UBT: Should An Affair Be Disclosed?

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

An alert chump sent me an article in the Washington Post by therapist Yael Schonbrun: “Should an Affair Be Disclosed? Risks of Hiding or Revealing Infidelity.

Schonbrun takes the Reconciliation Industrial Complex point of view. Witness how she hits all the blameshifting highlights.

Euphemisms: instead of “cheater” or even the goopy “wayward” she employs the awkward construction “affair-involved partner.” (Hey! They may be dick-deep involved in an affair, but they’re still your PARTNER!)

Minimizing: She cites another therapist who refers to infidelity as a “rough patch.” You know, one of those bumps you can expect in a long marriage, such as kids, aging parents, job stress, and… a double life with sex workers. Bring out the spackle!

Blameshifting: Chumps, if you hadn’t have all been so gosh-darned inadequate, they never would’ve wandered. Work on that. Together. In couple’s counseling, because the double life is as much your fault as theirs.

It’s tempting to advise people to not have an affair in the first place. But, a host of complicated factors, including feeling mistreated by a partner or poor judgment from alcohol intoxication, can contribute to affairs. Many affair-involved partners experience a profound sense of regret and confusion.

sadz

Regret! Befuddlement! (Where are my pants?) You can work with this!

Should you tell?

Which brings us to the point of whether or not you should disclose an affair — Schonbrun argues yes, because it improves your odds of reconciliation. In fact, the entire article (no surprise) is predicated on reconciliation and how telling or not telling could hurt the chump and their ability to trust the AIP. (Affair Infected Partner. Keep up.)

People can overcome affairs, and thoughtful disclosure increases that likelihood, even though the process can be scary and painful.

No mention of missing monies. Prostitution. STDs. Pregnancies. Lost opportunities or sunk costs to the chump. Unhinged Schmoopies.

Just… you can overcome! Repair what you had with a cheater! Who, you know, got mad at you, had a vodka tonic, and tripped into another set of genitals.

This therapist teaches at Brown, an Ivy League. Lest you feel like despairing over the helping professions. Anyway, I was going to throw this to the Universal Bullshit Translator, but the comment section at the Washington Post seemed to have gotten there first.

It’s a matter of character.

Number one is: Lose the word affair. It is an elegant word that dresses up a despicable lying, cheating and insulting assault on someone whose trust you solicited. The sex is not the biggest issue; the biggest issue is that you share a bed and a life with someone who is capable of all the logistical deceptions necessary to carry on this behaviour while they smile in your face and look you in your eye; this is not a good quality for a life partner. The reason people who hid their betrayals didn’t benefit from counseling is because they are character compromised. Anybody who has an once of respect for their partner should divulge and accept the consequences. Finding out from a third party would be humiliation on a cellular level, and unforgivable for anybody with any self worth.

Telling pre-empts being found out.

Healing”, an unfortunate metaphor in modern clinical psychology, implies that the parties involved can simply “get well” – a laughably naive characterization. The anecdote of the revelation of infidelity making the relationship stronger did not clarify stronger than what – stronger than it was before the revelation or simply stronger than after the revelation? Therapists have “patients” or “clients” to whom they owe primary loyalty. That fiction stacks the deck unless both parties are going to couples therapy. Morality apparently has little to do with it. The main benefit in favor of voluntary revelation described in the article seems to go to the infidel who gets to purge or to preempt being discovered. What you don’t know won’t hurt you – so why advocate hurting the partner so you can feel better yourself? Country music lyrics may contain better advice than professional therapists.

Poor Lambs.

To me it sounds more like “how to continue to lie to your partner, but still more convincingly and with blame-shifting too! That’ll be $50.”
 
Funny how it is the person who didn’t cheat who is the one burdened with having to change and the source of all the marital ills, not the cheater. They are wounded and had no other options available to them. None. Nope. Poor little lambs had to seek solace in others’ genitals.

Well, Tracy. Do we even need a Lebkuchen eating bullshit machine when the readers of WaPo have dispatched Schonbrun so well?

It needs to earn its keep. So let’s throw a few tasty morsels of BS at it.

It’s a Catch-22: Keeping an affair secret guarantees a relationship chasm, but revealing it guarantees breaking a partner’s heart.

There is no one “right” or easy choice to disclosing an affair. In certain instances, such as an abusive relationship, disclosure might be unsafe. Disclosing an affair that happened years ago and where the only benefit is to alleviate guilt may be misguided.

Until your love child messages you on Ancestry.com.

Your chump might be abusive and unsafe. Which is why, I’m sure, you had an affair. To destabilize that monster further. It’s okay to break a monster’s heart. They are, after all, monsters.

In many cases, though, disclosure can be wise. Voluntary disclosure represents a pro-relationship choice that “honors at least the intention to have a trusting, close relationship, even though one person has broken that trust,” said Daphne de Marneffe, psychotherapist and author of “The Rough Patch.”

When the Other Woman threatens to out you, tell your wife first. Fucking strange is a “pro-relationship choice.” And you did it to make your marriage stronger.

“The individual who has been betrayed feels like the rug has been pulled out from under them,” said Kristina Coop Gordon, researcher and co-author of “Getting Past the Affair.” “It violates all of their basic assumptions about themselves, their partners or their relationship.”

Mental health effects are not limited to betrayed partners. Affair-involved partners also experience elevated risk for shamedepression and anxiety. And affair discovery destabilizes relationships. Among couples who divorce, infidelity is commonly listed as both a “major contributor” and a “final straw.”

I’m sorry, that was an entire paragraph devoted to the trauma of affairs. We must immediately pivot back to the mental health of the APE (affair penetrated enabler/ affair pickled Edwardian/ anti-penis earflaps).

Affair discovery destabilizes relationships. Actual fucking around not so much. #papsmearSURPRISE

***

I’m sorry, this is about all the Universal Bullshit Translator can stomach. At least until the next shipment of German Christmas cookies.

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MehnopolizeLife
MehnopolizeLife
2 months ago

“Affair-involved partners also experience elevated risk for shame, depression and anxiety.”

Oh boo hoo! Or more like, boo fucking who gives a damn?!?

“Elevated risk for shame”
What the fuck does that even mean? FW’s have no shame.

“Elevated risk for depression”
Maybe an elevated risk for depreciation in funds after the divorce.

“Elevated risk of anxiety”.
Sleeping with one eye open.

Starry-Eyed
Starry-Eyed
2 months ago

Yeah, I like how the author just assumes we all already agree that the cheater shouldn’t have to experience these feelings. Uhhh, no, we don’t. You’re ashamed? GOOD.

MollyWobbles
MollyWobbles
2 months ago

My exFW is big on shame. He is constantly feeling sorry for himself and pumping himself up (notes all over his apartment to himself that say things like “I deserve good things” and “I am worthy of love”) because he doesn’t want to “shame spiral”. My thought is that he should be ashamed! He ruined our family. That is shameful. Swim in it FW. You deserve it.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  MollyWobbles

I agree with this. Accepting shame means accepting responsibility for what you did. When you do bad things that hurt others, and break things like marriage….you deserve shame. Shame is the natural outcome of that. You can’t avoid it, you just have to accept responsibility for what you did, accept the shame, and try to do better.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago

Yep, they should feel shame, unfortunately in todays world shame and guilt seems to be in short supply.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago

They bloody well SHOULD feel bad! They’re the ones doing the bad thing! Lots of them don’t feel one bit bad and just blame their chumps though, from what I’ve read on CL, including my FW X, more’s the pity! In fact, the only bad thing my X seems to feel is SELF-PITY!

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
2 months ago

Please, please let this signal the cultural shift in which the RIC and cheater apologists are immediately shut down. Hoping that chumps and their children will benefit from an increasing societal understanding of the intentional betrayal and the legal consequences which should follow.

Nancy
Nancy
2 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yeah! The signal should be just like the Bat signal set off by Commissioner Gordon! Can we pontificate what the new center image would be instead of the bat?

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
2 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

If you need to let this go in order to get on with new ventures, just plan for a successor, ok? You’re the genius that started all this, but you can sort through your own fantastic-writing-skills correspondents such as Velvet Hammer, and work something out. Another writer says the truth, that cheaters and chumps will always be among us. But we are not your responsibility. We’d miss you, butwe will survive.

People who lose a ton of weight that they never should have acquired may trim down on some program that they go on to build up and tout. It’s a public service. But it doesn’t have to be their life. And helping us chumps doesn’t have to be yours. You’ve done so much! We are so grateful! In the end, if you’re ready to move on, I’m sure we ultimately will all rejoice that you have walked among us, and that you’ve found a gateway to a new Happily Ever After!

thrive
thrive
2 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

No..not until the article that gets published is “Chump awarded full-custody and living expenses for life cuz of stupid cheater” or something appropriate that shifts thinking from cheating is just life to cheaters deserve derision. 😎 keep writing…

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

The sad news is, your work is never done. There’s always a new crop of chumps. Cheaters are Like weeds in a garden, they never go away but you can still get a good crop if you pull them out. One at a time. Don’t even think of leaving us. You are like a surgeon with skills that reattach arms and legs. Microscopic precision surgery. Nope we cannot do this without you!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Tracy, you’re doing the heavy lifting of shifting the narrative on this topic! Thank you!

That some WaPo commenters echo your view gives me hope. I like to think that someone from CN wrote that comment,

There’s work to be done still, obviously, so please, please don’t retire.

Brit
Brit
2 months ago

It’s not the cheaters fault, the Chump needs to own their part in the infidelity.
If the chump hadn’t been inadequate, being distracted with taking care of kids, buying bagged salad, cheater wouldn’t feel neglected and forced to cheat.

How about holding Cheaters accountable for their decisions to cheat, lie and deceive.

Elsie_
Elsie_
2 months ago
Reply to  Brit

And as I told certain people on the RIC side, “So have you ever been preoccupied/depressed/grieving/etc. to the point that you neglected your spouse?”

“Uh..of course.”

“Did you lie, game, abandon, and seek solace in all the wrong places during those times?”

“No, of course not.”

Plenty of people go through a rough spot in a marriage and don’t blow up the marriage. To blow up the marriage during a rough spot or two, you have to not value the marriage. Period. And that doesn’t mean that their partner didn’t value the marriage. They were probably doing the best they could.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Brit

Mea culpa. If only I hadn’t taken my disabled, chronically ill son to another country in pursuit of specialized medical care, FW wouldn’t have drunkenly banged the skeevy office barfly. It’s well known that putting children’s health before adult convenience is a leading cause of binge drinking, beer goggles, trichomoniasis and dissipation of marital assets.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago

It’s amazing how many spouses are jealous of their children. My father was even jealous of the family cat.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Mine was jealous of my dogs, too. “I’m jealous of your love for the dogs.” said the guy who was “not in love” with me anymore. 🙄 IOW, though shalt have no other gods before FW.

Last edited 2 months ago by OHFFS
Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Well I’m jealous of the family cat but only because she sleeps so much and never does dishes. 🌝

Though seriously, envy of or competion with children is a pretty stock Cluster B trait as far as I know.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago

Though I wonder if it is really jealously, or just another excuse.

Elsie_
Elsie_
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

At one point, my ex actually said that if we reconciled, I couldn’t have contact with our two college students. We were sitting in a local restaurant. He was living in another state, and we were about to put the family house on the market. The kiddos and I were already in a rental.

I asked the waiter to box up my food. I walked out and never saw my STBX face-to-face again. I completely expected that he would deny that ever happened, and he did. He said that it was one of my many delusions.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

“I completely expected that he would deny that ever happened, and he did. He said that it was one of my many delusions.” This is why I’ll never again live in a state which makes recording without consent of all parties a felony– because this leaves no recourse for victims of coercive control, institutional abuse or workplace harassment to prove claims. Not that I go around stealth recording friends or family (I barely remember to take photos for special occasions) but I want the option in case of illegal bullying. Now I’ll only live in places where private citizens can legally tape everything and it’s all admissible.

Bruno
Bruno
2 months ago
Reply to  Brit

That advise is not billable.

dchump4
dchump4
2 months ago
Reply to  Brit

But that would be so unfair. Remember, relationships are 50/50. And two wrongs don’t make it right 👍

Elsie_
Elsie_
2 months ago
Reply to  dchump4

Or the lovely “it takes two to tango.”

No, it only takes one spouse to destroy a marriage. And if they choose a flame-thrower, the partner needs to run.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

The expression “It takes two to tango” is actually inadvertently accurate. A friend who’s a touring professional tango dancer from Argentina explained that a lot of tango is a “creative” representation of domestic violence. That fact gave rise to “tango feminista” as part of the massive Ni Uno Menos movement, Latin America’s version of #MeToo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-ht1Q2bLlM

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
1 month ago

Wow! Thanks for the education. Now I know why watching people tango always made me uncomfortable.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  dchump4

I hate that 50/50 crap. Relationships are never 50/50, good ones flow back and forth depending on needs and situations. Bad ones are almost always slanted to the partner who does not value the marriage having the most power, and causes the most problems.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago

Ooof. This was tough to stomach. Can’t imagine if I actually read the whole article without Tracy’s commentary.

I found out about the affair when my FW chose to tell me because he wanted to leave me for Schmoops. But it was a long distance affair and he told me during the height of the pandemic lockdown, so things were a bit in limbo. Ultimately, things didn’t work out with Schmoops and he was looking for Chumpy lil me to be Plan B. I was not interested in being Plan B. Much wailing and tearing of garments ensued.

At one point, he was so frustrated with the messy corner he painted himself into that he exclaimed “I should have never told you, and none of this would be happening.”

It’s a very sobering thought. That he could have chosen not to tell me, and when they inevitably broke it off, he would have “settled” for me, and we would continue our lives as if none of it had happened. I’d never know what he had done, and would have been chumped for life.

I mean, sure, statistics tell us all that he would have cheated again and at some point I probably would find out- but this particular affair, that lasted yeas, with all their “I love yous” and their plans for their future, made while I was blindly living in this “mirage”? I would be clueless. Makes my stomach hurt to think of it.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

The thing is….he WOULDN’T have settled for you. He would have kept looking. They don’t “settle” they look for something else. That’s why they keep cheating. It’s amazing though to think how much time and energy he invested in that affair and then when he finally came into the open with it and pursued it….it fizzled. What kept it going apparently was the hidden, sporadic nature of it. It’s not something that can turn into a marriage.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Oh Yes. I agree that he would have found other APs. My wording was way off, but I more mean that had he never told me, I would never know, and a years long affair would have happened then fizzled, all without my ever being the wiser. And he may have gone on to cheat more casually, so while that wouldn’t mean he settled for me…he might have stayed in the marriage for a good long time before he found someone else he wanted to actually leave for. That could have taken a decade, all with me being none the wiser. It is a chilling thought.

I’ll never know what caused it to fizzle truly. He says he dumped her to work on us. (To be clear, there was no reason he should have thought at that point that I was in any way open to reconciling) I think she dumped him. He’d never admit it. Maybe she got sick of waiting for her married soul mate to leave his chump wife? Maybe she met a local available guy. It was a long distance so the fact is, maybe she was never serious about him? Maybe he was just some fun distraction. I think he vetted her enough to be sure she wasn’t married. But she was younger and conventionally attractive, she could have had lots of boyfriends in her actual area code and how would the FW know? Not gonna lie, I really wish I could know the truth from her side because I find the whole thing fascinating. I never will know though. I refuse to reach out to her, and wouldn’t trust her word anyway.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

This is so scary to me too! FW didn’t decide to tell, I puzzled it out from basically no evidence, then wouldn’t let it go. He lied for 3-4 months before saying something like “Well I can see you’re not going to let it go…”

That alone makes it so hard to invest in anyone again. Like fine, you cheated on me, goodbye and I’ll heal eventually. But I want all those years back! It’s not about the cheating, it’s about the deception and manipulation to keep USING someone who believes they are loved.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

This is crazy! Keeping the chump clueless works as long as it helps the cheater. They see nothing wrong with this. That’s what we’re dealing with here. 🤯

I too was told of the affair when FW was sure he had locked down schmoopie. He said something like: “I had a 2 1/2 year affair. I think I’ll be happier with her.” He tried to soften the blow by saying, “I think you can love two people at once.” He also said that he only lied about “one thing” EVERY DAY FOR 2 1/2 YEARS.

That was that. I threw off my ring and said, “You’re dead to me.”

Those two cheaters married one year after D-Day and 5 months post divorce.

People–lawyers, friends, family–assume that his new marriage won’t work out. It’s been 3 years. I wish I didn’t care, but it would give me pleasure if I were to find out that their marriage failed. #Iamhuman #karma.

My adult kids who are NC have a different, more practical view. They want him to stay married and in his home on the other side of the country. They worry that wifetress will leave him, and he’ll end up on on of their doorsteps.

Ooof. I think I went off topic here….

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

I think sometimes they stay together because they want to validate their actions and not that they fucked up. Which most of them do, most of the affairs don’t turn into marriages and the ones that do seem to be more like suicide pacts. Even if they stay together, that doesn’t mean they’re happy or successful – just that they’re resigned to it and they don’t want to admit it was a mistake or try again. Although they probably still cheat on the OW/OM.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Mine said “I love differently than you do.” This after 14 years together and trying to explain away “why we grew apart.” Because she was already wandering and it was easier to find new people than work with the one she had. I hate that “well I’m different/special” bullshit.

You are perfectly on topic-the theme remains “mental gymnastics by cheating scumbags”.

And dude, his kids have wrote him out of their lives and he will probably cheat again. The “wifetress”(will have to crib that!) won a shiny turd. His kids want nothing to do with him. Even if the marriage DOES work out…holy hell that is not something I would want!

Mine will get hers and yours will get his(and it sounds like he’s already getting the playable demo of THAT). That is satisfying enough for me. Would be nice to have a lawn chair and popcorn ready for when it hits the fan for them, but I will take “that shit is out of my life and somebody else’s problem” in the mean time.

And if I ever see you in person I owe you a high-five-I wish I had the strength to rip off the ring and say “you’re dead to me!”

Stay mighty!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Oof, I wish I could take credit for “wifetress,” but it’s not my invention. I read it here (and/or in CL’s book).

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Nah… you are perfectly on topic.

You may never get the satisfaction of seeing their marriage fail, but if there is one thing this site has taught me, it’s that the cheating isn’t a one off thing and it isn’t about YOU. You’ve been here longer than me, so you know this, but sometimes when we want to see that karma, we forget. He’s not going to be any more faithful to her than he was to you because he didn’t cheat because of anything you did or didn’t do. He cheated because he is an entitled asshole. He wasn’t magically cured of that by heading off with Schmoops. He is just going to have to be sneakier to avoid detection. And even if she never has that heartbreaking moment of D-Day, she will live her days WORRIED about it.

Mine also liked to insist that he only lied about “one” thing. That seems to be pretty common, And as much as it used to make me see red, now it kind of makes me laugh because it is just so incredibly dumb. How can we even entertain these delusions? Every text, every video call, every gift he sent her. Every plan they made. Every time he future faked with me. These things were all day every day. They are ALL lies. But nope, he only told that one wee lil itty bitty lie. How could I be so blatantly distrustful of him?

Your kids have a point. Let him stay far away. And let her keep her glittery turd.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

He lied about the very thing that makes a marriage a marriage – the exclusiveness and sharing in it.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

True!! Also, I’d like to add for the record the schmoopie is a cheater, too!! Both my ex and the AP were married when they started shagging. Not sure how they can ever truly trust each other.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
1 month ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Same here. And they’re married now too. I can’t imagine he’ll cheat on her because she’s a millionaire trust fund baby, and he doesn’t want to lose that situation. But I hope to God she cheats on him. And then leaves. On Christmas. #where’sthekarma?

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
2 months ago

Oh yeah, saw this article yesterday and used it for mild amusement.

If you were a better human, I would not have let another man’s penis fall into my vagina. It’s magic I tell you.

We’re too black and white in our thinking, not nuanced enough to see the gray. We haven’t reached the enlightened level of thinking like the cheater, they have so much love to give others.

Last edited 2 months ago by Josh McDowell
Starry-Eyed
Starry-Eyed
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

False dilemma “black and white thinking” is a fallacy, but people forget that so is the argument to moderation / “golden mean” fallacy — the truth isn’t always black and white, but the truth isn’t always gray either. Trying to push either when it isn’t warranted is equally wrong.

Chump-o-potamus
Chump-o-potamus
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

The “it’s not black and white” BS is infuriating. My marriage vows weren’t written in gray ink.

Either they cheater cheated, or they did not. Either they lied/omitted or they did not. I don’t see where there is space for a “gray area”. But maybe I’m not ‘enlightened’ enough… LOL

They can’t even properly love 1 person, how do they think they can possibly offer love to MORE people?

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago

Just ask, how much do you lie to the other person, the OM/OW? Would you tell HIM/HER you were going someplace that you weren’t? Or not seeing someone you were and the myriad lies the adulterers tell. When you consider it, they don’t treat their affair partners with the same disdain and disrespect their do for their spouses. It’s not the same treatment – they get steak and we get McDonald’s patties.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

And anyone who’s ever watched “Super-Size Me” knows what a diet of Maccy D’s does to you!!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago

“This Therapist teaches at Brown, an Ivy League.”

As the child of a serially-cheating professor, the ex chump of a serially-cheating professor, and the sideline observer of numerous cheating professors, including at least one professor of moral philosophy, let me go ahead and disabuse anyone who might be under the impression that professors perch on some sort of pedestal of heightened thought or morality. I have spent my life around academics, and I seriously wonder if any profession is as lousy with head-up-their-butt cheating narcissist twits than academia. It’s the “France” of professions.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

I spent many years in academic administration and they are the biggest bunch of assholes I’ve ever encountered anywhere and many liars and cheats among them. There’s nothing like seeing a doctor trying to make a graceful escape from an AP’s office while pulling his pants up in public.

CBN
CBN
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Lawyers

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Medicine. Sorry…their / men /woman put them through medical school, residency, specialties.years and year..then they fly off into the ether( HI Sarah) and find an “educated medical professionalwho gets them “. Or someone not worn down by bills and kids. I’ve sat on the sidelines of that soap opera.

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

Ok, MDs for the win LOL.

Kimon
Kimon
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Oh, I think there are other professions that can hold up with academia when it comes to narcissists. I would like to throw in police officers, from my own experience they are just as bad.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Mon dieu! Moral philosophy professor? You can’t make this up.

Just want to give a shout-out to physicians, lest they feel left out here. They hold their own in the affair department. All those beds. The adoration of nurses and patients. The power over residents and med students. The unusual hours. The assumption that they are good bc of they’re in a “noble” profession.

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

OMG yes. I would counter that all those adoring students who want to get an “A” make quite a buffet.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

I was a nurse for nearly 2 decades and I can confirm that the medical profession is infested with Cluster B PD trait types!
Nursing has it’s share as well- not all nurses are angels by any means! I’ve come across some right bitches, bullies and even actual psychopaths! To paraphrase our psychiatric nursing tutor “…. ( psychiatric) nursing attracts a lot of character disordered (my words- he said “psychopaths”) people, because of the power they can wield over the vulnerable!”
This can also apply to many other occupations, including the medical profession; even more so I’d say, because the medical profession is far more powerful than the nursing profession, and one of the most powerful professions there is!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

I gotta give it to medical folks, as there is also the still-present idea that “snagging a doctor” is some sort of reward, so I’m guessing there are more willing affair partners out there. That’s not the case with professors.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Oh yes indeed! I would notice a fair bit of flirting going on by the Nurses’s Station between young Staff Nurses and doctors of various ranks!
I didn’t really experience it first hand much as I wasn’t very glam at work, keeping all that for nights out, and I preferred working class lads like myself anyway, seeing doctors as too “posh” for me-inverted snobbery? Those lads usually turned out to be gits as well anyway, so I came to label myself a “git magnet”! I should have fixed my picker long, long ago!
But yeah, doctors are up there and hospitals are hotbeds, pun intended , of sexual shenanigans and skullduggery!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Yes! My own FW is a doc who had an affair with a much-younger nurse. #cliché.

I’m sure his $$$ was part of the attraction, but he will never see that.

He’s convinced that she fell in love with his winning personality, awesome (60+ year old) physique, and cool sex moves. Move over Hugh Hefner.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

When I was a very young student nurse back in the late 70s and 80s, I came across a fair few other girls who admitted that one of their reasons for going into nursing was to “marry a doctor”. I dare say a fair few of them didn’t care whether or not the medic they set their caps at were already married! Ambition often over-rides morals!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago

“But, a host of complicated factors, including feeling mistreated by a partner or poor judgment from alcohol intoxication, can contribute to affairs.”

I’m sorry, but “I was pissed at my spouse one day, got drunk, and made out with a coworker at a happy hour” isn’t that complicated. This isn’t NORAD, it’s actually just about the simplest and oldest crap in the history of humanity.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Haaaa!!! NORAD!!!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago

Obviously not everyone who goes to Ivy League schools is an entitled cretin but apparently more than average are since the Ivy League has a campus rape rate roughly FOUR TIMES higher than other US university systems. The DV rate appears be up there too. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406521/

I tend to believe it because two of the perpetrators I filed police reports against for workplace harassment and assault while working in a narc-filled, top-down industry were– tada– Ivy Leaguers. I heard plenty of stories and warnings about others. I guess it’s worth noting that the only formal apology I ever received for workplace harassment was from someone who went to Brown. Thankfully, the latter didn’t physically assault me– merely scared the crap out of me by screaming and pounding on a steering wheel in an isolated parking lot because I didn’t want to date him, then had me blackballed from the company we worked for and stranded in LA without a job for awhile. But #MeTooSorry. Aw.

So my guess is that Schonbrun’s clients are right out of the series Succession– a regular brigade of extra-fancy, extra-entitled (and therefore extra-dangerous) perps of various stripes and she’s molded her therapeutic approach to keep them happy, enabled and paying the bills.

Furthermore, I’d bet any money that if I visited this patriarchy-fluffer’s practice she’d likely tell me to “explores” why I drew so many mini-Weinsteins and Roger Ailses towards myself on my dysfunctional Voodoo “career victim” tractor beams. To which I’d respond by pouring a beet and turmeric smoothie on her $20,000 couch and ask why she “manifested” permanently stained upholstery.

Viktoria
Viktoria
2 months ago

“patriarchy-fluffer” !

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago

“To which I’d respond by pouring a beet and turmeric smoothie on her $20,000 couch and ask why she “manifested” permanently stained upholstery.”

😄 I would pay top dollar to see that.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

And me! Add a dollop of curry powder to it and all. She’d never get that bugger out!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS
Viktoria
Viktoria
2 months ago

An “affair” is just a rough patch? Fucking hell?! Let me tell you the rough patches I went thru in my former marriage before my d- day. Having a lot of babies close together, helping care for eX during his extensive outpatient cancer treatment, business failures, accepting that he must travel for work for decades, dealing with other stressors, raising a bunch of teenagers, perfecting the low-income, frugal housewife lifestyle and remaining loyal and faithful to him years after he “checked out” emotionally. There, 35 years of rough patches. Then I find out about his betrayal, which he intended to keep secret forever. Fucking hell! Glad I gave zero days to attempting RIC or feeling sorry for the poor lamb.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago

My 2cheaters just got more verbally abusive, felt more entitled, more arrogant, more IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT I WAS FORCED TO GET THAT MASSAGE, since you wouldn’t massage me 24/7 and had a life to live without me me ME! D
Dday was just an I’LL SHOW YOU, with not a tinge of remorse. So i got hit with the special way they had to communicate their disapproval, free sex to punish me. Mine had conditions that if my behavior changed they might take ME BACK only if I agreed to their hostage demands. The tears were all crocodile. Not real. I’m exhausted by all the blame heaped on chumps. To be honest, because I was/ am a Chump I believed it the first time. Me, pregant me .not good enough, never. Yes you must leave me of course, I’m so awful.The second cheater?..i was not going there. He was all about his needs.period. I didn’t have a chance. Please read Tracy’s book and stay on CN if you ride the fence. It is pure abuse, lies and blame shifting. I’m going to my GYN this morning to get a second smear to be sure I am healthy. My xcheater told me he visited a Urologist ( during his wandering organ recital years)and they declared him pure as the driven snow. Should I believe 2 men in cahoots? Should I ask for a certificate of safety to “use said organ” again? Should I believe someone who already has a proven track record of no shame and he deserves such freedoms?No!!!no and No!! He lied and used me for at least 2 -3 years. So off I go for my exam.
Thank you Tracy for getting up so early to write your blog and for keeping me in stitches all night, reading it when i can’t sleep. I appreciate how I can zoom into other articles you have written to refresh my memory. And for your book which is a work of psychological art and humor. It took great courage to step out and change the narrative, one cheater at a time. Thank you from this 2xChump in Kansas!!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago

Let’s look at the RIC model from the perspective of simple operant conditioning – you know, like psychologists do.

1) Cheater cheats [cheating = behavior].

2) A Reconciliation therapist instructs the couple that the cheating [i.e., behavior] is the result of chump’s bummerhood [bummerhood = stimulus], and that chump should try to be better at making cheater happy [chump reconciliation efforts = reward].    

What would a psychologist say would be the result of this dynamic: less cheating or more cheating? It’s like giving your puppy a piece of cheese every time it pees on the floor. Chump rings a bell [is a bummer for some ever-evolving reason], the cheater salivates [cheats], and the cheater is rewarded with a cube of cheese [increased efforts by chump to make them happy].

Therapist: “That’ll be $150 please.” 

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Yes, they totally invert the fundamentals of behaviour modification:-
1/ reward the behaviours you want.
2/Do NOT reward the behaviours you do NOT want!

thrive
thrive
2 months ago

Me thinks CL has made significant in-roads to the psychy of chumps worldwide. Isn’t it great to see chumps taking up your sword and calling BS on cheating. On the other hand, it is a bit disturbing that such an article even gets published like cheating is so commonplace the only question is should you tell. Hugs!

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
2 months ago

“There is no one ‘right’ or easy choice to disclosing an affair. ” Would she say the same thing about embezzlement? Of course, there is a right choice here. Tell!!! Stop the lying.

Doesn’t shock me, though, that she lossed her way morally. Seems to be a full article from the place of a broken moral compass.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
2 months ago

I’d add that she frames this to maximize moral ambiguity. What the question about disclosure really is: Do I continue lying to my partner or come clean? Less ambiguous about the moral choice when framed properly.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago

And the real moral choice would be to keep your marriage vows in the first place! Then you don’t have to lie!

All a Blur
All a Blur
2 months ago

It’s a Catch-22: Keeping an affair secret guarantees a relationship chasm, but revealing it guarantees breaking a partner’s heart.

I certainly get tired of this idea that somehow the “hurt” is only in the revealing. As if living a life of lies, a “relationship chasm,” isn’t just a tad hurtful all by itself.

If a bridge is rotten and you step on it, it isn’t the stepping that caused the “hurt.” It’s the rot.

This scheisse just legitimizes that idiocy “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you.” How come fuckwits get to decide who to hurt and how? What makes them so special?

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  All a Blur

I watched a video on YT last night and it mentioned the collapse of a bridge over the Ohio River, the worst bridge disaster in American history that killed loads of people. Apparently the crack that caused it to collapse was only 3 CENTIMETRES!!!
I’d say the crack in the integrity of a marriage cause by an adulterer is much bigger than the emotional equivalent of 3 centimetres, and yes, I do think chumps may start sensing the crack/s in our marriages well before we find out that the FW has been doing the dirty on us! I know I did but I was too drained and , I realise now, clinically depressed to cop on for quite a while!

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago

Oh look, more victim blaming. Fun.

“Affair-involved partners also experience elevated risk for shame, depression and anxiety.”(feel like everybody’s going to quote this one after their spit-take and disbelief.)

I take issue with “increased risk for.” That is the language we use to discuss side effects of medications. Taking medication as prescribed is good. Being a YOLO free spirit that has to hurt other people to be “happy”? They aren’t “At risk” for shit. Society is “at risk” for THEM.

Mine certainly did express shame and depression and anxiety…at least during D-Day(that seemed to “right” itself pretty quickly back to narcissism and self centered mental gymnastics horseshit about why it was my fault). And she should feel bad for what she did and what she ruined. I have to do a bunch of personal growth now and own up to who and what I am and learn how to trust and love again-why shouldn’t SHE? If you traumatize/abuse/victimize somebody, you absolutely should experience shame, depression, and/or anxiety. Those are natural responses and consequences to “I have done indelible harm to another human being.”

Cheaters do have feelings, too. They’re still human(though as far as I’m concerned the jury is still out on that one.) The problem is, they feel entitlement and impulsive and vindictive and narcissistic and tend to miss the boat on “your actions have consequences.” If you figure that telling somebody that you have betrayed them might piss them off or hurt them, you should probably rethink the whole “betrayal” thing and start counseling before you start that conversation with Schmoopie In Waiting.

Can we get some kind of article from a PhD that talks about “not being a cheating fuckhead” instead of “let’s dress up the language on being an awful human being” or “don’t get cheated on”?

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Yup, the thing to do with cheating is to stop it before it starts. Once it starts, it’s a trainwreck and nothing’s gonna make it better. We all get attractions to other people at some point, acting on them is the issue.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Exactly! I would go even further and say a decent person would also stop themselves from indulging an attraction to anyone other than their spouse by not dwelling on any romantic notions or lustful thoughts.
It would be best if one would avoid that person altogether but if that’s not possible, to at least keep a polite, respectful distance. It’s what Catholics call avoiding “Occasions of Sin”! If a married person really fancies someone other than their spouse, that person is an Occasion of Sin for them.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

It was funny-before D-Day when the gaslighting was in full effect and I was paranoid and doing the Pick Me Dance, my therapist asked me that-what I did when “not-my-partner” made advances(would send them away, bring her up, etc etc and that was generally the end of it). This was followed up with “and how do you know that she isn’t doing the same?” which made the paranoia feel stupid. After D-Day my therapist did have to eat crow on that one. It all really is a choice. One that I am happy not to have made-don’t think I could live with myself.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

I hope one day there are peer reviewed studies nailing down the statistics for coercive control and domestic violence in association with infidelity to establish once and for all that cheating is almost invariably a feature of abuse. Like others who’ve worked on the front lines of DV survivor advocacy, I already know there’s an overwhelming association. In fact, from what I’ve seen, coercive control and battering may basically be rooted in the brutal enforcement of one-sided monogamy. At the very least, coercive control is required to maintain double lives.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for these studies because research funding is extremely politicized and those holding power and purse strings are often offenders themselves. In the meantime, without hard data on “cheater mentality” and tactics, abuse-apologists and victim-blamers are having a regular field day spewing garbage theories drawn from the narratives of offenders, not victims.

Can anyone imagine if social scientists approached DV in the same way– asking batterers why their victims “made” them beat them with tire irons or if the only victims polled were the ones who were still entrapped and in the throes of Stockholm syndrome? Ugh, we’re still in the dark ages.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago

Yes, we’ve a long way to go alright and I also think it’s because too many of those in power are not decent enough people themselves, and might well be guilty of the same sins and even crimes they are supposed to be protecting people from.
One that comes to my mind is a judge here in Ireland called Anthony Nolan, who is notorious for handing out lenient sentences, particularly for sex offenders! Many people think this is suspicious, and I for one can’t fathom how he’s still in office, but then I remember the gombeens who are running the country-into the ground- from Dáil Eirreán and I cop on to how and why he’s still there!
The British Establishment is rotten too; it’s full of public schoolboys ( a public school in Britain is actually a private, fee-paid school, for the children of the rich and the titled) and many Brits would know about the dark and degenerate, and even depraved things that go on in those bastions of privilege!

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago

I hope that day comes as well

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

Calls for more scientific study can arise from political mobilization, which is why I think chumps should probably get involved locally in shaping new and spreading legislation against coercive control (“subviolent” forms of domestic abuse which statistically can often lead to more violent forms), both to make the world a safer place as well as to ensure that criminalization doesn’t end up weaponized against victims. For instance, one of the typical “red flags” for coercive control is electronic monitoring/stalking of victims. But I think there should be a bit of latitude for chumped victims (kind of a moot distinction since literally all abusers cheat) who are at risk for exposure to STDs and dissipation of family assets in case they “check devices.”

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago

Aldis in the USA has lepkuchen now! I did not check the spelling! It is delicious!!

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago

But, a host of complicated factors, including feeling mistreated by a partner”

Well darn, I was emotionally and verbally assaulted by my cheater for the entire year of discard. I had no idea that entitled me to strange, what a chump; I still kept my vows.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Susie,

Whenever I read “year of discard,” I am reminded of how the pain of that period persists. The feeling when someone you’re married to starts pulling away in subtle (and maybe not-so-subtle) ways hurts so much. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t gone through this can truly understand.

I’m 4 years from D-day and still feel traumatized by how I was treated, especially in that last year when I wasn’t even aware of what was going on. I just remember worrying that he was “not himself.” I thought he had early-onset dementia. I thought he was upset about his upcoming retirement. I fucking sympathized, and he willingly accepted my sympathy, knowing full well that he was acting weird and distracted because he was living a double life and planning to leave me.

Meanwhile, he was betraying me right and left AND finding reasons to justify it all. Those reasons included painting me as less than in so many ways. Despite my apparent deficiencies, he still wanted to have sex. Go figure. #cakeeater

p.s. One weird detail that stands out and still makes me scratch my head: during the discard, he started taking pictures of me while I was not posing. Unflattering up close photos of me while eating, for instance. And this was a man who NEVER took photos (unless he was fishing). WTF! I can only guess that he must have shared them with schmoopie so they could have a good laugh at my expense. Two mean and sick individuals. The more I think of it, the more convinced I am that they are made for each other.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

I agree, it is a horrendous pain, and I am many years out and have had a blessed life with a very sweet and honorable man. As mentioned before I am here due to fw blowing up his relationship with our son. It caused me to find CN.

That is why I stay, to hopefully let folks know that even if you remember the pain, it won’t stop you from moving on. We are human beings who have been hurt in about the most horrible way possible. There will be scars.

Your second paragraph is very close to my experience. Only he had just gotten his Captains bars. I thought he was under stress because that is what he said when I asked why he was acting aloof to me etc. I figured it out in the last couple months of that year, but so much damage; screaming at me for stupid stuff, honestly if I was so bad, I don’t know why he couldn’t come up with better stuff to berate me about. I still thought somehow he was going to snap back to who he was. It was never to be, not just in terms of our marriage but in how he related to others and life in general. He literally self destructed, and I couldn’t do a thing to stop him and neither could his best childhood friend.

This was my sons father, met at 16 married at 18, and I had loved him dearly and worked tirelessly to help him achieve his dreams; and he threw it in my face. That is a deep pain. He may not have been happy, but he was happy enough to let me keep laboring for his wants all the while deceiving me.

I think that is where a lot of us think that the person we knew will return, because we have no way of knowing until much later how far ahead of us they are in pulling away from the marriage.

And yes sex continued up until the last month.

Chump-o-potamus
Chump-o-potamus
2 months ago

I would bet real money that the author of this article cheated on their spouse. There is too much cheater sympathizing to not be from personal experience.

Affair-involved partners also experience elevated risk for shamedepression and anxiety

OH NO! The person who gave me this bullet wound feels bad about having pulled the trigger! I need to put my wounds aside and coddle his feelings cuz he’s got the sadz.

This article is gross and will no doubt be used by cheaters to gaslight their victims into thinking the life-destroying affair isn’t that big of a deal and keep chumps in miserable marriages.

Rarity
Rarity
2 months ago

Yael is an awesome lady in the Bible who put a tent stake through a man’s head. This Yael is bringing shame to the name.

Good job putting a tent stake through bad Yael’s sucky arguments, Tracy.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  Rarity

I love Yael – one of a great group of Bible ladies like Deborah and Judith. No pushovers!

Chumpedkiki
Chumpedkiki
2 months ago

This article is painful to read. I was left after a 16 year marriage for my to be ex’s old high school girlfriend. Of course that was not the excuse I was given rather I was told we weren’t connecting anymore…funny how that was news to me. I luckily traced ear pods to a weird location and figured this all out! I am trying to do the best job possible for my 3 daughters but the thought that I should sympathize with a man that “temporarily” destroyed our happiness and stability is disturbing. I am convinced that he never really loved anyone other than himself. Cheaters deserve the mental anguish they experience. I consider it KARMA for the terrible things they put their victims through!

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago

We have a System that deliberately promotes adultery and general promiscuity to undermine marriage. That’s WHY, unlike previous societies that understood how destructive adultery particularly is and tried to stop or punish it, or at least warn people of its pitfalls and consequences…..ours actively promotes it and tries to make it seem like….just part of life. Just one of those things you have to accept like aging and ants at picnics. “It’s just the way people are wired.” “Wouldn’t you get sick of having sex with the same person for 20 years?” “Try open marriage – it will revitalize your marriage and give you other things to talk about besides those boring kids.” (I think open marriage was probably originally a CIA plot like most other bad things in our society.) “Forgive your partner’s little cheating foible and abandonment – they just made a mistake….you can love even more deeply now.” Etc, etc, rinse and repeat, and they all echo this bullshit from sea to shining sea. We’re shown how “exciting” affairs are and how celebrities jump from partner to partner – something that was pilloried a couple of generations ago (hello Ingrid Bergman!). We have to understand that this is SYSTEMIC and is a deliberate attempt to undermine marriage and successful child rearing. The real enemy of any State….is a successful, happy family and the communities they build.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago

Consider, for one thing, how heavily our society promotes the whole wedding bullshit with all its glitz and Disney Princess bullshit and attendant expenses but yet marriage is almost universally presented as dull, suffocating (TV shows like Married With Children, for ex) rather than enriching, something to mock rather than support. We don’t talk to our kids or teach them what marriage REALLY is and how important it is. It’s not just about sex or even having kids. It’s NOT about individual happiness….it’s about helping another person through life and the kids you raise and it’s a permanent commitment (barring things like abuse, alcohol/drug addiction, AND infidelity), one that builds a family that will be your descendants and that literally builds the Future, not just for you but for the entire society. You have ancestors that go back literally to the earliest cavemen and before, in an unbroken line. They did something right to have their genetic progeny live THIS long. We’ve got to start doing the same things to correct the present and claim the Future. It’s NOT about your personal happiness, dear “Affair Partner”….it’s about your RESPONSIBILITIES as an adult, spouse, parent, and member of society.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Yes, the family, based on the marriage of 2 people, is the building block of a nation, and the nation is the family writ large. Once the stability of marriage and the family is rocked over and over again by what seems to me to have become a pandemic of infidelity, which attacks the integrity of the marriage and the family, well, we all know the outcome of that on a personal level but on the larger scale, it leads to all sorts of social problems and breakdown of society as well. I must add, as I was a single mum for 9 years, I’m certainly not judging anyone who has had children outside of marriage- I’ve no right to do so, but what I did learn is that it’s best for children if they are born into stable, secure, committed marriages with 2 parents who are committed to their children AND each other! For the commitment to truly hold and be healthy, it HAS to be based on total fidelity! This is why the 6th Commandment is “Thou Shalt NOT Commit Adultery”! God knows infidelity is destructive, but for too long now, society, or at least western society, has trivialised and even glamorised cheating and, as you say, presented marriage as dull and stifling. For Millenia, and to this day in some parts of the world, only women are punished for adultery and even then, many of them have not only not committed it, they’re victims of assault or rape! I can’t think of any time nor place where men have been made to face proper justice for adultery! That needs to change!
We need to change hearts and minds about cheating/adultery because our societies need to regard it as the destructive, poisonous act it truly is, not just for the immediate victims, the BS and any children they have, but for our societies, out nations. Marriage and the family need to be respected and honoured, and the notion of the importance of doing one’s duty needs to become a thing again. T’is all “my rights” these days and never mind my responsibilities.
Our Lady of Fatima told the 3 seer children that the Final Battle ( in the spiritual war) would be over marriage and the family. And here we are; food for thought anyway!

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

“only women are punished for adultery and even then, many of them have not only not committed it, they’re victims of assault or rape! I can’t think of any time nor place where men have been made to face proper justice for adultery! That needs to change!”

YES!!! I completely agree. Men have always been given the excuse of…well, that’s the way men are biologically, like bees they flit from flower to flower. It’s natural for them to screw around….rinse and repeat.

There may be biological truth to this just as once upon a time we all lived in caves and ate raw mammoth meat when we could get it, but things change. The benefits of marriage and fidelity have to be promoted to males as well, starting in childhood. Both sexes need to be geared to the rewards – and necessities – of monogamy and fidelity. These ARE the best systems for most people. Men need to love their position as fathers, as protectors and guides of their families, rather than as rivals for their wives’ attention with the children (so bizarre to me). We just need to re-establish societal goals and norms about what is expected in marriage and child rearing because what we’ve been doing for the past couple of generations is a BIG FAIL. And getting worse. Also, I hate when only women are blamed for things like prostitution – the johns should be picked up as well or maybe even primarily because these services exist for THEM. I don’t think prostitution is a victimless crime, I think there are a lot of victims and it is a harmful thing for society in general – we have to reconsider societal effects and not just individuals.

Personally I think our current society is too far gone to save but something will emerge from the ashes, something always does. Hopefully it will be better, more stable and reality rather than fantasy based. The need for survival wonderfully focuses the mind and increases the need for spiritual support.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mehitable
NotAnymore
NotAnymore
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I am 99% certain my husband wanted to get married only because he thought that meant sex on tap whenever he wanted it for the rest of his life. Anything that interrupted with that notion induced a lot of rage. He would always say I “cut him off first” after my miscarriage and the birth of our son.

During the time that I could not have sex. Medically. Because I could get an infection and die. I was grieving the loss of our first child. I had stitches in my lady business. But his poor wee-wee was so sadz and I was neglecting HIM.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

The selfishness of that astounds me. I won’t even ask my husband to make me a cup of tea if he’s under the weather, I can’t imagine asking him to do anything if he’s had an operation and in stitches, literally. So incredibly selfish and uncaring. I am so sorry about the loss of your child, I hope time has given you healing and good things as well.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago

I actually have mixed feelings about this. Generally I am pro disclosure on virtually everything. I don’t think there would be Government Secrets if I were in charge. I like transparency, I think it’s healthier for everyone. And of course…you shouldn’t HAVE something like this to hide. So while disclosure might seem good on the surface….what is really behind it frequently? Is it a passive aggressive way of hurting your spouse? Is it manipulative? Is it assuaging guilt rather than addressing problems in a marriage? Is it a pre-emptive strike when you know exposure is likely? Is it planning for abandoning the marriage? All of these and none? To me, the major problem with recon after an affair is that most people FEEL DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THEIR PARTNERS & MARRIAGE AFTERWARDS. They see them differently and feel differently about them, and you can’t reclaim that kind of “innocence” or 100% positive view of them. You know the person you trusted most in the world and that you thought of as your best friend, other half, parent of your kids, the person you would grow old with….is capable of great deception and lies and hurting you more than anyone else possibly could. You feel rejected – you really ARE NOT ENOUGH. It doesn’t matter what your spouse tells you, the affair itself is proof of that and no amount of consoling or justifying or explaining can get past that. Your relationship is not just you and me against the world, it’s no longer exclusionary, your MATE can see someone else in their life that can fulfill at least some of your role. And want THEM even temporarily. They’re not longer exclusively yours. We can pooh pooh that, we can call it jealousy (I believe jealousy is a perfectly normal and healthy emotion), we can call it immaturity, we can save forgive forgive, overlook it….but at the heart of things you really can’t. YOU JUST CAN’T. Because an affair means that YOUR RELATIONSHIP HAS FUNDAMENTALLY AND INHERENTLY CHANGED. At an atomic level Can you adapt to this new relationship with this new view of your mate and accept these new conditions….and would you really want to? Is acceptance based on love? fear, guilt, practical necessities like kids? Those conditions are not permanent though – what is permanent is that your view of and feelings about your MATE have changed because of what you now know about them….a whole side you never saw before. When it comes right down to it, knowing what you know about an unfaithful mate, would you have married them at all knowing this was possible? Most of us wouldn’t.

It is what it is whether we like it or want it or not. Our choice is whether to face it honestly or lie to ourselves and those around us.

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Very, very well said! Hear, hear!
I am still having times when I badly miss the man I used to THINK my STBX FW was, but as you have eloquently described, the way I see and feel about the man I know he is NOW, has changed on a heart-and-soul-deep level! The innocence is gone! He proved himself to be someone who is not only NOT my friend at all, but also someone who could stab me in the back whilst smiling in my face! It’d never be the same again and NO, I would NOT have married him had I known he was capable of betraying me! That’s why I’m going for an annulment as well as a divorce!

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

Good luck with the annulment, that sounds like a great idea!

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

” To me, the major problem with recon after an affair is that most people FEEL DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THEIR PARTNERS & MARRIAGE AFTERWARDS. They see them differently and feel differently about them,”

I agree with this, the problem is for many of us it takes a long time to understand that things will never be the same. It the beginning, I really thought he would bounce back and we would get back to the same feeling. Thank God he made that impossible, or I would have wasted another couple years trying to claw my way back to what I thought we had.

And there is no pain Olympics, but I do think having children adds another layer of trying to get it back. If they are dependent children, that is even worse.

That is why CL is so important, and it is important for chumps to tell newly minted chumps their story. All new chumps should read CN from beginning to end, to include the comments. If it helps just one get out quicker it is worth it.

I had two things going for me, FW gave me very little choice, and I had a dad praying non stop for me to never be near him again. He told me over and over, a man who would do what he did would never treat me right. And my dad didn’t know everything he did, just the cheating part.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Susie,

These 2 quotes are SO important.

“And there is no pain Olympics, but I do think having children adds another layer of trying to get it back. If they are dependent children, that is even worse.”

Agreed, every Chump has some shit sandwiches to eat, and it’s not a contest of who has it worse. But I know for me early on, one of the aspects that I could not wrap my head around was how this was “ruining” my life, and I had NO say/control/way out. Even just the concept of having to co-parent with him after what he did seemed impossible. Initially I couldn’t see how we could divorce. Our lives were too entwined and I just felt so scared on top of everything else I was feeling. I would have fell for any RIC available, to get back what was “lost”. And he loved that. Initially he insisted that I would have to accept and befriend Schmoops so that our kids would. He said, if I let on that I hated Schmoops or FW, I would be setting up the kids to do so as well and ruining their lives. He wanted us to all have holidays and family meals together and was infuriated when I balked. (Talk about creative acrobatics)

“That is why CL is so important, and it is important for chumps to tell newly minted chumps their story. All new chumps should read CN from beginning to end, to include the comments. If it helps just one get out quicker it is worth it.”

I cannot express enough how much CN helped me. CL’s book and the “commandments” she imparts are the foundation, but reading the stories of CN and seeing how CL’s theories play out over and over in different scenarios was just what I needed to realize there was NO going back. CL’s word made sense, but CN’s stories cemented how accurate CL was. I learned that it was NOT my fault. It’s still shocking to me how many of us see the exact same behaviors. The “it was only ONE lie”, or the way we see Chump after Chump explain the concept of “they will only admit to what you can prove and even then, maybe not.” I think pre-Chumpdom we all saw movies etc where the spouse suddenly started taking showers as soon as they walked in the door. It makes sense that those signs are universal. But this site proves that so much more is universal. The blaming of the Chump etc. And seeing that is just SO helpful. Especially in the early days when a Chump is feeling so confused on top of everything else.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

” He wanted us to all have holidays and family meals together and was infuriated when I balked. ”

I can’t even imagine doing that. How dare they even suggest it. They drop kick us to the curb, but want us orbiting around them to soften their stench.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

It sounds like that guy was into building a harem. All you sister-wives have to get along!!! Your purpose is to serve ME!

Shadow
Shadow
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

God bless your dad Susie Lee!

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

I agree, he and my brother were my lifeline to sanity.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Thank God for your Dad. And thank God for CL. I recommend CL and LACGAL to EVERYONE when this issue comes up. She is the best source I have come across for information and reasoning and obviously it’s all based on her own actual experience.

Yes, you just don’t just go back to feeling the same way afterwards. People don’t work like that. It’s not just about infidelity – if you find out that someone you admired and respected and trusted was stealing money or doing something else….you would not regard them the same way afterwards. We just don’t. And how do you win back trust and respect and yes, love, after these have been broken? How does an adulterer WIN THESE BACK because why should a betrayed spouse be expected to automatically provide these things? On what basis? We wouldn’t do that with a bank robber? Why should we do it with a heart robber? Normally I would expect someone who has committed a gross violation of trust to do something that win would that back over a period of time but I don’t know how one would even begin with an adulterer? Complete honesty about the affair and transparency going forward might help but all too often even those things are not available.

So….what’s a Chump to do? I think usually the best thing, unless it’s perhaps a one night stand that might be forgivable as long as it’s a real anomaly, would be to be honest and talk about moving on. When they have affairs, the real marriage, the bond between two people, is simply broken. Maybe it can come back down the road, that has happened, but it’s unusual. Most people are just wasting time in recon, smoking the hopium.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I hold the one night stand as a moral compass. I include that in immoral behavior and how it did not hurt him to hurt you bring home StD or risk the Family. A 15 min roll in the hotel or under a picnic table not a problem? It only took one night? I’m sorry but that just means he is looking and that your value is nothing. So he just robbed one bank? OK my #2 cheater said a one night stand only!!!….but there were many one night stands. Character matters and one night or twenty. You cannot be trusted. Period.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

I think that for me, I sometimes look at my situation and wonder if the cheating had been different, could we have reconciled? In my case, the affair was years long, and he was planning to leave. I found out about the affair years in…and then things dragged out so I was cohabitating with him while this affair was still going on long distance. They had big plans for their new life together and he shared a lot of those plans with me because he was so blissfully happy. It was a LOT to deal with, Then they didn’t work out. And he wanted to reconcile. I did not. There is just no coming back from all that.

But sometimes I think “well, what if he had been out, got drunk, some gorgeous woman threw herself at him, and he had a one night stand. Told me immediately and seemed genuinely remorseful. Could I get past that?” And I think that sounds plausible. But it only sounds plausible in comparison to the big dramatic mess I actually lived. My specific scenario allowed for so much bs and it dragged out forever with new and exciting shit sandwiches raining from the sky on a daily basis.

But the truth is, while the situation would be different if it had “only” been a single one night stand, my guess is that i would still feel completely betrayed and would still want out. The complications and drawn out mess that I lived was unpleasant, but the real problem is simply the betrayal. And that would exist no matter what the cheating details were.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

Sortofoverit..I must say that your reply was very thought provoking. To be honest, the horrors of both my Cheaters left zero options for me. It was so awful.and the abuse I allowed disturbs me today because I could not believe a human being could treat me as such an object. To me, one night stands are like a bad cold before pneumonia. It is a symptom of a weak character and in my opinion is showing me that this “habit”,of losing control and losing vows and commitments to me so very easily, at a wim, with a drink? What will the tough years look like? How can I ever trust them again? Real remorse, sorry? I’d have to play police, I’d have to believe lies, I’d have to demand tracking, I’d have to be a mother to this person. Where were you??? What were you doing, what?? Drinking and another girl? Ok thats ok because you were drinking???However, how is this different from not knowing all these betrayals are happening but I have no idea? One is a choice..I know you cheated, I forgive you ..I’ll go get tested and now I’ll watch you? Get promises from a weak person who has sex like rolling off a log? Or like me, lied to, used, and kept in the dark.? In the end, my experience shows that cheating is progressive and does not get better only snow balls. Call it a disease, call it an addiction, call it a bad habit..both my Cheaters cheating worsened as the years went by as did the lies, as did the abuse and disregarding. Wait and stay, leave and go. It will be in the end, the same. Different regrets but still a horrible choice to make and the risks are my soul and my peace and my body. What is the life choice I will make? Who did I sacrifice?ME.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Definitely thank God for CL. Unfortunately for me she was just a wee girl when I was going through the thick of it. No internet, and even if I had thought of looking for books at the library, who would know what to look for, and I was too humiliated to talk to anyone.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Whenever this topic comes up on line, I recommend her and her book constantly. She is such a voice of strength, sanity and support – something Chumps desperately need. CL is like the Joan of Arc of Chumps 🙂

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

So…my mixed feelings – if you disclose an affair, you have to realize that there WILL be this effect on your marriage and the likelihood is that it will never really recover. You’re not gonna get back to where you were esp if it was good. So perhaps you should take your lessons from it and try to do better? But we know that cheaters usually keep cheating esp once they start. I think the only practical way of handling this issue is to NOT CHEAT AT ALL. Cheating inherently violates your marriage at a fundamental, atomic level. It breaks the bond. I think people can pretend to recover from it and some can have some kind of relationship afterwards but it’s not the stuff of romance certainly.

Elsie_
Elsie_
2 months ago

This is pure gold. I didn’t find Chump Lady until post-divorce, but I got that the betrayals were deep and destructive. He had burned down the house and exploded the foundation. All trust was gone. My STBX claimed it would be a “quick and easy” divorce, and instead, my wonderful attorney was pounding the table and shouting obscenities over my ex’s lies and disordered thinking. Somehow it was healing to see my attorney so mad.

And those on the RIC side were doing all the sin-leveling and guilting me for not taking a forgive-and-forget approach. I’m thankful every day that I found my way despite that and found peace and a much better life on the other side.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago

Many of the comments on Wapost are heartening and so is this– more and more domestic violence services listing infidelity as a form of abuse: https://severnangelshousingandsupport.co.uk/is-infidelity-domestic-abuse-yes/

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago

Damn! Those Wapo commenters are on fire!

I find it incredibly naive of therapists to assume that just because their patients tell them they are regretful, shameful, depressed and anxiety ridden over their cheating, it has to be true. Here’s the thing; those kind of feelings would make you stop an affair. Who keeps doing something that makes you feel that bad?
No, what they are feeling is about being caught and exposed for who they really are, not the cheating itself. How idiotic it is for a person with a license to practice therapy to not even consider that possibility. Do they think their patients never lie? Smh.

Last edited 2 months ago by OHFFS
susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

It’s the same lie as some apologists say: oh he/she wasn’t having fun.

Bull, they were flying with the high, don’t tell me they weren’t having fun.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I meant to add, that of course they are feeling like shit now that they are exposed for they lying sacks that they are, but in the midst of the deceit they are flying.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Indeed.They are higher than an entire Rastafarian convention while they are duping you.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I suspect all those fiery, spot-on comments carry a bit of Chump Lady DNA in them. Or you could think of it like the eternal Olympic flame– CL was the one jogging with the torch that lit the rest of these “fires.” I’ve been involved in victim advocacy since college (cough, cough, i.e., back when dinosaurs roamed) and am pretty certain that CL was among the first to effectively advance and make viral the idea that cheating relates to domestic abuse. Vive la Revolution as they say.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago

Yep. I’ve been spreading the truth about cheaters, so I’m assuming other chumps have been doing so as well. I think it’s starting to sink in with more people.

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
2 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I wish I could get past the paywall to read them. Details? What’s the proportionality?

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

I haven’t read them all, so I don’t know what percentage are anti-cheater. I have noticed, though, that people seem to be less tolerant of cheater bullshit lately.
I think CL has had an effect. Enough chumps have spread her message that people are re-thinking it.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

They have a free option for this article, but likely it would require disabling of ad blockers. I get why they need to do it; but I just don’t like to enable ads.

Mr Wonderfuls Ex
Mr Wonderfuls Ex
2 months ago

Increased risk of shame. Are you freaking kidding me? Well, let’s stop convicting criminals, too, because maybe they will feel depressed and ashamed. Heaven forbid!

Shame serves a purpose. Shame occurs when you have a working conscience. It works when you know right from wrong and feel terrible for having made a poor choice. A drunk one night stand cheater might feel shame. But the dyed in the wool FWs we have dealt with absolutely do not. Shame stops someone from lying and cheating over and over and over. FWs feel too entitled to ever feel shame. They would rather blame others (so as to look better to others – have to manage that image!) for their cheating.

If klootzak ever does feel shame, I don’t care one bit. It’s shame brought about by his own repeated choices. G-d gave us free will. Sin is a choice. Abuse is a choice. Why anyone should give two shits about the alleged shame a FW “might” feel is beyond me. If there were justice in the world, there would be a cause of action under the law against cheaters with financial repercussions akin to wrongful death suits. Until then, all we even have is the outside chance that they might feel shame. And the RIC would like us all to save these timid forest creatures from even that. Once again the RIC says to hell with the people actually victimized by these assholes.

And no, CL, your work is far from done, sadly. But I am starting to feel a tiny bit of a shift.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago

In many cities they have stopped even arresting criminals, and surprise surprise crime is getting worse and worse very quickly. Who knew.

Why would we think cheaters and liars would be any different.

aeolian
aeolian
2 months ago

It’s disgusting to me that articles like this keep popping up like maggots on a rotting carcass, but I’m grateful for CL and the community for playing undertaker so we can continue to put the corrupt RIC to rest. With luck we will help add our voices to the cultural shift so we can keep cleaning up the rotten streets. It feels like an impossible task right now but maybe with enough reasonable people doing their part things will change.

I can’t read the article due to paywall and don’t know what the comments are like but I hear there’s a few voices of reason there. That’s good.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
1 month ago

This is brilliant Tracy! *You* need to be teaching at Brown, for God’s sake! Some day, the professionals are going to look back on all their foolishness and realize the damage they’ve done.

I was broken into pieces when I found this site, and your wisdom literally helped save my life. I am grateful that I could turn to you when my therapists were so willfully oblivious. Thank you for being such a smart voice for us chumps and making us all laugh through our tears.