Why Are Cheaters So Brazen?

cheater_out

Dear Chump Lady,

Why are cheaters so brazen?

Lori

***

Dear Lori,

Because we are such chumps.

Really, can you imagine anyone cheating on Vladimir Putin? Couldn’t happen. He’d have every room bugged, every phone wire tapped, and the Other Man would be trailed by the KGB and slowly poisoned by radioactive isotopes during his next overseas vacation.

If you want to go through life like Vladimir Putin, chance are you won’t get chumped. Don’t put your heart out there, don’t trust anyone, and spend your life spying on your friends and enemies. Not much of a life, if you ask me.

What you term brazenness is really just laziness.

It’s easy to fool someone who trusts you.

Brazenness would be cheating on Vladimir Putin and spray painting “I fucked your old lady” on the Kremlin sidewalks. Cheaters aren’t brazen — they are duplicitous. The “brazenness” is because they’re secure with a chump’s love.

As I say here, a big part of the high of cheating is the deceit. It’s no fun unless it’s a secret. Living a secret life, I suppose is brazen. That’s what makes it fun for them — ooh, I’m so edgy. I’m getting away with something! You aren’t the boss of me! Nannernannerbooboo!

Over time cheaters get sloppy.

Maybe that’s because they need more of a high-wire act to keep the high going. Maybe it’s because they get so used to you being a clueless chump that getting away with it is their normal. At some point, the house of cards falls down. And that’s when they’re going to appeal to your chumpiness, to trust them. Either the cheater gaslights you into doubting the evidence (don’t you trust what I tell you?), or they’ll make up some bullshit about how they loved you all along and are just confused right now.

Then you discover that brazenness was just entitlement. What? You aren’t going to keep this sweet cake gig going?

Funny how not brazen they are after exposure, with pleas not to tell the children or ruin their reputation, or tell the affair partner’s spouse. Suddenly it’s all about caution and rectitude and not doing anything rash. Funny how not brazen they are when you stop being a chump.

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LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
7 months ago

Brazen …. now there’s a word.

A bit like cheating on your husband, denying it when caught by your kids and then your FB Public Profile reveals that you have been in a relationship with your AP since before you actually got around to leaving the family home.

Basically, they are brazen because they can be, because they enjoy it and because they think that consequences are for other people … like Chumps.

LFTT

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

And brazen like preschoolers peeing in the pool and thinking no one sees the yellow plume encircling them.

thelongrun
thelongrun
7 months ago

Wait. There’s a yellow plume?😳 You’ve just rocked my world, Hell of a Chump!🤣🤣🤣

Love the choice of words and images, btw.😁

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
7 months ago

HoaC,

They think that we are too stupid to be able – eventually – join up the dots. And when we do join up the dots, they try and gaslight us into believing that “it’s not what it looks like.

I have a personal rule; if anyone ever tells me that “it’s not what it looks like” then I take it that it is exactly and precisely “what it looks like.”

LFTT

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

You mean that yellow cloud in the pool isn’t pee but Gatorade or an optical illusion?? Yeah, that’s the ticket (it’s Vintage SNL Day today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLRKhdQnd-k). 😀

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

As a lot, cheaters are pretty shallow. Pun intended.

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
7 months ago

Mine was brazen but I was just in the dark blind trusting him. He had his bag of sex toys hidden in our garage in one of our old backpacks. He told me he was out with his buddies or clients. He said he took so long at the supermarket because he lost his keys. He had to sleep in the spare room because he was restless and didn’t want to wake me. He said he adored and loved me. I believed it all. He cheated on me for most of our 25 year marriage. After DDay he blamed me, committed financial abuses and abandoned me and our daughter. He lives with the final OW in another town and we don’t hear from him unless he decides to send our daughter a plane ticket so she can visit. Brazen.

Conchobara
Conchobara
7 months ago

My story is similar. I trusted him so thoroughly. He had a secret storage unit for his toys. I was the one who had to sleep in another room (my home office) because he made me so feel guilty for my apnea disturbing his sleep. After DDay I went through the master bedroom that had become primarily his domain (since he said his ED meant we couldn’t be together physically so what was the point of even sharing the room — and yet I still loved and trusted him. UGH), I found unopened lingerie and viagra. Barely even hidden! BRAZEN, indeed.

He told me every day that he loved me, continued to buy me little gifts and sent me sweet texts. But he cheated for almost half of our 17-year marriage and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for his affairs. He handled all our finances but… I trusted him so I never questioned why we were always so financially strapped.

He now lives in a luxury apartment with two female “roommates” who are half his age, one of whom he was giving money to during our marriage (I don’t know in what capacity since he refuses to do discovery). AND he still sees his child mistress. He spends just a few hours each week with our daughter.

DrDr
DrDr
7 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

That sucks Conchobara! I didn’t know FWs can refuse to do discovery! Are you divorced yet? I am sending you and your daughter prayers and positive vibes ++++

Apidae
Apidae
7 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Conchobara, are you still in the process of divorcing him? If he ‘refuses to do discovery’ then the court should be issuing rulings he really won’t like (such as taking it as fact that he dissipated marital assets and can afford to support you). I hope your lawyer is on top of this.

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
7 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

I’m sorry that you had this BS too. It’s so painful to discover that you were living with someone who had another life. The brazen element is quite astounding. In my case my FW threw that back in my face after DDay. He said things like “what did you think I was doing?” as if I was so dumb to trust him. It’s like he couldn’t believe he got away with it for so long and he couldn’t believe I didn’t figure it out sooner. In a way he was right. I trusted and loved and hoped which left me vulnerable to a liar. I don’t blame myself but I have certainly changed my view on what people are capable of so it won’t happen again.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
7 months ago

Oh yeah. After DD, when I was searching for clues, first thing I found was viagra hidden all over the garage and the storage house.

CBN
CBN
7 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

My FW didn’t even try to hide it. When I asked him about the Viagra pills in the medicine cabinet, he told me his doctor prescribed them for “the health of his penis” after his prostatectomy. You know, to keep the blood flowing so it didn’t shrivel up and fall off or something. Like blood flow is stopped by a prostatectomy without the help of viagra. Yeah, the nerves may be damaged, but the blood is still flowing just fine. I believed him. SMH. So many huge red flags I ignored.

Shann
Shann
7 months ago

I am so sorry. That is a TON of deceit. It’s hard to wrap your head around
Big hugs and I hope you’re doing well without all that in your life now

portia
portia
7 months ago

Cheaters become adapt, over time and experience, at picking strong and useful “fixers”. They may even admit to “making mistakes in the past”. Then the lie/no lie kicks in, “I’ve learned from my mistakes and changed”. They’ve learned how to be sneaky and live a double life. They’ve changed some of their methods, so they are less likely to get caught. They become brazen when caught, trying to blame you, their job, their parents, their friends, ANYONE but themselves, for making a “mistake” which should be “forgiven”. They send chumps a message, “I need you” which means they need you to clean up and cover up their mess, so that “we” can get back on track, and cheater can cheat again. They are entitled to do as they please, and you are lucky to be their fixer.

They have an air of grandiosity, which proves to be their undoing. Eventually they run out of money, and friends and fixers. They age. They get tired of the double life because it takes so much energy. They get sloppy. But they never admit they were wrong, unless they are entering a faux apology. Can they fool a chump “one more time”?

Even the phrase “God may forgive, but I’m done” doesn’t get through to them. God asks for you to be truly contrite, and confess your sins, and go forth to sin no more, according to my understanding. Unlike Putin and the rest of us, God is supposed to be all knowing. God doesn’t accept lies or need an army of spies. Chumps learn to be more discerning, to recognize red flags, to build and enforce boundaries. Eventually, chumps spend their time and energy “fixing” the chinks in their own defense system.

Brazen indeed. The ones I have known in my life died alone and unhappy, they alienated everyone. The “fixer” in their family may step in and bury them and clean up the final mess. But they, too, are relieved that they won’t have to do that ever again, even if they won’t admit it. These FW’s are exhausting!

Curlychump
Curlychump
7 months ago
Reply to  portia

Cheaters are certainly brazen users, I concur! My ex used me for my paycheck, and now that he’s back on his feet, JustaWife (she was always “just a friend,” now they’re married) is his Nanny McBangmaid so he can do as little parenting as she’ll let him get away with.

Name Changer
Name Changer
7 months ago
Reply to  portia

This fixer does polite at weddings but not burials!

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 months ago

Unless they’re one of the cheaters who just turn and walk away, leaving crushed lives, hopes and dreams in their wake.

Brazen? Nah. Just self-centered, narcissistic, mean, shallow and, in my case, a scared, (of his kids reactions) hollowed-out shell of a human being who didn’t want to face what he had done.

Hurt1
Hurt1
7 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Yup, my cheater did just that…just turned & walked away leaving crushed lives, hopes and dreams in his wake. Just yesterday at my therapist’s appt I brought up that at my age, 59, I hope someday to have a companion but as much as I loved being married it’ll never happen again. Not only am I devastated that I will have just my income in retirement, no way can I ever trust enough to marry & comingle assets. It’s painful knowing that trust can never happen again.

MightyWarrior
MightyWarrior
7 months ago
Reply to  Hurt1

Hurt1, I was dumped for the exgf from school at age 59 (no children, not even a pet). It is very hard to recover from that. I’m exactly 4 years out and the ex is much on my mind at the moment. He was brazen in so many ways, but also snivelling and cowardly. He spent a couple of hours verbally destroying every thing I had achieved in my life, even down to our holidays which meant so much, to me at least. Then he left. I discovered the affair a few weeks later. And, later, the extent of the financial dishonesty. I dread to think how much in marital assets the exgf was given over the years. I had to lead on the divorce and resolution of the financials. He was as obstructive as he could be (and we are both lawyers). Therapy twice a week (now down to once a week). Working two paid jobs and two volunteer roles. I expect to be working to age 70 (our mortgage would have been paid off in 2024, but I had to extend to buy him out of the house). And once he’d got his cash, which really was all he was after, off he went, into the sunset as did his family. He never wanted to come back (I asked but only until I discovered the affair). Being able to be no contact is a blessing. I’ve still got a way to go to recover from the real psychological damage that his behaviour towards me caused. I was asked on a date by a lovely widower a few weeks ago. I made an excuse because I’m not ready to take a risk and I don’t believe I ever will be. As for forgiveness? I’m comfortable with not forgiving him, his family, or his flying monkeys.

DrDr
DrDr
7 months ago
Reply to  Hurt1

Hurt1, I feel this. I am not divorced yet. When I reach that stage, I am open to a new partner. What about a prenup? I do think there is hope! Anne Lamont married in her 60s. It can happen! Keep hope alive.

Magnolia
Magnolia
7 months ago
Reply to  Hurt1

I have hope that a good companionship, even a committed one, where both parties feel seen, supported, loved, sexually satisfied, etc is possible without commingling assets.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
7 months ago

I wish my FW was brazen instead of confused and forgetful. I had to speculate about every possible explanation, set up boundaries and expectations which were only slightly met and finally I pulled the plug. I moved out, I filed and he never protested. He suggested we could be friends and maybe get back together in a couple years. But he was handed the divorce he wanted and didn’t have to lift a finger. Easy for him. I felt like I was cutting off my own arm.

Shann
Shann
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yes I agree
They are weak and immature and absolutely wait for the hard stuff to be done by us

Conchobara
Conchobara
7 months ago
Reply to  Shann

100% — I had to file for the divorce even though he cheated. I had to beg and plead for him to move out. He doesn’t generally reach out about seeing our daughter, I do.* They are lazy toddlers.

*I have to because I work in an office two days a week and she’s still on summer break and I don’t want her home alone. But when she starts school, if he doesn’t drive his visits, too bad.

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
7 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

I leave the parenting visits to him as well and now that he lives out of town and my daughter is 17, she just works out a visit with him every now and again and they leave me out of it. In the one hand that’s great, but in the other hand it’s me being at the whim of whatever he wants yet again. Extreme assholes like this are also above the system. In the country I’m living in you can go to court but good luck having anything enforced. This is also brazen!

ChumpedForANewerModel
ChumpedForANewerModel
7 months ago

I wouldn’t say that they are brazen. They enjoy their game and then they make the decision to be careless. In my case, the FW decided that he needed some triangulation and wanted the pick me dance to commence. I think that is one of the reasons I found out about his cheating.
Chumps are a kind and trusting type of person. We believe in long term relationships, we believe in marriage, we believe in family, we trust, we address problems and so on. We think our partner does to until you find that that they don’t. In my case, the FW left clues. Then we got into the RIC for a few weeks. I think he just got sloppy so he could get some centrality from others. He got some of that from the typical RIC counselor who wanted me to take half the blame. Cheater meanwhile is just smiling and probably think “See, I am right, it is your fault Chump!!!” . I am sure Schmoopie was engaged in her half of the dance to win the prize. Thankfully, I did not buy into the RIC very long and I decided to serve divorce papers rather than cake. The only way to win at this game was not to play. Schmooopie has her prize. She got herself a guy 32 years older than her and they just have so much in common. I got my freedom and a great relationship with my son plus a very good group of friends. I think I won.
I started dating a fellow chump early in the Spring and it is continuing to go well. I have learned what reciprocity is about and I think he is learning from me as well. He has been divorced much longer than I have been but has also had a few bad relationships since.

Lisa
Lisa
7 months ago

It’s not that it’s necessarily fun for them… many had to live with secrets as children in their dysfunctional families. It’s a way to recreate their past – the feeling is familiar, and in some strange way, feels normal to them. “Repetition compulsion” is a very real phenomenon. We seek out those who will help us recreate feelings from our youth. On the flip side, those who you refer to as chumps are recreating their earlier messages, too. We repeat the feeling that we are unlovable, not good enough, etc. Our radar subconsciously chooses someone who will reject us, or emotionally neglect us, or bully us, etc. Whatever you experienced in your childhood.
9 times out of 10 this is the case.
We are not chumps as much as we are doing what feels normal and familiar. We become healthy when we understand this phenomenon and work to override those subconscious feelings.

CarolinaChump
CarolinaChump
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

Thank you Lisa for putting THE TRUTH of it in a nutshell. I’m 68. Two years ago my spouse of 34 years admitted (I had to drag the truth out of him) to adultery the entire marriage. With men no less. I’m a straight country girl, and now know that I HAVE TO WORK ON MYSELF, lose the fear of saying what I need, let go of the fear of being rejected for simply claiming my power, MY truth. Not having competent protectors as a child created my “need to please”, created my “fear of abandonment”, and like a magnet, I was attracted to the covet narc i married. Classic. There are no unicorns. It takes guts of steel to get out. Thank you Tracy for being the light in the dark with your blog. I will be forever grateful 4U💪

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

While obviously we are somewhat products of our past, we don’t have to recreate our past. We’re not merely creatures of instinct doing what the ancestors did. We can actually have moral understandings and every person who cheats KNOWS what they are doing is wrong, in various ways. That’s why they hide it. If they understand enough of what they’re doing to know they have to hide it, which they spend a lot of time and effort on, they can work to develop actual morals and empathy and learn to say no to their worst impulses. As for chumps, chumps tend to be what a “mark” is to a criminal….a good-natured person who would probably never do anything bad to someone else and can’t envision someone doing it to them, and who is therefore, easy to lie to and take advantage of. A potential victim. There is a very strong connection to me, of cheating and criminal behavior in general…..I think they stem from the same disordered roots, expressed through different processes. I think naivete and trust are the biggest part of becoming a chump. Staying a chump voluntarily through recon, and taking back a cheater, etc….that to me is where the bigger FOO problems might be found. But people can overcome those too. We have to emphasize the ability of people to choose their behavior and what the consequences should be, of bad choices.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

FW didn’t have to have secrets as a kid, he was an entitled prince who never had a job or chores. He refused to accept blame for anything even as a toddler. He lied because everyone thought he was a golden boy and he knew golden boys don’t fuck around on their wives, so he lied to get what he wanted and keep his image. Even if we cared why they do what they do, all that shit about FWs’ childhoods is just some psychologist’s excuse to sell a book based on a couple case studies.

Conchobara
Conchobara
7 months ago

Exactly! I hate people giving FWs a pass based on their FOO. Yes, some had trauma, but many didn’t. In our case, FW was a golden boy, the much-wanted child of his parents after years of trying to get pregnant. He was spoiled and well-loved. Nice middle-class family. His dad took out a second mortgage on his home because FW had to go to USC. His mom did everything for him before I came along.

In our case, I was the one with childhood trauma. Divorced parents, SA by a relative, grew up barely living above poverty. And I turned out to be the empathetic, reliable, hard-working one.

Dontfeellikedancin
Dontfeellikedancin
7 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Conchobara… Living proof that character is a thing 💜

thelongrun
thelongrun
7 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Conchobara, good on you! You rock.😊

Sunrise
Sunrise
7 months ago

If compared side by side, anyone and everyone would say my childhood was worse than Douchecanoe’s. Yet I didn’t fuck around, lie and lead a double life for years.

Doingme
Doingme
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

Lisa, there are so many therapists who add insult to injury by blaming the victims of the character disordered cluster B abusers. Seriously, you need to understand trauma bonding and the breadth and depth of abuse which is layered and complex. Therapy speak from a text book doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

I agree with CL. And I disagree that FWs learned secret keeping in their FOO. I’m sure some did but most are just people who feel entitled and the secrecy is their way to keep cake coming.

I didn’t seek out abuse. I believed klootzak was who he said he was. I was lied to. I didn’t knowingly choose a cheater to replay some scenario from my FOO. My own father passed away when I was 8 and my mother never remarried.

I feel like this is all going down the unraveling the skein rabbit hole. IDGAF the why behind klootzak leading a double life and being a lying cheater instead of an honest spouse. The fact is, he chose to lie and cheat on me day in, day out for years. As soon as I was able to do so, I told him to GTFOH. Let klootzak go have some psycho babble with a therapist about his issues. It means nothing to me where he chooses to take his life from here on out. He chose to fire me from that job when he picked up OW. As CL so aptly put it, my thing to address is “What next?” And that is exactly what I am focused on.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

I grew up in a great family with loving parents who I always knew loved me still love me and have been married for over sixty years. I was trying to recreate that. I just didn’t have the partner I thought I had to achieve that end. I will say that perhaps I was projecting my values onto him where they didn’t actually exist.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

I would also guess he was expertly mirroring your values back at you like the diabolical, shape-shifting, soulless freak that he was. The FBI’s 50-50 history of being able to spot liars despite years of training in criminal psychology and methods of deceit might argue that liars and frauds are pretty committed to their craft. Don’t blame yourself for the crime of being healthy, basically honest and unable to wrap your poor simple, honest head around why someone would expend so much energy lying and faking. If you’re not crazy, it’s hard to understand people who are.

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

You accept responsibility for yourself, not them. I’m not there to create what is normal for them, I am not giving into the concept of shared responsibility. They are responsible for themselves and their lives.

Apidae
Apidae
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

Your argument is that cheaters don’t have affairs because they enjoy them, and they’re all driven to these unfun affairs by childhood trauma?

Not every bad thing an adult does is “repetition compulsion”.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Apidae

It’s not clear what comment you’re responding to. In any case, do you think people commit evil and cruelty because they’re happy campers? Does it matter what the reason is if the recipient didn’t deserve it? I would just argue that understanding motive doesn’t equate to amnesty. I can both understand the “tragic childhood trauma” of offenders and still spare them no consequences for their crimes. “Understanding” isn’t always bleeding heart. It can be counter-predatory: a way of preemptively recognizing red flags or guessing the next move of an offender the better to protect oneself against it.

Sunrise
Sunrise
7 months ago
Reply to  Apidae

The only trauma my uncle suffered was getting drafted for Viet Nam but then rejected for a medical condition before basic training. Other than that, his childhood was remarkably uneventful and he had an honorable and well respected father. He cheated on his wife for years while serving on the church board and passing judgement on many in our large extended family. He dumped her when the youngest of their five children started grade school. Trauma? Hardly. Narcissism and entitlement? Definitely.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa

I don’t agree. Sometimes, sure maybe; too much blame shift there.

Folks get conned, it doesn’t make the victim of the con responsible.

seekay
seekay
7 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I don’t think Lisa is victim blaming at all–i think she in in the untangling part of the process, so everyone should cut her some slack. I came up with so many reasons my ex was a fucking asshole and i thought i was brilliant because i realized he was always angry at women because his mother never left his asshole father. that was some solid spackle for a while–and i blamed myself, too–for my fucked up family. It’s just one step on the way out of a very black, dark and disorienting cave. —the one flash of light in that cave that i found —-while actually searching for books on anger management for my ex to read—–was the book “why does he do that”. once i read that—it rang true in every cell of my body.

Nancy M
Nancy M
7 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I think it would be useful to know a prospective partner’s early trauma issues and whether they have done any recovery work. It occcurs to me we could use this information to determine if they are capable of a healthy relationship so that we can avoid sinking too much time in unhealthy people. Its not my job to fix people, just to intelligently sift through them.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I agree. Statistics have it that, while abusers certainly come from predictably dysfunctional backgrounds, victims come from all walks. Not to say previous trauma can’t complicate escape for victims of relationship abuse but the theory that all domestic abuse victims suffered from pre-abuse low self esteem or are subconsciously “looking for Mr./Ms. Goodbar” or “reenacting” has been overturned. You wouldn’t know it to listen to certain self-help gurus, CSAT therapists or RIC mavens who cling to the dusty old assumption because it serves the “two to tango” or “split blame” approach whereby they can remove a portion of responsibility for abuse from the perpetrator and dump the overage onto victims. I suspect that kind of abuser-coddling/victim blaming is a profit model because abusers generally won’t pay therapists who heap the full blame on abusers or who call abuse “abuse.”

The old “psychological deficiency” theory has been attributed to “misapplication of contingency” on the part of helping professionals: the assumption that the generally effed up state of victims following abuse means they were like that prior abuse. Then conclusions about victims’ participation in abuse are drawn from the false assumption. But DV expert Lenore Walker noted that victims may actually skew towards higher than average pre-abuse self esteem. Statistically, more had careers prior to abuse than average. What this suggests is that abusers vary in their taste in prey with some preferring “big game”– confident, independent, healthy partners. I don’t know if this is for the fun of breaking down a challenging target or because abusers think the confidence will rub off or that a strong person might “save” them or inspire them to be better people. But disordered people are often expert mirrorers so they’ll project whatever traits a healthy person prefers, at least at first. You could probably argue that abusers’ tendency to mirror the values of the people they’re courting makes victims think the relationship is a “reenactment” of the victims normal childhood.

But I also agree that abusive reenactment compulsion is a thing– for abusers. Probably for witting APs as well. Affairs may be nothing more than reenactment palloozas for cheaters. I had the sense that FW in my case would swing back and forth between seeking an alternative to his dysfunctional parent model to seeking out toxic mommy doppelgangers. In any case, I couldn’t have been more different than his mother while the AP was an eerie dead ringer. I’m guessing that when mirroring me (sort of “wearing my skin”) didn’t bring him the perfect fantasy life, state of bliss and escape from himself he projected and the empathic, responsible good husband/dad disguise he’d been wearing in the marriage started feeling tight in the crotch, he went back to the familiar. It was probably partly for the relief of being able to take off his suffocating mask and be the full blown man-splaining narc he’d been raised to be. But when the familiar turned out to be just as toxic, unhealthy and messed up as it always was, he swung back to the alternative again and tried to claim that this was the “real him” and the blustering, sleazy, shark-eyed narc was an “act” to get approval from the AP.

Maybe the “reenactment” was about pretending to be different people for kibble– being a soulless onion with no baseline character. Who knows.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago

It’s just another way of saying…..we brought it on ourselves.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Yes, you transvected your fuckwit out of his pants and skivvies and levitate him into the loins of a barfly named Amber. Shame on you for not using your superhuman telepathatic powers to end war and poverty.

Cooper
Cooper
7 months ago

Two people sit down to play a game. Both agree on the rules and one disregards the rules to “win”. It’s that simple. Not very complicated.

Shann
Shann
7 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I was just loving the way I love and parenting and working and living- then this.
So. Yeah♥️

UXworld
UXworld
7 months ago

Here’s a summary of today’s column in song, with sincerest apologies to Patsy Cline:

Brazen, they’re brazen and feeling so giddy
They’re brazen, brazen and feeling so high
They think the fun is in living in secret
And it’s easy to mislead a chump with a lie

Shallow, why are they stupid and shallow?
Gladly playing the entitled fool?

Oh, brazen until their betrayal is discovered
Then swiftly they’re blamin’ and loudly disclaimin’
Amazing how that shit goes

Brazen until their betrayal is discovered
Then swiftly they’re blamin’ and loudly disclaimin’
Amazing how that shit goes

bread&roses
bread&roses
7 months ago
Reply to  UXworld

Shallow, why are they stupid and shallow?
Gladly playing the entitled fool?

The reframe refrain the world’s been waiting for! Love this.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  UXworld

Thunderous applause.

Goodfriend
Goodfriend
7 months ago
Reply to  UXworld

Another gem, UXworld!

Orlando
Orlando
7 months ago

“You aren’t the boss of me! Nannernannerbooboo!”
That’s exactly my ex. Emotionally stunted like a 14 yr old. I regret that I took on the “mom” role with him (because he wouldn’t adult beyond having a job). I see him now as a fleshy sucker attaching himself to whomever will help him through life. It makes me laugh when OW herself was “brazen” that she won him. Congratulations! Madam Cooch, you won yourself a Man-Child! I actually thought she would be smarter than me & leave his draining ass (because no kids) but nope, she’s determined to show they are “soul mates” to the world.
With no help from him, of course haha. Pass the popcorn 🍿

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

That is what I wonder about sometimes. I can understand why fws whore stuck with him, she had nothing and didn’t want to work anymore. She wasn’t going anywhere.

But a woman with options and you see them put up with a pile of shit? But then again, I did it for a while. It took me about three ish months to figure out how lucky I was to be out of that mess. I think many times, and certainly in my case; I didn’t really accept the red flags of the year of discard until after it was over. I in short time was so glad he left. I remember thinking I don’t have any regrets; I was the best spouse I knew how to be, and since I didn’t make the choice to destroy it; and I knew how well I treated him, no regrets.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

“Because we are such chumps. It’s easy to fool someone who trusts you.” and “Maybe that’s because they need more of a high-wire act to keep the high going.

I am old so I think back to the 60s Paul Revere song Kicks. Pretty much says it all, I think that one was about drugs, but highs are highs I assume. Never indulged so I don’t know.

This is why I always give the B of D to the chumps on being the better person. As stated folks like Putin don’t get chumped easily. Chumps are generally trusting and busy with the responsibilities of life, so they are easy to dupe. And for a cheating con artist, I imagine that does get a little dull.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
7 months ago

Some have more trouble with the brazen or think that once you find out you will just be ok with it. Mine kept up the cake until I found out and then immediately left me for Schmoopie. He seemed to think I would just accept that as the logical thing as she was clearly a better match for him. At the time I thought it must be because either I was too awful or Schmoopie was really all that. Now I think he just didn’t have the energy to continue the charade and go deeper under ground. What I know for sure, that I absolutely didn’t recognize at the time, is that I was lucky he left and didn’t try to hang around or hoover or any such nonsense. Seven years out from Dday, six years out from divorce, I am so much happier, freer and sure of myself than I ever was while married to him. He did me a favor by just leaving but I don’t want to give him too much credit for that.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
7 months ago

“Funny how not brazen they are after exposure, with pleas not to tell the children or ruin their reputation, or tell the affair partner’s spouse. Suddenly it’s all about caution and rectitude and not doing anything rash. Funny how not brazen they are when you stop being a chump.”

For real. But my FW thought he was so clever and that I was so trusting and in love with him ….and stupid… that he got MORE BRAZEN. After leaving me for AP coworker, he spent the next couple of weeks mocking me. Laughing at me at all the things I could do nothing about. He really thought I would sit on my hands for a year and just be stuck.

But he forgot that although I’d been a stay at home mom for 9 years at that point, I was formerly in sales. And I was accustomed to doing a lot of research and cold calling. I could find anything. And so when FW bragged that AP coworker’s husband lived in Germany (he’s a German) and there was no way I could find him — the gauntlet was thrown. LOL

AP’s German husband had a super common German name (like a “James Smith” name for Germans) so there was a million of them. But I did some digging and clever use of the news (there had been a train accident in Germany and I knew AP’s sons were visiting their dad there) so I told FW I hoped her sons were ok (that was sincere!). And FW replied that it was in the same town where they were but luckily they weren’t on the train. Thanks FW — and I found AP’s husband that day. And reached out to AP’s husband and let him know what happened with his wife (they were separated but not divorced) and FW. And that FW lived with his sons and if he needed anything to feel free to reach out.

And then when AP finally got her divorce about a year later…. she didn’t get any spousal support under the state law (because even though she was separated, she was commiting adultery and not entitled to spousal support LOL). My attorney actually volunteered to look it up to find out that AP didn’t get spousal support LOL

When FW realized I’d been in touch with her husband — boy did he get mad. And learned to shut the f*** up.

Brazen? They are idiots

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
7 months ago

Agreed. Klootzak’s biggest mistake was to threaten me with divorce and assume I would keep cowing to his threats. Instead, I started to research the law and gather the evidence to sink his battleship. In the course of research, I found LACGAL and finally leaned in not only in actions but in my heart. I was no longer preparing for him possibly leaving me; I was preparing to leave him first because this relationship is not acceptable to me.

He thought I would never figure out who schmoopie was (the main one, anyway). I made an alternate social media profile, looked at his profile, and in less than two minutes found that he had only one “friend” who had my standard profile completely blocked. A person who I had never met before and didn’t know from Adam’s offf ox had me blocked. 🤔 It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. Once I turned my research spotlight on that person, the dots all connected. It was like that moment in The Matrix when Neo sees the code behind everything. And then I knew where the bodies were buried, so to speak. I can’t even claim I’m Sherlock Holmes or anything. They just really aren’t that bright. Had she not blocked my profile for no apparent reason, I would never have looked at her.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
7 months ago

MrWonderful’sEx — that was still mighty clever of you! But yes…FWs and APs tend to be dim-witted. That’s why I find their “brazen” behavior so ridiculous.

FYI
FYI
7 months ago

This is so mighty!

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
7 months ago
Reply to  FYI

Thank you FYI

Doingme
Doingme
7 months ago

Lazy, yes. I believe most want to believe they are far more intelligent than the chump. The duping is having to one up and yet they always trade down.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago

I honestly don’t know what to make of it. My ex got very sloppy and risky in the end. In the first years he would always be very cautious and just keep it abroad (while traveling for work) with women he didn’t even know really..nor did I. So it was basically impossible for me to find out. The last 2 years he was having an affair with a mutual friend. She was in my bed, in my home, babysitting our kid, fucked in hotels in the city we live in, they went on trips (masked as work trips). Talk about brazen. Or was that just plain stupid? Sloppy? Wanting to get caught in some way? Thought he had me for life anyway, because we were married with a kid? Then why is he (2 years after D day) still trying to convince me it was the biggest mistake of his life and he wants only me? Like, what the fuck. But isn’t all that just untangling the skein? They are not brazen, they are fucking narcissistic assholes, that’s how I would call it.

bread&roses
bread&roses
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

My ex kept trying, too. Don’t fall for it. He doesn’t mean it. If you push the cycle (and the cheater’s cognitive dissonance) to the limit, he will eventually stop trying to Hoover you because he’ll make such a mess and it’ll get so ugly that he won’t want to face you (a/k/a himself) ever again. Abuse is a downward spiral. So much better to go NC because if you manage to reach that point of no return with a cheater, you will suffer some serious consequences yourself. I wish I could rewind to when I left after dday1 and dday2. I was so mighty and truly believed I was done with that FW, especially the second time. I made the mistake of leaving the door a crack open, and came back for dday3. That experience almost killed me — no exaggeration.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago
Reply to  bread&roses

I won’t. I was in wreckonciliation for over a year and I’ve learned my lesson.

Trix
Trix
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

He has buyers remorse… Caveat emptor. Lawyers+1/2 finances+child support+possible spousal support=I should have kept CAF in the dark about her scummy “mutual friend/babysitter! It was better before for him. The betrayer. He thinks he can trick you again. Don’t let him.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

Because he was able to do stuff for however long while traveling….he figured you just didn’t notice or that he was a clever dog and he could just do this at home too. Really, I can’t imagine finding out they were in my bed, that is just insulting….a deliberate insult. It goes down a spectrum from thinking you don’t notice so they start upping their thrill quotient all the way to the end of the chart putting it so smack in your face it’s just a massive insult and disrespect. What he did was gross disrespect to you. Even though you obviously didn’t know what was happening at the time, he was deliberately doing things that were a disrespect and humiliation to you. I hope you never consider getting back with this FW. Screwing other people in the marital home is the absolute worst to me, it’s so insulting, there is no forgiveness of shit like this.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I agree. It is one of the worst transgressions and just plain insulting and disrespectful, like you said. It’s hard to wrap your mind around someone being so careless and mean and just SO selfish. How could someone even have sex in the marital bed and not like think about it throughout the act and feel any guilt? That’s beyond my comprehension. He even had a threesome in my bed in our family home..with this OW, she brought a friend once. While I was away on vacation with our daughter (1 yo at the time), 2 months before our wedding, planning it with an infant.. he couldn’t come with us because he had to “work”.

bread&roses
bread&roses
7 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

“It goes down a spectrum from thinking you don’t notice so they start upping their thrill quotient all the way to the end of the chart putting it so smack in your face it’s just a massive insult and disrespect.” Yes. And then on top of this, they are brazen enough to devalue, gaslight, project and blameshift. And then when you’ve had enough (whether after a dday or because the relationship has become unbearable), they have the gall to Hoover you and con you into therapy/reconciliation. So many fucking lies at the chump’s expense.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

“Then why is he (2 years after D day) still trying to convince me it was the biggest mistake of his life and he wants only me?”
Hoovering–“How dare you take away my Plan B?”
Kibbles–He checks back just to make sure you are thinking of him, that he’s central to you, that he might be able to drop back in for a while and snarf up a vat of ego kibbles.
One thing you can do to stop this behavior is cut off any avenue he has to spew this nonsense. That probably means directing him to use email only and to phone/text you only in case of emergency. Block any calls/texts while kids are with you. That minimizes the window in which he can contact you. Ignore anything that doesn’t have to do with kids.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

You are 100% right. He’s trying to get kibbles from me in any way he can. It usually doesn’t work, but sometimes he manages to piss me off and gets a reaction from me. It is partially my fault, because I don’t know how to completely block/ignore him and keep it 100% about our daughter. And he also has this sneaky way how to make any random conversation about parenting into something else.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

I read some research somewhere on how many folks go back and f*** their exes and the numbers were astonishing. Don’t fall for it. He hasn’t changed and he’s hoping he can put another con on you.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

Confused AF — are you still married? Sounds like FW is just trying to stop divorce, save his money and keep cake eating. If you’re not already, get divorced ASAP. He’s still cheating. He will keep cheating. He is just too lazy and cheap to deal with divorce and paying to support an ex-wife and kid. Get free and go as grey rock/no contact as possible.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago

No.. we’re not officially divorced yet, but we’ve already separated our finances/settled months ago, so that part is done. And we haven’t lived together in over a year. But he’s still trying to hoover me back.
He’s not cheating or let me say – he cannot be cheating on me, because we’re not together. 🙂 And I am so glad I can say that. I don’t give a shit what or who he’s doing. Not my business anymore.

Apidae
Apidae
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

The answer to your question is that he’s hoping you’ll feel sorry enough to fuck him and/or forgive him. No contact except for parenting discussions is the way!

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago
Reply to  Apidae

Exactly, that’s all there is. And if I would ever give in, he would turn back into the real douchebag in a matter of days. I’ve learned my lesson.

Kim
Kim
7 months ago

It is interesting how the behavior changes once the power dynamic shifts. When my ex thought I wanted the marriage he was all kinds of nasty to force me to rugsweep his whore ex gf.

When he realized I was going to dump him all that changed
Now he was begging, sending flowers, crying. But boy, when he thought he had the emotional upper hand he was a nasty fuck.

Glad that shitty toupee wearing piece of shit is gone.

Viktoria
Viktoria
7 months ago

This was my exact experience. I trusted, he was duplicitous. After I publicly exposed it all on D-day, he gaslit me (and everyone else we know) for a year. After I told him the gig is up and I filed, he pleaded with me not to be so quick to “lawyer up”. I’m sure his “array of Jennifers” lifestyle is not quite as fun now that it is no longer a big secret. There’s no longer an unawares, duped wife appliance waiting trustingly for him back home in the kitchen.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

Yeah, it’s not secret. It doesn’t involve a triangle where he’s almost certainly lying to 2 (or more) women. It isn’t a way to tell anyone who has expectations of him “you aren’t the boss of me.”

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago

Brazen = “bold and without shame.”

That seems to fit my ex’s behavior.

I think it’s brazen to bring the AP to your house so you can have sex in your marital bed. I think it’s brazen to lie to your spouse (of 35 years) that you’re hiking/fishing by yourself in one state (a drive away) when you actually fly to another state (supposedly using cash) so that you can hike/fish with the AP. And then you send your chump a cropped photo of the fish you caught. I think it’s brazen to repeatedly visit a hotel near home with the AP. I suppose they came and went at different times, but still, that’s risky behavior.

I think it’s brazen to lie, lie, lie, lie….

Was it my chumpiness that made it easy? I suppose. I trusted. But as CL says, “It’s easy to fool someone who trusts you.” So, call me a fool. That said, if we don’t trust our spouses, who can we trust?

My ex gave me no indication that he was lying. But when he confessed on D-Day, all the lies spilled out, and I felt stupid/clueless/foolishg. More than that, I felt that the ground I was standing on gave way. Everything went wobbly.

Then, like most chumps, my mind started to scan the past for all the clues I had missed as if doing so would make the ground firmer and help me make sense of the terrain.

Is piecing all this stuff together helpful? I don’t know. At some point, I think I decided to walk away. Perhaps that’s “meh,” dropping the rope, Marie Kondo-ing the entire shebang.

p.s. Suggestion for a Friday challenge. How do you define “meh,” or what does “meh” mean to you?

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Meh for me was when I stopped sniffing the cologne bottle he left behind and hunting for pics of him in a photo album. It took a few years actually but I was young and stupid then. I don’t even know where any of that is now even if I still have it.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Ya know…..one thing about that ex was that he always smelled AMAZING….spicy and warm….just like fresh baked bread. Maybe it was all the yeast infections……

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Yes I realized now when you say you feel “grounded” its literal. Like you are firmly attached to the ground. When you dont feel grounded you feel like you are wobbly and floating. Its an unsettling feeling. Also the term,”the rug has been pulled out from under you”, again its a feeling, but its literal. You feel like you are falling and unsteady. Not pleasant. And that feeling can last weeks.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Btw, although I was chumped, I’ve decided to trust again.

I don’t want to let my ex steal from me my ability to be in a trusting relationship. Sure I might get hurt again, but I’m wiser now and will (fingers crossed) minimize my chances of being chumped or otherwise severely injured again.

Of course, the one person I will never trust again is my ex. Recently he wrote to me about some financial issue and told me that I’d just have to accept his “word.” 🤣

bread&roses
bread&roses
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

You have to, do you? What an entitled fuckwit.

damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
7 months ago

brazen. why?

because they have an inflated sense of self

because it’s a fantasy and they live inside their heads

because they’re mean

because it’s exciting (to them)

because it feels like they’re interesting

because they can

because chumps trust like a normal person*

*will i trust again? i doubt it.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
7 months ago

Why wouldn’t you believe everything your partner says? You love and trust him/her. Why would you doubt? I didn’t think a thing the first time he shucked work in the middle of the day to go out of town to get our foreign car repaired. Or the next time. When it got to be every week, and when OW started smirking at me in the hallways, and I found an earring in the car – then I got suspicious. Was I stupid? Nope. Loving spouse here. It is easy to steal from an honest person. We tend to think the best of other people. Will my next SO have the same trust? Nope. There won’t be another SO.

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
7 months ago

My FW was…was…was and is…just a stupid idiot. He has more personal problems than any human should have, (alcoholism, drug addiction, porn addiction, voyeurism, diagnosed personality disorder, etc), so ‘brazen’ was a natural offshoot of who he is. His narcissism is such an integral part f him that I became almost numb to it, and when he finally got sloppy-lazy and got caught in his cheating, I truly don’t think he felt it was wrong.

Oh, he was friggin’ upset that there were consequences, okay, but nothing in him recognized that he had slipped outside the boundaries of everything he was entitled to.

Brazen? Brazen happened after he was caught. Brazen is the thousand lies he told, one after another, in all the months until he moved out. Brazen s literally getting on your knees to your catatonic wife the morning after DDay and swearing that everything she knows or thinks she knows is the absolute sum total of what happened — Brazen is knowing that it was only the tip of a colossal iceberg. Brazen is trying to convince your chump that you cheated because you felt sorry for the OW. Brazen is pleading for your Chump not to message the OW’s husband because “it could really hurt their children!”

Brazen is re-installing the Hang Outs messaging app so you can continue communications.

But all of my FW’s ‘Brazen’ is just an offshoot of one simple fact: he is a self-centered, self-entitled idiot with a wildly overblown sense of his own worth.

And that’s never going to change.

bread&roses
bread&roses
7 months ago
Reply to  HunnyBadger

“Brazen s literally getting on your knees to your catatonic wife the morning after DDay and swearing that everything she knows or thinks she knows is the absolute sum total of what happened”

Ugh, how many other chumps here had this exact experience?

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago

” It’s easy to fool someone who trusts you.”

This is the saddest, most accurate sentence.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen Reddy

Yep, I believe that is pretty much the issue with most liars. It is not the fault of the person who trusts, it is normal to trust your spouse. What is not normal is to betray the one who trusts you. Gee, tapping my chin, who has the issues the trusting person or the lying dirt bag.

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

And they betray our trust without missing a night’s sleep. I don’t get that. How do you give your wife a kiss when you return home after being with the AP? How do you eat a dinner the chump lovingly made and pretend you were working late? How do you accept her sympathy and not feel sick inside? How do you continue to have sex with your wife when you’re boffing the AP? How does the guilt not kill you?

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

I have been thinking of an example of brazen from my fw. I think the best one I can remember is when he rolled up to my house as I was tending my garden. He had tossed me away over six months prior. He got out of his car squatted down and said “I know you went out with that guy and he is too old for you”. This from a jackass who lied and betrayed me for years.

I handled it well, but that was ballzy. He is lucky I didn’t use my garden shears to castrate him.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago

They do it because they CAN, they usually have some leeway in time/place as an excuse – working late, business trips, deployments, weekend conference, etc. They’re good, usually practiced liars, they have a spouse who trusts them, and who couldn’t even imagine doing such a thing. They probably have access to some money to fund it that they can hide – for a while. None of these people seem to think beyond the immediate crotch twitch, so they don’t really factor in getting caught. Most of them REALLY do seem surprised-shocked to get caught even though it’s inevitable for most at some point. A lot of them think if they do certain things like earn a good living, or don’t neglect the kids/house, that they are entitled to eff around…have the occasional “mistake” that they “regret”. I think a lot of them had a pretty active sex life, prob cheating too, even before they meet their victim in CN, so it’s not a big thing for many of them to jump the fence, esp if it’s with an ex. The bottom line is that they can IMAGINE doing it, they WANT to do it (even if they use drink/drugs as an excuse), they have the MEANS to do it, they can GET AWAY WITH IT, and they can EXCUSE it in themselves. Means, motive, opportunity….and EXCUSE. They all have at least 1 excuse, and we’re supposed to forgive them anyway. If they think of getting caught at all, they think they’ll be forgiven and life will gone as they want.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
7 months ago

The first thing Jackass said (after denying his affair with a MOW) is “You can’t tell anybody.” Big coward who couldn’t risk his parents and the neighbors knowing he was future faking with a married woman who had 3 kids.

Finally Free Chump
Finally Free Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Mine asked me to agree that we wouldn’t “disparage” each other to mutual friends…that was brazen. Me finally telling people the truth of my life with FW wasn’t disparaging anyone, it was sharing my story. Sorry not sorry if that made FW look like the POS he really is

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
7 months ago

On the spectrum of cheaters, some are cruel and sadistic. Evil. They will rub their nasty deeds in a chump’s face, hoping the chump will crumple to the floor, maybe even commit suicide. Sick fucks. May they roast in hell.
Don’t allow an abuser to define you. ✌️

2xchump🚫again
2xchump🚫again
7 months ago

Just reading all these comments is eye opening that I am not alone. I heard the term captor bonding needs to be used rather than trauma bond. Who did not have trauma in their young lives. So so many. So our human connections ALMOST ALL of them IMO have been to meet mutual needs for safety, security and human affection. The cheater is disturbed and seeks more excitement, self pleasure and to contaminate a safe caring home into a chaotic tantalizing playground where he / she can feed off the Chump like a spider catches its prey in a web, rolls it, and eats it…SLOWLY. X Mr2xC did me a slow roast. Yes he had a chaotic childhood with 8 dad’s, but he pretended to be a Godly man while doing porn and strangers on the side. On D day he said I drove him into the arms of multiple OW.I was to blame 2000%. So he could cheat for years because I deserved it. Divorce was final July 1, his wedding to a 20 year younger Front woman ( not any of his strange ones)is Sept 7. I’ve heard that his next victim is very religious like I was devoted. So he’s swung back to being holy to desecrate another simple life. I know CL does not like the predator word but I see it as sucking the joy out of woman who will trust him and continuing cake and another side life. It is deceptive, each act was completed with agency and it is very disturbing to my gentle soul. xMr2x wanted me to listen to Billy Grahm and watch the movie The Shack so I would be forced by my Christian conscience to keep this spider on his web rolling me. The answer to that was Nyet. NO NEVER. If I knew he was using me and went back, that’s on me. Then I think of being captive bonded. Only I could run and save myself through an act of God’s grace. I pray for release for every person caught in that sticky web. It leads to death, soul, emotional and otherwise. It was close for me. I have nothing but gratitude.

Kintsugi
Kintsugi
7 months ago

It really does depend on your trust in them, your naïveté, your refusal or ignorance to believe that your actually in love with someone who would cheat on you.

I live in a small town of 700 or so people and every summer we have a big down wingding to raise funds for our swimming pool. Is the time for class reunions and parades and community BBQ’s in the park. There’s also a big street dance the night before where there are a lot of people and a couple bars are open along with food trucks.

One such year, I went home early (just a couple blocks away) around 11 pm and Mr. X was having a grand old time and so I told him I’d see him later when the bars closed down at 2. I went home and went to bed.

I woke up at 5 am and No Mr. X. What the hell. Called him, no answer. I actually went looking for him between our house and the bar, thinking he might be passed out in the park. Still texting and calling. No sign. Thought maybe he and one of the bartenders were chatting it up after closing and into the wee hours, which had happened before (yeah… sure.)

Finally I see him coming across the tracks down Main Street. His explanation was he went to one of my son’s friends houses to play beer pong after the bar closed and they “dropped him off” at that end of town. (YEARS later I realized, “like fuck they did.)

I ACTUALLY BELIEVED THAT CRAP!!!!!

Weeks later, we were together in the bar, sitting next to each other, and this woman comes and edges her way between us and I’m like, “excuse me, I’m his wife….” NEVER cluing on what was happening right before my eyes. It niggled in the back of my brain for a long time until YEARS later while I was having a conversation with my adult kids about it that it finally dawned on me she was the one night stand from beer pong night.

I struggle A LOT with how fucking stupid I was to not actually SEE what was happening right in front of me for years. I’m the poster who send Tracy a note a few year ago saying that he told me he didn’t wear his wedding ring because it signaled other women he was affair material and he didn’t want to tempt them into propositioning him. ( she reruns it on occasion) Toward the end, he didn’t even really try to hide it….and the way I found out he was having an affair was that he actually told me. I wasn’t even smart enough to catch him doing it.

I don’t trust myself in relationships anymore. I fear loving someone only to be betrayed again and left with nothing.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  Kintsugi

I understand how you feel but give yourself a break too. When you’ve been chumped you learn a lot from it too, you learn things to look for, you learn never to trust anyone completely…and you really can’t….you can’t look away from a potential red flag. It’s always a relief when you check it out and find out it’s nothing….but I do still check. If you want someone in your life, don’t deny yourself, just take time to get to know him and go slowwww. Even if you never marry or move in with someone, it’s nice to have the companionship when you want it. I don’t think you’d ever experience anything like your ex’s crap again, you know too much now.

Conchobara
Conchobara
7 months ago
Reply to  Kintsugi

Sigh, right there alongside you Kintsugi. I bought every single lie for years. I had no clue until he told me about almost a decade of affairs.

A few times he called me and told me that his co-workers were going out for drinks after work (he’s a nurse so this would be around 8pm) and did I mind if he went out with them. Chumpy me, of course, said he should definitely go, he worked so hard, he deserved it. Then he would come home super late/early in the morning saying he had too much to drink so he slept in his car for a few hours so he wasn’t driving drunk. I totally believed that and was even proud of him for being so careful.

Nearly every day he was off for the last few years he would “run errands” on his day off that would last from when he dropped our daughter off at school until he picked her up at 6 from after care. I would question what he was up to all day and he would say, oh I was at Starbucks watching videos on my phone, oh I went to the store to get some groceries (ALL DAY?!), etc. AND I ALWAYS F’ING BOUGHT IT.

I agree with you, I can’t imagine trusting like that again. I would like to have a partner someday, but I will probably never marry again. Or intermingle my finances since FW managed to blow almost all of our money on his affairs, cashing out almost all of our investments (anything in both our names), taking equity out of the house, taking out bundles of cash each week. And I never looked at our finances because he had me convinced I was so bad with money that he needed to be in charge.

Sometimes I feel really dumb but I remind myself (and my therapist and my family and friends remind me) that no, I was never dumb. I was a loving, trusting wife and that was a good thing. He’s the problem, not me.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
7 months ago

Tracy, you are on fire these days. As you so often do, you write about my Wasband with such pinpoint accuracy it’s almost supernatural.

Remember the recent arrest of Charles McGonigal, the former FBI agent in charge of counterintelligence for the NY FBI office, who was caught violating US sanctions by accepting money from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska? Everybody is shocked at how such a high-level FBI agent could have suddenly and inexplicably betrayed his country — but it makes a lot more sense when you also see that he had a wife and children in Maryland and a mistress in New York City where he worked.

So yeah, knowing the brazenness of these cheaters … a double life at home naturally leads to a double life professionally as well.

My Wasband loved feeling superior to the people around him. In retrospect, it’s all obvious, just as it’s obvious he wasn’t just out there cheating — he was also stealing money.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

I think it’s so common that dishonesty in one area – marriage/romance – is accompanied by dishonesty in others like business or finance. That’s why chumps always have to check the marital finances.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
7 months ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

Google “Former State Department official pleads guilty in online sex sting”. Soliciting a (detective posing as a) 14 year old girl. Police also discovered a trove of videos taken during his peeping outings in D.C.
God I hope his wife divorced him and wasn’t on the hook for his legal bills.

Nut Cluster Free Zone
Nut Cluster Free Zone
7 months ago

He worked in counterterrorism

KatiePig
KatiePig
7 months ago

This makes me think of something I was watching recently. First of all, I never dated much so I know very little about dating culture. I just recently learned what a Chad is. I married at 19, I never had party years. I had to be responsible and help raise my younger sister from eight years old. I had my son at 20 and my ex husband had two younger brothers (right around my sister’s age) and we ended up with full custody of one of them. I spent what other people think of as party years raising children.

I don’t regret that and I don’t feel like I missed out. Dating culture and hook up culture sounds awful to me. I’m in a good relationship with a man I trust and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll either meet someone organically and form a new relationship or I’ll stay single. I won’t do this nightmare dating shit I hear about. I’ve heard too many horror stories.

Anyways though, I had youtube autoplaying while I was doing housework the other day and this video started playing about the issues with dating today. It had a man and woman talking about the issues each group faces and they were really respectful to each other so I listened. One of the things the man said was that many men aren’t considered because they aren’t attractive, don’t make enough money, and simply aren’t considered by women as suitable mates. He said some of these men are very good men but they don’t even get a chance. He also made a comment that these men aren’t even going to get a chance to cheat so they’d be good picks for a woman who wanted commitment.

Now, whether you agree or disagree with that, it made me stop cold and have a realization. My ex cheated on me with the most disgusting people imaginable. It bothered me so much. Why?! What is the point of cheating with such horrifically disgusting, unattractive people with zero hygiene? Especially when I was home and wanted sex. And it finally fully hit me, because they were all he could get.

I remember telling a fake friend how I didn’t understand why women would debase themselves for him. He wasn’t that attractive, he wasn’t in that good of shape. He did ok financially but was far from rich and didn’t have a lot of spending money. Why would they let him abuse them and help him abuse me? What was the draw? She was upset and reminded me that I married him and had a child with him. Yeah, because I thought he was a good person and that we had a lot in common, but that was all a lie. I didn’t marry him because I thought he was so hot or I’d have a cushy rich person life. She huffed at me and told me that she thought he was very attractive. By this time I was already starting to get a clue that she wasn’t really my friend.

Sorry to take so long to get to the point. But what this little conversation on youtube made me realize is that these people just desperately want to cheat. Their desire is to lie and betray. But they have to take what they can get, which is why so many cheat down or have sex with just absolutely disgusting humans. That’s all they can get. But they’ll take that disgusting gross sex in order to accomplish their goal of harming and betraying their spouse. It’s literally not about us. If they could get supermodels, I’m sure they’d cheat with them. But they can’t. And we could be supermodels but they’d still screw a 400 pound homeless woman in the 7-11 dumpster if that was the opportunity they got to cheat on us. All many of them can get is the people of Walmart wrestling in pig shit. I kind of already knew this but it finally fully sunk in the other day.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Agree, and the thing is that even if the regular guys are attractive enough, what would a high value woman want with a guy with no money, yes super models who go after married men are still low life’s with no morals, just like the men are; but they can do better than an occasional Sizzler meal and late movie.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

That is an outstanding insight about why they cheat down. I think there’s a lot of truth to that – it’s all they can get. It’s also occurred to me that some cheat down so they can lord it over the AP (affair partner) – if you have a big job or big education you might like to dominate someone who seems inferior to you in those (or other) areas. I think a lot of people express dominance and control through sex and “romance”.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Desperately want to cheat indeed. There is a (now retired, thank the Lord) gynecologist in my town who had his entire staff (except one) quit en masse because they returned from lunch and walked in on him on the waiting room floor banging the employee who subsequently didn’t quit. A while after that, he was arrested after being caught in the dressing room at a department store at the mall servicing his “personal shopper”. I had the ugly experience of walking out of an elevator at our hospital at 2am and finding him and an obviously intoxicated prostitute exiting his office. And his wife? Every one of them divorced him. Why did he keep remarrying when he knew he wasn’t a keeper? Disgusting people and brazen is putting it mildly.

Surviving Day to Day
Surviving Day to Day
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Katie – I agree. I had the unfortunate task to go through my ex’s collection of photos & videos while looking for evidence of his crimes. I saw firsthand photos of some of the people he cheated with. I initially dismissed the possibility that these were people that he had sex with because they were “not his type”. These images went back decades. I subsequently realized that his type was any human he could con into having sex with him. Your Walmart analogy is not far off the mark.

KatiePig
KatiePig
7 months ago

Yeah, I unfortunately saw the photos of my ex’s “conquests” too. One of them was an emaciated drugged out looking woman laying on a piss-stained bare mattress in a room that could only be described as a rape basement. Hand to God, there was a dead cockroach, legs up, on the mattress with her. There were people with open sores and covered with smears of shit, super obese people with horrifying and infected looking surgical? scars when I was too fat for him at a size four. It was beyond being unattractive, these people were obviously physically and mentally severely ill and their hygiene was so poor it’s surprising they are still alive. Maybe some of them aren’t alive anymore though, it’s been a couple of years.

And those were the pictures they posed for and chose to represent themselves on dating websites. It was mind blowing.

Mehitable
Mehitable
7 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

OMG, I’m so sorry you even had to see those but maybe it helped you to realize it had nothing to do with you. He’s got screws loose. Was he on drugs/alcohol himself?

KatiePig
KatiePig
7 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Not that I know of. He didn’t even drink throughout our 20 year marriage but who knows? I’ve accepted that I didn’t know him at all.

Welshchump
Welshchump
7 months ago

I still feel angry with myself for believing his lies. He cheated with a married howorker. We used to spend weekends away with her and her family. I feel so angry that they openly flirted with each other in front of me for years, in my house, in front of others. If I challenged him he accused me of being paranoid and clingy and stopping him seeing friends – they were part of a larger group.He arranged for our son to babysit her kids so they could both go to a work do. He gaslit me for years, convinced me that I was the problem for not wanting to hang out with this group of friends (because of their flirting and him ignoring me). Eventually, after I pushed and pushed for answers, he told me he was in love with her but that they had never done anything. That he wanted to stay married but was tortured by his feelings. Years later after finding a receipt from their spa trip together, he admitted an emotional affair. It took months before he admitted they sneaked off work during lunchbreaks to cheat. It was so brazen and in my face, I think I couldn’t believe that this person I had been with for 26 years would be so cruel.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  Welshchump

That is awful.

My fw tried a couple times to insert the work whore into our lives. Both times she acted quite frankly dumb as a stump. By that I mean I would try to engage her in a conversation and she would not respond, or if she did it was a shrug or nonsensical response. If his plan was to get us to form a friendship, nope didn’t happen. Maybe she was just ashamed of herself, but somehow I doubt it.

Honestly even when he said he was leaving for a “girl” he had been seeing, I didn’t suspect her. I expected an actual girl, not a 35 year old town bicycle.

Gorilla poop
Gorilla poop
7 months ago

I am pretty sure no one would cheat on Putin because they would be afraid of him. We are chumps because, in behavioral tests conducted over and over again, our FWs have found they need not be afraid that we will mete out consequences. I’m not talking murdery consequences, more like trust your lying eyes, call your lawyer, tell everyone what they did, block their number, and start your new life without them consequences. Channel your inner Putin!

thelongrun
thelongrun
7 months ago

The FW XW I feel is clueless about her behavior most of the time. Except after D-day when she said she thought there was something wrong w/her. Bingo! You win the kewpie doll, you pathetic excuse for a woman/wife.

Her and her boss/AP were texting each other heavily (I guess, from what she told me on D-day) while they were conducting their affair. They considered just letting me catch them in one of their flurries of text, but decided to wait until our oldest daughter returned from college abroad so that I would have someone to support me. Such caring fuckwits. Yeah, right, as if!🙄

But no, I don’t think what they did was brazen. Shallow, cowardly and stupid? Yes!!

The FW XW, I will continue to say, has yet to say or show any real remorse. Instead, she wants to talk about where our marriage went wrong. Which I interpret as: what you did to make me cheat and leave you. But yet expects me to be cordial towards her. Nope. Not gonna happen, estupido.

Peace and progress towards meh for all chumps in CN. Thanks for the worthwhile reminder posts too, Tracy!😊

Matt [in Middletown]
Matt [in Middletown]
7 months ago

Now there’s some PTSD.
My ex is named Lori, and she was pretty brazen about all of her affairs.
Wrote in her journal about how the other dude was her true love etc.
Always had time for the other man but never for her marriage.
Heck, a few times she bragged about physical attributes of schmoops.
She went through my phone every morning after I got off work.
Then she flipped out when I read all her texts between her and schmoops.
She and schmoops had planned a road trip together alone and told me I was being overly sensitive.
Yet according to her I was cheating if I so much as spoke to someone else.
Oh, and schmoops is a deacon in her church and also supposedly her (distant ) cousin.
God I hope that note really was her.
No self awareness is kinda her hallmark.

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
1 month ago

Matt,
My ex FW was also “brazen” in many ways.

I found out about his cheating by simply picking his phone up and seeing a month’s worth of lovey dovey texts back and forth. Apparently he was cautious and was sure to delete stuff for the first 4 months, but then I guess he decided I was too dumb to ever figure it out. I was just playing the game, pretending that I wasn’t onto him, but I was the whole time and was in the process of looking up private detective places, when one day I just picked up his phone and opened it to see all that disgusting BS. He responded by trying almost strangling me to death. Charming…

Then he was “brazen” enough to tell me what a good person she was! I said, people that cheat are not good people – so she is a bad person, and so are you!

It boggles the mind how they act like it is all OUR fault and they did nothing wrong, they are the poor mistreated and misunderstood innocent cheating partner. They were forced to choose to cheat because WE are so horrible???!!!

Makes me want to vomit!

But we all here have suffered the same “brazen” behavior! Sorry to you and everyone on here, because we are all on the same shitty boat with the same shitty cheaters!

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
7 months ago

I’ve noticed that entitlement plus indefensible behavior makes for brazen.