Meaningless Flings and the Myth of the Good Cheater

good cheater

Do you have a good cheater who just had a meaningless fling? Does such a thing exist? Esther Perel seems to think so.

****

So as of yesterday Esther Perel now follows me on Twitter. Which is big of her considering I told her to bite me.

On the other hand, there might be something in it for her as she’s writing a book on infidelity, according to the New York Times, and is only taking on new clients “who have experienced infidelity.” Perhaps she’s studying the chump perspective. You bitter, angry, sarcastic people.

I got on her radar because I cheekily sent her yesterday’s column debunking her infidelity essay. She responded by Twitter:

“my heart goes out to you – my article does not directly apply to your situation, as your experience goes way beyond infidelity.”

At first I thought she was being nice and I felt bad for telling Esther Perel to bite me.

(Hey, I’m a chump. Feeling bad is my default setting.) Her heart goes out to me!

But then I thought about it some more and decided this reply was actually quite condescending (because you know, I’m bitter that way). Pat, pat, pat. You poor dear. Still stuck in anger, refusing to move on, riling up cheater hate here on Chump Lady, drawing snarky cartoons, telling people to leave people whose only crime was self actualization. And I kinda got pissed off all over again.

My experience goes “way beyond infidelity.”

Huh.

I’ve gotten this take on my writing before. It goes something like this — Oh, you’re not qualified to draw conclusions about infidelity because you had one of those BAD cheaters. He was a serial cheater, and moreover, unlike my cheater who was sad and lost and misunderstood, your cheater was drunk and angry and mean. My cheater just Made a Terrible Mistake. Your cheater threatened to burn down your house and piss on his ex-wife’s baby’s grave if you told anyone. Your experience goes way beyond infidelity. That wasn’t my experience.

While there are certainly differences between cheaters, the long-term affairs vs. the short-term affairs, the emotional affair vs. the physical affair, the “sex addicts” and the folks who hold hands and recite Bible verses in hotel rooms. The cheaters who go to prostitutes (and therein we have more distinctions — massage parlors, Thai vacations, Russian hookers…) and the cheaters who find it at home. Or the cheaters who hook up on Ashley Madison and the like, or those who find old flames on Facebook. The cheaters who fuck a co-worker and those who fuck your siblings.

Cheaters are more alike than they are different.

Sure, there is variation. Sure, there are degrees of cheating. (In fact I’ve gotten in trouble on my own blog by not weighing emotional affairs as heavily as physical affairs, just because I don’t think they endanger chumps to the same degree, i.e., pregnancy, STDs, etc.) But the longer I read and write about infidelity, the more I am struck by how alike cheaters are. How they manipulate with the same narcissistic panache. How they make the same sorry excuses for their behavior. And how — unless you’re dealing with a stone cold sociopath — they all want you to believe that They Never Intended to Hurt You.

Esther Perel writes:

Adultery becomes a moral failing as we move to a description of character flaws: liar, cheater, philanderer, womanizer, slut. In this view, understanding an act of infidelity as a simple transgression or meaningless fling, or a quest for aliveness is an impossibility.

So I put it out to you chumps — did any of you, please raise your hand, have a cheater who committed a “simple transgression” or a “meaningless fling”?

Esther — cheaters who want cake (the affair AND the marriage) all want chumps to believe their infidelity was “meaningless.” I never intended to hurt you. It didn’t mean anything.

You’re a spot of collateral damage.

But here’s the thing — it means everything to the person whose world wasn’t considered. You threw away our commitment for something that didn’t MEAN anything to you? It’s almost worse really. Falling in love with your soul mate Schmoopie, while horrifying, is at least understandable at some level. (Okay, not really. I also debunk the whole We Were Compelled By Forces Greater Than Ourselves.) Anyway, it’s a neater rationalization than — I did something that didn’t mean jack shit to me, that clearly seems to devastate you, for an orgasm.

We’re not stupid for wanting our feelings to be considered, for relying on commitment, for believing in monogamy — IT WAS PROMISED TO US. And we abided by that set of rules — and moreover, we didn’t see it as a “set of rules” to break and “exuberantly defy.” We loved with our whole hearts and got played.

Oh, but my experience “goes beyond infidelity.” How exactly? I welcome you on to this blog, Esther, the largest assembly of chumps you’re going to find, and let you explain exactly what you meant by that infidelity article that sure as hell seems to excuse extramarital affairs as exercises in self actualization.

Quit sanitizing affairs.

Self actualization sounds so much nicer than “Fucks in a Harrisburg hotel at lunch” or “let me stay home with the children while he screws around on business trips” or “slept with other men while I was deployed.”

Because those are the stories I read here EVERY DAY. Do their experiences go “beyond infidelity”?

Really, Esther, I’m a lightweight in the chump department. You ought to meet my husband — 22 years to a serial cheater. She slept with her boss, his best friend, and assorted others. And when he found out, he divorced her. (Or in your parlance, he indulged in the “dissolution of the family structure.”)

Okay, she never threatened to burn down his house. She wasn’t one of those cheaters. She just wasted 22 years of his life.

Please show me the Good Sort of Cheater who has a meaningless fling. Even a one-night stand involves a series of decisions and a cluster of lies to cover it up. How does a person happen to encounter a meaningless fling? Do you advertise for one on a dating site? Does it sidle up to you in a bar? Offer itself at work? Boundaries are crossed, conspiracies are made, rationalizations created.

All apparently “meaningless.”

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Jamberry
Jamberry
9 years ago

Affairs are acts of cowardice. If unhappy in marriage, get a divorce then move on to other people afterward. It really is that simple.

Edie
Edie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jamberry

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this very thing.
Staying (for years and cheating multiple times) just does more damage to spouse and family.
Idiots want it all or are “too confused” (cowardice) to make a decision/life change but it’s ok that they mess with OUR lives, OUR emotions and our confidence.

kendoll
kendoll
9 years ago
Reply to  Jamberry

Absolutely.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jamberry

Exactly!!!!!!

If things are so fulfilling then the courageous (and compassionate) thing to do is cut the other person lose so that both you and him/her can move forward. It may hurt, but not as much as betrayal. Those basic values of courage and compassion are very relevant here.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Amen exactly!

My ex had one affair (that I know about). He lied to me for a month while he snuck around with the other woman. When I found out he told me “Our marriage was over anyway.” I didn’t get that memo ironically enough.

It’s weird how he thought the marriage was over anyway yet we went on a vacation together a full month before it began.

He must be one of the cheaters Esther is talking about. His “one transgression”. His continued acts of unprotected sex with the both us. I was just one of those silly people that imposed a consequence on him. Poor little wayward cheater that got lost, didn’t mean to hurt me and thought our marriage was over anyway so why not!

I might have a shred of respect for him if he did it in the right order and just asked me for a divorce if he was that unhappy. Total coward!

Only way is up
Only way is up
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

I got the same line. He also lied for about a month & suck around. He gave me the ILYBNILWY speech however when I told my mum she said he has someone, or someone is on his radar. When I confronted him got the I was leaving you anyway. We were together for 25 yrs but really time means nothing to them. I did pretzel for about 2 weeks then I told him to go after he said she made the ultimate sacrifice for him. Cowards and liars the lot of them.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Yes, agree.

It occurs to me that cowardice comes from knowing the right thing to do and not doing it while NPD cheaters really just don’t care. They may care once they’re caught but it won’t stop them the next time…just makes them more covert.

Btw, there’s nothing to say that the first time we discovered the cheat wasn’t the first time it happened. It makes me sick to think like that but people really don’t change that much in this regard. The cheater-trait is part of the core personality.

Cheaters don’t cheat once. That only happens if they had sex against their will. But that’s not cheating…that’s rape. I assume your poor dear wasn’t raped. In that case, you’ve dodge the bullet by losing the loser.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Affairs are like cockroaches: if you see/discover one, multiply that number by, say 10, and you might approach the number they had.
Same with lack of integrity: if you think these folks confine lying and cheating to the sexual fidelity realm, think again. They run through life leaving a trail of destruction.
I know of at least 3 married men my XW screwed before we were married. This trait was well entrenched long before I arrived on the scene.

Kara
Kara
9 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

For every roach you see, there’s 12 more you don’t. Yup.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

It’s sad. Little did I know that the morning I caught him in bed with Skank was going to be THE BEST DAY I was going to have during the whole ideal. As gutted as I was, it was going to get so much worse.

That wasn’t the first time he slept with her (as I had assumed in my desperation to soothe myself), she wasn’t the only one, and the first one happened in the first 3 months. I caught him again and again….friends then started coming forward (frigging finally???) telling me all kinds of crap.

Nope….I guarantee you it wasn’t the first time, or the only time. I wouldn’t have believed him capable, only he was.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

It’s rarely the first time. When I found out about final OW I had to quickly name her Final OW because once she was revealed a slew of others came crawling out of the woodwork. And people started telling me things and yep, I’m very doubtful if, in a long relationship, it’s only once.

Physicsgal
Physicsgal
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

My gf said to me “c’mon, he didn’t just get that lucky the first time out of the gate. He’s been trolling the Internet for quite some time in search of somebody or something to masterbate with.” Harsh but so very true. I stayed much longer than I should have alternating between I don’t want to be divorced/break up the family/hurt the kids and the marriage police. I absolutely hated monitoring an adult.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

It’s so hard to change our fundamental beliefs…especially when we love those beliefs. I too simply couldn’t believe she was capable of even being interested in another man. It took way too much evidence before I admitted she was completely lost to me.

That’s the one lingering piece of anger I have…it took me too long to wake up.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Sunshine: “…my eyes are open a little wider, my heart is a little softer, and I am undoubtedly more sure of my values and my strength.”

Thanks for those words. They capture the feeling I have moving forward. I’m certainly not ‘glad for the experience’ but I am so much stronger. I didn’t understand how cheaply I gave away my total and unconditional love. Someday, I’ll have another shot at that and then I’ll pair my head and my heart in the partnership. No more NPD’d for me. :>
Cheers, and thx for the ‘good egg’ comment…a little scrambled for now perhaps.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan, I’m not big into forgiveness, except for oneself. People have pointed out to me–aw, you’re supposed to trust your spouse. Of course you didn’t believe that his last-minute “solo” trips to Howaii and Hosemite were anything but innocent. Of course the phone calls in the garage with his “male” friend were believable!

I was a good wife. I loved him. I loved our family. I was committed, even if not happy. I had sex with him even though he was awful or indifferent to me, because I was working on our marriage, with a long-term view.

What a chump! What an idiot!

I used to look at chumps with hostile skepticism and think to myself (or to my husband, even)–“What do you MEAN, (s)he just ‘walked out,’ you had NO IDEA?? Right. How dumb and blind could you be???” Ah, those chickens, when they come home to roost, they make a mess. Ironically, my ex was appalled that I could be so callous toward the chumped. (Our Realtor’s wife left him for another man about a year before my ex did the same to me.) But, really–I’d never heard of such a thing. I had the idea that these things were obvious, that cheaters were un-subtle, that only someone dull would be so clueless about the state of their marriage, or about the shiftiness of their spouse.

But my people are kind, and urged me to be kind to myself. And you know, a silver lining in all this is that my eyes are open a little wider, my heart is a little softer, and I am undoubtedly more sure of my values and my strength. As my friends (including you all here!) reassure, it’s not bad to love with all your heart and to trust and to try and to accept the good with the bad. Live and learn, eh? When you know better, you do better? Right?

Be kind to yourself, Dan. You’re a good egg.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

So true. Looking back, I can’t believe some of the dribble I fell for, grasping at straws, holding on for dear life – mostly waiting from some sign from him that he was sorry he hurt me, and that I did mean something to him.

Sad to say I did the chump walk instead of walking out the first time it became obvious (to anyone over the age of 4) that this guy was nothing but a remorseless, selfish loser who didn’t give a crap about me.

Lesson learned.

HM
HM
9 years ago
Reply to  Jamberry

Amen.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago

My wife would think of herself as a “good cheater” if she didn’t think of herself as someone unfairly judged for a mistake. She didn’t mean to hurt me, it’s just it was “a dark time” and her (married) boss came on to her, so she had to have a year-long affair with him. And lend him $200k. And have me do work for him. And become a client of his business. It’s not like she meant to hurt me. No, sir. Is it her fault I’m so sensitive?

Magicrain
Magicrain
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Well my ex wasn’t a cheater because apparently all feelings he had for me were gone. I just didn’t know it. Apparently living with and fucking his secetary while he needed a break doesn’t count as cheating.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Magicrain

yeah, ditto. I got, “I decided I wasn’t married to you anymore.” … of course I myself never got the memo… [cake!]

And “I really didn’t want to be a suburban dad anymore”…with a 15 y.o.daughter to finish raising. Superb narc timing! Just superb.

These morons are trash, and they don’t deserve the love of the children whose hearts’ they’ve broken. In my bitter, shriveled, limited, judging opinion.

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Got same stupid argument…”I am already divorce in my mind, I don’t need a paper”. That is how he justifies his adultery. Oh! but it isn’t adultery because he was already divorced in his mind. Today, two years separated and struggling to get the stupid divorce he is still in adultery, but you know? Jesus forgives him, because he was already divorced in his mind.
You just can’t make up these shit.

Fred
Fred
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Mine said “Just know that I was very unhappy with you at the time so that make it okay for me to go to him”

derailed
derailed
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred

That’s what mine said. That he had been unhappy with me for a long time and that it was my fault that our marriage fell apart. I drove him to the affair. He claims he told me for a long time that I needed to change but I ignored him. So he went out and sought happiness elsewhere. REALLY? How could I have missed a memo that he claims he sent repeatedly over and over again? In my case, I didn’t discover the affair. He told me. Used it as an exit strategy. Left me and our 1 year old, 6 weeks before I was to graduate from residency, leaving me a single mom and emotionally devastated 3 months before my board exams (the medical equivalent of the law school bar exam). He falls under the “self actualization” category that Esther Perel mentions. He says “life is too short to be unhappy. I wanted to be happy.” GREAT! I’m more than happy to pay for your happiness with my own happiness and our kid’s sense of stability!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  derailed

That’s how I feel about my xH’s “happiness.” He stole bits of it from his own children. And the disgusting part of it is, I now realize, he’s chasing a mirage–he’ll never be happy. So the pieces of my children’s souls that he squandered are all for naught. What a waste.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Yep, what he did to the kids is unforgivable. The hurt he caused them, not just from cheating but from how he responded to their hurt, will forever make him a giant asshole in my book. And to this day he’s full of hate towards me, because … erm, yeah – who knows. I guess I didn’t go by his script and he can’t control me any more.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

I like that, “a dark time.” Mine said, “we just ended up in a really bad place.” yes, that he put us in by doing bad things.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Love the way he used “we”…..just to make sure you understood that you had a BIG part in the “bad place”.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

He used alot of bad lines that sounded like they came from B movies. That “we just ended up in a bad place,” was merely one of them. How about, “It’s all over, Kiddo!” or “you and I are not an item anymore, Muse.” Or “I wish I could split myself in two, so one of me could be with you, and one with her.” Should I have offered to do the splitting for him?

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Sure!! With a dull machete!

(Actually, Naw…..Not worth the jail time! We need you HERE, Muse!)

ForgeOn, beloved ones……..

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

thx ForgeOn! this site has been my salvation! I know I’m not crazy when I get this kind of feedback!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Ewww! I don’t know what could more more horribly condescending and offensive than to be called “kiddo” in the context of a cheater’s pseudo-acknowledgment.

Ick. Ick. Ick. I think I need a shower. Or an exorcism. Or both! So sorry, Muse. That’s just beyond gross!

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

When I told my ex I was going ahead with the divorce, his reply was, “Well, you gotta do what you gotta do.” This after a 20 year marriage. But at least he didn’t call me kiddo.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

thanks FMT. He always was a pompous ass of a narc before D-Day. It seems all the drama he created after being exposed just brought out more of his real personality. Yes, he actually called me “kiddo,” and cocked his head slightly. I thought he was going to wink next. I still reel at this, a year later. 16 yrs relationship, then “it’s all over, kiddo.”

Paula
Paula
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I’ll tell you what is as bad as being called Kiddo !!!!! My husband tried to make it sound cutesy when he said “I know i’ve been a bad boy ” !!! It made my stomach turn…it gave me the most sick feeling! I swear if there were a gun nearby I don’t know if I could control myself. Boy??? NO you fuck face…you are a fucking senior citizen with a daughter older than your Russian curb crawler. Your grand children are older than her kids…Fuck yourself because no one especially me wants to fuck you…she only did it because you overpaid her too! Fuck off wrinkle dick !!!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I’ve read some really harsh shit on this blog. Stories that kept me awake at night and made me question my faith in humanity. But this one word, I dunno. It’s just like, wow. There you have it. To me it encapsulates the cavalier, even sociopathic, mindset that many if not most cheaters have, almost as if they’re adults dealing with very small children or people of presumed lesser intelligence. Even a sub-species.

When my elder daughter was little and found a spider or ‘critter’ in her room, she’d say, “Say your prayers, kiddo” before she squashed it or vacuumed it up. Your post reminded me of this. Except, I believe my daughter probably felt more compassion in those moments than your ex did. Or mine. Or any of ours.

Good Lord.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Not to mention the, “Hey, there’s just not enough of me to go around, babe!” attitude of the splitting comment.

Gross. He smells.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

They are hardly original in their lines are they? When he wasn’t throwing out inappropriate euphemisms, he would repeat things I had said to him at one time or another.

I think they don’t know what to say because they don’t feel it. So, they throw out what they think they are supposed to say. It also explains stupid answers when cornered. Mimics aren’t very fast on their feet.

Nat1
Nat1
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

“When he wasn’t throwing out inappropriate euphemisms, he would repeat things I had said to him at one time or another”, and I bet you thought he wasn’t listening!

lovehonorcherish
lovehonorcherish
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Yes, we seemed to be happy and content until the AP came along with her tale of marital woe. Then, suddenly, our marriage was a dull, boring and unsatisfying place to be. Go figure!

Kira
Kira
9 years ago

That sounds very familiar, lovehonorcherish.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  Kira

Yep! Ditto! Thought we were fine until
She needed my husband to rescue her from her fancy beach home, six figure earner husband who traveled all but four days out of each month who was and supposedly had been physically abusing her for 29 years! The ever needy Dumsel in distress! Please! Makes me want to puke! Am
I the only person who sees through this over aged bimbo??

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Mine said he “went through a sordid period.” The double-speak of the cheater, it’s really mind boggling.

LilyBart
LilyBart
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

By way of explanation, my ex texted me soon after D-Day: “I got hard.” When I laughed and typed back “Whoa. Bad typo,” I knew that I would eventually be ok.

Kira
Kira
9 years ago

I guess I’m excluded because my ex’s affair wasn’t “meaningless,” – it “just happened.” He “just happened” to start a relationship with a much younger married co-worker while we were also married and lie about it. And after they were found out and both getting divorced, moved in together, though from what I’ve heard, they both tried to lie to their families about that too. After she dumped his ass and he tried to come back to me, I believe he did try to sell it to me as “meaningless” – although I pointed out that you can’t move in with someone else and divorce your spouses to be with each other and then try to say it was “meaningless.” I also pointed out that he said extremely hateful things to me during that time. So then it became “I was crazy, I don’t know why I did any of that.”

So maybe that puts me in the “way beyond infidelity” camp too. I have no idea what that means, perhaps I should phone my ex and ask him, I’ll bet it would make sense to his narc mind.

While some people might be able to forgive a “meaningless” one-night stand, I don’t believe I could – that’s a special kind of evil. So you’re willing to ruin everything with your spouse for something that means absolutely nothing to you? That’s pretty cold-blooded.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Kira

I’m sure his numerous “flings” were meaningless. He never did much better than double-baggers – would have been hard to muster up some meaning in that.

So, he risked gutting me – and losing me – for some hookup on match.slut? Wow…..call me underwhelmed.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Kira

Mine fell in love with his married coworker, then left me after 36 years and moved into her parent’s basement. In a document I accidentally discovered, he is planting seeds to break up his coworker’s marriage because everything worth having is worth waiting for. He has her kids calling him Uncle and claims to love them as much as he loves our kids. He’s just trying to find himself, though, finally embracing his shadow side. No, He isn’t one of those bad cheaters.

Marci
Marci
9 years ago

I completely disagree with Esther Perel’s arm-waving hypothesis as delivered in her Ted Talk in which she claims love and desire are two separate things that cannot be fulfilled by the same partner. I find it simple to fulfill both on the same chosen partner. While married I do NOT feel the need for “adventure” outside my marriage. I find it within my marriage.

Anyone who feels the need to look outside for adventure, mystery, risk and all the other crap she lists…should simply have the balls to end the marriage before cheating. Or never take marriage vows in the first place. I felt the urge to silence Esther before she bored me with her psychobabble.

kendoll
kendoll
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Or maybe get in touch with themselves enough to understand that, perhaps, the fact that they can’t keep it in their pants could be related to their lack of other interesting things to do combined with the expectation that all their needs be met by an external agency.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  kendoll

That is an excellent point.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

It really is. Ex always talks about YOU weren’t making me happy. YOU weren’t paying enough attention. YOU this and that. Not once did he look to himself and say ‘why do I feel this way?. It seems to have never occurred to him that he is responsible for getting those things, not sitting around waiting for someone to deliver them, OR thinking that his needs are more important than the needs of the person he’s with.

Sure, at the beginning he was very attentive and sort of carried his weight but now I see that that slowly drifted away until I was doing absolutely everything and it still was never enough.

Crazy shit and whatsherface ‘cheaters need excitement’ or whatever she said (do I really need to know? It’s just more blah blah blah get over it crap) can bite me with her whacko theories.

flyingsquirrel
flyingsquirrel
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

I think one problem is that people like Perel assume that all people are the same: basically good with “normal” drives.

With that point of view, it’s easy to imagine that ALL of us want to screw around, errrrr…
I mean, “experience a tension between love and desire.” I disagree. Not all of us want a sexually diverse smorgasbord. Some of us actually like real intimacy, the kind that takes a great deal of time and energy to develop.

Not all of us are horny freakazoids.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  flyingsquirrel

Exactly. And that real intimacy also requires, absolutely requires, being able to trust your partner. Perel has no clue. Without honesty and trust, how can we be vulnerable with a partner? Without that vulnerability, there can be no true intimacy that comes from knowing and loving a partner. What Perel is suggesting is an exercise in ego fulfillment–just more “all about me.”

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

If people want to walk the path of chasing “desire” outside of marriage, then it’s simple: find like-minded persons to explore that with you. Don’t marry or commit to a person who believes that you intend to be faithful and loyal and then cheat–cheating them out of the kind of life they intend for themselves.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

That’s not a difficult concept. Why is it so hard for cheaters to understand?

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Why is it so frigging hard for Esther to understand?

ChattyCat
ChattyCat
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

ML — they don’t WANT to understand. In fact, as you know, they go to great lengths to lie to themselves so they can look in the mirror. Unless, like ChumpLady says, they are a stone cold sociopath, then it’s a case of not caring at all. Five years out, and I am still so very hurt, saddened, and disgusted by my X’s behaviour — so many people have been forever scarred, especially the children.

Esther may want to look at how a cheating parent propels children into self-actualization — not!

Magicrain
Magicrain
9 years ago
Reply to  ChattyCat

Chatty I am four years out. Feel the same as you. He is still with ho-worker living happily ever after. Kids? Wife? Old life? Who?

Linda
Linda
9 years ago
Reply to  Magicrain

Same. Four years out. Not feeling much different than the beginning. Him…appears to be living happily ever after. Married the much, much younger AP. No interest in the family left behind.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Linda

Chances are good she will leave him with the same callousness he left you with. That is some hopium I can put in my pipe & smoke!

PianoMom
PianoMom
9 years ago

Infidelity is committed the entitled, self-absorbed, weak-willed and shallow-minded. NEVER once do they think about the others who will be pained by their actions. They live in the moment, and prove they are as shallow as the fucking they do with their fuckbuddies. It was never about commitment with them.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  PianoMom

I agree they live in the moment and never think about the ramifications of their actions. One day I was sobbing and telling him I was going to miss his mother so much, she was like a second mother to me. He said, “that makes me feel horrible.” I don’t think it ever occurred to him the life-long family ties that would be ripped apart by his decisions.

derailed
derailed
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Agreed. When my husband told me he was leaving me and our kid for a co-worker he’d been seeing for a few months (but those few months were apparently enough for him to decide that he’d be happier with her), I was devastated. I asked him whether he really understood what this means. Has he really thought this through? I said, “Do you realize this means no opening presents on Christmas day with our baby? No Disneyworld and no family vacations? When our son kisses his first girl at school and comes home to tell us about it, YOU WON’T BE THERE FOR IT. Do you understand that?” He looked stunned. It is unbelievable that these cheaters don’t think of the ramifications of their actions. They’re incredibly short sighted and selfish.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  derailed

Perfectly said, derailed. When I asked STBX if he realized that he was taking my family away, too..his family has been my family for 26 years..I got “no I didn’t think of that”. No you didn’t you asshole! You thought of yourself and your skank ass girlfriend, and all about the unicorns over the rainbow with your “true love”. Doesn’t matter you tore me away from more than just your lying ass!

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy R

Yep, lost a whole lot of family in all this and I too pointed out a few things as I was kicking him about the losses so many people would suffer. He was all ‘golly, I didn’t really think about that’. They’re all a tad thick, aren’t they?

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  derailed

He was stunned by the realization that he must look like such an asshole. Make no mistake–it’s not that he actually cares about being an all-in dad. If he was capable of caring and of being a courageous and heroic father to his own son, he’d never have dared to risk his family for some cling-on homewrecking twat.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

The Jackass’s MOW had three kids, and I am sure she thinks of herself as a great mother, while at the same time putting up stuff on Pinterest about how she would “follow [her true love] anywhere.” They’re like toddlers playing with plastic toys and wrecking everything in their path.

PianoMom
PianoMom
9 years ago

sorry, “committed BY the entitled”…I get so pissed, I can’t type as fast as I am thinking…

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  PianoMom

This is shit. Just last night I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years. When she heard the whole story she said, well can’t you at least just say you had a good run but could not put up with that kind of behavior. ??????????? WTF. I said that the porn addiction that took all of his available time, the fact that he would find any way to get me and tha kids out of the house so he could persue his vocation as a pervert, was NOT a good run. She said ” so you never had ANY good times being married to him?? I said” he was not who he said he was when we married me.. He lied, he ruined me financially, he gaslighted me, he was “emotionally unavailabe” to me, he could’t keep a job because of his arrogant narc personality and his inabilty to tell the damn truth!!!! He has devastated my children. He has wrecked our family. I have the gift of PTSD, nightmares and living on the poverty line with food stamps and mecicaid for my kids.. I have no health insurance and have coronary heart disease, have had 2 angioplasties, and don’t know how I will be able to see my cardiologist because his appointments are 160.00$ So fuck no it was not a “good run”. I was expecting a lifetime run! So she says” just accept that it didn’t work and move on”. RIGHT. 4 homeschool children. NO job yet. Making homemade soap and training dogs on the side while he drags his feet and won’t let me go. She said ” all guys look at porn, if it is not for you, then just move on.” She said that men who cheat or are porn addicts are like all other addicts and deserve pity. That in reality they DO love their partners, just are addicted to sex.. Oddly enough, her second and my first husband were cheaters together. She actually finally filled in the blanks for me last night when we talked. While I was home with my newborn, nursing all night, pumping milk for daycare, working all day in the OR then picking up my newborn and doing it all again, he was with his groupie shmoopie. He was a guitar player in band. Her husband hung around the band. Her husband and mine were fucking sisters. Isn’t that sweet. OH, and he married her and became my sons stepmom. So I am a twice chumped dumb shit. TWICE. But HEY that’s ok. They are just expressing their fucking EXUBERANCE. For fucking other women and grabbing their own dick of course. Why can’t I understand that and just MOVE ON! HUH! What the hell is wrong with you Irish. Grow up! All men have personal relationships with their dicks. Deal with it OK. No harm intended and if it bothers you that much, well HEY, you had a good run right?? NO! Hell to the no! I did not have a good run” finding out that my husband preferred beautiful, young, hot teen bodies to my 5 babies later body. NOT A GOOD RUN! He played some serious mindfuckery with me. Both of these shitty men did . And they could care less about the bloody wreck they left behind, because HEY! they couldn’t help it. Poor, poor, sausages. It was all in the name of good fun right?!?! Men are expected to cheat and if you can’t deal with it, then sift the good part from the bad, consider it a good run and move on! WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?????? I am astounded that anyone can think that a human being, who thought they were married to someone who loves them then finds out over and over and over till they through the bum out, could honestly just “move on and think of the good times, because they can’t be ALL bad.” I am now feeling so slapped back down, like I should not be so judgemental of his flippant and selfish treatment of me and our children. She actually caused me to question my sanity. What kind of person can’t just let this shit go, chalk it up to experience, try to remember the good times…….
I guess the kind of person who forgave and forgave and forgave while her heart hardened like a rock. I guess the kind of person who had to get tested for stds. I guess the kind of person who had to get an order of protection from the court to keep you away from her. I guess the kind of person who is looking at having to sell her house, send her kids to public school, get a job with insurance benefits to take care of her heart……. Call me crazy, but none of that was a “good run”. None of it.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish, this “friend” is disordered herself.
Have you ever told someone something like your dog got run over by a car and they say something like “Oh my sister has a dog she needs to get rid of, I’ll give you her number!” It’s kind of like what don’t they understand about being human and having horrible visions, loss, grief and all before they can jump from A to Z?
My guess is these people who were cheated on & came through it with flying colors were either not fully committed themselves, were not in the relationship long, it happened when they were relatively young & still felt they had their life in front of them, OR they are disordered themselves & don’t have the capability to understand the depth of human emotion others have.
I remember making a list of my losses I kept adding to after D-Day, and it went up to 37. He said he felt too bad to read it or have me read it to him. Poor sausage. I guess that was my 38th loss, he didn’t care to hear about my losses!!

Nat1
Nat1
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

So I was bitching about ex who it seems has lost his job which is affecting child support when a colleague says “oh well I bet you didn’t feel like that when you were married to him”. When I was married to him I thought I had to put up with his shit, there was no point complaining, it didn’t fix anything anyway, and aren’t you supposed to sand by each other through thick and thin? Well, I don’t have to put up with his shit anymore, I can sing the truth like a bird. And so can you Irish. People like your friend are just ignorant dickheads

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish, your comments reminded me of something a fellow chump posted a long time ago on CL. She was told the same stupid thing by her cheating ex (I believe), that it had been a “good run”…. As I recall, her response was “it’s not a Broadway show, it’s a marriage”

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Jedi hugs Irish, sorry I’ve not called lately, been dealing with some shit here. Will soon.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

DDW That would be great! I look forward to talking with you again! 🙂

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Hang in there Irish……I’m keeping you in my prayers!

lovehonorcherish
lovehonorcherish
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Oh, Irish! I am so sorry. (((Hugs)))

ANC
ANC
9 years ago

This is not a friend. Cut her toxic ass out of your life.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I totally agree with all of you. THANK YOU for the validation. How can one person slap down 1 year of slogging it through this stuff? I swear, it set me back 6 months. The next day was sheer hell. Feeling like crawling into a hole and staying there. I hate the fact that I feel like I have to try to ”convince” someone of my pain. It just sucks. Thanks chump nation, you all are the best!!!

Marci
Marci
9 years ago

I hate learning how little a friend cares when they shrug and say “just move on”. Toxic is right in her case, Irish. The strangers on this website care more about you than she does.

crushed
crushed
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Sadly, one of my sisters recently lectured me, out of the clear blue sky, on how I needed to forgive my cheater XBF and move on. She said cheating is just what people do, so many do it, it’s not that big a deal, I should call him and be friends, etc. I don’t know why she brought it up; maybe because I am not dating, and it’s been more than two years. I was disappointed and depressed, and don’t think I will share much with her anymore.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  crushed

Sorry that you’ve had this “lecture” to deal with on top of recovering. It is a big deal, crush, at least for people who truly loved their partners with their whole heart and thought they were loved in return. You don’t need to forgive and you have “moved on”–without your cheater XBF. That you aren’t ready to date yet is no surprise. There are lots of us here taking our time to heal and fix our pickers! Hugs and good thoughts to you.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish, I hate to say it, but I’ll bet that “friend” was one of your ex’s OWs, or at the very least, she’s a cheater herself with somebody. Please do not talk to her again. In fact, block her every which way. She is toxic.

This Chump medicated for your protection
This Chump medicated for your protection
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

I might be a little twitchy,
But she’s quoting from the cheater 101 handbook.
She’s defending your STBXH like his OW?

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

I wonder if this ‘friend’ can condone lying/cheating so easily because she does it also. Just because she’s been cheated on, doesn’t mean she hasn’t cheated also, and that’s why she can just shrug her shoulders. “Everyone does it” “so what?”

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish, you need to ditch this “friend” asaf-ingp.

FLBright
FLBright
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Irish!! {{{HUGS!!}}} No, you are NOT! crazy. Keep coming back here and getting your validation. Hang in there.

Carol
Carol
9 years ago

I know a lot of people who have been cheated on and more than a few cheaters. And I’ve never come across anyone who felt, even remotely, that cheating was self-actualization.

I can only assume that these folks (this lady and Dr. Tammy, etc.) have a need to spin infidelity in this way, and so they do. They need a novel viewpoint, something unique, to sell their books and get their articles published. The stone cold, hard, dirty and downright un-glamorous truth isn’t high class enough. We are simple minded and that’s our problem. LOL

Yeah, I’d be pissed about the comment that your situation went beyond infidelity. Perhaps it did. But here’s the rub; the rest of the story isn’t what usually does a marriage in. Most of us can deal with financial woes and other assorted crap. It’s the cheating that’s the deal breaker. So no, it’s really not any more complicated than infidelity.

She can write a book. I don’t know anyone who could believe that crap. Because it’s crap. But hey, I guess it makes for a good academic conference break out session.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Good points. And the question of “things beyond infidelity” is odd simply because infidelity involves lying, cheating, deception (meaning concocting scenarios to hide the affair and the time/money/attention it takes up) and in many cases, stealing money from the family, What kind of people can carry on like this for years? They are cheating because where there should be empathy and a heart, there is a bottomless well of narcissistic need. In this case, like the proverbial blind squirrel, Perel might have found something, but she fails to realize the universal nature of what she’s found. If she sees infidelity as being about sex and desire, then every single F***ing one of us experienced “things beyond infidelity,” because (as I have come to believe) the sex (or the emotion-filled emails and texts or the trolling on Craig’s List) is just an expression of the dynamic at the heart of infidelity–“you aren’t the boss of me,” “I am not accountable to anyone,” “Rules don’t apply to me,” “I want what I want when I want it, and too bad for you.” Take your pick.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Esther and her cohorts seem to think the only emotion involved in infidelity is some variation of jealousy. That’s so far from the truth. The actual physical contact he had with the skanks wasn’t the biggest blow. It was the deception, duplicity, lies , disrespect (what it said about what he REALLY thought of me)….that is at the heart of betrayal. She has it all wrong….it isn’t about sex, it IS character.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

Exactly, it’s not about the sex.

As a guy, I felt totally eviscerated by the affairs. Someone said (I believe on CL) that once your spouse has slept with someone else, there’s no way to rebuild their respect in you. For one, they’ve exerted the ultimate power move.

This is especially hurtful when a my end of the marriage wasn’t about power-struggles but more mutual caring. What a dope I was. The introduction of this power-centric dynamic was like bringing a chainsaw to a Tupperware party.

I hate the truth in the line from House of Cards, “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” — Oscar Wilde quote originally.

Nat1
Nat1
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

Yes!

lindadanette
lindadanette
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

Don’t you wish there was some kind of “virtual reality”” machine we could hook these people up to… both the cheaters and those who endorse them. I’d like to watch them experience the indescribable hell most of us have lived through – without any buffer. Then we’ll see what kind of pompous proclamations the ass-hat cheaters (and the Esthers) have to share. That would be the kind of instant karma that would give “meaningless” some meaning! BTW, my ex was juggling “meaningless” sex with three of his ho-workers and whoever else he could seduce with his sparkly lies – including me. He had the audacity to tell the therapist we had grown apart… but he was never going to leave me. you can’t make this stuff up and you sure as hell can’t pretend to understand it unless you’ve gone through the mind-fuck hell of it.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  lindadanette

Would that be great if they could just feel it for a week, a month???? I wished for that more than once.
Part of the shock is how differing your realities really are….one had their ego fed at the expense of the one whose ego is destroyed.

Luziana
Luziana
9 years ago

My wasband invested thousands of times more effort into concealing his emotional, then physical affair than it would have taken to simply leave or lift a finger to work on our relationship. He even admitted that the issues he thought were so intractable were in fact minor and solvable. But he no longer had an affinity with “my core as a person.”

But he HAD to blow up our family to be with Schmoopie. His happiness is a goal so paramount that it requires everyone in the vicinity be drenched with emotional napalm.

In the past 2 1/2 months since D-Day I’ve done every single healing, dignified, kind of mature physical and mental exercise that a human being can muster to rise above, and one day out of ten still wakes me in a cold sweat of PTSD at the cruelty and verbal abuse he sprayed behind him when he left.

It’s not about love. It’s not adrenalin. It’s not mystery or joy or variety or growth. It’s an unnecessary choice to inflict pain on the person you pledged to protect and cherish. For fun. That’s an adventure like a crime spree is. Rationalizing it makes it worse.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Luziana, so sorry you are going through this. And you are still in early days. If you only have the “cold sweat of PTSD” one day out of ten, you are mighty!

And this is not only true, but very well said: “That’s an adventure like a crime spree is. Rationalizing it makes it worse.”

lissa
lissa
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Luziana, if you are able to be dignified, focused on healing, and only wake up in a cold sweat 1 day our of 10 at a mere 2 1/2 months after D-Day then you are mighty, indeed. I am so impressed. I was a wretched mess for months after the emotional affair came out (when he said he would choose his “innocent friendship” with her over his relationship with me – if I continued to be suspicious and nag him about it. His wife of 17 years and mother of his children. When the physical stuff came out (different woman by then) and we were on the road to divorce but living together, I become so physically ill that I came close to being hospitalized. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. And I most assuredly was not dignified. You are doing a terrific job coping and moving forward! Also, ditch the crappy friend. That’s not a friend in any true sense of the word and you do not need that kind of toxicity in your life.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  lissa

“if I continued to be suspicious and nag him about it”, OMG….they will say some of the stupidest shit. About three weeks after the first D-day, he tells me that he is sick and tired of my jealousy, and he “refuses to walk on egg-shells” one more day. I just told him, “hmmm……do you want to accept ANY personal responsibility for that!!!”

What a dumbass.

Syringa
Syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Well said Luziana, ‘It’s not mystery or joy or variety or growth. It’s an unnecessary choice to inflict pain on the person you pledged to protect and cherish. For fun. That’s an adventure like a crime spree is. Rationalizing it makes it worse.’

I had the ‘privilege’ of reading the emails between my now (x) husband and the OW and they did it for FUN! They had FUN napalming my life! They made jokes about me!! They chuckled at my despair and tears. Yup that’s what those fuckers did.

I wonder if Esther would consider that ‘beyond infidelity?’

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

Syringa, reading about how they laughed at your sorrow turned my stomach. What bastards,

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

And its this sort of stuff as to why you have people who murder OW/OMs while they’re in bed with their own husband/wife. Completely understandable to see someone lose all reason and to just revert back to primitive instinct.
Fucking disgusting, every single last one of these shitheads.

Alyosha
Alyosha
9 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

Sick f*cks. Soulless rebrobate subhuman scum.

Linda
Linda
9 years ago
Reply to  Alyosha

Yeah baby. Tell it.

lindadanette
lindadanette
9 years ago
Reply to  Alyosha

^^^^ THIS!

Luziana
Luziana
9 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

It truly is terrible. I refused to look at the actual thousands of texts they exchanged, but the volume and timing told me all I needed to kick his ass out. I asked ONCE for him to sever contact. he said no, and he was gone in nine days after taking a large loan from his father. He publicly declared himself “in love” exactly seven weeks after starting the affair. I am NC except for my stepdaughter, who is being pressured to accept this woman and her kids as family. It’s all so meaningless, Esther!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

That large loan from his father will never be enough for all the therapy your stepdaughter is gonna need.

The impact of all this on our kids is what is most horrifying.

Luziana
Luziana
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Oh, he’ll never let her go to therapy. Everything he’s doing is fine, and “if Dad is happy she will be too.”

He said that. I just….can’t fathom. My children are going to therapy.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Sounds like we’re in similar boats. My kids and I are in therapy from now until Kingdom Come.

“If Dad is happy, she’ll be happy, too” is the same leave-it-to-happenstance philosophy that he used to justify his cheating. Good luck with that, bro.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Our society needs to get over this entitlement to the mysterious and elusive “happy.” I mean what the hell is it?

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Oh, Luziana– my sympathies to you. I am now officially 2 years and about a month out from DDay, divorced, on my lonely old, but honest self, beginning to recover in all kinds of ways…and I still get the PTSD nightmares, I rarely trust anyone, et cetera.

I think your description of “cruelty and verbal abuse …sprayed..when he left ” is brilliant. So is “An adventure like a crime spree.” Just brilliant, and it captures the experience in a nutshell–so hard to get across to folks who’ve not been there.

So I guess my question to Queen Esther, and anybody really is: what the fuck does “beyond” infidelity actually mean?

Is she parsing the difference between the actual physical fucking part (or sucking, or what have you…) and all the rest? what about the emotional wreckage? As Luziana says, the cruelty and abuse sprayed out– it’s so common I’d say it’s pretty much par for the course, and those who didn’t get this delicious after-treat are rare (or probably in her terms, (“rara avis”…sounds fancier, right?)

I cannot comprehend what goes “beyond” infidelity…murder?

(NB clearly our gal Esther does not get that cheating is what the wise Divorce Minister calls ‘soul rape.’ I mean seriously, what’s beyond that? I’ve been raped, and I’ve been cheated on, and I’ll take the rape any day. God, what a horrible choice. (Hélas, both by husbands. Never gonna get married again, that’s for sure ! )

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Just mindless word salad bullshit from her pretentious ‘only speak French to her children’ empty skull. That’s all it is.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Hang in there Luziana! You are just a few months from DDay and you managed to find CL and to only wake up in cold sweat one day out of ten. I cried EVERY day for six months, even after I discovered CL because she and commentators confirmed that my cheater was a common asshole, not a special soulmate like I used to think. But it is necessary to go through the mourning and pain and try to get it out of your system through everything you are doing. I am eight months from Dday and I only cry once in a while, usually out of anger from all the financial, legal and single parenting stuff I have to deal with. But I don´t cry anymore about missing the marriage because I now realize that I was married to an abuser. She can keep him. I am free to be me again…

Luziana
Luziana
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Thank you, Susan! There is logic, and there’s delusion. Sometimes I still wake up in delusion mode.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago

Cheating can never be meaningless. The cheater is an adult who understands the multiple consequences for his/her marriage and the pain it will cause his/her partner, children, family and friends but doesn´t care (narcissists have no empathy). Therefore, they take risks knowingly, they plan consciously, they steal time, love, money from their family without hesitation because, as CL repeats often, they feel entitled to do so. And if they kept it secret, they know it is wrong. Full stop.

Every time I managed to get my “good” cheater to understand that the cheating part was all his fault he acted a bit guilty but then came up with some way of blaming back on me (he once said to me “No, it is impossible that all this is my fault…it just can´t be…”). His justification was in the Esther Perel sense “I didn´t mean to hurt you but I needed to feel like a “man”” while at the same time his acts of betrayal and indifference at home humiliated and denigrated me as a “woman.”

This is plain, straight-forward psychological abuse and seeing it like this has helped me on the road to “meh.” Before I had the chance to read CL and other literature on narcissistic abuse, I accepted my responsibility for communication problems, boring sex, etc that all couples have, but now I now see them as all tainted by the cheating…how can you “communicate” or establish a good sexual relationship with someone who is thinking about how soon s/he can get out the door to have his next rendezvous? I used to think my STBXH was depressed and could not be affectionate and was going through a period of sexual malfunction, and I tried to understand it, but now I realize that it was
his form of abuse by not giving me what I wanted the most: his love. It is obvious that he was perfectly capable of giving everything I wanted to someone else, “so there, so I could feel like a man.”

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Susan – boy, you hit the nail on the head. I also thought my H was depressed and had sexual issues and was so patient with him. HA – what a waste of my love. It all came together of when this disassociation started with me, and when her’s began. And, we loved these guys who held sex and affection from us far too long – yes, I have since learned this is definitely a form of control and abuse. Sorry, guess we have a small club of folks like us.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago
Reply to  Shechump

Yes, of course…the disassociation coincides. And they are so twisted that not only do they withhold affection to control, abuse and blame us for their malfunction but they also (the “good” ones who cheat with one person at a time) do it to prove their fidelity to their AP! When I read the emails in which the OW would ask if my cheater if he was sleeping with me or if he had flirted with anyone else (playful jealousy) I understood that his emotional distance and his never going to bed with me at the same time was a way of being faithful to her! You are so right, these assholes were such a waste of love, time and patience!

ANC
ANC
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

We married the same guy. 🙁

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

To be fair, she does say that cheating is wrong and terrible, and that it doesn’t lead to fulfillment like cheaters think it will, but then it’s all wrapped up in a lot of minimizing language too, and the only thing I can think of is that verbiage basically boils down to “get over it already”, so it comes off slightly abrasive to anybody who has gone through all the abusive/manipulative behavior that usually accompanies cheating, and it comes off like a lot of the minimizing/lack-of-remorse stuff that most of us heard when we were going through our respective experiences.

I’m all for people becoming more resilient: don’t let this crap define you. But… it was crap. You learn from it, and then you move on. But… it was total crap, and sugar-coating (or even chocolate-coating) the crap sandwiches we were force-fed by our cheaters isn’t going to turn them into tasty morsels.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

That was an amazing post!

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

He’s an asshole, not a man. Feeling like a man is not the same as being a man.

A man is honorable, decent, hardworking, honest, courageous, compassionate, and true.

And I’m sure you know, it’s a genderless thing.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Thanks Dan, the man! You give me hope that there are more of you (us) out there…

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Tons of good guys, Susan. I could introduce you to 10 off the top of my head right now. They’re all married, but ‘what the hey!’ LOL JK’ing totally.

LilyBart
LilyBart
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

I never thought I’d say this, but: Today, I am proud to be a man.
🙂

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  LilyBart

Always be proud to be a man.

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan, I think I just swooned.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  chumppalla

I was just thinking, “damn…..they don’t have Dans in Alabama”. So, I shall remain a building unto myself. Poor me.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  chumppalla

Me too.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

“Feeling like a man is not the same as being a man.

A man is honorable, decent, hardworking, honest, courageous, compassionate, and true.”

LOVE. Thanks for this, Dan. I don’t think I’ve heard the distinction put so simply and so powerfully. I’d add that you have to ‘be’ first before you can ‘feel.’ And, you’re right: it applies to both genders.

sunshine
sunshine
9 years ago

I am also an “adventure-junkie”, but there are lots of other ways to get excitement than to screw around and screw over your best friend/ lover/ spouse. An exciting job, international travel, dangerous hobbies, ethnic food, spontaneous anything, even an adrenaline-inducing book: these don’t require you to compromise your morals or your life partner’s physical, emotional, and financial health. Besides, shouldn’t your quest for “exuberant defiance” be about fulfilling your needs yourself, not about finding fulfillment through others? And, if you are so lame that screwing around is the only way you can find fulfillment, then get a divorce already and have at it!

Hoodwinked
Hoodwinked
9 years ago
Reply to  sunshine

Yes, love this comment sunshine! The excuse of cheating as being exciting or rebellious is so disgusting. Get a life already and stop blaming your spouse for your boredom.

sunshine
sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Hoodwinked

Thanks, hoodwinked 🙂

dslak
dslak
9 years ago

Maybe my ex-wife was a good cheater? She did blame her cheating on how I treated her, and some of the things she said were even true. I was overly critical, for example, although I was under a lot of stress as I was in the last stages of completing my Ph.D. But no excuses for making someone feel bad, right (unless it was cheating that made them feel bad!)? Sure, she could have explained her feelings to me during the hour or two I set aside to be with her each day despite my schedule, or when I took her out on a date, but maybe I really was just an awful husband, such that she had no other choice. She even told me that she was “sorry this had to happen.”

Anyway, back to how she might be a good cheater. Let’s say I really was holding her back, and cheating on me was simply her first step on the path to self-actualization. I think we’ve moved a bit – if not way – beyond infidelity when it comes to how she spoke of her affair partner. After telling me how the two of them had discussed their future plans together (he would even take antihistamines to deal with his allergy to our cats), she later informed me that she didn’t care if things worked about between him and her. “If you didn’t care what happened,” I said, “you wouldn’t be in a relationship with him in the first place.” When I later confronted the other man, and asked him to end it, he said he could not, because he “only wanted her to be happy.” Which is interesting, because his happiness did not seem to be a concern for her.

I guess the trouble I’m having is that I can’t see how using two people to serve your own needs could possibly be good. Whatever “self-actualization” veneer you put on it, there are now two people being used to serve as ego-boosters for another person, and both are being deceived. It’s been a while since I took undergrad psychology, but I’m pretty sure that using people in this way is not considered a wholesome path to self-actualization. To end, it seems that not even my seemingly justified cheater ex was a good cheater. In fact, Perel’s “good cheater” is an obvious user of other people, and she has conflated the positive feelings of certain “self-actualized” psychological states with moral norms. But using people as fuck-toys is without their consent is wrong, no matter how it makes you feel.

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  dslak

It doesn’t matter what you brought to the table, dslak. Divorce may be justified, but cheating NEVER is.

D I V O R C E.

The cheater had options and chose to cheat. It’s on the cheater 100% every single fucking time.

My cheater actually said these words to me: “I was a GOOOOOOOOD Boy!” Because of the shit things he DIDN’T do.

GAH.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  chumppalla

It’s bad enough to be blamed for the most devastating thing that ever happened to you, it adds insult to injury when it comes from the RIC and community at large.

I thank the Lord that he gave me a mouth big enough to eat all those shit sandwiches. They do build muscle.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago
Reply to  dslak

It´s narcisstic abuse, dslak, plain abuse…She doesn´t care how you feel or even how her OM feels. She just cares about getting kibbles for herself,..don´t dwell on it.

dslak
dslak
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Hi, Susan. Thank you for the comment, but my remarks were mostly tongue-in-cheek, even if the events described therein were real. Sometimes that doesn’t come across when writing, especially when it involves an account of one’s experiences with infidelity.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago
Reply to  dslak

Oops…sorry I didn´t get it the first time…Hugs.

Feistypants
Feistypants
9 years ago

Oh Ester you’re going to get your ass handed to you.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Feistypants

Yep.

Champ, Not Chump!
Champ, Not Chump!
9 years ago

Okay, so I wasn’t married to either of the asshats that cheated on me. Does that make it better? Less bad? Did it leave me at any less risk for an STD? Any less devastated to find out what a fool I’d been plyed for?

In both cases, my cheaters professed to “love me more than they’d ever loved anyone.” In fact, the last lying shit declared, as nearly the last words I heard out of his mouth in person, that he intended to marry me. That was only hours before I found the emails from match.com. Hours before I realized that he actually DID intend to marry me, because I believe he’s the brand of cheater who finds it convenient to have a doting little woman at home taking care of all the dirty work while he exercises his options. He gets a thrill, I believe, out of the very act of lying and deception.

Granted, I didn’t have to divorce him or fight for custody or untangle finances. I just got to put up with him stalking me for over a year, and I’m certain he still stalks me online.

I know there are far worse experiences than mine, but it doesn’t make him any less sick or harmful. It only makes me lucky I found out before I married the bastard.

He can bite me, Esther can bite me. Walk a mile in the shoes of one of us, lay awake at night grieving the loss of your family, feel the humiliation of asking your doctor for a full STD work up, explain to your children why they can’t have the things they need because daddy spends all his money on his AP or whores. Do that, Esther, then you can write an intelligent discourse on the theory of cheating.

Marci
Marci
9 years ago

I wonder if Esther has ever been a chump.

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago

My and my child’s PTSD? Meaningless. Scars? Meaningless. Emotional terrorism? Meaningless. Putting your teenage kid in a situation where they see suicide as they only way out? Meaningless. Giving your partner an STD and rendering her infertile? Meaningless.

Esther, welcome to the blog. Hopefully you will realize not just the stupidity of your position, but also how dangerous it is.

dslak
dslak
9 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Look, Mehphista. Sure, all those things sound bad, but what about how the cheater feels, or what drives them to cheat? Can you confidently say that driving someone to suicidal depression or giving another person an STD that renders them infertile outweighs the self-actualization a person might achieve through cheating?

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago
Reply to  dslak

Yes, because self-actualization is an abstract, bullshit rationalization for narcissistic entitlement if you fuck another person in secret in order to do it, and gaslighting and emotionally abusing your own kid to the point of self harm and suicide is evil. All because he is such a special little sunbeam. Oh! Wait! I suppose I should be grateful he didn’t give me HIV. Or kill me, as threatened.

I get the sarcasm, dslak, but make no apology for not finding the 400 or so scars on my kid’s arms and legs funny, or that a thirteen year old kid feels (correctly) that to her Dad, his dick is more important than his daughter. She will carry that all her life, and I just can’t find that funny.

Sorry, I am sure this lack of humor and moral absolutism on my part is what drove him to cheat, and fucking your kid over is indeed a legitimate part of self-actualization.

If you truly think that, go forth and actualize yourself.

dslak
dslak
9 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Mehphista, the humor was not targeted at you, but as a mockery of Perel’s attempts to minimize the consequences of cheating. The point is that, whatever their motives, cheaters can’t control the knock-on effects from their actions, but they do bear responsibility for putting them in motion. Your case puts the lie to the notion of the “victimless affair.”

Since the cheater cannot control how others react to their cheating, this means the severity of the outcome is largely a matter of luck. The minimizers can, of course, point to those cases where the only pain is of the emotional kind, borne by the betrayed spouse. This problem should really be treated the same way as drunk driving (which also took years of work to accomplish). That is, drunk driving is itself a serious violation that merits punishment, even if no one was hurt. Because drunk drivers don’t control whether they hurt someone – that’s just a matter of chance.

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago
Reply to  dslak

No offense taken, dslak-good analogy with drunk driving. Perel deserves everything she gets on this blog. Whether she understands it is another matter.

Whether a drunk runs over a toddler is indeed a matter of chance and not intention. Their driving drunk, though? A matter of choice, that significantly increases the chance of catastrophic harm. That works as a moral philosophy problem, but in real life, much messier. I am sure Mr Fab didn’t INTEND for his affair with his brother’s ex (who DD regarded as an Aunt, and I a friend) to have the dire effects it did on his child. So that makes it all okay.

FLBright
FLBright
9 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Mephista – I feel for you and your daughter. My Ex-NPD became vicious and cut me off from my three step-daughters the moment I asked for the divorce. The first time I got to see my oldest step-daughter in 18 months was in a behavioral center after she had attempted suicide. When she saw me walk through the door of the facility she flew across the room and flung herself into my arms and clung to me for the whole 35 minutes that we got to talk. 35 minutes. In 18 months.

Ms. Perel – Chumplady often refers to folks who have never been the victim of infidelity as the “smug unknowing class”. I think it is difficult to really understand what it really is like, how horrific it really is, unless it’s happened to you. So, perhaps it’s never happened to you, and it’s just going to be really difficult for you to “get it”. But, apparently, you have some sort of platform through which you are choosing to reach out to the greater public regarding the topic of Infidelity. I hope you’ll spend some time here. I hope you will learn. And I hope you will have the wisdom to use your platform with more care. To boil it right down, you’re just wrong. Period. I hope that you will figure that out here. I hope you don’t actually have to go through a DDay experience to realize how wrong you are. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Syringa
Syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  FLBright

FL Bright…I WISH it with ALL my heart that Skank Woman gets her Dday soon with my XH. She knew exactly what she was doing when she fucked my husband and she deserves every shitty thing that ever rains down on her head up to and including catching him fucking a NEW skank woman. Bwahahahaha. I know it’s not very Meh but I would love that soOOooo much. She thinks she’s So Special, he left his wife and happy home just for her. I want her to find out that, no, not really. She isn’t. He’s been married a half dozen times and had dozens more affairs. She really ain’t shit. Just the latest blow up party doll in the passenger seat making him look good.

Dan
Dan
9 years ago
Reply to  dslak

It sure helps to know that you’ve such a sarcastic bent, dslak!

Right on.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Oh you guise, I love your discourse, er, convo. Seriously, Mephista, I feel for you, as I do for everyone on this blog.

It’s really quite incredible. We clearly come from quite a variety of political, religious (geographic!!) and what-have-you different life places.

Yet we all have cheaters who used the same damned manual–possibly re-read different chapters, but, really, same damned manual. The “I-Only_care_About-My_Needs_Now_lalalalalal_I_can’t_hear_you” manual.

Esther has so much to learn, she doesn’t even know how much she has to learn!

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Indeed. Knowing how they all sing from the same Cheater Hymn sheet has saved my life.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago

Raising my hand to say, according to that definition, my experience “goes beyond infidelity” . LOL.

Now, that is not my experience having met and known a lot of people who have dealt with this crap: what I experienced had its quirks, but is kind of amazing in its sameness to most others.

It was no some antiseptic, cheating-in-a-vacuum clinical thing at all: it came with unusual radar-alerting behavior, gas-lighting, disrespect, blame-shifting, put-downs and a host of other manipulative and dishonest acts that were probably were a better fit than most of what passes for emotional abuse. It was friggin aweful, terrible behavior, and I don’t think that’s uncommon.

It definitely wasn’t sanitized, clinical cheating if that rare bird even exists.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

err, I need an editor:
—–
t was not some antiseptic, cheating-in-a-vacuum thing at all: it came with unusual radar-alerting behavior, gas-lighting, disrespect, blame-shifting, put-downs and a host of other manipulative and dishonest acts that probably were a better fit than most of what passes for emotional abuse. It was friggin’ aweful, terrible behavior, and I don’t think that’s uncommon.

It definitely wasn’t sanitized, clinical cheating if that rare bird even exists.

fixed

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

Good point, TH. That’s what people like Esther don’t consider. The amount of abuse that is necessary to carry on an affair (or a series of harmless sleep-overs).

MissTwizzler
MissTwizzler
9 years ago

A cheater is a cheater, plain and simple….and they suck!

nomar
nomar
9 years ago

“Meaningless Fling”: An extra-marital affair that does not involve *your* spouse. Similar to “not the bad kind of rattlesnake bite” and “not the bad kind of lung cancer.”

My bet is that Ms. Perel has either: 1) never been cheated and so has no basis in experience for her opinions; or 2) has cheated herself and is eager to minimize or justify that cheating. Given her bragging to the NY Times that she was “raised in a community of Holocaust survivors” (As if that is some kind of qualification or accomplishment by HER? As if being driven around in a station wagon in my childhood makes me a Chevrolet?), her choice to stand with the powerful (cheaters) against the powerless (the duped and defrauded) is stunning.

If she’s looking for more questionable plaudits for her CV, I nominate her for The Least Compassionate Therapist in America.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

“As if being driven around in a station wagon in my childhood makes me a Chevrolet?”

A classic Nomar!!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

“Given her bragging to the NY Times that she was “raised in a community of Holocaust survivors” (As if that is some kind of qualification or accomplishment by HER? As if being driven around in a station wagon in my childhood makes me a Chevrolet?)”

LOL!!! Bang on, Nomar. I find it hilarious that someone can actually make a comment that someone’s experiences “go beyond infidelity.” How can you quantify something when you don’t even know what the ‘something’ actually is?

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

I could not agree more, nomar. There’s something broken in her that, as a psychotherapist, she cannot comprehend the damage and pain of infidelity.

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

I would say lack of empathy is the biggie.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

“My bet is that Ms. Perel has either: 1) never been cheated and so has no basis in experience for her opinions; or 2) has cheated herself and is eager to minimize or justify that cheating.”

This. Right here. She’s either ignorant or guilty.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

I’m guessing 1 & 2, and everything LAJ said.

Nomar…..awesome post.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Or convinced of her vast superiority. The thing about being “chumped” is that those who cheat or who have never experienced betrayal and infidelity can tell themselves that it wouldn’t happen to them because they are either 1) enlightened; 2) a model spouse or partner; 3) super special, with a perfect spouse; or 4) the one busy chumping someone else. There’s no question that she condescends to those of us who clearly couldn’t keep a wandering narcissist entertained. After all, she’s given a TED talk, right? And gets written up in major newspapers. No point for me spending my adult life helping young people become highly literate or teaching them not to lie, cheat, steal.

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

I’m betting on guilty. She’s gone beyond insensitive into outrageous. That’s a flag.

lovehonorcherish
lovehonorcherish
9 years ago

*sigh* I think I have finally become exhausted at trying to figure out the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of stbxh’s affair. I’m left with a few simple and indisputable facts: his moral compass is broken; he cheated because he wanted to and he could; he must have wanted out but didn’t have the balls to say so…instead he chose the most destructive, hurtful path to “freedom” that he could; he is a selfish, immature, immoral coward who quite happily gave me the shit end of the stick. Esther what’s-her-name and all the other so called “experts” can just stick it where the sun don’t shine!

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago

LHC, sadly, the answer to why doesn’t boil down to anything more convoluted than “because they could”. Period. End of story. That IS the reason.

How? Cause what they want matters, and you don’t. It isn’t personal. They are incapable of consideration for anyone but themselves.

That’s the skein, and getting that goes a long way in getting you unstuck.

firepainter
firepainter
9 years ago

Reading Ms. Perel’s defensive drivel makes me so angry. I had to stop yesterday when I got to “simple transgression”. Synonyms for transgression are: breach, crime, debt, error, lawbreaking, malefaction, misdeed, misdoing, sin, offense, trespass, violation, wrongdoing. So, yeah, real simple. Continue to make light of the horror show that the cheated on have to deal with. Fork u Ms. Perel, Fork u.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago

Great points CL!
I for one was more, let me say MUCH more devastated I was when my husband told me it meant nothing! I was like WTF? You men I actually mean THAT little to you that you would risk my physical, emotional & mental health for a whore???
I subscribe that it DID mean a lot to them. Not as a soul mate maybe, but as “kibbles”, ego boost, fun, whatever. Mine had (has) a job where he gets up for work at 3:30 am & get home about 4-5PM exhausted. He goes to bed at 8:30 weeknights & about 11:00 on Fridays & Saturdays. Somehow, he fit in a schmoopie fix on Friday nights whenever he could. I on the other hand have a sales job where I make my own hours. I am usually up until 1:00 am, and am home writing this now at 10:36AM. I work with doctors (another pretty cheaty group) and would have endless opportunities to mess around and probably would have a more successful career if I wanted to play the flirt game or the which body part will scarcely be contained in my outfit game, much less the “hide the sausage” game. It ticked me off he barely had enough time to do chores, work & sleep & still found the time. I am sure he didn’t stick to the above time schedule when he was rolling around with her…..I’ll bet he could stay up half the night doing that!!

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Regina – whoa – I had a husband’s schedule very similar to that. He worked from home! When in the world did he have time to cook up this batch of bitch cookies to serve me? I’m guessing his mind was in overload, with the work and juggling two women. No wonder he felt *so relieved* when I caught him. Now, he didn’t have to lie anymore. Whew – bet that felt good. Except, he landed on the curb. Hope he sleeps well now.

stuntchump
stuntchump
9 years ago

Holy Saint Joan of Smores, I am once again amazed at CL’s ability to articulate so clearly what I think and feel when I myself am unable.

FLBright
FLBright
9 years ago
Reply to  stuntchump

Ditto. Repeatedly.

Flowerlady
Flowerlady
9 years ago

These articles about infidelity are really starting to drive me crazy. I’m tired of all of the discussions about types of cheaters, types of cheating, justifications, rationalizations, causes, cheater needs, and all of the blah blah blah that makes infidelity seem like this big complicated thing that needs to be understood.
Relationships can be complicated, sure.
Infidelity is not complicated. Nothing complicated about it. You make an agreement. You keep it or you don’t. Not complicated. Everything surrounding it is circumstance. Smack dab in the middle of the bullseye is your choice. It’s a pass/fail. Not complicated.

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
9 years ago
Reply to  Flowerlady

AMEN, Flowerlady! It really ISN’T complicated at all! If you don’t want to be monogamous, STAY SINGLE, and find others who have no problem with non-monogamy.

It really IS that simple!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Flowerlady

I agree, Fower. I’m tired of people like Esther making money off of our pain, making infidelity out to be sexy somehow. We need to get our Chump Lady on the talk show circuit to spread the word AND give her the monetary reward she deserves. Surely one of us chumps knows an agent!

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Yep….we need to see her out there, speaking for all of us.

Flowerlady
Flowerlady
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Chumplady should consider starting a youtube channel and do short videos once or twice a week. It would be a free way to get a lot of exposure, possibly make money and get her message out.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Flowerlady

That’s true. Original content on a YouTube channel would get her noticed, although she might want to disable comments from the peanut gallery!

Tracy, get out your camera and start practicing!

Doop
Doop
9 years ago

It is safe to say my experience also went beyond infidelity. (Anyone else hearing “to infidelity and beeeeeyyyyyonnnnnnndddd!”?)

But, even if it was “just” cheating, that’s enough. Just cheating is just lying, just stealing, just endangering. I can hardly stand to play golf with people who fudge their scores. Why would I want to spend life with someone who does?

Doop
Doop
9 years ago
Reply to  Doop

Outstanding!

P.F
P.F
9 years ago
Reply to  Doop

Brilliant!!!

nomar
nomar
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Someone needs to Photoshop Ms. Perel’s “petite, perfumed, blonde” (per the Times) head into Buzz’s space helmet and change the Meme’s text to, “To INFIDELITY and beyond!”

Oh, and maybe while you’re Photoshopping you could swap out Woody with a big sprinkle-covered turd.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

I hope this works.
Buzz

fiestypants
fiestypants
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

ha!

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  fiestypants

OMG – that’s talent and captures it perfectly. SEE why I love my CNation!!!! Thanks for the great laugh.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Hahahaha, that’s great!

nomar
nomar
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

LOVE THIS! Boy, she looks kind of evil, doesn’t she? And poor Woody! I think he’s being assaulted in the pelvic region!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

She’s had some work around the eyes, I think.

Kara
Kara
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Oh my god I actually LOL’d. XD XD

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Woody is ready for his sparkly turd snack now.

FLBright
FLBright
9 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

NICE! LOVE!

Louise
Louise
9 years ago

Yes, my X had a “meaningless” affair and that made it all the worse! He threw away a long-term marriage for some quickie blow jobs in his car! Years and years of love, children, good times and bad, for NOTHING! Oh, and he didn’t “intend” to hurt me, either, which means he never once thought of me, considered me or cared about me while he was imploding our marriage. Meaningless to him? I guess, because, as long as his emotions weren’t on the line, it didn’t matter. Meaningless to me? Fuck no, because I actually gave a shit about the state of our marriage.

And that’s the problem in a nutshell. Anything that doesn’t impact the cheater is meaningless. For the rest of us mere mortals, who are capable of, you know, human emotions, cheating is one of the most devastating experiences we will ever live through. It takes years to recover from infidelity and, even then, the scars remain. So please spare me the distinction. My X’s meaningless affair hurt me just as badly as if he had found the “love of his life.” Barf.

Only way is up
Only way is up
9 years ago
Reply to  Louise

agree

notesfromthebathroomfloor
notesfromthebathroomfloor
9 years ago

I heard “it meant nothing” from my cheater about his long-term affair, visit to an erotic massage parlor, ads on Craigslist etc. But he told his affair partner how much he meant to her, and he spent a lot of time, effort, and money making all of this happen.

If I hadn’t told him I was done, he’d still be playing this game. Only when I walked away, did AP “win” her prize.

It meant nothing. It meant everything. Well, which is it then?

LilyBart
LilyBart
9 years ago

Oops, that was me,LilyBart. This is what happens when I post from my phone. 🙂

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago

She sounds confused. The only meaningless part of an extramarital “fling” is how the cheater views their marriage vows and commitments. It is not meaningless to have those violated….no matter how casually a cheater does it.

chump indeed
chump indeed
9 years ago

CL, we hear that shit all the time! I have to bite my tongue everytime I hear a conversation about infidelity (most people don’t know about what happened to me). Everytime, you are sure to hear someone say that they would rather not know about it because a fling does’nt mean anything. Or that it was just the fog, not the cheater’s real personality. I just feel too strongly about this to reply to these blissfully ignorant folks. There is no such thing as a “Disney infidelity”.

Hello Esther? You say CL’s experience went beyond cheating. Good, you figured that out for Tracy and you are perfectly right. Now, this is where you can generalize this conclusion. Everyone who is cheated on has an experience that goes far beyond the cheating. Of course, it’s not just the sex with somebody else. Meaningless flings don’t exist!!!! They really don’t! It’s never just a one night stand. NEVER! It’s never like that except in movies.

Bad cheater or good cheater makes no difference. A cheater (whatever the kind) is always lying and manipulating his/her spouse. Even I will tell you that my ex is a good person who takes care of his mother and everything. But he took me for granted, took fogiveness for granted and manipulated me for years. For the longest time, I could’nt rationalize his cheating because he was such a good guy. But what he did to me was very wrong, even if he can be a good person with others (like the OW, as a matter of fact).

There is no grey with cheating. It’s a black and white thing, period.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago
Reply to  chump indeed

Chump indeed, reminds me of mafia boss excuses….he loves his other…so, he must not be a bad person (murdering and cutting up bodies aside).

Another English Lady
Another English Lady
9 years ago

It is nearly 1 year since I found out that my husband of 34 years( together 36) had 2 year affair with a single coworker 31 years his junior (23 years my junior). The pain is still excruciating and I can’t get over it.
I had all the ” it just happened” crap and “I never meant to hurt you” , “I didn’t think you’d find out”, “I was addicted ” etc. etc.
Now he is “sorry” and wants us to “put all this behind us”.
If only. I wonder if they would still be going at it if I hadn’t discovered the disgusting sexting and intimate loving messages.
I want to be sick every time I think about it.
It is certainly a horror story and I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy.
Will I ever get over it and learn to trust again? I hope so but I am still crushed and feel overwhelming sadness every day.
I have confided in one close friend and my daughter knows how I feel but otherwise I have to pretend everything is just fine. It can’t go public you see because of his “reputation and the damage it would do”.
This woman spouts so much insulting shit I can’t believe it.
We chumps have all suffered so much – each story different but the outcome is the same – total heartbreak.
Thank God for this site and to CL for understanding. Chump Nation is life saving.
I certainly hope this idiot woman learns something from reading all our comments.

Lania
Lania
9 years ago

Screw that, you make it go public and let him suffer the consequences.
His reputation means shit when he has disrespected you so much.

Chumpanzee
Chumpanzee
9 years ago

Ester Perel’s brand of word salad is so mind boggling that it should be moved to the “Entree” section of the menu.
…with a little asterisk pointing to a footnote that says “consuming uncooked and half-baked psychobabble may be dangerous to your health”

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago

Okay, Esther, I gather you’ve never been cheated on (that you know of) and for that I am glad for you. But surely in your vast experience as a psychotherapist you have sat across the room from that broken man or woman whose despair due to infidelity is worse than someone who has experienced a death in their immediate family.

Couldn’t you see and feel their despair? Wasn’t it palpable? Everything they thought they could count on in their life is no longer true. When I sit across from my therapist, I can clearly see that she “gets it” when she repeats to me, “Yes, clients have told me it feels as though you’ve been thrown away.”

It’s true that I did not know how devastating infidelity is until it happened to me, but I’d think that sitting across from people who are in the throws of agony from the discovery of their partner’s affair would sort of get the general message across that it’s THE MOST PAINFUL FUCKING THING THEY’VE EVER HAD TO ENDURE IN THEIR LIVES.

Since you can’t seem to see how painful infidelity is, then I question your judgement on, well, EVERYTHING. There must be something broken in you that you have simply chosen to look at infidelity through a tiny opening which faces the cheater’s side. I’m sorry, Esther, but that’s a terrible observation method. And a really cheap way to make your living.

If there’s any chance you’ll actually bless us with your presence here today, I want to echo what many of my fellow chumps are saying, infidelity is severe abuse, in fact it’s one of the worst forms of abuse. I’ll be honest, I could endure a once a week beating for years and it wouldn’t hurt as much as knowing he threw me aside for a casual fling.

Esther, the first thing you need to do while doing your research for your upcoming book on infidelity is sit down with the ones who were cheated on. When you finally see the hopelessness and despair then you’ll understand that the one who cheated is disordered, selfish, cowardly, cruel, abusive, and in no way deserving of your sympathy and silly descriptions of self-actualization.

There’s never a reasonable explanation for cheating, Esther, ever. And until you can fully see the raw and severe pain of betrayal, you have no business writing on the subject or doing the talk show circuit.

But I suppose it pays better than someone who will sit across from Stephen Colbert and say, “Well, Stephen, there’s no excuse for cheating. It should be a criminal offense!”

Esther, it’s because of people like you, that people like us suffer even more. The only person we have in the world who truly understands infidelity is our captain, Tracy Shorn. Thank God for her standing by us week after week and month after month and seeing us through the darkest time in our lives.

But Tracy’s not getting rich off her commitment to us because talking about people who are barely hanging on to a will to live isn’t sexy and worthy of television or a TED talk. I do hope our Chump Lady gets her just reward and can join you on the talk show circuit to balance out the misinformation you present to the world.

The bottom line is this: Once you realize the true seriousness and pain of infidelity you can never sugar coat it or make excuses for it again. Ever.

Alyosha
Alyosha
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

That was fantastic, LM.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Bravo!!!!!!!!

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

I think her entry point into all of this is as follows:

She claims to have grown up among holocaust survivors and to have become interested in how some managed to go on a live good lives while others never fully recovered and lived lives filled with fear, suspicion, etc.

She then works for a while on “interfaith relationships”, her husband has worked with genocide survivors apparently (I know Bonano actually did a very good study of such folks also at Columbia–maybe that was the entry point?).

Within the last 10 years she starts working in the more lucrative field of working with couples affected by the infidelity of one of the partners. It’s not clear to me based on the little I have read and watched that she really gets it, or that she has a firm grasp over what the most common experiences with cheating are really like.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

I bet, however, if she discovered her husband was having an affair with a grad student after he ha