Domestic Violence Survivors Are Infidelity Survivors Too

domestic violence infidelity

A reminder about the intersection between domestic violence and infidelity. Cheating is just another tactic in the abuser toolbox.

****

Dear Chump Lady,

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I have been watching a ton of posts on TikTok from survivors of DV. In addition to the physical abuse, do you know what they all had in common?

Every single one of them was cheated on.

Every. Single. One. Cheating IS domestic violence!!! Thank you for trying to educate society and change the narrative on this topic.

As a divorce attorney that divorced a serial cheater (who also physically abused me), I am trying to do my best to educate my clients and judges that infidelity is abuse. Going through my ordeal has made me a better, more empathetic advocate for my clients.

Thank you,

She Persisted

PS – you published one of my letters back in December of 2020: The Dying Other Woman’s Confession.

Thank you for decoding the bullshit for me and validating me.

Life is now better than I ever could have imagined. I gained a life of so much happiness and joy when I finally left my cheater. My children are thriving, barely have contact with their father, I have lost 50lbs, and I have been dating the most wonderful man (also a chump) since January of 2021. My children and my family adore him and life has never been better. 😊

***

Dear She Persisted,

Love your name and thank you for the update on your life! I always enjoy hearing from folks whose letters I have answered. I’m not surprised your life is a bazillion times better without the friend-fucking/hooker habit creep. Thank you for changing the narrative where it really matters — the family court system. We need more lawyers like you. I’m sorry it took such sad circumstances to inspire your advocacy.

As for the domestic violence-cheating connection, it makes total sense.

They’re both forms of coercive control. It’s a power trip to cheat on someone.

I’m reminded of that time I tagged Esther Perel on Twitter. I was probably being cheeky. It was a column entitled, “Esther Perel Can Bite Me.”

To my surprise, she replied. To pity me.

“Your story goes beyond infidelity.”

BEYOND infidelity.

esther perel

Because MY infidelity story included domestic violence. When I had a D-Day, my cheater threatened to kill me if I told anyone. He said he would hunt me down and burn down my house. He wished his ex-wife’s baby dead, because she talked to me. I had a scary cheater. With guns.

He also had three graduate degrees and a veneer of respectability. Nevertheless, this whole protection from abuse order thing was not central casting for Esther’s Noble Cheater. The one embarking on a Quest for Aliveness.

Esther Perel, cheater apologist, doesn’t understand DV or trauma.

Perel wrote (and has since scrubbed from the Internet, but it exists on the Way Back Machine) “Rethinking Infidelity“:

In America, infidelity is described in terms of perpetrators and victims, damages and cost. We are far more tolerant of divorce with all the dissolutions of the family structure than of transgression. Although our society has become more sexually open in many ways, when it comes to monogamy, even the most liberal minds can remain intransigent. When discussing infidelity, we use the language of moral condemnation. And it isn’t only the act that’s reprehensible; the actor, too, is judged by the strictest standards. Adultery becomes a moral failing as we move to a description of character flaws: liar, cheater, philanderer, womanizer, slut. In this view, understanding an act of infidelity as a simple transgression or meaningless fling, or a quest for aliveness is an impossibility.

Are hooker habits simple transgressions? Is it a meaningless fling if you get Chlamydia? (Why must you ascribe meaning to disease, Tracy? WHY?) Was the threat to kill me a quest for ALIVENESS? Why must we be so judgy? Perpetrators and victims! So heavy! These are not at all the jolly, naughty cheaters Esther imagines.

For awhile I thought my cheater really did go beyond the bounds of the “normal” cheaters out there. But then I spent time running this blog and reading a bazillion stories and realized I’m not that out of the ordinary.

They don’t have to hit you for it to be abuse.

Psychological abuse is abuse. (If you haven’t had a chance, go listen to Dr. Minwalla discuss this on our latest podcast.) But physical abuse is part of the FW combo plate. As is financial abuse. You know, whatever works for them.

In fact, I’d argue cheating may be worse than physical abuse. If someone slugs you — it’s out in the open. You know you’re being hit. If someone cheats on you, you might not know you’ve got cervical cancer until your next abnormal pap smear. You can’t defend against an attack you can’t see.

Domestic violence goes with cheating.

Not every chump experiences DV, but I bet the majority of victims of DV are also chumps. I can think of many stories on this blog — people being attacked after they confronted their cheaters. (Which is one reason why I advise people NOT to confront cheaters.)

A woman who used to post here, Tessie — her ex-husband murdered her 12-year-old son and then killed himself. I can think of another woman who was pregnant, fighting her husband for his cellphone and he slammed her down to get it back. When she pressed charges, he stopped paying the mortgage.

It’s all about control and maintaining entitlement, by any means necessary.

My FW didn’t “go beyond” infidelity. Infidelity was part of his abuse. It’s not a separate thing — like a quest for alivenesse. His entire operating system was abusive. His lies didn’t “go beyond” infidelity. Or his threats, or his isolating me, or his financial abuse, or his leaving guns everywhere.

That was all one abusive package.

Even when I talk about this part of my story, part of me is still mortified by it. Like I cannot believe I lived this, or tolerated this person for a nano second longer than I had to after the first D-Day. But I did.

But I’ll tell it again, She Persisted, as you reminded me it’s October. So for any DV newbie chumps out there — hey, there is no shame in getting an abuse order, okay? Please get help from a domestic abuse agency and make a safe plan to get out.

I didn’t have a domestic abuser until I had a D-Day.

The rage came after the double life was discovered.

I don’t really want to type the whole thing out, but I’ll share one episode that has stayed with me. My FW had guns. And I went to the courthouse to get my temporary protection from abuse order, but I had to wait for a constable to serve him when he got home. Somehow he surprised me, and got home before the constable. Chased me to get the court order. I grabbed the phone and ran outside and called 911. And while I was on the phone with the dispatcher, he was tearing up the order in front of me.

I am absolutely hysterical with fear.

And the police show up. And his rage channel just switches off. That whole Gabby Petito story was totally triggering. Same FW switch. He’s all goofy charm for the police officers. Hey, bitches be crazy! Can you believe how she’s crying and overreacting?

They looked like they believed him, but they had to do their job. (They called the court about the order. I got another one.) He had 5 minutes to grab his stuff and get out of the house.

I tell the police he has a handgun in the wheel hub of his car. And they look, and there where I said it would be, was an unregistered hand gun. “Aren’t you going to charge him?” I asked. And the police officer said:

I think he’s in enough trouble for one day.

As in: Haven’t YOU gotten him in enough trouble for one day?

So, that’s what domestic violence and infidelity have in common. We blame the victims. 

Let’s everybody keep changing the narrative. Thanks for the good work, She Persisted.

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

69 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Attie
Attie
7 months ago

Holding my hand up here, but the DV started waaayyy before the cheating. First it was the screaming rages – one time because I made my own hot chocolate with milk “BUT IT SAID ON THE PACKET TO USE WATER”!!!! We hadn’t even been married six months at that point. Then came the pushing, later the spittle screaming in my face, and then later the actual kicking after pushing me down on the ground. This went on for YEARS! The good thing is I never covered for him. I let it be known at work and everyone knew what he was. He got off with 3-4 DUIs before they finally cancelled his licence permanently (which was I think the reason he went back to the States – he knew he couldn’t pass the highway code in French). And I eventually stopped worrying about his immigration status and filed (and got) a DV conviction against him, although I regret waiting so long to do so. The cheating came around because he was a drunk and always at the bar “hanging out”, so ended up with a slag who could drink a bottle of whiskey (paid for out of our joint account) every night. Mind you, she left him after three years telling everyone she was afraid he was going to kill her (she kudda asked me, his wife, it would have been so much easier)! I am curious to know what goes on back in the States with latest Schmoopie (who I think is only with him for his money). I think he thought he could get away with so much over here because neither of us have family here. It might be different for her but in the end who cares. I’m just so relieved to be rid of him, even now all these years later!

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago

I’m often surprised that mine never hit me. All the other ingredients are there, and considering all the stuff he DID do, it is not like he’s simply too good a guy to take it to that level. I am very afraid of him regardless and that is why my divorce process has been so slow. I am (naively,I know) taking things slow in an attempt to not push him over the edge to all rage/all the time. I worry for me, but more so worry for the kids.

Tracy, that story about when you dealt with the police is so terrifying and as you know, it’s not rare. we hear that all the time from victims of DV, they are afraid to report because of exactly what happened with you. One also has to wonder, the statistics show that a high percentage (28%??) of police officers perpetrate DV. This is a situation of the inmates running the asylum. (Apologies to anyone with loved ones/family who are decent humans in law enforcement. I know it’s not all of them )

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
7 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

Twenty years ago, Crystal Judson Brame was fatally shot in front of her two children, ages 8 and 5 by their father, her estranged husband David Brame who then shot himself. He was Police Chief of Tacoma, Washington.

Crystal had reported previous abuses to the police, and the person sent to investigate was a woman with whom David Brame was having an affair. I cannot imagine how that must have felt to Crystal. The story has haunted me since that day in April, 2003.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
7 months ago

Here’s another way infidelity is domestic abuse. In almost every case, to leave safely, a chump needs to be stealthy. There comes a realization that a cheating partner has been pursuing a future which is so destructive to a chump’s life that it has been denied and covered up. There is no reason for trust or compromise or negotiating directly with a cheater.

An alarming difference is that infidelity, when acknowledged, results in a loss of support from family and friends which they feel is justifiable. Esther Perel is as dangerous as a good ole boy. And her narrative is amplified by Hollywood.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

I had a friend who was a black junior producer for a PBS program that interviewed Camille Paglia and he said something similar about the latter– that Paglia was (and I quote) a “Stepin Fetchit” for the good ole boys of patriarchy or what Malcolm X might have called a “house slave.”

One of my favorite books on evolutionary science is “Demonic Males: Apes and the Evolution of Human Violence” by Richard Wrangham. It’s short, sweet, pithy and brilliant. In support of his theory that human war really evolved from ape ancestors’ lethal raiding for sexual dominance (and therefore the answer to stop war is gender parity), Wrangham includes a description of how, occasionally, an unusually violent and aggressive “token female” among regular chimps may be allowed to join lethal raids and can thereby earn herself an extra chunk of banana or a bit of amnesty from the constant suppression and violence against chimp females within their own troops. They earn this distinction by being extra “Clockwork Orange” in their assaults against other troops (which are invariably about abducting females and killing off rival males, including male infants).

Anyway, I think Perel and Paglia and all women who “grovel for amnesty” by attacking society’s underdogs are like these violent token female chimps. I can think of certain female politicians who sort of outdo men in terms of warmongering and support for violent social repression who fall under the same “token” category. Just like among chimps, women like this DO NOT in any way represent the “sisterhood” or any coalitionary humanist venture. They are out for themselves, period and blowing the patriarchy serves this agenda.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

“An alarming difference is that infidelity, when acknowledged, results in a loss of support from family and friends which they feel is justifiable.”

That used to be standard operating procedure with DV, too. Sadly, it still is a lot of the time. In either case, it’s shattering to realize how little your family and friends actually care about your welfare.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

My own parents encouraged me to stay with my second husband after they observed him swing a canoe paddle at me! “He’s Latin,” my father said. “They lose their temper and make a lot of noise, and then it’s all over, as if it didn’t happen.” When I did leave him, after he strangled me nearly to death, “friends” told me I must be making it up because “he wouldn’t do that.” Dad said, “It used to be legal to hit your wife as long as you didn’t use anything bigger around than your thumb.”

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

Assholes! I’m so sorry, Ruby. This type of evil, which serves to enable domestic abuse, is pervasive in every society.

OutButNotDown
OutButNotDown
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yessss, Step-by-step! After D-day #2 when I knew I had to leave my abuser/cheater, I called the national DV hotline. They advised me on how to exit safely, stealthily, and I am so grateful. I left him when he stepped out to get a haircut and didn’t let him know my whereabouts. I don’t know how it would have turned out otherwise but I am glad I don’t!

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago

As far as Perel goes, I don’t read her work. I know enough from what CL posts and I don’t think I could stomach it if I got it directly from the source without CL’s snark to make it more palatable.

But from what was posted today, it seems like Perel, whose life work is all about infidelity, doesn’t know what fidelity actually looks like in the real world.

From what I see she paints cheating as if it is so…light. It’s not light, it’s heavy, soul-crushingly heavy.

It’s generally NOT an isolated incident. Though, a FW could run out, have a single one night stand and still bring home an STD to his pregnant chump that risks the health of their unborn child and blows up everyone’s life. So one time things aren’t light either. But most Chumps don’t experience some one time thing, it’s a long drawn out hellish experience that is complicated. The FWs that spend marital assets on hookers and the spouse has no idea until they are bankrupt, the chump who finds out 8 years in that his son is not his. Before DDay, all the gaslighting that leaves a chump feeling like they are crazy. And I’m not even getting into other extremes of the cases where infidelity leads to murders.

Does Perel live under a rock? If so, can she please crawl back under it and stay there?

And don’t even get me started on the way she puts down monogamy as if anyone who expects that from their spouse is a dinosaur. I am openminded. There are many people that are breaking from tradition and forming their own types of marriage. Lots of polyamory or other kinds of open marriages. That is not for me, but I truly don’t judge those that choose those paths. I am all for people doing what they want with their one short life. As long as all parties are aware and in agreement.

Getting chumped is signing up for monogamy, being promised monogamy, giving monogamy and then having your FW open the marriage without your knowledge nor consent. That doesn’t make the chump closeminded and the FW a free spirit. If monogamy isn’t for you, don’t get into a monogamous relationship. If you are in one, and then realize it’s not for you, GET OUT. Honestly, these concepts shouldn’t be so hard to grasp.

We’re all humans with vastly different opinions and feelings. My guess is that there are couples out there divorcing over affairs where IF the FW had been upfront, and talked to their spouse rather than cheating, they might still be together. There ARE lots of couples that are open, swing, practice polyamory. Those aren’t for me, but clearly some folks are into it.

Perel’s stance is just such utter BS.

The Divine Miss Chump
The Divine Miss Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

I think anytime a partner makes a unilateral decision that goes against your core belief and understanding of the basis of the relationship, they steal your agency. What you don’t know DOES hurt you.
While my ex never raised a hand to me, I knew if he could do all that he had done, he was capable of much more. I held the match that could easily ignite a bonfire that would blow up his life. I believe my fear for my personal safety when I left was more than valid. I knew the minute I uncovered his secret life that there was no turning back and that I needed to protect myself at all costs and took every precaution necessary. And I still do.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
7 months ago

Interestingly, Ex-Mrs LFTT’s father (who she was very close to) was bother physically violent towards her mother and cheated on her to boot, which fully supports SP’s hypothesis. While Ex-Mrs LFTT’s apple didn’t fall far from her father’s tree, I am thankful that she was never physically violent towards the kids or I.

Sadly, most of the other things that she did to us were straight out of her father’s playbook.

LFTT

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

I wrote another comment about how I always thought female abusers are akin to “hybristophiliacs” or prison groupies. They tend to internalize the most toxic gender conceptions that decent men are contemptible and the most aggressive, criminal or violent men are “real” men. I think it obviously begins in childhood through groveling for amnesty from violence by displaying manic loyalty to the most abusive and scary adult in the mix. Then later emulating the behavior of that former abuser becomes the ultimate show of “loyalty.” A researcher who studied violent abusers in prison found that abusers will often continue showing that manic, feverish loyalty to their own former abusers even after the latter are dead, in some senses showing “cult-like” or parareligious behavior.

I guess it fits with the Dominicans’ view that everyone’s conception of God is derived from their own fathers. Nice dad= loving God; bad dad = punishing God. But I’d probably argue that the concept of God is probably derived from whatever role model was the most dominant regardless of gender.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
7 months ago

HoaC,

There is a lot to unpack there. Sadly, Ex-Mrs LFTT idolised her late father despite everything that he did to her mother; a mother that she professes to love, but towards whom she behaved (and continues to behave) horribly when it suits her. To hear her speak about him and then compare it to what her brother and sister have said about him would make you think that they were talking about two different people.

Fundamentally, she mirrors his his entitled, coercive and controlling behaviours, his belief that only his opinions and needs matter, and his mechanisms for avoiding responsibility when caught out.

She does not spark joy in either me or our now adult children; we all think that her AP is welcome to her.

LFTT

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

In feminism, your ex’s behavior is sometimes referred to as “male directed.” Not only do women like this worship and grovel before the aggressive/abusive patriarchal abuse model, but they also tend to emulate it by being very aggressive to others, albeit it usually in a covert way that’s typically veiled as exaggeratedly “feminine” behavior.

Because I come from a sort of evolutionary perspective about feminism– that, on a model equivalent to modern corporate capitalism– it’s only really a tiny minority of ultra-violent or ultra-domineering weirdos (equivalent to the teeny-tiny minority of ultra-rich mega-billionaires who run everything) driving what society regards as “patriarchal abuse” which everyone else– male or female, poor or middle class– suffers from, I’m not that happy with the over-generalized concept of “male directed.” I grew up with some very nice men so that tends to irritate me. So I think of it more like “Itty-bitty minority of creepy power-abusing male-directive.”

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
7 months ago

And can we just emphasize that fact that abuse comes in a lot of flavors? My ex never hit me. I had made it crystal clear from the very start of the relationship that hitting a woman was waaaayyyyy over the line. But his driving terrified me sometimes. That’s abuse, too. He emotionally abused me and our children. There was financial abuse. There was spiritual abuse. Cheating was just one flavor in the smorgasbord of abuse.

I was shocked when I first learned about the cycle of violence. It perfectly described my marriage. His violence wasn’t the type that led to black eyes and broken bones, but it was still violence. My children and I still bear the hidden scars of his emotional abuse. But I was most shocked when I realized that he enjoyed the abuse. He got off on it. That’s what they all have in common–abuse is fun.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
7 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

The driving! My XH the substance abuser used to terrify me in the car, One reason I ended the marriage was to avoid responsibility for him if he kills someone some day.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

What you write about reminds me of Evan Stark’s book “Coercive Control.”

Stark– a forensic psychologist and veteran advocate for the DV shelter movement in the US and UK since the 1970s– originally made it his mission to change laws and policies regarding protection of battered women. But, after decades in the field and hearing from survivors that it’s actually the psychological aspects of domestic abuse that are the most paralyzing and damaging, Stark began spearheading a movement to criminalize “coercive control” or the subviolent forms of abuse that most abusers rely on to control their prey.

Stark was able to ground his campaign on the fact that abusers who engage in subviolent coercive control behaviors are statistically more likely to eventually become murderous towards partners. In other words, abusers who engage in subviolent forms of coercion are– despite possibly never having previously engaged in violent behaviors towards partners– far more likely to engage in violence towards partners once partners attempt to escape. Those statistics supported legislation in the UK that makes coercive control punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The same statistics inspired laws in California, Connecticut and Hawaii to provide victims with orders of protection or, in Hawaii and California, helped award full custody of children to victims.

I think that Stark’s work along with his wife Anne Flitcraft in trying to undermine traditional victim-blaming theories in psychology and the attendant lack of protection afforded to abuse survivors is Nobel prize-worthy. I doubt either will get the credit they deserve for changing the paradigm of how abuse survivors are treated by the judicial system, legislators, helping professions and the public.

2xchump
2xchump
7 months ago

My therapist worked with prisoners and sex offenders. He saw my husband first ( he was with my husband’s work insurance for 3 free sessions) then me alone. As soon as I told him how my husband was using emotional punishment, rage, abandonment and coercion to get me to do what he wanted.As soon as he heard how my husband was treating me like a paid sex worker, he told me to LOCK HIM OUT NOW or I would be the next victim. He said ,do it today, right away. He is ticking. I did what he said. All the DV shelters were full so I holed up in a hotel. There I lay in a fetal position for 4 days after my husband was served. Fearing for my life. My counselor said my then husband was capable of anything. I was a boiled frog and had grown accustomed to intimate abuse no matter how awful.Guns were Under the bed and in drawers and behind the bed. We slept with an arsenal and I am a pacifists. I felt many times in my gut, that he could and would kill me. And maybe I deserved it, really. My head said he would never do that, he loved me. My therapist saved my life because he knew the MO of abusers. My other therapist had used calming Down and Trauma therapy/ couples techniques. Wrong. I’m thrilled to still be here. I am thrilled to be on my own. I believe God saved me this time with the help of this amazing African American man! Saved.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

When someone really knows the score from experience, it shows in their eyes and their words can get past all the mindfucking and conditioning. God knows what horrors they may have seen to endow them with that power but it saves lives. So glad you’re still here to tell about it. Now you have that power.

New Beginnings
New Beginnings
7 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

My ex never hit me either but I also experienced the scary driving, holes punched in walls, things thrown or broken, and raging anger. These are all flavors of violent abuse designed to make others not ask questions, and walk on egg shells all the time! It’s often a good way to deflect any kind of questions around what they are doing or not doing.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
7 months ago

My cheater wasn’t violent but her AP (who was married, so he was cheating on his own wife) was. Not “put her in the hospital” violent, but more “throw plates against the wall to shut her up”. I guess that’s better?

Interestingly, XW has told our kids that the fact that she and AP scream at each other is proof that they really love each other (unlike in her previous marriage to me where we always got along). She has also told me that if I had really loved her I would have been jealous and suspicious when she traveled for work – that I would have called her hotel room at random in the evening to make sure she was really there. Meanwhile, I happen to know that XW shares her every move with AP (for instance, she sends him the itinerary for the 5 minute drive to take the kids to school every morning) when he is out of town. I guess she gets points for consistency: she told me I would have been more violent and stalkery if I had really loved her, and she did indeed choose a man who’s violent and stalkery. I’ve told the kids that this isn’t really how loving relationships work and I hope they’re getting the message.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
7 months ago

This is truly creepy and crazy behavior. I hope you know how lucky you are to be free of that mess.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

What you just described is every female abuser I heard about as an advocate from the smattering of male survivors we interfaced with. It seems yours relied on coercive control rather than overt violence herself but she still obviously has that weird attraction to criminality in men and vicious contempt for noncriminal men.

This makes me sense that, when she married you, your ex probably assumed you’d eventually “drop your mask” because that was likely her experience with all men she knew growing up. She seems to have been disappointed when it turned out you weren’t wearing a mask.

I wonder if what you experienced could out to be a hazard of particularly masculine-appearing men who, due to genetics, have the “bad luck” of shaving twice a day, having a strong jaw, deep voice, etc. (but only “bad luck” if this inadvertently attracts a few freaks).

New Beginnings
New Beginnings
7 months ago

WOW – what scary messages to be teaching her children! Unbelievable!

Viktoria
Viktoria
7 months ago

Emotional abuse
Psychological abuse
Financial abuse/fraud
Sexual abuse to my person–in the marriage
Sexual abuse via infidelity (fucking friends & hooker habit)
Litigation abuse

My eX did all that to me.

Blue Chumparoo
Blue Chumparoo
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

Mine also, plus physical. I’m so sorry you experienced that. It’s been very difficult for me to recover from. Time and counseling has helped, but I fear it will always be with me. Remember you are a strong survivor. I tell myself if I can endure what I did, I can handle anything else that life might throw at me. Big hug.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
7 months ago

This: “You can’t defend against an attack you can’t see.”

I also strongly recommend everyone listen to the interview with Dr. Minwalla.

Last edited 7 months ago by walkbymyself
Ms Done With Him
Ms Done With Him
7 months ago

I had to call the police out 4 times, starting with his first round of cheating in 2007, when he got physically violent with me twice. Then again in 2021 when the cycle started again and he pulled out a gun during an argument – but since he did not “brandish” it at anyone, couldn’t be detained. Then later threatened to unalive himself and others by driving the wrong way down the highway.
Want to know how many times he went to jail? 0! In 2007 I didn’t have witnesses or physical marks. In 2021, he convinced the cops I was the jaded, jealous wife. Said he was moving the gun because he was afraid I was going to hurt myself!!! Asshole!
So much abuse, all for coercive control and to get me to “behave”. Go back to being the good wife appliance while he carried on with dating apps and his 20 yo coworker.

I finally left for good in June. As I work through the trauma with my psychologist, I am finally processing my feelings around these events. I believe anyone who cheats is abusive and disordered. It doesn’t need a name or diagnosis but we do need to start recognizing the psychological abuse associated with cheating.

ChumpedAndDumped
ChumpedAndDumped
7 months ago

I appreciated the podcast with Dr. Minwalla so that I could learn and understand what a lot of chumps have gone through, things that are much worse than what I experienced. Although, Chump Lady and Dr. Minwalla emphasized that woman can be awful cheaters, I think most male chumps (like me) are spared the threat of physical violence, which seems to go hand-in-hand with the toxic masculinity that is unfortunately all to prevalent still in our culture.

The expectation that men will be violent was applied to me by my ex. During our breakup, we were still living in the same house and she didn’t want to be close to me. I did my best to respect that request, but one time in the early morning darkness I didn’t notice that I had passed close to her as I was moving through the house, and she later stood outside my office door and said that if I got that close to her again that she would scream loudly, and do I don’t what else, as though I threatening her physically just by my proximity.

The irony of her own lying and cheating and the expectation of physical violence from me was quite spectacular, and also reinforces the incorrect view still that physical abuse is still much worse than emotional abuse, that any kind of physical reaction from me would excuse her own bad behavior.

I’m glad that there are places like this and people like Chump Lady and Dr. Minwalla that believe that cheating is abuse and should be viewed as domestic violence in the same way as physical abuse.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Trying to frame you as violent or criminal is a standard tactic of all coercive controllers, male or female. I dealt with something similar. FW in my case was never directly violent but, in order to coerce and control me during his cheating escapades, he threatened smear campaigns to cast me as a “dangerous mother” and also accused me of sexual coercion. Both charges were utter and total projection, not based on a single thing I ever did or said. But, by yelling these things at me, the point was not to make me believe the charges were true; instead, FW was demonstrating to me how “believable” he would seem to others when he socially destroyed me.

I’ve come to term this “social abuse” and I hope one day it gets a top slot on the list of behaviors like psychological abuse, financial abuse, etc., comprising coercive control. I’m not a bible thumper but I believe there’s a common sense reason why “bearing false witness” is included in the Ten Commandments– because, in days of yore, it could get people killed.

It still can. Most people assume there are modern societal safety nets and a collective sense of justice in place to protect people against this kind of character assassination. But what you learn while working in DV channels is that those societal safety nets are often illusory and that Dickensian-level “social ruin” can still happen in this day and age. People can lose everything, including their lives or the lives of their children. This happened in the case CL mentioned: in that situation, the FW had told police the chump was a “prostitute” so that police did not protect the chump or her child. And your ex could have gotten you arrested.

Anyway, this is one of the reasons I hired a PI to get solid proof of FW’s double life– I knew I was in an arms race to discredit FW before he tried to socially destroy me or take custody away. Too bad for him if he didn’t really mean those implied threats. He put me in a position where I couldn’t merely wave a newspaper at the wasp but had to stomp on it. If you wave a chocolate gun at a cop it can still get you shot.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
7 months ago

https://centerfordomesticpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/PEEVSSSS.pdf

The PEEVESSSS are my local domestic violence help organization’s shorthand for categories of abuse.

They teach that affairs are abuse.

ExUK chump
ExUK chump
7 months ago

Also abuse can go both ways, my first wife regularly hit me and cheated on me as well.Also used other forms of abuse,financial,verbal etc.
I never reported it to the police.

This was due at that time,the UK police had a reputation of always arresting the man when called to a DV incident even if the man was a victim.I can only hope the police have a more enlightened approach today.

Both

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  ExUK chump

It may not be statistically that common but violent female batterers exist. A step cousin of mine was murdered by a woman. I remember his brothers being so relieved to learn there was no sign at the scene that indicated their brother had instigated the violence by attacking the woman. That would have made their grief even worse. Apparently the killer was a cokehead who tried to rob my cousin, then died of overdose-induced cardiac arrest at the scene after killing my cousin. She didn’t have a mark on her and he was covered in defensive wounds. It makes it even more tragic that, despite being a tall, strong guy, he was so nonviolent that he couldn’t even bring himself to assault a woman in the midst of killing him. The world lost someone very special.

Interestingly, the killer in that case had reportedly been in treatment for PCOS. This isn’t meant as a generalization about PCOS sufferers, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding, decent people stuck dealing with an unfair health challenge. But PCOS is over-represented among women in prison for committing violent crimes. This isn’t true for women born with elevated testosterone due to genetic endocrine imbalance, only those for whom elevated testosterone is later onset and possibly environmental.

Endocrines aside, what isn’t uncommon is women using more passive aggressive coercive and controlling tactics. A study of teenagers found that females are even more likely to use sneaky reputational/status attacks against others (mostly other females) more than males.

I’ve known of a few violent women and noticed those who are violent to men also tend to be violent to other women and children and sort of all-around criminals. Like the study of teens above purports, overtly violent women are unusual in that women statistically tend to be more avoidant of behaviors that could lead to retaliatory violence (thus the tendency to be sneakier and use smear campaigns in targeting others).

Blue Chumparoo
Blue Chumparoo
7 months ago

There’s not one type of abuse that my exFW didn’t inflict upon me, and our son.
DV advocate and my then attorney told me the abuse wasn’t bad enough that my ex would lose visitation. At best he would have supervised visitation for 6 months, behave himself, and it would be dropped. So I stayed married to try and protect my son (NEVER left him alone with my ex), dropped the protective order and divorce petition, we did counseling, more abuse, six years later he files.
My next attorney tells me not to bring up the abuse because “it only complicates things and creates a more difficult divorce”. Ugh THREE years long divorce, MORE abuse using the courts to punish me, control and terror using financial abuse, $100,000 in attorney fees. Threats of wanting to kill me, burning the house down with me in it, smear campaign, flying monkeys, basically the works.
I was afraid to divorce him because of how bad I knew it would be, but what I had imagined was nothing compared to what actually happened. My attorney told me after 2 years of litigation that it didn’t get any worse.
We are back in court after 4 year’s divorced. It’s been dragging out for over 18 months. I begged my attorney to just “let go of the rope”, I couldn’t afford it and didn’t want to be re traumatized. She said “it’s personal now” (for her), and she’s not going to charge me. Just when I was feeling free and happier, I can’t sleep, am having terrible nightmares and my anxiety is high with depression on my heals.
How are people able to cope with this? Why do the courts allow this to happen? Why do I have to continue to defend myself when I’ve done nothing wrong? I moved 1000 miles and four states away, and still he’s able to force me back into his toxic abusive dysfunctional nightmare.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago
Reply to  Blue Chumparoo

BlueChump,

I am so sorry you are going through this. So very sorry. I feel like the justice system never had your or your son’s best interest at heart. That you felt your only option was to stay married so you could protect your son is horrible, and I agree with your choice because otherwise, he’d have unsupervised access to him. That’s CRAZY!

Then the next run the lawyer says “don’t bring it up?”

There needs to be an overhaul to the entire system. This whole situation where these FW’s can just keep pulling the chump into court until they are $100,000 in debt is ludicrous!

It’s so obvious to us, why can’t judges put a stop to it?

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Blue Chumparoo

I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I hope that guy ends up hoisted on his own petard without doing any more harm to you or anyone else.

When I worked in advocacy, the first thing we’d tell survivors is to check local statutes about consent in recording and to use their better judgement in getting stealth recordings of abusers. In some places, while recordings taken without the consent of all parties are technically illegal, the recordings may still be admissible in court if A) a crime is caught on tape; or B) the recording is considered to be in the public interest.

The worst places to live are states that never allow recordings even in the public interest or when crimes are caught. I think of those states as where justice goes to die because so many categories of victims– from police overuse of force to harassment to DV to children abused by staff in school– often will have no way to prove that crimes were committed against them.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  Blue Chumparoo

“How are people able to cope with this? Why do the courts allow this to happen? Why do I have to continue to defend myself when I’ve done nothing wrong? I moved 1000 miles and four states away, and still he’s able to force me back into his toxic abusive dysfunctional nightmare.”

There is no justice. I’m so sorry. 😞

marissachump
marissachump
7 months ago

When I reached out to domestic violence crisis centers for help, every single time the counselors acted like I was the abuser because I said she was cheating on me. There is this idea that accusing someone of cheating is abuse while cheating is itself not abuse. They didn’t seem too interested that I had extensive evidence that the cheating was happening or that cheater used the cheating to threaten, manipulate, and sexually and emotionally abuse me. Because I brought up her cheating, that seemed to overshadow that she would drive recklessly with me as the passenger to threaten and control me, use the threat to my life (I’m immunocompromised) of further cheating without protection to coerce me into sexual acts I did not want, keep me from sleeping, rage at me, etc. until infinity. Thank you for changing the narrative. I hope domestic violence services start to catch on already. I believe I barely escaped cheater with my life, but somehow domestic violence crisis refused to see it that way because I talked about her cheating.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago
Reply to  marissachump

Marissa,
That sounds like a “bitter bunny” issue. You “must” have deserved the cheating and are now an unhinged bitter bunny looking for revenge. (It’s not clear to me what the DV Ctr actually thought, either they thought you were lying to get back at her for cheating…or they thought she was in danger from you, that you would hit her FOR cheating)

I’ve already said it earlier this week at some point, but it seems like in society, there are 2 types of people, Chumps who know exactly how bad cheating is, and people who never have been chumped and see it as no big deal. (They see it as a minor betrayal, or like, a chump’s PRIDE is all that’s at stake. And sure, it IS a betrayal and it DOES hurt our pride but it really causes so much more damage than that)

I think CL and other’s like her ARE going to swing the narrative towards the truth, but until then we are all putting up with this BS.

2xchump
2xchump
7 months ago

Pulling off the mask makes cheaters go mad!!! Both cheater 1 and cheater 2 had guns and threatened me. One overtly( that protection order won’t help you he told me, there will be nothing but Pieces of you left when I’m done). Second cheater said, ..you might need a gun while I’m away at the hotel giving you space. ( mind you I couldn’t shoot anything due to arthritis in both thumbs). So.shows me his gun. Threats continued and with both of them I needed protection orders Both of them were ” Christian men”. Quiet like gentle guys when I first met them until within the Marriage and years later, the red flags were raised. These experiences led me to.fear. paralyzing fear. I thank God for both my lawyers 32 years apart for protecting me and saving my life.
So for SP our writer today..there are two kinds of forgiveness, as I’ve read on this site. One is letting go…goodbye creapy cheater, good bye OW (s…) I’m no contact in my brain when I’m ready. So you are all out in the street, evicted!!! That is the meh for me, someday, after massive therapy. I can say..Whatever…who cares. No one has to know and no words have to be said.Then the other form of forgiveness is PARDON. IMO I cannot pardon anyone really. I leave that up to God. Or, if OW confesses specific details, I really like what CL says that these people, cheaters and OW want centrality. How better to confess when you know the cheater might not come back for more free sex?? Your husband was no longer interested in her body ? Same thing would happen to.you if you got sick. Dumped right there or telling his AP how you drag him down with all your care . My wuzbands would do that to me absolutely! I didn’t know that then but I do now.
So yes, 100% in my life experiences, husbands can use guns and like to scare you..All bets are off if they will kill or injury you. Take no chances. Protect yourself.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
7 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

Even God doesn’t going around pardoning people willy-nilly. There’s always some procedure for it (which may require the services of a professional, though that depends on the details of your particular religion) that involves admitting fault, expressing remorse and asking for forgiveness. IMO if God gets to require that kind of buy-in before He forgives, then the rest of us – who are surely less loving and inclined to mercy than He is – shouldn’t be expected to forgive based on anything less.

(This is all academic for me since my cheater hasn’t even acknowledged that anything happened, much less that it was wrong, that she regrets it, or that she would like my forgiveness. I don’t expect I’ll ever have to make the difficult decision of whether to grant forgiveness because it will never get to that point. I’m working on the letting go / meh kind of forgiveness, but that’s a solo project)

Last edited 7 months ago by Involuntary Georgian
OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

“His entire operating system was abusive.”

Thst’s it, right there. My FW was a physical coward, so it was a lot of emotional abuse and occasional, brief verbal abuse. More overt verbal stuff started after he got caught. All the time he was telling me he was sorry and wished I would stay, he would turn on a dime and start calling me names. That’s when I knew for an absolute certainty that he was not sorry and that he would only get worse. A normal person can have a wakeup call. An abuser might fake it it (FW had multiple “epiphanies”) but they will always slip back into their old ways. Even after doing jail time and participating in programs designed to treat abusers, the recidivism rate is still close to 100%. It’s only a slight bit better than untreated abusers. It goes without saying that it would be even higher for those who restrict themselves to emotional and verbal abuse, because there are no legal consequences. I’m going to guess it’s 99.9 %
Abusers do not change, except to get even worse. Anyone out there who is in any kind of abusive relationship, please get help to leave.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

True– domestic batterers apparently already have a 97.5 recidivism even with jail time and anger management therapy, worse without. Does this mean no prosecutable crime = no jail = no improvement? Probably.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you to She Persisted for validating– and doing it from a position of professional clout– what so many survivors and front line advocates have learned which is that, while not all cheaters batter, ALL BATTERERS ARE CHEATERS.

Thank you to CL for advancing this framework, which shouldn’t be “revolutionary” and groundbreaking but yet it still is as is obvious by how threatened people like Perel are by it– threatened to the point of doing that shamefully bigoted and otherizing “yer so clouded by abuse so shut up” type of attack to discredit and silence CL, thus making CL a “head on a pike” to warn away anyone who might echo CL’s message.

When I volunteered in my obscure capacity as resource advocate for DV survivors for five years in the early aughts, I also never, ever once met a DV survivor who hadn’t been cheated on. It got the point that the service I worked for began framing DV as nothing more than the violent/coercive enforcement of one-sided monogamy– in other words, protracted rape. I remember some scientist saying how “facts tend to cluster around good theories.” Well facts clusterfucked around that theory like crazy. It was like opening the floodgates.

Though some seasoned cops and private attorneys would nod knowingly if the “protracted rape” conception of DV was floated, it put the service I worked with at odds with the judicial system and government-funded “official” DV resources at the time, including the shelter system. These were all places where victims could never even mention having also been cheated on lest they be accused of fabricating abuse out of “jealousy.” Because being refused judicial support or police protection could spell death in some cases, survivors arguably had guns to their heads telling them to STFU about the cheating aspect. I think it’s not incidental that the infidelity aspect of battering is not included in most clinical literature.

This was before my kids were born, back when there was no name for “coercive control” and when– even despite the original psychotraumatologist (Frank Ochberg) who conceived of Stockholm syndrome/captor bonding applied it to DV survivors– the American Psychiatric Association refused to follow suit. Consequently, back then Oprah would have battered women on her show doing what we acerbically called “mea-so-codependent-culpas” for not escaping abuse sooner. It was an age of full body cringing.

Thankfully there’s now a movement to criminalize coercive control but I feel the continued blind eye to “one-sided monogamy enforcement” aspect of DV is a big hitch. Which is why we need to lobby for more formal studies on the link in order to bolster changes in legislation and inform voters.

But doing the above is like a call to war (information war anyway) and anyone involved should batten the hatches in preparation for serious flak. People should never kid themselves that science isn’t political and politicized in an age when laws and policies are often based– for better or worse– on cellular or social science theories regardless of the legitimacy of the latter. There are a lot of powerful serial abusers out there holding the research funding purse strings who will fight tooth and nail against the conceptual “marriage” of coercive control/DV and infidelity. They will fund the shit out of people like Esther Perel to “wag the dog” of public understanding of domestic abuse in order to exclude the role of one-sided monogamy enforcement.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Just a side note to male chumps that it’s not only male abusers who enforce one-sided monogamy. These cases might have been rarer (especially when including injury assault) but the service I worked for would sometimes work with male victims of female abusers. The impression we got back then was that female abusers/coercive controllers tend to all be similar to “hybristophiliacs”– basically like prison groupies who are attracted to knuckle-dragging or criminally duplicitous men and tend to view consistent fidelity, honesty and egualitarianism in men as punishable weaknesses. It doesn’t mean that type likes being cheated on (like all FWs, women like this may go nuts if their victims move on to new relationships) but, kind of like hybristophiliacs or “killers’ apprentices,” the attraction is based on the idea that they (the criminal groupie) alone was able to “inspire” the killer/cheat/liar/thief to “spare” them because they’re so special. If, over time, a man turns out to have no natural capacity to lie,cheat,dominate, assault or steal, etc., he is then seen as beneath contempt.

Women like this are also never genuine “friends to other women” despite sometimes selectively spouting feminist rhetoric as an alibi for abuse or despite any friendships with equally aggressive, disordered women. Otherwise the type are the first to throw other women under the bus if it suits them.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
7 months ago

On the day after our wedding, my second husband announced, “Now that we’re married, I don’t have to be on my best behavior anymore.” And he wasn’t. The abuse started slowly and ramped up over the three years we were married culminating with him strangling me and leaving me for dead on the highway. No one who saw my neck after that episode doubted that there was real violence in our household. But I didn’t see the cheating until AFTER I had moved out of our house and into a crappy duplex in a crappy part of town. I was looking for other women, not other men and certainly not for our priest.

My third husband was verbally abusive every time he got angry. Nevertheless, he claimed to be happy in our marriage, and I believed him for years — until a serious back injury left me unable to walk and suddenly he was no longer the center of all attention because I had to spare some attention for my surgery, rehab and healing. Verbal abuse escalated to emotional abuse, sexual abuse and withholding, financial abuse and then he crossed the line into physical abuse. He’d loom over me while screaming at me, spit flying, face purple and veins bulging. He’d block me from leaving, he threw things at me and then one day he threw ME. I was afraid of him, and had started planning to leave him when his sister told me about the girlfriend. The divorce took a year and a half, and I started all over again at 64, living in my best friend’s basement.

But I never considered my first husband to abusive, even though he was a prolific cheater. He cheated with friends, neighbors, friends of neighbors and neighbors of friends. He cheated with coworkers — his, mine and ours — and he cheated with his boss’s wife. He cheated at church where he played the organ for Saturday and Sunday services — with the choir director, a few sopranos and a couple of altos, and with Sister Margaret, the nun who led our pre-Cana classes. And with my sister. After reading today’s blog post, I realize that he, too was abusive.

I was a brand new RN, supporting him and paying his tuition for his last two years of college when he screamed at me, “You’re too fat, you’re too ugly and I deserve something better. I’m leaving. Goodbye.” A week or so later, he came back, claiming that he really loved me and realized he was better with me. (Better off maybe.) Weeks later, I learned that he had left me for the Alice in Dairyland contestant who lived downstairs. I forgave him — marriage was a sacrament and cheating was “no big deal” according to my pastor, my parents and my therapist. We moved to Boston so he could take his dream job, and I worked at improving myself so he “wouldn’t have to cheat” and on repairing the trust that *HE* broke. His “sorry” lasted for the 24 hours it took me to drive us to Boston. Somehow his paycheck never made it home. I supported the both of us while he spent his money on himself and his affairs. He constantly compared me unfavorably with other women, and one day he dragged me into Filenes in downtown Boston and walked up to the woman behind the makeup counter, asking if she could “do something with her.” (To this day, I wear makeup even if I’m alone and not planning to leave my house.) We had sex — when he wanted it and how he wanted it, and he badgered me into positions and practices that I found uncomfortable and even painful and humiliating. He gave me several vaginal infections which led to a case of pelvic inflammatory disease that destroyed my fertility. Although he never hit me, there was emotional abuse, financial abuse and sexual abuse. And the cheating.

That was in the early 80s, and for the first time, over forty years later, I am realizing that all three of my ex-husbands were abusive, even the one who never actually hit me. I wish I had begun to process that forty years ago. I am beginning to process it now.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

It always kills me when bystanders condemn repeat victims of abuse as “masochists.” In a better world, trusting people who expect the best from others would simply be defined as “innocent.”

hush
hush
7 months ago

Hugs to you, Ruby. You have survived 3 abusive husbands, any one of whom could have killed you. And you’re telling your story to help others. MIGHTY!!! I’m glad you shared.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
7 months ago

I think Esther Perel is just showing her age. She was born in 1958, so came of age in the 70’s which was the time of birth control, abortions, free love, drugs, swinging. There was a certain mentality. Women were starting to be able to be more than secretaries, nurses, teachers or stay at home moms. Feminists were big. I was a kid in the 70 and teen in 80’s. I remember my parents would have friends over, roll up the rug and have disco parties. My mom told me how they went to key parties. You would put your car keys in a bowl and go home to screw with whoever took your key. Lol. When I said, so you and dad went home and had sex with different people? She would say oh no! We never did but others did. As a kid I believed her. When I got older I did not. I think people back then were naive and not as savvy. The casting couch was a thing. Noone thought anything of having sex to get a job and promoted. The movie Airplane was big. Did they ban that movie? It was totally racist and sexist. Benny Hill I used to watch as a kid. Totally indoctrinates you. I just think Perel is a dinosaur. Her views are outdated. We have a different language now. We dont tolerate sexual abuse like Bill Cosby anymore, dont tolerate pedophile priests, dont tolerate serial killers and call them cute like Ted Bundy, dont tolerate sleeping with your mentor or boss. Now we know more. The powers that be that tried to suppress morals and ethics to keep women and minorities down and loosing power.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

I think Perel was probably more influenced by her family’s experience during the Holocaust. Perel has repeatedly discussed how her family circle– many of them survivors of the death camps– reacted to the legacy of trauma by either embracing “fear and social withdrawal” or “life affirmation” in the form of eroticism, i.e, cheating on their marriages or rando-fucking. Never mind that many of the “chumps” in these arrangements would have also been death camp survivors, Perel landed on the side of “team cheater.” Because– life affirmation!

Because my own father was a survivor of WWII who was so afraid to bring children into this scary world that he put off being a father until his late-fifties, I’m a little skeptical of Perel’s view that the only response to the mass trauma of the Holocaust was being a rando-fucking, cheating eroticist. Because of his war experience, my dad became a spokesman for the NOW organization. His driving theory was that war is driven by gender inequality and the sexual exploitation of women.

Like Perel, I am only a “daughter of war,” not a direct victim of it. But my dad’s experience and philosophy is literally the reverse of Perel’s. If anything, my father supported my mother’s career and was faithful to her out of the belief that he was fighting against the abuse of power and sexually-hued dominance that drives most political aggression. I get the feeling that Perel’s allegiance runs in another direction.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

You give her more credit than I do. I think she landed on team cheater because that is where the interviews and money will flow from.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

I raised my son in the 80s, I grew up in the 50’s/60, I, or no one I know was involved in swinging, key parties etc.

I also can assure you we were not naive about what was going on in the world.

But hey it is great to know that folks now are just so much more on the ball/savy etc, and we can live in a calm peaceful world. Oh wait…

Cam
Cam
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

Your mom told you this story when you were a KID?? That’s horrific.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
7 months ago

Also want to mention that Esther Parell was born in Belgium not America. I know its a sweeping generalization but Europeans just dont seem as mature as Americans. Socialism causes them to remain dependent kids. They dont have to grow up and work hard or be scrappy. Also trends in Europe seem to hit about 10 years later than they do in America so I think that she just has not caught up yet to the me too movement. They are just starting to get the whole woke agenda.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

Your view of Europeans as snowflakes isn’t based on any recorded history of Europe. WWII didn’t take place on American soil. Neither did Vietnam, the Korean or Iraq wars, etc. I have family going back to the Mayflower and family members and ancestors who’ve fought in every war since the Amercan Revolution but I’ll be the first to say we’re pretty sheltered in a historical sense.

I think what’s wrong with Perel’s view is not an issue that’s generally discussed by or even familiar to most in the US because, aside from those who fought in certain wars, we’re so sheltered from direct trauma in the aforementioned historical sense. Perel’s family were not sheltered considering that many of them were Holocaust survivors. But what these survivors “drew” or learned from their experiences warrants some fine print. Not all of what survivors of direct trauma “learn” from traumatic experiences are positive or universally applicable things.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Sorry– failed to mention that “aside from those who fough in certain wars” I would include racial minorities among those in the US who haven’t been sheltered from direct trauma.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  Chumpolicious

Oh good grief. Such xenophobic nonsense.

RedKD
RedKD
7 months ago

The main reason I was so secretive when I left my ex-FW was because this is a man who once threw an entire six pack of glass beer bottles on the floor because we forgot to buy pickles at the grocery store. What would he do when he learned I was gone? I got an apartment with an attached garage so he couldn’t find me if he went looking. Leaving him happened because the cheating was just the final straw, but I should have left so much earlier for so many other reasons. But the coercive control element explains a lot. Yet we continue to blame victims and say, “why doesn’t she just leave??” Right.

The Gabby Petito footage is extremely triggering to watch. Once you see it, you recognize it.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago
Reply to  RedKD

I’m not a violent person, but the next person who says “why didn’t they just leave?” in striking distance, might just lose a tooth. I have always understood why they don’t just leave on a superficial level. I understood the practical side, they are afraid, if they get caught before they are in a safe place, they may have to face an even angrier abuser. And what IS a safe place? How long will the abuser look for them and how far will the retribution be taken?

But chumpdom has given me a deep and personal understanding. FOO issues have made it almost impossible for me to take the steps I need to take. I am paralyzed with fear to the point of even thinking about what steps I can take is nearly impossible. And there is no physical violence here, but the fear is still just more than I can overcome. I’m working on it. But there will never come a day when I ever question why anyone doesn’t “just leave”.

Leedy
Leedy
7 months ago
Reply to  RedKD

I’m so sorry you went through such a scary time. The attached garage says everything.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago
Reply to  Leedy

It was also a smart move. i acknowledge that she did that out of fear and don’t mean to make light of it, but that is a smart choice to have made. That wouldn’t have occurred to me

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
7 months ago

My parents’ marriage, including their courtship, lasted 67 years before my dad died aged 93. My mother was physically and verbally aggressive to my father and to me, and my father passive until my mum went so far that he shouted back. My mother was less abusive to my brother and sister (both younger than me and physically very like her while I take after my dad). I spent my childhood living in terror of their fights, always working hard to keep the peace, not understanding when my dad said something that would make my mum kick off, and making plans for how I would save my brother and sister if one or other of my parents tried to kill us. Life was chaotic, and I constantly tried my best to keep order in place. Sad, isn’t it. I took all of that defence system into my marriage. I recall my mum constantly saying after rows ‘that’s how married couples show that they love each other’. My marriage felt odd because we didn’t row and, ironically, I felt safe because I was looking for rows and violence not other forms of abuse described so articulately by posters below. I walked on eggshells, shrank my needs, agreed all the time, you get the picture. I prided myself on the harmony in my marriage. I was totally ill equipped for any relationship (although very successful professionally, my relationships with others in every sphere have been tainted by my parents’ approach to life). Intensive therapy is teaching me, at 63, to assert myself, to be my own advocate, to cherish myself. This sounds dramatic but it is life changing. For anyone doubtful about leaving any kind of abusive relationship, some of what I describe is what children go through when caught up in the chaos. As an aside I recognise that my parents were children of WWII and their parents fought in WWI. Their trauma may have been lost in tales of bravery and fighting the enemy. We know better now and can do much better.

VulcanChump
VulcanChump
7 months ago

I figure it’s like you’ve always said, boss – at the very least, cheating, by definition, requires financial abuse, even if nothing else comes up.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
7 months ago

Tessie is one of my heroes. If I recall correctly, her ex (or his family) burned down her house, too. She is one mighty, inspiring survivor.

Caroline
Caroline
7 months ago

I am a domestic violence advocate, and I can absolutely confirm that infidelity goes hand-in-hand with other forms of DV. Also, it is VERY common for abuse to happen for the first time when the abuser begins an affair or when the chump discovers the affair. This was the case with my own ex also. He was financially and emotionally abusing me for years. But when I discovered the infidelity–that’s when the abuse went into overdrive. By the end of the relationship, he was smashing windows out of my car.

There is a popular misconception of a cheater as deeply ashamed, agonizing over his/her decision between the spouse and the new flame…. that is so much nonsense. Cheaters are like any other abuser. They like the power and control over the chump. They are bullies. They have no interest in ceasing their infidelity, and they resent that anyone expects it of them.

uniballer1965
uniballer1965
6 months ago

Your comments about infidelity being worse than other abuse is backed up by Dr Willard Harley of Marriage Builders and author of “His Needs, Her Needs…”

Somewhere in his book or on his website he mentions counseling folks who hit the trifecta of pain, being raped, abused or having a child experience sexual abuse, and also betrayed by a spouse.

He indicates that clients consistently told him the betrayal was the most painful experience.

More painful than being raped!

He says on his “surviving infidelity” page: “Those I’ve counseled who have had the tragic misfortune of having experienced rape, physical abuse, sexual abuse of their children, and infidelity have consistently reported to me that their spouse’s unfaithfulness was their very worst experience.”

Affairs are abusive. Don’t let anyone marginalize your experience by telling you they are not.