UBT: After the Affair, The Reckoning

Universal Bullshit Translator

The Universal Bullshit Translator takes on yet another New York Time‘s Modern Love column After the Affair, The Reckoning by Shelley Akers — the story of a chumped new mother and her cheating husband.

Spoiler alert: The unicorns got her.

Shelley’s tale could be lifted from the pages of this blog. Young couple trying to conceive, she submits to the torture of fertility treatments and conceives via IVF — and he fucks a co-worker. Because all of this performative make-a-baby sex was hard on him. Harder really.

after the affair

She stays with him.

Because looking down the barrel of postpartum divorce and single parenthood is terrifying. Because reconciliation is the bargaining stage of grief. And because no one hurled copies of Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life at her head.

Instead, Shelley chose to write her sorrows down as a Modern Love essay with the hope of shaming her husband into some sort of contrition. You choke on the humiliation for once, douchebag. I understand the impulse. Who among us hasn’t wanted to spray paint their cheater’s name on a bridge span? Or sky write their sins?

tell wife about affair

It’s that full-throated honesty required for today’s reconciliation narrative. It will make our marriage stronger! We can talk about this! He loves me BECAUSE he lets me talk about this!

I’m sorry, it’s still the same old stand-by-your-man crap.

But it does make for UBT fodder. So, here we go.

One day before our seventh wedding anniversary, and six weeks after our first child was born, my husband told me he was having an affair. (The tense matters: having, not had.)

As his confession reverberated in my ears, I rocked our daughter, asleep after her 10th (11th?) nursing session of the day. My nipples ached, my body trembled, my heart shattered.

The UBT has no snark, only sympathy. There’s a special place in hell for your husband, whose nipple should be rocked gently in a vice clamp.

“She cannot know I’m crying,” I thought as I stared at my husband in shock. My cheeks were wet, but no sound escaped my lips. There wasn’t anger. Not yet. Only questions: With whom? When? How many times?

I looked to my husband to tell me the truth. Because people who cheat on pregnant vulnerable women are known to lead with unvarnished honesty.

Pick me!

In several ways, my story is nothing new. My husband — a J. Crew-wearing, annoyingly nice school administrator — had an affair with a colleague. I was pregnant, tired and focused on preparing for our baby. She was focused on him: flirting on Slack, in his office and during lunch breaks.

She’s a wily seductress and I’m a drudge with leaky boobs. How could a nice, clean-cut school administrator ever choose me?

Even our marriage counselor, whom we started seeing after his confession, thought it was odd that the other woman had invited my husband to her house to fix her kitchen cabinets soon after being hired. Not your typical office favor, but it was her first move in a series of intimacy-building actions that created the opportunity for infidelity.

Our marriage counselor did not find it odd that my husband went to his co-worker’s house to fix her cabinets. Only that she asked. HEY, HE’S NICE. What’s a J. Crew guy gonna do? Tell her to call Angie’s List?

At the time, I thought her request was bizarre, but my husband was always going out of his way to help others. 

His fucking around is just a misdirected impulse to help others.

He likes working with his hands — my favorite part of him. 

Holy Euphemism Batman!

Like many women, I battled insomnia during my pregnancy. My nightly ritual became Unisom tablets and Emily Oster books. From genetic testing to sleep training, I wanted to be prepared for all of parenting. I was always prepared for everything until now.

Where’s Mr. Help-A-Neighbor? What’s he reading? Why are you preparing alone? The UBT has so many questions.

In addition to the Unisom, I tried to get in bed early because I knew my body needed rest. My pregnancy was high risk for multiple reasons: I was nearing 40 with Type 1 diabetes and had undergone I.V.F.

My husband, on the other hand, is a night owl, so when he slipped under the covers at 2 a.m. after being with her, I didn’t notice. 

I blame the Unisom tablets.

And even if I had woken up, it wouldn’t have mattered. I never imagined my caring and dedicated husband would do this. I still don’t believe it.

And this disbelief sustains me through my reconciliation. I imagine I have a caring and dedicated husband despite abundance evidence to the contrary.

And I’m not sure he does either. He told me he felt like a stranger to himself during that time, and to me too.

He doesn’t know who that guy is! It wasn’t the real him!

He is the kind of partner who sits with me on the couch and lets me show him my Pinterest boards.

I will grasp at “looked at my Pinterest board” as evidence of his love. HE CARES.

Before the baby, we watched “Jeopardy” every night while eating a dinner we had cooked together from our latest farmer’s market haul. He drove me to my OB appointments

Would a man who buys organic produce cheat? Or who drives his wife to doctor’s appointments? I’ll take Hopium for $200, Alex.

and gave me almost every I.V.F. shot, only missing a few injections when he traveled for work. And even then, he arranged for a nurse friend to administer them.

I’m submitting my body to cancer-causing hormone regimen on the chance of getting pregnant. He pushes a plunger, except when a friend does it. Totally equivalent.

He had a sadz.

After three years of “just be patient” because “it will happen when it’s supposed to happen,” we became pregnant naturally in January 2021. However, we lost that pregnancy. At the first ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. My husband had to wait in the car because Covid restrictions were still in full swing, so I found myself alone — lukewarm jelly slathered on my bloated stomach — as the nurse apologized for the loss.

Believing we could become pregnant on our own, we tried again and again. Sex became a chore, one we failed at. Ovulation sticks, timed intercourse, negative pregnancy tests. A cycle that forced togetherness while simultaneously driving us apart. A cycle that made my husband feel inadequate, but he never admitted that until we were in couples counseling for the affair.

Poor moppet felt inadequate. Which is a feeling infertile, hormonally charged women who miscarry never have.

The UBT is having dark thoughts about places the sun doesn’t shine and un-lubed ovulation sticks.

I wish he had told me. Maybe things would be different if he had, or if I had asked.

He had to cheat because I’m not a mindreader.

In the end, it would take us five years to have a baby, and over $40,000 in out-of-pocket costs. But after the shots, the retrieval, the testing and the waiting, I was pregnant again. We were thrilled. And terrified.

During each ultrasound we held our breath until we heard a heartbeat. Then, we would let out a sigh but only a partial one; we couldn’t allow ourselves to be too happy.

Well, someone allowed himself to be happy.

For nine months, I did everything I could to take care of the life inside me. I knew our baby was a girl, and I talked to her more than anyone else. I would tell her about all the things we were going to do together, how I hoped she loved dogs like me, and why I knew she was worth the wait.

When my husband finally told me the whole truth about the affair (several weeks after his initial, incomplete confession), he explained that he first slept with her nine days before our daughter was born.

And I believe him because that stranger wasn’t the real him. A stranger can lie about how he’s been fucking around during my high-risk pregnancy. My nice J. Crew husband, however, tells the truth about how he fucked around for only nine days of my high-risk pregnancy.

Newborns are hard on him too.

Exhausted and desperate, I rented a modern bassinet with electronic monitoring and a built-in swaddle to secure babies on their backs. I could finally close my eyes. And my husband could use the associated app to know when I was awake from the living room couch, his temporary bed since the baby was born (so he could go to work without being a zombie).

We wouldn’t want to interrupt His Nib’s sleep. We sleep apart because he CARES ABOUT OUR FAMILY and being fresh for work!

The manufacturer doesn’t list “infidelity mode” as a feature in its product description, yet the bassinet’s mobile app allowed my husband to sneak out, be with another woman, and return home before I knew it — all thanks to the real-time report, which revealed when the baby was up or down, making it known when I was, too.

The manufacturer doesn’t pistol whip panda boats. Apoplectic frippery in real time revealed Taco Tart Tuesdays.

I’m sorry, using the baby monitor to fuck around on your postpartum wife has caused a UBT meltdown.

The Event

My own mother came to stay with me during the aftermath of “the event,” as we started calling it, which ended with his confession, though some correspondence followed. (Saying “affair” was too painful and still is.) 

The event is ongoing but we’re patrolling the perimeter.

Ultimately, I chose to stay with him, but we changed our entire lives. We left our jobs, took pay cuts, and moved to a new state. 

There are no kitchen cabinets in Montana. We’re safe here.

Friends questioned my decision, but relationships are never black and white, and there is no single script for how to handle them.

Relationships are never black and white. I got that from an Esther Perel video. We can’t judge. Drowning kittens is a gray zone. As is pedophilia and wearing white after Labor Day.

People who judge things in absolutes lack sophistication. Unlike imagining your husband is an entirely different person who didn’t just cheat on you, which is three-dimensional chess.

I was ready to fight for the life I always imagined. He expressed so much shame and regret and wanted to fight for us too. He even supported me writing this.

Cheaper than a divorce.

Some days, nine months later, I still feel a pain so deep it suffocates me. 

Which is a solid foundation for a healthy marriage.

It starts in my throat, travels through my chest and sits heavily in my stomach. I try to swallow, but my throat feels tighter than normal, as if heartache and oxygen can’t share the same space.

I live with daily suffocating pain. He allowed himself to be mentioned in the New York Times. #samesies

And motherhood never ends. I can’t protect my daughter forever, but when she does experience heartbreak at four or 40, I will be there to feel it with her. Just as my mother has done for me.

Her heartbreak is inevitable because I’m modeling dysfunction to her. When she’s chumped some day, I’ll encourage her suffocating pain too. #motherslove

***

Please, someone hurl a copy of my book at Shelley Aker’s head. Stat.

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LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
25 days ago

There’s a lot to unpack here.

I’d start off with getting a new marriage counsellor and then work towards a therapist for the original poster; I suspect that she is stuck in the early stages of the “Grief Cycle” and it is tearing her apart.

As for her husband, I suspect that a cricket bat around the back of his head would be a start.

LFTT

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
25 days ago

She is still in the fog, full of hope. She still lives with this version of an idealized husband. She can’t look at him as a poor communicator, liar, and a weak man. I can tell you that the suppression of her feelings is unhealthy and will cause further health issues for her, both physically and mentally. Hopefully she gains clarity and leaves him because he has proven himself to be poor husband. We create hells for ourselves and call it heaven.

I guess I am very thankful the ex left to pursue her ideal marriage to the new guy, I would rather eat a slice of crap pie from time to time rather than the whole pie.

2xchump
2xchump
25 days ago

Just when I think I have laughed hard enough reading Tracy’s snark and truth, today takes me to milk through my nose. My#1XHC( Xhusband cheater) took me for that ride during my 2nd pregnancy. Out with OW because, well I was pregnant after all! Who can have sex with a Live baby bumping around in there? It feels weird!! While OW flexing her biceps 💪 and in a tight gym bra has no baby in there so he didn’t have to worry about hurting anything ..considerate guy! Excuses to run away to her as much as he liked!! Someone who blames me for their cheating, or a baby or too many babies 👶👶👶👶👶👶oror or hey anything fits here…well they are low characters, low or no empathy and never ever ever to be trusted again.Never trust them again!! Once my hamster knew there was an outside world..she tried to escape forever and ever. You can’t put this low life’s hydraulics back in the shed. Shelley thinks this pain is bad? Just sink more cost into this low life user and see how that feels months or years later. Welcome to my world. Except my first cheater left me for gym rat as soon as the nurse handed me my baby. He did me a huge favor. I look at him today and feel nothing except relief that I never ever wanted him back. I am so grateful every day. And he prepared me to leave second cheater as soon as I knew. The fact is in my experience, they go underground and perfect their game. It’s unwinnable…run!¡

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

That’s the thing, 2xC – this guy is gonna cheat again, this is her life. She will never be able to trust this piece of shit ever again. Any man who would treat his wife and coming child like this is capable of a lot of evil shit. THIS IS A BAD PERSON.

2xchump
2xchump
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I feel so bad for her mehitable…it’s been 35 years for m since my #1 cheater cut the cord and left me to have champagne with OW to celebrate the cheaters new baby with me. She never could have children so this little baby was hers every other weekend. Can you imagine? But it did not matter…the evil, the abuse of me for years..devaluing me…this poor Shelly will have to get her life later..when she is stronger to leave. I think she will get it..hopefully her creep of q husband doesn’t do he in first. He has no conscience and she is super vulnerable. I’m worried

2xchump
2xchump
25 days ago

Wait!! On second thought let’s call this worm a considerate sperm donor.!!!

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
25 days ago

For those who don’t know, counseling was a regular part of our relationship the entire TWENTY SEVEN years. I wanted to do all I could to make sure we did not repeat the dysfunction we both grew up with. He said he agreed and attended.

For my twentieth wedding anniversary, I found out a secret sexual double life had probably been going on for twenty seven years too.

Going to therapy means jack. It’s like calling the fire department after your partner sets fire to the house with his buddies while you and your children are asleep inside and burns it to the ground.

Why we want to stay with someone who beyond a shadow of a doubt intentionally hurt us in the worst way possible and don’t instinctively recoil and run is the mystery.

oldDogNewTricks
oldDogNewTricks
25 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Oh, yes. Douchebag was cheating right through our counselling, including flying out to the west coast to meet up with a bunny boiler cheat partner. And then came back and sat in the counselling session like nothing changed. Sort of pretending to care about the marriage. Christ, what an asshole! I’ll bet plenty of cheaters use counselling as cover for their skany sleaze.

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Marriage “counseling” keeps people in a destructive holding pattern. It’s buying time for the cheater in the hopes the anger and suspicion will lessen or the chump victim will wear down. WHAT IS NEEDED IS DIVORCE ADVICE.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Before DDay, I truly thought I had married a good guy. Both sets of our parents had shitshow marriages with no divorces. Relationships are learned behavior, a skill. I wanted to learn those skills and that was the objective of counseling in our lives. I thought he was participating sincerely with the same objectives. I didn’t know he was maintaining a secret sexual double
life and the extent of it. You could have knocked me and everyone who knew us over with a feather.

After DDay, of course in my mind-bending pain and lack of LACGAL programming, I entertained the idea of reconciliation. Thankfully that lasted only a couple of months.

Since then, it has become my solid belief that cheaters and side pieces and anyone who accepts it should be avoided. I no longer believe it’s fixable.

I am extremely grateful to no longer be married to him but my wounds have not healed completely. I still have to manage pain and anger and fear.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
25 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Therapy is just window dressing or image management for the disordered.

susie lee
susie lee
25 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I think, though we don’t know it at the time, we want the pain to stop, so we think if we go back to normal the pain will stop. We don’t have the insight yet that there is no foundation to go back to, and like it or not life has changed. Many of us go on to find out that the betrayal is long and deep, we just didn’t know. We didn’t know because he/she was not ready to leave yet, until their other life was secure.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
25 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

None of us can see until we see, and we all stay hooked until we can unhook. I was no exception.

I share my experience years after DDay as a cautionary tale from the other side for the newcomers to the nightmare for consideration.

susie lee
susie lee
25 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I still consider myself lucky, I let my fw come back about two-ish months after he left, he emotionally stomped me into the ground. It only took a few days for the scales to fall from my eyes. I told him to leave. Once the D was final; I never spoke to him in any meaningful way ever again.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
25 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

It’s been a little over six years and the lying continues….to EVERYONE. Including his individual therapist he goes to….that I referred him to…..

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
25 days ago

Wow, this gal is definitely still in DENIAL and needs Tracy’s book for sure, and she also needs to READ it! Hopefully she will wake up one day and start valuing herself, realize her worth and dump this douchebag!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
25 days ago

I can sum up my response in two words: “Oh, honey.”

But, you know, I’m sure all that cheating stuff is behind him. There’s no way he could do that again after he saw what it did to you. There’s no way he would cheat after you forgave him, changed your job, and further isolated yourself by moving with him. The person who slept with his coworker nine days before you gave birth certainly has the fortitude and strength of character to change.

But, you know, I was this person in 2013. We’ll all give you a virtual hug when you find your way into this group.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago

A lying, empathy impaired perv who excels at pretending to be sexless and harmless playing authority figure in a secondary school? Shriek.

If I was a parent of students in that school, I would want that administrator removed because, in my harrowing personal experience, staff who fuck around tend to be– at the very least– extremely compromised in their ability to report on the corrupt or dangerous behavior of other staff members. At worst the fucking around with other adults is merely a pressure valve for much scarier predilections. It could explain why the author of this article is so paralyzed in the case her gut senses he’s far more dangerous than even your average domestic abuser. I would worry about the future safety of her daughter.

Not kidding. Because my closest mom friend in the pastoral, seaside suburb we moved to when I was pregnant had ancestors in that region going back centuries, she knew everyone’s dirty little secrets. She and I became very close after the elementary school that all our kids attended ended up in headlines for harboring a credibly alleged child molester on staff. As she and I organized a community meeting to pressure the school to more deeply vet prospective staff, she muttered out a list of which married FW on the school’s board and staff was fucking which other married FW.

After rolling on the floor laughing for ten minutes at the thought of all those dumpy, sexless, expressionless suburban drones furtively bonking each other at cheap motels and in parking lots, it dawned on me that my friend’s gossip wasn’t idle but was very relevant and would predict which members of staff and the community might vociferously object to transparency. This is exactly what happened. The FWs uniformly circled the wagons around the alleged molester and fought against his being fired. Really the entire school was a cabal of garden variety creeps protecting a core of more serious creeps due to the principles of “mutually assured destruction.” Those dynamics alone guaranteed that there had to be more child sexual abusers in the mix and that’s also exactly what later came out as more former students and their parents came forward to report their experiences with sexual predation or other forms of abuse by staff and the school’s coverups and retaliation against whistleblowers. The elementary school principal even turned out to be semi-stalking the ten year old daughter of a local artist (saw it with my own eyes). The principal’s affairs with adult staff members appeared to be– voila– nothing more than a pressure valve for his darker predilections.

True to form, the school retaliated against the parents who organized the community inquiry into school practices. There was no way to fight it because the state’s DOE apparatus and even CPS were an incestuous clusterfuck of shitheads who went to school together or played golf. One by one, we all pulled our kids from the school or moved out of town, including my friend who’s family had been there forever. One of the parents of a former abused student dubbed the town StephenKingville.

Anyway, lying pervs working with kids– no bueno.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I guess that’s one of the downsides of being a serious FW– how far is too far to speculate in terms of relative guilt? Normally I would tend to be extremely restrained in ever leveling accusations of pedophilia on anyone. It’s the kind of thing that can get someone killed in prison from other felons. But as someone who experienced a high risk pregnancy, the idea of someone (who works with children) who would cheat during a risky pregnancy strongly suggests someone who doesn’t give a shit about the survival of or well-being of children. Couple that with unrestrained sexuality and it’s a bad look.

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago

Another amazing post, thank you HoaC! I think there are a LOT of predators in schools because….like robbers say about banks….that’s where the goods are. That’s where the KIDS are. People who want to groom/molest/influence kids go where the kids are. LW’s guy is NO DAMN GOOD. He just is not. Any man who would do this to a pregnant woman and then the solution is to move to Far East Fuckaway so he can isolate her even further, is no fucking good and I wouldn’t trust him with kids or a dog or anything. Not trustworthy is NOT trustworthy.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Most schools have Child Protective Services on speed dial to report suspected parental abuse. Teachers are mandated reporters so it’s understandable but, according to Wrightslaw (disability rights organization), schools are increasingly using spurious reports of suspected child abuse against families to retaliate against parental complaints against schools for civil rights abuses or denial of free and appropriate education, etc. Meanwhile– quite ironically– kids are statistically about ten times more likely to be sexually abused in school (by other students or staff) than they are at home. One investigation found that when public school employees are investigated for sexual abuse, many school districts are under no legal obligation to notify parents or even note the investigation in the employee’s personnel file. It reportedly allows administrators to pawn off known abusers to different schools and districts in a phenomenon called ‘passing the trash

Shelley Aker’s creepy husband sounds like trash that’s just been passed. But looking at the bigger picture here, if he’s a dangerous predator (which my horrible experience tells me he probably is), the fact that she’d really have no recourse to report the guy to the school board or DOE (which my horrible experience plus academic investigations suggest is the case) this must contribute to her raging case of Stockholm syndrome. She’s got a tiger by the tail in a world that won’t cage its tigers.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

I hate that this poor woman and her baby have now been further isolated by his behavior – he might well have had to leave because he was fired and she may not know. The sooner she cuts bait with this loser, the better.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
25 days ago

That’s all very insightful and makes a lot of sense – at the very least, FWs will oppose any transparency they feel could put them at risk.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago

Three of us moms held a community meeting at the police station to discuss vetting of staff. One was my friend, the mother of three (now four), and the other was a self made millionaire and daughter of a retired urban police chief. The two adult former students and accusers of the alleged molester — who had allowed themselves to be named in the media– also dialed in at the end to answer any questions about their allegations. The local newspaper sent a reporter. But other than two families of former students who also turned out to have been abused by other staff in the school, the only people who showed up were from the school or various business clubs who were terrified the scandal would affect real estate prices. These people tried to shout us down or even physically intimidate us during the entire meeting, saying we were trying to set off a “witch hunt.”

My friend, who was the main organizer of the meeting, went around the room and identified all the naysayers, whispering about the dark family secrets of each. And wouldn’t you guess– lots of FWs. After the meeting a strapping cop who’d hung around to keep the peace waxed Shakespearean and said, “Me thinks they all protest too much.”

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

I think a lot of these people in power are pedos. Yeah, I know that sounds extreme but I have actually come to believe this as so many of them try to PROTECT this behavior or cover it up. I think it’s always been more common than we realize but it was usually in families – my own mother’s stepfather tried to rape her and she had to sleep with a knife under her pillow. That was in the late 1930s. Now it’s spread more openly to the schools. If we can’t protect the kids, we no longer have a society.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
25 days ago

Ah yes, because everyone knows what matters most in that situation is the real estate prices. Excuse me while I retrieve my eyeballs – I believe they’ve rolled into the back of my head.

Ugh. I wish I could say this stuff surprised me. But it doesn’t, and it hasn’t for a long time. Still, it sounds awful to be in a room full of people trying to protect a predator. The thought of that experience makes me sick. Awesome of you to stand up against them!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago

Thank you. I appreciate appreciation for withstanding that kind of confrontation. It’s a long story but the backlash in this situation eventually killed (young) one of the moms who organized the original community meeting.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
24 days ago

As a victim/survivor, I always appreciate when people stand up against abusers, especially in situations that are very risky. You guys are my heroes.

I am so, so terribly sorry to hear about the loss of one of the mothers. That’s depressing and enraging, and I hope that justice was served, although I don’t expect it.

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
25 days ago

It always gives me that horrible roiling feeling in my stomach when I read/hear about someone who chooses to continue with a cheater and willingly embraces the hopium state of mind.

But then again, I was one of those chumps too and there isn’t a single person in the universe who could have said something to me to change my mind. Hopium is a strong sauce and denial is even stronger. Fear is the strongest of them all and it absolutely convinced me that my situation would end differently than people suggested. My FW was ‘different’. My situation was ‘unique’. The therapist would be able to help us in joint sessions….

Yeah, no. I ended up back at CN for the second time a year later–my tail between my legs, the smug wiped off my face, and in utter despair. The hopium and denial were long gone, but the fear remained–although it no longer held me captive. I swallowed my pride for thinking I knew better and started hearing what other chumps had to say. I read LACGAL cover to cover and practically lived on the CN forums. I wasn’t judged for my choices. I was understood. Those were the things that got me through it—but I had to get myself to the point of being capable of ‘hearing’ first. All chumps do.

So, as much as I’d LOVE to hurl a copy of LACGAL at Shelly’s head–the only mark it’s likely to leave behind at this point is a bruise. Better to link the site and the various CN communities to her and then sit back and wait. She’ll come around….we all do eventually.

Last edited 25 days ago by Irrelevant
Leedy
Leedy
25 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

Your comment, along with Tracy’s post, brings into relief for me the role that sheer fear can play in motivating chumps’ denial. What a great point.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I think hopium always plays a part but, in my personal experience and in my capacity as a former advocate for domestic abuse survivors, abuse tends to make people far more vulnerable to pie-in-the-sky thinking. In other words, addiction to “hopium” is vastly boosted by living under insidious terror. I think there have even been social psychology studies along these lines– that living in relative fear deeply effects people’s tendencies to rely on “luck” and providence. In a sense, reducing the resulting paralysis and magical thinking to an addiction to hope is a bit minimizing of the experience, especially considering that an estimated 60% of domestic murders were not preceded by any reports of relationship violence. In short, the very first “violent” encounter ended in murder. What this suggests is that any buildup to violence was likely emotional or psychological abuse.

Furthermore, there’s a growing body of research finding that cheaters (and APs/”mate poachers” for that matter) tend to be very high in “dark triad/dark tetrad” traits and prone to employ “negative relational strategies.” It’s all social sciency code for emotional abuse, aka “coercive control.” Coercive control has been gaining a lot of legislative attention because years of statistical research has discovered a direct correlation between this type of abuse and risk of eventual lethal violence. What this means to me is that, even if a particular emotional abuser never crosses over into all-out violence, the fact that the abuser is engaging in certain types of emotional abuse is probably setting off the victim’s lizard brain “lethal danger” alarms. This is because anything about human behavior (such as the high risk that an emotional abuser may become violent, even lethally violent) that shows up as “statistically significant” in a wide cohort likely means that the extreme fear response to particular behaviors by partners has likely been encoded in our DNA. In other, other words, this shit scares the tar out of us because, all throughout human history, these behaviors in a partner bode pretty badly for personal survival or survival of children.

I wish there existed a kind of “gesture warfare” app that offered users a checklist and rating system of every single specific, sub-violent, insidious or subtle emotional/psychological abuse tactic ever recorded that “coercive controllers” have used (compiled from various sources like victim testimony, social media, social research, etc.) in order to incrementally instill fear and divest victims of agency and peace of mind. Users could go through the list and check off things that sound familiar and end up with a “relative danger” rating predicting the odds of whether their particular abuser might eventually try to murder them. Then the victim could match the rating against their own general level of paralysis or “learned helplessness” in order to gauge how much of their response was really just plain old Stockholm syndrome/captor bonding.

I think an app like that might really help a lot of survivors get over the shame of wondering why they folded up and became so passive in the face of threat. Unburdening survivors of shame can go a long way towards liberating them since one of the chief things that abusers do is to shame the shit out of their own victims.

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
24 days ago

Thank you for taking the time to write such a learned and detailed reply. I should note that the kind of fear I had in mind was the kind I experienced, and the kind that kept me stuck for so long. It was admittedly wrapped up in emotional elements of abandonment, change and other things, but mostly it was financial.

I was paralyzed with the fear of striking out on my own without any financial safety net. Being near retirement age, and sporting a disability that made me financially reliant upon FW, I knew my potential for future earnings were dim-to-none. And when you couple that with all the complicated emotional fears–it was became much easier to bargain with myself about staying in a bad situation with him, than to face something I couldn’t see a way around.

I did find a way around it. And I did end up thriving–albeit in much simpler, quieter, and smaller yet happier kind of life.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I’m so glad to hear your greatest fears didn’t come to pass regarding being left destitute– though you didn’t know it when you made the leap into the unknown. Those fears are officially regarded as very real since domestic abuse experts categorize financial abuse and the financial insecurity of victims to be en par with violence in terms of effects on health and survival.

Leedy
Leedy
25 days ago

The idea of someone’s creating such an app is great. I know that seeing a checklist like this–even in a random place such as the dressing room of a clothing store, as happened in my case (when I had been briefly dating someone who had abusive traits, but not, as it happens, my cheater)–can break through the denial and make you feel, viscerally, the fear you’ve been muzzling all along.

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
25 days ago

It is clear that this baby was much desired and anticipated with joy. This points out a central tenet of FWs, which is the glee they feel when they are able to shit on your joy and ruin it for you. This shitty man had sex 9 days before the baby was born, ruining for the mother the memories of those days of happy culmination of a fought-for successful pregnancy, the joy of holding your newborn for the first time, all those wonderful firsts. All tainted. And then he confesses when she is at her most vulnerable.

This man hates his partner.

Any man that would use the baby-monitoring app to facilitate betrayal needs to be chucked out the door. It is like using a chemotherapy app to determine when your partner is likely to be groggy and vomiting so you can use that time to betray them. Some things are unforgivable and that is one. It is domestic abuse.

Also, I expect that this poor excuse of a man did not use a condom with the OW. So that he potentially exposed his wife and child to the possibility of an STD, including ones that kill. Unforgivable.

I sense from the writer that she is in the fog of despair and denial. She tried so hard to achieve the dream of parenthood, and the raising of a happy and healthy child with her husband, that she can’t reconcile the two worlds yet. I have faith that she eventually will recover to the point that she can see reality, and then dump the lying, cheating bastard. He’s not a nice little administrator, he’s a vicious, manipulative liar who hates her and the baby.

Chumpcat
Chumpcat
25 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

And by “chucked out the door” you mean of an aircraft at 30,000 feet correct?

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

“This man hates his partner.”

You put this brilliantly and I agree with you. The degree of hostility you would need to do this to your pregnant partner especially after such a difficult time, is IMMENSE. He probably resents the focus on her and having children and maybe he doesn’t even want children himself. It’s amazing how many FWs say – years after the fact – that they never wanted children. They don’t want anything that takes attention away from them. This is a man who is going to continue to show passive aggressive anger and hatred towards his spouse and child.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

My husband waited twenty years and then abandoned his kids and expressed the hatred that was there when they were born and the focus shifted from him. Poor kids don’t know what hit them. I’m the one who created the idea of a loving dad and coached him in the role. He did not have father-feeling in him. So the kids cling to an idea superimposed on the man who fathered them by me

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

I’m so sorry that you all had to go through this, being rejected by a parent is such a horrible, painful experience to go through and overcome. Some people – and it seems like the numbers have grown – just do not have it in them to do the self sacrifice and focus on others that parenthood takes. I never had the opportunity to be a mother but I’ve watched, with sadness, other relatives totally botch it up, I’m thinking of one BIL in particular who has several now adult children none of whom he’s close to because I’ve come to believe he probably never really wanted kids. They were just part of a suburban lifestyle he felt he needed to adhere to. But what can be more rewarding than seeing little ones grow up into strong adults and knowing you had a lot to do with that – some people just don’t have that in them though. It has to be about THEM. If only they’d realize this BEFORE they have kids.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I did realize it before I had kids. I’m pretty sure I would have resented them as a burden, and that’s no way to raise children. They should be wanted and loved.

Leedy
Leedy
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

You have just described my FW. And yes, with someone this narcissistic, the hatred and anger about having been displaced as the center of attention get directed at the child and not just the wife.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Andrea Dworkin’s former husband, the academic feminist ally John Stoltenberg, reported in his book “Refusing to be a Man” the interesting statistic that women’s risk of being domestically murdered skyrockets during pregnancy. Stoltenberg went on to argue that, to an abuser, a fetus represents sexual competition, almost like a rival penis inside his partner.

Stoltenberg cited statistics that this risk increased when the sex of the fetus was known to be male which also fits with statistics that male children within domestic violence circumstances face a doubled risk of being killed by the abuser. But I suppose the fetus-as-rival-penis principle still exists to some degree if the fetus is female. Either way, the pregnancy represents competition for attention from the partner/replacement parent figure.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

We see echoes of that on here, how many men pick that time – pregnancy – to cheat on their wives. And sometimes to cheat spectacularly as if to specifically hurt her….maybe they’re hoping it would cause a miscarriage. My natural feeling would be that should be the very LAST time a husband should cheat because he should be all about supporting his wife and child to be in this time, and this is part of his legacy to the world. But for many men, it just seems to be….Mommy isn’t focused on ME anymore. This little stranger is taking her away!!!! I’ve often noted – not an original observation – how many kids are abused or murdered by step parents. I think they’re seen competition or perhaps some desire to get them out of the way in preference for one’s own biological young.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
24 days ago

100%. He was jealous of my love for our child.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

I don’t know if my father was jealous of me, I never really saw that (I’m an only child) but I DO know he was jealous of our…….CATS. That my mother (and me) would show affection for the cats because…well, they were a lot more deserving of affection than he was, LOL. He used to throw knives at one of the cats, thankfully he never hit it.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Andrea Dworkin’s former husband, the academic feminist ally John Stoltenberg, reported in his book “Refusing to be a Man” the interesting statistic that women’s risk of being domestically murdered skyrockets during pregnancy. Stoltenberg went on to argue that, to an abuser, a fetus represents sexual competition, almost like a rival penis inside his partner. S

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago

Sorry for the aborted attempt to post a comment. See comment above. :/

NotAnymore
NotAnymore
25 days ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Exactly. Exactly. Reducing her to a barely coping, exhausted, constant pile of tears is all part of the playbook.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
24 days ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

her husband is trying to be more needy than the baby!

Chumpcat
Chumpcat
25 days ago

I can smell the hopium from here. This poor woman is working so hard to find complexity (I’m sophisticated see! His cheating is different from all others!). I did the same, for far too long. It was only after finding this site, and finding how unspecial, unoriginal, and formulaic her cheating was I changed. I realized getting what she wanted mattered more than hurting me (hurt sounds so small, maybe psychologically torturing me is better). Our life together and her knowledge of everything about me meant nothing. They were a merely tools to be weaponized, weaknesses to be exploited so I would still be useful, but not get in the way.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
25 days ago

A for Effort-you changed “places” and “things” but not the “people” there. It’s good that you’re here though. You’ll get to the “people” part soon enough.

This…”man”… is character deficient enough to cheat during a high risk pregnancy. I don’t foresee them getting any better character inoculation when the actual rigors of parenthood click on coming up.

Perhaps it’s the sleep deprivation talking-but is that how we all looked that early in the healing process? Is that how I looked when I begged my fuckwit to stay after D-Day?

I mean, we were all there.

There are things I miss about that relationship. And I would love for some lightning bolt to hit and undo all of the trauma and remove the betrayal from history. But here’s that “reality” thing again.

What I don’t miss? The paranoia. The mindfuckery. The headgames. The gaslighting. The settling for table scraps. The “sorry, I forgots”. The (poorly) lies. The bullshit stories. Crying myself to sleep. The hoping she will “come around/home.” Above all? Wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

I also don’t miss the “me” that tolerated that kind of abuse in the name of a love I was the only one “in” anymore.

You know what you need to do to this idiot. Let us know if you need help bagging up all of his stuff.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Oh yes, sleep deprivation is key to the whole FW formula. The best line from the film “The Other Bolyn Girl” was “I can’t think if I can’t sleep.” All the insidious creepery that FWs emit when they’re on the prowl eventually induces chronic anxiety in victims even before the latter consciously think the

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago

Sorry, terrible phone, posted before I was ready. I meant to say “even before victims consciously think they’re being chumped.”

One last time
One last time
25 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Jeff, you described me perfectly here. I was so convinced I had a unicorn. Someone in another group told me a couple of years ago that when women emotionally check out, its over. I bought the “I’m sorry I didn’t mean it, I do love you” for a few more years. Hopium is a hard habit to kick.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
25 days ago
Reply to  One last time

The whole “four horsemen” thing has made an alarming amount of sense-particularly as it pertains to resentment.

It has been transforming for me in my healing journey to find out how many people in my universe have been through very similar things once I bring up my recent struggles. One of them said something to the effect of “they know 9 months before they are going to leave”-which is pretty accurate in my case(between “when things got awful” and “D-Day”.) I thought we were on an unswing when D-Day hit-turned out to be the dead-cat bounce.

Hopium withdrawal sucks-particularly because we trusted these idiots.

One last time
One last time
25 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Yes. FW’s lie. Mine is a compulsive liar. A couple of weeks ago I caught her in a lie about an inconsequential matter, I think she just has so little respect for me she doesn’t care any more. The 4 Horsemen analogy is good. I’m pretty well past denial, but my anger is off the charts and my self esteem is shit. She told me before she first wanted to leave before our youngest was born. She just turned 13. I’ve accepted she has been checked out for a while, and that is messing with me, the one who should have been my safe space was a fraud for years. Working on not letting her opinion of me tank my self worth.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
24 days ago
Reply to  One last time

I’ve been struggling with the same. I looked to mine to be my rock and my sense of sanity for a very long time. I tied a lot of self esteem up in mine as well. Unpacking over a decade worth of issues in that relationship recently, it’s AMAZING how early the lies actually started. And how much I spackled/lampshaded for her over innocuous things. It made the gaslighting and the lies at the end all the more devastating.

I’ll remind you about yours what I remind myself about mine: they’re fuckwits. If they cheated/checked out/moved on from quality like us, that is really a “them” problem, not an “us” problem. It says nothing about us that we were betrayed. We trusted and loved them unconditionally. When the chips were down? They couldn’t do the same.

We also persevered. We stood and fought, often alone against our greatest shadow-our perceived failure(when really, it was them that failed). Their abuse did not kill us. We live to fight-today and all other days until that day is Tuesday.

You got this.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  One last time

She probably says whatever she thinks is the easiest thing for her to deal with – whatever might get the least reaction or push back from you. So often a lie.

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
25 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Yes, we all looked liked that, lol. Most of us didn’t air it out in the New York Times, but we all looked like that.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
25 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

I have the top story for “most degrading thing done did to make a cheater stay,” most likely.

We did look like this, and some of us, even worse

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
25 days ago

Oh I very much doubt that you do. As our couples counselor told me…”you weren’t pathetic-you were desperate in a very dark moment. There’s a difference.” I think about that a lot.

It seems that part of this whole “Mighty” thing is regrowing our dignity and self respect-and it seems like you have done an amazing job of doing just that. I have greatly admired your strength and look up to you and how much you have healed.

One last time
One last time
24 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

”you weren’t pathetic-you were desperate in a very dark moment. There’s a difference.”

Thanks for that. That is a great perspective, that I need to start trying to accept.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
25 days ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Aw, thank you so much! It’s honestly been wonderful to see your posts, displaying your efforts with working through it. Sort of comforting, in a way.

It is true, though, that many of us were simply desperate in a dark place. I certainly was. And pathetic isn’t the right word for a chump, you’re right. I don’t know how good your couple councilor was (from previous posts, it sounds like he was put in a… complicated position by your ex) but he was right on the money, right there.

But I promise, there is… apparently some shock value to mine, when I talk about various incidents. It’s a bit TMI to bring up out of the blue, but if we ever have a Friday challenge about low points or craziest things we’ve done during the pick-me dance, I’ll be there.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
24 days ago

My general sense that our couples counselor, seeing that we were already broken up, was trying to make his billable and did everything he could to keep that glued together for the “therapy hour”. And in complete fairness to him-the damage was far too great at that point to really salvage anything. He did give me that piece of wisdom and some resources. It was in that way a worthwhile experience.

Any way I can make the journey of others easier is a worthwhile endeavor.

And as for yours…if and when you are ready to share we are here for you!

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
25 days ago

As the nurse who solidified by thoughts of leaving the Lizard said (while I was getting STD tests),

“You don’t want to be the mother who is up at 2am, holding your newborn infant, wondering where your husband is at.”

That’s the life this chump chose. And she still admits to feeling miserable over it! That’s not going to put you in a good position to parent.

Also, recently I was reading something about the song Jolene, and everyone was saying the original song isn’t about actual cheating, but paranoia and insecurity. Jolene may not even know who Dolly or her man are – but Dolly knows. I don’t know how true it is or not, but it’s certainly an interesting perspective.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago

It’s all modified by rumors that, while married and about age 60, Parton might have banged a teenage mandolinist on one of her tours. There’s a whole drama associated with this story in which said mandolinist wrecked his own youthful marriage for ongoing, on again/off again affair with Parton (resulting in this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjAXuWIzXjM).

Anyway, it’s always a bit challenging to use the examples of celebrities for tutorials about morality.

susie lee
susie lee
25 days ago

That’s the thing about songs, they mean whatever the listener wants them to mean. Just because one person says it isn’t about cheating, doesn’t mean that it isn’t (or is).

It being about paranoia and insecurity is another way to blame the victim. That is a perfectly natural feeling when the gut tells you something is horribly wrong.

Positively 4th Street is a good example, and Dylan never confirmed who, or what the true target was. Most accepted version is that it was a composite. Maybe, or maybe he was blasted out of his mind and that is what came out.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
25 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

That’s very true. As I said, I don’t know if the interpretation is accurate or not, it was simply something I read this morning I thought I would share!

And I’m not entirely sure talking about paranoia or insecurity is victim blaming, in this situation. While, yes, being chumped does cause these gut feelings (and, in fact, the gut feelings were the first sign I personally had), they can, at times, simply be irrational feelings. I’ve had them outside of being chumped (although, I certainly don’t demand random people stay away from my partner), and I know some relationships where it is a serious issue. I won’t detail much, but I’ve been in the place of “target of unreasonable suspicion” very, very recently in a complicated scenario. And not “it’s complicated” as in the relationship status (HELL no), but as in “the person who is paranoid has very severe mental illness, which comes with massive amounts of insecurity and erratic behavioral.” But I totally understand the initial reaction to “paranoia and insecurity” because… that is something chumps have to deal with. A lot. And it isn’t the chumps’ fault!

susie lee
susie lee
25 days ago

👍

Adelante
Adelante
25 days ago

“Reconciliation is the bargaining stage of grief.” How I wish I’d heard/read/known this when I fell for the sad sausage narrative and stayed. I could have saved myself three traumatized years.

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago

I hesitated to post on this today because this both broke my heart and enraged me. I mean, get out the baseball bat and lead pipe rage. So please excuse me if I seem over the top here, because…..fucking red hot fucking rage here. The idea that a man would do this to his wife who has had such an agonizing time over her pregnancies and she finally succeeds having a baby and HE HITS HER UP THE HEAD WITH THIS? YOU FUCKING GODDAM PIECE OF SHIT!!!!!!!!!

This is a monstrous betrayal, not only of a vulnerable woman but of his child too. All the hardships this woman went through and the victory she finally achieved holding her baby in her arms – HIS BABY, YOU FUCKING EVIL PIECE OF SHIT!!!!! – have been permanently tainted by this evil decisions – and they ARE DELIBERATE DECISIONS to have an affair with some piece of trash. What he did is unforgivably cruel. I personally could never forgive this man. NEVER.

I know this woman is in an incredibly vulnerable position, physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially – she just moved probably to a place where she has NO SUPPORT SYSTEM (which works to HIS advantage) because of this asshole’s wandering dick – but she needs to figure out how to END THIS MARRIAGE. She needs to escape this. It may take some time, but she needs to figure out the escape route and NOT TAKE THIS MAN BACK. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER. Any man who would do something like this is NO FUCKING GOOD AND NEVER WILL BE. As I say repeatedly – she will always be aware of this, she will never look at this man the same way again, she will always have this fear in the back of her mind that he could do this again – and in fact, especially if they are isolated now – he WILL do this again. He might figure he has her over a barrel now, with the kid and the new location. I think a lot of men like this seem like nice guys on the surface but they’re actually secret abusers and one of their classic techniques is ISOLATING THEIR VICTIM. They also pick times when the victim is most vulnerable and who is more vulnerable than a pregnant woman, especially one with difficult pregnancies. And then she has the kid so…what a great victim this makes. Someone very ripe for abuse.

This lady DEFINITELY needs a copy of LACGAL and to be directed to this site for help. She’s never going to get past this, she’s just gonna spackle and he’s gonna cheat on her and blindside her again and she may waste YEARS on this rotten asshole. I understand it may take her time to get out of this marriage but that has to be the actual plan – how to escape this, not “how to make it work”.

Again, my apologies for being so angry about this but I would love to kick this guy’s ass personally. What a worthless piece of garbage. If anyone knows how to contact this woman and gently recommend the Book and the Site or Facebook, whatever, I think that would be a good thing.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

He is indeed a POS.

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Some of the worst abusers…..seem like nice, mellow, gentlemanly guys on the surface. Hitler was beloved personally by many….and forget Godwin’s Law because Hitler was the best example of a ruthless psychopath that many people followed and even loved.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

a lot of people looooove my ex, he is considered a charming, funny mensch.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

So infuriating. My father was street angel, house devil, but we lived in a small enough city neighborhood that I think most people saw through it pretty quickly. You can only weave through the streets drunk so many times and come home raging at your wife and kid….and poor cats….without people catching on. But this is so common, people outside think they’re wonderful because they always have the act on. They don’t need the act for the family though – they’re already caught in the trap. Why waste the honey?

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Google images of Hitler with dogs and children. Ew.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

SO COMMON!!!! Especially him with kids, so many pics of him with kids. And he loved his dog Blondie….until he killed her at the end.

susie lee
susie lee
25 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I remember when my ex died, I looked at whores FB just to see what her son said about him. Someone, I assume from where he lived then posted FW? oh man he was the sweetest guy ever.

He had a whole new group of folks fooled. Oh he and whore knew exactly who they both were, but he some folks fooled.

What her son said was fine, though he did spell his first name wrong, but he wasn’t real bright, so no big surprise.

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

The worst people frequently are the most charming casually because they need to be. How are they going to find victims otherwise?

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago

This is NOT this asshole’s first rodeo with cheating either. You can bet the ranch on that.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Nope, just the first time caught.Correction: the first time he admitted to it.

Last edited 24 days ago by Daughterofachump
Tiggerly
Tiggerly
25 days ago

I always go back to the CL’s question of “is this behavior acceptable to you?” The author of this story needs to ask herself this question.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
23 days ago
Reply to  Tiggerly

CL has so many amazing quotes, but that is one of my favorites.

Chumps, particularly early on, can get so caught up in the small details. I know for me, I would have

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
23 days ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

Whoops… cut off before I was done.

I would have loved to have found some magic way to STAY. I didn’t ASK for this. I didn’t WANT this. Being FW-free is a good thing, but I am still afraid for my future. So if I could have found a way to justify staying, I would have.

But ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many excuses he made for his cheating. As much as I would have loved to be able to forgive it all and somehow pretend that he would never do it again (lol- of course he would!!) the fact remained, that marriage was NOT acceptable to me.

On the one hand, he had been selfish and emotionally abusive BEFORE the affair. It added a layer for me that I couldn

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
25 days ago

I reread the article and she blames the OW, not the husband. She views him as a victim. He made choices, he did not view his wife or marriage as someone and something sacred and worth protecting. He used her kindness and lack of boundaries against her, and he will do so again when things get “hard”. They are almost all the same.

She was focused on him: flirting on Slack, in his office and during lunch breaks.”

Not your typical office favor, but it was her first move in a series of intimacy-building actions that created the opportunity for infidelity.”

“I still don’t believe it. And I’m not sure he does either. He told me he felt like a stranger to himself during that time, and to me too.”

“A cycle that made my husband feel inadequate,”

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

She’s not entirely wrong that, once a FW decides to play around on the meat market, it may degrade their self esteem even beyond the already “ant’s belly” low self esteem of someone with a personality disorder. It’s an ugly. transactional market to fuck around on. Play at your own risk.

susie lee
susie lee
25 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Timidly raising hand: What does “flirting on sack” mean.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
25 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

It’s a dashboard/communications platform on computers.

Mehitable
Mehitable
25 days ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

There’s the natural tendency to want to believe your Beloved especially when you’ve just made a much longed for baby with him…..and also she’s dependent on him now, more than before and it’s hard for people to attack their, what would the term be…”protector”? It’s certainly not spouse or partner. It’s hard to get past that right now because she’s so vulnerable which of course is why he does shit like this. And I’m sure he’s cheated before – he sounds like the type who goes looking for “cabinets to fix” and bullshit like that. So she blames the OW, who IS definitely a piece of human garbage, they all are, but THIS MAN is to blame, these are HIS decisions, this is HIS wife and HIS child. Everything he did was a deliberate decision by him. We all know this but it’s so hard to get past the fear and longing and sheer vulnerability of a person like this Chump. I wish she had not moved because that only made it worse – I wonder if he was getting fired from this job too. Wandering dicks tend to get fired a lot.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

“Fixing cabinets”…so that’s what the young people call it now. Noted.

RecoveringHopiumAddict.
RecoveringHopiumAddict.
25 days ago

I could have written this. The parallels with my story are almost spooky. It took me three years and four D-Days but I finally left. I pray Shelley does too, much sooner than I did.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
25 days ago

The writer says the word “ affair” is too painful. Her mom and her refer to it as the “ event”.
That might be part of the issue here. Her fear has caused her to push “ the event” under the Diaper Genie. Let’s go retrieve that word and bring it into the stinky, smelly light of day.
Event?! Let’s try rolling a few other words over your lips instead.
Try this one out for size:
ABUSE!!!! Because that is what is happening to you right now!!!
If that doesn’t sink in, maybe try the words cheating, infidelity, lying, deception, gaslighting, or extremely toxic man out for size.

Don’t look for the good in this loser another second of your precious life. It isn’t there!

He loves no one at all and WILL hurt you again. I also suspect pretty strongly this is not his first go round at abusing you. It will most certainly not be the last. He has already devalued you by cheating, that is not a resettable condition.

The poor damaged man, the IVF took its toll on him and he mistakenly looked for support in another’s arms.
NOT!!!!! Stop searching out the good you remembered in him and look at who he actually is. A cheater!!

That is who he really is, it is just being revealed to you now and we all know how literally impossible that is to comprehend. It’s devastating beyond description.

What’s real is this man not having your back OR your daughter’s AT ALL!!! That’s the genuine part you need to be able to get.

Please, please, please, leave him now! Go back and live with your mom a few years till you can grieve and heal from this trauma.

You will be shown more of who he actually is once you are free from the trauma bond you are locked into right now. Read CL’s life changing book, LACGAL.
“Is this relationship acceptable to you?” Because it sure as hell shouldn’t be!

You will never be able to trust him again in your life and the sooner you accept that, the better your life will be.

This is not a good man! I’m sorry for what he put you through already. Bundle up your little ray of sunshine and give her a good life of love and safety and head to your mom’s or around ppl that love you. Just get fully away from him.

You and your daughter will never have love and safety tied to this abusive selfish, entitled man. Do the right thing for her ( and for you!) and get away.

The mistress is a pos obviously too, but your spouse is the real trash here. Don’t give him a get out of jail free card. Leave him out by the curb.

Congrats on your successful pregnancy! You will have a way way better life without his crap and drama to deal with.
I hope you can see that before decades of your life pass and you wish with all your heart and soul you would have left earlier. As many of us on this blog wish for.

He can not be saved, but you and your daughter absolutely can!
There’s a high probability he is personality disordered or a psychopath or sociopath. Check out narcissistic personality disorder signs and symptoms online. Dr. Ramani has some very good info on it and her new book “ It’s Not You” was just released and is excellent.
It is essentially not curable. ( NPD) It’s just who they are. Even if it’s not that, infidelity by itself is abuse. Love and abuse are not compatible.

Good luck to you. Hang in chump nation. We all thought we had the unicorn too and not one of us did. You can get through this.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
25 days ago
Reply to  Chumpasaurus45

I’m all for retroactively viewing this irredeemable FW as a helpful sperm donor who’s outworn his usefulness and now needs to be kicked to the curb. Thanks for the beautiful daughter, asshole, see ya!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
25 days ago

Well it looks like my expletive-laden post didn’t make it past moderation lol. Oh well. In summary, I called the FW some bad names.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

I think my expletive-laden post blew the machine up earlier, LOL!!!!

FuckWitFree
FuckWitFree
24 days ago

Oh my god. This was me. I thought he was contrite. Had much therapy. You know what resulted? He ended up a sociopathic narcissist who had more secrets than truths. Got into legal and all sorts of other trouble because he’s a sexual predator. Wore JCrew. Morphed into the good guy mask. They are dangerous. Harmful enemies. I modeled a horrible example for my daughter for far too long. What is he doing now? With yet another too young gf whom
He is “copying” and has access to her kids. He is abusive to children and animals. When he gets really mad about being caught doing shit he becomes quite dangerous. You’ve gotta run and run far. They lie to EVERYONE.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
24 days ago

I will never forget my husband being utterly, inexplicably awful to me right after our first child was born. I knew in my heart at that moment that I was in it by myself. I made a rapid calculation at that moment and I stayed. He decided shortly after that it would be a great time to go to law school at night. Now I realize looking back that I have been alone ever since.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
24 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

I was attractive to him during my childbearing years, but having an actual child ticked him off and he attacked me at the most vulnerable point in my life — post-Caesarian, with a tiny infant, no family around. Then I was discarded once I was no longer fertile. It’s as though the potential for vulnerability and dependency new motherhood creates is the appeal.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago

This poor woman. He’ll cheat again, and now she’s in a strange place with a baby. I hope it’s a fault state.

Cal
Cal
21 days ago

*lobs multiple books*

I know, I know, I’m meant to feel so bad for her in her suffering but so much of this reads like “I am the noble wifey, punting through my pain for the sake of my peeeeerfect faaaaaamily – which is absolutely never going to be screwed up when he continues to cheat because now he knows he can for I shall PERSEVERE. Unlike you who leave your cheating partners and simply cannot understand the nobility of such suffocating pain. You weak-minded cowards.”

And it pisses me off in behalf of everyone who has lost everything to get out of those relationships.

But the wearing white after labour day comment made me think of Serial Mom… OK maybe stabbing people to death with a poker is frowned upon, but just imagine a world where cheaters would be faced with Kathleen Turner’s terrifyingly polite smile as she beat them to a pulp for being so rude as to cheat on someone she loves…and the crowd being on her side because goddamn, they feel that!