Searching for Meaning in Ambiguity

skein_of_fuckupednessThis evening someone left a comment on “Affairs Are Exuberant Acts of Defiance“, my riff on the idiotic essay Esther Perel wrote on infidelity.

“Stephanie” writes:

“I stumbled upon this while looking for works by Esther Perel and was horrified. Perel’s research and writing comes from a place of thoughtfulness, growth, and understanding. She searches for meaning in ambiguity instead of placing a good/bad label on complicated relationships. Your writing is pure hate and bitterness toward your ex, which is reductive and doesn’t add to the conversation at all.”

I thought I’d put it through the Universal Bullshit Translator, because I simply could not resist the phrase “searches for meaning in ambiguity.”

“I stumbled upon this while looking for works by Esther Perel and was horrified.”

Well, I’m horrified by the writing of Esther Perel. Nice of you to stumble by here and make snap judgments about people who’ve suffered from infidelity. Not that you would ever place a “bad” label on me, or approach my blog in a spirit of thoughtfulness, growth, or understanding. Nah. Championing self-respect and encouraging people to leave cheaters is so… bitter.

Perel’s research and writing comes from a place of thoughtfulness, growth, and understanding.

Perel’s writing comes from a place of narcissism. She describes affairs as “quests for aliveness.” Talk to the guy who had to paternity test his children how “alive” he felt. Or the faithful partner who caught an STD. Or the mom who discovered her husband’s infidelity at her prenatal screening.

I don’t mean to harsh your Esther buzz there, Stephanie, but there’s a reason people morally condemn this cheating shit — it grievously hurts people.

She searches for meaning in ambiguity instead of placing a good/bad label on complicated relationships.

I would say Perel creates ambiguity in the places where there is clearly abuse. It’s not fucking around on your pregnant wife — no! It’s an “exuberant act of defiance”! It’s not blowing the 401K on a hooker habit. It’s a “quest for aliveness”!

Perel creates intellectual murk to excuse cheating. Her world salad is deliberate — we are not to “judge” people who do Bad Things. We mustn’t call them Bad.

Well, Stephanie, some shit is Bad. I’m sure if someone mugged you, you wouldn’t feel ambiguous about it. If someone made unilateral, detrimental decisions about your health, finances, and children’s home life to get some strange, if someone sexually humiliated you, or stole your money, you wouldn’t feel “understanding” — you’d feel righteously pissed off.

I mean, unless, your mugger was “complicated” or something. Then I’m sure you would understand that his unmet need for crystal meth made him pistol whip you.

Anyway, the most charitable thing I can say about Esther Perel and her “finding meaning in ambiguity” is that perhaps she’s just a lousy writer. If things are “ambiguous” either the writer wants it that way because they have a concealed agenda (excusing Bad Things) or they suck at writing.

“To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David McCullough.

Esther isn’t spelunking her way through the dark caves of ambiguity — she IS the dark cave.

Your writing is pure hate and bitterness toward your ex,

Did you spend 5 minutes on my blog? You’ll find a reference to my ex in About Chump Lady, to solidify my chump credentials, but the purpose of this blog is to support folks on their path out of crappy relationships.

(Yeah, I said “crappy.” I prefer the unambiguous word choices.)

You got me on hate and bitterness, though. There’s nothing more spiteful than drawing cartoons.

xmas6muffintopforgivenesstrollbunnyholly_petraeus

 

 

Careful, Stephanie, I might draw one of you. Or Esther spelunking the caves of ambiguity.

which is reductive

You wound me. Reductive: “Tending to present a subject or problem in a simplified form, especially one viewed as crude.”

Trust That They Suck. There’s a problem put in a simplified form — they suck. Trust it. If I were crude, I would title it “Trust They’re Assholes Who Would Sell Their Own Mother for an Easy Fuck,” but I’m a Methodist minister’s kid and I try to keep things classy.

and doesn’t add to the conversation at all.

Ninety thousand chump comments on this blog and 3.9 million page views in two years. Yeah, no one is adding to the conversation here.

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Margaret
Margaret
8 years ago

I almost had to stop reading her commentary at “complicated relationships.” It reminded me too much of my cheating Ex’s comment that “things are complicated with me. Always have been. Always will be.” Yes, complicated in a way that my life running a fulltime business to support us while also raising my 3 children and paying for our mortgage singlehandedly wasn’t, I suppose. “Complicated” in a way that justified his serial cheating while hiding it and lying to me so I would keep supporting him. Frankly, “Complicated” is just code for Entitled. This blog singlehandedly has empowered more people to live authentic lives than any other source I’ve seen since being chumped a year and a half ago by a serial cheater. There’s no “bitter” being promoted here. Stephanie is just another apologist.

Chris W.
Chris W.
8 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

Love the word “complicated” and am reminded of a quote from my favorite show, “Supernatural”:

Dean: “How’s Hell, Crowley?”
Crowley (the King of Hell): “Hell’s fine. Hell’s like a Swiss watch. Don’t worry about Hell. Hell’s complicated. ”
Dean: “Game of Thrones is complicated. Shower sex, now that’s complicated. Hell ain’t complicated. Your problem ain’t Hell. It’s you.”

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

I love that show. And I’m a Dean girl.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

Margaret: “Frankly, “Complicated” is just code for Entitled.”

YES! YES! YES!

Chump Lady, what do you think about a post that lists other Cheater Code Crap? Sort of a subset from the Universal Bullshit Translator?

Here’s one from my X:

“Work Function” on the family calendar = cheater code for “Fuckbuddy Date.” I won’t be home for dinner or our son’s baseball game.

I can think of a million more.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

I love you, Margaret. Thanks for this.

Jules
Jules
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Margaret and all are awesome and right on! Chumplady has carried me through the worst days ever and made me realize NONE of this was my fault!!!!

Katy
Katy
8 years ago
Reply to  Jules

well maybe this has already been said here, but Stephanie most likely has cheating in her past — and she probably wasn’t the chump. The only time people champion Really Evil Stuff is when they are perpetrators.

Valerie
Valerie
8 years ago
Reply to  Katy

First thing I thought of too.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
8 years ago
Reply to  Valerie

Ditto that!

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

thanks! I can’t think of enough ways to thank Chumplady and the other Chumps here. I’m sick of cheaters and their apologists claiming to be the “deep” souls and the injured parties.

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

The funny thing is that they think they are deep, complicated and fabulous. And of course they are the exact opposite- shallow, simple and disgusting. It doesn’t matter how much sparkle they try to put on that turd.

Trusting
Trusting
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Yes!
My stbxh (outraged)”you think I was anything like those horny, drunk guys at the topless bars?”

Me (also outraged) “how were you different?”

He sat in grumpy silence, unable to come up with an answer. Shallow, simple and disgusting…

Regina
Regina
8 years ago

Mind your own business Stephanie & go read more Esther crap. We are adults whom can decide on our own what helps us. Chances are good that either you are a cheater or haven’t been cheated on (that you know of) yet. Best of luck to not having to look up Chump Lady later on with a broken heart, devastated life, derailed kids and decimated finances! Either that or you do not give your full heart like a true chump & are prepared to be let down by the most important person in your life in the worst way. Get back to your cave men and leave us alone.

jaded61
jaded61
8 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Awesome!

conniered
conniered
8 years ago

Oh my gosh, I love a good smackdown!!!

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Oh me too!!! Wish I could respond that way!

Carol
Carol
8 years ago

“Complicated”??? Oh my. Reminds me of that cheater named Rebekah Gordon who described her now husband, who she poached, as complicated and their “love story” (dime-a-dozen cheating story) as “real.” These people sure do have a flair for wrapping up their bullshit in pretty paper. Cheaters aren’t complicated. They are predictable idiots.

kristil
kristil
8 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Agreed Carol … completely predictable… that is of course ..once they are revealed in their true colours by their faithful chumps – and of course Stephanie – Unfaithfulness is t’s just so simple… my STBEX liked anal sex with prostitutes – although in his own professional life and in his hypocritical discussions with his family – 3 young adult daughters and a son – he condemned and judged such behaviours very loudly as the objectification of women – he said numerous so many times I cant remember that prostitutes were women that were often disadvantaged and desperate- what a power hungry sack of shit he was … and what a gossip he was about others indiscretions – as a joke I used to call him the leaky vault – because he could never keep anything to himself oh that is unless it was his own 15 years+ of adultery – he managed to keep that on the down low until I busted him – what a load of shit ……its not complicated – they are liers who simply want to fuck a variety of people, They have have little empathy or regard for the value of their family or the people in their lives that care for or rely on them. It really gives me the shits when others tell me how I should respond to my husbands destruction of our family because of his selfish obsessive fetishes. oh and I think we are supposed to go along with the view that’s its not so bad … minimize it – my husband continues to imply everybody does it and really cant understand why his friends might like to keep their younger daughters away from him because he is just a little creepy?

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Those two dumb assholes, Gordon and that drone dude, were stupid enough to expect people would like them or something.
Hell , they got crucified, for the most part, in the comments. What idiots, telling the world that they are such fucking lowlife assholes.
For Chrstsake, when you do this type of crap, at least try to hide it.

Justme52
Justme52
8 years ago

Me too. Lol

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago

Good on you Tracy… you are right and Ms Sparkly undiepants is wrong. People come out of these experiences with PTSD and STD’s. They lose their houses and kids… some never recover… although all of us Mighty Chumps will. Perhaps Ms Sparkly undiepants should just spend one day in Family court as I did Friday. Lives are destroyed… adult lives and perhaps more importantly kids are put through the meat grinder. Bugger on her…

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago

CL, thanks, once again, for coming to the defense of all the chumps of Chumpdom.

You’d make a great attorney the way you are able to tear apart a bogus case.

Stephanie appears to have her panties in a knot. Nice unwinding.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago

My marriage was not complicated I married at 24 before God, family and friends. To a man who presented as a loving, straight, Christian raised man. We went on to have three kids and I went about being the best wife, mother and home maker I could be.
then it all went to hell.
Ambiguity is what I got when I began to question my STBX’s fidelity. And I had good reason too. Ambiguity is a cheaters hand tool, used to keep a chump in a state of confusion and inner termoil. Not what you seek to bring healing.
I am so grateful for the bluntness of this site and of those around be who have without reserve spoken truth into my situation.

Tracy you have a gift and I for one am so glad you continue to share it with all of us.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago

“Perel’s research and writing comes from a place of thoughtfulness, growth, and understanding. She searches for meaning in ambiguity instead of placing a good/bad label on complicated relationships.”

Great post, CL. My response to this dribble is to point out how “thoughtless” and lacking of understanding Stephanie and Perel are. They ignore THOUSANDS of years of human wisdom from the greatest leaders in humanity as evidenced by founding world religions with billions of followers. In fact, your language is sometimes tame compared to some passages in the Bible about adultery (e.g. calling a cheating wife and by metaphor a cheating Israel “playing the whore”). Bad labels are properly used to label bad things. A truly thoughtful person would seek to UNDERSTAND why so many world religions have called such behavior bad.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago

By the way, the precise phrase “played the whore” comes up 16 times in search of the Bible (in the English Standard Version).

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago

DM,
I know many Stephanie and Perel types. Even with all those references I am shocked at the amount of Christians who feel the need to champian my STBXs cause, even to my face. Those who feel the need to verbalise there won confusion in the hope I will just accept that my STBX is broken and need to be understood not divorced.
He played the ‘Whore” literaly.

People who choose not to deal with reality and therefore set about creating a world of illusion to cope, such as the stuff put through the translator today are a hinderence to people truly in need.

This world needs more honest accountability.

Sin is sin,
Cheating is Cheating
and if they suck, they SUCK!

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

And not calling a cancer, cancer does not mean the patient will get any better. In fact, they will likely die. The terminal cancer is adultery. The “cure” is true repentance. Some adulterous folk can’t “take” the cure, and that’s when amputation is highly encouraged plus warranted (i.e. divorce). All these Stephanie and Perel-types might want to think they live in a world free of true cancer. That is naive and dangerous. It just results in death and destruction for all involved.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago

Oh DM,
I can now laugh about it but you are very right when you state that the this behavour is naive and dangerous.

I have shared this before, but now looking back I see it with a different persective.

I month after D’Day our youngest child was diagnosed with Cancer, those who knew of my husbands adultrey were very quick to refute the hospitals findings and advised me to place no faith in the hospitals assumption of what she had. The hospital had already taken blood and confirmed at 9 yrs of age she had a melignance in her system. on Jan first she was diagnosed with Leukiamea, she still has a year of treatment but is doing well so far. They were of little support and what they did do came with demands of praise.

But now looking back you are right to address the actions of people like this as Naive. These people who have placed themselves as authority figures over my marriage and soon divorce are very ill equiped to be of any real assistance. Those who know STBX well including his brother think that he is living two very separate lives. that which he shows to them in order to be seen as compliant and the real him that is hidden.

And I agree “That is naive and dangerous. It just results in death and destruction for all involved.”

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

And yes cancer is in fact cancer.

AWPdonchaknow
AWPdonchaknow
8 years ago

Tracy, don’t ever stop doing what you do so well…. You are a source of light and clarity in a world of “political correctness” and cultural ambiguity. You (and chump nation) taught me how to breathe again and to believe in and love myself. Hugs to you all – I can never tell you all thank you enough for what you have given here.

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago

Stephanie, nobody can ever hurt me like this again. There is nothing I did that ever deserves this level of pain. My whole family destroyed, my children’s safety gone, for what?

You people with your ‘ambiguity’ think along the level of a firecracker that has been stuffed with a lovely mixture of coke and crystal meth: a lovely glittery bang of happiness and excitement sprinkled all sparkly and alive.

The reality for the betrayed spouse and the kids is nuclear detonation. Believe me on this one. Infidelity is abuse.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Right on the money here, Patsy. I second that infidelity and embezzlement of family resources is abuse. Why it isn’t treated as such in “No Fault” states is insult to injury. Who the fuck came up with No Fault, anyway?

Cheaters think about themselves first. Probably because they KNOW us chumps will think about our kids and their welfare first. While X is throwing parties and going on trips, I’m struggling through another “magical Christmas season” with three sons who will have to do without again because even with my two jobs, it doesn’t come close to enough for any nice gifts. Even the best actors would have a hard time feigning joy over slippers from Ocean State Job Lot. It doesn’t help that dear old dad refuses to work and pay full child support.

Cheating is such a pervasive act of long-term cruelty, to chumps and their chump kids. I hope they all rot in hell.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

Ironic that my state, Texas, is actually ahead of the curve on this one–we have the option of No-fault, or of a Fault-Divorce due to adultery or cruelty. I don’t usually expect enlightment from Texas lawmakers ; ).

[I filed No-fault despite his adultery, since I have 2 children who don’t need to hear any further details of STBX’s inability to keep his dick in his pants, and am likely to get through settlement more quickly if his dirty laundry is not dragged into public. Already lost 15 lbs. on the Infidelity diet; I’m eager to lose 165 more as fast as I can.]

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Another shit sandwich for Chumps; the amount of justice we get is correlated to the amount we’re able to afford to pay for it. I’m in for up to $25K at this point, and still the bastard won’t adhere to court orders.

Tempest did what we all do; put her children first.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that your cheater won’t adhere to court orders. That’s what the malevolent personality-disordered do. One divorce attorney who specializes in cases involving personality-disordered ‘combatants’ told me that they won’t stop until they’ve burned you to the ground. This has been my experience. I expect my (our) family to be burned to the ground at the request of one adulterous character-disordered individual, who felt that the only way to ‘win’ was to destroy his wife, even though it meant destroying their kids and him.

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

Fighting custody, breaking court orders, lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving & being proud of it all=IMMATURITY. That is SO shocking when you thought you married a grown-up! “Combatant”=Childish creept!
I am sorry Rockstarwife, it burns me up to hear about a spouse causing so much devastation & then guess what? They’re not done causing pain yet, they have to kick you again when you are at rock bottom….even when THEIR children are involved.
If there is Cheater Hell, I think he has a ticket! Try to stay strong!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

No, you and your family will not be burned to the ground RockStarWife. You know who he is and you now know he is not special. You know to be vigilant, you know that if you go full monty as needed he will not win. Jedi Hugs!

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago

I agree with Patsy and Chutes and Ladders. My cheater got our kids for the first week of Christmas break. Our kids live across the street, but I’m not allowed to see them. Why? Because the Court ordered Cheater and me not to see each other except at child exchanges as the Court is afraid Cheater will harm ME! (I’ll be looking for a new job this holiday season, too, because Cheater quit his high-paying job right after revealing his latest affair. Earning large amounts of money, which he did for years, would mean that he has to contribute to the financial support of our children. Adultery leads to emotional nuclear holocaust.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

You blame women for your problems Arnold. I simply call out the inequality that exists.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I have never blamed women for any problems I may have, Dat. If you got that impression, you are just wrong.
However, it does seem to me that you work in some dig about men and “patriarchy” gratuitously a lot of the time, and you have a real axe to grind against men.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

I do not feel downtrodden at all, Dat. Life is really good and fun for me. I really wish you would open your eyes and look around you. This constant blaming men for your problems is doing you no good.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago

ChutesandLadders, actually feminists came up with No Fault divorce because women were stuck in horrible marriages (domestic abuse, adultery, etc) and had no way out unless they could prove it. However, it wasn’t meant to be the ONLY option. Some states went too far with it, it wasn’t feminists that drove the bus over the cliff.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

It sure has bitten many a faithful spouse in the ass, Dat. Guy with an abusive, cheating wife stands little chance at getting custody.
I think it was this insistence on female custody that drove Warren Farrell out of NOW.
That guy is brilliant. Have you read his stuff on the myth of male power? Very enlightening.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold, do not start your MRA crap with me again, I am NOT in the MOOD to deal with your bullshit about this AGAIN, already refuted this crap last month. So just stop with your unsupported claims and fictional studies.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

You might enjoy Farrell, Dat. His stuff is very well researched and he presents some very strong evidence refuting male privelige allegations.
The studies he cites are amazing.
Good stuff on alleged wage disparity, as well.
Check him out.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Farrell is one of the better MRA bullshitters, compared to the more rabid, he almost sounds reasonable, until you realize that he doesn’t cite jack shit and his ridiculous arguments are chock full of false equivalence arguments in support of his views. He isn’t saying anything new, he just cloaks his shit better than most. What you want to term misandry is simply the damage the patriarchy inflicts on men. I am not going to argue with you, you have never cited a single reputable source for your shit and you aren’t doing it now. Maybe you should try reading authors that challenge your views and do some actual thought exercises as to why you feel so downtrodden. Might help you heal yourself if you stop blaming the entire female gender for your problems. Or you could just stay stuck in a bitter place where women are all liars and have more power than men in our society because some truly mysoginistic men told you women have more power in our culture does not make it true. it just makes you feel better. Jedi hugs!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

meant to add, that domestic abuse was not taken seriously back then, proving it was useless. Back then the cops didn’t arrest for that. It was considered a personal issue, and even by many, a mans right to do whatever he wanted to his wife.

SheChump
SheChump
8 years ago

“Ninety thousand chump comments on this blog and 3.9 million page views in two years. Yeah, no one is adding to the conversation here.”

This is fact. And, sadly growing. We each have a fair say and – if anybody has noticed – there isn’t one ‘flame war’ on this site that doesn’t get resolved.

I just absolutely belly-laughed for a full 10 mins’ on CL’s reply – and, if anybody does that to me with a few well-thought-out-snarky comments – Well, it won’t be the first time you’ve made me laugh – My dogs loved IT!

Thank you for this entertainment tonight. Really never knew what ambiguity was until now.
oooooo

Toni
Toni
8 years ago

Great post, screw her and her word salad BS.
But what really struck me are the blogs numbers CL!!! Why I’m so glad I found you when I did and read every single post and comment because I would never catch up if I had just found you, which means I would never sleep either, sorry I’m rambling but I am giddy I am SO proud of your numbers AND you! XOXOX

kimmie
kimmie
8 years ago
Reply to  Toni

Ditto here Toni. Finding Chump Lady and Chump Nation was the greatest blessing in such a dark and confusing time. Thanks for all of your words of honesty and directness ! 🙂

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  kimmie

Couple of things:
First, I just love how overmatched these Stephanie types are when they tangle with Tracy. Seems they lack the ability to think with much precision, so they whip in a bunch of meaningless phrases and try to portray themselves as deep and evolved and so fucking tolerant.
I just keep noticing how common this style of writing is among cheaters. Just like they seem to have a common script/methodology in cheating a d justifying, many seem to have this weird, imprecise way of expressing themselves.
I notice the intellectual drop off a lot when I read posts by cheaters and compare them to the ones by the faithful.
When I read the comments on this site, how funny and quick folks are, I often wonder how so many smart good writers were fooled by some of the cretins we married. I bet a lot of our friends and family knew or suspected our spouses were assholes but kept their mouths shut.
I think I found this site when I read Tracy’s posts on TAM. I have been banned from this other three main sites, as we as TAM.
This site has some of the best writers.
One really excellent guy at SI, Wincingatthelight, is truly gifted , as well.
Folks should read his stuff as it is comparable to CL’s.

kristil
kristil
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold – good writers = good imagination… we all had a fairly vivid interpretation of the character we believed our cheater to be – we projected that character onto them. We wanted that fairy tale ending.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Yes, Arnold, a lot of friends and relatives of Cheater knew that my cheater led this lifestyle before and during our marriage but decided to sweep the elephant in the room under the rug. (I guess that they thought it would be easier for them to ignore chronic adultery, perhaps rationalizing, ‘None of my business,’ ‘Maybe she’ll change my son.’ When Cheater left, he told me, ‘Everyone has skeletons in his closet.’ Even if that were true, which I don’t believe, not everyone has so many that the closet door bursts open due to the weight of those skeletons.

Syringa
Syringa
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

RockStarWife….One thing I noticed about my XH was that he NEVER discussed his past. I finally realized why. It was because he had so many skeletons in his past that if he opened his mouth, bones would fly out.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Ah yes, TAM – the place where ‘reformed cheaters’ slut around on the forums, yeah?
Don’t need to say anything more.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago

Patsy you are so right.
You can never explain to the feeble minded just how bad post d’day is they really need to walk that path themselves.
I will never forget the pain in my chest that I carried for weeks post D’day. But no matter how gifted with words I will never be able to convey to others it’s intensity.

You can’t even get it thought to those who once claimed to love you so people like Stephanie are not worth the effort.

betrayedfriend
betrayedfriend
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Thankful – you are so right too. I remember that pain in my chest, that I too carried for weeks if not months. And the people closest to you sometimes saying stupid shit – like “oh you’ll find someone else” Or “you need to move past this” – No one can understand this pain, no one.

People like Stephanie – are either cheaters or they have never been through it – they’re not worth, but man it pisses me off that she comes in here and judges us…

You can’t fix Stupid!

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  betrayedfriend

betrayed friend, one of the dumbest things someone told me soon after D-day was to “watch TV in the evenings to get over my loneliness.” LOL. That was like telling someone to use a squirt gun to put out a raging inferno. I just smiled since I knew the woman was clueless and was only trying to help.

Anyway, I love you Chump Lady. Your smack down is epic.

Linda Danette Williams
Linda Danette Williams
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

My Ex, void of anything resembling decency, asked the OW what he could do to “fix things” (He was the “I’m never going to leave my wife type”), She of the gorilla tribe, told him to write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror (which he did with my favorite lipstick). Of course, she got even with him by sending me a FB message to let me know it was his idea. I took a baseball bat to the bathroom mirror (I shit you not). So glad to be out of the garbage pit that is his scrambled brains.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago

“took a baseball bat to the bathroom mirror”

Linda, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to do something like that. I’ve been containing the crazy, ass whopping, doesn’t-give-a-shit bitch boiling inside of me. It’s been a struggle, but your story actually let off a little steam.

My 11 year old son spent last Christmas Eve sobbing after he accidentally stumbled on his father’s sext messages to his whore du jour. It was the closest I’ve come to scratching his eyes out.

Theres no way to twist this into an ambiguous or complicated situation. It’s just plain shitty.

ohthisagain
ohthisagain
8 years ago

That’s terrible. The cheaters really are disordered. My POS told me a month ago that he’s in love with his best-friend/ho-worker. I thought about that for a second, then started throwing up on my own snot. When that was done, I told him to get the eff out. Where does he go? Well, to the OW’s house of course. For advice. Because. She. Cares. And. Knows. He. Loves. His. Family. She just wants to help us. You can’t make this shit up. My POS is at his parent’s house with the flu tonight. I hope he chokes on it.

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Oh Lyn, ‘watch TV in the evenings to get over [your] loneliness’ – oh dear, oh dear 🙁

a really lovely (but horrendously clueless) mutual friend, advised ‘The Great I Am’ to make me a compilation CD of love songs as a way to ‘mend her broken heart’ – God bless her, but there isn’t a love song on earth that could ease that pain! Anyway dickhead didn’t bother with that but some time later did send me a link to a song called ‘Cough Syrup’ (or something like that, anyway) by some obscure band – about as romantic as a day scrubbing dirty undies – I recall a line making references to Russian hospital wards – bizarre, I swear the man ( shit for brains) is obviously insane! 😀

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  betrayedfriend

I hear you, betrayed,

the real shitty thing is, when infidelity strikes and it hits like a bitch. you see people in a whole new light not just the cheater.

people I trusted abused that trust in the attempt to have me sit by while the cheater got fixed, and as you have stated you can’t fix stupid. The redundent bullshit that was said to me directly after learning what the cheater had done was just astounding. The reconcilliation unicorn was dragged out, flogged in the town square and just to prove a point was stuffed and mounted so I could see it every day to remind myself how greatful I should be to be married to a man that confessed his adultrey and is willing to commit himself to the authourity of our church to assit him in turn from his sexual preferences.

At no time was it considered that my deep sighs were not of anger or frustration but the desperated need to get enough air to prevent myself from internally drowing.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Drowning

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Agreed, Thankful. Stephanie can’t fathom our pain even though it’s here on these pages for all to see. So there’s no point in trying to get her to see. Perhaps she’s a cheater. Either that or dim witted.

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

I am similarly “horrified” when someone attempts to whitewash infidelity. Walk a minute in my shoes and tell me again about “ambiguity”. I don’t even think my ex would say anything was particularly complicated or meaningful in the way he suddenly walked out or shacked up with another woman.

I am sick of the “bitter” accusations, as if it is something to be ashamed of because we are angry or hurt. I am under no obligation to make nice and smile for pearl-clutching Pollyannas because it would make them feel more comfortable.

I read Perel’s “Mating in Captivity.” It was about intimacy and I thought it was fine. However, that also does not mean I agree with her when she write something dumb.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

Okay, count me as a “bitterness” apologist. If someone violates every aspect of my life that I hold sacred, then, yup, I am f**king bitter and angry. And I deserve to be. And I evolved to be angry in those circumstances. I would worry heartily about someone who was NOT angry and bitter after infidelity.

I am feeling that anger and, yes, hatred, right now recalling how much DISRESPECT I, and all my fellow chumps, were shown as human beings worthy of respect. How dare my STBX and all cheaters think that their search for novel p*ssy or c*ck trumps our desire for respect, the welfare of us and our children, and our attempts to live a life with integrity.

Bring it on, Stephanie. I’m in a fightin’ mood.

CRHCHK
CRHCHK
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Damn straight, Tempest!
Why the hell wouldn’t we feel bitter and disdainful towards someone who has treated us like complete shit for nothing but a fleeting pleasure.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Now you’re talking, Tempest. Like a champion.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest!

Since we do not have ’emoticons’ here, picture this: {Me with pom-poms, leaping high! And hopefully not landing on my rear!!!) Love your comment!
Especially this: “I would worry heartily about someone who was NOT angry and bitter after infidelity.”

And, I think I can rustle up a pair of boxer’s gloves to boot……

ForgeOn, Tempest….ForgeOn, Nation….

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
8 years ago

There is nothing complicated about a relationship that two people enter into promising “to love in sickness and health, for better or worse…. and to forsake all others until death do them part”. What is complicated is when someone decides to completely annihilate the other person by having an affair.

I was one of “those” people who always wondered “what happened” to the marriages of acquaintances who would divorce. Now I know, after living through it, that for many of them, what happened was that one partner decided that those vows meant nothing to them and chose to obliterate their spouse and family by cheating.

NO ONE who has not experienced the decimation of adultery can ever understand the pain. We have to continue to preach that it is not about the cheater who made choices and probably has no remorse anyway. It is about the families who have been razed to the ground. It is about the children who now question the sanctity of marriage. It is about the spouse who has lost their self-worth and trust in others. We shouldn’t excuse the behavior of murders, thieves, rapists, etc. So why do we excuse the behavior of cheaters. Oh, right…the relationship was complicated!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
8 years ago

Just wow! That’s some amazing word salad there Steph! There’s only two possibilities for this “enlightened soul (less vampire). She is either a cheater or one of those militant chumps who won’t acknowledge she’s a chump. I have to say, some of those unicorn chasers are worse than the cheaters themselves.

What they lack in reading comprehension, they absolutely make up for with misdirected passion towards the unicorn of reconciliation. It cracks me up that they don’t understand that the underlying message of the chump lady is to “Gain a life”. She encourages you to get to meh and lead an authentic cheater-free life. How is that “pure hate and bitterness toward your ex?”

She makes fun of cheaters in general but let’s face it; they generally provide the whole world with excellent material. If you’re a smart-ass at heart, it’s really hard to pass that up. It’s almost painful actually.

So much word salad; so little dressing!

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

those militant chumps who won’t acknowledge she’s a chump. I have to say, some of those unicorn chasers are worse than the cheaters themselves.

I love your comment on this.

I am pretty sure I delt with two of these types just after D.Day one of whom even had the nerve coming from a place of assumed authority to ask,” Knowing what he has done, will you take him back” oh an no joke she was serious. Years ago I asked my now X ministers wife why was it that when young girls in the church fell pregnant out of marriage that they were made stand up the front and confess but non of the men where made do so if they we found to be sleeping around. responce ” Men don’t fall pregnant my dear” this same woman has ended her friend ship with me but is polite in public. but to this day lies to hid my husbands adultery from others. and no she is not the OW.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Whaddaya wanna bet that her husband has tossed it around on her once or twice? She sounds like she’s been snorting the word salad herself, and you threaten her with your clarity and truth. Ended the friendship? Did you a favor.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

I suspect she is an OW actually

Lily
Lily
8 years ago

ChumpLady, I like what you do. I think your BS radar has saved many people years of complicated ambiguity. What a gift!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
8 years ago
Reply to  Lily

Second that.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago

Only a non-chump would ever presume to use a word like “reductive” in the context of infidelity. And there’s nothing remotely ambiguous about entitlement, which is what cheating is all about. Stephanie, I sincerely hope your theoretical constructs never get put to the test.

just another chump
just another chump
8 years ago

Wow, almost sounds like Esther Perel and Stephanie are closet cheaters or so hopelessly gaslit by another human being they would excuse contempt and disrespect as normal.

I’ve always looked at marriage as a sort of business agreement with the vows being the actual contract. One or both partners earn finances while one or both contribute to the home or family life in some form.

If your business partner started spending part of your share of the business proceeds for his or her “vacations and parties and divested funds” you would be on that partner’s ass with a lawyer.

Why is getting upset about an affair (an act that is expressly forbidden in vows) so hard to comprehend for these women? Why is worrying about monies spent on hookers/separate vacations/gifts for the AP/etc. not normal for Esther or Susan? Why is making somebody have to visit a medical office to get STD testing or paternity testing on their kids not considered wrong by these idiots?

What kind of feelings does embezzling, forgery, misrepresentation, contamination, and outright disrespect evoke in a normal human being? You do this crap in an actual business environment you get written out of the contract, fined, brought up on charges or jailed.

So the embezzler, forger, liar and STD source is entitled to their exuberant act of defiance! What absolute dreck.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago

JACS, well said. My cheater publicly complained that I skimped on our kids’ food (making kids’ (and my) lunches instead of eating out) because I was cheap. (I was saving money for our kids’ college tuition (putting money back into ‘the company.’) What was he doing with the savings? Hiring prostitutes, treating OW to luxury services. Now, according to him, although he abruptly left me when I had no job, he suddenly can’t and shouldn’t pay me support, and I should pay HIM. He tells the public and our kids that I am educated enough to get a job but just too lazy to (instantly) get a high-paying one and I am an unfit parent who should not see our kids. If the general public treated breaking marriage vows as an offense on par with fraud, then perhaps cheaters wouldn’t try to con others so often.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago

People like Stephanie or Esther are just not very thoughtful people. Despite their attempts to sound sophisticated and super evolved etc. , they kind of stumble their way through life , just fucking up all types of shit.
These people water down the gene pool
If they procreate with like folks.
I am thankful that, as far as I can tell so far, my DNA seems to have overridden my XW’s in my kids. They are pretty smart.
Two of my teenage daughters , recently, got in an argument with their mom and texted her directions to a site that is supposed to provide help for serial cheaters. Wish I could have seen that reaction.

NoMoeNarcs
NoMoeNarcs
8 years ago

Somehow, at the end of the day, I think Ester and Dan Savage are just two people trying to get ahead of their own narrative, and that both are active cheaters who simply haven’t had to face the consequences, yet…

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  NoMoeNarcs

It’s amazing how many of the disordered pursue very public ways to “get ahead of their own narrative.” Cheaters are always telling half truths….

somuchhurt
somuchhurt
8 years ago

OMG. Really!… If they could truely see what this does to the children…what it does to the loyal spouse! OMG! The years of counseling and meds…the sleeplessness night and then when we do sleep we are awakened by our own screams and night sweats because of the nightmares!! I tell you I am going to end up on snapped!!!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  somuchhurt

Somuchhurt–don’t snap. Stay angry. This is on them (even though we are suffering from it).

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago

Searching for meaning in ambiguity is like searching for rabbits camping in the refrigerator. It won’t take long, and it won’t be fruitful.

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Oh ha hahahaha!

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Lol! Enough Already!

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

ha ha ha ha ha ha, thanks for the belly laugh, EA!

Char
Char
8 years ago

Old Stephanie is either a whore/mistress or a Chump in self imposed unicorn land forever. Or worse – a pseudo-intellectual who thinks grasping some “big” words from self help land makes her an authority on blog authors and their secret failings.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago

Dear Stephanie, There was nothing complicated about my relationship, or so I thought.. He told me it was forever. I tapped my retirement to fix up a home for us and gave him money for his/our business. Then he secretly started a relationship with a married woman at the wake for her brother, his high school buddy. He neglected to tell me about that. Or return the money. He moved to his childhood , saying he would take a few months to fix it up so his parents who could no longer live there could sell it. He neglected to say that he was the buyer. He was thriving on ambiguity, as in “I love you” when he meant “I’m screwing the married sister of my dead buddy,” and “I bought a new truck” when he meant “I spent your money,” and “I’m too busy to call or text you” when he meant “I’m not texting you because I’m spending all my time texting and sneaking out with a married woman” and “She came over to look at Mom’s dining room furniture” when he meant, “She used a pretext to come over here because we’re in love.” Here’s some more ambiguity: when he’s asked about what happened to his first marriage, he says “she just moved out,” but he says his sister-in-law hates him because she says he destroyed his first wife’s life. So I’m thinking Esther’s search for “ambiguity” in cheating can pretty much stop at noticing how these liars and con artists thrive on double talk, words that are intentional deceptive, and factual jujitsu like blame shifting and gaslighting.

Here’s a news flash for you: all relationships (including family relations, friendships, and professional connections) are complicated, because humans are works in progress bring their own needs, beliefs, fears and experiences to their encounters with others. But those complications can be managed if people related with love and integrity. The “complicated relationship” of interest to Esther is complicated because one party has a character disorder. One partner signed up for monogamy and lived up to the commitment and the other–secretly, arbitrarily and without regard to the need and feelings of his or her partner–voided the deal by cheating while still reaping the benefit of the partner’s full commitment. That’s not complicated; that’s abuse, as Tracy explains. Thirteen months after I found out about the cheating, I’ve figured out that there are certain complications that hold no interest for me. If I want ambiguity, I’ll read Shakespeare or a poem.

Goodmazel
Goodmazel
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Great response LAJ. This whole discussion reminded me of a routine Chris Rock performed on the Columbine murders. I can’t access it with my computer, but he basically responded to people trying to “understand the complexity” of those misunderstood teenagers who murdered.

If I remember correctly Chris Rock’s slap down included crying them a river for not having “friends” or a prom date…No, said Rock, I did not have as many friends as they did ; ) they were just bat shit crazy.

Good luck to anyone trying to “understand” sociopaths. Imagine living life with the guy from Silence of the Lambs—good luck with that.

I am reading Dracula with my son now. The horror genre is interesting for the fears it arises, but would never want to live there.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Goodmazel

I think Tracy hits it on the head when she reminds people like Stephanie and Esther that we don’t make similar excuses or provide justifications for muggers, robbers, rapists and others who cause tremendous pain to others for their own gratification. That Chris Rock routine is spot on; normal people do not respond to life by committing mass murder, and those who look to “explain” or justify that (beyond looking for the pathology) are just enablers of the next nut job. We know all we need to know about infidelity when we see how hard cheaters try to keep their secrets in order to preserve access to cake and for impression management.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

says it all: “One partner signed up for monogamy and lived up to the commitment and the other–secretly, arbitrarily and without regard to the need and feelings of his or her partner–voided the deal by cheating while still reaping the benefit of the partner’s full commitment”

Only total narcs see nothing wrong with lying for your own benefit

FreeVixen
FreeVixen
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Preach!!!

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

LAJ, “Love and Integrity.” My ex possessed neither.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago

thinking about this has struck me that my STBX loves being ambiguous.

Constantly having a dig and leaving it so you were left to interperate his meaning. If I ever called him on it, if what he had said had left me a bit shocked or hurt he would respond with “it was not meant to come across like that, that is just how you took it. This was his number one tacktic for getting in am messing with my head, leaving me confused and unsure of my own ablitiy to think clearly.
OMG he was a expert at this behavour.

I had always thought during my 18yr marriage that my STBX’s brother and sister in law did not like me, imagine my shock when I was told that they had kept their distance over the years due to STBX and his duplicity………..He can never be fixed he is happy to go with what ever will work for him at that given time.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Yep. I also had the sort of noncommittal, vague, nonspecific behaviors over the course of our marriage, and I was also similarly blamed when I “misinterpreted” his behavior.

Well, I misinterpreted the hell out of all those late nights at the restaurant, didn’t I, feeling sorry for him having to be stuck working so hard while his other two business partners lazily left him with the extra tasks. Little did I know the extra tasks were things like, “Oh, hey, Dickhead, sorry I gotta leave early today but there’s just that one waitress who still needs fucking. Could you get that done before you leave tonight? yeah? Thanks a lot!”

I don’t think XH did it on purpose so much as it was the easiest way out. If I had to choose one word for XH to sum him up, it would have to be “lazy.” No effort whatsoever: to work on our marriage, to be less ambiguous, to resist temptation. No wonder he had so much extra energy to burn off on his vacations!

But at least in my XH’s case, I don’t think it was intentionally malicious or manipulative, it’s just what he learned worked for him over the years: charm & ambiguity. — And I don’t think there was intent in large part because, on Dday, he told me he was surprised at my reaction (sobbing, rocking in a fetal ball) because he thought I felt the same way he did, that our marriage wasn’t worth working on. And I think he seemed genuinely befuddled by my reaction.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Mine was very surprised at my reaction to D’Day. Stated he didn’t understand why I was so upset. He just didn’t get it.
The only honest thing to come out of his mouth, because he is never going to get how he ripped my heart out with his confession. How he blind sided me prior to D’day with claims of love and devotion. While simultaneously making me feel I was somehow struggling emotionally and that if I worked harder on me and at being a subservient wife. Things would be better.

And then post d’day the attitude that he was working on his issues and that I needed to work on mine for our marriage to continue, and if I chose to end the marriage then all responsibility was on me.

Oh yeah. Trust they suck.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Agreed, Thankful. Mine continues to minimize his affair and its impact on me. When I asked him what he thought would happen when I found out, he said he thought I’d be mad for a few days and then get over it. After D-day, when he agreed to MC, he sent me an email that day detailing the issues I would have to correct for him to go to counseling.

Apparently he hadn’t gotten the memo saying that his affair meant that he had ZERO bargaining power. I responded to his email with a gorgon-style rant and threw him out of the house. Jerk. You’re right–it is like trying to reason with a spoiled 2-year old.

Margaret
Margaret
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Seriously, Tempest. At one point during post DDay long discussions with X, he said to me, “If you ever get into another relationship again, Margaret then — ” and I cut him off, immediately – saying “Sorry but I’m not taking any relationship advice from YOU!” And that was months before I found out about the 2 prior OWs.

Margaret
Margaret
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Thankful, mine actually said, 5 mos after DDay, “I don’t know why you’re so upset. I stayed with you longer than any of the others.” I didn’t know there was more than one prior GF (we were together 16 yrs.) and not until four months after he stated that did I know that he cheated on her with me, kept fucking her for the first 7 years he lived with me, cheater on her with 3 other women, and that he had at least one prior OW that I know of now prior to 2013 DDay. But he didn’t understand why I was “so upset.”

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

living with a disfunctional cheater is like trying to educate a spoilt rotten yr 2 student consequence for action, seriously frustrating and a waste of time.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

You’re right, Thankful–“ambiguous” and “obfuscation” are not the same thing.

Donna Thompson
Donna Thompson
8 years ago

Spot on. My bet is that Steph is a pseudo intellectual. No one who lived thru this would attempt to minimize the pain. Good luck Steph – I would not wish this on anyone – not even the OW

Drew
Drew
8 years ago

Well, my relationship with my ex was complicated. He spent his last two years in our marriage dissipating community assets, walked away from his children (actually stated,”YOU figure it OUT, he’s YOUR SON,” when asked what his intentions were in regards to paying for college) but not before dipping into all of our savings and college accounts (we had one child attending college and two in high school planning to enroll within the next few years). Then he moved out (after spending hours discussing his decision with his whore and then his sister) leaving me to manage our finances on my salary alone which was 1/4 of his, allowed our family home to foreclose even though he could easily afford the mortgage (he had no intention of splitting that asset either), and flew to Oregon every weekend to spend time with and court his “true luv.” When I was scrambling to outline our financial situation to our clueless family court I stumbled upon an old HIV test dated two years before Dday. This is only a small part of what I do know about his crap behavior. We were together for 28 years and our family was the best thing he ever had. Damn straight I am bitter. It’s one thing to fuck over your wife, quite another to leave that as a legacy for your children. Even before this I had no admiration for men/women who fucked over their spouses by having affairs. Ala John Edwards, Tiger Woods, or Leann Rhymes. Not anybody I’d want to know. I don’t think any excuse works. Hey if you want to fuck others while finding yourself don’t get married. If you want to talk about it and haven’t ever been Chumped then just shut the fuck up. It’s as simple as that. Happy Holidays, Chump Nation.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Drew–what a horrific story. And I agree with you–why WOULDN’T we be bitter or angry? It would be unnatural not to feel negative emotions after what they did to us and to our families. And frankly, it is intelligent to feel such things (including revulsion) toward people who can behave as lowly as these cheaters behave.

Happy Holidays to you!!!

Justine
Justine
8 years ago

Stephanie has either been cheated on and is spackling like crazy or she’s a cheater who’s looking for validation. Either way, she’s an idiot.

When you have to get STD tested and wonder what on earth you could have passed onto your breastfed baby whilst waiting for the results, then there’s no patience for BS ‘ambiguity’. And for someone to then throw the ‘bitter’ word into the mix, well, you just have to know they’re an idiot and therefore not worth knowing.

Rock on CL, this bitter chump is living a free and happy life now she has no ‘ambiguity’ to make her miserable:)

Happy Christmas, and remember, each year without a cheater is a good one!

betrayedchump
betrayedchump
8 years ago
Reply to  Justine

This Woman is probably cheating herself.

I wouldn’t wish the pain of infidelity on my worst enemy. My Husband had everything. I spoilt him rotten. I was very easy going and yet he cheated on me in an affair for six years. He is now living with the mad bunny boiler and I’m divorcing him. He is becoming rather worried about the amount of spousal support he will have to pay me. Well tough. We were married 33 years and I have serious health issues. He believes that he can come up with a figure and that will be that. Well No actually the Courts will decide. He says if we both agree an amount it can go through quickly but I will be no pushover and will take the matter to Court.

I will make a life for myself and have friends and family but it truly sucks that it will not be the life I wanted. I hope his bunny boiler gives him hell.

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  betrayedchump

I just signed the final divorce papers a few days ago (yeah!!!!!!).

He was forced by the courts to accept what I offered him more than a year ago by he claimed
was a greedy and entitled offer. He sounds like your STBX. He claimed he would always look after me with an amount he determined. He felt I should be grateful for any crumbs tossed my way from his lordship on high. It was all ok that he was a serial cheater in a 24 year marriage because he had finally found true luv. His happiness was all that matters.

I hired a good lawyer and patiently waited – but he wanted his day in court because this idiot really believed that what he was offering was fair. The court didn’t agree. What a looser. It was a feeling of vindication that I was never greedy in the process, I was only expecting what was fair under the law. This jerk believes he is above the law.

And yes, I agree with all who posted that the idiot who wrote that BS word salad is most likely a cheater or in serious denial and is unicorn hunting. This is a place very unsafe for both species.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

Congratulations! And yeah for great lawyers, judges, and those who see straight!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

Congratulations on your freedom and your getting a fair settlement Mommy Chump! You rock on with your bad self!

Blindsided
Blindsided
8 years ago

What’s “complicated” is trying to find ways to put out the fire from gaslighting. Or trying to figure out your personal reality from years of lies. Or trying to figure how you will get out of bed the days following Dday. What’s not complicated to understand is Esther’s limited empathy or common sense. She sucks. Cheaters suck. Stephanie sucks.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Blindsided

This is so true. So true, Blindsided.

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  Blindsided

Nice one Blindsided! You are so right! Let them know the meaning of complicated!!
My Ex farted while gaslighting me and I still have the burns to show for it!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
8 years ago

It’s not so complicated. He & I promised we’d love and respect each other forever. He told me he looked forward to spending the rest of his life with me. — Then he met Schmoopie. She’s young (REAL young) and cute, so he wants her more. What’s complicated about that? Seems really simple to me.

I second the opinions of those stated here: You can’t know how devastating this is unless you’ve lived it. From the outside, I’m sure it looks complicated. But it’s not. It’s real real simple. It’s wrong. And bad. And all those black & white values that “evolved” types hate to label things with nowadays. Some things are just right or wrong. This is one of those things.

SheChump
SheChump
8 years ago

None of these comments SUCK – CN – you said it all tonight! Thank you!

FreeVixen
FreeVixen
8 years ago

People and relationships can indeed be complicated. But cheating? Nope, that’s pretty cut and dry. Either you lied or you didn’t. Either you were willing to risk your marriage or you weren’t. People like Esther and your commenter want to extend ambiguity of thought to ambiguity of action, and reasonable people can see that there is a bright line between the two.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

Stephanie, I speak for millions of chumps, most especially my brother and his kids. This is not the least bit ambiguous. Fuck off! You don’t have a clue what you are talking about!

Lania
Lania
8 years ago

Yep, this Stephanie’s a cheater (Or has her head stuck so far up her arse shes seeing her own tonsils).
I don’t see whats ‘ambiguous’ about severe emotional, psychological and sometimes physical abuse at the hands of someone who was supposed to always have our back. Or the above being directed at our kids or loved ones, having to endure the fallout of a self-entitled fuckwad.
Enough with the word salad bullshit already, Stephanie. Are you 12 years old? Learnt a new word ‘reductive’ today?
Grow up. You disgust me.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

Game, set, match, to CL.

uneffingbelievable
uneffingbelievable
8 years ago

Holy. Shit !!!!! These moronic, simplistic, self-serving, narcissistic reprobates can have all their “quests for aliveness” (puke!) that they want, as long as they are SINGLE! Yo, Stephanie, maybe your relationship is ‘complicated’ because your partner is in a relationship with someone who feels the world revolves around them. If you want to feel alive, why don’t you skydive, sans parachute? That’s sure to get the old adrenaline pumping.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago

I am particularly impressed with the fact that with the large numbers of people visiting, we still end up feeling like our needs are being met here. I’m talking a large city of folks have had their needs met here. I’m talking seriously met, as in `holding on by the skin of my teeth’ needs.

I think this site is monitored by unsleeping angels with a high tolerance for potty-mouth.

lisahaight1969
lisahaight1969
8 years ago

Divorce Minister – you shared a link recently on your blog ; A chump wrote a description of what her pain felt like at the time of discovery.

Could you share it here?

Maybe then when these mambi-pambi cheaters in lamb’s skin type flakes read CL’s site they will get a taste of what it might feel like to have your heart ripped out through your eye sockets!
Or not….

But it was a good description ” like seeing a dog get shot “.

fiestypants
fiestypants
8 years ago
Reply to  lisahaight1969
Margaret
Margaret
8 years ago

Just to clarify my names.. “TheMuse” = me, Margaret. When logged in, or not logged in, seems to make a difference. A month or so ago I decided to just use my own first name.

Kira
Kira
8 years ago

Re: the “hate and bitterness” thing (which I don’t see coming from CL but whatever), when did it become a “bad” thing to dislike someone, especially someone whose behaviors were abusive to you? I don’t hate my X, but I dislike him. We aren’t friends. He is not one of my inner circle of people. When we were married, I did love him, we were friends, and he was definitely one of my inner circle. He ruined all of that with his Narc actions (and YES, that includes the affair) and emotionally abusive behavior to me and to our kids, things that still affect me and our kids to this day, many years later. I make no apologies about it. I don’t like my ex. I’ll add him to the list of people I don’t like, which includes that nasty co-worker and that kid from high school who bullied me. They were people who actively sought to harm me, and I am not obligated in the least to like them.

I have seen horrific things done to Chumps I know IRL by their Cheaters, nightmares that continue long after the divorce process was done, as a way to control them or as a way to make them pay for daring to divorce them. And yet, if they say anything at all about them, they get the “you’re just bitter” card thrown at them. Wouldn’t you be bitter about someone who didn’t want to be with you, and yet will NOT leave you alone, and finds new ways to harass you, be it through the courts, fights over visitation, etc? The common refrain I have heard from them is, “I gave them what they wanted, to be free to be with Schmoopie, why won’t they just leave me alone?”

Actually, that might be a good future post, Chump Lady, why won’t they just leave you alone?

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  Kira

They don’t leave you alone because they think they still own you and have, yes, an ENTITLEMENT to mess with your life. Often they are just miffed that you finally grew a spine and said NO to them (a word that is to an entitled person as water is to the Wicked Witch of the West). Sometimes, they actually admire your new fortitude and want to re-groom you be their next conquest in waiting, hoping you’ll dance even prettier to get back the life you once believed you had. They may want to play the new toy off the old dependable household appliance to see which is more useful or challenging to them now that you’ve got a life and self respect.

Whatever the reason, it isn’t because the asshat cheater just woke up, found Jesus, and realized that they love you eternally. They want to sink a hook into the departing cake so they can reel it back into their drama whenever they choose. Trust that they suck.

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
8 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

Oh, I def trust that he sucks. Even after almost 2 years, I still read CL daily to ingrain into my brain that he and others like him truly do suck. I never really told him flat out no about anything, until after we split. I have done it a few times when he was trying to tell how things would be. I told him no calmly and he exploded in a rage! Each time I tell him no, his pride gets the better of him, and he freaks out. How dare I tell him no! LOL, crazy-ass, that’s all I see it as, bat-shit crazy-ass.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

Oh shit, Freeatlast, be careful with my previous advice above, do talk it out with your therapist, and maybe your attorney to get written rules that the law will enforce.. Definitely sounds like he could hurt you if you assert yourself to quick, you need to document any fearful rages and such. But I know from experience that if you aren’t battered, beaten and bruised you won’t get much traction with cops or the courts. It sucks, they will believe you are in danger only after you are hurt. 🙁

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Yeah, that’s why I do things in stages with him, one at a time slowly, eases into it sadly. Otherwise, he has way too much access to me, and I never use to fear him, but do now a little. Obviously a Narc and pretty sure a socio too, so my guard is up now, and of course I don’t trust him. Was thinking of installing an app on my phone that has an instant recorder, just in case.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

If your gut is telling you to do something, listen to it, do what you need to do to be safe

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Exactly. Many a battered man has been hauled off by the cops.
Get a VAR , especially if you are a guy dealing with one of these miscreants.

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
8 years ago
Reply to  Kira

Agreed! That would be a good post. My X does this to me regularly. He gets miffed thinking I owe him a thank you, which I don’t give. Then he harasses me non stop via texting all the while, he’s with his schmoopsie poo. I’ve told him to just leave me alone. He does for a while, but then it always starts again.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

If you don’t have kids with him, just block him. If you do have to deal with him, lay down a boundary that you will only respond to EMAILS one day a week and it has to be about the kids. You will not communicate via TEXT anymore and block him there. Then filter all his email to a folder so you really do only read it once a week. Jedi Hugs!

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I have 4 kids with him, so sadly, contact with him is more often. Good idea Dat about the email, although not sure if it would work for everyday. There are times where I can go days without having to contact him, then back to talking to him again. He uses the kids as an open to spew his hate at me anytime he says he wants this or that with the kids, and I tell him no. Throws little tantrums which I just ignore. I have anxiety, which I developed after years of abuse from him, so sadly some days I just can’t take it, and wish he would just go away.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

I am sorry you have to deal with him Freeatlast. I think it’s fair to tell him he can only call you if there is a child related emergency and otherwise he must use email which you will answer if relevant on your schedule, not his. And block the texting, you have no obligation to deal with his texts, tell him that. Then enforce it. Also, if you have someone who could read the emails for you and then you only read the ones that need to be answered that might help. Jedi Hugs!

Freeatlast
Freeatlast
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

” email which you will answer if relevant on your schedule, not his”

This is the problem. He always thinks his schedule is the important one ( ironic considering he’s unemployed again), which causes his outbursts and nastiness. He then tells me I’m being rude, unappreciative, unreasonable, and selfish if I don’t respond when he thinks I should. I’m damned no matter what i do basically.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

Freeatlast,
yours and mine could sit and swap stories on how uncooperative he are when pushing their own agenda.

Mine knew Christmas was coming, it was not like it was a suprise this year but left it to the last minute to make arrangments. I left the ball in his court. Following his having the children from lunch on christmas day through to late boxing day evening last year just after d’day I did consider that the same would be wanted this year, no contact was entered into on the matter except two weeks ago amoungst communication over other issues it was noted that we need to ‘discuss it’. but nothing more. So the call came from STBX enquiring what my plans were for him to have the children on christmas day, when he did not get the answer he wanted he got aggressive and demanding, that I should have just know what he wanted and it was “unfair of me” not to do so. Me, I just reminded myself to smile as I spoke to him to negate any negative tone in my voice. Not my problem if you cannot plan ahead buddy.

Christmas day sorted apparently he has plans for Boxing day this year that do not include the children so it is just assumed by him that I can keep them.

But the demanding bullshit did not end there. He then went on to push the topic of taking the kids away for a week just after christmas which he had been advised in october would not work for the dates he was proposing( an alturnative was offered at the time but I heard nothing in responce). In the process of the conversation is was made clear that STBX had gone ahead and booked the accomodation for the week he wanted, in the hope of getting around me at the last minute. No consideration for what the kids might want or for the fact that our youngest is still battling cancer. He did not get round me, I just smiled, even when he had a crack at my weight (apparently getting round me would take an extra wide berth) as a way of trying to push my buttons. I just smiled and thanked him for calling.

He is now taking his brother and his two kids (14 & 9 and not the out door type) on the holiday where all there is to do is hike, eat, drink and sleep.
I hope it rains!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

Of course he thinks his schedule is the only one that matters. He’s the CHEATERPANTS. That’s how they roll. So just expect selfishness and hate spewing and unreasonable demands. That’s who he is.

What you can change is you. You are only obliged to make the kids available to him for visitation or custody dates. You are not obliged to change things to suit him. So set those boundaries. Tell him you won’t respond to anything abusive–either by email or snail mail. You’ll put it right in the email trash with no reply. Then stick to it. I’ll say this for Jackass’s XW–she refused to meet with him, talk with him on the phone or deal by email. By the time he exited from my life, his XW only did snail mail with him. (Ha ha, I thought he was the victim in that situation. Oh, how I would love to hear her story.) You obviously can’t go “no contact,” but you need to stop reading his abusive crap or talking to him.

We teach people how to treat us. You can teach him that you won’t take abuse. You can do it!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

Freeatlast, be FREE! Do you really care if he calls you names now? It’s his shit to deal with. Talk to your therapist about this and how to do it with least impact on your kids. You are not damned in any way, your ex is simply an asshole who still thinks he controls you, don’t let him control you girlfriend! That is one of the many reasons you divorced him. Jedi Hugs!

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I ‘bundle’ the e-mail reading so I am not barraged with hate mail throughout the day. (I never understood why he kept attacking me when he was the one who chronically strayed and filed for divorce). Unfortunately, character-disordered types attack through e-mail, too. When I contact him about something the kids and I (really) need, he just ignores me.

Psyche
Psyche
8 years ago
Reply to  Freeatlast

Why? Kibbles. (See, cheaters are not complicated.) They feed their bottomless egos by manipulating other people; that’s just who they are.

Tracy has written a few posts about this:
He doesn’t want me, so why hold up the divorce?
Why won’t she give up?”
Why does he keep changing his mind?”

MsChump
MsChump
8 years ago

Wow, just wow. She’s a piece of work and then some…..hate and bitterness? Oh yeah, CL showed that when she rallied her chumps to help not one, but two orphanages and gave shoes and toys to children in need. Thoughtlessness? Hmm that will be the tireless, loving, caring authentic curation and moderating that she does – reading her chumps comments, responding kindly, or with the fierce love and conviction of a mumma bear when the chump needs it. Yeah, you can see right through CL – authentic, kind, fearless and a life saver to so many. Thank you CL – from a chump who’s life your blog helped save.

PF
PF
8 years ago

Dear: Stephanie

Esther Perel, writes tripe and sugar coats it. She paints a glossy picture of cheaters, perhaps that’s due to her degree in Art Therapy. Her credentials are dodgy and ambiguous. Esther Perel is fluent in bull. She’s out of touch and portrays cheaters as sympathetic victims and it was a shrewd choice to name one of her books “Mating in Captivity”. She has a naive view on how traumatizing it is to be deceived and no real understanding that a great majority of cheaters are disordered hypocrites. If anyone…. a betrayed spouse in held captive in a marriage, just like the cheaters want it. Either Perel has it wrong, she’s a cheater apologist who probably is one herself.

Stephanie, you’re mean and judgemental, Chump Lady is articulate and doesn’t play the ambiguous word salad paradigm mumbo jumbo game that Esther Perel peddles.

Glad you stumbled here Stephanie, hope you didn’t hurt your ambiguous faux enlightened head as CL brilliantly translated your comment into real English.

Chumpette
Chumpette
8 years ago

“Stephanie’s” distorted lens about infidelity is so prevalent. I appreciate ChumpLady’s courage and sagacity. Her clear thinking and good writing are an added boost! This blog hells me remember what happened was real and it really was not ok…or just “complicated”.

Infidelity is the deepest betrayal one person can do to another. This is not a stranger attack on a dark street. This was my best friend of 26 years who lied for years, exposed me to STDs, blameshifted and gaslit me for years, made us lose our home and community, and who grievously interrupted a bright daughter’s college years. And NO, none of us knew. We were blindsided. By a beloved.

The adultery was wrong, the years of deceit were wrong, the trauma to our daughters was wrong, the mental abuse of me was wrong, and the current narrative my XH is spinning is wrong.

This is not called complicated. It is called wrong. Some life choices ARE black and white, such as driving drunk and killing a family.

To round out the black/white dichotomy, we can add selfish, entitled, narcissistic, borderline, addiction, FOO, and “need to feel alive and happy again” and ” i did the best i could” and “bad things happen…you should be over this by now” and “i am just a flawed human…please forgive me, i did not mean to hurt you” ( while continuing the affair…)

And? It. Is. Still. Wrong.

Chumpette
Chumpette
8 years ago

“hells” in line 2 should be “helps”… though hell is a great Freudian slip there heh heh. And my final line is more unambiguously stated as:

And? It. Is. ALL. Wrong.

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Yup, Chumpette, it’s still wrong AND it’s all wrong. Great comment.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
8 years ago

With something like 10,000+ TED talks out there, a few Esther Perels manage to slip in, unfortunately.

I really wish she’d go back to her chosen profession of using drama and yarn as therapy rather than opining on how people who’ve been betrayed just aren’t embraching the life-affirming qualities of the affairs of their cheating (hopefully former) partners.

So sad.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
8 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

err embraching = embracing.

tryinghard
tryinghard
8 years ago

Tell it CL!!! REDUCTIVE???? Let me tell what is “reductive”. Going out and fucking someone else so you can feel more “alive”! Doesn’t get more “reductive” than that!!!!

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago

Hi Stephanie, meet Fiona, oh wait…you probably are Fiona, same verbiage, different name…

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Good catch, Dat. I was thinking the same thing.

thensome
thensome
8 years ago

My cheating ex was lugging around a copy of Ester Perel’s “Mating in Captivity.” ( I didn’t know it, but he was cheating at the time.) I think it was recommended to him by a therapist. I picked it up and read it. I didn’t find it all that interesting to be honest and disagree that it added any value to the conversation around adultery.

Adultery is a sh*tty thing to do. Period. It’s abusive and humiliating. There’s nothing that makes a sh*tty deal a better deal despite all the fancy words so called intellectuals and modern day relationship coaches, social workers, psychologists want to throw at us. And I work in mental health.

My ex intentionally lied over and over, used money for his own advantage and subjected me to emotional abuse. That’s what he did. It wasn’t complicated; it was cruel. I lived it and I don’t need a book or folks like Stephanie to tell me that I just don’t add value to a “conversation” about infidelity.

Telo
Telo
8 years ago

I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that “Stephanie” is Esther Perel herself. Regardless, thank you, Chump Lady.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Telo

you might be right Telo, my bet is on Fiona though, heh

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Perhaps I am too recent to know “Fiona.” Was she a cheater-apologist from the past?

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Take a look at the two star review of CL’s book on amazon by Fiona. Unfortunately, she has deleted her initial review and replaced it with a new screed. Too bad, her comparing CL to Hitler AND invoking Godwin’s law at the same time was so hilarious I choked laughing. She has another review on amazon uk using the name Lucy, heh.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Umm, yeah here and in Amazon reviews in a stalker-like way.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

Fiona tossed a really mean word salad. Really quite the pedant.