His Wife Didn’t Understand Him

Dear Chump Lady,

I wanted to share a story with you about (hopefully) protecting a woman I do not know and will never meet from becoming an unwitting Chump — at least in this particular moment.

My D-Day was October 30, 2021. It took me 2 years to file for divorce — I had to first do all the things you warned against in your book, even though I read it. But alas, I learned the hard way that the FW sucked. I won’t go into the details because it’s pretty much like everyone else’s — although the blameshifting tactics were pretty astounding, but that’s a different story for another time.

Here’s what happened: I was volunteering at a pretty major fundraising event for a healthcare organization. The event involved golf, so the place was dripping with sad-sausage middle aged men. I was being my friendly self at an after hours party in the hotel bar, and struck up a conversation with a gentleman similar to my age.

I told him I am a therapist, which he took as a cue to tell me how miserable he was in his marriage of 25+ years. He was very flirtatious. He told me I had had a beautiful smile, that I seemed so authentic, and he thought I was a natural beauty. I could have said, “lets go to your room” — all the signals were there.

I am 53 years old and pretty insecure, so these compliments were like a siren song. But instead, I got my sh!t together and took this as my call of duty. I asked him if he has ever cheated on his wife and he said no. I said, “good” and told him to NEVER, EVER cheat on his wife — it doesn’t matter whether it is an emotional or physical affair.

I told him to either talk to his wife about couples therapy, or do the ethical thing and admit to being unhappy and get a divorce that is fair and respectful of her as the mother of his children and the wife who supported him for so many years. I told him about how traumatic it was to learn of my SBTX’s affair and listed the trauma symptoms I experienced and still do (but, getting better since I filed and went gray rock).

I told him that he deserved happiness in his life, but any kind of affair is the biggest f*ck-up move a person can make. He listened to me, thanked me, and then said in earnest, “I need to go back to my room now.” I gave him a quick hug, said “do the right thing”, and wished him luck.

Who knows what this guy will do in the future, but on the night of May 20, 2023, I spread the good word of Chump Nation.

ChumpBucket

****

Dear ChumpBucket,

Yay you! Boundaries!

I have no idea if this guy had a don’t-be-a-fuckwit epiphany, but you had one and that’s the important thing.

I am 53 years old and pretty insecure, so these compliments were like a siren song. But instead, I got my sh!t together and took this as my call of duty.

Yes, you’re worth more than the “compliment” of being a side-dish fuck.

He told me I had had a beautiful smile, that I seemed so authentic, and he thought I was a natural beauty.

Forgive my cynicism, but a married man who sidles up to a single woman in a bar to complain about his marriage and compliment her looks is a cheater looking to get laid.

I’m not saying you don’t have a beautiful smile, ChumpBucket, I’m saying you might still be a chump. It’s okay to be wary of people’s motivations, especially when they’re waving big red flags. You don’t have to do emotional labor for total strangers.

Uh, dude, you appear to have made an entire career doing this.

Okay, I’m a snarky blogger and you’re a professional therapist. Nice people drawn to helping people have insights. But not all are worthy. This guy is presuming a LOT. That his super special validation matters. And you’ll go weak in the knees and love all his hurt away because, gosh, nice smile.

Moreover, he’s presuming you give two shits about his marriage. He just MET you.

It would be nice to believe that your dazzling natural beauty caused him to forget himself, but he really just insulted you with an invitation to do the pick-me dance. He’s setting up the competition, letting you know you have the advantage over the wife who makes him “miserable.” Ooh, I can be better than your wife! Nicer! More understanding! Beautiful smile you have. Better in every way!

Are compliments wrong? Of course not. It’s all about the context. He’s a married man hitting on you at a bar.

Plenty of miserable men out there, married or otherwise, have boundaries. They wouldn’t approach you this way.

I told him to either talk to his wife about couples therapy, or do the ethical thing and admit to being unhappy and get a divorce that is fair and respectful of her as the mother of his children and the wife who supported him for so many years.

He doesn’t have an insight problem. Dr. George Simon has the phrase: “It’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree.” I’m sure he’s well aware he could get therapy or leave, but cake is so much nicer. Be a little side crumpet and shut up.

He listened to me, thanked me, and then said in earnest, “I need to go back to my room now.”

I hear my blue balls calling! Gotta motor.

Who knows what this guy will do in the future, but on the night of May 20, 2023, I spread the good word of Chump Nation.

You shut his shit down. Way to represent.

****

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Hug a veteran.

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OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago

Chumpbucket, I have to agree with CL that this guy does not have an insight problem. He’s clearly done this before, and was lying when he said he hasn’t cheated. He sounds like he could serve as a prototype for a serial cheater, actually.
I applaud the effort, though. 👏 You never know who you might be able to reach, so nice work.

I have not been in that particular situation since I left my FW, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that anytime a man is in a bar whining about his marriage to a woman and flattering her, you can be sure he’s lower than pond scum, more like septic tank scum.
I used to work security for the boozy parties at a convention center. I got every sad sausage story and word of flattery imaginable from married guys. These guys are so stupid, they see no problem with hitting on the security people who are there to throw smarmy harassers like them out on their asses. They are also too dumb to change, even if they wanted to.

CBE
CBE
11 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

No one is as single as a married man. While he’s out partying, who’s looking after the kids? Grandkids? House? Dog? Someone else…..

KatiePig
KatiePig
11 months ago
Reply to  CBE

Exactly! They have soooooo much time to fuck around because the wife is taking care of all the responsibilities. It makes me so mad when I think about struggling to hold it all together while I thought he was busy working and he was actually screwing whores.

Falling Forward
Falling Forward
11 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Ditto. I worked SO HARD, just so much exhausting emotional and physical work. I couldn’t believe it when I found out, but then it did make sense how he could just feel nothing when I was burning the candle at both ends. Stupid FW.

MightyWarrior
MightyWarrior
11 months ago

Spring Bank Holiday in the UK today. Happy holidays CN, wherever you are in the world, and a special ‘hello’ to those who are working (which I’ll be doing later – thank you FW). ChumpBucket, you sound wonderful. Not even 2 years out and you effectively told him where to go! I’ve met a lot of men at events over my many, many years as a lawyer. The type that go straight in with the compliments when you’ve just met are, in my experience, predators. If this is coupled with the ‘my spouse doesn’t understand me’ line, they are extreme predators. In the UK, a high profile married business man in his 70s has recently been ‘reluctantly’ released from a couple of chair roles. Four women alleged inappropriate behaviour, which is vehemently denied save for one allegation. He told a woman at an event that her dress ‘suited her figure’. She reported him because she felt uncomfortable. This sparked a chorus of BTL comments along the hair-rending, breast-beating lines of ‘we can’t even give women a compliment anymore, what’s the world coming to’. It isn’t the compliment that’s the problem; it’s how it makes the recipient feel. And the feelings are informed by our own past experience, and with past experience of the individual giving the compliment, if we know them. Those feelings deserve respect because they are real. In this instance, if he had said ‘that dress suits you’, the compliment would have had a completely different tone. By referring to her body, he made the compliment inappropriately intimate. And I don’t accept that it was merely old man clumsiness. He chose to say what he said – he was not forced to do so.

I’ve had a few similar experiences over the years, both pre and post D-day. On one occasion at a corporate lunch, a married man, again in a high-profile role, said to me ‘I’ve seen the way you’ve been looking at me, shall we go somewhere private?’ My flabber has rarely been so gasted! At least he didn’t waste time with foreplay! I hadn’t been looking at him at all! I thought he was creepy. But I assume that the line had worked on other occasions. My guess is that your guy told you that he hadn’t cheated because he was still grooming you. And he continued to groom you by referring to going to his room. He hadn’t given up hope that you would feel so special that you would succumb to his honeyed words. I’d hazard a guess that, even if he did go to his room, he reappeared later to find another victim.

This isn’t to detract from the qualities that you have which are a lot more than a beautiful smile. Thank you for the story, because it reminds me of how easily I am pleased by the compliments of others without always looking carefully at the motives behind them. I’ve done more than my fair share of simpering ‘thank you’. Sad, but narcissistics walk amongst us! Stay safe, all.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
11 months ago

So he went to his room and called a hooker …

… YOU STILL DID THE WORK OF GOD. Well done!

And you are the one who can sleep at night with a clear conscience.

AND you didn’t do something that you’d immediately regret.

That’s worth a lot. You’ve grown.

Stig
Stig
11 months ago

Dude was trawling for a hookup. Well done you, you did what you could, but I don’t think this is his first rodeo.

Deeply Chumpy
Deeply Chumpy
11 months ago

Shit I’m still a chump! Emotionally investing in males wherever I go – propping, pandering, problem solving 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

FYI
FYI
11 months ago
Reply to  Deeply Chumpy

Yes, this. Why spend two seconds listening to some FW’s monologue about an unhappy marriage — let alone at a convention after hours in a hotel bar? I mean, PEACE OUT right then and there.

I always heard this line, which I think is useful: “Careful. They can drag you down quicker than you can pull them up. They’re better at it.”

HereWeGoAgain
HereWeGoAgain
11 months ago

‘I hear my blue balls calling! Gotta motor.’….OMG – this is too funny!!! LOVE your work CL. ❤️

IcanseeTuesday
IcanseeTuesday
11 months ago

I’ve healed enough to try to describe the pain of infidelity to a male friend. It was part of a “no contact” justification and began with words like “deceit” and “conspiracy” and proceeded to “backstabbing” and “house burning”. He and his ex (who divorced decades ago) remain friendly.

I stumbled through the explanation and would never attempt this in a bar or with a stranger.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  IcanseeTuesday

Me neither. Shamelessness is the calling card of predators.

IcanseeTuesday
IcanseeTuesday
11 months ago
Reply to  IcanseeTuesday

To clarify – I was explaining why I was no contact with my ex.

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
11 months ago

Is it me or the longer I’m out of the shit with FW’s the meaner I get toward anyone that resembles one? I’ve been told by abusive FW’s who no longer work in our business that were in high up positions such as me that I’m “intimidating” and people are “scared” to talk to me. What I noticed is the people who don’t like talking to me or being around me were/are FW’s and the normal people feel safe around me and tattle on FW’s. I’ve realized it’s all in my body language and if I do have to interact with any FW I’m very matter of act, no frills, no smiles, no joking around around – just all business. And, it works! It’s very clear boundaries so it keeps out the riffraff and, therefore, the chaos in my life is THAT much more minimal. Which is nice because, in the past, I would draw toxic people into my life like moths to a flame, therefore, my life was extremely chaotic (in every area of my life). I get it, you are a therapist so part of your job is being nice/open so people will open up to you….and you were at fundraiser so the dog and pony show is that much more “on”. But, that openness comes at a huge price of your overall wellbeing. You did good by setting your boundary but I know it had to have been exhausting on several levels….it’s like being the person who willingly cleans up the drunk vomit soaked rando and ultimately ruining your night because you got sucked into being the babysitter. I bet at some point during that convo you were like, “Damn it! My night would have been so much more fun if I had left from this bar and found some cool girls friends to hang with.” Next year when you attend that fundraiser THAT is the attitude you should have! Be the nice, fun, open person to HEALTHY people….and avoid the unhealthy ones. As soon as someone starts to barf (like hitting on you when you see a wedding ring or they start talking bad about their wife) get up and walk away! Remember, you are on a mission to have a great life around HEALTHY people, NOT unhealthy.

Big hugs! Practicing this tactic is uncomfortable at first (especially since you’re a therapist and used to hearing people’s shit💩) but the more you practice it, the healthier your life will become and the less toxic people you will randomly attract.

lulutoo
lulutoo
11 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

You’re intimidating? Good!!!!!!!!!!

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

Good for you! I’ve gotten similar accusations from people (always shitty people, and almost always men) that I’m “mean and intimidating.” They’re just mad they can’t get one over on me.

It’s not just infidelity either. I’m 40 and watching the 1st or 2nd round of divorces going on around me. It’s fascinating how many men who barely know me or who already screwed up with me years earlier have reached out to see if I’m available. It baffles me that they think they’re being slick.

Kara
Kara
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I always think, “Am I intimidating or are you just a wimp?” XD

threetimesachump
threetimesachump
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Guys love to volunteer that they guess that I’m a “New York lawyer” (I’m not, btw). Um FWs…sorry that I’m not stupid, uneducated, inarticulate, and easy enough for you!

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Yep! It’s nice isn’t it. I’m 9yrs out from FW#1 and 4.5yrs out from my FW ex boyfriend. I’m 43 and seeing the same thing around me with the first round of divorces. What’s interesting is some of those now chumps sided with my abusive FW ex husband and ex boyfriend acting as if I were the problem are now coming to me for advice as if I’m their “friend”. I’m like, “sucks to be you and I hope you can afford a good divorce attorney”👍💩 then check out and leave from the convo or their presence. I send a very clear message and several have apologized to me of which I respond “Thanks! Glad you realize now how you treated me and my kids. I appreciate the apology.” Then exit stage left quickly and swiftly because until they SHOW me that they really get it and are genuine do I trust that they get it. Trust what people show you vs. what they tell you.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

Good on you keeping boundaries and not allowing these trash people back into your life.

Once someone betrays me, they’re dead to me.

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago

Cowardly predators have it down to a science. First it requires a willingness to listen. The compliments are followed by complaints. You’ll hear the well practiced laundry list of lies of his victim status. Lastly, you’re chosen as the special one.

Thankfully, we learn how they operate.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

“The event involved golf, so the place was dripping with sad-sausage middle aged men.”

I laughed out loud. Sincere thanks for this too, ChumpBucket.

Though about ten-to-twelve years old inside, according to our family therapist who knows him well, he is definitely middle-aged on the outside.

There was an old set of golf clubs in the garage, untouched, for decades. I never knew him as a golfer and we were together for twenty-seven years.

After D-Day, he became Tiger Woods, Mr, Golfer.

I just never knew that all along he was Tiger Woods on the inside.

At least you harshed his buzz for the evening. Cynical me doubts it was harshed permanently

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago

Comical how they suddenly have interests, Velvet. I was told, I’m doing everything with her I wanted to do with you. And, I NEVER surfed.

The first year out I heard he acted like a teenager, mostly partying. All the fun was interrupted by multiple surgeries, failed hair brained future faking and living a life that would have been my worst nightmare.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

The post DDay Ultimate Coffin Nail was that he told me he was with the primary cockroach, saw that I was calling and said to her, “Darn, it’s my wife.”

I’m not going to stand in the way of anyone who violated me that wants to blow by the flaming red flags.

Napoleon said “never interfere when your enemy is making a mistake.”

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
11 months ago

One of the biggest red flags in a guy, for me, is the “Can I talk to you about how my partner doesn’t understand me?” line of dialogue. Having had a husband who feathered a relationship with three different girlfriends (before pulling up the anchor for food and marrying the final one) by chatting them up about how unhappy he was in his marriage to me (y’know… instead of letting me know that valuable information), I simply cannot and will not let that line of conversation continue when men try it on me.

I can think of two instances where it, in some form, was attempted. A casual friend messaged me to explain that he had caught his long term GF cheating on him and they had split up. He was wondering if he and I could go out for coffee to discuss it because he knew that, shortly before, I had gone through something similar. Not only was I still raw, the whole offer felt like a “hey, you’re a chump and I’m a chump now too… wanna bond and date?” opening to me, so I politely turned him down and explained that going out for coffee to bond over that kind of trauma was not something I was prepared to do. Y’know what? I never heard from again; he completely dropped off the map.

Casual male friend #2 messaged me once and started a line of dialogue about how his marriage was failing and how sad that was making him feel. That’s a valid experience with very valid feelings, but I responded that, due to my own experiences of having a spouse talk about ME to other women (ones he ended up sleeping with), I was very uncomfortable with this line of dialogue and suggested that, as someone who didnt even know his wife, I was not a suitable person to be talking about his failing marriage to. He apologized, dropped the topic right away, and my nose was kept out of his marital business. I refuse to let other men place me, knowingly or unknowingly, in the OW category (“I can talk about this with you but not my wife; you get me”), even if there is no romantic potential or desire on my part. Unlike Casual Male Friend #1, who dropped off the map, Casual Male Friend #2 got the message about boundaries right away and we continued our friendship. He eventually split from his wife, spent many years on his own, and then remarried… and he kept me out of all of it.

So yeah, the “can I talk to you about my relationship with my partner because it gives me a big sad and yes I’m talking about it with you and not her” line of dialogue makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I shoot that down right away.

Angry
Angry
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Ew yes. There’s this guy I was internet friends with when we were teenagers (that I haven’t talked to in over a decade), who keeps attempting to friend me on things and contact me and I’m just not interested. He even tried to call me out of the blue recently, I didn’t answer because it was while I was working, and then he sent me an angry message because I didn’t answer and that he was just trying to be friends! (Uh, entitlement??)

Then he found out about my FW cheating ex husband and told me he’s having issues with his wife and wanted to talk and I’m like extra NO. Just go away no. Who are these guys who think women owe them attention? I also have zero interest in him projecting some emotional affair onto.

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

What is it about going through a divorce that brings out all the “unhappily” married men out of the woodwork? I had a male acquaintance try that crap on me. I had to call him out on several occasions about boundaries and how complaining to me wouldn’t help his marriage. Eventually I think he got it, he doesn’t reach out to me anymore, which is for the best.

DrDr
DrDr
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

I like how well you explained this. While I have no evidence of physical cheating on the part of FW, I have evidence of lots of phone calls and texts and social media postings between FW and assorted lady friends that did not include me. He did not text me expect to insult me and had been on FB for years while blocking me so I couldn’t see what all he was posting. What an ass.

By your explanation, I can see why it made me feel gross. He was out there looking for sympathy and probably shit-talking me and his marital woes and I had no idea. He wasn’t talking to me about it. And was Downright furious when I discovered his extensive online friendships. What an ass!!!

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Fourleaf, I’ve never had a man try this on me..so far. But I assume that if a man says “My wife doesn’t understand me”, that she probably understands him quite well.

And really, why would I want to listen to this? I’m not a therapist. If somebody wants to talk about their spouse, they need to make an appointment with a trained professional!

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

I’ve gotten this question from sad sausage men too and have replied, “No, I don’t care.” I wish I could frame the look on their faces and put it on a wall.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Great response, Cam!
I remember once being hit on by some jerk who I figured was married. I told him there was no point in him trying, because I was married and suspected he was, too. He thought he was being smooth when he slyly said; “But they aren’t here right now, are they.” I responded; “Oh, did I forget to mention that you aren’t the least bit attractive to me?” His repulsive smirk vanished, and he looked confused, probably because women usually tried to let him down easy. Being subtle doesn’t work, though. They won’t take hints.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

LMAO!!

Men are used to women coddling them and tap dancing for their approval. Not me. I love blowing a hole through their expectations with a cannon.

I’ve dealt with predatory men since I was 10-years old. I’m over it.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Cannon shot over the bow ! 💥🤣

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Aargh autocorrect: *for good, not for food

Elsie
Elsie
11 months ago

Yeah, the approach is classic. I’m older but have gotten it multiple times in places you wouldn’t expect. My thought is always that it’s practiced and works at least some of the time for them, or they wouldn’t do it. When a man starts telling me how misunderstood he is in the first minutes of a conversation, the red flags start waving.

Bruno
Bruno
11 months ago

The FW XW stopped in to visit my 93 year old parents while on a road trip with our adult sons and their wives. Seems sweet and I had no objection to her maintaining a relationship. Except her ulterior motive was to extract my birth certificate. In an email exchange about needing this document to collect Social Security she said she would never ask them without my permission. She then proceeded to do just that! My son innocently let this slip as she tried to use him to get my original document. I have never let her know that I caught her in another lie, but keep this in mind on the rare occasions I interact with her.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
11 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

Bruno,

I’ve always been very careful with birth certificates; both mine and those belonging to our now adult children.

As the children lived with me after Ex-Mrs LFTT left us, I’ve dealt with her requests to have theirs (they were 18, 16 and 11 at the time) with a firm “since they don’t live with you, you have no legitimate reason to hold the original copies.” This did not go down well. I’m pretty sure that she ordered copies online and then used them to make fraudulent child benefit applications on their behalves; I’ve suspected this ever since our youngest daughter’s National Insurance number was posted to Ex-Mrs LFTT’s house – a house that our youngest has never visited, let alone lived at – when she turned 18. This will bite Ex-Mrs LFTT on the ar*e at some point ….. and the kids take a dim view of someone claiming money from the State on their behalves and yet has contributed nothing towards their upbringing since she left.

Moral of the story is that anyone requesting this kind of documentation likely has suspect motivation.

LFTT

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

I agree with OHFFS, this sounds like an attempt at identity theft. If you’re in the US, I hope you’ve frozen your credit and regularly check your credit reports. (Good habits for all of us even in the best circumstances.)

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

I don’t believe an X spouse needs your birth certificate for SS.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
11 months ago
Reply to  Doingme

I didn’t need it when I filed. ( his birth certificate)
I did need the original marriage certificate, the divorce decree, along with his SS number, since I was filing on his benefits. They won’t be told that you are filing though, so you can file without your ex’s knowledge.

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

However, one is able to ask if anyone is claiming on their benefits. All you need to do is ask.

Adelante
Adelante
11 months ago
Reply to  Doingme

One of the satisfactions of my post-divorce life is that my ex is three years younger than I am, and because Congress changed the rules about collecting on an ex’s SS before one files for one’s own my ex is not able to file for half of my benefits before he retires and files for his own.

Bruno
Bruno
11 months ago
Reply to  Doingme

No, apparently not. Just more skein I am not going to untangle, but more evidence of character flaw. She also schemed during the divorce to gain possession of the family home in an underhanded way.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

Bruno, do you suppose she was trying to steal your identity to get credit cards in your name? Why would she need your birth certificate to collect her social security?

Bruno
Bruno
11 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Every source I checked with said she did not need my birth certificate. I don’t know what she was up to as she has plenty of money. She inherited her parents house which is three blocks from Apple headquarters in Silicon Valley. It has been five years and nothing suspicious has happened since.
The real point of the story is her breaking boundaries and continuing to lie about more than a decade post divorce.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
11 months ago

I’ve really upped my snark level in recent years. I become extremely annoyed at any hint of a suggestion that I should deceive another person. (I once flat out walked out of a sales scenario because the salesperson suggested that my partner “would never know” how much I spent on an item and it would be “so worth it” to me, who “deserves nice things”.)

I also become extremely annoyed at flattery. When a person acts like I should go all booger-kneed at the suggestion that I look good, as if compliments about my appearance should matter more than my character, or theirs, I feel exploited, objectified, and like a mark. (Watch how fast a salesperson changes the subject if you start complimenting THEIR fashion or lifestyle choices after they start complimenting yours to soften you up.)

Cheating and aggressive sales have a lot in common. In both cases, the seeker (predator) views you as a mark, plays on your emotions and insecurities, and wants something FROM you regardless of how much giving that thing might HARM you, and without giving anything of actual value TO you.

I have actually uttered the words “Maybe if you didn’t wander around whining to other women about your marriage like a child instead of talking things through with your wife like a grownup, you’d have an easier time getting along with her. It’s inappropriate to bring that up here and I’m not discussing your marriage with you. Clear off.” more than once, which is sad.

An out of place “You have such a beautiful smile.” gets met either with merely walking away or a statement like “Every smile that comes from true joy is beautiful to those who truly care about other people.”, generally also followed by my taillights.

I’m tired of the BS of the “I want FROM you” approach. If you want my attention, offer me what I want in my life. Be responsible for yourself. Be polite and respectful to and around me. Reject idiotic gender roles and respect my boundaries. Treat servers well in restaurants. Treat others well in general. Be forthcoming and honest about who you are, without pretense. If we go out and I prefer to pay separately, accept it without complaint. If we’re new to each other, ask nicely for consent before you kiss me.

And don’t, don’t, do NOT, act immature. I don’t have adult relationships with children. That would be disgusting AND illegal.

“My mommy — I mean wife — doesn’t understand me” is most definitely immature.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

“My mommy — I mean wife — doesn’t understand me” is most definitely immature.

It’s also so presumptuous that it makes me grit my teeth. Like hey buddy, I’m not being paid to listen to you whine. Go tell someone who gives a shit like a therapist.

But let’s be honest, they wouldn’t do that even if their complaint was legit. They’re liars looking for a sucker willing to be a mistress.

Nursemeh
Nursemeh
11 months ago

He will say “Goodnight Vienna” & try it on with another willing female! Its a shame you couldn’t let his wife know what he does at these fundraising hole in one events.

portia
portia
11 months ago

I don’t know why, but I have worked in several male disproportionate environments in my life, and men just seem to enjoy complaining about their spouse. I think many of them actually love their wife, but still — she gets on their nerves. To be fair, I’ve heard many women complain about their husbands. Maybe it’s just a weird social party game, like my dad’s better than your dad (Note: I never engaged in this particular game). To be even more fair, I have had many unkind thoughts about my spouse, unrelated to cheating, back when I was married. Sometimes I expressed these thoughts to my girlfriends. It was a common phenomenon. So not all spousal complaints are trolling for hook-ups. I suppose you have to factor in the time and place.

With all that as a given, I don’t believe you should complain to strangers, unless you are in an environment like this, where you have a common experience, and want to recover and possibly save others from bad situations. Taking up a therapist’s time at a party is akin to asking your doctor for free medical advice in the grocery store. I think ChumpBucket did a good job telling this bore a bit of truth, whether he wanted to hear it, or not. He opened the door by saying something inappropriate. She shut him down with more social grace than I can muster. I usually use humor and sarcasm, along the line of “Really? I’m sure you are just a dream to live with, and never get on her nerves!” if I respond at all. It usually results in a laugh or two.

But the thing is sometimes this social venting is spreading misinformation or serves as a practice ground for future lying. I have heard wild theories, like “I don’t have ED, she’s just a bitch!” This may sound realistic to the man spouting this theory, but it never made sense to me. Why carry on like this in public? Why don’t you at least see a doctor? Most of all, why would you think complaining about your wife is a good way to attract females to become OW? Maybe it has worked for them in the past? Maybe it is a siren song to women who want to have sex with married men? Maybe they both need a real therapist?

Back when I was dating there were a few things which just ensured a short evening and no chance of a second date. Bad mouthing your spouse was one of those things. Even if every word is true, I don’t want to hear it on a first date. Vent to a professional, they may be able to help you. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to think of my date as a “poor, poor mistreated fellow,” and I certainly don’t want to “save” him. Some may think “Portia is a bitch!” but I probably wouldn’t want to date them either. I have expectations of a first date which may be unrealistic in today’s world — like good conversation, and hearing about my date’s interests and dreams. I would like to know they have a sense of humor, and good table manners. If they eat like a starving hog presented with a fresh trough, and don’t talk unless they are expressing rage at a previous partner, would you like to date them? I have been told by friends I have some unrealistic expectations, like literacy and a successful work history, that I should not be concerned about on a first date, but I just can’t help myself!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having boundaries. Enforce them using your own style. For ChumpBucket, I would just ask, don’t you have something much better to do with your time? There probably needs to be a new product on the market for insect repellent, called Sad Sausage Be Gone, to protect chumps from being bored at public events. I would buy it and try it. Would it become wildly popular if marketed to Chump Nation? It might be worth a try if you have an entrepreneurial bent!

Elsie
Elsie
11 months ago
Reply to  portia

I’m three-plus years post-divorce, and thus far, the only asks I’ve gotten were from guys who began relating their stories of mistreatment while getting to know me. I’m OK in that phase with saying, “Yea, I’m divorced. It was rough.” Then move on to more interesting topics, please? It hasn’t happened at all yet for me. I also frankly don’t plan to go out with someone until I know them a bit, which seems to be an ongoing issue. I don’t buy into, “Oh, good. We’re both single, so let’s go out.” Nope.

But here they are, trying to pitch me for a date with how horrid their ex is, how their adult kids have nothing to do with them, how their finances are bad, and how their boss is a jerk. One added how horrible it was that the judge was rough on them after their third DUI. Another related their recent experience in bankruptcy court.

Yes, I’m fine with being single. I don’t care if I’m a bitch.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  Elsie

I’ve had similar experiences and got some great advice from my dad (married 40 years and going strong): “Men who lead with their woes aren’t partner material, they’re parasites looking for a meal ticket.”

Elsie
Elsie
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

That’s priceless. Parasites!

I will carry that one in my head when I travel again this summer. It seems like travel often catalyzes these types to go on the hunt.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
11 months ago
Reply to  Elsie

Elsie, thanks for the warning! I’m going on a trip this fall, and I haven’t traveled much in my life. I’ll watch for red flags!

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
11 months ago
Reply to  Elsie

If you travel solo as a female, you might as well have a target 🎯 on your forehead. Ask me how I know. Boundaries up and have fun !

portia
portia
11 months ago

Travel is one of the categories on my bucket list. I figure its best to go while I can, because who knows what will happen in my future. Anyway, I would love to have a travel companion, male or female, but there must be a degree of compatibility to travel, and the funds to do so. So, I will travel alone rather than stay home waiting and wanting. It often confuses others, and I usually go as part of a tour group for some degree of protection. I just don’t understand why solo male travelers are not met with a barrage of questions about their marital status? Why is a lone female so strange? I would imagine there are widows and divorcees who are interested in history and culture and art? The other thing that irritates me is the presumption about your sexual orientation and preferences if you are with a same sex friend, or alone. Must one have sexual relations to travel? I didn’t read that in the brochure???

Elsie
Elsie
11 months ago

Yes, been there. I went back-and-forth quite a bit in 2021 and 2022 helping relatives, and they were out in force, COVID masks and all. Waiting at the airport and eating breakfast at the hotel, misunderstood men found me regardless. I’m 60-something and not exactly “fresh,” but so it was.

This summer is a cruise with friends and then on another trip to check on my relatives, but I’m prepared!

TnT
TnT
11 months ago

I’m a therapist too & I don’t throw freebie counselling sessions out there anymore. Having learned my lesson that those that don’t do the work (set up appointments, attend, do homework) and don’t pay generally don’t care what I have to say. Especially emotional gold-digging men looking for a freebie (and not the counselling kind). I know you meant well, Chumpbucket, but a lot of us in the helping fields are vulnerable to manipulations. I really had to do some boundary work & I especially enjoyed working with someone for a time who had more “street smarts” and could spot bullshit a mile away. After working with her, I realized I was too “book smart” and needed to develop more “people smarts”. I’m not sure if it’s the same for you, but honestly I would send a sad-sausage dude away next time with “I hope you & your wife seek counselling, have a nice evening” and walk away. His wife & him are not going to be future clients of yours (he’d try to charm you into getting into your pants the entire time) so don’t bother giving him a biz card either. I give you kudos for attempting to do good, but we also have to limit chumpiness in our professional lives as well as, our personal ones.

FYI
FYI
11 months ago
Reply to  TnT

^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
11 months ago

When my unmet needs were the size of Pangea and I had not heard a kind word in forever, the husband of a patient (who was experiencing tragedy) seemed to glom onto me like I was a lifeboat and the Titanic was sinking. He looked at me in THAT WAY.

Thank God I recognized it and extricated myself from it with a sharp scalpel. I could feel the clueless, selfish, foolish part of my lizard brain say “what is one little conversation?”. Oh, no…not this gal. Can you IMAGINE the scandal, the pain, the destruction, the shame? They are those super duper full-quiver Christian sorts. I ran into him and part of his brood in a store soon after and his poker face failed reinforcing what I thought to be true. I turned my cart and headed away from them as fast as my feet could move me.

Yes, we are left very very needy and we’re often confused and lost but we must keep our wits about us and stay in the correct lane.

HeReallyDoesSuck
HeReallyDoesSuck
11 months ago

Fuckface is an evil predator. He reeled me in using those common tactics – complaining about his ex, lovebombing – and it worked because I was clueless and vulnerable coming out of a divorce (with another lying cheater, fml).

How I WISH I knew about sociopaths and listening to your gut before I met him. But I was a prime target, and he played the long game, living a double life the entire 10+ year relationship. What a chump I was!

Now I know. I will NEVER be fooled again. I may be single for the rest of my life, but I will NEVER fall for those tactics again. Fuck those monsters.

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
11 months ago

I got reeled in with him using his “Sadz face on cute guy in a bar” which I can only blame my self for. He even told me his name for this tactic and I was too stupid to see that he was warning me that I had been played – I thought I was so clever and above all that and I had caught the cute guy. Shaking my head at myself.

As he got older, I dont believe that he was a predator to most of his his APs…from what I have been able to piece together, he fucked willing participants, mostly unmarried single career women who either didnt want a husband or were simply giving it a shot with little investment.

There may be an exception in that I think he really did a number on a gal he went to undergrad with…I now believe he was dating us at the same time and she got hurt (I was clueless). She left school (very prestigious school with full ride scholarship) and I think his hot/cold manipulation was a big part of it. I wish I could reach out to her and tell her that she won because she didnt get stuck with him.

New York nutbag
New York nutbag
11 months ago

I refer to this type of low life as a “Saloon Snake” . The same yoyos that make statements like ” did it hurt” did what hurt? ” when you fell down from heaven..because you must be an angel ” 🤢. Nothing of the sort is going on with his relationship, he’s an optimistic slag heap hoping you’re a vulnerable target. Pieces of shit like this make me ashamed to be of the same gender. Boundaries are the measure of character and believe it or not ego is a driver of said Boundaries and deal breakers. My ego keeps me focused on who I am e.g. the representation of my personal Boundaries. This despicable waste of DNA needs to go home look his wife in the face and appreciate the person she is and do the right thing.

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
11 months ago

That guy was a douche. It makes me sick to think about how many millions of times over 26 years I was caring for my X and our precious family and he was out there bad mouthing me to anyone who’d listen. He never said one word to me of his so-called “issues” because… manipulation. He kept me right where he wanted me- in the dark, being the good little wife appliance 🤬🤬🤬. He took away my agency. He stole my very life. If he’d been honest I could have decided to leave decades before and spent my life living authentically. The writer could have done even better… asked him his last name, googled his wife, given her a heads up that her spouse was cruising bars talking smack about her… now that would have been helpful. This prick won’t listen— you can’t advise there types anything.

Kara
Kara
11 months ago

He went back to his room and whined to his buddies about how this frigid bitch at the bar lectured him about ethics and now his pee pee is going to fall off and burst into space dust.

And they’ll tell him he didn’t do anything wrong and how dare she blah blah…

Yknow what these dudes have?

THE AUDACITY.

Nah he didn’t expect you to be an intelligent person with a sense of decency. He was expecting a pliable target, and got soundly defeated.

Whatever his sleezy ass does in the future, you refused to be complicit in the creation of another chump.

Or at least another D-day for her.

Pam
Pam
11 months ago

This guy sounds like a sleeze ball. Yuck.
And thank you, Chumplady, I’m a veteran. Memorial Day is somber for us 💜

Adelante
Adelante
11 months ago
Reply to  Pam

My nephew was killed in Afghanistan. I was just reflecting this morning that there’s such a surreal disjunction between Memorial Day as experienced by veterans and the families of those who’ve been killed or injured, and the day as experienced by the vast majority of Americans, who see it as a day off of work, the official opening of summer, and a time to party with friends and family.

Apidae
Apidae
11 months ago
Reply to  Adelante

I am so sorry, Adelante.

MissBailey
MissBailey
11 months ago

Perhaps I’m too jaded or just not willing to listen to someone’s supposedly woeful tale of unhappy matrimony. I would have given my excuses and gotten the hell out of there at the first mention of sad sausage. I have a mental image of those two and the spew falling out his mouth – nauseating.

Elsie
Elsie
11 months ago
Reply to  MissBailey

Me too. Mine was a “gray” divorce, and if an older guy that I barely know starts talking about his unhappy relationships with wives, exes, adult children, and bosses, I’m out of there. They are looking for sympathy that is not mine to give in that context. I travel a fair amount, and perpetually run into misunderstood men in planes, hotels, etc. I’m not a participant in those types of discussions and am indeed full of excuses.

The way I look at it now, lots of people had bad childhoods and made poor marriage choices. Most divorces are rough, some worse than others. Let’s talk about the present, which is much more interesting.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  MissBailey

I’ve never met someone with sob stories who wasn’t a train wreck at best and a predator at worst. Sob stories are the calling card of sociopaths.

I’ve noticed in dating that healthy men want me to see them as competent, and that men who lead with incompetence are dangerous.

They do it because on some level, they’re projecting. They think women are stupid, so think they can hook me by portraying themselves as stupid and helpless.

Male con artists also think other men are smart so when they target other men, they portray themselves as hyper-competent leaders. Sadly, they usually succeed.

There’s a guy in my industry who’s run two companies into the ground and just got fired this week (again). He was bragging about his non-existent successes on social media the day he got fired. He managed to get hired by another company before the end of the week.

It’s unbelievable, and unfortunately he’s not the only one. I can name a number of guys in my industry who scam their way up via failure and egregious incompetence, and people keep rewarding them with jobs and more money.

bread&roses
bread&roses
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Alternately sad sausage, vulnerable then hyper-competent/capable describes my ex to a tee. This is a very calculated and effective manipulation tactic. It worked on me and pretty much everyone.
It took me a long time, and lots of evidence, to see through it and not fall for it. Most people do/did. I probably still would, if it wasn’t for what I’ve been through. I think this is why even though I’ve cut some people out and am disappointed by them for remaining “friends”
with my ex, I don’t hold a grudge.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago

I would try to get the cheater’s name, profession and location, dig up their spouse’s contacts and blow the whistle with a note like the one below. I know it’s not exactly honest to pretend to personally know a chump in the case you don’t but it gets around certain risks like an endangered chump assuming the warning is a hurtful prank or getting hunted down by a raging cheater. If there’s any prank laced into the gesture, it’s putting a cheater into a tailspin of paranoia wondering who ratted and thinking everyone knows, plus it puts the lens of suspicion for blowing the whistle on all the people around a cheater who should have called it out but didn’t. The tactic also provides a means to inoculate the chump against all the horrible head-in-a-blender blameshifting, shameshifting DARVO bilge that thwarted cheaters typically assault chumps with. I know first hand how empowering that inoculation is because the following is close to the anonymous warning I received on D-Day.

“Dear So-and-So,

It’s been so long since we’ve seen each other but I always think highly of you which is why I’m now writing to give a heads up about X, your spouse. I hope you can forgive me for being a coward and contacting you anonymously but, to be honest, your spouse has always spooked me a little and what I’m about to tell you makes me all the more afraid of repercussions. I saw him/her canoodling with someone who was not you in a public place and overheard some banter that I thought was deeply disrespectful to you. S/he was telling this rando how his/her spouse mistreated him/her which no one who knows you believes for a minute.
It’s taken me all this time to build up the courage to reach out to you because I can’t bear the idea of upsetting your life. But no matter what s/he might tell you, the behavior I saw left no room for interpretation and I wasn’t alone in making the observation. We were all shocked, especially at the idea that anyone would do this to you of all people. I think the general impression is that your spouse won the lottery when they met you.
I can’t provide you with proof of what was seen or heard or where and when without potentially giving away the identities of witnesses but I would strongly recommend you quietly investigate and gather social and practical support.
In the case I’m getting things wrong and you’ve since separated from your spouse or have a consensual agreement to see other people, I apologize and would never judge you. But because of the typical risks related to infidelity such as STDs, financial abuse, emotional abuse, blame-shifting and gaslighting, my conscience is driving me to err on the side of caution and warn so that you might have a chance to protect yourself. Whatever happens, you should know that many people admire, respect and feel warmly towards you and can’t imagine why anyone would betray you.

Yours truly, a concerned friend”

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
11 months ago

Thanks for that template letter HoaC. Maybe it can posted in the “Resources” since people write to CL asking what to when they know somebody is abusing their spouse, and the spouse isn’t aware they are being conned.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago

Of course if the whistleblower does actually know the victim even in passing, there’s no lie.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago

Even if pretending to know the victim personally is arguably a safety measure to provide a red herring or decoy duck to distract from the identity of the actual whistleblower, it’s a bit controversial and I’m not sure anyone could sign off on it as an “official” strategy.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
11 months ago

Brilliant, and compassionate. I wish someone had cared enough about me to give me a heads up.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

In my case it was likely motivated more by how much the whistleblowers hated the AP for sabotaging other women at work and defending harassers. Though one of the “Deep Throats” had apparently met me once and said nice things, maybe even overdoing it a little. I assume this was to buffer the blow which it did but probably not for the exact reasons the messengers thought, which is that any chump would naturally need reassurance that APs aren’t more attractive, appealing or charming. The real empowerment was that the gesture undercut FW’s insidious campaign from the start of the affair to make me believe everyone adored and sympathized with him and thought I was a mutant misfit, the subtext obviously being that if I tried to rebel, I’d find myself isolated and rejected by the the entire world and known universe! All it took was a few people saying the reverse to undo FW’s little mindfuck spell. Turns out he’d lost respect at work when he started drinking his lunch, acting like a douche, hanging out with seedy suckups and becoming Lord of the Barflies.

Political revenge motive aside, I was touched by how worried the whistleblowers were over how the blow would land on me and the kids. That can’t be an easy thing for people to do and I regret not doing it myself all the times I witnessed flagrant bs in the past. But I will given the opportunity. For good measure, I’ll make sure to weave in a little antidote to FW mindfuckery.

DrDr
DrDr
11 months ago

Good for you!!!! Did you feel like you were talking to a past version of your sad sausage ex FW? It must have been satisfying to rain off his parade!! Love it.

nomar
nomar
11 months ago

Anytime a married man talks to another woman about the troubles in his marriage, it is a huge red flag. When he LEADS with that? With a STRANGER? At a BAR? It is an open play for cheating, the moral equivalent of a flashing neon motel sign advertising rates by the hour. The rebuff speaks well of the woman who refused to take the bait, but the odds that it changed the dude’s character are zero. It wasn’t her opinions dude was after.

FYI
FYI
11 months ago
Reply to  nomar

Also (imo) he got kibbles from the LW. Someone is paying him attention, trying to help him, giving away free “therapy.”

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  nomar

Yes, reading this whole thing made me sick. The guy was an absolute gross and very disrespectful loser. It’s an absolute over the top betrayal to his wife to be telling another woman that he is “unhappy at home.’’
The simple response to that is either nothing, or ‘be respectful to your wife and share your marriage with the one you’re married to.”

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  nomar

I agree with this comment and will add that, as a woman, I reject these discussions even from men I know. It’s utterly inappropriate. Men need to talk to their guy friends, family, or therapist.

I came to this conclusion years ago when a guy friend tried sobbing on my shoulder about what a meanie his wife was, and then he groped me. He cried when I told him to fuck off and go home to his wife. He was a nut job.

I later found out that from day one of our friendship, he’d put me on a filter on Facebook so I wouldn’t see any photos of the vacations he was taking with his wife or the sweet messages she left on his wall. I thought I knew this guy for two years, but he had an agenda from the beginning.

I’ve learned the hard way that just because I know someone a long time doesn’t mean I really know them. Now I vet thoroughly and for a long time, and I also have strict boundaries around what I’ll help the men in my life with. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t help them with their marriages. Sorry, not sorry.

bread&roses
bread&roses
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

“just because I know someone a long time doesn’t mean I really know them”

This is why I don’t think I’ll ever again be able to trust someone enough for partnership — or even dating, for that matter. Perhaps that makes me skeptical, but it seems realistic and reasonable, especially after what I experienced. Like many other chumps, I’m not willing to put my peace, autonomy and safety in the hands of someone else. Too risky, too much at stake. (Not that the possibility has even presented itself. I haven’t met anyone single and roughly my age who I’m even superficially interested in; there aren’t many available, eligible fellas, and the ones I’ve met all have red flags.)

DrDr
DrDr
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Cam, how did you find this out???

“I later found out that from day one of our friendship, he’d put me on a filter on Facebook so I wouldn’t see any photos of the vacations he was taking with his wife or the sweet messages she left on his wall. I thought I knew this guy for two years, but he had an agenda from the beginning.“

hush
hush
11 months ago

Yikes! It’s not fair to OP therapist’s paying clients if she’s out here giving free therapy to rich/adjacent golfer FW randos, while of course charging her regular-way clients $$ for the same emotional labor. #PatriarchyBeLike

Keep leveling up, OP and work out the internalized misogyny that still has you PickMe dancing for wealthy men.

susie lee
susie lee
11 months ago
Reply to  hush

While I agree with CL that it is not wise to get wrapped up in the off the clock stuff with fw’s at bars, I don’t think it is unethical to use your talents to help someone off the clock. Assuming she doesn’t go against any stated ethics or rules.

A lot of folks use their professional talents to help friends. Again as long as they don’t violate any rules of their profession, what they do in their private life is their business.

FYI
FYI
11 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

This was no friend. This was kibble (attention) for a FW. He didn’t want help.

Kara
Kara
11 months ago
Reply to  hush

I too would like to know how you drew this conclusion???

Little Wing
Little Wing
11 months ago
Reply to  hush

“………that still has you PickMe dancing for wealthy men.”

Huh? How in heaven’s name could you make that deduction from what the OP typed?

I really mean it: please help me to understand where you read that evidence to have you draw a conclusion like that.

Cam
Cam
11 months ago
Reply to  Little Wing

OP took the guy’s proposal as a compliment instead of disrespect, exerted unpaid emotional labor trying to help a predator who didn’t deserve it, and even hugged him at the end.

No criticism, it is what it is, it’s great OP rebuffed him, and we’re all at different stages of our healing journeys. But once we fully own our worth and recognize bad behavior for what it is, we won’t mommy terrible men.

bread&roses
bread&roses
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I explained all of the things OP told this strange man to my ex — the person who had lived with me for over a decade. He was the one causing me the pain. He didn’t care. Explaining this to a fuckwit stranger is pointless. As CL has written, you can’t explain basic decency to an adult. Nothing to work with. You’re playing right into their game, and you’re wasting precious time and energy on a fuckwit. Women don’t need to feel sorry for and listen to/offer advice to/nurture abusive men. We definitely don’t need to hug them or feel sorry for them. We’re not bitchy, bossy or cold for walking away. Or even for putting them in their place. It’s absolutely the patriarchy and misogyny. I am so glad the OP stuck to her guns, and I don’t fault her. I also agree that she didn’t have to put up with any of that BS and might deal with it differently in the future.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I have to agree with you on this, Cam.

Little Wing
Little Wing
11 months ago
Reply to  Little Wing

oh, and let me also add: “…and work out the internalized misogyny…”

where-oh-where can you point out the words that show an “internalized misogyny”?

Sue_W
Sue_W
11 months ago

“I hear my blue balls calling! Gotta motor.“

OMG! That was my first thought too! 🤣 🤢

sleepyhead
sleepyhead
11 months ago

I was called on the carpet at my last job for “not being friendly enough with the clients.” I know for a fact that the 2 complaints they referred to were both from men who were obviously flirting with me/complaining about their marriages. In general, I’m friendly but businesslike at work and don’t tolerate any funny stuff when doing my job (I can take a joke and kid around with the best of them but I draw the line at ogling and come-ons). I explained that to management but it all fell on deaf ears and I was told to be “fluffier” (their words) with my clients. I’ve been stalked by clients in the past and it’s made me leery of getting personal in any way, to the extent of not even letting them know the neighborhood I live in – I told them that but they didn’t care. I walked right out and submitted my resignation. Note: I’m happily married and always wear my wedding ring and am hardly a femme fatale, so this whole thing was foreign to me. I am appalled that they considered flirting with married men as part of my job description (where would it all end??) and am so happy to be retired now.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  sleepyhead

That’s very Madmen. I suppose telling you to fill in as “fluffer” was cheaper than hiring escorts for the clients. I walked away from a former career because of similar things. Not that anyone was begging me to come back after I’d developed a reputation for being– and I quote- “dangerous to men.” Apparently if you repeatedly say “no” to some, they wither and die like neglected Tamagotchis! The humanity!

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  sleepyhead

That was blatant sex based discrimination, Sleepy. It’s outrageous. I guarantee they didn’t ask the men to be “fluffy” and flirt with clients.

Magnolia
Magnolia
11 months ago

I have been a sucker for this move (when it’s been talking about exes, not current partners). As someone who physically escaped, but is still sort of enmeshed with, a family where my attempts to name multiple abuses were ignored, dismissed and shamed (but subtly! like I’d be allowed to speak and then get reacted to like I’d said there was relish on my burger and didn’t like it), I walked around carrying legit distress that spilled out everywhere. When I met a guy who led with how he’d been hurt, I thought I was meeting someone who could relate.

It really burns me, the entitlement and privilege of people who pretend to be disadvantaged to get even more. They’re out there already benefiting from social norms and preying on 1) people’s limited capacity to extend themselves to help and be actively compassionate to others, on 2) the limited resources of those who actually suffer from real disadvantages.

Zip
Zip
11 months ago

Ugh, of course, getting a divorce because you’re unhappy is more ethical than cheating, however, it’s still astronomically shitty to be on the receiving end of somebody’s “unhappiness”
justification for divorce.

Marriage is hard, life is hard, and people who suddenly abandon a long term marriage, because they’re “unhappy” are shitty IMO. How about go for therapy yourself, look at your issues, create a life that makes you happy, exercise, get some friends, get some hobbies, stop expecting your spouse to be totally responsible for your happiness.
If your spouse isn’t abusive in any way, shape or form, and there are no untreated, mental health issues, or addictions… and you’re unhappy enough to want to run away, maybe you’re the problem?
Don’t ever have a relationship with somebody who suddenly abandoned their spouse because they were ‘unhappy´and thought they deserved happiness. Even if they gave their spouse a fair settlement and an easy going divorce, guaranteed that person is some kind of Fuckwit.
Also, it’s a known fact that men very rarely leave marriages unless they have someone else lined up.
I’m not saying all marriages have to last, but I don’t agree that leaving a marriage without cheating is always ethical.

chumpedchange
chumpedchange
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

“If your spouse isn’t abusive in any way, shape or form, and there are no untreated, mental health issues, or addictions… and you’re unhappy enough to want to run away, maybe you’re the problem?” PERFECT

bread&roses
bread&roses
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

Thank you for writing this, Zip. I think some chumps are missing the point when they write, “He/she could have been honest and just left instead of cheating [because s/he he was unhappy, didn’t love me, etc].” It doesn’t work like that. When my ex suddenly abandoned me after 15 years, with no real explanation, I wasn’t like, “Ok, thanks for letting me know. Bye.” It was a total mindfuck, and it destroyed my life. I lost everything, but ncludi g the love of my life and my home and future, o er Igor. I wanted him to be happy, and I also wanted to understand, and to work on things. Then, it was so shitty that I left anyway, but he still wanted cake and hoovered me. He was cheating, and had been for 7 yrs (that I know of), but I had no idea about that yet, and it was nevertheless extremely traumatic. Decent, mature, authentic people don’t abandon longterm partners, make unilateral decisions, “grow apart,” lead double lives, etc. If someone does that who hasn’t yet cheated, I’m willing to bet money they will.

A vivacious 60-yr-old friend of mine is falling in love with a handsome, ex-military doctor in his 50’s (divorced 8 years ago) who recently, unprompted, professed to her, “I have no skeletons in my closet.” Then, after she shared her “skeletons,” he admitted to his: His ex-wife had a spending problem. (Mmhmm.) He repeatedly asked her to spend less, she wouldn’t, so he cut her off from the cards and gave her an allowance. He was very unhappy. She went away for a long weekend and he hired a mover to move him out and filed. She came home and he was gone. Poor. How horrific! They had two teenagers at the time. One has serious substance abuse issues now. She told me this story without batting an eyelash. Regardless of whether or not the guy was also cheating (hmmm… I wonder), I wouldn’t go near him with a 10-ft pole. So I’m paranoid and cynical for seeing red flags? Everyone else is cheering her on, saying what a great guy he seems like. Needless to say, I’m keeping my opinions to myself.

Samsara
Samsara
11 months ago
Reply to  bread&roses

Thank you for writing this, Zip. I think some chumps are missing the point when they write, “He/she could have been honest and just left instead of cheating [because s/he he was unhappy, didn’t love me, etc].” It doesn’t work like that. When my ex suddenly abandoned me after 15 years, with no real explanation, I wasn’t like, “Ok, thanks for letting me know. Bye.” It was a total mindfuck, and it destroyed my life. I lost everything, but ncludi g the love of my life and my home and future, o er Igor. I wanted him to be happy, and I also wanted to understand, and to work on things. Then, it was so shitty that I left anyway, but he still wanted cake and hoovered me. He was cheating, and had been for 7 yrs (that I know of), but I had no idea about that yet, and it was nevertheless extremely traumatic. Decent, mature, authentic people don’t abandon longterm partners, make unilateral decisions, “grow apart,” lead double lives, etc. If someone does that who hasn’t yet cheated, I’m willing to bet money they will.”

This is so beautifully stated Bread&Roses, it is very similar to my experience and I’m so sorry you endured that abuse.

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  Samsara

It wasn’t even a long marriage in my case, but a heartbreaking, debilitating, mindfuck it was. I can’t even imagine if it had gone from this to that in a heartbeat in a long marriage. And wanting your partner to be happy as they are breaking your heart…I’m sorry

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  bread&roses

B&R, I am sorry that happened to you. FW planned on leaving abruptly and having me think it was because we weren’t working. He swore up down all around that there was nobody else, and I believed him. I was traumatized.
Then I found out after 1 billion lies that he was leaving me for an OW, but the trauma had already been done. I am happy that I found out the truth because I think it would’ve been 1 million times harder to just have him disappear with no logical explanation, beyond his sudden unhappiness.
And I agree with you, your friend’s boyfriend sounds like a big 🚩.

bread&roses
bread&roses
11 months ago
Reply to  bread&roses

Sorry for all the autocorrect errors.

Apidae
Apidae
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

The last thing this world needs is more shaming of women leaving miserable marriages, or demanding that they “try everything” before giving up on fixing a jerk.

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  Apidae

My point was there are some people who suddenly express a case of happiness, and abruptly blindside their spouse and leave their marriage. This can happen after the blindsided spouse has invested years of their life in the marriage, their in-laws and raising children etc.
I’ve heard therapists say that when men do this, there is probably someone they are heading to.
But regardless, is it ethical to end a marriage suddenly, unilaterally, without giving your spouse a chance to work as a team on supposed issues (that they don’t even know about)?
I think it’s entitled to the max and an asshole move.

Unicornomore
Unicornomore
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

I think that if a marriage is having “normal” problems (with no abuse / cheating), if one person is considering leaving, the other spouse should get some sort of warning…if there is overspending, no sex, general disrespect, refusal to work together on goals…there ought to be a “this is a dealbreaker for me and if it doesnt change, I will need to leave this marriage”. There should be truth and decency. Having someone end it abruptly with no attempt to communicate dissatisfaction would be traumatizing in its own way.

What most of us here lived was someone who didnt work on stuff then cheated. I have many times posted what I wish he would have done instead of what he did…I wish he had had some integrity and decency.

Samsara
Samsara
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

Agree Zip. I also bristle when it’s blithely stated in that way too. As if leaving out of the blue for any reason is AOK and without any effort to work on things etc before that occurs. It’s not Ok. Being blindsided in a marriage in any way is the ‘harming’ move. That’s the tell, the strong entitlement revealed. It is completely against the vows and the whole premise of marriage to withhold from your spouse if you are having issues of ANY sort. That’s why the set-up of the cheating landscape is completely at odds with the set-up of basic normcore relationships. It doesn’t apply! It’s a power abuse set-up from the get-go that the chump is bound to lose.
Cheaters are not playing by the (often assumed) rules of engagement – the fair play rules in other words. They don’t fight fair, they don’t play fair. They are FWs. That’s why they can up and leave and pretend it’s for no reason or the laundry list of BS reasons etc. They are the definition every pejorative that has ever been lobbed their way now and throughout history. They earned those “see you next Tuesday” epithets.

The way our marriages or relationships suddenly were detonated is unethical whichever way you slice it. Put it this way, it was NOT what I signed up for.

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  Samsara

Well said

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

A case of unhappiness-oops

susie lee
susie lee
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

“Also, it’s a known fact that men very rarely leave marriages unless they have someone else lined up.”

I agree, in fact I think ones who do leave before they have a soft landing are so rare as to be almost non existent. I think in large part because when they start fishing, they have no intention of leaving, just getting some strange.

Just so odd that BS’s aren’t bad enough to leave and be degraded until they are either caught, or have made the decision to mb over to the whore.

Erin
Erin
11 months ago

I cringed when I read “I gave him a quick hug.” Why was that necessary? It seems like code for “I wish you’d try harder.” Quote from the movie “Hitch.” OP was sending mixed signals. Also – wishing the FW “good luck” appeared patronizing to me.

ChumpBucket
ChumpBucket
11 months ago
Reply to  Erin

Point well taken–I thought about editing my email to Chumplady more to make me look less “chumpy”, but my reality is that I’m still working on boundaries, still working through trauma-bonding issues, and still working through codependency. I was also about 3 gin and tonics in at that point ; )

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
11 months ago

I have to say this because I like Chump Bucket I am super friendly ( taming that down post almost divorce) and heard those same words from a wide variety of men all my life. As an RN working with men and as a friendly happy person I have attracted sadz men forever. I didn’t know it until CLs book but all these married guys play by the same play book and they ALWAYS ALWAYS start with their miserable marriage. It is trap bait deluxe, like cheese to a rat. It is always ” my horrible wife”. I’ve heard it from Doctors, rich guys, poor guys, lawyers, teachers and here where I live in a senior 55 plus community, it’s THE SAME LINE from guys over 55!! Married guys are using the same words to nab ANYONE for a quickie or a side dish..Someone to pick me dance, someone for kibbles. I’m learning to nip it in the bud and say “get lost” in a million different flavors. These men do not need purity lectures, THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING! Crap, now they lost that fish YOU and they have to hurry and set their hook with another fat worm. And then you wasted his time with a word of advice.??? As a therapist i might have asked his address to send a bill!!What man or woman is worth this kind of time? Save your dignity for a non cry baby and if anyone mentions their wife or husband as A LOSER, head for the hills. My STBXH told my whole church I did not give him enough sex. Thats another bait for the hook. Chisel those words in stone horrible wife/husband, no sex. Bam you are outta there!!

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
11 months ago

Part 2 on they dont need a purity chat…I was also approached by a severely disabled man maybe 88,who could hardly walk, had a cane and swayed from side to side.He was bloated, red faced and obese. His wife was assisting him as he walked. He turned to me as I passed him and said to me…I NEED A NEW WIFE! I looked at his sweet wife and said to her, did you hear your husband just now with all you are doing for him??? His wife said awww..he just told me I look just like the day he met me!! What??? She put up.with him for these bread crumps and lies??Folks, here is an 88 year old trying for cake right in front of his wife.i saw that bleary eyed almost.90 year old as a CHEATER DELUXE. Chump lady, you are right and I was soo happy you wrote today
God bless you and thank.you for how you have honed me into a stronger happier smarter Chump x2🚫again. I adore you!!! Happy Holiday weekend!

Stephen
Stephen
11 months ago

Well.. when I do go out I find that telling whoever starts talking to me in a way that seems inappropriate or appears to be crossing the line is to tell them about my drug addicted, run-away-from-home, abandoned me and her own kids, lying cheating ex who had a boyfriend in the background, bought drugs from strang men in the apartments across from our neighborhood and smoked pot in her 100 degree attic to avoid being caught by me or her kids. Then stating matter-of-factly that I have no idea what I saw in her and how stupid I was to marry her. Nothing says boundary more clearly than telling my truth to a complete and total stranger 🤣.

DobbyisaFreeChump
DobbyisaFreeChump
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

I think your ex and mine had a lot in common although my ex was a coke head— Drug fueled mania on top of the cheating and lying and financial and psychological abuse…. I can’t imagine anyone ever understanding the hell my kids and I went through and can’t imagine really going out to meet people and terrify them with my story. At this point in my healing journey, I feel like hiding in my house forever…. It feels so good to know that I am safe even though I am alone… You should be proud that you are brave enough to go out and tell your truth.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
11 months ago

“But he’s handsome ! But he’s a doctor ! Plus I love a man in uniform !” Sorry your friend is so superficial. And stupid given how he discarded his wife and children. The drug addicted son tells me there is a lot more to this man’s story.

Tempest
Tempest
11 months ago

These cheaters (and presumptive cheaters) are all the same–same strategies, same sad-sack “my marriage has been in trouble for a long time,” alternating with charm/compliments to lure in their prey. But scratch the surface and you will see their true colors–DARVO, more victimhood, …..

I recently had a married (former) friend, oozing French charm, try to convince me to become his AP. When I shut him down quite emphatically, and told him to work on his marriage, he urged me not to be bitter and to shut people out just because I’d been cheated on. Eyeroll. In other words, the reason I was rejecting him was because I was broken. Another eyeroll. This is how they rope people in–alternating subtle negging with compliments. Needless to say, it was necessary to end the friendship for him to get the message; there isn’t sufficient French charm in the world for me to become a cheater.

Chumpadellic
Chumpadellic
11 months ago
Reply to  Tempest

This guy is a slithering snake.
YOU are BITTER because you don’t want to fuck a Fuckwit?!
Wow, snakes do need to get over themselves.

Helen Back
Helen Back
11 months ago

Bucket, I applaud your personal progress, but Good God, please don’t hug the fuckwits.

CBN
CBN
11 months ago

My problem is with this idea that everyone “deserves happiness.” Yes, perhaps, but at what cost? There should be a qualifier on that thought/phrase, i.e., “You deserve happiness, but not if it makes someone else, to whom you have a huge commitment, unhappy.”

This is why I don’t believe in even “ethical” divorce in a long-term marriage with years of detrimental reliance on the part of a spouse. If there is no “reason” for dumping your spouse who has made a life with you for decades (i.e., abuse, cheating), who has relied to his/her extreme detriment on your commitment to the marriage, and who has spent decades supporting you that he/she will never be able to get back, pardon my French, but “screw” your precious happiness. Work on your marriage and make it work. Don’t absolutely devastate an innocent person so you can be “happy.” What does that mean anyway?

Think of someone else for a change, like your spouse, and his/her happiness, instead of only your own. Me, me, me, me, me. It seems like that’s all anyone thinks about anymore. Just my opinion, my rant for the day. Yes, cheating and exiting is worse, but exiting itself is wrong, especially in a long-term marriage, absent real justification, and that does not mean your “unhappiness.”

Zip
Zip
11 months ago
Reply to  CBN

They do special math. Their happiness = 100
Their spouse’s, children’s and other family involved, all combined = 1.5
Furthermore everyone should want them to be happy because THEY deserve it. Only THEY deserve to be happy, regardless of the cost to everyone else.

Chumpadellic
Chumpadellic
11 months ago

No way do I believe Mr Compliments has never cheated on his wife.
He’s the Poster Boy for Fuckwits.