My Therapist Says I Shouldn’t Tell People He Cheated

marriage counselor infidelity

Another example of what marriage counselors get wrong about infidelity. Don’t tell people he cheated? Whose shame is this to wear?

***

Dear Chump Lady,

Do you think chumps should tell their family and friends that the reason they are separated from their spouse is because he/she cheated?

My marriage counselor (MC)’s advice was that the reason for the separation was not anyone else’s business and said that by telling the truth (i.e. their spouse cheated) the betrayed spouse was portraying themselves as a victim. The MC’s advice was to say the separation was a mutual decision.

My spouse has moved in with the OW and is living far enough away that my family and friends have little chance of contact with him. We have no children. What’s your advice?

Blinkered

***

Dear Blinkered,

My advice is to replace your lousy marriage counselor with a good divorce attorney.

Your husband left and lives far away with the other woman. You have no kids. What exactly about this infidelity situation does your marriage counselor hope to “save”? This is marriage counseling without a marriage.

Why is your MC peddling the notion that you can single-handedly save this? One Wrong Move and this separation is all your fault!

Presumably telling people this separation is a “mutual decision” instead of outright abandonment is supposed to preserve your dignity and keep your friends and family stuck in neutral should you reconcile. Gee, we’d hate for them to have to base their opinions of your husband on the truth. Which is “no one’s business.” The important thing to remember is Not to Portray Yourself As a Victim!

Your marriage counselor’s advice on infidelity baffles me. If you got pistol-whipped by a mugger and had a black eye are you supposed to go around and tell everyone you ran into a door by “mutual decision”? Hey, you wouldn’t want anyone to think you were a “victim” of crime.

Being a victim just means that someone did something to you against your will. You were harmed and had no choice in the matter.

I don’t think your husband cheated on you with your consent, did he? He duped you, right? Ergo, you’re a victim of infidelity. Stating the facts of what happened to you is not Playing The Victim — you ARE a victim. He chumped you.

Stop wearing the shame

Now listen, Blinkered, this infidelity shit does NOT define you. If you acted with faithfulness and integrity in your marriage, you have NOTHING to be ashamed of! So you got played. Okay, it happens. What you do with chumpdom is entirely up to you. There’s a big spectrum of reactions between emotionally vomiting all over everyone’s shoes and taking this to your grave. And hell, emotionally vomiting when you’ve been shocked and traumatized is pretty freaking normal. If a drunk driver ran over your grandmother and you collapsed in grief, would your counselor tell you to “stop playing the victim”? Fuck no. You’re grieving a loss.

You asked for my advice — so here it is — if you want to get past being a victim, start taking your power back. Divorce this asshole. He walked out. He lives with her. There is nothing here to save. If he’s living with her and throwing you lines about “needing time“? He’s eating cake at your expense. Collect all the financial information and see a legal professional immediately.

You want to stay a victim? Remain in marriage counseling alone. (Is that like one hand clapping in a forest or something?)

Seriously, nothing says “I can’t move on” more than trying to save a marriage all by yourself. You’re dancing with that corpse and ignoring the stench. And your MC is only too happy to keep taking your money and signing you up for more ballroom lessons.

Walk away from this

Like this brilliant Nina Simone quote — “You have to learn to GET UP FROM THE TABLE.” Fold your napkin, push your chair back, and leave. This guy has no love for you.

Next, tell whomever you goddamn want to what happened. You can keep it brief, you can come up with a line like “I didn’t like his girlfriend,” but you are not obliged to keep his secrets. His abandonment is NO reflection on you. And wearing the shame is acting like it IS. So fuck that. Hold your head up and file.

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MrsVain
MrsVain
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

what the hell is she wearing!?!?! i couldnt get over her outfit!! but a good song.

LilyBart
LilyBart
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Oh, man. That was just awesome – no hyperbole. Nina is breathtaking.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  LilyBart

I think this whole ” being a victim is a bad thing” deal is nuts. I have no idea why it ever came about. By admitting you were victimized you are not saying you are powerless or stuck in some impotent mindset. As you point out, CL, you are , merely, giving an accurate representation of what transpired.
We do not do this to abuse victims, sexual assault victims or crime victims. We acknowledge that these folks were victims.
It is like the whole emotional vs physical abuse deal. Everyone is alright seeing a battered person as a victim. But, folks are in complete denial about what it is like to live with an emotional abuser. Same with infidelity victims. No one , except those who have been through it seem to recognize the extent of the abuse and trauma inflicted.
I see the same thing with “bitter”. Can someone explain to me how it is healthy to not resent this type of abuse. I think that it is a sign of good mental health to resent these folks like hell. I would be much more worried about the state of someone’s mental health who is claiming that “my husband’s affair is the best thing that ever happened to me”, like that woman author claims.
IMO, she needs serious therapy and she is delusional.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

The fucked thing is, people still victim-blame with sexual abuse. And its disgusting.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Whoops, realised that ANR touched on this in the post above me. Go me and not reading everything before I post!

ANR
ANR
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I agree with most of his, Arnold, but you know, rape victims are routinely portrayed as being at least partially responsible for their own rape, whether because they have been promiscuous in the past, were dressed inappropriately, went home with someone “they shouldn’t have,” were in the wrong neighbourhood, didn’t fight back, what have you, And you hear some of this about victims of domestic violence, too: “Why did she stay. I would never let a man lay a hand on me!” Victims of infidelity are our people, but they’re not uniquely misunderstood or blamed for their own troubles .. we live in a culture that is in love with the strong and powerful — the winners — and correspondingly contemptuous of ANYONE who gets hurt physically, emotionally, or financially.

chumpaloney
chumpaloney
8 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Agreed ANR…the “help” for us….drivel…political bullshit…NOONE is responsible for some sick deceptive lying son of a bitch…EXCEPT…the son of a bitch himself/herself…

MrsVain
MrsVain
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

my exhole says he is the victim. he is ALWAYS the victim. you see, it wasnt HIS fault. according to him i didnt treat him right and posted some shit on his facebook. so what else was he sappose to do but stick his stick into someone else, of course he was telling HER everything i was doing wrong and how i wasnt treating him right, he never told me. i was sappose to love him so much that i just KNEW what was wrong, i guess. so hood rat healed him with her magically p*ssy and made him feel all better about all the bad things that were happening to him from his big bad mean bitchy wife

mary
mary
8 years ago
Reply to  MrsVain

Maybe there is something to be said for avoiding a state of long term victim mentality – just because shit happens to us we do not have to be defined by that shit.
So infidelity happens and it sucks…what happens next? There is usually more than just one option and I think that helps get us out of victim mode. Even if the cheater is totally unrepentant and sails of with AP without a backward glance then the person left behind still has choices. If they want to “stand” for their ghost of a marriage, scour the internet for advice on saving that marriage by sheer willpower, consult a witchdoctor, well these things are all options.
They can also work through their understandable grief and devastation, get a competent lawyer, and learn from the experience if they choose that path.
My ex dropped the first major AP after a couple of days and declared me the winner – sadly the marriage was not new and improved but actually bust. I chose the re-building path but it lead me to extended despair and heartache.
If people want to reconcile and manage to pull it off then I wish them well, I really do, but maybe they should set up their own site somewhere else and share stories about how its done there.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Standing ovation, Arnold. I agree with every point.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I agree, Arnold, there shouldn’t be any shame in saying you are a victim if someone has indeed mistreated you against your will.

chumpaloney
chumpaloney
8 years ago
Reply to  not Juliet

I can speak from personal experience…my ex narcissist beat me half to death several times…in addition to cheating, lying and financially depleting everything there was…he is…and still remains…the “nicest” guy…even to those that know of his abuse….people only see what they want to…when it’s not happening to them…they ignore it…and you…I was terrified to leave…afraid of him…what he would do to me..as the first time he almost killed me…he said he would…and it was because I tried to leave…this time? I called the police and fuck the consequences to me…I am done…done being afraid..done suffering his abuse…done with his lying cheating narcissistic sick-o ass! I left with nothing..no car…no money…no home…but I am alive and willing to do what it takes to see him rightfully behind bars…I will tell you this…it is so hard…painful…the more I am away…the more I find out…the more I am angry that I put up with him for as long as I did….I had 4 restraining orders in 5 years…the police would do nothing if he violated them…stalked me…”oh, he isn’t hurting you, just ignore him” was a standard response…I guess they have never had anyone beat them half to death, threaten or terrorize them…cuz the cops sure don’t give a shit one way or another…they treat you like a fool…Standard response: ” have you learned your lesson yet? not to go back?” Uh…I guess it would be easier Jackwagon..if you would do your job and arrest the son of a bitch for violating…but you can’t say that…they just think you are crazy in all their smug wisdom…

Abuse is abuse…physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial…I have learned the only that gives a crap about me…is me…and that hasn’t always been so after being terrorized for 8 years…I have no friends…acquaintances…relatives…the only one who believes me is me…and well, the DA who has the pictures of my mutilated face, back and neck….but I am only a case to him…not a person..he will make his bread and butter and his political career off my bruises…and then on to the next one…

I am free this time…free to hide all I want…lol! but you can’t hide from pain…I feel for all that are on here…I have learned much…I am no uneducated, poor (well, I am now) addicted soul from the wrong side of the tracks…I am very educated, got some mad skills and now? some balls…and like CL says…RUN!

Blinkered
Blinkered
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Thank you CL! I am now well past the point of thinking the marriage might be saved. There was definitely no going back once he moved in with the OW, The counsellor was our MC after D Day but now sees me on my own. This is the only advice she’s given me that I’ve questioned. All her other advice has been spot on. Some of which I haven’t listened to, and now wish I had. You guessed right CL, my husband (of 20 years) is a huge cake eater, and this continues such as with unsolicited emails from him asking me how I’m doing, etc! This website has been such a great help to me in seeing through all he says and does.

better-days
better-days
8 years ago
Reply to  Blinkered

If you like this counsellor and want to keep seeing them, consider telling them that you questioned this advice. You could explain that it made you feel ashamed, minimized, and rotten. Really they should be held accountable for that. You deserve to be able to tell your story! Keeping it a secret is a horrible idea!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Blinkered

Blinkered–don’t answer him. After a rat presses a lever 120 times with no reinforcement, they’ll stop pressing the lever.

Nord
Nord
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Exactly. Once you just ignore everything unless it involves practical and necessary matters (kids, finances) they start looking elsewhere for kibbles. They flare up now and again but it dies out over time – although years later they can still look for ways to get attention. My ex still takes any opportunity to grab my attention but it doesn’t work, no matter what it is. I’m just practical and business-like in all dealings and then let him go be pissy with someone else.

Doop
Doop
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yay! It’s been too long since we’ve had an episode of Chump Lady Sings the Blues…Nina’s great plus the video itself is worth watching just for the moment at the end when the camera pans over the veddy stiff audience, which seems uncertain how to react to what they just experienced.

mary
mary
8 years ago
Reply to  Doop

I have often wondered what would be top of the hit parade for sheer chumpiness and heard it on the radio the other day – the very lovely Crystal Gale singing ” Dont make my brown eyes blue”. The words are from our very own heart before we discovered CL – she even takes the blame!
Any other nominations for the chump songs that we will no longer be singing?

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Not that I’m advocating murder or anything but had to add this song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PEVXxfN_pIw

I can’t seem to embed anymore though.

Blackbird
Blackbird
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Fabulous, Dat!!

expat
expat
8 years ago
Reply to  Blackbird

I agree. If the cheater left you then sing like a bird. When someone leaves for the OW or Om that is something that is unforgivable. I can understand the desire for some strange but to fall so out of love with your spouse that you want to leave. Then the marriage is done. Well done.

However, if you two are reconciling, IMO, it’s best to keep things on the QT. My spouse and I reconciled 10 years ago, and I have to say, my marriage is better than ever. I am glad I never told anyone. They would all tell me to leave. My spouse had a lot of legitimate complaints about our marriage. So did I. We just could not communicate them to each other. He cheated, but I had not cheated, at least not, yet. Cheating was wrong, but it did open up both up so that we finally talk about things. I also really feel that my spouse treats me much better now, than prior to the cheating. Counseling was the key. I am glad I did not dump him. My spouse dropped the OP like a hot piece of poop, when the slimy affair was discovered. He feels like slime ever since, and it woke him up enough to work on things. The bottom line is things are better, if the cheater is not treating you better afterward and working on his/her issues, than run like the wind. In my case, I think things are much much much improved in our relationship. It’s the relationship I always wanted. I now have it. Yay!

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  expat

“They would tell me to leave”
Best freakin’ advice they could have given, really! Better that than wallowing in shit, but then I see this:
“He cheated, but I had not cheated, at least not, yet.”
Yet another liar and cheat. So, you both backstabbed each other, and you did so, with the full knowledge of what happened? Yeah. Now I can see this is shit advice. Move along.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Janick: I’m pretty sure “sexual variety” for you means alternating between your left and your right hand.

Nola
Nola
8 years ago
Reply to  expat

Expat…how long did it take for your cheater to really make an effort into saving the marriage? My MC told me today that it is obvious that we both love one another but can we really live together? That is the question and without real effort the answer would be ‘no’. D Day happened 3 1/2 years ago and we have not lived together for 1 1/2 years and it was only recently when my partner of 16 years realized that I had a one week holiday romance that he came out of the woodwork saying that he was giving me time to heal! This came just over a year of telling me that it was over between us. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

I’d like to get back together but not the way it was before. The trust is severely broken. Your story seems to be the very few success stories on this site.

My partner didn’t drop the OW like a hot cake like yours did….I was terrified that he would leave when I was busy planning my daughter’s wedding. It took a decision on my part to book a six month ticket to England that got him to notice. Things have been tense since all the shit hit the fan! I wish my life would settle down. And I am torn…..do I loose a cheater and gain a life or do I try to save this marriage.

Argh!!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Nola

Janick: F*** off. We have grown weary of trolls here. There are plenty of European chumps who are hurting just as much as those of us in North America because of infidelity.

Big_Hyena–time to chime in here. (Big_Hyena is from one of those reputed countries who are lax about infidelity–Italy–and I assure you he refutes your claims.)

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Nola

If he was genuine about ‘fixing the marriage’ he wouldn’t have waited until after he realised his potential kibble source had moved on. Don’t believe his shit, and proceed with the divorce.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
8 years ago

Bravo, Tracy….well said as usual.

During false reconcilement, I kept using the analogy that I was ‘at the table’, ready to work on our marriage. He was not and he admitted it. I replied that I would not be there forever and once I walked away, it would be over. I didn’t say this as an ultimatum but rather from ‘it takes two’ perspective. And let’s also not forget that he trickled the truth out over time and it kept getting worse each time. I finally did walk away from that table and I’m so glad I did. It’s so refreshing to not be a part of that circus any more.

mary
mary
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

If we are using the table anology then I was sat there, knife and fork ready, but everything I ordered was off the menu, what was available was the same old dish served up lukewarm and re-heated heavily seasoned with spackle to make it edible but underneath it was plain old shit sandwich. My cheater dined well on cake….
When all the other chairs are empty and being stacked – when the kitchen is closed – when your dining companion is choosing hamburger elsewhere – then the choice is yours.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago

Amen. This is not your shame to wear, B. And it is a lie that this was a mutual decision. I bet. You didn’t tell him to cheat on you and abandon the marriage with this OW. You can tell that to the MC. She telling you to lie. Disgusting.

deepbreaths
deepbreaths
8 years ago

Blinkered, take the Chump Lay’s advice to the bank girl! Do not pay that diipshit MC good money for bad advice. Cover for a lying cheat WHY exactly? Compromise your truth??? Arrrrrg this makes me so mad! My narc x went on a smear campaign on facebook telling the world that we had a contentious marriage (liar). When I’ve wrapped up the final bit of business dealings with him I’m halfway considering posting “Abuse is not a synonym for contention! And neither is cheating!”
Please don’t wear that badge of shame … It’s his, not yours!

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago
Reply to  deepbreaths

My stbx also went on a ‘smear’ campaign – he sent out a mass text to people (not sure how many) telling people the reason we were getting a divorce was because of the things I had done in the past. He failed to mention HIS cheating, of course. He sent this text out to people because he felt they had ‘shunned’ him. Well what do you expect asshole? You cheated on your wife! And if you don’t think I went on my own ‘smear’ campain – you are wrong. He humilated me…..You bet I’m going to expose the bastard! When he sent out the text, I had people calling to tell me about it – including OUR SON’S X-GIRLFRIEND! What a fucking freak!
Blinkard – HE was the one who cheated – YOU ARE A VICTIM! I tell anyone and everyone that my asswipe cheated – that is the REAL reason we are divorcing. After the dumb ass sent out that mass text – I’m quite certain people have no doubt that I am telling the truth – not that whack job! And why hide it – he’s the ass…

Irene
Irene
8 years ago

My take on it is “you can’t unring a bell.” I told everyone who would listen that having three people in my marriage wasn’t acceptable. Sing like a canary!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago

PpppppppTT!

Never ONCE did I equivocate on this issue. I wanted EVERYONE to know the truth–that he walked out on his family for some dumb fuck he found (again) on Facebook. That’s on him, not on me.

I was, by definition, victimized. I don’t wear victimhood like a badge of honor, however. It just is what it is. On the other hand, I would not have picked being divorced–and I want everyone to know that it was not my choice–it was chosen FOR me.

And, still, you’d never know I’ve been victimized, because I am NOT a victim. I threw that shit off fast. I fucking rock. I’m about to hit the gym, after cranking out a bunch of projects around my house (I bought the coward out of his half of a very modest home–he wouldn’t recognize it, however.) I’m adept with the power tools. I am a professional at work and a mother 24/7. I am happy.

I practice what I’m going to say when I’m asked by a future date, why I’m divorced. I’m working on being briefly factual. I generally run too long when I’m practicing. My goal is not to sound like a hapless victim, nor like a bitterly strident victor.

I had the chance this weekend, and it went really well, if I say so. I thought the guy knew already. I said, “Oh, well Dick was having an affair and decided that she was the most important thing, so he left. And, so, you know, that’s not really compatible with being married….” The dude was SHOCKED. I get this reaction a lot. Makes me feel really great. “Are you kidding me? I had no idea. Why would he DO that? He’s an idiot!” And, I didn’t have to say it–it gets said for me. I just laugh–“Yep, he is.”

You can be a victim by hiding the truth and passively waiting for life to change around you, or you can stand up and decide what you want your future to be like. Of course, that involves acknowledging the truth–that your husband has left you. That your husband is that sort of person! That he really never understood–nor ever will–what LOVE is. And that you deserve better IF you reach for it. Nobody will hand you anything in this life. You have to make it yourself. That’s your responsibility. And lemme tell you–it’s trying, and it’s incredibly rewarding, too. When you live under a half-truth–trust me–you carry yourself differently. The world knows that something is “off” about you. You send off a vibe that, ironically–declares you a victim.

So, yeah–don’t be that. Get out there and get some fresh air and live in the truth. Only YOU know what you must do to live the rest of your life.

Phoenix
Phoenix
5 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Thankyou. A strong clear inspiration .

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine, that was awesome, as are you. Woot!

You know, this whole ‘victim’ thing really cheeses me off, and I needed to see that dictionary definition today. Even my BFF has intimated that I should be careful of my language when relaying the bullshit antics my ex got up to and continues to get up to. For example, when he was continuously trying to bill my extended medical for his Cialis prescription, over a year after I’d left, I told her how violated I felt. And she said, “That’s a loaded word, like for a sexual assault. Be careful not to be a victim.” I was so angry and told her how much her comment had hurt me, especially since I’ve just survived a hellish year like the warrior woman I am and have come out on top. Geez! Things got smoothed over, sort of, but I haven’t spoken with her about it since, even though it happened again twice after that (now shut that shit down for good, courtesy of a formal complaint to Blue Cross). I think people are just kind of clueless, even the ones who are close to us and love us. You guys and my counselor are pretty much the only people I feel safe talking to.

But I was very surprised this afternoon when I went for a pedicure, and as I was waiting for my turn, this posh older British woman with a walker had just finished getting her own nails done, and as they ushered her to the door, I couldn’t help overhearing her updating the aesthetician about her 80 year-old husband, who apparently left her high and dry a couple months ago for a 30-something Mexican immigrant. Nobody knows where the hell they are now, she said. It made me sick to my stomach to think that you are apparently never too old to be a cheating fucktard, but I was also very impressed by how she was singing like a canary. If I hadn’t had my feet soaking in water, I would have leaped up and run after her to tell her to check out CL and CN.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

FMT–that story amazes me every time. On the one hand, the chutzpah of him billing his prescriptions to your insurance even after the divorce, on the other hand, admitting to you that he is impotent and Schmoopie doesn’t really do it for him. Oh, the irony.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I know, right? If it had happened only once, you could maybe say it was a clerical error (having spoken directly with the pharmacy, I know it wasn’t). But 4 times? That’s a character disorder. Oh, well; I know he was only trying to get a rise out of me. Clearly he couldn’t get one out of himself.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Lol–just what I was thinking!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

🙂

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I believe a lot of cheaters are sub standard sexually and they go looking for strange so they can blame their spouse for their own shortcomings. Every cheater I’ve had has been a miserable lay, especially after the novelty wears off.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  not Juliet

Notjuliet
X definitely was as you said sub standard sexually. The funny thing was X blamed sex as an issue yet never initiated. Laughing at the fact that she has to fake it with him now. This must be why OW thinks he won’t cheat although he continued to be seen with a previous hookup. Glad it’s no longer my problem.

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  not Juliet

Clap Clap, not Juliet. I totally agree! That’s what surprised me about X, was that he thought he could give this woman good sex? Ha – jokes on her. He’s not capable of reciprocation. He’s like a 16 yr old boy in that dept.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Shechump

I read somewhere the that children stop developing emotionally when they are abandoned. For my cheater, that happened when he was 16. His parents finally divorced and he was just on his own. Out drinking, drugging, whoring. I honest to god believe that is where his development stopped cause he was just running wild in the street, with NO adult supervision.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

That SUCKS when your friends don’t or won’t understand.

I mean, c’mon! It’s CIALIS! On YOUR insurance, for heaven’s sakes! That’s a fantastic story! He’s an ass!

I have found that our pain is really difficult for people who haven’t been through it. That’s why I’m such a fan of on-line support groups. Four years on, and y’all are still my support. I have a friend whose son is a heroin addict. She went to Al-Anon, and found that the group was mostly women married to alcoholics. So she quit going. I told her that she needs an on-line group full of people who GET her because they’ve been through it.

Yeah, for my own sake, I really don’t talk much about the divorce and the trauma that it caused, because, aside from my mom, or my RL friends who’ve been through it, nobody wants to hear it. I did make a text-friend on a RIC website. What we have in common, aside from having been married to cheating abandoners, is that we both realize unicorns don’t exist. We understand each others’ pain. Her sister just gave her crap for being a victim recently, for being vindictive, etc. As I told her–you know, I don’t often wish this hell on anyone, but when I do, it’s usually upon those who are so cruel to those of us who’ve survived. Then I shake it off.

Come here and vent–we got you.

Do you have a friend who’s been cheated on, whom you can text or call when things get rough?

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Thanks, Miss Sunshine. Honestly, the only people I can really talk to about this stuff are you guys. Thank God for Tracy’s daily dose of reality and the forums (why do I feel like that should be ‘fora’?), and for the many wise and kind chumps who remind me every day (sometimes several times a day) that A) I’ll get through it B) there are still plenty of good people in the world and things to look forward to and C) some of this shit is really funny. Heartbreaking, but funny.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Yes, funny!

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

It has been my experience that people just don’t want to hear about it, so I rarely discuss what happened to me IRL. I just suck it up because what is the point of seeking understanding from folks who don’t want to understand? This forum is the only place I can share my feelings and it has been such a help. I do not see myself as a victim, but I do see myself as someone who is trying to recover from a grievious injury, a blunt force trauma, so to speak. I seek comfort and understanding here on a daily basis. Hell, I even reread old posts. CL, I don’t even want to think where I would be without you and the folks here.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

So I have to add that my therapist said, “Now spread your troubles around to your friends so they don’t reach saturation.” I really do understand that, however, I need to emphasize that trauma requires a lot of processing to move through and CN provides me with information, insight, wisdom, strength, and of course, VALIDATION, so I can function and heal. I am forever grateful!

Phoenix
Phoenix
5 years ago
Reply to  ChumpB

Good call, spread it around. I realized that too. But the opposite of living a harmful secret is talking about it. With respectful aware people. In a dignified way. When I finally began deciding who I could talk to, instead of doing what my oldest ordered to save his own sense of humiliation ( NO Talking to others!) I instantly began to be supported, was given valuable insights, and caring. I began to heal.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

Amen, Violet. Sometimes it’s even the people closest to us who can’t deal. Or, maybe they just reach a saturation point; who knows. This morning I was Skyping my sister for the first time in several weeks, and I told her about an incident that happened a while back (I shared this on the forum). Apparently my ex showed up at my house several months back while I wasn’t here, and he knocked on the door with junk mail for me which–get this–he had already opened. The kids never told me about this because they didn’t want to stress me out, and the second he left (thank God they didn’t invite him in!), they shredded the mail. The first I heard of this was a couple weeks ago when my younger daughter was having a meltdown over something else, and this came out. She felt awful because she’d sworn a pact with my older daughter not to tell me. Well, that broke my heart. We had a long talk about no secrets, and no matter how stressed they think I might be, *they* are not the ones who need to be carrying that weight.

So anyway, I’m Skyping my sister the story, and after a few minutes she says, “I think you’re dwelling on this.” And I’m like, Dude, seriously? This is the first time I’ve even mentioned it to you. But there you go. I don’t think my sister is unsupportive–quite to the contrary; she was the first one begging me to get the hell away from him. Maybe people just get to a point where they can’t handle hearing any more.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

“Maybe people just get to a point where they can’t handle hearing any more.” It’s like fatigue. They cannot relate to it because they haven’t lived it, and yet they really want to be supportive. They ust can’t handle any more of your truth. They are at their saturation point.

So, I don’t go into details with them. I save that for here or the therapist.

Doop
Doop
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine, your friend may benefit from the Friends & Families of Addicts forums on SoberRecovery.com….quite a few mama’s there who are living with the pain of a grown child who has addiction.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  Doop

Thanks!

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine, please don’t ever leave CN. You are a wise and wonderful contributor. I always look forward to your posts. I am continually amazed also at cultural responses to this topic we are discussing. I am a firm believer that infidelity is abuse! What I have noticed is a lack of validation and understanding of the trauma it causes, the very difficult and long time it takes to recovery, and the process to gain one’s life back.

Where else but here can I get understanding of the pain my cheater caused through abandonment of me and family to reside with AP? Just a huge shout out to CN and CL for the wisdom in putting this together! I have been helped tremendously and think my healing would have taken a lot longer if I did not receive the validation I get from you all. Validation = a more quick healing, IMO.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Nice example Miss Sunshine for the chump world!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Rock on Miss Sunshine

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Love it Miss Sunshine!!!!

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

Does your MC need some repair work on the house, to take an expensive vacation, pay some over due bills? No reason for you to go to C to fix a broken marriage. You have better things to do with your money. Like CL says. Get a lawyer.

Chumpster
Chumpster
8 years ago

Expose Expose Expose.

One my biggest mistakes was not exposing my exwife. Remember, deception, selfishness, and entitlement are at the heart of of infidelity.

Expose immediately. There is no “good time except right now. Don’t wait. don’t threaten and use it for leverage. Do it yesterday. Don;t trickle-expose. Do it hard and fast. Family and close friends. If the POS other person is someone from work – follow through with their boss and HR.

This is advice you want to follow if you want it to work or if you want to leave. The longer you wait, the more entrenched the affair becomes. There is never any “perfect” time to expose, so don’t delay while looking for an imaginary perfect time. If you want to leave, you get the all important first narrative out. At the heart of infidelity is selfishness, deception, and entitlement. You leave them the first narrative, and you’re the jerk/bitch.

Expose on the SAME DAY – or as close as possible – in order to achieve a tsunami effect. The affairees should be completely taken by surprise. Doing this creates a powerful hit on the affair and prevents the affairees from pre-empting you

Its going to hurt. They’re going to hate it.

Too bad.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpster

I am a big believer of tell all, tell early! I did it and have never regretted it!

young
young
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpster

Yes, this is the advice of Marriage Builders, which I’m glad I somehow managed to follow in my devastated state a few days post D-day. If anything, it helps you get the emotional support you need from family and friends and helps stave off the negative PR campaign that your spouse has likely already started behind your back.

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2566583

Nina
Nina
8 years ago
Reply to  young

I am a BIG believer in exposure. I am so glad I did it, even at work (they had a workplace affair). I think it is an essential part of getting some justice in an affair situation. You are not crazy. This happened to you and it is incredibly damaging.

AND yes, the cheater is saying TERRIBLE things about you behind your back. Telling people how terribly horrible you are, etc., etc.

Some people will not react to the news well because they are more concerned about their relationship with the cheater than your pain. Those people should be cut out immediately.

Phoenix
Phoenix
5 years ago
Reply to  Nina

Absolutely. Well said.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpster

Be very careful about going to their boss or to HR. In my case, my child support could have been severely jeopardized if he’d lost his job. I might have been on the hook for alimony, too.
I did have his divorce summons served at work, and it felt great. In hind sight, however, I was very lucky–he does work for a religious organization, and could have suffered repercussions. I did threaten to have his child support taken from his paycheck. He did not want that, and cooperated in a timely manner, back when he had to pay.

Be shrewd.

Get an attorney early–get them to sign off when they are still on a lover’s high–they may be feeling guilty or even afraid of a prolonged court battle, and willing to sign. In my ex’s case, he was definitely on an infatuation high, and crazily told me, “There is PLENTY of money!” He’s a cheapskate–to the nickel. So I know he was high.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Get the legal stuff sorted and signed, then go after his job and Skankasaurus Rex. After all, the karma bus can sometimes be driven by you. 🙂

Gail
Gail
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

My Ex works for Northeast Verizon…he and his Verizon work wife stalked me in the companies truck when I exposed the truth to both sons! My Ex is a Union Stewart ….thinks he is above the Laws! My lawyer sent him a warning to keep his paramour away from me…AND HE DID…..affairs are dangerous!!!!!

Dahlia
Dahlia
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpster

I remember when I called Ex’s HR department to find out if his “business” trips actually lined up with his business. I asked the receptionist & she referred me to HR. Ex and OW both worked at the same company. Cliff from HR was great, his info didn’t help me with court, but the gossip that he spread necessitated OW quit. I had to really brace myself to speak with his work, but it felt good to put a crack in his house of lies. Jackass had been telling everyone at work that I up and left him due to my sudden ‘mental illness’! Surprise, surprise, Cheaters also lie.

Phoenix
Phoenix
5 years ago
Reply to  Dahlia

Did the SAME. Partly because his workplace was such a good place. I wanted them to protect themselves, but they got the message loud and clear. What a horrible fuckwad he was, who also threatened their respectability and reputation .

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Dahlia

Dahlia–You are awesome! It’s nice when telling the truth puts some gas in the Karma bus.

deepbreaths
deepbreaths
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpster

Yes and yes! Chumpster and Miss Sunshine nailed it!

Mike B.
Mike B.
8 years ago

For me, this is kind of tricky. In principle, I agree that it makes sense to be honest about the infidelity, but I have learned to be somewhat reticent about this for different reasons.

The fact is that a surprising number of people do not react to this fact the way you think they would. Some will even wonder what *you* did wrong in order to make him/her cheat.

It’s bizarre, but when all people assume that a divorce was somehow mutual and just the result of regular old garden variety “irreconcilable differences,” (whatever those are), it’s easy enough for them to sympathize, give you a pat on the back and say, “these things happen,” but when you reveal that infidelity is involved, people get weird. I haven’t quite figured out exactly why. In some cases, they probably genuinely do not see it as anything worth noting, in others, there’s a powerful instinct to avoid appearing judgmental, so the cheater gets a free pass, less they appear to puritanical, and as I mentioned before, some will even blame the betrayed spouse in some way.

It’s not a reason to keep the cheating under wraps, but I’ve learned to only share this detail with people whom I really trust. Even then, I have found myself confounded and disappointed on more than one occasion.

This is a very personal pain, and I think there’s some wisdom about keeping it close to the chest and being careful about those with whom you share it.

SeeTheLight
SeeTheLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike B.

You do have to mind your audience when you speak of the cheater’s transgressions. Some cheaters are suave actors. In my case, most of the people around me, who were acquainted or who had known cheater for a long time, were aware of his quirky behavior aka NPD. They used to call me Saint STL. It wasn’t too big a leap for them to imagine he might dabble in strange . I wish I could have recognized that myself before the trip down the altar!
Anyway, when evidence starting piling up and I had concrete proof I began to act. During that detached, discard, devalue stage, I had discovered a text where he was waxing poetic to an OW. Cheater and I were supposed to get together as part of a reunion with some couples. He did not want to go and gave very flimsy excuses. I sent our regrets along with a copy of his chat with OW, stating I would have loved to attend but cheater -as they could see- was otherwise engaged.
I am sure some felt I was being the woman scorned but it was a risk I was willing to take….
Sadly, it was probably the first line in the sand I ever drew but it let cheater know his actions against me and our marriage were on the clock and now being witnessed by others.

jmshepp
jmshepp
8 years ago
Reply to  SeeTheLight

Fantastic! So witty. When I read stories like this I feel a little lighter.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  SeeTheLight

I know I have written about this technique before. So, I will give the short version.
In the aftermath of cheating , a betrayed can, often appear unbalanced, thus playing into the cheater’s smear/justification campaign. ( see fundamental attribution error).
Additionally, in telling, one wants to avoid looking vindictive, in addition to unglued, because, once again, that plays into the cheater’s description of you/smear campaign, too.
So, when I wanted to get word out, to protect my reputation and to exact some revenge, I tried to be less direct.
For example , on older couple that was friends of my XW’s parents and knew my XW and me, encountered me at the grocery store. They had heard of the impending divorce , but knew no details.
So, when they inquired “how are things going, Arnold?”, I worked the info about the infidelity in as sort of an aside. I said,” Oh, things were tough there for a while, what with the infidelity and all. But, the kids and I are doing much better now that the initial shock has subsided.”.
Of course a look of consternation came on their faces: ” infidelity? What, you mean Laurie was cheating on you?”
” Oh, well, I just assumed you knew”-me
It worked well and I used it quite a bit. For one thing , it makes it look as though you are not intentionally disclosing it all that much and that it is just a side reference, So, you do not look vindictive.
Then, there is the reference to thinking they knew, as if it is common knowledge and widely known and accepted as true. So, it tends to dispel doubt about the veracity.
I do not know how I figured out that this would work, but it seemed to pretty well.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago
Reply to  SeeTheLight

Ohmighosh – that’s brilliant, SeeTheLight! I wish so badly I could do over the day I found out, or the day after. I was in such shock and suffered almost immediate PTSD after I found out, I didn’t act swiftly enough. Well, I DID call his supervisor on DDay, because the predatory whore who abandonded our 23 years together, 17-year marriage, two kids and a grandchild did it for another predatory whore, who happens to work in his company’s HR office. The XH’s supervisor was over both of these whores, and likely would have dealt with them appropriately (like fire them), but I just couldn’t act outside of protecting myself and daughter. Love the way you bitch-slapped those whores exactly as they deserved. LOVE it.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago

Oh – duh. I did call, but she didn’t answer immediately, and so I just left it alone. I needed that douchebag’s money. Now that’s all I have to worry about – pay up, whore.

SeeTheLight
SeeTheLight
8 years ago

KFMM- Don’t beat yourself up. I probably missed more opportunities than I took advantage of in the name of “kindness and understanding.” fueled by the RIC. I really wanted some kind of recovery and repair. But during that initial period when the evidence was mounting along with my gastroesophogeal reflux disorder, I was righteously pissed. I should have held onto that anger and fled the scene. Might have gotten over my PTSD sooner.
Blessings and better days ahead for you and your daughter.

Buddy
Buddy
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike B.

For me, telling was important for my mental and physical health. I tend to keep things in, but this one was just too heavy on my core and by sharing my story, the weight was lifted somewhat. I am also grateful that the responses I received were supportive, empathetic and encouraging, so I was lucky in that regard.

With my closer friends, over perhaps one too many beers, I went a little deeper with some specific stories to illustrate just how messed up, abusive, and hurtful infidelity is, perhaps as a way to counter the potential “these things happen” mentality. But your mileage may vary I suppose and I’m not recommending doubling down by telling the most intimate details, unless you’re quite drunk 🙂

But with the one person who was more empathetic with the idea of finding true love outside the marriage, more ‘understanding’ with my stbxw, well, I don’t go out of my way to include that friend in my life any more.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike B.

If a friend tells me they were raped by another friend who doesn’t even deny it (i.e. it’s a fact), I am a not a friend if I do not support the victim. Adultery is soul rape. It is a violation that is both sexual and thereby spiritual. We are not just physical beings after all. If they cannot handle the truth or get “weird,” that speaks volumes about their character. It tells you who is and who is not a true friend. A true friend responds with empathy and not blame-shifting for whatever their selfish or cruel reasons. That’s my opinion on the matter.

Kay
Kay
8 years ago

Sometimes I wonder if the props who act that way are really cheaters too. And they’re defensive. You never know.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago

“Soul rape.” so. very. true. Brought tears to my eyes and the masses don’t really understand it.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike B.

Mike, I think it’s two things at play. One the people you tell don’t want to believe it wasn’t mutual because then it might happen to them, of course they want to believe you contributed in that case. Makes them feel safe. Second, ppl want things to be easy, if you tell them the truth they’d rather be neutral then be inconvenienced. Lastly, ppl who don’t support you are telling you who they are, let them go.

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat’s da truth, Dat!

Blinkered
Blinkered
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Thank you Mike B, Einstein and Dat. I especially like the comment ‘ppl who don’t support you, are telling you who they are, let them go’.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I agree. It’s terrifying to think that infidelity can seemingly strike a good marriage.

I can’t find the quote–been looking for years–but there’s a passage from the book The Right Stuff, where fighter pilots would sort of do a “Monday morning quarterbacking” any time another airman went down in flames (literally). They’d all point out what he’d done to cause his crash, all the mistakes he’d made–mistakes they’d never make. They did this because their jobs were extremely dangerous, and they knew it, and they didn’t want to think that they were at risk of crashing a fighter jet. I think this is a normal human reaction to a lot of tragedies. That Can’t Happen To Me, because I picked well, I have crazy monkey sex with my husband, I iron his shirts, he’d never do to his kids what his parents did to him, etc. I was totally guilty of this–very arrogant about the security of my marriage. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been bumped by the karma bus. Beep!Beep!

Nina
Nina
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Right there with you. I had such a playful, fun relationship with my STBX. I LOVED that man. Loved. Loved Loved. He was a ‘great dad”, etc. People were ridiculously shocked by the affair. Many mutual friends turned things around on me because I was the “less playful” more serious one, so I must have been at fault, right?

No, people with low character and poor boundaries can betray you, turn on you.

Speak the truth in love. If others don’t have ears to hear, that’s on them.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Yes, Dat right on….letting people go was an added heartbreaker but I completely agree.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Well said, Dat. This were my thoughts exactly.

Einstein
Einstein
8 years ago
Reply to  Mike B.

Sadly, this is true. I think people tend to want to separate themselves from high drama, especially when the friends are mutual ones. It’s not that they don’t get how traumatic and hurtful infidelity is, it’s that it’s more comfortable for them if they don’t think about it at all. So yeah, they tell themselves that adultry isn’t that bad, or you must have deserved it somehow.

Be honest about how things really went down, but keep your expectations to a minimum.

Feistypants
Feistypants
8 years ago

Find a new MC. You’re not your cheater’s PR agent. Truth is truth. Call a spade a spade. There’s no sugar coating infidelity. CL is right, as usual. I bet your cheater has been beating around the bush and giving you trickle truth as it is, you don’t need any more beating around the bush, especially not of your own actions. People probably will be awkward upon hearing “we separated b/c he cheated on me.” Oh well, that’s on them, not you. Cheaters use the line “my spouse cheated on me” quite a bit to pick up the affair partner in the first place, painting the faithful spouse as the bad guy all for the sake of getting into someone else’s pants. Sounds like the MC is just trying to make more excuses for the cheater, control the narrative. You don’t control his story, you control yours. Your story involves being cheated on. You can decide who to tell, but tell your truth.

futbolfan423
futbolfan423
8 years ago

One of the most difficult things for me in the immediate aftermath were a couple of people saying “he never says anything bad about you,” as if I was supposed to keep quiet and act nice. I kept wanting to yell “What did I do that he could talk about? Did I lie, cheat ,and plot to abandon him?” It felt like I was being shamed for telling the truth.

Now, having said that, I do wish I’d said less to some people. You have to be careful who you tell the whole sordid truth to. But keeping the truth locked inside and pretending like it was a mutual decision is denying your reality. It is a lie, and one you shouldn’t be asked to carry to protect the reputation of someone who cheated on you.

Recently I read some good advice. It said to focus more on your feelings (I’m worried about living alone, I’m concerned about my finances) and less about what your spouse did. That takes the focus of your “being the victim” and honestly portrays the situation your spouse’s cheating has put you in.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  futbolfan423

I too heard he never talked about me. What could he say? When I met his who’re he was so embarrassed. He keeps his life seperate from his children and plays games with the most vulnerable, my granddaughter. For me speaking the truth about the narcissist serial cheater was part of healing. Everything my therapist said about his personality disorder and future actions happened. Their behavior is in fact predictable right down to getting hungry for kibbles. At first I threw out a few bones but have leaned to ignore his rage and childlike behavior. My daughter recently said he was incoherent and not making sense as he accused me if things I didn’t do. She said my therapist was right and just as I kept him looking good his BP whacked out whore brings out the disordered parts he hid so well living within a normal loving family for so long. I’ll admit it disgusted me when I saw what he ended up with, yet now I know I lived with a monster devoid of the ability to love. I was for sure a victim of his abuse for to many years. I replaced the pain with joy knowing I am a survivor. It just keeps getting better.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Wow, thanks, ANR!

ANR
ANR
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

My pleasure!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Just posted the article on my FB.

ANR
ANR
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

I did too — don’t be surprised if it doesn’t get many “likes.” I think it makes most people uncomfortable.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  ANR

No doubt. But if people read it and think about it, that’s a place to start. Sometimes I get so tired of this almost relentlessly positive spin people are required to put on things. It’s like, the more things are turning to shit, the more you’ve got to quote Eckhard Tolle and The Secret and pretend somehow it’s all for the best. Umm, no, being chumped by the person you thought had your back is not for the fucking best! I do consider myself a very positive person, but how does it help anybody to be standing right in front of a great big steaming pile of horseshit and pretend it doesn’t stink? Or that it’s the best thing that could have happened? smh

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Yeah, that whole, “It’s for the best,” or, “At least it wasn’t…” or, “It could have been worse….” is Bull. Shit. Often it’s dismissive language. I get that this pain is often too much for others to bear for us, but being patronized is so isolating and hurtful.

I love the victim article, ANR. It’s great. And it makes me think that the author of CL’s letter (Blinkered) is being victimized again by being advised to shut up.

It’s one thing to always see one’s self as a victim–to never celebrate one’s victories, to never appreciate one’s gifts or talents, to never take a compliment, etc. My mother-in-law was like this. She HAD been victimized by her ex. But, as it turns out, everyone was victimizing her, including me, every time I marveled at her resourcefulness, or at her insight. For crying out loud! She’d handled huge financial and social set-backs like a CHAMP! She raised two teens on her own! But when I complimented her, she would invariably remark that she had no choice, because she was poor, etc. Or, her reply would indicate that she took my admiration and praise as some sort of veiled, catty insult. It was never, “Thanks! I’m super happy with the way it turned out!” Her coworkers were victimizing her, too–as well as the neighbors–on and on.

It’s quite another way to acknowledge that you’ve been victimized, and to show appropriate emotions, and to reach out for support and carry on, and have set-backs, and continued angst, but also small or large victories along the way.

deepbreaths
deepbreaths
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Good insight to MIL Miss Sunshine. I’m wondering why the word victim is morphing into a synonym for martyr or self- pity. I was at a tipping point when I reached out to CL and thank God I got just the right advice, support, and swift kick that I needed to pull my ass out of that tail spin downward spiral into self pity that I was stuck in. Victims are not martyrs; our survival is a crucible of painful reality checks, and one of the dangers we face is getting stuck in that phase of shock and carrying the wound of being discarded … It’s not enough to survive, we also have to thrive. And that’s a whole other journey in itself.

Magnet 4 Deranged
Magnet 4 Deranged
8 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Thank you for that link!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

Magnet–love your name!!

ANR
ANR
8 years ago

You’re welcome!

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago

This reminds me of a bit of precious advice given to me by an old friend when everything was hitting the fan. “It’s looking like you’re both engaged in a very dysfunctional game of Chess. However, you have a choice, you can continue the game – hoping to arrive at some sort of Checkmate, or you can get up and walk away from the Chess board.” I walked.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago

The silence of the abused is one of the abusers greatest tools, say your words. Jedi hugs.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

YES!! This is a great reason to tell the truth. Abusers count on the shame of their victims to never tell. I always said, “I was a victim of X, but I refuse to act like a victim of X.” And that means he doesn’t get off scot-free from his appalling behavior. I don’t have to suppress the truth to protect his image.

Will you possibly lose friends by telling the truth? Yes, some will spackle over the breakup, some will play Switzerland and try to be neutral, some will think you did something to cause the infidelity. Best litmus test for who I want to remain in my life–those who are appalled at a cheater’s behavior get to stay, everyone else can hit the curb.

kb
kb
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yep. Ddw and Tempest have it right.

Is there shame in infidelity? Yes, but it is not OUR shame. It is our cheater’s shame. And that shame is part of the consequences of the cheater’s actions.

Not telling is merely another way to shield cheaters from the consequences of their actions.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes, Tempest telling the truth lets light into what I would consider a very dark place my ex mustve and probably still is living in! The extent of his double life was initially hard to believe. I had a close friend I had to let go as she played Switzerland and feels so sorry for his cheating consequences in that he has no relationship with his adult daughters. She knows most all the gory details of his cheating and disordered behavior towards both daughters. Yes, to the curb.

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago
Reply to  Mehbound

I was amazed at how many ‘friends’ bailed on me once I told them about assholes cheating. They are all shit heads as well. I know personally if I knew a freind was going through a difficult time, I would at least pick up the phone an see how they were doing once and a while. Not my ‘friends.’ Yet these ‘friends’ call my stbx to attend the parties…. wtf? He cheated on me and they invite HIM to the parties???? I have 2 ‘married’ friends left – otherwise most of my friends are single, in which that was the other way around before dday. I was told when I was upset that my ‘friends’ didn’t bother contacting me – that this was a way to ‘weed’ out these so-called friends. I guess she is right, but it still hurts. I also have another friend who does the “I am Switzerland” (I think that is funny because she ACTUALLY uses that term!) thing and she gets irritating to me – so I think I’m going to have to let her go as a friend. Unfortunately – she doesn’t have many friends, but I need my friends to NOT be on his side AT ALL! I can’t stand that she posts pictures on FB with my ‘former’ life in it.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  LadyStrange

LadyStrange, I totally hear you. I’ve lost almost all my friends in the months since D-day. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and it’s like, “The cheese stands alone.” haha All the so-called ‘mutual’ friends? Gone. I just couldn’t handle the whole FB fakery and everybody acting like it was okay; he’s a great guy and things just didn’t work out. Defriended and blocked them all. No more dealing with unsavoury stuff showing up in my News Feed, and now there’s no way he can keep tabs on me through them, either. As I was unfriending everyone, my whole body was shaking like a leaf, but afterward I felt so free. Maybe my social circle did shrink exponentially, but it just opens up the space for authentic connections. I say let that ‘friend’ of yours go!

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Ya FoolMe – I ended up making another FB page – but I am RARELY on FB anyway. I’d rather talk to people one on one. If someone ‘invites’ me to a party through FB, I won’t go. I won’t even acknowledge it. If they call or text me – I’ll be there. Just too impersonal nowadays. I talked with another friend of mine tonight about my ‘Switzerland’ friend and yep – you are right – I need to let her go. She is well aware of what dick slap has done to me and our family (I have saved all emails and texts from the asswipe) and showed them to her. I need my friends to hate him for what he has done… Thanks for your advice!

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago

My short answer when people ask why we are no longer together is “he’s a cheater.” I like that turn of phrase because the focus is on who he is, not so much what he did to me; but on the fact that I refused to tolerate that behavior and got rid of him from my life.

“He’s a cheater” rather than “he cheated on me” focuses on his flawed character, not just some “little mistake he made” (as he tried to spin it, before I found out about the two prior OWs, after DDay).

it is truly who he was before I met him (unbeknownst to me) and serially through our 16 years together until I discovered his infidelity and broke up with him. Nothing about that means I’m permanently a victim. Was I a victim? yes, but I ended our relationship and now I’m a survivor. People see to get it instinctively without me spelling it out in any more detail.

Now, in the early days (almost two years now), my Ex was going around telling people “Muse and I have decided to go our separate ways.” When I heard that I told him that I would be telling people the truth, that he cheated on me; which he called ‘character assassination’ on my part. I don’t care. I know his fake story made the rounds because it wended its way back to me recently as “Cheater met someone, then he dumped Muse.” No, he didn’t dump me, I dumped him and he didn’t just “meet” her. He took elaborate steps over a long period of time, to deceive me so that he could fuck her without me knowing, for many months on end. I don’t have to tell people all that, but I do plan to continue to tell the truth in my short version.

Doop
Doop
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Oh, that’s good. He’s a cheater – perfectly straightforward. Brilliant.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Doop

“Because he is a cheater.” Love this so much.

Some insights I’ve uncovered while untangling myself from a VERY disordered man:

1. If you’re cheap with money, you’re also cheap with time, affection, compliments, the truth, genuine feelings, frank talk, honesty, integrity, love, kindness. etc… The list could go on. Being cheap means putting your needs above the needs of all others. The only trait my X had in spades was greed and sloth.

I wish I had walked away when he stiffed a waiter on a tip when we were dating.

2. If you cheat, you’ll cheat on everything: your spouse, your taxes, your golf game, your kid’s time with you, your kid’s financial support, your age, your weight, your birthplace, etc. Being a cheat means putting your needs above the needs of all others.

When I discovered a lie about X early on in our relationship, I should have bailed.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago

Yes, and after DDay, I also found out my Ex was a tax cheater and was also fleecing an elderly man he was pretending to help. My disgust over those two things nearly exceeded my disgust over what he did to me.

Kimberly
Kimberly
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

TheMuse – I hope he was arrested for stealing money from the old man! Did you report him to the authorities?

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly

The elderly man died before I discovered it. But yes, I plan to report it but now there’s no victim alive.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Jesus Christ. Thats sick.
Did the elderly man find out? What a sick fuck your ex-whore is.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

When the mask falls off, it is a horrific sight. I can’t get over how fast and furious X turned on me when I stopped being his beard. It was as though I existed only for him to torment me. Now he does it to the children.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I like that. A lot. “He’s a cheater.”

It wasn’t you, it was him.

Well done.

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

On the few dates that I have ventured on, I’ve been asked why I am not with anyone. I have responded ‘he cheated on me’ and they always say ‘what? how? why?’ and find myself getting all upset and over sharing.

“He is a cheater” is a better response for the reason Ms Sunshine gives.

I do recall one time I responded ‘he had issues that I couldn’t deal with’ and that did not prompt further questions.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Or, “He’s a slut.” I kinda like that, too.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

TheMuse: you can’t assassinate a character that is already a corpse.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes, Tempest! Exactly! TheMuse – you’re spot on with calling it was it is. When people at church or at work would ask me, I had practiced saying it much like the good ‘ol elevator speech, and have it down flawlessly, “Well, it turns out I wasted 23 years on a serial cheater and divorced him after I busted him, and he abandoned us. He walked out on us for a married ho-worker who schemed against her husband and two small kids to cheat with my cheater husband. This went on for a year before I caught them. So…these cheating ‘soulmates’ can have each other; my kids and I deserve a million times better than who and what he is.”

Have it down to about 15 seconds.

Sometimes, I wish I cared enough to risk my professionalism or blood pressure to post both of those douchebags on Cheaterville and/or all over my FB. But I’m striving to reach complete indifference. Since DDay in 2013, I refuse to troll on ANYTHING having to do with them, and only focus on me and the kids & gradchild. Why would I care about a used, leftover douchebag, or in this case, two of them? Just not gonna do it, but I’ll tell anyone my elevator speech about the whore’s betrayal and abandonment if they ask where he is, or why I changed my name. Any time. The shame (which they don’t have) belongs to the two whores. Not me.

Digbert
Digbert
8 years ago

“I’ve learned to only share this detail with people whom I really trust. Even then, I have found myself confounded and disappointed on more than one occasion.”

I totally agree Mike B

I am 3 years out and the 1st year I was in denial and I also never got the full story and I was really ashamed after nearly 18 yrs with Mr Wonderful (and always endorsing how wonderful he was :-))so I could not bring myself to declare that I was, and had been, ‘chumped’.

The 2nd year I was angry and told whoever asked very bluntly that my XH was an asshole and had been seeing other people and had left me at Xmas etc. People get weird and uncomfortable when you tell them the truth, even if by year 3 I have nailed it with ” I didn’t like his girlfriend” they may giggle or going deadly quiet like I am an embittered ex spouse, I am not, of course – I just regained my sense of humour.

I recently uncovered some more shocking pieces of the puzzle to my XH dramatic ‘dump and discard’ of me and even my own sister told me I need to ‘move on’ – they just don’t get it or want to – they assume we are still in denial even when I was just recounting the bare facts. e.g. photo of heavily pregnant ex girlfriend of mutual friend stood in front of my furniture in XH manpad that I paid for whom I always suspected he had been involved with after a social gathering in the months before DDay 2, my sister always said I was ‘too dramatic/paranoid’ about the whole situation.

I keep it short, sweet and selective now whenever the topic ever comes up and I realise that not everyone will get it because there is so much infidelity out there its becoming the ‘norm’ and we chumps will sometimes always be branded bitter or in denial about the end of a relationship.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Yeah, the end of my twenty eight year relationship came about the day ex asked me for a divorce out of the blue. Things had been rough that whole devalue and discard thing…. Funny thing though right then all these odd pieces of our lives together fell into place. I realized he had been fucking me (and her!) for two years leading up to Dday. Literally. He also spent those last few years fucking me over financially and controlling his narrative in our very small town. Family court was a joke, perhaps I should have gotten a job there as bailiff! My life is a challenge financially. My home, life, and career in that small town were destroyed. My kids were devastated (abandoning your family is not a great legacy) and not one is dating. Hard not to see THAT TRUTH.
On a positive note we are resilient, mindful, and working on our future. Cheaters suck.

MrsVain
MrsVain
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

that is the part i hate the most…..my kids were devastated…. i mean i was devastated too but i doubt the exhole has even given a single thought on how this effected the children…..you know…the children he wanted so badly? (i guess he wanted them so badly so he could walk out on his own children the way his parents walked out on him?!?!?!)

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago

Blinkered,
Only you know what is the right path for you. But the fact that you reached out to CL to gain validation of the questions already forming in your head says you know the MC is wrong in insisting the approach they have. Despite that telling you what to do is unethical. When my marriage had a bullet put through it and ended up on life support and it was placed on me that I should remain silent on the subject under the notion that….
The marital issues should remain between me and my X no one else (except the pastor and elder who felt it their job to fix him and their wives who were instructed to manage me.)
They insisted to the point of bullying that I should not tell anyone as it may hinder his restoration. Or if I told people the truth and said myarriage was over how would I save face, when he comes to a place of full restoration and I had to take him back? WTF??????
When they were asked (as people were instructed when my XH and I separated that we were apart and working on a few Marriage issues and if anyone wanted to ask any questions that they should not speak to myself or him but speak directly to the elder) so 9 months post d’day when asked why X and I were still apart they responded with comments like ” oh, they just can’t agree on things at the moment”
Not sure what their response was when he took his new true wuv to church.
But one thing I have never been is a victim. My XH cheated on me with multiple male partners but refused to own his actions and when it sunk in I was not going to live in limbo for him and I pulled the plug on my marriage. He did not care and neither did they he moved on with another woman and the church supported his restored heterosexuality by allowing him back into ministry. People I speak to know the truth. But at the end of the day I need to know that my life is grounded in integrity no matter how others want to deal with the situation or how they view me as a result of my honesty.

It is my character that I am responsible for. Best wishes as you travel this journey.

Scott
Scott
8 years ago

I never felt bad for one minute and i told a ton of people. She acted all proud of herself for screwing around so it wasnt even a consideration for me. I told who i wanted to. I knew down the road people would continue to look at her as the problem and that was fine with me. I dont talk about it anymore…dont need to now…but at the time…oh yeah…told the story and did so to whatever extent i felt comfortable.

Suzy
Suzy
8 years ago

My Ex recently told me that he was fucking his secretary to get even with me. He said that I had not been nice enough to him for the last 20 years. It so happens that he is a drunk, I raised the kids by myself, and brought in 75% of the family income. OK, I probably did not spend much time flattering his ego, but our life was good and he seemed pretty damn happy spending my money and living the good life. Plus, he never told me that he was unhappy, so how was I to know. The truth is that he played me for the chump that I am, and is now very depressed that I have left the table taking my cookies with me. You can be sure that I tell everyone why I am no longer living with the bozo. I no longer keep his secrets. I also took CL’s advice and hired a super lawyer for my divorce attorney. Money well spent. Bottom line: He did not love me enough to be faithful, so I am gone.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzy

Exactly! Mine is also the victim.. I wasn’t nice enough to him either for 20 years. Despite doing all the stuff you say as well, earn income, raise children, keep house, take care of things.. He once told me that taking care of the house and kids were “chores” and didn’t show love. Neither did saying “I love you”. Whatever. I suppose the whore has better more sparkly ways to say I love you. I wonder how long before she figures out the game is rigged?

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzy

“I no longer keep his secrets” — yes, good point. As chumps we spackled for them for years. We owe them nothing now.

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Yes – I no longer keep his secrets. He wears a baseball cap because he is Bozo – the-clown bald – who knew? Nobody until I told them 🙂

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Well, the joke is on him! You are right Muse, I owe that cheater nothing, but oh my goodness, he owes me plenty! And every month he gets to pay me! Then he gets to ponder how to pay the IRS that’s after him and see he has absolutely no assets! I wish he and Schmoopie happiness they tortured me for so long to attain! Bwahaha!

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Love this Roberta!! How can anyone build a life based on torture and deceit? I love the fact that my lawyer documented X’s serial cheating. Every year tax time rolls around ill fondly think about X and his Slurpee going into debt paying for their lies.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago

My first and remaining thought on reading Blinkered’s post was that the MC was concerned that it would reflect poorly on his ability as an MC–bad for business, might cut into the bottom line.

Find a therapist, a real, on-your-side, got-your-back, committed-to-your-healing therapist. Ditch both of these losers.

And sing like a canary. Your ex doesn’t deserve your loyalty.
“He is a slut.”
“He spent marital assets on porn and prostitutes.”
“I didn’t want to take a chance on picking up STD’s from him.”

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

“I wasn’t keen on the whole sister-wife concept.”
“I thought he lied on his Ashley Madison profile.”
“His mistress & I disagreed on the aesthetics of his man-scaping.”

Tessie
Tessie
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I simply said I objected to his girlfriends…..plural. Not much to spin there, as far as damage control for cheater ex.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

True comment from him: “I already ran the sharing idea by [OW] and she wouldn’t go for that.” I’ve told some people that and their jaws drop; then I say, “I told him I wouldn’t either, though he didn’t think my opinion mattered.”

Confused
Confused
8 years ago

What if you have kids? My children are 17-22 and my MC says they will be irrevocably damaged to know about their father’s infidelity. He had. 2 year affair with a 28 year old co-worker but we were told his long hours, lack of participation in our family and moodiness were due to work. I am trying to reconcile – we have been married nearly 30 years so I have told only two people of my struggle. But if I decide to separate it would seem crazy not to say why? I am 90 days out from d-day. Husband is doing everything he can to make our marriage work but I’ve gone from wanting it to work to losing respect for the layers of lies and betrayal. True mid life crisis affair. But What kind of person does this? Thoughts? On reconciling? And on telling adult kids. ?

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

Confused, my adult children believed he was a nice guy because he made this statement repeatedly. They empathized with him for years each time he moved out if the house. When they cheat on you it’s hard to hide your anger and pain. And typically the cheater remains sheepishly calm. My children always thought it was me because I was so emotionally broken. Gather all documentation and file. You know the truth. His actions hurt your children the day he made the choice to fuck someone else.

Working It Out
Working It Out
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

I told the people who were closest to me, beginning with his mother. I also told our adult son, including the name of the whore. At that point, I didn’t know what would happen with us, but I was not going to allow him to pass her off as someone he met after we separated. When I told, it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. It is his shame, not mine.

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  Working It Out

Still a Chump

Are you still married to that man?

Still a Chump
Still a Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

Dear Confused,

By all means, tell them. It doesn’t matter if you reconcile or not. They deserve the truth and the opportunity to process it. Otherwise they fill in the blanks with speculation and may even blame themselves. Or you. For the record, my children were 6, 11, and 13 when my husband’s affair was revealed. I threw him out and he was out for several months. My children were told at first that daddy did something terribly hurtful to mommy, but the more detailed truth came out when our 6-year-old asked at a family dinner in front of everyone: what is the name of that lady that daddy was hanging out with? Everything came out then, and it was his own fault for introducing the kids to her and her children on their dates disguised as “play dates.” We have reconciled, but before I allowed him to move back in several months later, he apologized to our children as well as to me and my parents.

A few years afterward, my oldest son watched a movie with friends that had infidelity as a part of the plot. After the film, he was very upset and talked with me about it. What seemed especially upsetting to him was the ambiguity of the resolution — in the film it wasn’t clear about what happened to the family after the infidelity was revealed. He said that he thought the dad was just getting away with it. I asked him point blank if he felt like the time his father had to live in a crummy apartment away from us was punishment enough. He said he thought so.

It comes up in conversations with each child once in a while. I know that it mattered to them that we were honest. All 3 had a counselor they could talk to privately too, which was helpful, because they had their own pain and didn’t want to “burden” me with it when I was already so upset. I didn’t think they should have to suffer in silence to protect me, so made sure to set up appointments with a counselor for each of them for a few months. Youngest only went once or twice; the other two each met with their counselors for 6-8 months or so, including after their dad moved back in.

You don’t have to go into the gory details, but your children deserve to have their reality confirmed. To do otherwise is just fucking with their minds.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

What a loser! I love the twisted little blame-shifting going on there. “The problem isn’t that daddy likes hoes. It’s that you told the kids that daddy likes hoes.” Does this person have any background in the healing profession, or did he make the MC sign in shop class and hang it out to see if anyone would bite? Maybe hoping he can reel your kids in for the years of therapy they’ll need to recover from this. Planning ahead for job security.

Nope. Plug your kids in with a real family counselor, if necessary, but tell them the truth.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

Is your husband telling the kids, “Your mother and I are having marital difficulties due to problems that are entirely my fault. I’ve asked her not to share them with you, and she’s agreed for now. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate her generosity, especially as I’ve done nothing to deserve it. I hope you will be as supportive as you can of her while she and I decide how to proceed. I’ve messed up a great deal, and I’ve hurt people, and that’s all the detail I think you need to know. Right now, I’m trying to fix things, but they may not be fixable, and again, it is all my fault.” No, he’s probably not telling the kids that. But this is the only kind of explanation you should accept from him to the kids in place of full disclosure of the infidelity.

Without disclosure, he and your counselor are asking you to lie to your kids and damage your own reputation in order to protect the reputation of a disordered jackass. The kids know something is wrong, and they will reasonably conclude that both parents are participants in the problems unless told otherwise. Even more likely, they will be told behind your back by your spouse that you caused the problems.

Part of resolving problems is acknowledging them and taking responsibility for them. Anyone who isn’t willing to do that, isn’t really remorseful. Your kids are more than old enough to know what happened. Yes, the knowledge will change how they look at their father, and it should. It will also change how they look at you–and it should. You deserve to be seen as having integrity.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Eilonwy–well-said. Taking a poll–whose cheater copped to both full responsibility for the affair, AND for causing the marital problems that he/she used to justify his/her affair?

I thought so. My jackass X is trying to reconcile with my youngest daughter (14) who is NC with him. He wrote a heart-felt letter which he showed to oldest daughter (19), but included a paragraph on how marital problems led him to have an affair because he felt I didn’t love him any more. 19-yo told him to take out that paragraph. He responded, “Don’t you believe that there were marital problems?” She responded, “Yes but it was still 98% your fault.” Him: “That’s not fair!” Turns out he’s been a serial cheater for most of the past decade (estimate of 15-20 women), and I had asked for a divorce almost every year but he would hoover me back in. These cheaters NEVER take responsibility, no matter what the evidence against him.

You know at ‘meh’ when you no longer give a tinker’s dam whether they cop to their asshole-ness. (I’m not there, but close.)

Working It Out
Working It Out
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

My husband accepts full responsibility. He had to do his own work with a counselor, for himself, with no guarantees. I don’t owe him reconciliation, and he understands that. Only time will tell whether it is real.

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  Working It Out

Time will tell you that he is a cheater, and that time will be wasted to never be returned.

Look at all of the posters here who have tried reconciliation – it never works out and they throw more time away they can never get back.

Get a divorce. There are billions of people on the planet and there is someone out there who will not cheat on you because they think it is funny.

Working It Out
Working It Out
8 years ago
Reply to  tony

I appreciate your thoughts and opinions. Thank you.

Mercedez Halliday
Mercedez Halliday
5 years ago
Reply to  Working It Out

Did it work? The reconciliation??

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  Working It Out

keep us posted, and do NOT be ashamed to bring this in the light of day because this is you taking the power back.

Remember – cheaters and liars thrive in the dark.

Keep us posted.

good luck

kb
kb
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

Confused–The kids are already damaged. Their father has modeled lies and deceit. Covering up for him means more lies and deceit. Telling the truth offers the potential for healing.

If their father is serious about reconciling, then he needs to go all the way with it. Taking ownership of his actions means taking full responsibility of the impact on his family. That means your 17 and 22 year old children need to hear the truth: that their father cheated on their mother. If he’s serious about reconciliation, then he’ll tell them with you present. He’ll say that what he did was wrong, and that while he is now working to regain your trust, he needs to regain their trust, too.

Your youngest child is practically an adult. Your older child is an adult. Treat them as adults. Not treating them as adults damages them further. It denies them the opportunity to learn the reason for the tensions they can already sense.

And ditch your MC for a real therapist.

DoneNow
DoneNow
8 years ago
Reply to  kb

My Mom cheated. It was devastating to me. It did change our relationship, and I had to do a lot of soul searching to decide how to move forward with her. But now our relationship is built on the truth. I think that’s better. And I grew up knowing I would NEVER cheat. Maybe I’m capable of other terrible things, but after living through that disfunction as a child, I would never engage in that behavior as an adult. I think the truth is always best.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

Personally, I think the truth is always better than a cover up. Your kids are old enough to understand, no need to go into gorey detail, but tell them the truth. If you don’t, you run the risk of them finding out later and being upset that you didn’t level with them. Cheaters are liars, and often lie in other parts of their lives.. to their kids, at work, etc. Your kids need to know they have ONE truthful parent, and that’s you. It’s up to him to repair the relationship. You aren’t his PR department. You don’t have to speak ill of him, but you sure don’t have to cover for him either.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  Confused

I have three children with my disordered ex and they know enough. One day we were “the perfect family” and the next day he had run off with his racquetball partner, leaving our kids, pets, mortgage, and me, his partner of 28 years, hanging in the wind. My children deserve the truth, just as I do. I don’t want them to make the same mistake and think that being treated poorly in a relationship is normal (looking back there were plenty of red flags, character is key); most people don’t pull the crap their father did walking away. Especially in the devalue and discard phase. I recognize he has “challenges” but the lying, cheating, stealing, and walking away from his family is who he is. I spackled, couldn’t figure out why ex lived a life separate from ours. Every year it got worse, and I was trusting and naive. Now I let his actions speak to his character. I recognize I can no longer protect my children from the choices their father made/makes. I have been the sane parent. Your kids will need one too. The truth is always the best.

Digbert
Digbert
8 years ago

The kids probably would thank you for leaving him, my parents were serial cheats and all us kids were sick of the bad atmosphere in the house growing up, not to mention the domestic abuse, alcoholism etc. etc. They did us no favours staying together and kids of all ages pick things up regardless of whatever spin you put on things.

Confused, I genuinely think you are still dealing with the shock of it all (90 days from D-Day 1 – I could just about breathe, get up, take a shower and go to work) but if you do decide to reconcile, I know I did and failed, you may actually have to learn the hard way because otherwise you will always be left thinking I never did that, never gave it/him another chance. I would urge you to listen to all the advice here, the fact that you are on here and not on some MLC website shows you are listening to your gut somewhat. Infidelity was always a ‘no no’ with me but when it happened I was a hypocrite and gave him another chance, against my better judgement – hence DDay no 2.

Some of the most inspiring people on this website are the ones who filed fairly quickly and had enough of that shit. I read all the advice but took longer to process it and did a slow torturous ‘pick me dance’ (even abroad)for 8-12 mths before the penny dropped.

Nowadays I certainly don’t believe in a mid life crisis, in fact when I ‘diagnosed’ my XH with this condition to help me rationalise his affair(s) he actually smirked, and his ‘quack’ fed his justification for f@cking around.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

Oh, my X got punished, big time.
Like a lot of you have said- I gave him the appearance of being able to handle life in any way! Now that he’s really in charge? His life is a shambles.
It used to amaze me that he tried to be the Boss, and all his ideas were goofy and insane! Like, come on group, follow me to Crazyland!
I sure don’t miss that!

Kimberly
Kimberly
8 years ago

My ex was spreading lies too, but I have good friends. Whenever he spouted something or when someone approached them with info – they set them straight and said, he’s lying – he’s a cheater and has a girlfriend who he’s planning on leaving with. She’s now his wife. From what I hear, they are both big alcoholics and life, although full of “nice” things (Mercedes, house in FL with in ground pool and hot tub” – things are still disfunctional and toxic for them as well.

I on the other hand am not driving around in a Mercedes, don’t have all the nicities, but I am living in PEACE! And everyone knows the truth.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly

Kimberly: I’ll take the peace of a cheater-free life any day over a Mercedes and a pool!

kb
kb
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I told my lawyer what I’d been up to since the first time she and I met. She owed that I was Mighty, and told me that a year from now, I am oh so going to be better off. No, I don’t make the money that STBX does, but I’m close to being completely free of any revolving debt. The student loan will be paid off in 10 years, and yes, I’ll have a mortgage, but That Is It.

In the meantime, STBX is spending as if there’s no tomorrow. He’s perpetually late in his credit card payments and due to late fees, he has been maintaining the same balance on his credit card as he had 2 years ago when he last used it. He’s also promised to take Schmoopie on a vacation at the end of the month. WTF? I have no idea how he’ll finance that. Oh yeah, I do. He’ll back out at the last moment! 😀

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  kb

KB once he was out if my life I paid off my credit cards, refinanced my student loan to an affordable amount and started saving for my own home. The amount of effort It took to prop up the baby man was literally exhausting. The lack of maturity he displayed became obvious as time passed. My friend always said he was limited. She was correct. Once we are able to step away from the chaos there is clarity. I am dating someone who makes me laugh and treats me with respect.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Cars and homes can be repo’ed. Your character cannot.

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
8 years ago

I bought this BS after the first two affairs. “An affair is simply a symptom of the problems in the marriage.” My ass. Geez. What a waste those counseling sessions were. I also didn’t tell people. I was his crisis manager, making sure he looked good no matter what. After the third affair? I sang like a bird and now the whole world knows who he really is. If anyone asked why we divorced, I told the truth. By doing so, I took my power back and finally started to lead an authentic life. He chose to have to affairs, so now he can own the consequences.

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago

Infidelity is so traumatic that it is classed by a lot of therapists as emotional abuse (Linda J MacDonald).
Tell that counsellor they need to update their training.
Cheaters HATE people knowing. Because they find out that even now in 2015 family friends and the community don’t think cheating is at all cool.

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

It is absolutely emotional abuse – not to mention (often) verbal & financial. Geesh – even I know that and I am not a therapist. It really angers me that they are not punished for the pain they cause. If they harmed you ‘physically,’ they could be arrested and tried. Emotionally on the other hand…..we just get to divorce them and get 50/50 of the assets and they can go on with their merry little fucked up life. That is such crap!

Donna
Donna
8 years ago

I danced with a corpse for so fucking long. The body is finally buried. Now the truth is finally out there and known by family and friends. There’s something to be said about running a business in a small town where everyone knows your name. Drugs, porn, alcohol, serial cheating, character disorder, narcissist, hiding money, making me responsible for paying for benefits, and the BP, sociopath with an arrest record whore he hooked with at a bar while we were together is the TRUTH. They really bury themselves in their own dirt. And let’s not forget disregarding children when they are no longer of use. Moving on from all of this is possible, however the narcissist and BP whore continue to make false allegations against me despite the fact that I have moved on and maintain no contact. No doubt X that I divorced can’t accept that he no longer has power or control over me. Since I threw him out and filed every aspect of my life is better. Living better IS the best revenge.

Dr. I Can't Believe I'm a Chump
Dr. I Can't Believe I'm a Chump
8 years ago

Your counselor is crap. It is nobody’s business as to the reason for your separation. . . Unless you want it to be. He walked away. You can say whatever you damn well please. If he wanted an edited version of events, he should have stuck around.

I hardly mention I was married– He does not deserve the acknowledgment. However, if it comes up, I just put it on him. “He was really good at pretending to be normal” or “I value integrity and fidelity. We did not share those same values.” People can smell what you’re saying.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago

“He was really good at pretending to be normal”

That’s a good one! LOL

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago

OMG, thank you for posting this. My STBX is very Angry at me for discussing what’s going on with my family, his family and friends. He says I am “presenting the evidence to lead to conclusions”… Uh, no.. that’s what evidence DOES by ITSELF. Unlike him, I have told no lies. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, people are going to assume it’s a duck.

The poor sausage is angry that his reputation has been sullied by his mean ole bad wife who took his insistence on contacting and hanging out with this supposed “friend” badly. Especially when the hanging out and contact became “secret”. It’s all a big ole conspiracy against poor sausage.. HE’S the victim.

Anytime I present any pushback, emotion, or real feelings, he mercilessly bashes me with blame (blameshifting) and gaslighting. Classic behavior of a liar and a narcissist.

Don’t buy it chumps!!! And say no to Bad marriage counselors!!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

NewChumpatl: Aww, poor wittle cheater sad because the chickens are coming home to roost? His pity play didn’t work, and now he’s stuck in rage mode? And stuck with his evil self. Shame…..

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Either rage or poor ole me… I think Chump lady says there are three channels but I’ve only seen two.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago

Whole heartedly agree, Uniquelyme! He chose to have the affair so he can own the consequences! This topic hit a nerve on me. I told my ex, right before I kicked his ass out, that I was NOT a victim, but I had been victimized by he and Schmoopie. Then I let him know that he had over exercised his “choice muscle” but he forgot that I also had a choice! My choice was to let him leave and his little fuck buddy could handle the fall out if she “wanted” him so badly! I was NOT going to give my future over to these two idiots! That’s when I took my power back! Did it suck to throw in the towel? Hell Yes! It hurt like no pain I had ever experienced. Was it worth it? HELL YES! He moved to Florida to live in Schmoopies condo and live happily ever after. Funny though, I keep getting calls from his new place of employment and he’s only been there for a week and a half! He doesn’t say a word, just listens to me say “hello” repeatedly then hangs up! Hmmmm…. Regrets much? Careful what you think you want, you might just get it!!

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Roberta, cheater ex still contacts me (via email) for the strangest things. The guy married his final OW. I continue to ignore any attempt on contact.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Uh oh.. trouble in schmoopie paradise? LOL

Deacon B
Deacon B
8 years ago

Screw your ex…..(no not literally…) I tell anyone who asks that we’re divorced. If they ask why, I tell them the truth. Why? because it is a double edged sword….#1 It pisses her off when I tell people she had an affair, as most of our mutual friends are people we met through various ministries we were in. I know as soon as I tell people, particularily women, they are going to get on the phone and gossip to either spread and/or verify what they’ve been told, which will eventually get back to her some kind of way. It’s not gossip. Someone asked me a question, I answered it honestly. #2….See #1….As CL said, take your power back, and don’t care what anyone thinks or says about your situation, or your methods and reasoning for resolving it. Screw them too…

Deacon B
Deacon B
8 years ago

Your kids are not “kids” they are teenagers/young adults. If you’re trying to reconcile, I think you owe your husband discretion with the kids depending on how things go. You’d probably be surprised how much they already know anyway. So I’d say discretion for now at the very least, and candid honesty tactfully disbursed if necessary.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Deacon B

I respectfully disagree. Especially if the teens/YA already know/suspect infidelity, NOT telling them is a second betrayal to them. They then don’t trust EITHER parent to tell them the truth. The ground has already shifted beneath the children, even if they are out of the house. Truth will allow them to stand in the doorjamb during the earthquake and avoid some of the fallout.

kb
kb
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Agreed, and I’m no therapist.

I could always trust my parents for the tough truths. In return, I could always tell them these truths.

Not so with STBX’s family. When his mother was terminally ill, the family downplayed it. STBX left the country on a business trip, and it became obvious that she was terminal. I let STBX know his mother was ill, and he came back a couple of weeks before she died.

His family was very angry. They didn’t want me to tell STBX because STBX gets “emotional.” I said that not telling him would be a lie, and that when he found out, he’d blame me for keeping the secret and preventing him from coming home to say good-bye. Or, even if he didn’t find out that I’d kept that secret, he’d feel guilty about not being there when she died.

STBX was in his 40s at that time, and his parents still didn’t want him to know the tough truths.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  kb

Oh wow, KB. Mine had a major heart surgery and did not tell his mother because it “would kill her,”. I swear, I’d never heard such shi t. She is a passive aggressive old bag who has everyone convince d she needs protecting even though she causes most of the problems. I spent years having to lie for that bat.

TheClip
TheClip
8 years ago

Blinkered…In the words of Kenny Rogers, The Gambler …. ‘ you gotta know when to hold them , know when to fold them and know when to run….’ Your life isnt a game… But yr spouse is playing u. Put yr poker face on and do what u need to do to get out.
Love , love , love when I hear ‘ dont be a victim’ especially from a MC. Dont cha think if i wasnt victimized right now Mr MC that I would be sitting in yr office… Paying u some ridiculous fee to hear to stop being a victim. WTF?
Its a form of secondary wounding. And you dont need that. You need to purge and purge again until its out…. Find the one friend who will listen to lament ad naseum… Use this site. Eventually you wont need to anymore. But do it on yr time. And if people are uncomfortable with how u heal… Then avoid them. fuck them. Some people dont like the ugly truth and its fall out. And your pain will be a reminder to them that all is not well in the world.
Reality is … In two weeks Elaine from the float pool will be pregnant …. And Bob will be caught with petty cash… Uncle George drunk behind the wheel…no one is gonna care in two weeks that Blinkered’s husband ran off. It will be old news to them. But it will remain fresh for you for months. ….maybe years.
Take the time U need. No one is going to offer it to u. Take it.

thensome
thensome
8 years ago

It surprises me the number of bad MC advice that is out there. You are under no obligation to keep secrets. And yes, infidelity is emotional abuse. If your MC is encouraging you to lie, cover up, etc. it’s time to get a new MC. You don’t have to tell the world but if you want to, go ahead.

My MC suggested that I tell only a few people and there was more protection of him than me. I never went back to her. I found a therapist who has helped me through this and been in my corner. We focus on me.

I agree that showing discretion around your kids is important but that doesn’t mean lying to them. Most children know that it’s not ok to cheat even at a very young age. They know that Mom and Dad are together and that nobody else should interfere with that. It’s that simple.

Chumpette
Chumpette
8 years ago

Important posts today! Victimhood is often co-opted to disempower and disenfranchise. Sometimes it is intentional, sometimes it is ignorance. Either way we are responsible for telling our stories in order to heal.

As for MCs..even the best ones do some things wrong if they have not had personal experience and proper training or supervision with the presenting problem. Once we chumps remember to pay attention to our inner radar again (after it has been recalibrated by NC with cheater!) we can call out friends and MCs on errors in their understanding of infidelity. ( A LOT of education is needed here for the masses!) infidelity is violent intimate partner abuse. The most traumatic. Every act injures multiple victims.

I think we chumps really do know what is best for us — and we are responsible for taking the best actions for ourselves in that direction. Getting up from the table is a great start. Love today’s cartoon. Love my new dinner table, sans cheater 😉

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Chumpette, love this “…we are responsible for telling our stories in order to heal.”

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Chumpette–great analogy that our inner radar can be recalibrated back to normal through NC!

Flowerlady
Flowerlady
8 years ago

Affairs are abuse. If you are the victim of an affair, you are the victim of abuse. Abuse thrives in secrecy and darkness. Secrecy keeps the victim in the victim role. Exposure and light kills abuse and sets the victim free. Tell everybody. Circle your wagons.
Just because you are the victim of abuse doesn’t mean you have to take on the victim mentality for the rest of your life.
You are mighty!

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  Flowerlady

Amen, THIS!

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
8 years ago

We live in a society/culture of keeping this secret. the only one it benefits is the cheater. (and young children) I just read how angry Ashton Kuchar is that Scott Eastwood revealed Ashton cheated on Demi with scots then girlfriend Sara Leal. Scott ended up apologizing. everyone was on his case for ratting out Ashton. he said his dad reamed him out for it too. That was his girlfriend! he had every right to out Ashton.
And about the bad Counselor advice? i posted in the forum about how my former counselor suggested (after asking me how I would feel being divorce and i said miserable) that perhaps I could be like Jackie O and learn to live with it. it would take time but eventually I would get used to it. I remember walking out of there feeling so deflated and smh. the whole reason for going to see a counselor is to build up my confidence and emotional strength so that I can be miserable divorced rather than miserable, low self esteem. irrelevant, pathetic , etc, married! either way i am screwed but at least I will have some dignity!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Willowchump–please tell me you have a new therapist? And is the old one aware that Jackie O herself cheated with her own BIL? Tawdry and disgusting, the lot of them. Who wants to live like that?

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest: oh yes, I do have a new therapist that so far I like very much. plus she agrees with me that some of the stuff the other said was not appropriate for me. Moving forward and liking it…

NoWire
NoWire
8 years ago

I told anyone and everyone. Emotional vomit? Probably. I always heard that, “well it takes two if a marriage fails.” Bullcrap. I know I rode my bicycle four miles to work everyday pregnant and four miles home so he could have the car to drive around our toddler and instead he used to visit the OW. I worked a full time job and a part time job. I looked deep deep into myself and could not find anything I had done to break up my marriage. And I’m not going to own that ” it just didn’t work out banner” or “we drifted apart” crap he liked to tell. Nope. “He cheated our entire marriage with strangers off the internet and a married woman with two kids of her own.” I told everyone who asked.

Nicole S
Nicole S
8 years ago
Reply to  NoWire

Good for you NoWire! I think you are brave and mighty. Who cares if it was a little emotional vomit. That is nothing compared to cheaters emotional abuse and disordered BS.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago

To me, the best thing about exposing the truth (he/she is a cheater) is that almost always the faithful spouse has been acting different or “crazy” while the cheater usually acts happy as a clam, cause he’s gorging himself on cake.

Everyone that I know who started acting erratic I later found out was the victim of a cheater. Once that’s exposed, the way they are acting makes sense. To anyone who doesn’t understand after that, I say Buzz Off. They are not an empathetic person and you don’t needed them.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago

I just opened a package of Yogi tea, and the tag always has an inspirational quote. This one said “Speak the truth.”. How timely is that ?

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  not Juliet

Woah!

Lulu
Lulu
8 years ago

Blinkered, for marriage counseling to even be possible, the affair be over, the OW completely out of contact picture, and his ass in the chair right beside you working 200% to repair you marriage. You have none of those things.

This person you’re seeing isn’t a “marriage counselor” (as both of you would need to be there for counseling to take place). This therapist isn’t even a competent individual counselor, because if he or she were, the therapist would encourage you to open up to the people that you love and find trustworthy, and wouldn’t be giving you crappy advice that is so contrary to your best interests.

In addition to a divorce lawyer, find your an individual counselor who cares about the well being of his or her patients just as much he or she cares about money.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago

I’m recently chumped and I hired an attorney pre-confrontation but we are now set for therapy to help us communicate better. I refuse to deal with a victim blaming therapist and I would refuse to deal with one who thought I should hide the truth, especially from people who know me and might be wondering why I am very busy and filled with anxiety at the moment.

Does anyone have advice for me before I head to my first joint therapy session? Not sure what will happen and what to make of it.

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Yeah I do – think about all of the deliberate decisions he made, then followed through on, then lied to you everyday about.

Think about them real hard.

Then file for divorce.

ca-chump
ca-chump
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Mine blamed all of his cheating on “our communication issues” when they were all his. Sort of like blaming his bosses for being jerks when really his tendency to have temper tantrums at work has led to him losing job after job.

If I were to go do MC again the first session I would knock the mask right off his narc’ey face in the first 15 minutes — it just takes pointing out the areas where he sucks the most like fatherhood. If the MC had a good response to his rage it’d be worth the $150/hr for no other reason than to learn how to deal with narc unleashed and to not feel scared. Also it wouldn’t give the cheater time to sucker the MC. Mine completely charmed the counselor in a few sessions. I don’t think she had a clue that his interest in her interests were not coincidental. If your cheater isn’t as freaky as mine you might still do everything you can to hold his feet to the fire. Be the one who brings up everything even if it makes you feel like the bad guy. If he gets angry at you later for what you talk about in session, bring that up in session.

Oh and immediately fire any therapist who cites Esther Perel as an inspiration.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

AllOut, I never had trouble communicating with my ex. For a long time I called him out on his poor behavior – ex spent long hours “at work” or “the racquetball club” and still he came home grumpy and disengaged- I gave him excuses to live the way he did, always telling myself that he valued what he had. He did not. It was the way he coped with life challenges, running away. Being dishonest. No one ever stood in the way of what he wanted. Cheaters/Disordered thrive on chaos. Keeping me off balance was what my husband did best. Funny, one of the reasons he says we broke up was because we had “poor communication skills.” In reality he had crap life skills and did what he wanted irregardless of the circumstances. I think he got tired of spending his life with people who expected him to be responsible, hell I expected him to love me. I always did the heavy lifting in our relationship, always loved more, always gave more. I think it was too much to expect for him to “show up.” Life was easier for him to handle checked out. Chasing the dream, whatever the fuck that was. In our one and only MC session I could tell it was not his intention to “work” on anything, he just did not value me that much.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

X never gave an explaination.
Since a cheater’s intentions are never honest whatever spin they put on their actions during the disregard come from delusional thinking. So to say nothing, implies they have primed the victim over time. The power and control, once established allows them to initially torture and blame. Ultimately the narcissists goal is to sit back smirking while we torture and blame ourselves.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna

I think you have hit on something here. It seems to me a LOT of cheaters are really trying to establish a cruel dictatorship, and they then get to sit back and enjoy the show. I know I was constantly struggling to keep up with the delusional ideas that were good for no one but the X. He didn’t even seem to notice when his actions hurt and threatened his own three sons (who he swears he loves dearly). Torture of your own family, that’s a truly sick and evil game. Of course, all of this developed so slowly over time, and I was SO busy doing absolutely everything, that it took me til 2 1/2 years after Dday to finally say ENOUGH!, and mean it!