Is This an Emotional Affair?

emotional affair

“Is this an emotional affair?” Or just a really bad boundary? People often write to ask me if I think some shady evidence is an emotional affair. Or if emotional affairs are as bad as physical affairs. I have a couple answers to this.

1.) It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what you find acceptable.

If someone is devaluing you and you don’t feel safe and cherished in your relationship? That’s enough. You don’t need the hooker receipts. That said, most people tend to go down the rabbit hole for more evidence.

2.) It’s probably a physical affair.

Adults have sex.

Here’s a part of a letter I got previously on the subject, with a bit of a deeper dive on this common question.

Dear Chump Lady,

I had been with my husband for 17 years and married 11 of those years. I found him emotionally cheating three times before and I chose to continue the relationship not realising I was being gaslighted and manipulated.

I went down the If-I-Just-Fix-This-About-Me path and boy was he good at finding ways to blame me for him choosing to step away from our marriage. The good ol’ “We’re just friends, I am allowed to have friends.” Or the one that sticks with me: “Why should she lose a friend because you don’t feel comfortable? You’re just making it something it isn’t because you are trying to stop me having friends.”

He would take time off work to have “just friends” lunches, but would be angry at me for suggesting we both play hooky and have a date. He would get annoyed and say we can’t afford to do that, I can’t lose my job. He would sneak around to talk to her and message her, delete all interactions so couldn’t see the texts or call logs.

He stopped using social media to connect with her, as I ended up with his log in details due to the first infidelity.

Each time he would minimise it, then saying course I blocked her, and don’t talk to her, she means nothing to me. But then go right back. The list goes on and I could probably fill pages.

The latest one, I don’t know how, but I woke up and said no to his narrative and no to his blaming.

I noticed your book had a lot of discussion surrounding the choices of the cheater committing sexual infidelity, but not so much regarding emotional affairs.

My question is, what is your opinion on emotional affairs? Do you think they are just the same amount of betrayal?

Sincerely,

Duped and chumped four times

***

Dear DUCFT,

I don’t have a betrayal scale. This is one of those “How many cheaters can dance on the head of a pin?” questions. There’s only one question —

Is this relationship acceptable to you?

You keep chasing what you think he’s up to, with phone tracking and his login details. You keep weighing “friend” versus “fuckbuddy” on your own betrayal scale. Oh, friend? Well, then proceed.

Instead of stepping back from this whole clusterfuck and asking yourself: Do you WANT a partner who continually steps out on his marriage? Who would rather invest in his “friends” than his partner of 17 years? Do you want to keep eating rejection for breakfast?

Fuckbuddies are furtive. “Emotional affairs” are in your face. Yeah, you’re not as interesting as my co-worker’s texts. Oh, I’ve got plans Wednesday through Tuesday, that don’t involve you. Yeah, I’d rather spend my disposable income on people who mean nothing to me, versus you, who mean LESS than nothing.

Is that the marriage you want?

He’s devaluing you. He gets off on it. He keeps doing it. Whether he dips his wick, well, that adds another layer of abuse, because physical affairs risk a chump’s health. But it’s all abuse, if you ask me, which you did.

You know he is “gaslighting and manipulating” you — isn’t that enough? Do you need more of a reason? You have a partner who will not deal honestly with you, with whom you do not feel safe or trust. Those issues are deal breakers every bit as much as physical betrayal.

I went down the If-I-Just-Fix-This-About-Me path and boy was he good at finding ways to blame me

Where’s his self-improvement? You okay being the only person examining themselves about HIS issues?

We’re just friends, I am allowed to have friends.”

Translation: You’re Not the Boss of Me. This is some DARVO shit — he’s flipping it so he’s the victim of your authoritarian Friend Police regime.

Sure, he’s allowed whatever he wants. Doesn’t mean you have to stick around for it. He’s not entitled to your continued presence in his life.

“Why should she lose a friend because you don’t feel comfortable?”

Translation: Her feelings are more important than your feelings. Also, he imagines this woman would be just crushed without his friendship. Crushed! (God, the delusions of cake-eaters.) Again, this is more DARVO shit. She’s the victim of your Unwarranted Jealousy.

“You’re just making it something it isn’t because you are trying to stop me having friends.”

More self-pity mindfuckery. If you were dealing with an honest broker (you’re not), you could have a legitimate conversation about together time, and feeling neglected, but recognizing each other’s needs for socializing. But he’s not asking questions about how any of this makes you feel — he’s going on the offensive. Why?

Because he’s not interested in how any of this makes you feel. He does, however, enjoy the power trip of withholding and rejecting you. (And shady is as shady does. Deleting messages? Going back for more, four times that you KNOW of? Secret lunches? Yeah, it’s probably a physical affair.)

I think you should have a long and meaningful conversation with a divorce lawyer. If your husband wonders what’s up, say, “Why should he lose a client because you feel uncomfortable?”

Then serve him.

He’ll have so much more time for his friends.

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Spoonriver
Spoonriver
2 years ago

I hate how we allow fuckwits to waste our time. The behavior is hard and confusing at first to get your head around only because we would never do it.

Orlando
Orlando
7 months ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

I hate it too! I actually know people who recognize disrespect from the get-go & deal with it right away (usually kicking someone to the curb). I would have loved to have that superpower (I do have it now) when I was younger. What was their secret???

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

They probably had families that modeled and taught them self respect and that it’s okay to leave somebody who is unkind to you. I’d wager that was not the case with most chumps.

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

This. So much, this. I recall complaining to my dad how my brother treated me disrespectfully (snapping, ordering, dismissing) and dad giving the old “you’re too sensitive” line. I replied, “J doesn’t treat me like that.” Dad said, “J’s too nice to you.”

So I was raised, quite literally, to put dicky treatment from my inner circle over my right to be treated kindly. Not a far stretch, therefore, when I was getting emotionally/verbally abused in first romantic relationship, to see why I kept reuniting soon as the channel changed. I always knew what disrespect looked and felt like, but as Orlando described above, I wasn’t raised to treat it as a Dealbreaker. That, I learned from George K. Simon.

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
2 years ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

I learned my new golden rule from this site:

“If I would never do it to you, I don’t have to take it from you.”

Can you imagine how these asshats would feel if their chumps start up with lots of too-intimate FRIENDS and neglected the asshat’s cake eating needs? They don’t have the empathy required to see their own damage from playing that game and would simply add your FRIENDS to the list of reasons you are so awful and use it justify their cheating all the more. This is a game you can’t win and should exit.

BTW, that new golden rule works awesome with bad neighbors, co-workers, and flying monkey relatives, too.

MissMeWithThatBS
MissMeWithThatBS
2 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

Shit, my FW hated when anything took too much time away from his cake. I was attempting to run a business that he worked for (until that was Too Hard), so it involved my working at a computer 20 feet away from him for 1 to 2 hours a night. Every. Single. Night. he would ask me how much work I had to do and then be a Sad Sausage when I wasn’t available. Yet, he seemed to have plenty of availability for all the girls he chatted with on various apps. Welp, how’s that working out now??? 🙂

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
2 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

If I would never do it to you, I don’t have to take it from you

WERD !

ChumpyNoLove
ChumpyNoLove
2 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

I have experience of that. My ex wife came home from her weekend of cheating and seen bruises on me that looked like hickies. She started screaming at me and throwing things at me and then punching me. Yet she was caught cheating with near 20 men. Irony.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  ChumpyNoLove

Wow, CNL. I’m sorry to hear that you were abused. Naturally, they are hypocrites. It goes along with entitlement.

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

????

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
2 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

“If I would never do that to you, I don’t have to take it from you.” My goodness if that doesn’t need to be cross-stitched on a throw pillow for my living room, lol!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  CurlyChump

A dear friend who doesn’t have a lot of spare time (three kids and a full-time career) actually sat down to hand-stitch a pillow cover for me with the faux medieval-themed internet meme: “Here lies the field in which I grow my fucks. Behold that it is barren!”

I practically cried when she sent it. I had to rack my brain to come up with an equally epic counter gift, but the most important thing is that I honor her reminder not to give a fuck about things that don’t deserve fucks.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

Ignore this. It’s just a re-post. Funny things happening on the blog today.

Last edited 7 months ago by OHFFS
OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

That’s wonderful!

Chumps, feel free to use this meme I made;

https://imgflip.com/i/830je2

chump no more
chump no more
2 years ago

Need a wall hanging with this sentiment <3

Unstuck
Unstuck
2 years ago

This made my day!

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago

Love love love it!

Here lies the field in which I grow my fucks. Behold that it is barren!

Epic.

Persephone
Persephone
2 years ago

I look at these things the same as bribery is considered in Europe – not only you get prosecuted if you actually bribe/ accept bribe from somebody, but also if you GIVE AN IMPRESSION that you might want/ be about to bribe/ accept bribe from somebody.

But … but … I didn’t do anything!!!! Then you’re an even greater moron than a person who actually bribed/ got bribed. cheated on somebody. You got kicked out (to prison) for nothing.

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
2 years ago

Three years into the relationship, he said he was not attracted to the female study partner from his junior college class.

He said they were study partners because there were no other guys in the class.

We ran into her when we were at a restaurant one day and he oddly avoided her like she was radioactive. His study partner friend.

Then I got a call (landline days) from A GUY IN THE CLASS who wanted to borrow notes from the class.

Then months later he oddly told me, yes, he had been attracted to her

Confused and not having proof of anything physical and having invested a whopping three years, I decided to stay. I decided to marry him at year seven. I decided to start a business with him at year eight. I had a baby with him at year seventeen.

At year 27 I got the proof of physical affairs. Game over. Divorce begun.

Had I known at year three what I know now that I’ve learned here, I would have left at year three, THE FIRST LIE. The LIE was the physical proof I needed and could not heed at the time. The SECRETS, the DECEPTION. Those things are the tell.

The secrets and lies are the giveaway.

I don’t believe this man is “only” having an emotional affair either. And who cares whether the knife someone sticks in my back is emotional or physical? A knife by any other name is still a knife.

All alone in Florida
All alone in Florida
2 years ago

I did the same. My husband cheated on me when our daughter was barely 2 years old. How did I find out? When he gave me an STD. I was 26 years old and gutted and humiliated. I was financially dependent on him and didn’t want to have to go back to NY and live with my parents and suffer the humiliation. Fast forward a few years later( we were a military family) and one day I picked him up from work all he did was float about this one girl who was so awesome and athletic etc. My heart sank, why is he so infatuated with this new person on day one at his new duty station and so for the next two years we fought on an off about it and deep down I knew I couldn’t trust him But I didn’t want to break up our family. Then we move again and I find him looking up an old girlfriend on FB. Why would he do that? abs of course that led to another fight. And then there’s our sons soccer friends mom he becomes totally infatuated with. How did I know? Because he’s race home to take my son to practice so he could stare at her while he runs around the field right in front of me. And now here I am after 27 years of marriage, and he’s flirting with a 20 something at work who is his direct report. She flirts with him and has done right in front of me. Shameless lay. I confront him after she sends him a text message at 8pm and he tried to downplay it. IM over Thai shit, he didn’t giveAF about my feelings. I told him to tell her to stop texting him and he said he did. The thing is I work for the same company and I can stop by his office at any time and he knows this. He does nothing to set boundaries with her. I’ve heard him on their 1:1 weekly interview and she’s was laughing out loud at everything he was saying. He’s egging it on. It’s so pathetic. Our daughter is only a few years younger than this girl. Anyway I offered to go to a counselor and he’s dragging his feet. So I threw him out of the house last night and blocked his number. It feels good but scary. Any advice as to what my next move should be.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
7 months ago

Find a lawyer,file for divorce, and get the best settlement you can. Don’t reconcile. Only communicate if you have to concerning your child. Good luck.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
7 months ago

All Alone, just wanted to say what a mighty move you made! A lot of us stuck around for worse (and it always gets worse with FWs).

Advice, everything FYI said! And buy Tracy’s book if you haven’t already. It lays everything out.

In addition to a lawyer, get a therapist if you can afford one. Having someone to advise on the emotional side will help you not dump those questions on your lawyer (who is not qualified, but will definitely bill you for it).

You will be entitled to his military retirement as long as you were married 10 years while he served. You’ll also get half of his TSP. Some lawyers don’t understand this, so find one that knows how to file the orders for you. My FW tried to gaslight me about the retirement, and my lawyer didn’t know how to do it. I did my research and got it in the separation agreement, but I’m here more than a year after getting my decree, still trying to get the correct documents where they need to go. (Although, and it wasn’t clear but if you served in the military you’ll have to split your retirement accounts too).

FYI_
FYI_
7 months ago

Get. A. Lawyer. 🦈 (That’s a shark — for shark lawyer.)

On the double. So you can get a proper settlement before he gets fired from that job for sexual harassment. Pull a credit report on him while you’re still married. Pull every credit card statement and bank statement that you can find. Get an STD test. Pull the phone records.

Do all of this without saying a word to him. Don’t tip your hand. Get the lawyer pronto.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
7 months ago
Reply to  FYI_

Better advice than I gave.

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
2 years ago

His betrayal involved the infliction of no actual physical injuries. The wounds and the pain I am suffering from are emotional. And it’s off the charts. I often think it would be more honest and more humane and more tolerable if he had actually hit me.

I understand grasping at straws and splitting hairs and making distinctions and all kinds of rationalizations when any kind of betrayal is discovered. It’s mind-bending, soul-shattering pain. Pain that involves no actual physical laying of hands on the victim. And lots of people will join the perpetrators in blaming the victim, exacerbating it. Extreme pain. Not physical (although it can cause physical symptoms).

Physical affair? Emotional affair? “Just” an emotional affair? Here’s a test. Say to yourself, “Hey, this pain I am feeling is ONLY emotional, it’s not physical!” How would it feel if someone said that to you? How does it feel to tell yourself that? Is your pain suddenly no big deal?

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
2 years ago

I used to beg him to just please hit me, if it would make him stop his torrent of verbal and emotional abuse. The bruises from the few times he got violent (no hitting, but shoving and grabbing) healed a lot faster than emotional scars.

My ex swore she was “just a friend” and gave me the whole “why can’t I have friends” speech. Turns out they were having sex the whole time. Don’t believe the “it’s only emotional” line. And anyway, I would have a far easier time forgiving a one night stand than I do forgiving an ongoing emotional relationship. One could be a momentary lapse in judgment. The other is a series of thousands of choices. The choice to put another person before the one you swore to love and cherish. (At this point I have zero tolerance for ANY infidelity, I speak more of my past self.)

AuntBea619
AuntBea619
2 years ago

Ya, Velvet Hammer I too get so angry at the mental abuse suffered by all here. Funny isn’t it that the cheating spouse can commit adultery, lie, cheat, steal, cause physical disease and it’s not against the law, we just accept it as part of being cheated on. But if I so much as shove him on the shoulder he can call for law enforcement and receive protection in the form of law. Laws made by men for men. And we’re worried about is the affair ” just ” emotional!!!!! What a joke on us.

oldcrone
oldcrone
2 years ago

I feel that emotional affairs are much worse than “merely” physical affairs. Ex had plenty of physical affairs, but he also had relationships with some of them. In my situation, the ex and the hamburger whore (final D-Day) had a “marriage” ceremony about three years into the physical affair. They exchanged rings and vows and celebrated their “anniversary” for the next 7 years. All of her family and friends knew that he was married, many of them knew me personally as she was a neighbor and they had been invited into my home.
If ex and whore had just had sex, I don’t think I would have felt the absolute devastation that I felt when I learned how much he had emotionally invested into the relationship.
When you are going off to work each day while your partner is spending his time and money and love with someone else behind your back, there’s not much left for you when you get home at the end of the day. And the lack of affection and support really takes a toll over the decades.
I’m still struggling almost 4 years after D-Day, but I’m still better off without him. I’m trying to give myself the love and support I previously gave him for more than 40 years; it’s not working 100%, but I’m gaining ground.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  oldcrone

Oh you’re most DEFINITELY better off without him! It took me all of 6 years post D-Day to feel absolutely happy. I’m so, so happy that he is no longer in my life. In fact, at this point were I to bump into him, I might actually say, “Thanks for being such a dick and making me finally divorce you!” I did a lot of self reflection over those 6 years and I finally learned to love myself for the person that I am just the way that I am. I decided that if someone doesn’t like me for exactly who I am, then I’d rather be alone the rest of my life than to ever deal with the mindfuck again. I’m at peace. Be patient and be kind to yourself.

2xchump
2xchump
7 months ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

It is interesting to note when people say how much happier I look since my divorce was final.How my face shines. Well if you had been systematically and silently poisoned in small doses over 32 years and suddenly the poisoning is stopped and starts to dissipate, well you would look better too. It might take years to feel better but once the poisoning of lying, gaslighting , STDs, and demeaning stops, you have to get better.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  oldcrone

“When you are going off to work each day while your partner is spending his time and money and love with someone else behind your back, there’s not much left for you when you get home at the end of the day.” And, to justify their actions, many will later cite this lack of time spent together as a reason for fooling around. No, no, no. That’s reverse engineering. The affair caused the rift. A rift didn’t cause the affair. It’s illogical and maddening!

Here’s to gaining ground every year, oldcrone!! Good luck!

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
2 years ago

I totally identify with this (except being invested a few less years). I stil kick myself for not running for the hills at year 3 (pre-marriage) when he had all these female friends to whom he was oh so not attracted, one who showed up on our doorstep at 7AM on a Saturday after driving from 4 states away because she was worrid about him/hadn’t heard from him.

If only I could go back in time and slap myself hard.

Rosie
Rosie
2 years ago

I completely relate, I wish I had walked away when I first found out, and that I just stopped believe all the lies. Justifying it in my mind and being convinced I made it worse than it really was right? I can’t believe the negative self talk I allowed toward myself for so long.

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
2 years ago

https://secureservercdn.net/72.167.241.180/226.c7e.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/The-Secret-Sexual-Basement_7_6_21.pdf?time=1625615316

I’m grateful to our member who turned me on to Dr. Omar Minwalla. This article is a denial-buster. Thanks again!

And a BIG PS….I would not trade my daughter for the world. She is the one good thing that came from my decision to stay with him. I’d rather be me who kept my vows, with her love and trust intact than be untrustworthy him, left with an untrustworthy
dirty secret woman who fucks married men and a daughter whose love and trust he threw away with both hands.

Elderly Chump
Elderly Chump
2 years ago

Another profound YES to this article!!!

Heavy reading.

Reading Cheating in a Nutshell was a good 101 course for me and I am glad I read it first because it is a less traumatic read and written for lay people IMO.

https://www.amazon.com/Cheating-Nutshell-What-Infidelity-Victim/dp/1948158000/ref=sr_1_1?crid=7OQLGZA380P5&dchild=1&keywords=cheating+in+a+nutshell&qid=1628186879&sprefix=cheating+in+a+nu%2Caps%2C211&sr=8-1

It laid the ground work for the Minwalla article which is written in a format, IMO, more designed for professionals working with clients which isn’t to say anything ‘bad’ about it.
It is just more shocking in a sense and readers are warned not read it all in one sitting.

I love that it has definitions for all the behaviors and feelings that I felt for years with Mr. X and that it isn’t at all about blaming the spouse as do other books on sexual acting out.

As CL lady says her often….its changing the narrative by labeling the behavior and describing the results of the behavior on us victims.

Thanks Velvet Hammer for posting this today. I have been wide awake for 2 days now since reading bits of it at a time. 🙂

Chump Marie
Chump Marie
2 years ago

Hi Chump Nation,
I’m also grateful to have been pointed in the direction of Dr. Minwalla’s work in the last couple of days. Thank-you, thank-you to the fellow chumps for this. This is the first, spot-on and specific work that describes what happened to me. It’s so affirming. For years I just internalized the blame for all his online cheating with “friends”. Asshole. What’s been hardest all is how I accepted blame for all my-ex’s misdeeds/disorder. Thus will be the hardest part to over come. That, and trusting any man again, honestly. Seeing what happened clinically does help me immensely-

ChumpDownUnder
ChumpDownUnder
2 years ago

I read this article yesterday and was nodding furiously. I had a full blown breakdown after I finally kicked FW out. Hospitalised twice. I still have nightmares. I’m in a new relationship and I can’t trust fully. Emotionally I feel numb. I had about 6 d-days within 3 months and my whole world was turned upside down. It felt like I’d landed in a different and very cruel planet. I don’t think anyone that hasn’t gone through understands how dangerous this type of abuse is.

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpDownUnder

” I don’t think anyone that hasn’t gone through understands how dangerous this type of abuse is.”

It is dangerous to our mental health. Also, many/likely most of us don’t know just how close we came to being in the news as was Laci Peterson and many just like her. We don’t know how emotionally and verbally abusive he was to her, or for how long, before he killed her. She is the only one who could tell us, and she can’t. He certainly won’t. I hope he rots in prison,.

kimsoverit
kimsoverit
2 years ago

Thank you for this! I just read this paper and it was exactly what I needed. So succinct in describing the scenario I lived through. I feel I want to share it with my adult children, but I’ll hold off mentioning it until we see each other in person. They were deeply affected and were victims as well, feeling something was ‘off’ in the family. That was the Secret Sexual Basement (double life) their father was living and he used them as pawns in the game too. Both kids are in therapy and I wonder how much they’ve downplayed certain aspects of the abuse we all suffered.

ActaNonVerba
ActaNonVerba
2 years ago

OMG. Thank you for the link. I printed all 31 pages, in color, so that I can underline, dog-ear, make margin notes, and completely immerse myself in the wisdom and truth of these words.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago

Thanks for the link.

When we were two years married, he confessed to kissing another woman while at a post-sporting event “drink up” in another country. I forgave that indiscretion. At the time, I was 24/5 years old. He said he was drunk. I bought it. Around this time, I contracted genital warts and never made the connection. He insisted he got those from a patient. As I’ve explained here before, it wasn’t until two years ago (at age 59) that a new female OB/GYN said to me, “He only got genital warts from a patient if he had sex with her.” When I was 24/5, the male military OB/GYN never explained to me that my husband’s excuse was total BS.

At year 25 of marriage, he would fess up to having had sex with that woman from the sports “drink up.” Why did he wait 23 years to tell me? My therapist advised against leaving him because he was young at the time, and I should chalk it up to youthful indiscretion.

After being married for about four years, I found out he went to a female doc’s home “for a tour.” They were alone. I told him that it bothered me and was inappropriate. He said I was “too sensitive” and “imagining things.” He also wondered why I couldn’t dress like her. Tight mini skirt. I bought a body-conscious dress. I exercised like mad. I was a size 2.

Every year, he would go to medical conferences and come home in a bad mood. Meanwhile, I was taking care of three young kids and wondering how he could complain about a trip where he stayed at a hotel, ate at restaurants with colleagues, and listened to talks. It sounded luxurious to me.

Typically, after these conferences, he would complain about my appearance. Here’s a sampling: “Why can’t you do your hair like x (a different female doc)”? “You think you have a nice body, but you don’t.” “Couldn’t you have worn something nice to pick me up at the airport?” (Note: I wore a brand new shirt that chumpy me bought so that I would look nice when I picked FW up at the airport.) Looking back, I think he probably betrayed me on these trips. My therapist speculates that he felt shitty and guilty so, to feel better, had to dump those shitty feelings on me. Hence the attacks. What a way to be?

NONE of that treatment should have been acceptable to me. And yet I stayed.

At year 35, he would fess up to a multiyear (+2.5) affair. I guess I needed evidence of a physical affair to leave.

Of course, I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world, so it’s tough to say I wish I’d left him when he first transgressed, which was before we had kids.

I sometimes beat myself up for being too trusting. I beat myself for not demanding better treatment. Oddly enough, I thought we had a good marriage. Sure, he said shitty things, but he tossed breadcrumbs my way, and they seemed to make up for all the bad treatment. It’s easy for me to look back and shake my head. While living through it, I couldn’t see the problem.

Like all of you, I trusted. And for that, we should be proud, not embarrassed. It’s the FWs who should hide their heads in shame, although they don’t (or do they?). They abused us. They abused our trust. I can hold my head high. And my kids, extended family, friends, and colleagues now know what a low-character, entitled fraud that man is. He’s unmasked. The ones who remain friends with him can have him.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

“I must have got those from a patient” sounds like the kind of lie my XW would tell. It’s not actually a lie – he did get them from a patient! – but he’s well aware that you will misinterpret it to mean that he got them in some innocuous way (not involving sex). You are effectively lied to but he gets to pretend to himself that he told the truth. The technical term is “paltering”.

My XW loves paltering, I think because she gets to believe she’s a truthful person while also misleading me, which is a particular special case of having her cake and eating it too. IMO it’s in some ways more destructive than plain old lies of commission because it subverts the entire concept of language (the assumption that we all want words to have an agreed-upon shared meaning, because we’re all trying together to build a system to accurately convey ideas, thoughts, concepts etc. from one brain to another) but I’ve been told that I overintellectualize.

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago

well aware that you will misinterpret it 

Yup. The last thing they want is to accurately convey anything. Not the present, the past, the future, your strengths, your faults, their secrets, their emotions, their extracurriculars or their responsibility.

Further proof that FW are all the same, while chumps all start out working from a Golden Rule that only gets used against us.

K
K
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Your story sounds so similar to mine. I think of my former spouse as a sperm donor now. If I’d left when the first warning sign revealed itself I wouldn’t have my amazing children. I wish you all the best and happiness without a terrible man in your life.

K
K
2 years ago
Reply to  K

Spinach@35

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

I’m particularly aware of appearance-gaslighting now. I got the reverse– kind of the “Madonna/Whore” incitement to stop dressing up or wearing makeup– but it’s just as damaging. The implication was that I didn’t “have to” wear this or that or wear makeup, never mind that I’d always been a bit of a fashionista related to my job.

He relentlessly, subtly wore me down after years and years of nudging and hints. He particularly objected to my taste in crimson or dark lipstick. When we started having kids and money was tight, I was under even more pressure to put myself last and wore the mom uniform of old jeans, hippie hair and t-shirts with spit-up on them. The major blow was when we moved houses when the kids were tiny and FW pressured me to get rid of all my designer work gear, some of which I could have resold for a small fortune if I’d hung onto it or worn for decades.

After D-Day, I discovered that the AP literally spackled her face with full makeup (she had cystic acne scars) and, because FW was embezzling our marital assets to pay for her lifestyle (bars, booze, bistros, weekend travel extravaganzas), she spent all the money she saved on weekly mall retail splurges for full-priced fast fashion, hideous synthetic lingerie, full salon treatments, etc. I thought she was tacky, dowdy and unhealthy-looking, but the sick part was his warped double message.

Ugh. I admire women who go full natural but it’s just not me. I immediately returned to my former self after that and started rebuilding my fashion collection using a bit of the funds that suddenly appeared because FW could no longer hide assets. Because of my former work, I know where to find serious deals on runway originals and rare vintage, etc., so no need to break the bank and couture lasts forever. I enjoy it, am completely comfortable with it and genuinely do it for myself (or maybe because it sparks up conversations with other women).

The FU to FW was a bonus. The look of shock on FW’s face when he saw me at my lawyer’s office was hilarious and also very telling that his years of “nudging” had, in fact, been a kind of mandate. I’d defied orders. I have no idea whether the resentful side-eyes and slightly bitter little comments he made to me were because I was geared up to “move on”, or because it robbed him of the implied alibi of bystander perceptions that he had the affair because, poor him, he was married to a drudge. Who cares? He sucks. And I like groovy boots, abstract hair, mini skirts and asymmetrical draped Japanese whatever. I’ll probably be dressing like this for the next fifty years and beyond like Vivienne Westwood.

Whatever the “real you” is whether relaxed and natural or fashiony, it’s liberating to return to it once the bullies are out of the picture.

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago

I know this post is two years old, but rock on with your bad self HOAC. Loe the way you put this as a ‘to each hizzer own self be true.’

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Reddy

Love not lie

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Reddy

forget it. Autocorrect hates me.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago

Great story! I also altered my appearance based on FW’s suggestions and, as a single woman, have been going back to the looks that I like.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Yay! Whatever it is, it has to be what you like, not what someone else dictates.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
2 years ago

Amen to that. My work wardrobe included black dress pants, some sharp black jackets, a black pencil skirt. My tastes are more boring middle of the road Ann Taylor, but I was happy with it. My hair would vary between highlighted in summer and dark auburn in winter. Short in summer, then long again, then back, with everything from bobs to pixie cuts.

Then I was told I shouldn’t wear black. And I should keep my hair long. And I looked too butch with shorter hair. A million different little rules for how I should look. And don’t get me started on how much he thought I should weigh….

So yeah, I’m buying black again and getting back to being me. Currently in short, highlighted hair and loving it. I hate that they mold you to an image in their minds and then it turns out the schmoopies are in black or 50 pounds overweight or name whatever rule they had that you could not be. They wanted you to look like and wear X and you did and they STILL cheated. None of the dancing matters.

I’m going to show up in court in all black with short white/blond hair. Watch me.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 years ago

Sounds like they wanted wives who’d remain paralyzed and lying in the fetal position calling their names in our frumpy mom gear.

We had other plans.

I still can’t figure out how I got worn down over the years. It seems insane in retrospect. Was I just avoiding conflict out of exhaustion?

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago

“I still can’t figure out how I got worn down over the years. It seems insane in retrospect. Was I just avoiding conflict out of exhaustion?”

I am sure I did that a lot. I remember thinking, it isn’t worth fighting about, and while sometimes that is certainly true, I know many times; I should have had the fight.

I likely would have been drop kicked a lot sooner, if I had; and it would have been to my benefit.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago

Amazing! I went through the tear-down, also, although I’ve never been as stylish as you sound! The X definitely wanted me to become a drudge, and be under his thumb. Big mistake, to try to stomp on a Scorpio woman.
Now that I’m on my own, I can dress as I please, and it feels so much better.

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

My ex hated make up. When I was younger, I didn’t wear a lot after we were married, a little eye liner and blush. I don’t remember it bothering me, but as I got older and was working I wore more, he didn’t like it, but I did wear it anyway. Not overly as at that time I didn’t really need a lot, but lets face it most of us like to wear it anyway.

His whore didn’t wear any, The reason I know is, I remember once when we were out to dinner once he was talking about whore, and said she knows I don’t like make up. I said, you shouldn’t be talking to your employee about make up, that is none of your business. He just shrugged and said, she knows I don’t like it. Can any one say huge red flag flapping right before you face Susie.

That was one of the first memories I had after I found out who the whore was. That and him trying to force me to buy her a sweater for Christmas. But, by the time the Christmas sweater deal happened, I knew something was up. I flat out walked out of the store after telling him that buying a personal gift for his employee was inappropriate.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

Lol, my daughter is a Scorpio. Look out. 😉

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

You describe a relationship that I had (only I think I only saw size 2 when I was 10 years old.) Same behavior on the FW’s part. I was also accused of being too sensitive and imagining things. Talk about the mindfuck from all of the cognitive dissonance. My military experience with an O-3 counselor resulted in me being told to wear dresses, makeup, and to fix my hair more often. Just more mindfuck. I’m 6+ years post divorce and no longer beat myself up for staying so long (30 years) and wanting to believe the best of the FW. I forgive myself for being so naive and trusting. When you marry someone, you’re supposed to trust him. I now place the blame totally, and I mean TOTALLY, on the fuckwit. Those that still remain his friends are either fuckwits themselves, self-entitled dicks, or have not yet seen behind the mask. As for my sons, they probably don’t know exactly the man their father is; I believe that you only know the devastating results when you’re the one being ‘fucked’ (so to speak.) I was the one being fucked. Their dad was very good at portraying the concerned father and they still have a relationship with him. I don’t begrudge them. I had a dick for a dad and I always wanted a good father/daughter relationship. It wasn’t until my late 50s that I realized that my dad was a dick and was never going to change. That realization didn’t happen until I finally dumped my fuckwit husband (I was age 55) because I finally realized that he was a dick and was never going to change. Once my blinders completely fell off, I was able to start taking off the blinders for everyone around me. Therefore, my sons still want to believe that their dad is a wonderful man. My brother once said to me that he would remain friends with my dick-ex because, “He never did anything to hurt me.” And I reamed him comparing my abuse to someone that got the shit knocked out of her… ‘only my bruises don’t show!’ I’m still confused with the concept of ‘being kind’ were I ever to run into the fuckwit or his skank again. However, I do stick by the concept that not everything you love is good for you. The fuckwit was not good for me.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

“I’m still confused with the concept of ‘being kind’ were I ever to run into the fuckwit or his skank again.”

I think it’s supposed to counter his nasty narrative about you. I guess it’s also a way of being gray rock. Giving him no kibbles, as CL would say.

The way I see it, worrying about whether or not he gets kibbles or if I’m providing evidence for his narrative, is letting him control me. Sometimes it’s just good and righteous to be a bitch.

If that means calling OW a cunt to her face, then so be it. Being kind to sociopaths feels categorically wrong to me. As far as I’m concerned, they deserve whatever I choose to dish (and more), and it’s not my responsibility to make sure anyone who witnesses it feels comfortable either. I will refrain for the sake of my children only. Everyone else can go fuck themselves if they don’t like it.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
2 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

“ Once my blinders completely fell off, I was able to start taking off the blinders for everyone around me.”

Yes! Ever see the movie The Matrix? The world as Neo knew it was actually a manipulation of his senses. Once he saw behind the mask of the world he thought was, he could see the true essence of everything. It’s like The FW Matrix. RIC counselors are like the agents trying to keep chumps in check from finding out the truth. Bamboozling us into thinking that if only we were thinner, prettier, danced harder, the made up world won’t crumble. Then we see the truth and it’s ugly but it’s authentic and worth fighting for. But yes, once the blinders were off I was able to see other FWs. My grandfather was a given but my mother has been a covert narc, also. Suddenly a lot of things make sense. Seeing it changes everything.

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago

I have realised I’ve been surrounded by narcs all my life too, with only a few people who weren’t/aren’t! I think I’ve cut them all out now as the only 2 people close to me are my son and my best friend!
I had a bad nightmare when I was a girl, I can’t remember how old, that I was surrounded by vampires with huge fangs and claws, slowly creeping to wards me and hissing! They weren’t the glam types either, nor even like Christopher Lee’s Hammer Horror Dracula, they were ugly and monstrous, more like Nosferatu, even though I’d not seen it yet at that stage! I can’t help but regard that nightmare as a warning now, my subconscious trying to tell me I was surrounded by narc soul suckers and that I would be for a long, long time! Ugh!
It took a while for my blinkers to come off, and I pray to God they stay off now, but yes, once you see one of them, it does seem you start to see them everywhere and it’s shocking!

K
K
2 years ago

Yes!!

Rebecca
Rebecca
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

To this day, when I think about buying his story of getting crabs from a toilet seat before passing them on to me, I get angry!
We has no way of knowing!

It’s always the lies that make me mad so many years later.

I’m proud of not being a liar.

MexChump
MexChump
2 years ago

Velvet,

Thank you so much for the link to Dr Minwalla’s work. It is the most thorough, comprehensive and on-target description of sexual abuse I have ever encountered.

I will save it to read as often as needed, and share with psychologists, some of whom were well intertioned but clearly didn’t have a grasp on what it means to be on the receiving end of this type of behavior.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago

Hi Velvet, I found Dr. Minwalla a while ago, and his work may have saved my sanity.

I wish every chump in the world would read this.

Dumped: Click on the link Velvet shared, and read Dr. Minwalla’s work. Please.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
2 years ago

Duped and chumped four times,

I’m sorry…. I’m about to lose my shit and it isn’t your fault. CL is being very kind and measured but I’m personally sick of the “emotional affair” defense. WTF is that? It’s really just you deluding yourself and questioning if he’s doing enough to leave him.

There is no “emotional affair.” He is CHEATING on you. He is GASLIGHTING you and saying it’s a “friendship.” He thinks he will continue to get away with it and blaming you for questioning him.

What do you think he’s doing on his “lunches” with a woman? Ignore his words… think about it.

Holy shit… I beg you. Please know he’s been and IS cheating on you. You have every valid reason in the world to divorce him and free yourself from the lies, abuse and gaslighting. I’m so very sorry.

And to everyone else… please stop with the “emotional affair” crap. It’s an affair. They are cheating. PHYSICALLY. Married men & women cheaters don’t just “chat”… they are doing something sexual that crosses far beyond the line of what they promised in their marriage. Even long distance — they are sharing pics and playing with themselves on zooms. If one more person asks about an “emotional affair” I may explode.

Jokesonyoulynnjazzy
Jokesonyoulynnjazzy
2 years ago

Michelleshocked, you are so right! The FW I was married to for over 25 years said the same things to me, she is just a friend, I will have friends, you can’t tell me who I can be friends with. The “friend” was a whore from our church, protected by the preacher of the church because word was they had an affair.

FW married her and became her fourth husband. So thankful she took him off my hands. I would have never believed he would cheat as he was “a pillar” of the church who gave lavishly and could do no wrong. They still attend this so called church.

Run don’t walk to a good divorce attorney now!

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago

I’m horrified by how many times I read about churches being so lenient with unrepentant adulterers, even siding with them over the betrayed spouses! They clearly lack genuine Faith if they do that IMO because there’s a reason God put the commandment against adultery straight after the one against murder- it’s because it does SERIOUS harm!
These so-called “churches” seem to think that breaking marriage vows of fidelity is no worse than letting out a few swears when you stub your toe!

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
2 years ago

CN is the best. You guys (Involuntary Georgian, ChumpQueen, LookingForwardtoTuesday, MotherChumper99…) all calmed my ass down. I think so many times we chumps get so lost in the semantics to continue deluding and gaslighting ourselves (as ChumpQueen said). None of us want to face the truth and take the red pill and see the Matrix. The Matrix sucks. But you’re in it anyway. Might as well face it head on like Neo and find a way out.

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
2 years ago

Agree 100%. Adults with genitals use them. It’s simple.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
2 years ago

MS,

I’m with you on this; there is no tangible difference between being “emotionally unfaithful” and “physically unfaithful.” My use of inverted commas is quite deliberate and the key word in each phrase is the last one; unfaithful.

My take is that cheaters cough to an “emotional affair” because they think that it’s some kind of lesser offence; it is not. I’d also argue that that most chumps who think that their cheater is “only” involved in an “emotional affair” do so because they can’t prove that the f*cking has already started yet. Plot spoiler; if it hasn’t started (and it most probably has) then it’s about to start.

LFTT

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago

YES! I absolutely agree. What’s the point of categorizing, if not to assist in our own gaslighting?

Is your spouse using most of his time, energy, and other resources on another person?

Use whatever adjective you want – emotional, physical, sexual, financial, intellectual, mystical, hyperkinetic, telekinetic, blah, blah, blah – it’s an AFFAIR.

Focus on the noun, not the modifier. The noun is the object of the sentence. Your husband is the subject. Simplify the sentence to subject/verb/object, and you’ve got your simple truth: He’s having an…affair. Period.

That’s my English lesson for today.

chump no more
chump no more
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

AMEN!

Geode
Geode
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

This is spot on CQ! Such a straightforward concept that prevents assessing the situation through a gaslight or hopium haze.

I’ll also add that you should never allow the liar/cheater or the RIC to provide the modifier.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
2 years ago

My model for how “real” affairs happens is that (1) a person sends out signals that he’s interested, (2) someone picks on the signals and they start an inappropriately close relationship, and finally (3) the relationship progresses to physical (“real”) adultery. Progression along the pathway requires quite a bit of luck, effort and time, so there will be many flirtations (phase 1) for every emotional affair (phase 2) and many emotional affairs for every physical affair (3). Some people will reach a moral sticking point and won’t progress from light flirting at a cocktail party to late-night texting; others won’t have the time or money to arrange a tryst (phase 3), though they’ll happily continue clandestine sexting. The reasons aren’t that important: the key insight is that emotional affairs are waystations on the way to physical affairs; there are probably multiple emotional affairs (conducted serially or in parallel) for every physical affair. Or, equivalently: an emotional affair is just a physical affair that hasn’t yet ripened to fruition.

Maybe DUCFT has caught an emotional affair before it’s reached its endpoint (or maybe it’s an elaborate lie), but that doesn’t mean that the endpoint (the physical affair) wasn’t an aspiration, or hadn’t happened in the past with someone else, or won’t happen in the future with another person. DUCFT’s spouse is willing to jump on the adultery treadmill and just happened to fall off – *this time* – before the endpoint.

(I think there’s another stage, progression from *a* physical affair to *the* physical affair that blows up the marriage. It’s pretty unlikely that an aspiring adulterer lucks into a marriage-ending affair on the very first try – odds are there were many affairs that petered out at various stages before the final one.)

I acknowledge that this model is biased towards my experience (an affair resulting in a carefully timed, elegantly executed swap-out of the old spouse for the new AP with significant forethought and planning), rather than some of the indiscriminate bed-jumping that sometimes appears here. It also implies that emotional affairs are somehow less serious than physical affairs; I don’t think this is true, personally (as it’s really the betrayal that dooms the marriage, not the sex itself), but that seems to be the general consensus in society at large.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago

I agree with this. I also this that the cheaters play the field until they find the appropriate candidate to replace the wife appliance at home. My X probably had multiple flirts until he found the appropriate candidate.

Where do you draw the line before calling it cheating? It’s just a secret lunch? Just texting while spending time with the family? Just a blow job? Just the tip? It’s not the point. It’s the deception, not being available to the family they have, not being invested, and not caring about the damage they cause.

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

Where you draw the line before calling it cheating is up to each individual chump. Where *I* draw the line is when it becomes “secret.” If my spouse is doing something that he doesn’t want me to know about, for whatever reason, it’s a betrayal of sorts. When he is doing it with another person and is hiding the relationship from me, that’s cheating. Which is to say, it is the deception, being unavailable to the spouse and family, not being invested in the marriage and not caring about the damage caused.

I’ve kept in touch with a guy I dated in high school for 49 years after high school, and now I’m keeping in touch with his widow. I never hid that relationship from my spouse or from his. The four of us were Facebook friends, had lunch together on the rare occaisions that we were in the home town together, exchanged letters and even Face Timed a few times. All very much out in the open. I’d share bits of news from Steve’s letters with my husband, show him the photos Steve’s wife sent. When the Cheating Abusive Douche (CAD) started up again with his high school girlfriend, he hid it from me. There were hundreds upon hundreds of text messages every month, planned meetings, shit-talking of me, phone calls, etc. all hidden from me. When it came to light, he insisted it was “just like you and Steve.” It wasn’t. I didn’t hide anything; the CAD did. Then he insisted that it wasn’t a big deal because he “hadn’t seen her since high school.” (His sister confronted him with some pretty credible evidence that he HAD seen her.). Then he insisted that he only saw her to comfort her because her father was dying. And on and on.

If they’re keeping it secret, it’s deception. Deception involves lies and gaslighting. That’s emotional abuse and betrayal. It is also cheating.

Zip
Zip
2 years ago
Reply to  FuckThatShit

If you know your spouse is going to consider it cheating, and you do it anyway in secret – the line has been drawn. Cheating.
Or if you know your spouse is going to be uncomfortable and feel devalued, and you do it anyway and rub their face in it… You’re a superstar Fuckwit.

DoneWithIt
DoneWithIt
2 years ago
Reply to  FuckThatShit

Perfect description FuckThatShit! Loud & Clear

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  FuckThatShit

It wasn’t till much later after my divorce when someone pointed out to me, “The time he spent on her was time he stole from you and your family.” So who cares if it’s emotional or physical? Those fuckwits are stealing time away from their spouses and their children. It’s all about them and they’re lying and cheating. Never go back.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  FuckThatShit

Mine confessed to a multi-year affair. As for “other women,” he argued that one-night stands don’t count as affairs. When I said I disagree, he raged. Geezus!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago

I like this model. I also agree that “the betrayal…dooms the marriage, not the sex itself.”

As Dday fades into the rear-view mirror, I’m less upset about the sex act itself and more upset about the lies. Every.day.for.years. Some nights (like last night), I’m startled awake by intrusive thoughts. That someone I trusted was abusing me in secret terrifies me.

I’m having a bad day. Struggling to get past the trauma.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Yep. It’s hard. I think that “success” is believing that, while you cannot and will not trust that particular person ever again, you aren’t writing off the entire human race.

It always helps me to get outside, preferably doing something active like hiking or mountain biking. For me, it stops the cycle of rumination. I hope you live someplace with reasonable summers!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago

Thanks, IG. Yes, I do live in a place with reasonable summers!

Rebecca
Rebecca
2 years ago

I would also ask Duped and chumped four times how many emotional affairs did she have?
I’m guessing none.

There is something (well, actually 4 things) that smell rotten in this letter. If it looks like an affair, smells like an affair, it probably is an affair. By the 4th time, it’s definitely an affair.

Go get STD tested and go find that lawyer. Go back to the post from the other day about how to dig up info…you’re in the best position now to collect information about finances and PROTECT yourself.

I’m sorry but as it’s stated here many times, adults don’t have hidden friendships, adults have sex.

Rebecca
Rebecca
2 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Oh, I forgot…the reason why my ex didn’t want date nights? He was already having them with someone else.

Onwards
Onwards
2 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

same – really helps with ‘trust that they suck’ when you join the dots.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Yes. True, responsible grownups don’t have secret friendships.

And get those STD tests.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
2 years ago

I really wish we all had shown the courage to ask ourselves EARLY ON… “is this relationship acceptable to me”? I hands-down ignored sooooo many red flags. I even questioned the intensity of the lovebombing early on but he made me believe I had just never been loved the “right way” before… sweet jesus. Looking back now, which I try not to do too much, I am unnerved by how he wore down my boundaries… how I became grateful for the littlest attention (after the lovebombing stage and well in to the devaluing stage)… how I could rationalize his behaviors and actions (his poor sausage past)… but never did I stop to ask… IS THIS RELATIONSHIP ACCEPTABLE TO ME?

Today, I waste no time in applying this question across all my relationships. My time has value, my feelings and needs are real and should be respected and reciprocated, my life is the only one I’ve got and I’ve already wasted 11 years of it with a fuckwit.

I hope you’ll see your own answer to this question… because once you do, everything else falls away and the brilliant clarity of your answer will propel you… if you have your own self-esteem in check.

chump no more
chump no more
2 years ago

^^^Truth^^^

I had so many of the same **red flags** early on. I know why I ignored them. I am working on forgiving myself.

But I am working on valuing myself. And now I can easily say, NO those 15 years were NOT acceptable to me.

Chumpedonthewayout
Chumpedonthewayout
2 years ago

I love everything about this response! It is spot on across the board. Truth.

HM
HM
2 years ago

“ He’s devaluing you. He gets off on it. He keeps doing it.”

This was one of the hardest things for me to get and wrap my head around. My therapist said the same, “I think he likes the feeling of power he gets by hurting you”.

That was the game changer point for me. Whether I believed it or not, I realized that I had to treat it as if it were true. If someone enjoys hurting you?? Get out, get out now, fast and far and shut down contact because they will always try to hurt you, no matter what.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  HM

So true!! They are sickos.

Jewel
Jewel
2 years ago

From my personal experience, emotional affairs are equally as hurtful because the AP is in their head all the time – even when you’re supposed to be on a romantic holiday! Mine used to sneakily send & reply to her messages when I was in the shower. He just couldn’t switch off.

chump no more
chump no more
2 years ago
Reply to  Jewel

Honestly— mine did both extensively, but I only positively knew about the physical cheating recently. I can easily tell you the physical cheating hurt a HELL of a lot more than the sexting, emotional affairs he carried out.

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  chump no more

Mine was in the day before smart phones. He did have a work provided cell phone. He would sit and talk to his work buddy while I prepared dinner, or was doing other chores. He would talk low sometimes, but I was busy and wasn’t suspicious.

Miserable pieces of shit.

Onwards
Onwards
2 years ago
Reply to  chump no more

Agree! Later finding confirmation of a PA later helped consolidate that he sucked but it was certainly another punch-to-the-gut DD.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  Jewel

What startled me awake the other night was the realization that the nurse who wrote out suggestions for our trip to Seattle was mostly likely the AP. So the entire time we were supposedly having this semi-romantic getaway, he was clutching this piece of paper that the OW had given him and insisting we do all those activities.

Me at the time: How nice of this nurse!

Looking back, I’m so angry.????Note: I also saw a diary entry he made re that trip. It was a cross-country trip. He slept. I didn’t. So when we got to the hotel, I crashed. He complained that I’d fallen asleep and wrote in his diary that there was “no sexual tension.” I’m sure now that he was texting the OW while I slept. Abusive fucker. I was so unaware, and it scares me in retrospect.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Over those 6 years after my divorce that it took me to heal I kept having flashbacks of all the shit shows I was subjected to way, way early in the marriage. It was stuff that obviously didn’t make too much sense even back then but I managed to suppress it as ‘one-offs’. There were a lot of one offs. And then after my divorce I’d be going about my daily business when something would happen to trigger a memory. Maybe I was driving by a particular store, or doing a particular activity, when all of a sudden I’d remember a one-off that occurred many years prior. I’d think, “That dick! He was probably (doing whatever) all those years ago when he lied to me!!!” I’d get livid all over again. Over the last 6 years I think I’m done with the flashbacks. I’m finally at peace. And quite honestly, I’m actually thrilled that he’s putting the skank through the same shit show that he put me through. She deserves it. I didn’t. These fuckwits don’t change. They truly deserve each other.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

That’s exactly what I’m experiencing. Damn flashbacks triggered by something unexpected.

I agree that they don’t change. I assume my ex is putting his OW through the same stuff, although she’s one of his few remaining friends now, so I wonder if he is careful. I know that two years ago he had her on the highest frickin’ pedestal, a woman who cheated on her own husband and knowingly cheated with a married man.

Oh well. Who knows? Who cares? Those two and their massive, matching upper-thigh tattoos can fuck each other til the cows come home. I don’t care. I realize now that my life is so much better without that man. I just wish I could get rid of these flashbacks. In time, I guess. In time. I’m glad they’re mostly behind you now, Amazon Chump!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago
Reply to  Jewel

It’s true! My X would even turn up his efforts with me, to throw up a smoke screen. Going out to dinner, fixing something I’d needed for a while, but then he’d disappear on Saturday. Had to help a friend!
My X was a total con man, and I was so busy raising kids and working, to see who he was.

IcanseeTuesday
IcanseeTuesday
2 years ago

See Friday’s post for sleuthing ideas. When a spouse is using that language to justify spending time with a friend – and you are never invited- you having a sitting duck. A fish in a barrel. Proceed with a plan to end the deception.

The trust has already been repeatedly jeopardized by THEIR behavior, not your insecurities. Get the information you need to move on with your life.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  IcanseeTuesday

Great advice! I agree wholeheartedly. Time to move on with your life. All of those years ‘invested’ are not a reason to continue. Any more time given to the fuckwit is time you’re losing spending on loving yourself. I saw this great quote: “Your value is not dependent on someone else’s ability (or inability) to recognize it.”

Sirchumpalot
Sirchumpalot
2 years ago

My ex wife sad those same words as the writer. Turns out, it was a physical affair.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago

I spent several years of my 17 year marriage thinking they were “just friends” and choosing to trust his lies rather than my gut. Doctors refer to your gut as the “enteric” system – the second brain. Your gut knows the truth but your “first” brain has to make a choice between someone you trust and your feelings (i.e., yourself). All chumps go through this, and the majority of us chose the liar. Because, ultimately, the truth about our marriage was traumatizing. And, if we didn’t, we would “lose” everything we had built – marriage, family, home, friends, way of life…. That’s a lot to lose, so it’s more palatable to trust the cheater and hope your gut is wrong.

Your gut is *never* wrong. Your husband is having a complete, total, absolute physical, emotional, sexual, intellectual affair with another woman.

If you don’t leave him first, he will leave you. If you continue to believe his lies, that’s a blow that will send you reeling. You will be in shock, traumatized, and vulnerable. He will have made plans and will carry them out while you’re curled up on the floor sobbing. He will step over you to pack his things. He will siphon money from your joint accounts. He will open a separate account (if he hasn’t already) and deposit all “his” money into it. Whenever there’s physical cheating (and that’s what this is), there’s financial cheating.

Please stop doubting your gut. Please stop believing a liar. Please take care of yourself right now. This is the moment you can take control of the situation and grab some of the power you’re going to need to make sure you don’t get screwed in court.

I know all of this seems over the top. Your husband would never hurt you like that – abandon you and then leave you with nothing. But he will. My husband was the nicest, sweetest guy in the world. Once he decided he “wasn’t in love with” me anymore, he became my worst nightmare. I did not do what I’m advising you to do, and I will spend the remainder of my life paying for it.

It’s not a game. It’s real. Take care of yourself.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

Listen to Chumpqueen because that’s exactly what happened to me. The “nicest guy in the world” stepped over me while I was sobbing with his suitcase in hand, in his way to “she’s just a friend”‘s house.

2xchump
2xchump
7 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

My first cheater pushed my sobbing 6 year old aside and said grow up and be a man. Daddy has to go( to OW). This was a man who grew up with me from second grade and we had been married 14 years. They are heartless animals behind the mask. Run while you can

Brit
Brit
7 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

This is also my story, nice guy, chose Mother’s Day to move his things from our house. Stepped over me as I was sobbing on the floor and called me pathetic.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

That’s my story too. Trust your gut!

tallgrass
tallgrass
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Me, too. Listen to chumpqueen.

I was staying and sacrificing and loving more and working harder. I had zero clue he was capable of – and was carefully planning – to dump me. He trolled for a schmoopie, found one who would open her legs while fawning over his self-focused monologues and then suddenly and cruelly packed his shit and moved out of my home and marriage of 40 years to be with her.

I spent the next year with an attorney fighting to hold on to my home. I lost my adult children in all this as he had been grooming them all along and I never recognized it until it was too late.

I never saw the evil without the mask until he was ready to make his sudden discard. These people are not human.

As the divorce became final, he used settlement money to buy a divorce for schmoopie and they were promptly married. My adult children have played along and now she will be sitting in my place at the Thanksgiving table.

Some days, still, I am not sure I will survive.

Brit
Brit
7 months ago
Reply to  tallgrass

Ex alienated our son from me (only child). Ex also had been grooming and confiding in our son prior to Dday. I now have a two year old grand daughter I’ve never seen. I’ve been replaced with AP. It’s abuse and bullying carried out by my son, ex and AP. I never knew people could be this cruel.

2xchump
2xchump
7 months ago
Reply to  Brit

That’s so sad!! But you were not loved and your children will come around. The truth does not go away because you ignore it.

KB22
KB22
2 years ago
Reply to  tallgrass

Strange how often the disordered parent has more control over the kids than the loving parent. However, the kids have been groomed their whole life to go along with the disordered parent and if they don’t they instinctively know they will be discarded. It’s a “you’re with me all the way or you are nothing” and so it’s a lifetime of pleasing the disordered parent. Also, and this will more than likely go over like a lead balloon, sometimes the kids are just assholes. A lot of the cheaters had dysfunctional parents but many had great parents and they still turned out to be assholes. It happens.

Brit
Brit
7 months ago
Reply to  KB22

True, my son is an asshole. I blamed his father then realized he’s an adult making his own decisions. He decided to be an asshole..

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  tallgrass

You will survive. Don’t let that fuckwit win. Start loving yourself for who you are. Start seeing your good qualities and know that you didn’t do the shit your fuckwit did. You have honor and integrity. It’s so hard to pull yourself out of your muck. You get depressed and become your worst enemy. Shoot! He doesn’t have to tear you down anymore because you’re doing it even when he’s not there. It’s time to stop and recognize that you have worth even when nobody else on this planet sees it. And someday, trust me, you will know that the fuckwit is the biggest loser. He lost the most precious thing he had in his life and traded it in for a whore. And trust me, you will believe this. You will also know that he did you the biggest favor. Just be patient and kind to yourself and take it one day at a time.

Brit
Brit
7 months ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

Great advice Amazon..

ChumpedButNotOut
ChumpedButNotOut
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Again, ChumpQueen is absolutely right. Do not ignore this warning. If this is not the exit affair, it is coming- especially (and I hate to say this) as you are entering your “less fertile” years. He is already going underground. Do not confront him again. Get your ducks in a row. Get your evidence now. Be grateful you are on this site today and waking up now and not 10 years down the road.

This is not to scare you or because misery loves company, I sincerely do not want anyone else to experience the crap I have since D-Day (which happened after “emotional” affairs). This site saved my sanity and probably my life. I just wish I knew about it sooner.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago

One thing I wish I’d realized, when I was in my 20’s, and googley-eyed over my husband, is the real purpose of a marriage. You’re supposed to lift each other up. This person you’ve made this huge vow to, they are the one you figure out life with, and the most key quality is kindness, and understanding. Not lust, or sexual compatibility, or the fact that they wake up next to you. No, just be on my side, and be the most supportive person.
Of course, at 20, I didn’t know yet how rough the world could be, and how much I’d need someone who would solidly care about me, so the fun seemed like enough!
To the letter writer, you feel duped and chumped, and it really sucks, because he doesn’t care. As a person of a certain age, who has been through a lot, I’ll just warn you- he does NOT have your back, and that’s a great reason to leave! Don’t even try to find out what he’s up to, he’s not kind enough to you, and doesn’t deserve your love. I spent 32 years, and sure wish I’d been able to figure it out faster than that! You found CL, so listen to the good advice. Be strong!

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

Ah, my wasted youth. When I think of me aged 17-30(ish), most of those memories are clouded by how googly-eyed I was for my H. I would have done anything for that man in those years and I felt like “the luckiest girl in the world.”

I know he never loved me but I think he loved how much I loved him.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Maybe, who knows what the fuckwits felt?
I felt strangely guilty when I finally filed, because I had told X I would always be with him! But, his addictions and affairs were getting so much worse, I couldn’t stay. I told my friends and family- I just couldn’t be a human sacrifice to his terrible life anymore.
I have a tiny bit of guilt, still. I was divorced in 2012, and maybe I’ll never be at ease with it completely, because I WAS committed. But he is a serial cheater, and I had to save my sanity!

chump no more
chump no more
2 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

I think this is me—- I told him I would never go through another divorce no matter what. Que 15 years of serial cheating, 7 yrs fucking the stepsister. AND I’m still trying to get over the trauma enough to be able to file for my 2nd divorce. UGGGH what a narcissist — totally used this against me.

nomar
nomar
2 years ago

CL is right that the focus should be on how much disconnect and disrespect is acceptable to YOU, but I’d bet that 90% of the so-called “emotional affairs” are physical. Grown-ass humans who are attracted to each other tend, eventually, to f*ck. Different-gender friendships happen, but they aren’t hidden or prone to sudden hot/cold turns. Admitting to emotional betrayal is usually just a detour on the Trickle Truth Highway.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
2 years ago

I could have written this one years ago. But then I found all the proof of the sex. Klootzak used the same words. I was denying him of friends. I was being mean to these poor women who had rough relationships and just wanted his sage advice. And for him to tell them how beautiful they are and how any guy would be lucky to be with them. And then too tell them how kissable their lips look and how he always regretted not kissing thise lips when he had the chance. And then – imagine this – FINDING a chance to make out with them and more. He accused me oof denting that men and women can be just friends. He accused me of not being trusting. He acted as though I was insulting him – a man of integrity and character! – of engaging in such behavior and that if I needed him to prove he loved me beyond the fact that he paid the bills, well, he just wasn’t so sure that HE would want to be with someone like me. And I would cry and eat the shit sandwich.

I’m telling OP what I wish I had told myself – get the best divorce lawyer you can find and RUN.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago

“He accused me of not being trusting. He acted as though I was insulting him – a man of integrity and character! – of engaging in such behavior and that if I needed him to prove he loved me beyond the fact that he paid the bills, well, he just wasn’t so sure that HE would want to be with someone like me. And I would cry and eat the shit sandwich.”

Were we married to the same man? I think we were married to the same man.

Why does the script never change?

With She’s-Just-A-Friend #1 (who really turned out to be GF#1) and She’s-Just-A-Friend #3 (GF#3, now Wifetress) it was the same. I voiced that I was getting uncomfortable with all the attention he was giving her, as he was never at home with me and the children anymore.

The responses:
– She’s just a friend!
– She’s going through a tough patch right now and she needs a friend.
– She’s had a rough life. She needs my advice.
– Are you really that needy?
– You don’t want me to have friends?
– You are controlling and untrusting. You know, marriages break down when there is no trust!
– You want me to stay at home all day and be boring just. like. you.

That last one lives rent free in my head because he screamed it at me. Nevermind the fact that he knew who he was when he married me (a quiet girl who could go out but preferred to stay at home) and, up until he began participating in the Adultery Olympics, he used to *prefer* just staying at home and hanging out with me.

Now, his favorite thing to do is stay at home and just hang out with the Wifetress. She’s now been married to him longer than I was. She should hope that he doesn’t catch the Seven Year Itch again, look over at her in the couch, and start to think of her as boring too.

KB22
KB22
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

I’d bet the farm he grows tired of Wifetress. It’s how they roll. I can honestly write the script. He’ll start to pick at something that annoys him and one thing will become many. I’ll also bet he inserts you into conversation…Fourleaf always had kept a perfect house, cooked gourmet dinners, knew how to garden, etc. Even if you didn’t provide the perfect house, dinners etc. he’ll still have to make the dig to make her feel less. He’ll start to have “friends” again. So depending on wifetress’s personality (aggressive or submissive) the second break up is usually far worse than the first.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  KB22

My daughter is finally coming home tomorrow after 6 absurdly long weeks staying with FW & OW. (Oh that shit sandwich!)

In the meantime, she has told me some interesting stories in which FW did precisely what you just described. “ChumpQueen was always really good at blah blah blah…” ????

They really are cut from the same cloth, aren’t they?

KB22
KB22
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

Yes they sure are…it’s funny how they can be from different backgrounds, education, etc. but all of them follow the same script.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Oh, Fourleaf, he will. He will find her to be contemptuously boring, and if another chance to cheat presents itself, he will cheat. He may never leave her (or vice versa), but it doesn’t matter.

People generally don’t change. If they do, it takes some mighty effort on their part – self-reflection, honesty, intrinsic motivation, a formidable strength of will, and usually a surrounding community that supports the person and the change. I doubt your FW has the capacity for such an endeavor. These are not psychologically strong people. And, as we’ve discovered, society doesn’t think cheaters need to change.

So, you can depend on the fact that she will bore him, and he will devalue her as much as he did you. Whether their relationship breaks completely depends on a variety of factors – age, money, mental health – but, either way, take comfort in the stability of your FW’s bad character.

There is no “happily ever after” there.

Whitecoatburnout
Whitecoatburnout
2 years ago

Sadly, I do not believe in emotional affairs. I think those kinds are the ones that haven’t had time to take off yet, those kinds are the first toe in the waters. I believe that if you find an “emotional affair”, you have actually found an affair, period. You just haven’t connected the dots and caught him/her with their pants down.

Super Chump
Super Chump
2 years ago

I completely think that men and women can be just friends. I have a male friend – an ex who I have zero and I mean zero – intention of getting back together with – ever – the relationship from my perspective was a mistake from the start, but we remained good friends. In many respects he is a nice guy, and good friends are hard to find. Even though I was seeing someone else, his new girlfriend was very hostile even though I went out of my way to try and be friends with her too. He made sacrifices to be with her, and a mutual friend thought she had lost the plot, but I did distance myself a bit as I felt uncomfortable with the situation, even though I thought her behaviour was irrational. So you know, maybe check in with other people or a counsellor – I’m not saying this is the letter writer’s problem, and the other woman may be completely oblivious to the issue, it is more about her partner’s intention, and that boils down to his behaviour.

I think the problem is, if they treat you like you are less important, if they don’t treat you as their family unit and that the most important thing in their life is you as their family unit (and their kids if they have any), then you have a problem. In my opinion, you actually don’t have a relationship then and it’s time to leave. Their friends of any persuasion gay, staight or the opposite gender should be important, but should not be more important than you. I think people rarely change (not saying it’s impossible though) and the first time they mistreat you if they can’t discuss it, then it’s time to leave. I wish I had known this when I was younger, but don’t waste your time with a fool. They may not look like one on the surface, but people who genuinely want a family unit (doesn’t need to have kids to be a family unit) won’t be treating your needs as less important. It’s taken me a long time to recognise this, and I hope the letter writer can assess the situation accurately and if it’s time to cut bait, then do it, with all the financial etc preparation neccesary.

Super Chump
Super Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  Super Chump

Also thanks to the person who posted the sexual basement articles. I think the shock of discovery can be horrific, and more should be done to support people who have undergone this experience.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago

Truth!

And don’t go looking to the FW with proof that the emotional affair is just a garden variety affair either; they’ll just deflect and deny, deny, deny.

When I told FW (after the discovery of GF#1 whom he was still claiming was “She’s-Just-A-Friend”) that I had been to the doctor that I had an STD, I expected him to, at least, finally fess up and admit that he was cheating on me. It wouldn’t have fixed anything but I was looking for anything–anything!–to respect about the man I was unfortunately still in love with. If he could just admit that, yes, he was cheating on me, well… at least that would be something.

He looked at me blankly for a bit… blinked… thought quickly… and then told me that I had probably caught that STD in the hospital (a few months ago) having our daughter because hospitals are full of germs. There was no way he had given it to me because She’s-Just-A-Friend. But thank you for telling him, he’d better go get himself checked and no, no, don’t worry… he wasn’t mad at me for potentially exposing him to an STD. How was I to know that I had caught it in the hospital and passed it onto him.

I remember that conversation well. The amount of mental gymnastics he was performing… the quick thinking… the deflection… the stupid, stupid idea that I had “caught an STD” having our baby in the hospital and then had given it to him somehow (thus shoring up his position that somehow everything was my fault and he had not done anything wrong) was mind numbing.

I was still in love with him at the time, which was unfortunate, but I had enough presence of mind to know that I was banging my head against a brick wall. I looked at him and thought “He’s…. he’s insane.” And I began to feel uncomfortable around him.

chumpnomore6
chumpnomore6
2 years ago

Totally agree with you! I also think that what people choose to call an ’emotional affair’ (which hasn’t *yet* reached a physical stage, but it *will*) is just as much a betrayal as full blown sex.

The spouse/partner is taking energy and attention away from the existing relationship and investing those things in another relationship. It is a betrayal.

As CL always says, the question to ask yourself is, ” is this acceptable to me?” If the answer is no, it’s time to protect yourself and get out.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  chumpnomore6

Amen to this!

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
2 years ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Same for all kinds of virtual sex. If it’s not ok with you, if it’s hidden, or if the cheater disregards or belittles objections from you, it’s ok to say “dealbreaker.”

chumpedin2017
chumpedin2017
2 years ago

I have to agree with all the other chumps here: I truly believed him when he said it was an “emotional affair” only, hoping that I could get him to pick me over her. He admitted to kissing her but nothing else. I was so invested in my 24-year marriage that I believed his “we didn’t sleep together because she has an adultery clause in her pre-nup so she would lose her three young children”. What an IDIOT.

Fast forward post-divorce when I finally got in touch with her ex-husband who had discovered the emails about the affair that triggered the discovery: sexting, inappropriate photos, and travel plans, as well as the “I love you so much” emails…..

It is ALWAYS a physical affair–it’s just much easier to gaslight you if you believe there is the hope of bringing him back from the brink. It’s already happened and he is GONE.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  chumpedin2017

I did this too. FW told me that when he and GF#1 were still just friends that they had kissed but that he had stopped it, told her that “this is inappropriate; I can’t do this” and then he drove his noble and loyal butt back home to me, his wife. I ate it all up with stars in my eyes; I was so lucky!!! I had a husband who unselfishly admitted to kissing another woman and unselfishly admitted to putting a stop to it because he’s a true-blue hero. I looked at him with big cartoon eyes made out of hearts.

I’m not even begin that sarcastic about it; I genuinely felt lucky and honored when he told me about that and then used it to prop himself up as a great guy.

It’s hard not to look back at my past self and feel a little disgusted sometimes. I was an easy doormat to walk all over.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

I feel you, Fourleaf. There are so many moments that I look back on with regret. The shit I took was insane, and a lot of it had nothing to do with his infidelity.

Self-compassion is imperative in these moments. It’s tough to be a trustworthy, compassionate person in the hands of a bad character. We’re handicapped because we don’t do what they do, and we don’t think like they do.

We live in a world where spouses don’t lie and cheat. If our spouses had lived in that same world, your behavior would be evidence of your sweet temper. It’s only in their world that you become a “doormat.”

It’s a shame that we can’t launch them all to Mars, to be honest.

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

Self-compassion is the antidote to devaluation. We did not ask for or deserve to be abused. I took the blame for so much that wasn’t mine to carry, for so many years. I am done with that. However, I’ve come to recognize that while my insecurities and willingness to take fault did not cause the abuse, they did make me easy prey for my disordered ex. He saw what I doubted or disliked in myself, and he amplified and twisted it to hurt and control me. He was mean to me for years, and I was mean to myself. I left him, but I can’t leave myself. I am responsible for how I treat myself.

A caring partner would have helped me grow. I’m being kind to myself now because I need to be, to fight the sadness and anxiety. I also want to be healthy and strong so that I can defend myself from other narcissists and sociopaths who would use my vulnerabilities against me. I’m not going to help them out. This kind of personal work feels good. After narcissistic abuse, it’s nice to use positive reinforcements. I’m more confident, more accepting of myself and less inhibited than ever before, and it’s liberating. It’s also opening doors.

Tessie
Tessie
2 years ago

For me the bottom line is that he is more worried about others feelings than yours. He has put others before you. Everyone else is more important than you to him. Forget the promise to forsake all others, he is treating you like a second class citizen in your own home. I heard the same thing from cheater ex. I was sitting there thinking I did not marry this Bozo to be treated so badly. At that moment all the rationalizations dissolved and I saw clearly that not only did he not love me, but he was enjoying actively hurting me. That was the moment I was done.

His behavior is totally not acceptable in any way shape or form. You deserve so much more.

Moreover, he deserves nothing more from you. He is toxic and destructive, and the only way to protect yourself from him is to get your ducks in a row, lawyer up, leave his sorry ass, and divorce him.

Sending you hugs.

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
2 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

^^^this.
To me, the danger is that once your spouse disrespects you, there is no going back – they won’t about face & start to build respect back. It’s not that you’re not deserving of it. They know you are deserving of respect but in their mind it goes like this: “she doesn’t demand respect, why should I respect her.” Then they have just justified to themselves their shitty behavior and it becomes easier to pile on more.

Mac
Mac
2 years ago
Reply to  UpAndOut

Oh yeah. So true. If there’s no respect, the relationship is over. If you ever see that or hear that, just start up the bus. It’s over.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  UpAndOut

So true! I wish I had understood that years ago.

I was too busy trying to be reasonable and empathetic – mindful with my marriage. I didn’t understand that true mindfulness would have led me to draw some clear boundaries.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  UpAndOut

^^^this. I agree! Once there is no respect, there isn’t getting it back. Definitely time to move on.

Mac
Mac
2 years ago

I have yet to see an emotional affair that wasn’t actually a physical affair. It’s just BS dressing to gaslight you into accepting it as most know physical cheating is a dealbreaker (not like emotional isn’t perhaps even worse).

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
2 years ago

The news from the Olympics about Simone Biles gave me a new term for the emotional/mental/psychological/spiritual effects of infidelity…..”the twisties”. I have totally lost my orientation in time, in space, in my head, in my life, in the world. I have no idea where I am in the air anymore.

Healthy relationships don’t give you “the twisties”. Healthy people don’t give you “the twisties”, let alone enjoy inflicting them on you.

Good people are upfront and tell you what’s going on with them. Lying and cheating is abuse.

If you have the twisties, it’s a symptom that you are unsafe and in a relationship with someone hazardous to your health.

The whole point of a relationship is feeling safe and secure. Not feeling the twisties.

IMHO.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago

????

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago

Perfect 10, VH!! Love the analogy!

Also, applause to Simone Biles for the bronze!

Tempest
Tempest
2 years ago

Excellent analogy, Velvet Hammer.

As someone with a long history of dating fuckwits (and marrying one), my new rule is DARVO in any form = Tempest runs as if her hair is on fire. Mature, emotionally stable, compassionate adults care about how their partners feel, and they talk out issues. Anyone who is confronted and adopts the stance, “the best defense is a good offense” is not worth having in your life. Ever.

nomar
nomar
2 years ago

In the days and weeks after my first D-day I frequently felt the physical sensation of falling endlessly through space. Like the ground beneath my feet had literally disappeared. Never heard it described elsewhere but “the twisties” fits better than anything I could come up with.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Agreed. “Twisties” is very apropos.

UXworld
UXworld
2 years ago

Standing Ovation

ChumpToTheMax
ChumpToTheMax
2 years ago

My Xhole tried to tell me his was an emotional, until the day I found proof of the physical affair and then he laughed at me for believing him

“He stopped using social media to connect with her, as I ended up with his log in details due to the first infidelity.” My Xhole set up a secret facebook account. I finally realized I would never know what he was doing, with burner phones, secret bank accounts and social media. I didn’t want to play affair police.

You know he’s lying. You know your feelings don’t matter. You are hurt and humiliated. Why do you want to continue this? What is it you need? Sounds like you would be safer and saner without him.

Chumped no more
Chumped no more
2 years ago

Honestly, I feel for ‘Duped.’ I’m so sorry this is happening. When this happened to me in 2015, I was destroyed. I wish I’d had all these wonderful people on this website to go to for advice. I didn’t, and I somehow survived. Please take all the advice you are getting here to heart. It’s all true. Adults can have friends of the opposite sex, but they are not hidden and they won’t make their spouse question or feel bad. He is doing you wrong and you don’t deserve it. Now, get yourself tested, find the meanest divorce attorney you can, and protect all your assets. And, do it with a smile on your face with the same deception he is in his relationship with this whore. Get everything together then drop the bomb on him and go no contact. That fucker doesn’t deserve it.

Tina
Tina
2 years ago

What is your best advice to find the “meanest divorce lawyer”?

Elsie
Elsie
2 years ago

Yes, I worked in a male-dominated field for years and had friends from that. But never, ever THAT kind of friend, and it was largely work-focused and surface-level small talk. I kept my doubts and fears to myself and bled those out with friends and eventually my husband. A quick lunch date during the workday or a short, public meal while travelling was fine IMHO. I never drank because I wanted to be professional in that situation. Despite eventually getting into trouble with my ex’s lack of boundaries, I had strong boundaries at work. Mike Pence wouldn’t approve though, LOL.

Once a work visitor cried her eyes out to me because she had gone out for a beer after work with my boss who said he wanted to “help” her with her “career.” They got drunk, and he went for it, just as he had with others that I heard about. I listened, but eventually, she asked if I would ever do something like that. Personally, no. I was all business with coworkers.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago

Sounds good to me! This is how you leave a Fuckwit!

damnitfeelsbadtobeagangsta
damnitfeelsbadtobeagangsta
2 years ago

reading this over this morning i’m struck with the whole issue of CONTROL and it’s got me asking questions. why do these guys have so many controlling behaviours? policing the dishwasher? control. aggressive driving? control.

as for DUCFT, this guy is controlling the narrative of your marriage, which is a shared relationship. do you want to be with someone who controls you/your relationship? he’s also controlling your response by shifting the blame to you (You’re just making it something it isn’t because you are trying to stop me having friends).

again, why do you want to be with someone who controls?

PS your gut is telling you everything you need to know. he’s having an affair. period. now it’s time for you to take back your own control and move on from this unhealthy relationship. you deserve better.

Zip
Zip
2 years ago

These “friendships’’ are the worst. They are so easy to twist around to make it seem like the chumped partner has a problem. I’ve never believed in or understood anything more than a casual friendship between genders that are sexually attracted to each other.
The one thing I’ve learned from this whole hot mess is to trust your instincts.
If you’re feeling devalued, it’s probably because you are being devalued.
Unless you’re paranoid or mistrusting by nature, if you feel like your trust is being violated… it probably is.
If you’re feeling like something is off or just isn’t right… you’re probably wise to take your instincts seriously.
Healthy relationships are a team effort, and if you’re getting clear signals that you as a team player don’t matter… he’s not on your team.

Nailz
Nailz
2 years ago
Reply to  Zip

When my ex tried to act like one of her APs was her friend and “Was there for her”, I laughed. No guy gives a shit to listen to you about anything and meet with your privately without it being to get something from you. Guys do not hang out with women one on one outside work to be “friends”

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  Zip

“Casual friendship between genders that are sexually attracted to each other…”

DOES NOT EXIST

Zip
Zip
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

I meant that although I don’t believe at all in ‘he’s/she’s just a friend’ inappropriate friendships, we healthy non FW’s can have very casual friendships. People with integrity know intuitively how to set those boundaries. There’s no exclusion of your spouse, there’s no making time for each other, there’s no secrecy, no big bond, there’s no flirtation or innuendo. There’s no investing in the other person – no kibble seeking- think kind neighbour or solid colleague. I also believe that non FW’s can naturally turn that switch off if they are in a committed relationship.
In the off chance that non FW’s did start to feel a spark (say like when helping a colleague) simply backing away would nip that in the bud. Just because that’s the gender you’re attracted to doesn’t mean you are attracted to that particular person.
People who aren’t capable of conversing without putting sexuality into the interaction are damaged.

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpQueen

I agree because once a person recognizes what is happening, they cut the relationship off.

Or I should say once decent people who are committed to another…

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  Zip

YOur last three points are dead on target.

Had I in the beginning of the year of discard, when I asked my ex why was he not spending time withme and ignoring me, had also asked of he was involved with someone; he would have flat out said NO, you are crazy.

I have no doubt of that because, though he knew he was working up to the discard, he didn’t have all his ducks lines up yet. I know that in hindsight because of how it all went down. He had not yet been outed, he was outed in the fall of that year, of that I am sure. It coincided with him starting the raging/screaming at me, and he stopped suddenly saying “I love you”. By then I knew something was up, but it was too late to stop the train.

I think he likely would have wanted to take one more year for the discard, so that he could have forced me to file, then brought the whore out of hiding to “start dating”.

I am guessing they decided to have her quit her job, so he wouldn’t be her supervisor. He could have walked away promotion intact, and laid it all at my feet.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  Zip

“These “friendships’’ are the worst. They are so easy to twist around to make it seem like the chumped partner has a problem.”

YUP!

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
2 years ago

Anyone else read this and think of Biz Markie? lol

RIP

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago

The “friend” angle is a bit of a trigger for me but it seems to be a common part of the Chump story. Yeah, as I’ve already posted here, I went through a ton of his “She’s Just a Friend” which he very easily turned into “You’re a Bad Person because you don’t want me to have friends” moments. Eventually I stopped poking the “She’s Just a Friend” Bear because it was too easy for him to use my concerns against me and make me feel horrible for doubting him. I feel nauseous just remembering those moments and I’m so glad I don’t physically live with that anymore.

So, I didn’t want to poke that bear, right? But… if she was “Just a Friend” and he was spending so much time with her (I’m condescending my experiences with GF#1 and GF#3/Wifetress into one) then… what was I? I was his wife. I was his best friend, right? That made me more important in his life than a regular friend, right? The words “best friend” was even in our vows. I knew I was being demoted and devalued but I wanted to know that I was somehow still important to him. Maybe he didn’t think of me as a wife anymore but, I thought, maybe I’m still his “best friend.” I was looking for anything at this point.

And foolishly–foolishly!–I went to him with these concerns. Well, I still thought of him as my husband and best friend. As someone I would open up to and talk to about this. Looking to confirm that he still valued me somehow, I asked him “I’m still your best friend, right?”

I was either expecting him to say (1) “Of course you are!” or to (2) lie to me and say “Of course you are!” What I got, I believe, was the truth. With his suitcases already packed and at her place he let me know that no… he didn’t think of me as a best friend. He even went so far as to say that his male best friend, who he had met through work, was more of an important friend in his life. I was.. more of a regular friend but not one of his top friends.

I got the twisties in my stomach. I was married to this man. This man, once upon a time, had told me I was his everything and that I was the best friend he had ever had. Now he was able to calmly admit that “Yeah, none of that was true” and, with true detachment, he “ranked” me on the friendship totem pole; I was at the bottom. Then he left.

I think I remember checking on the kids to make sure they were still napping and then I went and hyperventilated in the bathroom. I didn’t even have my “best friend” anymore. He never thought of me that way.

The path between “She’s just a friend” and “I don’t even think of you as a friend” is a pretty short one.

ChumpMeGentlyWithAChainsaw
ChumpMeGentlyWithAChainsaw
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Ugh. This hits me on so many levels right now. 10 months – to the day- of “wreckonciliation” he confessed he’d still been talking to that bitch all along. Me telling him this whole time that I just need a friend to talk to and him telling me that he’s my friend/best friend yet I’m not allowed to bring up ANYTHING that might “ruin his day”. Ever. He can be a raging dickbag but I have to wear permagrin 24/7 and never complain about anything.

It was within the last couple of weeks (D-day #2 was 27 days ago but “nothing sexual” ever happened) that it really, FINALLY, sunk in that he is NOT my friend. At all. And, for some odd reason that’s the piece of it all that’s been a real kick in the teeth. Everything from this past year has been just that but fully grasping, finally – after all of the BS I’ve put up with from him for the past 6 years, that he’s not even my friend and probably never was—- it’s been truly heartbreaking.

So! Now, whenever I find myself making excuses for him or hoping we can move forward, I not only remind myself of the LIES from the past year (and most likely then-some), and how he watched me suffering and continued “just talking to her” despite knowing that I was losing my mind, AND then remind myself that, “He’s not even your FRIEND.” And, every time, it pushes me back to reality and the fact that he and I will no longer be married soon because my feelings were/are Shit to him and his “friendship” with a skank-whore was more important to him than what I was going through.

A friend- a REAL friend- wouldn’t DO something like that. And a REAL friend would tell their “bestie” if they knew about shady shit going on.

He’s not even my friend.

nomar
nomar
2 years ago

It’s hard to go from thinking, “This is the best person I know, and she has been more loving to me than anyone I know,” to “This is the worst person I know, and she has been more hurtful to me than anyone I know.”

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  nomar

This reminds me of when we were in the middle of negotiating the settlement, and FW no longer called the shots. He kept texting me with “Trust me. I’m your friend.” ????

My response: “When we were friends, you treated me like an enemy. Now that we’re enemies, you say you’re my friend. Fuck you.”

It’s an unimaginable adjustment if you haven’t gone through it. After years of trusting this person with your life, you now have to protect your life against this person. Up is down. Down is up.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago

That sinking feeling is the worst, isn’t it?

You’re not my partner… you’re not my best friend… you’re not even my friend-friend…

It sounds cliche as heck but it’s true: he’s nothing but a stranger.

Letitsnow
Letitsnow
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

He’s just a person i used to know

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

So sorry you went through this Fourleaf, with little kids. I went through something similar. I felt so isolated since I had lost my “best friend” too. I didn’t even know who to talk to about what I was going through, I thought I was going crazy. I hope you got through it OK.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  FuckThatShit

What helped me get through most of it was his absence and no contact.

It was painful, yes, but a wart has got to be cut out–roots and all.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Same here. I had to pull myself together to take care of the kids, alone. The way I got through the first months was to grieve the person I thought I was married to as if he was dead. He actually never existed but it is very similar… except that I also had to move and file for divorce. Co-parenting with his remains is another story…

Zip
Zip
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Because I heard those exact ‘she’s just a friend’ I would never believe those words again. He actually added on for effect ‘ she doesn’t even know she’s involved.’ ????
They had a plan – he left me for her!
When I asked him about his first marriage and if there were any affairs, he said ‘no’ but he « had a friend to talk to. »
Now I know what that means.
Cheaters can be very convincing.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

If it’s any consolation, Fourleaf, it sounds to me like he’s unable to form attachments. These are sad pod people, who lurch through life looking for someone, and they’re never content. My X is an absolute wreck, he’s let so many people down, and showed his true self, and it’s not pretty.

damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

this is painful, FL. i’m sorry.

Letgo
Letgo
2 years ago

It’s so easy to find a name for a person like your husband. You can throw the word sociopathic around or narcissistic around and one will probably stick. What you have is a person who is being mean to you. That sounds very childish but it’s the truth. He’s a bully. Think about this. Do you have relationship problems with other people? If all of your other relationships are healthy then who is the bad guy here? The hardest thing in the world to admit is that the person you have loved is not lovable, and certainly isn’t trustworthy. I read this somewhere the description he should carry is vampire. He is sucking the joy out of you. He is the problem. You are not the problem you are the victim.
I’ve been reading a lot about overt and covert narcissism and one of the strange things about covert narcissists is how they are always the victim. Makes you feel guilty for trying to use your gut instinct to figure out what’s going on. He’s telling you to ignore your own common sense. That’s a bully

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  Letgo

I was very codependent, so, while he did me dirty so so very many (many, many) other ways, he did me a huge favor by packing up and leaving (twice actually, because I took him back after GF#1).

I am so grateful that he left because every day that he’s been absent has been a million times better than when he was here.

People throw around the word “toxic” pretty liberally but, yeah… he was toxic to be around. I felt sick and uncomfortable around him. The last few times I saw him in person (to go over and sign the separation and, later, divorce papers) I arranged for it to be in public place (a mall food court). I knew I was going to be royally embarrassed by crying in public (I did and I was), and I didn’t hate him, but I finally was able admit that I never wanted to be alone in a private area with him ever again.

I’m glad I conducted that painful experience in the food court. He just sat back and took it. He probably would have had hurtful, gaslighty things to say if we would have done it alone in the kitchen.

I don’t feel good around him so he’s not allowed in my house. I’m still foolish in many ways, in my life, but I’ve learned to trust my gut.

I haven’t heard from him (expect on childcare/child support stuff) for years and it’s been fantastic. Wifetress can have all his “don’t poke the bear” and “walk around him on eggshells” moments. They don’t live day to day in my life anymore.

Thirtythreeyearsachump
Thirtythreeyearsachump
2 years ago

Dear DUCFT, save yourself. Run to the nearest “pitbull of a lawyer”. Stop the madness, reclaim your power and say NO to further abuse. You are not his priority. That cheater is spending time with another woman that he could spend with you. He is choosing her over you.

Choose DUCFT, choose you. Choose to free him to fuck around. Don’t stay for more of this abuse. Four times? Don’t make it five. Let him go. Let him enjoy life without you. He isn’t invested anyway. Make it official. Divorce him.

Don’t be me. Don’t stay for 33 years, settling for crumbs of his affection and time. Don’t waste your sweet precious life on that cheater. Get out before you are a day older.

Choose you.

Langele
Langele
2 years ago

The divorce from x was final three days before the 40th wedding anniversary.

He was a serial cheater for the entire marriage.

What a fraud.

What a liar.

What an abuser.

What a user.

A good person doesn’t do that.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
2 years ago

“ It takes a village” to uncover the depth of abuse from these fuckwits we’ve all encountered. Dr. Minwalla’s insight is exquisitely accurate to what a sexually betrayed victim experiences. I devoured his words in the 30 plus paged paper like it was manna from heaven, it’s just pure gold. Thanks so much to those who shared it, really great material!
I chastise myself for staying maybe too long on online chump sites thinking sometimes it might be slowing down my progress to heal dwelling in that space for too long. Then I thankfully am pointed towards some very valuable material such as Dr. Minwalla’s work, and think, thank God I caught that today! There is something so validating and comforting in discovering over and over that yes, you were deeply traumatized by someone you loved so very much and yes, there are ppl in the world that actually fully get that and are at all stages of healing themselves and you can help one another. I get to have the pain legitimized as is so difficult to get from ppl in my life system that just wish I would hurry up and heal and can’t fully grasp this level of pain. It gives me faith that healing may be a real possibility some day and that my baby steps out have real value. It’s been a blessing to walk through the fires with such wise, kind, giving and loving people. Like the Churchill quote says,
“ If you’re going through hell, just keep going”. We are all headed in the direction out and to more manageable and enjoyable climates in our lives, I know that’s true.
And Duped and Chumped, those “ friends” of your husband’s that you are being so selfish in not letting him enjoy in his life, sound like ‘friends with benefits’ to me. Believe what your gut is telling you about it, he does not have your best interest in mind, but you,thankfully, do. He’s a cheater, whatever pkg he wants to disguise it in. Stay with CL and her nation, they have your back, he, absolutely, does not. Best of luck to you, you got this.

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
2 years ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

I printed that sucker out and put it in a notebook so I can refer to it again and again. Such validation!

AnonymousThisTime
AnonymousThisTime
2 years ago

Having a secret life and lying to your spouse about it is abuse. And is betrayal. My husband did not tell me before we married that he is a porn-obsessed, gay-friendly transvestite. Supposedly he never acted on it with other people IRL, but it doesn’t even matter, even if I beleived it. The important thing is that he lied, repeatedly, strategically, with planning, malice, and extreme cruelty to me…and further lied, gaslighted, manipulated and abused me, accused me of homophobia etc, as I was figuring it all out, to throw me off the truth. He happily threw me, my sanity, safety, love and trust under the bus to save himself from the truth and villainized me as a crazy and irrational person, while I am neither. The important thing to me now is that he is a lying liar who lies…all the rest are just details.

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
2 years ago

The first affair was Just Emotional. He lied and DARVO’d for 18 months about his ho-worker twat before he finally confessed in a trickle truth way, and blamed me for his inability to be honest with me because I Couldn’t Handle the Truth.

I still don’t have “proof” that there was sex but there was certainly kissing and fondling and staying out till 4am. I do know there was a request made to his teenage daughters if it would be alright if he moved out to think for a while. Yes, he asked his young daughters if it would be alright for him to go fuck around on Mom for a while. When confronted by me the whore ran into the darkness like the cockroach she is and I won the pick me dance by default.

When he finally abandoned the marriage 9 years later for another ho-worker twat (half our age) he said he had a lot of shame about that first Just Emotional Affair. My hopium toking had me thinking he felt bad for being such a colossal asshat during that time, but no, he openly said now that his shame came from the fact that he didn’t just leave us way back then. He regretted not imploding our family at that time. Sure, he had shame, not for packing up and abandoning his wife of 28 years by e-mail when I was away, nope, his shame was for not doing it much earlier. All the daily lies and future faking in between? That was my fault because I Still Couldn’t Handle the Truth.

He deserved to be happy, you see. The faithful wife who cooked from scratch, made great money, was very loving, took care of everything in his life and who put up with his lies and forgave the first affair? I deserved to be abused and abandoned. His daughters deserved to have their family destroyed.

If truly only “Emotional” it is just a warm up for getting physical, 100%. He is a cheater.

This is how little they think of us.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago

This hits close to home. I thought that my X was a little too close to the ladies he was working with, but I didn’t think he was the kind of guy to have an affair. Countless times I was wondering why he wasn’t home when he said he would. Why was he texting continuously when he was and was getting angry when I was mentioning it. Why he thought it appropriate to bring one of his friends back to her apartment in the middle of the night after a work event and put her to bed because she was too drunk, while I was home with our babies worrying about where he was. Why he started needing viagra while still in his late thirties. When he started talking about separation it gutted me and I also thought he was having an “emotional” affair. Then he walked out on us with only one bag to an undisclosed address… fast forward a few years of lies and mindfuckery and he is living with the same OW. So never mind the “whys” and the “emotional” affairs, if it talks like a *uck, walks like a *uck, it’s probably a *uck.

I also wished I hadn’t wasted so much time believing his lies, but I never thought people like him existed. Live and learn. Thanks for the life lesson.

Bees
Bees
2 years ago

It’s physical, Duped and Chumped, and there are probably more “friends.” I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this, but you seem like a wise person. You’ve identified these relationships as cheating, you’ve recognized the gaslighting and manipulation, and you’ve “said no to his narrative and no to his blaming.”
You’re already mighty!

My Knave-man had so many female friends that were actually affair partners at once that it was like his harem – he could choose which one to pursue at will, and kept them all dangling as concubines.
How did he get away with it?

By presenting them as friends.

I cooked for his friends, we sailed with his friends, met them at pubs, had them as houseguests, went to sporting events, lectures, the theater, and concerts together, traveled to meet them –all things you would normally do with friends. Knave-man really got pleasure kibbles from seeing me unknowingly interact with his APs. There would sometimes be enough male friends along to throw me off track. He was energized by being clever enough to pull it all off – and proud of his “stable of thoroughbreds” (“they’re all so intelligent and accomplished!”).
He’s a man of voracious appetites and immense charm (according to him).

I finally found out the truth and recognized how devaluing these deceits were– to me and to all women.

Sending you strength and self-assurance to find your best life on your terms.

DUCFT
DUCFT
2 years ago

Not long after I wrote this to the amazing ChumpLady, surprise surprise more lies were uncovered. I could go into what they were but there isn’t any point because there isn’t any point to his lies, just that rabbit hole.
I looked at him said; don’t worry I will free you from the burden of having to think of lies, hide and delete texts/call logs, I will even step right to the side and never question your friendship ever again, you will have all the opportunities to be with her without pressures, he seemed confused at first and said, “oh so your finally going to let it go, good because I have to have her and you I can’t only have one of you”, and with a laugh that I didn’t realise would happen I just said “no mate, here are you bags I wanted to make sure you didn’t have to worry about packing, I called your parents they know you are on your way, you’ll be hearing from my lawyer”.
Once you see them for who they are, there is no going back. If only I wasn’t so blind until now.

I can safely say that my eyes opened more after listening to ChumpLadys audiobook

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Good.

Now be prepared for reconciliation attempts, hoovering, circling back, and plenty of flattering ‘you are the one I really want’ Imitation Naugahyde remorse.

Don’t budge. Push for a good financial settlement while his head is reeling.

He’s all hers now. No tags back.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

????????????????????????
????????????????????????

You’re a rock star and a queen who takes no shit. Keep that spirit up and stay badass!

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

You rock!

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Bloody well done! ????

Elsie
Elsie
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Arg. “I have to have her” and “can’t only have one of you.” Nope. That’s incompatible with my view of marriage, so we’re done.

Mine idolized a girlfriend from decades before that he always said was his ideal of womanhood. The old me put up with that. The new me would say, “Good, go find her because there’s only room for one woman in this marriage.” She called periodically for YEARS and told me in the last call that she was newly divorced (again) and that she just wanted to make sure that my then-husband was doing OK because he was such a great man in her eyes. Lie. She wanted to see if I was still around. Guess where he ran off to when he left? At the very least, running off isn’t what a committed partner does, period. He wanted to do his own thing which isn’t what committed partners do.

By the time the divorce process was in full swing, I didn’t care anymore and didn’t bother with a P.I.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Bravo! I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall and see his smug face fall when you told him that. Go you!

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

YASSSS QUEEN! It’s hard, but you are free of the gaslighting, the lies, the disrespect.

CL on audio is the BEST!

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Amazing! Well done!????

I tip my hat to you!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

LOL he thought you were giving him an open ‘mirage’! ???? No, bye! Go off to yer Mom’s!
Well done!
You will be much happier now.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Calling the parents is a nice touch, love it. I wish I’d done that to my manbaby at the time, in a “defective, return to factory” kind of way.

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
2 years ago
Reply to  FuckThatShit

“defective, return to factory” kind of way! Love it! To call his parents- sure put you in the driver’s seat. Perfect response DUCFT

LezChump
LezChump
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

Way to be mighty, DUCFT! You have all the information you need to Throw Out That Cheater and Gain a Life. I hope you don’t have kids and can go No Contact forever.
Hugs to you, we’ll be here for you!

Quetzal
Quetzal
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

WELL DONE, YOU ARE MIGHTY!!!! ????????????????????????????????

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  DUCFT

????????????????????

Quetzal
Quetzal
2 years ago

And FWIW, you’re perfectly allowed to not want your spouse have friends of the opposite sex.
It’s just shady every way you spin it, for grown adults. And people who insist it’s fine are always cheaters, I wonder why.

Longtime Chump
Longtime Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  Quetzal

Funny how my cheater didn’t want me to have male friends. Yet he had tons of girls he was “friends” with, and that was ok! I was supposed to trust him and he didn’t trust me. They are a special breed.

Giraffy
Giraffy
2 years ago

You rock!!!

“oh so your finally going to let it go, good because I have to have her and you I can’t only have one of you” ????????‍♀️ Like it’s only what he “has to have” .. ???? Poor OW, I’m very doubtful he’ll be satisfied with “only” her!