I am four years out from D-day and three years out from divorce, and I am finally at the point where my walls — and my sweet children — SING. After having our lives completely destroyed by infidelity, we have picked up the pieces, dug deep, and found happiness. I am financially stable and rocking my day job. I even fixed my picker and have an incredible, truthful, thoughtful, attractive, and kind partner! But that’s a story for another day. I’m writing regarding a completely different matter.
I credit so much of my healing to my incredible village. So many friends stepped up to help after D-day — to renovate my new home, paint, watch children, cook meals, and move appliances and furniture. And one friend in particular was especially helpful, offering a quiet, steady, and unconditional support.
…or so I thought. I have since learned that this particularly supportive friend, who helped me throughout affair discovery and divorce, is a cheater herself! And has been a cheater for the last 7 years — long before my ex’s affair. Despite the wreckage she witnessed during my own divorce, she has continued to cheat. Her chumpy husband KNOWS about the affair but has not left her. I suspect neither of them consider themselves capable of financially surviving a divorce — and I also think her husband loves her too much to leave her, even with the cheating. If the husband knows and refuses to leave, does that still make him a chump? Or a willing chump?
I know I can ghost this friend, and plan to. But it’s complicated. I live in a small community where I run into this person often. I want to be supportive to the chump husband. And our kids play together frequently in our small neighborhood. I could use your sage advice as I move forward with this new discovery rocking my boat.
Thanks for your insight,
Chumped with a cheating friend
I’m really curious how you learned this. Did she confide in you, knowing your history? Did you hear it from the husband? A mutual friend?
For advice going forward, it’s an important nugget to leave out. Because it’s another level of offense if she thought you’d be happy for her or understand. But, as she tried to keep it on the down-low, it may be more of a WTF, I thought I knew you? kind of problem.
As this is coming as a surprise now, I’m guessing that for the last three-to-four years you’ve been going through your D-day and divorce, she was quiet about it. So now you’re probably wondering about her motivations.
A couple things could be going on.
Best case scenario — she doesn’t connect these things in her mind at all. Infidelity in your case was unjust, your ex is a jerk, and she’s helping out a friend in need. She doesn’t see chumping someone as abuse. Why draw parallels? Your ex is a loathsome horndog, while she’s an unconventional adventuress in a complicated situation.
Despite the wreckage she witnessed during my own divorce, she has continued to cheat.
Yes, but it’s your wreckage. Your mess. In her world, she has no mess, just a long-suffering husband.
She’s exceptional. You’re ordinary. The laws of gravity don’t apply.
Worst case scenario — your “friend” gets a contact high off your grief.
It’s part of the high-wire act, passing for something she’s not. Your drama may be exciting, as well as your pain. She can feel superior knowing that your world is crashing down, but hers is not. Schadenfreudalicious kibbles.
Eww, Tracy. Stop untangling that skein.
Emotional vampires are out there. Eat more garlic.
You could ask her. “Did you not think I would find it disturbing that you were helping me through infidelity trauma, while inflicting it on your husband?”
My advice? Don’t. This woman is capable of a 7-year double life. You have know way of knowing what she says is true. (Assuming your intelligence on her affair is correct.)
And it doesn’t matter, because the real issue is what’s acceptable to you. Is this someone you want in your intimate circle?
I know I can ghost this friend, and plan to. But it’s complicated. I live in a small community where I run into this person often.
Nod, smile, be noncommittal. Oh hey, late for Tyler’s flugelhorn lessons! Gotta motor.
You’re polite, but busy. Very busy.
I want to be supportive to the chump husband.
From what you write, he’s aware he’s being chumped? So that work is done. You could always share this site with him. But I don’t know how you blow off her and be supportive of him. If he’s chasing unicorns, he may be in that morass for awhile. He knows where to find you.
I could use your sage advice as I move forward with this new discovery rocking my boat.
Don’t let it rock your boat. Some people are deeply disappointing. Focus instead on all you’ve accomplished! You have walls that sing, happy kids, a new partner. Your life is authentically terrific.
Key word authentic. Lose this person not just because you disapprove of her cheating. Lose her because you don’t have anything in common. You’re real and she’s a furtive fuck.
Get back to your better life.