to get caught.

Tamara
Tamara
4 years ago

Get out now. Don’t wait til he finally decides after 25 years that he was “never happy”. If this has already happened before than it has already been physical. It will be hard but you are the only one investing In this marriage. He is faking it. I repeat get out now. You are worth more than this.

kellyp
kellyp
4 years ago
Reply to  Tamara

It will be so, so much better for your baby. If you wait until he’s 10, you’ll have to live through his hurt too.

Quetzal
Quetzal
4 years ago
Reply to  Tamara

Very true.
Get out before he does, cause he will.

Squeeze that fake remorse cheater while you can.

UXworld
UXworld
4 years ago
Reply to  Tamara

Tamara is SO correct here. If he doesn’t out and out say “I was never happy,” he will likely either put the onus on you (“I gave you every indication that there was a problem in our marriage, but you refused to see…”) or plead glorious self discovery by way of temporary insanity (“I didn’t know at the time …,” “My head was in a different place then …,” “I’ve discovered that I was really always meant to be…”)

Colorado
Colorado
4 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

I’m terrified of the “I gave every indication” in particular. I feel like I keep offering ways out for him because yes, clearly there are problems. But he keeps wanting to work things through so if he turns that story around on me and makes my years of working things through seem like a delusional plan I came up with on my own, my head will pop off.

LimboChump
LimboChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

“Though both partners may wish for reconciliation, their unspoken goals are often sharply in conflict. The abuser usually wishes to re-establish his pattern of coercive control, while the victim wishes to resist it.” Judith Herman MD

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

The other thing that occurs to me is you should be reading up on character disorder. See Dr. George Simon’s website, “Manipulative People.” Lots to read there. You are surely dealing with a very entitled person, who puts his wants over your needs and his own commitments.

And please–tell the people who love you what’s going on. Don’t keep this secret because you fear your family or friends will stop liking him. Them’s the consequences for being a jackass. But part of getting your ducks in a row is having a support system who can talk straight to you–a good therapist, your best friends, any family members who will “have your back.” Talk. Get support around you. Don’t rely on what he’s saying but rather on your own instincts nd the feedback of people who are totally in your corner.

Onethingeveryday
Onethingeveryday
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

My ex declared “You will never hurt me again” in the weeks after I found his mistress and was losing the plot over all his lies I’d uncovered. I was in such shock at the statement that I just stared at him like he was speaking Japanese. WTF?!? Me? Hurt you?!?

They will all turn it around to be the victim. Look up DARVO.

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago

Onethingeveryday.

WE don’t have to hurt them….

They hurt themselves.

We get to grow and have healthy honest relationships while they grovel on using people who can’t commit and are only ‘in it for the sex’.

I am certain that the xh will only have empty relationships for the remainder of his life because what woman with true integrity etc. would ever take a chance with a full blown serial cheater with a 40+ yr history behind them.

I truly feel sorry for the man.

He made his bed and now he gets to lie in it with whomever he chooses and he will always know in the back of his mind that he let the best woman in his life slip out of his life without even putting up a fight for me.

Onethingeveryday
Onethingeveryday
4 years ago
Reply to  Elderly Chump

Yes, this is true. He harms himself and blames me. This is who he is.

I am wary of feeling pity for him, as it is the channel he has used to suck me back in previously. He plays the pity card so I soften and come closer, then he stabs me again. I’ll not fall for his pity me I’m a victim boo hoo look how sorry my life is wah (please don’t inflict your cruel hurtful consequences on my poor sad self – you meanie) games.

His “hurt” is also how he influenced others to back him and discard me, or flying monkey around to make sure I’m not going to hurt him further. It’s a ploy. It’s a tactic. It’s about power and mind fuckery. I will not play.

He has made his bed, and he will never know what he has lost. He doesn’t care what he’s lost. He moves on to his next mark without a care or thought for the wreckage he leaves in his wake. Not my problem any more.

My freedom is found in seeking MEH. In letting go and focussing on my healing and the light that shines ahead of me. In walking forward with my chin up and grateful I’m on my way without him. Onward toward Tuesday! Xxx

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago

Onethingeveryday,

I agree about not getting sucked in.

I should have mentioned that I am NC.

No more getting played although I didn’t know about the other women until Dday #1 and then trickle truth to another Dday several months later followed by divorce several months after that – all said and done rather quickly.

Shocking on one hand, huge relief on anther now that I know what I know thanks for CL and CN.

chumpchange007
chumpchange007
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Hi Colorado,

I’m afraid that giving him time to “work things through” will just give him time to screw you over financially as well as emotionally. You are being gas lighted by him – big time.

Please consider this. This is not his first time at the rodeo. He claims it is “emotional”. That’s bad enough. I don ‘t believe it is just “emotional” for one minute and I also do not believe he ever cut off contact with the OW’s. He is a serial cheater. Based on my own personal experience, they are the worst. Absolutely diabolical. They are pathological liars and can be quite adept at fooling therapists and of course they are incredible experts at fooling their spouses.

Guarantee you he has a burner phone and that’s why he is showing bravado in telling you that you can have his phone analyzed by a professional. You’ll never be able to keep up with him because he’ll figure out new ways to keep the truth from you. He’s gas lighting you and if you allow him to continue, your emotional well-being is going to take a huge hit, and you’ll probably end up with PTSD if you don’t already have it.

For your sake and for your sanity, and for the sake of your child, get copies of all of your financial records, document everything he’s done with dates, names of the OW’s, and retain an attorney. You need to know your legal rights. Do not let him know you are doing any of this.

You are entitled to living an authentic and beautiful life. You won’t have it with him. Ever. No matter what he promises. Another poster referred to “duping delight” and I agree with that. He gets huge ego kibbles from having multiple OW’s and he delights in duping you into believing and trusting him again. This is exactly the kind of person who will also ruin you financially and will walk away laughing to himself. Don’t let him do it. Get ahead of him and account for every penny now and get a lawyer. Line up all of your ducks. Don’t let him even suspect you are doing any of this.

I’m so sorry for what you are going through. You deserve so much better.

xoxo

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I told him several times to leave if he wanted, that I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t want 100% to be with me. I felt like a pathetic needy woman doing that, asking for reassurance all the time. Yet after 4 months during which he failed at no contact with her, when I told him it was me or her, he left the house. His exact words were “I’m glad you said that, I think eventually you and me would hate each other and I’d be having an adulterous affair with her.” He was staying because of the fear of leaving and hoped to continue his cake-eating. The huniliation I felt asking him repeatedly if he really wanted to stay is one of the most painful memories I have of that time.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

It’s a game to him, and the only way out for you is to stop playing. Remove yourself. We compared it to the old movie War Games here. You are in a no win situation. He gets to do what he wants and if you leave to him you are the quitter. In reality he quit long ago. I would take it one step further and tell the truth…. they think we are too ashamed/will protect them. Nope the truth is only one of you is married, and you don’t like his girlfriends.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

I’ve given mine a million ways out too. I evened offered a polyamorous relationship so he could get his jollies without all the lying but nope, he doesn’t want that.

It’s not that they aren’t happy with us – he wants to be with you and he wants to dally with new *friends* at will. It’s really a perfect set up. Your marriage doesn’t need any work – he loves having his soft place to land and the comfort of a long term partnership and he needs the thrill of sneaking around and experiencing infatuation with fresh meat.

That’s us projecting our normal brains onto disordered men. We would only find ourselves interested in other people over and over if we were deeply unhappy in our marriages – so we imagine that’s their process. It’s not.

UXworld
UXworld
4 years ago
Reply to  Jchump

I agreed to an open marriage for much the same reason. And, nope, she didn’t want that.

She wanted to know things I didn’t know about. She wanted to have her cake and eat it too.

When I discovered that she falsely accused me of domestic assault to one of her secret fuckbuddies, I finally realized it wasn’t about me, who I was as aperson, or what I brought to the relationship. She liked me just the way I was, as long as I was kept in the dark about who SHE really was.

“Character is doing the right thing when you think nobody is looking.” Fuckwits like ours either don’t understand or don’t agree with that statement. Either way, we lose.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

Yes, Ux – that’s it exactly – they want their cake and us in the dark.

I think they stay after discovery because they don’t have another spouse-appliance in the offing. Seems like once they secure a replacement – they ditch us.

Today I kicked my cheater out. I’m not sticking around for him to dump me because he couldn’t live with the aftermath of his betrayal anymore.

neverachumpagain
neverachumpagain
4 years ago
Reply to  Jchump

You are mighty! This is a hard road to take, but much easier than years and years of wreckonciliation followed by discard.

Stay strong, no matter what. No contact, gray rock, every time you think about allowing the cheater to come back, as yourself if it is worth it and look at them through clear, not rose colored, glasses.

SmarterNow
SmarterNow
4 years ago
Reply to  Jchump

New food group:
They want their cake and us in the dark…they want their cake and mushrooms!

DeeplyChump
DeeplyChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Jchump

Very mighty!!!

Onethingeveryday
Onethingeveryday
4 years ago
Reply to  Jchump

Brilliant! MIGHTY! Well done! Hugs!

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

Better get some duct tape to wrap your head with then.

They always shift the blame in the end. They will deny, attack, and try to become the victim in the story. They will declare that you are so controlling because you tried to come up with a plan to save the marriage. You are so judgmental! Etc.

All the while you are feeling guilty for not trusting him, when he has repeated the same pattern now several times.

If a known shoplifter keeps stealing but then feels remorse and brings the item to the counter and admit it on each occasion, (all sad sausage and weepy to boot), the shopkeeper should not feel bad that they have a sudden urge to check their pockets.

UXworld
UXworld
4 years ago
Reply to  Colorado

You’re projecting your idea of “wanting to work things through” on him. You cannot read minds, so you cannot know what “wanting to work things through” means to him. Which puts you back to trust.

Has he shown you by his past actions that he — in and of himself, as a husband, father, and man — is worthy of trust? Or are you counting on trust by nature of the fact that you have history, shared experiences and the foundations of a home and family?

These are extraordinarily frightening times for you. It’s not easy accept the possibility of emotional betrayal and abuse after all you’ve invested in this person. We’ve all been there. Pay attention to your instincts and try as bet you can to use your brain more than your heart as you deliberate on the advice you’re reading here.

Deee
Deee
4 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

OMG – what is with the swirly bs talk. My X has convinced himself he is the victim. Truly he is a more evolved species and it was his right to seek out sex, lie, steal from the family and he feels he is a better person. People tell me that maybe he is mentally ill because it just doesn’t make sense but I think he (and his little sex cult at work) have just convinced themselves that they are a super evolved awesome species (ya no thank-you).

UXworld
UXworld
4 years ago
Reply to  Deee

That makes him both the victim AND the hero — at least within the safe community of his fellow fuckwits.

Hey — sometimes you’ve gotta destroy in order to create something beautiful. (Gag.)

Katiedidn’t
Katiedidn’t
4 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

Yes, to all of this. And the “super-evolved”, self aggrandizing, love guru types are the absolute worst. They are just too cool for monogamy. Or basic decency. But nothing is their fault! Either the universe ordained them to fuck strange, or YOU are to blame.Your lack of understanding is stifling, Chumps! Etc.. etc…

Barf.

Cuzchump
Cuzchump
4 years ago

Colorado, I am sad to say your husbands affair was not just emotional. He most likely had sex with her. The we were only friends line is a bunch of bull. Cheaters use this line to gaslight you. My ex had a 4 year we are just friends affair with my cousin. When I found out he said they were just friends. They only went out and played pool and to bars. If they were only friends then why did he lie and tell me he was going out with Bill? My Ex continues to deny having a sexual affair.

Sexual or not. Your husband lied to you. Left you home alone with a baby. While he did who knows what with her. He also has a history of having female friends. Letting you into his phone etc. Is his way of gaslighting. He may have another phone or gmail number. He is waiting for you to let your guard down. Cheaters rarely change.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
4 years ago
Reply to  Cuzchump

The emotional affair was the 8 months he was texting her daily. The physical affair was during the 2 weeks of sexual texts. This was his third emotional affair and may have been the first one that became physical. He is a cheater. Staying with this guy will lead to a years of pain for you and your child.

WonderNoMore
WonderNoMore
4 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Elizabeth: Wow! I wonder—– Seems to make sense.

Cuzchump
Cuzchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

I agree Alizabeth Lee. He did have a physical affair. He is a coward and will not admit it. As for my ex. Thinking back when I estimate that the affair began with my cousin. My husband sent me a dick picture. Yuck. He never ever sent me anything like that. I suspect now that he accidently sent it to me instead of Skankella. I found his old facebook account on an old computer. Skankella sent him a picture via FB messenger of her on a toilet. Gross. I showed it to him and he pretended he did not remember it. His comment to her was that she was one sexy women even on a toilet, EWW. My ex never in the 34 years we were married that I was sexy, pretty etc.
Do not waste your youth on a manchild. Colorado you deserve so much better.

OptionNoMore
OptionNoMore
4 years ago
Reply to  Cuzchump

When I discovered the emails b/w my ex and the OW, just before he left the marriage, I was also shocked by the things he said to her and what he thought was sexy. He said lewd things to her that he had never said to me. He emailed her at Xmas about whether she had put up her “testicle tree” (had to look that up). She sent him a music video about “taking it up the butt for Jesus” in order to be a good Catholic girl.

In more than 14 years of being with this man, he was never like that. I was always the more passionate one who would test boundaries, whereas he would be more awkward. Suddenly he was trying to be a cross between a Harlequin romance and wanna-be porn star.

And the texting? Mine never cared about his cell phone, plopped in in the bedroom whenever he got home. Friends were always annoyed with him for not responding, and I never bothered to text him at all. Suddenly, that thing would never leave his pocket and it was always vibrating. He had gone back to school full-time, and I always figured that he was hearing from classmates (all younger than him so he had to get hip).

That’s the lure of the affair. It allows men and women to take on a persona that was probably always their desire to be but often not who they really were. Which one is the real them? Who knows?

Nicole
Nicole
4 years ago
Reply to  OptionNoMore

People like this are deeply ashamed of their sexual desires and too afraid to open themselves up to their primary, safe partners. So they go looking for a secret, disposable partner to keep on the side and do/say the things they’re ashamed to bring up around the safe partner.

My first long-term partner always maintained that he had no interest in anal sex or anal play of any kind. No judgment, it just never entered his imagination. But then we split up and continued sleeping together occasionally during a period of a few months before I was going to leave the country we lived in for good. We were never going to see each other again. Suddenly he started asking if we could have anal sex. Turns out he’d been curious about it the whole time but was too ashamed to admit it to me so long as I was his forever partner.

Instead of taking it as an insult that our spouses do sexual things with their affair partners they never did with us, we should all take a step back. It’s not because the affair partner was more attractive, more adventurous, more trustworthy… it’s because they were disposable. We shouldn’t feel insulted, rather feel pity for our exes who could not and likely never will be able to express their sexuality fully with a committed, loving partner.

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Nicole,

My situation had a different twist. Sex couldn’t be about expressing love for him.

He was the only one who could initiate.

He would not discuss sex at all.

It always felt impersonal to me. As though I was an object. Now I know I was.

He eventually shut down sexually but I didn’t get it because I knew other women living with the same pattern as I was and their husbands were not cheating on them. Just asexual – weird stuff after children were born. Like they turn us into their mothers too.

I didn’t see it then but now I sure do.

Persephone
Persephone
4 years ago

That 2 week sexting is a sexual activity. In any case, as a new parent you should be cherished and appreciated for all the work you’re doing,and above all, spared any unecessary stress. You aren’t. Also,if as a new father he’s got so much time as having emotional affairs and flirting with softball mates then he’s got far too much time on his hands. That’s why he’s got time for texting and other emotional nonsense.

And BTW, I’m notorious for often not answering my friends (texting or calling back). I’ve got zillion excuses. Truth – if it’s not urgent or meaningful, I’m just not bothered.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
4 years ago
Reply to  Persephone

New baby in the home ? Time for him to man up and start parenting (not “babysitting”) when mom needs a nap. No whinging when new mom needs him to run to the store for whatever. Etc.

Sorry Colorado but don’t sink any more costs into this loser.

Holl
Holl
4 years ago

This happened to me, more than a decade and children. I never looked back. Don’t develop feelings for a “best friend” of mine and then try to make it better. A lifetime of constantly policing a grown man. No thanks!

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
4 years ago

I do not believe this guy for one split second.

My “husband” was so difficult to get ahold of by text or phone that it became an issue I brought up in therapy. Then I find out after DDay that he’s probably been having affairs, patronizing massage parlors, “friending” other women on FB (gee, who is this young girl I have never met and why does she have only MEN friends of all ages?) for our entire relationship of 27 years….the entire time which was spent in therapy. At my request because we both came from crazy effed up alcoholic homes and I didn’t want to repeat what we grew up with. (Let my story be a warning to chumps who think starting therapy is a good sign that He Wants To Change!! What I got for 27 years of therapy, once a week or twice a month, was a bunch of time and money flushed down the toilet with zero possibility of a refund).

A relationship can only be as healthy as the two people in it. You have to have TRUST and SAFETY to have a healthy relationship. That’s a YES or NO question. Black and white. There is no kinda-sorta when it comes to trust and safety.

I want trust, safety, security. That’s why I got married. And if I monitoring my partner, hiring PI’s, wondering, worrying…..I DO NOT HAVE WHAT I GOT MARRIED TO HAVE.

Current technology makes cheating easier than ever before in human history. There’s no way to ascertain, control, prevent anyone from doing whatever they want while they are sitting on the couch with you at home watching TV.

Most importantly, I DON’T WANT TO BE WITH SOMEONE I HAVE TO MONITOR.

One cockroach you can see means 40,000 in the walls. Especially when you keep finding them.

ChumpedToTheMax
ChumpedToTheMax
4 years ago

We were in therapy most of our marriage too. Multiple therapists, in Germany and America. He is was put in a hospital for four weeks to deal with is anger issues. Only one therapist told me the truth, that I was married to an abuser and I needed to leave.

My X (still husband at the time) went and found a new therapist that promised he could fix things. Six years later, more abuse and 3rd DDay I finally left. The therapist I was seeing told me “Divorce is very difficult” when I announced I was divorcing him. Yep, it’s difficult, but not as bas as selling yourself out, becoming a doormat, literally waiting to die because life was just unbearable in such a toxic environment, thank God I finally got out.

I was addicted to hopium too, but if it barks like a dog, looks like a dog, smells like a dog, it’s a dog!

madkatie63
madkatie63
4 years ago

Velvet-Except for the Facebook part (he was too “private” even for Facebook), he sounds like my ex. I think we’ve both said that before on this site. There were massage parlors shut down for prostitution in two towns in which we lived…

KathleenK
KathleenK
4 years ago

Yep, me too. 15 years in therapy. It was the perfect cover for him – and he charmed the hell out of our therapist. She could see that he was entitled and selfish, but had no idea he was a pathological liar, NPD
master manipulator. When she found out the truth (24 hours after I did), she was shocked to her core and has apologized many times since. I still see her (she is good with PTSD), and it is comforting to have her validation that it was almost impossible to see the truth through his master manipulation. He was likable. He would cry.
Not too Harsh, these guys are hard to catch; it is pure luck that you get a real glimpse into his character at this point in your marriage.

Nemo
Nemo
4 years ago
Reply to  KathleenK

Professionals who study PDs (personality disordered) full-time admit even they get fooled. PDs have been studying their scam since childhood. Oh, sweet duper’s delight!

Nobody knows your SO (significant other) like you do.

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
4 years ago

Yes, you read that right.

THERAPY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF OUR RELATIONSHIP. ONCE A WEEK, TWICE A MONTH, FOR 27 YEARS.

HE WAS CHEATING THE ENTIRE TIME.

AND LYING ABOUT HIS SOBRIETY.

HE HAS BEEN GOING TO THERAPY ON HIS OWN SINCE FEBRUARY OF 2018.

HE IS STILL LYING.

Morse
Morse
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Look at my screen name, I became “expert” at policing. It truely was a horrible place to be, it sucked the very essence from my soul.

If I could go back in time and give myself advice it would be: Walk at the first emotional affair, why would you want to be with someone so willing to risk everything for inappropriate friendships?

mcfeisty
mcfeisty
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yes 1000 times to this. It is what YOU – not him – give up when you stay. You give up any chance to have a true relationship with someone who truly loves you. 22 years down the drain for me and there is no chance of ever getting to experience raising a family with someone who truly wants to be there…someone who truly loves and respects you, someone who values their family more than anything in the world..someone who cherishes the little family he help create. That is gone for me…I’ll never get that chance again, but he could. And when you realize that choice was 100% your own, that is a tough one to deal with. I gave up the best years of my life for someone who acted sincere all because I had already invest in him and I wanted to believe. I lied to myself…I saw the red flags but I gave excuses. That is painful…I am in counseling now trying to deal with that resentment. It is tough when you realize you don’t value yourself enough to walk out the door.

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago
Reply to  mcfeisty

mcfeisty,

Well put.

I sure hope Colorado does read what you have written. How I do envy my friends who are married to strongly committed relationships – not perfect by any means but they are HONEST and all have stayed honest through thick and thin. Decades worth of commitment.

Too late for me too. 🙁

I feel for my grown children. What they grew up with right under our noses. All a lie and the man they loved and admired is nothing more than a common slut, a horrific liar and now a dirty old man.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yes. I made so many excuses, but when faced with reality….he was NEVER the person I told myself he was. At 54….. the grief …..
Trying not to untangle anymore, but Colorado, moments from years,even decades ago, remembered with my knowledge of today…bring me to my knees. Stop giving him your self respect. This is not a marriage, this is cover to make it all more exciting for him. Plan B.

Chumpity-doo-da
Chumpity-doo-da
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Colorado, one more related thing to consider….A couple of weeks ago, my DS7 asked me what his first word was. I relayed the story. My DS12 was sitting in the room and asked about his first word. Again, I relayed the story. Both of them then asked what my DS3’s first word was. I couldn’t remember. My sons were AGHAST!! Aghast, I tell you, that I was getting so old that I couldn’t remember a first word from 2 years ago but could remember first words from before that. Lol. What’s not so funny, though, is this made me realize just one more thing that this shit show steals from chumps. DDay was just after DS3’s first birthday, followed by a year of living with now XW cheater while waiting for the divorce to finalize. I was so traumatized for that year, that I don’t remember any of the major development milestones from that time period.

You are a new mom. You should be enjoying your baby, not policing a fuckwit. It’s pretty clear that your husband has already taken the safety of a loving relationship. Don’t let him steal the memories of your baby. That would be a real shame.

WonderNoMore
WonderNoMore
4 years ago

Ditto Chumpittedo!!!!! Very good point. These are such precious times.

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

“…it’s what we give up if we stay.” Lump in my throat, tears welling in my eyes, punch to the gut feeling as I read this over and over. Im free now, but can never have that time or my health, let alone all of the money invested, back.

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

You will miss out on so many things if you stay. I stayed for for 7 years finally left 2.5 years ago. 2 years ago I met an AMAZING man. I mean AMAZING. My little one LOVES him and he loves her like she is his own. We want a child together. However, I’m no 40 years old. Wasted so much time on the Cheater. Now, I pray to God that I can give this amazing man a child. Don’t miss out on your Amazing life. Even before I met this man my life was becoming amazing.

One other thing. I now can be the mom I want to be. No more wasted time policing, no more criticizing comments on how I would parent. I get to be me. I love that.
Leave now. find your amazing. Don’t be the floor mat.

Wombatmom
Wombatmom
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

You don’t want to waste your life. I have lost 20 years of my life where I could have been loved and respected. At 52, I was comfortable. We were making lots of money, our pensions were good, I was thinking of what retirement would look like, I was building our home for the future. Days after turning 53, my husband dropped the bomb that he had a pregnant mistress. Blamed me, he was never happy, it was my fault because he chose to move to Switzerland when my daughter was 3 and commute on the weekend. He didn’t like being alone (so why move and abandon your family jerk?). So we worked on the relationship. He told the OW he wasn’t divorcing me but he attended the birth, went to Vienna every month to see new baby and hang out at the zoo with OW, and spent time with her family all so he could prove what a great dad he was and how he wouldn’t abandon the OW just because he had a wife and teenage daughter in London.

I believed his crap and blamed my self. I played the pick me dance. I won! I was happy! I kissed him good by after a nice holiday together and went upstairs to work on the computer and found 20 years of emails detailing affairs. I WASTED MY ENTIRE LIFE! I am now 54 and have no job, he has no job, we have to split our pensions, my daughter has literally pulled out half her hair, is in counselling and wants no relationship with him again ever. I might lose my house, I have to rebuild my retirement. I am starting over.

Here’s the rub. I actually did not find a full 20 years of emails. They stopped at 2014. Then we have pregnant schmoopie in 2018. I don’t believe for a minute that he didn’t cheat on me during those years. He just moved to a different platform. Also, in addition to all the known sexual affairs, he had plenty of inappropriate relationships with other women. He shared far more of himself with them than he ever did me. Those would have been enough to leave him for. I got nothing from him emotionally for 20 years and now I don’t even have the financial security. Be grateful you can get out now. Find a way. Save yourself. 20 years regret is unbearable. No matter what you fear now, if in 10 or 20 years you end up where I and others like me on this forum are, it will be worse.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
4 years ago
Reply to  Wombatmom

Wombatmom,
I am sorry that you have been treated so horribly. My story is somewhat similar to yours. I am also in my fifties and trying to ‘start over.’ Financially, emotionally wiped out, unemployed. My kids are still young. I am exhausted and traumatized–missed a very important phone appointment today due to fatigue, disorganization, PTSD? I apologized to the kind person I was supposed to talk to but will likely not be trusted now. G-d, now what?

DuddersGetsChumped
DuddersGetsChumped
4 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

RockStarWife, I hear you about how this has just made you feel so fatigued and not on top of things. I am v nearly 50 with 9 year old daughter. I am normally Ms Super Organised but I have been all over the shop since this. I forget things, don’t get things done, literally half the time don’t know which way I am turning. That is crazy making in itself. I now just laugh at how I can’t seem to stop losing things and just am not coping like I used to. It’s not surprising. I could really do without it though. Only then will I start to find some peace but feel there are custody and other legal battles ahead that I frankly can’t stomach.

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
4 years ago

Dudders,

I consider this ‘normal’ in light of what has happened to us. Our brains have been turned upside down and mine sure needed time to re-adjust to the new reality I am now living in. Huge adjustment since I was married for about 30 years.

Our brains need time to sort, file and toss out too and mine was doing all of that on top of me going about my daily life which is busy too.

I am beginning to feel more ‘normal’ now though so there is hope.

Hang in there and be kind to yourself!

Mitz
Mitz
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Brilliant CL. She has lost her peace of mind. And her ability to enjoy this blessed time with her young family.

He is an odd ball and a deceiver.

YaYa
YaYa
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

The whole “sunk cost” fallacy keeps us stuck, afraid to lose what we think we have (but don’t), and keeping us from finding what we need and deserve.
After 30 YEARS of marriage, it has taken 3 years of being on my own and developing a sense of myself to feel like I was ready to move forward.
I’ve just started talking with a lovely man who lost his wife about 6 months ago, who has a value system more in line with mine than my ex ever did.
And now I am so grateful to be far, far away from my ex and that awful reminder of betrayal. There is no comparison to the mindset I had going through that time of trauma and what I’m feeling now. So glad it’s Tuesday. 😉

JustWondering
JustWondering
4 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I would look at it this way: Whether or not he has actually cheated, he has a pattern of behavior that makes you unhappy. Do you want to feel this way for the rest of your life? Because you will. You will never feel that deep trust, never be 100% confident of his love, and you will always have a nagging, horrible feeling inside. You are young and can make a new start. You deserve to be happy and that is as good a reason as you need to leave him and start your new and better life without the ball and chain he is on your psyche. Best of luck to you.

Magdalen.
Magdalen.
4 years ago

Mine would say he fell asleep, was watching news on his phone, left it in the car, was watching movies. Always something! But when I caught him txting the other woman, he txt her early in the morning like after 5am. I’m still in the same fucken bed with him!!!!! Omg! Telling her to wake up. Than I saw txt him saying “sexy” and than txting her saying he’s just getting off work. Like f… you!! He never had time for that with me and when he did it was not genuine. Anyway bunch of shitty people.

bepositive
bepositive
4 years ago

Colorado, I’ve lived your life. Don’t be the chump that I was. After D-Day, I found email addresses that I knew nothing about that he had been using and they weren’t innocent. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether or not it was a full-blown affair, he cheated on you and the pattern will continue. Cheaters lie – just remember that.

Shewarrior
Shewarrior
4 years ago

“My phone died.”
“Really? Because it didn’t go straight to voicemail. In fact, it rang five times before voicemail picked up; and I called you multiple times. And my texts to you showed as delivered.”
…morning of when he rolled up in our driveway at 5:23 a.m. – after being out all night, claiming to have slept in his fancy 2-door bmw (@ 6’ tall), in February, in Connecticut ????????????

Morse
Morse
4 years ago
Reply to  Shewarrior

OMG, I slept outside my (male) friends house in the car…… Yeah sure buddy, 6″ snow on the ground, in Corvette bucket seats?

WisedUp
WisedUp
4 years ago
Reply to  Morse

LOL, mine said he slept in his truck outside a bar on a downtown street in Syracuse in January because he ‘drank too many beers to drive home.’ I believed him! asked why he didn’t call me he said he was so drunk he dropped his phone then fell asleep. Arrived home 8 a.m. Saturday morning, chumpy me was telling him I was just happy he was safe and sound as he smirked at me.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
4 years ago

“Shocked but fighty, I said he could take that moment to choose between her and his family, and if he chose his family, he was going to have to walk the walk.”

Nopity nope nope.

You allowed this guy to “choose”? Why do you want a douche bag stupid enough to come to you and admit an emotional affair while you’re bouncing a baby on your hip? Do you want a man you have to restrain under house arrest so you know he’s not fucking someone else? Go get yourself a lawyer and start planning your future. I guarantee you he’ll pull this again if he’s not already. You said there is a pattern of this so . . . he’s not going to stop. You’ve shown him he doesn’t have to.

Also, is the OW married? If so, did you give her partner a head’s up?

SoManyTuesdays
SoManyTuesdays
4 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

First, get tested for STI’s. Next lawyer up. Thirdly document everything. Any proof of him spending money when and where he shouldnt. Usually affairs are expensive. You shouldnt have to pay for his wandering dick.
Lastly, you really have to stop projecting your morals onto him. He has been wearing a mask since the second you met him. Nothing he has ever said or done is sincere. He felt entitled for you to do all the hard work. The wife appliance work, while he got his rocks off with the softball team and coworkers. He definitely has a burner. Its not where you will find it, which is why he is so cocky about you getting it forensically tested. Its hidden at work, in his gym bag, in the trunk of the car, somewhere he knows you wont find it. If you dig enough, you will probably find a receipt or card statement with it listed. He is definitely having sex. And you know its all your fault because you got pregnant and was “too tired”, “unattractive”, “giving all your attention to the baby”. So asshat had to go elsewhere for his kicks, yeah right. Get your ducks lined up, bail out or kick him out and show your child what real love is. And for the love of god – trust your gut instincts

Wombatmom
Wombatmom
4 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I second Rumblekitty. My husband was smart enough to stick with married or otherwise committed women for most of the twenty years he cheated. Those women take the necessary steps to avoid getting pregnant. He only got caught when he chose a 37 year old with a ticking biological clock who had left a long term relationship with someone who wouldn’t commit and have children.

So now my daughter gets to share any inheritance and his income with another woman’s child. It makes me sick that some woman I have never seen, who lives in another country, can just blow up my family and reach in and make a claim on assets it has taken me decades to accumulate. It feels like rape. I feel completely violated. When I ask how much money he is sending this woman, he gets angry and lists what he “gives” our daughter and says new baby deserves the same. He has been cutting back the money he contributes to our lives each month and I can’t say anything about it.

My lawyer says that there isn’t much I can do to protect myself as long as I am married. I have 9 to 12 months for this divorce to be final. Who knows what he will have done by then. Avoid this fate at all costs.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Indeed. Listen to Rumblekitty.

pecan
pecan
4 years ago

You’re allowed to leave the relationship for whatever reason you want. You don’t have to wait for ‘proof’ that he has crossed a line.

I remember how much I disliked the person I was when I did all that policing stuff. I felt like a crazy person.

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
4 years ago
Reply to  pecan

By the time I was thinking about confronting XAss with my suspicions he had already been working to make me crazy with all the gaslighting and devaluing behavior. I was being encouraged by my friends to start snooping – find the proof. I would get up and go sleep in a different room after he came to bed in the main bedroom late at night. The other bed room was where his computer was, that he left on and open all the time. I started to look, and then I just stopped. It wasn’t because I was afraid of what I might find, it was because by this time it just didn’t matter. A shit sandwich is a shit sandwich no matter how much, or what flavor of shit it is.

Finding anything out about the who, what, where and when wouldn’t have helped me in any way in the long run. I just didn’t care anymore because the whole package wasn’t worth it. It was time to walk. And I did. Thank the Goddess!

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
4 years ago

And another penny drops with “cheater’s cell phone dropped in the craziest places”
Multiple times, really unreal crazy places, and Chump me believed every story.
Face palm.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
4 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Yep….he couldn’t bring himself to let me know when he left work( 45 min away), so I could prepare dinner and we could eat as a family because” that would be like admitting you’re the boss of me”…..huh?

Quetzal
Quetzal
4 years ago

How is this “emotional” cheating if the texts were sexual in nature?

Emotional cheating would be being emotionally close, if you bring sex into the arena in any way, shape or form it’s fucking sexual – even without the fucking!

If we have to draw the line at physical intimacy, that’s well over the cliff already.
To each their boundaries, mine are strict.

NOMORECOUCHSLUG
NOMORECOUCHSLUG
4 years ago

I would catch mine texting his OW (or OW’s) sitting right on the couch in front of me….I would ask “who are you texting?’ His response would always be “I’m not texting, I’m reading the news.”, he would then turn his phone around and show Yahoo, or ABC news. I would always know this was BS, because there is a difference between a scrolling and tapping motion used to view the news (or any other website) and the tapping on a keyboard to text. Sometimes I would catch a glimpse of text bubbles as I would pass by him. The best was when one time when he turned his phone around to show me “the news”, he messed up and I could see the text bubbles! Dude was not nearly as bright as he thought and apparently thought I was an idiot.

I also found a “burner phone” among his belongings when I purged my house of his stuff. He did not delete photos and texts from there, it was invaluable….

My now 21-year-old son said that he had found my ex’s profile on some app called KIK. This was some kind of texting app that he was using to by-pass the phone-texting.

If they want to keep in contact with OW, they will find a way, and with technology, the ways are almost limitless. .

sparkles
sparkles
4 years ago

KIK is a often an alternate lifestyle kind of thing. It’s pretty techie.

karenb6702
karenb6702
4 years ago

Mine text in front of me all the time . I’d ask who do you keep texting that’s like 200 messages you’ve sent tonight .
He say I’m not texting I’m using WhatsApp !!! Like there a different

Oh and it was always Craig about the fantasy football Leaue – riiiggghhhttt slaps my own face what a chump and I believed him

Lulu
Lulu
4 years ago

MAYBE if this was a one-time thing, I would believe that he pulled himself off the precipice.

But given his history, I think he confessed because he was threatened with exposure… maybe by OW or someone else on the team. He confessed to get the jump on anyone who would out him. He was more than happy to quit the team and cut off OW and his mutual friends because he needed to remove himself from anyone who knew what was going on.

He doesn’t value your marriage, Colorado. He values saving his ass and saving his reputation.

Your letter reminds me of an “emotional affair” post on SI recently where a “wayward wife” who was a school teacher was heaped with praise by the community for her remorse by immediately going no contact and quitting the school that she worked at to avoid the OM, who was the father of a student. This woman was so convincing and manipulative that other betrayed spouses were going on her husband’s thread to defend her and convince him to reconcile!

Her betrayed husband suspected she wasn’t telling the truth, and sure enough, he found out (via polygraph) that his wife and OM were having sex… and most of it took place in her classroom after hours. She didn’t quit her job to save her marriage; she quit because she was terrified of her husband or OM’s wife reporting her to the school. Also, OM’s wife revealed that OM had herpes, a fact which the wife had also tried to conceal from her husband.

Colorado, you wouldn’t be here in CL to begin with if this didn’t smell like rotten fish to you.

No Shit Cupcakes
No Shit Cupcakes
4 years ago

This is his 3rd strike (two too many but this is what Chumps do & you are in good company).

Seek a divorce. It is only a matter of time before he infects you, announces he has a new baby with OW #15, “I was never happy” or any other variation on the theme.

Cut those costs, seek legal help and file FIRST in order to establish custody.

Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to find an honest committed partner in the future.

Staying with this guy only predisposes your son to thinking abusing a partner is normal.

Yes, it IS abuse.

KB22
KB22
4 years ago

Please listen to the advice here……leave just leave. I know you have an infant and I know it will not be an easy transition with all the work and crazy emotions. You married a weak jerk and being married to a weak jerk never ends well. Someone here said that this is a time you should be enjoying your infant, doesn’t sound like you are enjoying life right at the moment. It’s not fair to you and your child deserves better. A decent father would have all his attention on his newborn and delight in the new family unit. He wouldn’t be engaging in an affair with another woman. Don’t kid yourself it was and a good possibility it still is an affair. Also, someone else stated “do you want him to come to you 10, 20 years from now and say he is leaving, he was never happy. This is what weak jerks do and all the policing (effin exhausting) will not change who he is, a weak jerk.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago
Reply to  KB22

I watch the VKM’s kiddo and spouse just over-the-moon about their new baby. They do EVERYTHING together. Lots of young couples are like that. Sometimes these big life events reveal major character flaws in people, but in this case, you see there is a pattern of him being a weak jerk. A jackass. And you get to choose whether a weak and selfish baby/man is good enough for you.

renee62
renee62
4 years ago

I’ve learned a lot from Chump Lady & Chump Nation. And it’s not about him. It’s about you. Is this kind of life acceptable to you? This won’t change. It will always be like this. You taking care of your family. And him doing what he wants & making excuses. You need to feel secure in a marriage. Does he make you feel secure? Is this the kind of relationship & marriage that you want? They do not change. I’ve lived it. I experienced the absent spouse whom you couldn’t get a hold of to bring home milk for the kids if you ran out.
I wish I had CL & CN 28 years ago because I would’ve realized sooner & removed the stresser sooner. It’s stressful to live without a true partner raising kids when you think you have a true partner. You have expectations & they are often crushed by the missing unreliable spouse.
You decide if this kind of life works for you or not.
You’re still young. You deserve more.
Best of luck.

Bossynova
Bossynova
4 years ago

We as chumpy adults put up with alot. But think about if this is what you want for your baby. When i was pick me dancing I knew how crappy it felt to always feel like the last priority, but slowly I realized my kids felt that way too. All of us living breathing present people were the least important. The phone was glued to his face no matter what and the rest of us could have been ON FIRE for all he cared. My daughter was 8 at the time told her therapist “my dad is in love with his phone”. Which was so true! You dont want your little one to always be fighting for his attention. You are already the only sane and present parent, may as well make it official.

Wombatmom
Wombatmom
4 years ago
Reply to  Bossynova

Yes, the kids see it. My daughter was always asking my husband if he loved me. He refused to answer because “he didn’t want to lie” even though he had no qualms about lying to me for 20 years. I asked my daughter why she was asking him that and she said he didn’t seem to care about me at all. She saw it years before I did.

As for security, I never suspected his infidelity but I was never truly secure. If I was under a great deal of emotional distress, I felt a huge amount of pressure to sort myself out to avoid being a burden and making life unpleasant for my husband. He was abusive but I didn’t realise it, likely because my dad wasn’t so great either.

My husband does claim I am lucky because he never hit or yelled at me(WTF?!) The gaslighting and the new baby apparently don’t constitute abuse in his eyes.

Morse
Morse
4 years ago
Reply to  Wombatmom

Sparkledick tried explaining to my daughter (thankfully not his) why he, behaved like he did. She looked him straight in the eye and said “You don’t deserve a woman like my mother!”

I dumped his lying ass the next day.

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Morse

That’s awesome!

Jchump
Jchump
4 years ago
Reply to  Wombatmom

My young adult disabled son has started saying, I don’t think STBX is really at the gym etc – questioning his whereabouts for no reason other than that likely he’s picking up on the subtle clues that someone isn’t trustworthy – that the details don’t add up.

Yeah, and I think he went to the gym and sat in the parking lot sexting whoever. He was only there 30 minutes and came back no sweaty.

I feel gross modeling this bs.

EnergizerChump
EnergizerChump
4 years ago
Reply to  Wombatmom

Wombatmom, you are so spot on with how children see the facade for what it really is. Cheater said he couldn’t wait for the time when our daughter would be old enough for Daddy/daughter dates so he can show her “how a man should treat a woman”. HAHAHA! Are you kidding me? This after Dday and an unraveling history of disrespecting/using women. I told him, you model that by how you treat her mother. He treated me like a surrogate during the pregnancy and following her birth, like the nanny and housekeeper. It took a lot to get past the devaluing and depersonalizing, but I finally kicked his ass to the curb. When the time is right, I hope to be able to model for her what a healthy relationship looks like with a supportive, loving and loyal partner. In the meantime, I’m investing in creating a life of consistency, joy, and fulfillment in a happy home for her and me. It’s at times challenging, and lonely, but I know it’s better than it would be having stayed in that cycle of abuse. Here’s to being mighty and to today – I think it’s finally my Tuesday!

cashmere
cashmere
4 years ago

A lifetime of this can only ever suck, and it will get worse and worse over time.

The whole “emotional friendship” thing is complete bullshit, of course. People don’t hide innocent things.

From this side of things—divorce accomplished, freedom won, healing underway for every member of the beautiful little family the idiot was incapable of seeing as the treasure it is and always will be—I’m confident in saying that the moment you even ponder hiring a PI, the marriage is done and it’s time to go.

Cheaters cheat, and it has zero to do with you. If your partner has a taste for many, and digs the subterfuge, there’s nothing to work with. You are one person, and an honest one. You won’t transform the cheater, and if you stay, it will only ever hurt.

So sorry. PI, tech sleuths, months of hiding—time to go. You deserve better, and always have.

Morse
Morse
4 years ago
Reply to  cashmere

^^^^^^^ This!
(((hugs))) ????

DavidB
DavidB
4 years ago

One, they all claim there was no sex. Two, they just get smarter with their cheating. Once I had full access to her phone and phone bill, she started using text apps. On the surface, looked like nothing was going on. Till she forgot to delete the app before coming home.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
4 years ago

Well at least you are setting some boundaries. When ex had the emotional affair I thought the fact that he told me about it and carried on in front of my face meant he wouldn’t ever actually cheat. I took the invitation to pick me dance and danced for eight years, never really being good enough, always seemingly getting it wrong, until he eventually had two physical affairs with other women and left me in favor of Schmoopie 2.0 because she “cared” about him. At the time, I thought of the emotional affair as a near affair but no, it was still a full blown affair even if it didn’t go physical. It still hurt me emotionally and did irreparable damage to our marriage. As soon as he allowed himself to even be tempted it was the beginning of the end and his eventual straying was inevitable. I thought I could control it by being the perfect wife so he wouldn’t need to cheat. It turns out I had no control of the situation because it really wasn’t about me at all, it was him and his weakness, insecurity and selfishness and there was nothing I could do about that.

Adelante
Adelante
4 years ago

Colorado,
I’m from Colorado, too, and I married a man who also engaged in serial emotional affairs. I didn’t understand that’s what it was the first time it happened; I only knew that I was hurt (and angry) that he was leaving me waiting for him while he was out making sure another woman was being taken care of. That pattern, of him not caring about whether I was being taken care of, but investing in another woman, repeated itself throughout the marriage, and over time, his devaluing of me increased. When we’d walk down the street, he’d walk yards ahead of me, as if I weren’t even there. He let more of the burden for house and yard work fall to me. And at the same time he was rushing off to talk to an ex-student about her father problems, he’d act as if I were not caring enough about him. We get tied up in knots because it’s not sex (or we think it isn’t), but the fact is, they are opting out of the marriage, and they are blaming us for that. I lived with the devaluing and the hurt for 35 years. Don’t do the same. That baby you think needs a father does not need that kind of father, or that kind of model for a marriage.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
4 years ago
Reply to  Adelante

This is so true…..and it hurts and devalues us one drop at a time. We even start to repeat it in our heads, think we are selfish because we hurt when they are so nice to others and ignore us.

Sirchumpalot
Sirchumpalot
4 years ago
Reply to  Adelante

I am from Colorado also. My XW’s affairs started off as emotional affairs first. She preyed on illegal/green card Mexican’s. Always helping them get their citizenship and/or help them adapt to the USA. She would talk about them with me, while banging them. After DDay all she would say that they were emotional affairs. No trail of evidence as they would were after/during work. I only found out the truth by my lawyer after he did a Colorado State criminal background check. She had a whole double life set up. My lawyer said she was one of the most dishonest people he ever came across. They only tell you the bare minimum. The trickle truth… Please be careful.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
4 years ago

He’s testing your boundaries or more specifically he’s testing the weakness of your boundaries. Kind of like the velociraptors tested the weakness in the electric fences in the original Jurassic Park.

He is habitually forming inappropriate friendships and making sure you find out about it. He wants to know how you react when he gets ever closer to the line. Kind of like a toddler. It’s only a matter of time until he crosses it.

I’ve now successfully compared you husband to a prehistoric carnivore and a baby. Not much to work with sorry to say.

The only important question is “what is acceptable you?” If you think his friendships are inappropriate and you’ve told him they make you uncomfortable he’s already trouncing on your boundaries. Is that okay with you?

MissBailey
MissBailey
4 years ago

If they don’t tell you about their ‘friend’, it’s more than a friendship, sexual or not. I really don’t believe people have emotional affairs, for 8 months, without being physical. Heck, most people don’t even date that long without some form of intimacy.

The fact that he lied, hid, betrayed, keeps doing it again, should tell you everything. You are not as important to him as a loving wife should be. Your feelings, your needs and wants come in second place and you should never be option B.

Jennifer
Jennifer
4 years ago

This guy “confesses” when he’s ready to exit the emotional affair and lays the blame with the wife. For him, it’s a win-win. He gets to kiss Schmoopie goodbye (maybe because she wants a commitment?) as well as the benefit of buying time with the wife by appearing loyal to his family. He is only Mr. Straight & Narrow until the next Scmoopie comes along. And it won’t be long.

RVA
RVA
4 years ago

And here is how he starts his “emotional affairs.” My wife and I aren’t getting along. She is mean and hateful and jealous of everything I do. She pisses me off and we are separated trying to figure out when to get divorced. Here is a love poem for you and other offerings of love. Yes, I love you and can’t wait until we are together. (string along, string along). God I want to kiss you, just one kiss – and how about a hug, wow you have a great body. My wife let herself go. I’m staying at a motel 6 until I can find a place. (string along, string along). Damn. She found my phone! Damn she is pissed off and threatening me! Damn we can’t do this anymore I have a baby at home. My mother has been calling me telling me to go home. Damn Damn Damn. Let me figure out how I’m going to get divorced, hang on (string along string along). Shit I can’t get divorced now the baby is teething, everyone is mad at me and I need to take the baby to the dentist. I’m sorry but we need to end this now because of the baby and everyone is really pissed at me. I’m checking out of motel 6 tonight. bye bye. till the next one comes along. They lie to everyone! my favorite is when they talk about how marriage is an outdated thing from the past when we were agrarians and needed safety and security to raise our offspring in the wild. The modern woman/man has many loves blah fucking blah. When you are middle aged, recently divorced and online dating you meet this shit at almost every fucking turn. men and women a like. And if it isn’t this then it is the man who lost his laptop and luggage at the airport who needs $5000 to get home. it is hard to not be a cynic and hateful. Colorado, hate to say it but he is a cheater and you are being played. who knows how many there really are or were. I think you know because you hired a PI! That’s all I needed to read. You know

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 years ago

The coward I was married to had a predilection for blondes at work. He was constantly falling in love with one and then another and then another. And whenever he was in love with some blond or another, he was a complete asshole and made me feel like total shit. I never believed that he slept with any of these women. I always believed that these were one sided emotional affairs. My husband didn’t play softball. He was into biking and hiking and fencing and sailing all by himself or with friends from work. All that time he was fantasizing about being with other women. All that time he was not at home helping me with the chores and the kids. “It’s my day off!” he would scream.

Then he finally found an ex blond of his on Facebook And off he went when our kids were teenagers. He said he never loved me. And looking back it was easy to see that he was not lying about that at least. And he accused me of neglect and of his loneliness.

That’s what I predict for you if you let this go on. Fact is, he feels entitled to have all these emotional affairs and to be away from home pursuing his interests instead of taking care of his home and his wife and his baby. He wants to be single except for the part where you are the wife appliance who washes his underwear and minds the annoying baby. Maybe you service him like a dear, blaming yourself for not feeling more sexy for him. And in the end he will blame you for only caring about the baby and not him, when he never ever cared for YOU and left everything having anything to do with responsibility in your lap.

Ah, yes. I know this game well. Take good care of yourself.

Would someone post the link to how to prepare for divorce? This fellow may be hiding money from you. Don’t be blind. Take steps now to protect yourself.

I can also testify that there are really great guys out there who will show you what it is like to be married to someone who loves you. The cheating was my get out of jail free card.

KB22
KB22
4 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

“All that time he was not at home helping me with the chores and the kids. “It’s my day off!” he would scream.”

I hope when he is old, feeble and needs help from his kids, they respond with “Hey its my day off!”

I can also testify there are great people available out there that would make great partners.

karenb6702
karenb6702
4 years ago

Dear Colorado,

He is lying to you ask me how i know ??

I got to start with we have never even kissed , then it was OK we kissed but that’s it . Then it was we have had foreplay but no sex , then it was OK we had sex but only once , then it was the bonus of positive for herpes – lucky me !!!

This was the man that said he never even kissed her to start with swore on his nieces life not 2 minutes before .
They lie and cheat and just because he never text it on his phone doesn’t mean he hasn’t done it in real life .

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago

I once read a book by Pat Love that made a huge impression on me, called “The Emotional Incest Syndrome,” about families in which one parent had a “golden child” who was preferred over the spouse and other children. That explained a lot about my own FOO, as my mother was in a major codependent mess with my brother. It wasn’t that he could do no wrong; it was that she was so up in his business that he never developed social skills. But I digress.

One huge takeaway I got from that book was the idea that adult partners/spouses should have a shared life that is about each other. They should be each other’s
1. Emotional partner (This person is whom you go to when you need a soft place to fall, as Dr. Phil would say.
2. Financial partner (not one person in charge and the other dependent)
3. Social partner
4. Child-rearing partner

There may be other points but you get my drift. If your spouse is having even an emotional affair, he’s checked out of being your emotional partner because his energy (and his affection and regard) is elsewhere, as you see from the text messages. He’s checked out of being your social partner, because his actual social life revolves around Softball Schmoopie. It’s not like you get to go out and play with a Schmoopie when you have an infant at home. Most likely, if he’s busy having an emotional affair, he’s not really PRESENT for you as a parenting partner. What kind of details of YOUR life is he sharing with his SoftballSchmoopie? How many things that you share as a mother with your husband end up in those text messages? Finally–financial. How many times has he taken her out for coffee? for lunch? for beers after the game? Do you really have any idea if any money has flowed her way?

Brene Brown’s website has the following on its home page:
“Trust is earned in the smallest of moments.
It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.”

She talks about “disengagement” as a fundamental betrayal in marriage: “There is a particular sort of betrayal that is more insidious and equally corrosive to trust. In fact, this betrayal usually happens long before the other ones. I’m talking about the betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship.”

Your husband disengaged from your relationship (not returning texts/calls to a pregnant wife or one with an infant? Unforgivable, in my view). Not that I’d be willing to bet that these two haven’t had sex. I’d bet the ranch on it. That’s what adults do. He just won’t cop to it because that might mean divorce, splitting assets and child support. He’s a typical “baby cheater.” The wife is pregnant and dealing with incubating and pushing out of her body an 8-pound human. Then the infant takes up buckets of time. So he checks out because, hey, he’s entitled to his fun. You’re married to a Jackass.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
4 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

To answer your question, if cheating is breaking the vow to love and cherish you, putting aside any attachments to other women—an emotional affair is cheating. It’s cheating YOU of a fully engaged partner. Sex always seems like the final frontier, eh? But for me, a spouse talking about me to another woman for whom he professes “love” is a true betrayal. Meanwhile, you’re at home with a baby.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
4 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yes, it’s GROSS how much the OW ends up knowing about you! Sick conversations where you, the loyal wife, are mocked. Now that’s betrayal
It amazes me that these women can’t see what bad and evil character this shows???
Anyway, don’t play their game, remove your bad self!

Kathleen
Kathleen
4 years ago

There is no such thing as an “emotional affair “. especially with cheaters when turned on by another woman. I was told “she’s just a friend “ by my exH.
I ignored many red flags that got me nowhere.
34 years married to a lying deceitful man while I was the best wife I could be. Don’t waste your youth on a loser because that sounds exactly what he is. You deserve better! Stay strong ????????

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
4 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen

True, that. They are only emotional affairs because they haven’t opened their legs yet. The guy is working on it, you can absolutely believe that.

kb
kb
4 years ago

Colorado—

Look up “trickle truth.” It’s what he’s given you. Then consider why he confessed to the emotional affair.

If this had been a one-time thing, then maybe–just maybe–you could afford to believe him. I mean, it sounds like every Chump’s dream: “Honey, I have to tell you that I’m developing feelings for someone on my company softball team. It’s led to two weeks of an emotional whirlwind of friendship and feelings. I’m uncomfortable with those feelings because I love YOU and our baby and I’ll do anything to keep us together.”

Wow! Who wouldn’t give their spouse a second chance? They sound so open, so sincere, so everything we would want–and they told us before they had sex!

You’re right to question him. On two previous occasions, you’ve become aware that his friendships with other women are inappropriate at best. This is his third time. And he wasn’t honest with you even when he confessed the affair. He gave you two weeks, not the previous 8 months. This is where you need to ask yourself the next question: why tell you about the 2 weeks when there was another 8 months?

Enter trickle truth. When you’re trickle truthing, you confess to what the other person already knows you did. Except you didn’t know about the 2-week emotional affair. Your husband could have kept that secret but he didn’t. Why? The great possibility is that OW threatened to let you know about the affair. Your husband was scared enough that he thought the best strategy was to let you know first so that if you were given the evidence of the sexts, you’d say that your husband already told you.

Your gut is already telling you that things aren’t adding up. That’s why you hired a PI. If you have access to his financial records, then look for payments that you didn’t expect to find: credit cards that you didn’t know he had (what’s in his wallet?), payments on burner phones, etc.

But more important than fishing around in his financials is asking yourself whether this kind of life is the life you want to live. If the jury is still out on that, then get him to sign a nice post-nupt that gives you a very nice settlement in case of a divorce, regardless of the cause. If he won’t sign it, then you know he’s cheating.

Best of luck.

Morse
Morse
4 years ago
Reply to  kb

Don’t be the marriage police. Just kick his sorry arse to the kerb.