‘I Survived Two Divorces and a Car Jacking’ An Interview with Dave Jackson

Source: Schoolofpodcasting.com

Funny how you never realize how many chumps are out there in the world until you’ve been chumped yourself. They show up in the darnedest places.

Last August, I was at the Podcast Movement conference, and I heard OG podcaster Dave Jackson speak. He’s something of a rock star in the podcasting world as the founder of the School of Podcasting. (Which started in 2005, eons in podcasting years).

I asked this elder statesman of podcasting a question, and he asked me a question about Tell Me How You’re Mighty. “What kind of mightiness are we talking about?” And I said, “leaving cheaters and gaining a better life.”

He says: “Oh, that happened to me!”

And proceeds to tell me a funny/tragic chump story. Just totally open about it. Zero shame. I realize there is a certain comfort level among self-identified chumps, but for a guy? Men, in my experience, don’t talk about being cheated on. They lurk. They maybe tell their brother. But they don’t blithely share the mortifying details with a random stranger they’ve just met.

But Dave did. Probably because a) he’s a mensch. b) He’s achieved enough success and distance to talk about it. And c) he’s an educator. As he would tell you, if someone can learn from his experience, he’s happy to help.

I said of the funny/tragic chump story: “That’s mighty. You should be on our podcast.”

Half joking. Because, folks, we had like five finished episodes at this point. Hardly a book-a-rock-star resume.

Dave said yes!

Two Divorces and a Car Jacking

And here we are today. You can listen to Dave’s story here. I won’t give the whole two divorces and a car-jacking suckfest away, but one salient detail of his particular chump horror story is that his then-wife cheated while they were going through fertility treatments and had spent every last dime on IVF, hoping for a child.

Later, we asked Dave to weigh-in on the FW of the Week — a guy who disappeared while his wife was in labor.

When Sarah and I told him about FW of the Week before the recording, his jaw literally dropped. On the podcast, he says, “My mind is still buffering.” And later, “I can’t believe this guy. I would give anything to experience this.”

A chump reached out to me after listening on Patreon to say it was affirming and healing to hear Dave’s reaction. Because he was naturally horrified. We get so jaded with these chump stories, it’s easy to forget that men who abandon pregnant women are aberrant. The mind SHOULD buffer.

We were not Dave’s usual podcast guest experience. We didn’t talk about microphones or RSS feeds. We talked instead about messy relationships, the bullet that missed, and better lives.

And if anyone in CN is interested in starting a podcast, I can make a personal plug for Dave’s podcast on podcasting, The School of Podcasting, and the program with the same name.

Thanks for the humor and grace, Dave.

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Mr Wonderfuls Ex
Mr Wonderfuls Ex
6 months ago

Divorce stinks. But staying with a cheater is infinitely worse. I told myself this as I was curled up in a ball feeling miserable to my stomach with an unrelenting headache last night. It will be so much better when FW finally leaves. He is going to drag DS8 and I through dealing with him in-house through the holiday season at this rate. No scurrying away like a timid forest creature. He is standing tall and proud in his cheating. Zero shame.

But TWO divorces and a car jacking? That’s damn mighty. And he sounds like he is actually OK! Hope is what I need in abundance right now. Not hopium but some faith that this will get better. That others have survived and thrived and so will I.

Chumpapalooza coming this weekend keeps me going. I need to be uplifted.

ChumpedForANewerModel
ChumpedForANewerModel
6 months ago

Hang in there. My EXFW tried to do the “in home” separation thing as well. He hung oin for almost six months and tried every stunt he could to get me out of the marital home. He tried calling the police to tell them I was threatening him. Fortunately, the police did not believe him and his behavior was so odd that they felt they had to de-escalate him. Once that report went to my lawyer, he was out very quickly. Naturally, he was flaunting his cheating the whole time while he was there with constant video calls, taking vacations and so on.
I was luck that he was no tech savvy and left so much evidence on shared accounts including receipts, pictures (on my 27 y/o son’s photo account), videos (ye pics and videos of them doing the deed). Once we were at the settlement conference, the evidence was brought out and the retired judge that presided advised him to settle ASAP. I got the money back that he had spent and a very good settlement. Overall I got 58% and I was okay with that (FW could not touch my retirement or pension). The retired judge thought I would get more if it went to court but by that time, I did not want to invest any more in attorneys and stress for anything additional.
Stay strong for your son. It will get better. It is basically a war and the FW always thinks he will win until he doesn’t. It is one year totally free for me now and almost 3 years since DDay.

Conchobara
Conchobara
6 months ago

My FW remained in the house with me and our 12yo for 9 MONTHS post-DDay while openly dating his child mistress AND taking her on two vacations and spending almost no time with our daughter.

Almost 5 months of him out of the house and it *is* getting better. Our divorce is dragging on because he doesn’t want to spend $$ or give me $$ (after spending hundreds of thousands on his cheating), but life is so much better with him gone. I had to deal with the holidays with him in the house last year, too. But it won’t always be this way.

Hang in there, friend.

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
6 months ago

You know what blows my mind….the amount of hateful character disordered people out there that say we chumps (either male or female) should have done better picking a “partner”. When I say hateful, I mean horridly hateful, cruel, mean and then barf up their “successful” marriage as if they are omnisciently and magnificently superior. These are obviously the same ultra conservatives who are hateful and cruel about the LGBTQ community, demand that divorce should be harder, and child support should be less or none at all. This also describes a lot of the same type of character disordered that would walk out on their wife during labor. (Btw, this happened to my sister during labor as well and then a week after the baby was born her FW left her, my niece, and newborn nephew to runoff in the sunset with smoochie….cough cough, FW and smoochie are divorced and have been for years. He didn’t pay my sister a dime and totally abandoned his kids.)

Normal people stop and process these horror stories with empathy and sympathy but it’s shocking the amount of people that don’t and instead immediately judge the chump.

NJ Survivor
NJ Survivor
6 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

My mother blames me, even with overwhelming proof that he was at fault. And, people at church make the same silent judgement. He went to church for years. His pastor thought he was a great person. I was told I should have had a PI check him out.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

Where does the victim-blaming end, right? Do blamey bystanders think abusers wear signs on their foreheads? Do they consider that some of the professions that harbor the highest rates of domestic abusers are helping and “rescuing” professions because abusers wear seamless disguises, mostly that of “hero”? Do bystanders consider that one of the biggest problems that many victims have in escaping abusers is that the social contexts tend to passionately defend abusers and think of abusers as the “best people ever”? Do bystanders consider that, by the time victims catch a hint that they’re with an abusive person, they’ve already been wrapped up in a barbed wire web of coercive control and getting out is going to cost them dearly?

I think the costs are more clear within violent situations but, shockingly, even then bystanders tend to be pretty blamey. When I did advocacy, we’d hear from bystanders who’d say about a victim who was killed, “If she’d left ten years ago, she would still be alive!” On the surface it seems a little sympathetic since at least the bystander is conceding the victim shouldn’t have been killed but, all the same, it’s an incredibly ignorant and arrogant thing to say. Given the reality of DV and the fact that victims are 74 fold more likely to be killed within two weeks of escaping and 60 fold more likely to be killed in the first two years after escaping, it’s arguable that, had the victim tried to leave ten years earlier, they might have been dead ten years earlier. So even if *maybe* the victim could have escaped successfully and stayed safe, there’s no cause for bystanders to be as glib as they are.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
6 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

The one cool thing about being single again is that you get to hear and see the man behind the curtain and realize many marriages are not in that great of shape,

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
6 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

The victim blaming isn’t isolated to one side of the political / cultural spectrum. I see a lot of it on reddit, amongst the younger, more liberal leaning crowd that love to bash victims of infidelity. However, their argument is that they waited longer to get married, dated more before settling down, they are more self-aware, and therefore they couldn’t be duped like some rural, country bumpkin that got married young because that’s what their church told them.

It’s the same defense mechanism in a different outfit.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
6 months ago
Reply to  CurlyChump

Their argument is so illogical, I just laugh when I hear and see that one come up. Marrying later doesn’t guarantee anything, only that you married later.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

I married at 34, after many years of therapy. He was 38 and had a graduate degree in psychology. I thought these were protective factors. Turns out I was dead wrong.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago
Reply to  CurlyChump

Yep, doesn’t matter the politics, religion or which grocery store they shop at, blaming the chump is the universal self protection that kicks in for ignorant folks. Well I am a good spouse and I chose well so it won’t happen to me. Until it does.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Interestingly, I believe it’s the same mindset that blames a cancer victim for having cancer. When I was undergoing treatment for my cancer, numerous people (even some who should have known better) asked me what I did to *cause* my cancer. Whatever they thought caused the cancer, they didn’t do that so they were safe. They wouldn’t get cancer.

And when I left my abusive husband and shouted to the rooftops that I left him because he attempted to murder me, I got many questions from people (including some therapists) about what I might have done to cause him to act that way. People drew conclusions — they didn’t do whatever, so they were safe from ever being in an abusive relationship.

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. My breast cancer came in part from a bad gene. You cannot control that.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago

You know that brings to mind an incident years ago when I was having a coughing fit in a book store. Not the same as cancer but I had asthma, and sinus issues that we were working on controlling, but still having coughing issues. Anyway there was a couple standing in front of us, and after my coughing issue (I was very polite about it) the woman said folks just keep smoking.

I couldn’t help myself, I looked straight at her and said for the record I have never smoked a day in my life, it isn’t always about smoking.

Really pissed me off. What it likely was was something I was smelling in the store, could have even been the perfume of the idiot that said it.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

It’s sometimes called the “just world fallacy.” It goes something like “God is in his heaven and the world is safe and just because God protects the good and punishes the bad. Ergo, since I’m a good person, bad things can’t happen to me and if something bad happened to you, you must have caused it.” It’s pretty much a form of Calvinism.

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
6 months ago
Reply to  CurlyChump

Jeeez…..that’s scary! Especially coming from the younger crowd when they are the generation who is touted as more “accepting”.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

It’s because they’re being raised by Google and TikTok and mass media which, if you really pay attention to subtext (or read Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent”), generally has an insidiously victim blaming message. I think the reason for this is obviously that the media is sponsored and controlled by corrupt corporations and other corrupt powers that be that regularly victimize people and cover it up.

Youthful gadget addiction reminds me of the old East German republic where kids were trained to be informants against their own parents. I just had a long conversation with a friend who’s been in crisis for a few months because his two young sons are behaving terribly. This friend and his wife– both of whom are lovely, intelligent, conscientious people– are pulling their hair out and don’t understand what happened to their kids. They were all going to child therapists together but the advice was always to just give the kids more “freedom” since the kids “needed to individuate.” It sounded like Perelism has even taken over pediatric psych!

This friend was explaining all of this with a haunted look and exhausted posture so I sort of breached my usual rule about not foisting parental advice and asked him what would happen if he just took the kids devices and gadgets away. He looked shocked like he’d never considered it and asked, “Is it okay to do that?” He thought that only evangelical right wingers did this to shield their kids from sex, evolutionary science and climate change information. He didn’t know it was okay for political liberals to do the same to both break the cycle of addiction as well as to teach their kids to read between the lines of other types of bs– like Pornhub and neoliberal propaganda and subtle warmongering and victim-blaming.

So I told him the story of how I did just that when my kids were about the same ages as his. It was after some rich cousin gave all the kids ipads for Christmas that I felt things were getting way out of hand. The kids had turned into scrolling junkies and their behavior was becoming impossible. First I went around and informed all my neighbors what I was doing and that, if they heard screams and shit breaking in our house, it wasn’t because of violent carnage but simply because I’d decided the kids were only going to get two hours of screen time a week, every minute of which they’d have to earn with chores, homework, reading books on the list I created and good attitudes.

Thank God the neighbors all understood and didn’t call the cops because the sounds of bloody murder coming out of our house for a week would have raised the dead. I even bought a pair of Bose sound-cancelling headphones for the project and I really ended up using them. Then after a week, everything started calming down. Chores, homework and reading got done with little complaint. Attitudes improved. And even better, the kids started really delving into creative projects and started asking ME to be their “news feed” and TikTok. First we started extemporizing crazy stories at bedtime and the kids with invent their own chapters. Then eventually every night before bed, the kids would grill me over history, politics, sociology, etc. Bedtime would take hours and sometimes I’d have to study up to be able to answer the kids’ questions.

That was the most curious part of it– how genuinely hungry children are to understand the world which is exactly how media ends up performing a kind of mind control by filling that need with often expurgated bs. But without their gadgets to drip feed propaganda, the kids were actually willing to read heavy duty nonfiction books on politics, evolution, etc. We were watching documentaries on all sorts of stuff. I had no idea how really interested the kids were in these things.

Anyway, that’s how I reclaimed my post as the “hand that rocks the cradle.” I even think it’s one of the reasons my kids were among the few who didn’t get depressed during Covid lockdowns. Sort of like the old computer acronym “GIGO” for “garbage in/garbage out,” I think bad information and expurgated history– even if it’s subtle skewed– can make people– especially the young– mentally sick and depressed. And it’s not like if we as parents don’t have a hands-on approach to teaching kids critical thinking that someone *else* (mainly crappy global corporations) won’t have their hands all over our kids’ minds. I want my kids to “individuate” and rebel at some point but I want them to do it intelligently, not stupidly.

Anyway, this friend listened to my story and got all fired up saying he was going to buy his wife and himself “his and her” Bose headphones and a couple white helmets and start planning their coup d’etat. I wished him luck.

ChumpedForANewerModel
ChumpedForANewerModel
6 months ago

Wow, that is some Mightiness!!!
I know generally men do not talk too much about their chump experience but at least they come here. Before I discovered CL and CN, I have never really heard about men telling their cheater stories (I knew it happened because FWs some in all flavors).
I have been dating a fellow chump and I never knew he was a chump until I emotionally vomited on him during COVID when I had my first and second DDay. Once we started going back to work, I sought him out and apologized profusely. It wasn’t until then they he said that he had been chumped years ago by his wife (long story). I knew then that he fully understood what I was going through. A few months later, he asked me out and I accepted. We have a very comfortable relationship, and it is progressing slowly but very nicely. It is so calming and relaxed. We both have sons, and they are only a year apart in age and they get along as well. I just can’t believe what a reciprocal relationship is like. It is pretty easy, and any differences are talked out and resolved without drama. No walking on eggshells.
The early days are just really hard and I feel for all chumps who have to go through the process but in the end the reward is freedom and peace. No longer walking on eggshells was the best part for me! Once the FW is gone, you can heal and live your life. I started my healing journey as soon as I filed and FW fled the house. It took longer than expected to get settled and it was a struggle but after almost two years it was over. Once I got the finalized papers, I was able to get to meh. Of course, FW still emailed me after making the last of the money transfers to me. I turned that into a girls night where we read the emails, drank wine and made up UBT translations of his emails which we then burned. It was fun!!!
Life is good on the other side. All new chumps need to know that it is a horrible process but you do get through it. Channel your Mightiness and lose a FW and find peace!!! You can do this!!

MotherChumperNinetyNine
MotherChumperNinetyNine
6 months ago

There are so many new chumps who are grasping at anything to keep the abuser… that was me. I was terrified to leave. Abject terror and it made no sense— here was a guy who was physically and emotionally abusing me and I had proof of his current cheating and he had zero remorse and blamed ME! yet, I had 25 years of sunk costs, I was blindsided and still loved the man I thought he was, 4 kids, a lifestyle I couldn’t afford. But I left and just like Dave, survived! Thrived even. It’s been 9 years since Dday. I thank God I found CL and got away!

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago

Mine hadn’t physically abused me, but in the year of discard he got progressively nastier and nastier to me. I honestly am amazed years away from it that i just kept thinking he was going to snap back to the person I knew. I was basically in the metaphoric fetal position.

Thank god someone filed an ethics complaint against him and he had to start ass kissing and trying to save his job.

I think for many of us (certainly me) for a while things are so foggy. I never took any recreational drugs, but I saw them depicted on TV and the hallucinations kind of remind me of the confusion I was going through during the worst part.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Yeah, I look back at the radical 180 that FW did while cheating and, in moments I wonder why I didn’t immediately bolt and retain an attorney, I remember that I was in so much shock I could barely tie my own shoes for about a year. It was only after the smoke cleared that I started getting back into reading about feminism and DV advocacy and realized that an entire new movement to legislate against coercive control and subviolent abuse had sprung up while I was busy raising kids. I didn’t understand what had been happening to me but then neither did most of the world at that point because it’s all relatively new information. I didn’t have a real conception of how subtle threats and coercion can entrap people.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
6 months ago

The lack of shock at aberrations like walking out on a pregnant spouse or (the extreme) disappearing while the wife is in labor is common even among new chumps. We see this all the time on the Reddit site, where chumps are shocked and angry but at the same time blaming themselves for not doing enough to save the marriage.

Nope. It’s aberration. It’s horrifying. It’s not natural or decent.

NJ Survivor
NJ Survivor
6 months ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Try cancer. I read in a newspaper article, and haven’t been able to verify it, though the oncologist told me it was not uncommon, that the rate is 70% of women with cancer have their husband leave. I also don’t think it that high, but high. My husband told me I was “too sick” for “too long”.

2xchump
2xchump
6 months ago

Guys get so embarrassed, it probably has something to do with their virility..? But no one is safe. I bet Dave’s wife could say she was helping out with infertility treatments and getting additional planting material. Hey, that could work!!! These people can blameshift like Henry the VIII. I will listen to the podcast today but had to comment asap. Chumps are everywhere!

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

I think there is some hesitation in males to talk about it, men are not supposed to be abused, they are the abusers in relationships, and I think society tends to look at a cheated-on male as weak.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Josh– I think that the idea of men being “cuckolded” has become even more weaponized these days and, furthermore, is laced with the not-so-subtle message that *real men* are *supposed to be* abusers. https://www.gq.com/story/why-angry-white-men-love-calling-people-cucks

It scares the crap out of me because it’s definitely a step backwards, not just for women but for men as well. For instance, guess which gender of children are most at risk within domestic violence situations? Boys. When child abuse happens concurrently with DV (as it does in about 84% of cases) boys are injured and killed at considerably higher rates than even female children.

There’s something really weird going on politically these days.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
6 months ago

I don’t think it’s politically as much as it is culturally, which then spills into politics as the sexual roles in society are at an inflection point, it’s not good for both. Both are facing the wilderness and what it means to be human. It’s an interesting time.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

You make a good point– not sure which comes first, the chicken or the egg. But it’s clear that this faction is eventually politicized as “useful idiots.” In the US and in my adopted “other country,” the wacky Andrew Tate types and Incels are coalescing with violent neofascists and all are being heavily funded from some of the same sources and steered like a bunch of (useful) brainless puppets to rally around this or that extremist candidate or policy. And all of it is smelling decidedly totalitarian.

There’s also such a thing as totalitarian left and that mob can end up acting exactly the same but, at least in the west, that element doesn’t seem as well funded or fired up at present.

Whether left or right wing, there’s something apey and rapey about totalitarianism, like a return to primitive roots that seems to attract young and dumb dudelets.

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

I actually think a lot of cheating women are trying to get pregnant – even if unconsciously – by the AP. This, to me, is why there are so many pregnancies by female FWs who should be using birth control but they just don’t. How to explain this beyond just passion of the moment – many of them plan these affairs pretty carefully so it ain’t that. IMO, on some level, they WANT to get pregnant and they want to be pregnant by that male. It’s a biological thing that we don’t acknowledge because we are so uncomfortable with the animal side that drives so many of us.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Good point, I think one thing that strongly defines narcissists and other Cluster B types is a tendency to “externalize evil” to other people and deny any of their own dark animal traits which, because they are totally denied, tend to fester and grow out of control. In other words, people who deny their own human fallibility will ultimately be ruled by their worst subconscious drives.

In psychology, the behavior can be called “splitting”– defining others as either “all good” or “all evil” with no shades of gray in between. The interesting thing is that “externalizing evil” also defines cult ideology and differentiates it from non-cult types of faith and ideology. In a political sense, “splitting” mirrors “Manicheanism.” Read Chris Hedges “When Atheism Becomes Religion” for a fascinating breakdown of what constitutes cultish and “Manichean” belief systems. Hedges applies this equally to both religious cults and existential cults and then draws the parallel to totalitarian political doctrines which are all “existential cults of salvation” dividing humanity into black and white divisions of all good and all evil (though the “splitting” in totalitarianism is justified with junk science, not theology).

I find it mind blowing to consider that narcissism in individuals might actually be a reflection of a larger political construct and vice versa.

luckychump
luckychump
6 months ago

There is a strong recurrent theme of FWs either starting their infidelity during their spouse’s pregnancy or outright abandoning their spouse and children right after child birth. Trust that they suck.

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago
Reply to  luckychump

I’ve seen this repeatedly in stories. To me, it’s about refusing to be an adult and wanting to stay a kid forever….not growing up. Children also make a relationship permanent – you have a permanent tie to this person you made the child with. To me, it’s about rejecting both that permanence and maturity. Much of the psychological movement from a baby to an adult is about learning to care for others, having responsibility for them, learning to deal with the future instead of living in a permanent present. Delaying self gratification for a more permanent way of life that lasts into the future and can become generational. It’s typical of the cheater who will not grow up or think of others. Even those cheaters who don’t bail during pregnancy frequently are not fully available for their kids and basically leave them to the spouse to raise.

Wormfree
Wormfree
6 months ago

Funny that this brought back memories I had conveniently forgotten about.
Not looking for sympathy, just pointing out how strong spackle can be.
I drove myself to the ER during a miscarriage because the worm was MIA.
I called my sister-in-law to drive me to the hospital to deliver our second child because the worm was again MIA.
Luck of the draw he happened to be there for the birth of our first child.
It amazes me that I just forgot these two facts.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  Wormfree

Trauma impacts memory. Apparently we either get sharp, intrusive recall of events in which we needed to be completely alert to survive of fuzzy memory over vaguer (but often just as painful) threats to survival. It all sucks.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago

Wow, like Dave I also drove decisions that ended up causing periods of separation in the marriage followed by FW suddenly plunging into hardcore alcohol abuse, hanging out with the barfly crowd, keeping a bottle in his bottom drawer at work and having an office affair with another alcoholic.

I don’t take even a teeny, tiny sliver of responsibility for the cheating even if FW couldn’t handle being temporarily left alone. His inability to be by himself is part of the very serious “reactive attachment disorder” syndrome that FW had before he met me– one he didn’t own and didn’t seek help for like a grown-ass adult should. He wasn’t even inspired or moved to put his pathological “lack of object permanence” into perspective by the fact that taking the kids to live part of the year in another country was literally a life saving choice to access specialized medical care for our chronically ill middle child. Dave’s ex wasn’t able to put into perspective that temporary separations were driven by Dave working overtime to fulfill her dream of being a mother. If those mitigating conditions couldn’t inspire FWs to get a grip, it’s proof that nothing could.

While I think Dave is very generous to consider his “part” in lack of communication in his first marriage or that he wasn’t “cherishing” enough, I doubt it would have made any difference. I suspect Dave would have ended up not just the guy who got cheated on while working overtime to fulfill his ex-wife’s dreams of being a mother, he would have been the guy who got cheated on while doing that *and* being “cherishing.”

Ask some of us chumps who were “cherishing” to a fault. It just ends up being part of the big nasty prank. If anything, I look back at the period when FW was cheating and feel proud of myself the rare times I hung up on him or withdrew or said eff off because those were perfectly reasonable responses given what FW had secretly been doing at the time and clearly my gut instincts were working on my own behalf once in awhile. What I regret now is actually *having* been such a supportive sap for most of the affair.

It’s all about perspective. And usually, the more information you have, the clearer that perspective is. I get the feeling about the only advantage Dave could have gotten out of going to therapy with his ex might have been finding out that his ex had likely been engaging in flirtations and trawling men from the time they were first dating and that, if she hadn’t managed to cheat earlier, it was only because no one was that interested. Maybe female cheaters have an easier time finding affair partners than male cheaters, but I’m not sure she-cheaters have an easier time finding anyone who’s not completely disgusting and scary. I think no FW — even a rock star FW (I worked in media and it’s true)– ever manages to score with their first draft picks and all have to settle for muskier, tackier and more bedraggled options.

Chumps may only find out about *successful* bouts of cheating but I assume it’s the rare FW– male or female– who’s going to brag about all the many, many rejections they face in the course of trawling the meat market. FW in my case was one of the “rare” cases who confessed to the failures and it was quite eye-opening. It made it crystal clear that, contrary to FW’s accusations, it hadn’t been me undermining his pea sized ego all along but the fact he kept batting out with randos over the years, lol. It’s also very reassuring about humanity in general to know that not everyone in the world is a home-wrecker and a lot of people are icked out by married people– even relatively physically attractive ones– who screw around. In any case, that’s the only thing of slight value I got out of the time I wasted in couples counseling. Temporary separations in the marriage only provided the “excuse” and opportunity that FW had always been looking for to really dig to the bottom of the barrel long enough to find anyone sick and desperate enough to bonk him. I felt exonerated by that knowledge because it was clear that no matter how loving or “cherishing” or “cOmMuNiCaTiVe” or flamingly attractive or “there” chumps are, cheaters gonna trawl and cheaters gonna cheat.

I’m convinced this is because the capacity to cheat is like “Manchurian candidate” training– a peculiarity built into some people from childhood and, regardless of circumstances, their “training” will eventually kick in and they’re going to betray because they need to betray. They weaponize sex because they’ve only known sex as a weapon and reenacting these traumas (with someone else as the victim) is almost like a cult ritual. But like most criminal-ish compulsions such as kleptomania, something that might start from childhood trauma or lack of trust ends up being perpetuated by a kind of sleazy reward system. The sneaking, duper’s delight and attention from fellow creeps become their own rewards.

I think if we were all perfectly objective alien beings standing back and looking at behavior like this from a detached perspective, average FWittery would simply seem baffling and pathetic, like seeing someone with a pantry full of food at home compulsively picking gum off the subway floor and chewing it.

2xchump
2xchump
6 months ago

I just listened and Dave sounded sweet though still connected with his cheater..*sigh*… That would be like having playdate appointments and meeting up with the cheater to chat so the kids can see mommy and daddy together. I wouldn’t date Dave if he was still doing that with his X but I get it completely. No Contact is all that broke me of a very abusive connection and I’m at peace. I know plenty of “friend” cheater Chump couples and I stare at them in shock. My first cheater left me on the delivery room table after naming my daughter after his AP. I had called him for hours to take me to the hospital but he was with his ap. I was high risk and coukd have ruptured my uterus if I had not gotten to the hospital. My first cheater also let me go through a miscarriage alone and never came for my D&C. So I will never go to the park with him and we are no contact 35 years. My second cheater is very disturbed with many women and married 8 weeks after our divorce, taking monogamous vows again. No Contact 1 year. I wish I could make friends of these guys but it would not be good for me. I think Dave was lovely and mighty and a gem to interview as a man and a Chump..thank you for a breath of fresh air in his end story.
By the way, Sarah can say every swear word but it comes out sounding like sugar crystals. How do those English lasses pull that LUVELY accent off. CHEEEETAH…foookwirth…just beautiful.

Cam
Cam
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

I didn’t understand keeping in touch with his ex either – and 20 years later to boot! You couldn’t pay me to keep in touch with any of my abusive exes.

hush
hush
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

Yes! And as AlloutofKibble frequently & hilariously often said, “No Contact is the path to truth and light! Go into the light!”

As a lady who has gone No Contact with my parents, my mother’s entire enabling side of the family, all of my exes, all fence-sitting Switzerland jagoffs, all forgiveness trolls, and all of the known liars and manipulators I possibly can – let me just say No Contact is practically a lifesaving and sanity-protecting creed to me at this point.