Dear Chump Lady,
Do ALL cheaters suck? Like many others, I discovered my wife of 15 years, partner, soulmate, mother of my two beautiful children was having an affair. The weird thing is, its been 1.5 years since the initial D-Day, and she’s STILL seeing the affair partner. Even after I’ve confronted her, told her that I’m ready to give up, and even went as far as proposing we end it all with a divorce.
Everytime, she begged for forgiveness, told me that she made some wrong choices, and will never see the OM again. Yet here we are, I just discovered a couple days ago that she had another meeting with the AP and was doing something very friendly with him 🙁
Why do I keep giving her chances? I just can’t envision her as “sucking.” I’ve read your posts, all of them, on “trust that they suck“, but I just can’t do it. 15 years ago, I married this sweet, adorable girl that I love more than anything in this world. She had great moral values, had a Christian upbringing (!!!), and would never do anything wrong. We’ve been through hell and back together. She was great to my friends, to my family… we were so close… how can she be a bad person?
So I kept making excuses for her, like “Maybe he’s tempting her”, or “Maybe she’s trying to break it off but just needs time”, or “She’s made some bad choices, but now she sees the light”. But none of it computes — Why would such a sweet, kind and loving girl suck? My logic engine is falling apart…. there MUST be an explanation!!
Dear Hopeless Romantic,
Your logic engine is falling apart because you’re not believing the evidence. You made a judgement — your wife is an adorable Christian with good values who would never do anything wrong. And the evidence is — she’s a run-of-the-mill cheater who lies through her teeth and doesn’t respect you.
The question isn’t what she is, it’s what you will tolerate.
You’ve made some baseless threats to divorce her, and she’s called your bluff. She did the kabuki theater of sorry, and has continued her affair. Because she doesn’t believe you. Because she’s willing to play this game of chicken with you — threatening your intact home life — to get what she wants — cake. Her affair(s) and you.
If you were writing to a different advice columnist, that person might suggest an open marriage. But that’d be lousy advice because the problem isn’t monogamy, the problem is her lousy character. All relationships — open or exclusive — require mutually agreed upon boundaries. And your wife has proven herself to be entitled — someone who unilaterally changes the rules of any agreement to benefit herself.
It sounds like you’d like the terms of the agreement you signed up for — a monogamous marriage. A wife who is wholly invested in you and your family. You don’t have that. You have a wife who is checked out, not sorry (her actions say that), and doing “friendly” things with her affair partner.
We only control ourselves. You cannot make your wife a better person. And even if she gets the proverbial character transplant, she’s still a person who cheated on you, and continued to cheat on you after you gave her the gift of reconciliation. You’ll never be able to trust her. And that’s some hellish mental gymnastics to live with. My suggestion is that you don’t live with it. Leave a cheater, gain a life. Call the divorce lawyer, and move on.
But Tracy, this letter is about ALL cheaters sucking. Are you going to address that?
I recently had a cheating wife ask me for unicorn-ing tips. Which letter I fed to the Universal Bullshit Translator. Her husband, by the way, recognized his wife and posted on the thread recently. He confronted her, she owned up to it.
“How can she be a bad person?” is wanting to believe in exceptionalism. Cheaters do this and chumps do this. As chumps this thought is expressed as spackle — making excuses for cheaters. Unicorns don’t exist. You just have evidence of character and what you’re willing to tolerate.
The weird thing is, its been 1.5 years since the initial D-Day, and she’s STILL seeing the affair partner.
“Weird” is a weird word choice. Devastating. Shattering. Enraging. Even, if you read here, predictably. Second chances invariably lead to second D-Days. Or 14th. Without meaningful consequences, cheaters feel emboldened. And why would you want a partner who needs the threat of divorce to not abuse you? Fuck that shit.
Why do I keep giving her chances?
Because you’re being manipulated. That’s why no contact is essential, to keep you free from a cheater’s continual mindfuckery. You’re probably also afraid of starting over, or facing the wall of pain about how deceived you were. I outlined 5 things that keep people stuck with cheaters here.
I just can’t envision her as “sucking.”
Doesn’t matter. You can still feel love for a person and leave because you recognize that some love isn’t good for you.
It doesn’t take pure distilled hatred to leave a cheater, it takes the solid conviction that you don’t deserve abuse.
Do ALL cheaters suck?
A lot of great artists, U.S. presidents, musicians, national merit scholars, and church deacons are cheaters. The only realm in which you need to care about their infidelity is if you’re personally married to them.
If I need my gallbladder out, I don’t really care if my surgeon is a cheater. I want a skilled surgeon.
But if I’m looking at investing the next several decades of my life with someone — yes, their wandering dick matters to me.
Also, people who cheat in their personal lives may be dishonest in other facets of their life as well. Enough that I wouldn’t want them as my club treasurer. Everyone needs to do their due diligence and sort the wheat from the chaff in their own lives.
If you’re shallow, you’ll take sparkles over character. And that may be a fun ride for awhile. Until your wallet is missing.
What I think this question is asking though is — is there wiggle room? Could we make an exception on this suck thing?
Sure, MUCH LATER. After recompense. Therapy. Many years of good works. Selflessness. Charity. Apologies without expectations of forgiveness.
But any cheater who wants assurances NOW that they don’t suck? They suck.
So I kept making excuses for her, like “Maybe he’s tempting her”,
She has agency. She’s choosing to cheat.
“Maybe she’s trying to break it off but just needs time”
Typical cake stalling tactic. Breaking it off is breaking it off. We aren’t leaving Afghanistan here. Leave the slow, measured withdrawals for the U.N.
“She’s made some bad choices, but now she sees the light”
She doesn’t have an insight problem, she has a character problem.
She knows which way the light is, but it’s easier to deceive you in the dark.
Why would such a sweet, kind and loving girl suck?
Because she’s not sweet, kind or loving. She’s manipulative, cruel, and indifferent to your suffering. Ergo: she sucks.