Entitlement, Thy Name is Cheater

I saw this meme and I thought to myself, “I have no words.” Then I thought about it and decided I did have words. Unfortunately, I have been so bad about writing that I never got around to it. Before I could point out the absurdity of such an asinine statement I was slapped in the face with this drivel:

Folks, this gets to the very heart of what Chump Lady always says about cheating. She maintains it’s about entitlement and crappy character. What better example of that entitlement is there than these two memes?

Don’t lose a loyal man because he’s occasionally unfaithful? As they would say in “The Princess Bride”: I do not think that word means what you think it means. A loyal man is not unfaithful. Feel free to interchange the pronouns as necessary. That’s like saying, “Don’t give up on your law abiding husband because he occasionally murders someone.” “Don’t give up on your honest investment banker because he occasionally embezzles.” “Don’t fire your favorite teacher just because she occasionally sleeps with her students.” I guess if you only do something occasionally it’s okay.

You say he hits you? Does he do it regularly? No? Only occasionally? Oh yeah, then you don’t want to lose a good man like him because he occasionally hits you.

He occasionally molests your kids? Well, it’s not like he does it all the time. You don’t want to lose a good man over something that only happens occasionally.

I could do this all day. She only tried to poison you once! What’s your problem? She occasionally shoots up in front of your kids. It’s not like she’s a junkie. He occasionally lies to you. Where’s the red flag in that?

As you might be able to conclude I think the idea that you would want to hang onto this gem because he’s only occasionally unfaithful is a load of crap. Being occasionally unfaithful is a lot like being a little bit pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.

It’s also an entitled attitude. He’s so fucking phenomenal that it doesn’t matter what kind of shitty behavior he engages in. You don’t want to lose him, do you? Just look past him sticking his dick in other people. It’s no biggie. You don’t want to lose a loyal man like him because of the occasional cheating. Where on earth would you find someone better?

Then we move onto this brilliant advice, otherwise known as, “How to eat shit sandwiches and keep a smile on your face.”

Cheating is apart (sic) of ups & downs of a relationship tho. Every man is gonna hurt u, u just gotta find that one worth hurting for. Millions of happy wives have been cheated on & absurd but they fought for their marriage to work. If you not willing to fight for love then stay single.

Oh Professor Douche, there is so much wrong with this. We’ll begin with the obvious. No, cheating is not a part of the ups and downs of a relationship. Cheating is, or should be, a deal breaker. It should not be normalized. If cheating is a normal part of the ups and downs in a relationship then you are in a very toxic relationship. My advice is to get the hell out!

Secondly, pain and sorrow is not a normal part of a relationship. You should not expect to be hurt. You should expect to be loved and treasured. Supported, cherished. Not writhing around in agony because the person you’re with is an asshole and you think this is just the normal course of an average relationship. I don’t find any man worth hurting for. Whether you’re a man or a woman I would hope you wouldn’t find any man or woman worth hurting for. That’s not love. That’s abuse. Let’s stop selling these tortured relationships as love affairs of the century.

I find it astounding that he actually believes “millions of happy wives have been cheated on & abused but they fought for their marriage to work.” Those women are not happy. They’re desperate. And where are all the men fighting for their marriages to work despite wives that are out there sleeping with everyone? I guess being hurt and being cheated on and being abused isn’t part of a man’s normal relationship. At least not as a recipient.

I do have to give him props thought. He dared to take the conversation where others normally don’t. He’s actually suggesting that if a man only hits you occasionally you should continue to fight for your marriage. Sounds amazing. Yeah, he gets drunk and beats me but it only happens a few times a month. He cheats on me, slept with my sister, gave me an STD, but that’s just part of the ups and downs of a relationship, you know. I stuck it out. I fought for my marriage and my lying, cheating sack of shit abuser. I am so lucky! I know how to stick with it unlike you losers out there. You give up too easily and that’s why you don’t have a lasting relationship. Unlike me.

This is the crap the RIC peddles. Fight for your man. Fight for your marriage. Who cares about your dignity? Keep him at all costs. It’s far better to have a man, even if he’s a shitty excuse for a human being, than to be alone.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The idea that love means never having to say you’re sorry is bullshit and so is this idea that you need to fight for love. Love is freely given. It is reciprocated. Relationships may not be all sunshine and roses all the time but you shouldn’t have to be fighting for your relationship either. Nor should you have to navigate through hell for a relationship. That’s not a relationship worth nurturing.

Oh, and third? This idea that if you’re not willing to fight for love then you should stay single is another way of getting you to continue with the pick me dance.

If you not willing to fight for love then stay single.

No, bro, how ‘bout if you want me to continue to be in your life you get your shit together from the very beginning? He’s making a declaration, folks. If you can’t fight for your man then you should stay single. If you’re not willing to overlook his cheating and his lying and the abuse he foists upon you then don’t even bother trying to find someone. It’s much better that you remain single. Any of you people out there that believe you deserve to be treated with decency and respect need to readjust your expectations. You should willingly accept the crumbs someone tosses your way. Who do you think you are anyway? You don’t get to make demands. You don’t get to make a choice.

All snark aside these two memes are shining examples of what I talk about and what Chump Lady talks about when we keep shouting from the rooftops that cheating is not a marriage problem; it is an entitlement problem. That’s what all of this is about. It’s what the RIC is built on. They truly believe they are entitled to forgiveness. It’s a given. Any real woman would do the right thing and fight for her man, her relationship. Of course she would forgive him, take him back, and never speak of it again.They believe they get to call all of the shots. They get to decide to cheat on you. Then they get to decide if they want to stay with to you or if they’re going to leave. They are entitled to do whatever they feel like and you need to sit there and take it like a good little woman. Sadly, many of us have been indoctrinated to believe this bullshit. To believe that cheating is just a mistake. To believe you owe it to them to give them another chance. To believe that you don’t throw away years for one bad moment in your relationship. We’re taught to forgive and told that relationships take two people. We’re told to look at ourselves and ask ourselves what we did wrong, how we made them cheat, what we did to drive them into someone else’s arms.

That. Is. Bullshit. Cheating is not a relationship problem. It is an entitlement problem. They feel entitled to cheat and they feel entitled to your forgiveness.

Am I going to find that one man that is worth hurting for? No, Professor Douche, I’m going to find the man who doesn’t believe that cheating and abuse are normal parts of a relationship. 

Am I willing to fight for love? I don’t know. What’s the prize money like? Come on! I’m way too old to fight for love. It’s either there or it’s not. All of this “fight for your relationship” bullshit is just pick me bait.  I’m not fighting to keep a relationship with a lying, cheating, entitled asshole. That’s a solid “No.”

Am I going to lose a loyal man just because he’s occasionally unfaithful? Oh honey, I’m not losing anything. I’m kicking that sonofabitch to the curb! He’s the one that lost something.

#riseup

Oh, Willow

Willow Smith appeared on her mom’s Red Table discussion recently, talking about her decision to be polyamorous. She’s twenty, so of course she’s got all of this figured out. I wish I could go back in time to when I knew everything… But I digress.

Where were we? Oh yes. Polyamory. Look, if you want more than one partner and you’re honest and upfront about it from the very beginning I don’t care what you do. If the object of your affection doesn’t mind sharing and knows what they’re getting into then have at it. It’s not for me but if two other people come to an honest agreement I don’t give a damn. Nonetheless, I have a couple of issues with what Willow is trying to sell the nation.  

“With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do…”

Hmmm… who are all of these people that are commenting on other people’s sex lives? She makes it sound like people are forced into monogamy. No one is forced to get married. No one is forced to date only one person at a time. This idea that your only two choices are monogamy or cheating is a falsehood. Personally I’m beyond tired of hearing people act like monogamy is being forced upon them. No, what generally happens is that monogamy works for the cheater, or at least the appearance of monogamy works for the cheater. Then when they’re caught they begin whining about how monogamy was forced upon them and it’s not natural.

Willow goes on to tell us that after doing some research into polyamory she has discovered that “the main reasons… why divorces happen is infidelity.”

Willow, you’re probably onto something. Infidelity probably is one of the main reason that people end up divorced. Unfortunately, being polyamorous doesn’t mean you won’t experience infidelity. That agreement you have with your partners? Those are rules you’ve agreed upon. You need to follow those. Cheaters aren’t good at following rules. They hate following rules. Rules are for other people. Not them. They’re very special. All it takes is for you and your partner(s) to have an agreement about something, anything, and for your partner(s) to go behind and your back and do the exact opposite of what was agreed upon. Boom! You’ve now experienced infidelity- even in a polyamorous relationship.

I’ve head it said many times by people who have been cheated on that it’s not the fact their partner had sex with someone else that is so painful; it’s all the lies and the gas lighting along with the discard and everything else that goes along with cheating on your partner. Now, let’s be honest. If the mobster came up to me tomorrow and said, “Sam, sweetie, I love you but there’s someone else I’m very attracted to and I’m going to have to sex with her. I thought you should know because after all, it’s the lies and not the sex with another person that is so painful. We’re good, right?” well, let’s just say that conversation would not go over well. At. All. But I get what everyone else is saying. The secrecy, the lies, the double life, making you think you’re crazy, making you doubt yourself… those are the cherries on top of the shit sundae that is infidelity. It’s also what so many cheaters thrive on. They love the double life. They love knowing something that their trusting partner doesn’t know. They get off on it.

Now add in the fact that most of them don’t want their partners having other partners. It’s fine for them to have a buffet of choices, but let’s face it. If their partner also is allowed other partners then they won’t have their full attention and that simply won’t do. Everyone is to worship them. You are to have no gods before them. It’s not a transparent agreement. It’s a one sided arrangement that benefits only one person- the person who knows what’s going on. It’s amazing how many cheating spouses claim to be  polyamorous, yet all of their partners are monogamous. Strange, huh? It’s almost like that’s deliberate, or something.

Naturally mom Jada was all about the polyamory. She, too, bought into the idea that people seek out monogamous relationships because they “feel like they have no other choice.” She then suggested that the majority end up practicing “unethical non-monogamy” (otherwise known as cheating, and called out as such by her mom, known as Gammy on the show).

Again, no one is forced to be monogamous. But when you lead a person to believe that you’re going to be monogamous and have sex only with them, they expect you to be faithful. Funny how that works. 

Let’s be real. This idea that monogamy is being forced upon anyone is a load of horse shit. It is a total cop out. Most of these poor, misunderstood people forced into monogamy are usually getting something out of it. Either their spouse wouldn’t have agreed to marry them under other conditions, or the spouse is of use to them. They make them look like an upstanding citizen. They can pull off Mother or Father of the Year with their trusty spouse beside them, pulling the majority of the weight. They’re fed, their clothes are washed, their kids are taken care of, they have a steady income coming into the household. Another person is doing all of the adulting so they can go off and play. It’s not that they’re “forced” into monogamy. It’s that leading someone on to think they’re in a monogamous relationship means they’re getting their needs met. Then when they’re caught cheating they whine that they were forced into monogamy and if only they had been allowed non-traditional avenues none of this would have happened.

When Gammy tells Willow she’s not a fan of polyamory and prefers the traditional constructs of marriage, despite being married several times, Willow takes the ol’, “What if your partner isn’t meeting all of your needs?” approach.

“Let’s say you haven’t always been the kind of person that wanted to have sex all the time, but your partner is. Are you gonna be the person to say, ‘Just because I don’t have these needs, you can’t have them either?’

Let’s begin with the obvious. You don’t cause someone to cheat. After reading Chump Lady for years I can confidently say there are  people out there in relationships where none of their needs are getting met and their partner treats them terribly yet they still don’t cheat. I didn’t get my needs met in my marriage. I didn’t cheat. You’re either the type of person who will cheat, or you’re the type of person who won’t. If you will, it doesn’t matter what the other person does or doesn’t do; you’re going to cheat. If you won’t, it doesn’t matter what the other does or doesn’t do; you’re going to remain faithful.

And what is this shit about “you can’t expect one person to meet all your needs”? Who does that? I’ve never expected one person to meet all of my needs. Does no one have friends anymore? Can people only meet your needs if you’re fucking them? I don’t even expect my friends to meet each and every one of my needs. I had friends I played Bunko with. I have friends I go out to dinner with. I had friends I bowled with. I had PTA friends and gym mom friends. I’ve got friends from work. I’ve got friends from high school. I have friends I tell my innermost secrets to and other friends where I keep it pretty superficial.

I’m shaking my head here. I’m not sure anyone rational expects one person to be everything for another person. Again, does no one have friends anymore?  Just because your partner doesn’t share your interest in something doesn’t mean you need to find another warm body to sleep with in order to enjoy that interest. Just recently when I shared that sweet J and I watched the Kentucky Derby the mobster told me he had never seen the race, nor was he interested in ever seeing it. When I told him I planned on having an annual Derby party, complete with hats and mint juleps he told he would probably be working that day. Does that mean I should go find some other man that does enjoy watching the Kentucky Derby? One that would love to attend my annual Derby party? No, of course not!

As for the sexual mismatch… to be blunt I think you should know by the time you’re committing to a person what kind of a sex drive they have. If your libidos are mismatched and that’s going to be an issue then end the relationship. It’s called dating for a reason. People are far too reluctant to end a relationship, choosing instead to settle. That’s not on monogamy; that’s on people who are willing to compromise something important in order to remain in a relationship.

Look, Willow, I know you think you’ve discovered the magical cure for all relationship woes. If I’m just not tied down to one person but can instead experience a multitude of people, all with my partner’s blessing, my life will be blissful. Oh, you sweet summer child, people don’t cheat because they’re forced into “unnatural” monogamy. Cheaters cheat because that’s what they like to do. It’s no fun with permission. It’s not because they’re not “allowed” to sample others. It’s because they like duping you. That is the real thrill, not freedom to fuck others. Polyamory isn’t some magical elixir. A lying, cheating asshole “forced” into monogamy isn’t suddenly going to become Prince Charming once you tell them they can fuck whomever they choose… within the bounds of your agreement, of course. Monogamy is not the enemy and polyamory isn’t the answer to everyone’s prayers.

The Pursuit Of Happiness Fallacy

What seems like eons ago, when in reality it was back in June, there was an article posted on Huffington Post about two wing nuts that got together through their mutual love of the Oregon Country Fair, or “Fair”, as the “family” knows it. Tracy Schorn UBT’d it over on Chump Lady and Jennifer Ball posted about it on her Happy Hausfrau Facebook page.

The quick recap: “Ruby” and Paul spent 16 years working “Fair” in Oregon. One day, while peeling potatoes the feelz hit ‘em real hard and they realized they were destined to be together. While his wife and kids were away on vacation Paul invited Ruby over for a “picnic”. They spent the week together navel gazing and justifying their behavior. It was a love that could not be denied. When his wife came back into town he told her he was leaving her for another woman and Ruby left her husband as well. Ruby was simply stunned that her ex-husband didn’t chase after her, begging for another chance, and was equally shocked that Paul’s ex-wife didn’t bow out without a fight. I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly they are now married (going on 4 years of blissful happiness) and own a pot farm.

Even more vomit worthy than the article were the comments. These are just a few of the stand out gems:

Love isn’t ownership. I’ve walked and I’ve had others walk. Learn and grow and move on. Stop blaming people for loving someone.

Good on them. No point continuing a BS relationship just to conform to everyone else’s BS relationships/marriages. Life’s too short and too long to live a lie just to please church goers. Obviously they’re against real love anyway.

In response to someone saying that people who cheat on their spouses have a character flaw: We all have character flaws. People who stay in a loveless marriage also have a character flaw. They keep their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

Yes, it’s a kick in the teeth when your spouse says they’ve fallen in love with someone else, and hard for the kids to deal with two homes, new step-parents, etc. But I can’t think of anything worse than reaching old age, the kids gone with lives of their own, moved to other states even, only to call on holidays and birthdays, and you being stuck immobile or infirm as time ravages your body, depending on someone you don’t love, haven’t loved in a long time, are disappointed with and sad to be around, and knowing you could have been happy, could have actually had a life worth living, years of love, sharing, fulfilling companionship, etc. and missed your chance.

Don’t stay somewhere you are not happy, life is too short! People like to pass judgement based on their own fears and insecurities. Let people live!

…way too many people stay in miserable marriages and hate their lives. Glad they’re happy.

People that are brave enough to admit their faults, their choices, their lives, always get very “righteous” people judging them… you could see that both of them were unhappy in their marriages before they “found each other”.Are people supposed to live a mediocre and unhappy life forever because of what looks good for society rules? No. I don’t think so.

Wow, so much hate because someone fell in love with another person and left a toxic situation.

Life is short, some people will stay miserable to “do the right thing” and never really live a happy life which is ok… but it’s also ok to make the decision to find happiness.

My husband left me for a younger woman. I’m happy for them. My 10 year marriage was unhappy. He wasn’t happy. I let him go be happy. It’s the mature thing to do.

They are both adults who made a questionable decision, but I’m sure all involved are better off, No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their “responsibility” to someone else’s feelings.

Let me remind you what Thoreau said:

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To paraphrase Rock Star, “I. cannot. even. with all of those asinine comments.”

I love how everyone believes that if you’re in a toxic relationship you’re entitled to cheat. God forbid you realize you’re in a bad situation and actually get the fuck out without having someone else waiting on you.

Wait a second! Are you telling me I can actually end a relationship before I have another one waiting in the wings? I can leave someone who makes me unhappy and sucks the life right out of me even if I don’t have another person I’m going to immediately be involved with?

Yes! Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying!

Then why in the fuck didn’t they tell me that? I’ve been stuck in this miserable relationship for the last ten years because I didn’t have time to set up a Tinder profile! Or volunteer at Fair.

I don’t know what to tell you, Sparky. You’ve always had the option of leaving. This remains a free country and more importantly, divorce is legal.

Quick question. Who will have sex with me once I kick my spouse/partner to the curb? Who will hold my hand while I go through this divorce? Who will tell me how awesome I am and how horrible my spouse was? And who’s going to pitch in and do all the things my spouse used to do?

Ah, that is the kicker, isn’t it? It’s not that these cheaters don’t realize they can leave a toxic relationship; it’s that they’re lazy. They don’t want to leave until they’ve got the replacement lined up.

Look, I don’t think anyone advocates staying in a miserable marriage. I know I don’t. I’ve always said you’ve got a couple of choices. The two good choices would be you can try to fix it or you can end it. The two bad choices would be you cheat on your spouse under the guise of unhappiness or toxicity, or you suffer through it for years on end.

About that so-called unhappy/toxic relationship. Cheaters lie. Mine lied a lot. It’s amazing to me how many people who have been cheated on talk of their cheaters telling them how much they loved them, how they couldn’t live without them, how these had been the best fill-in-the-blank years of their lives, how they were the love of their life, they were their rock and salvation, and sunshine shot out of their asses.

Hell, even ol’ Jerry Lee claimed that I was his rock. My family was his only real family. He wanted to renew vows. He wanted to have another baby with me so I couldn’t leave him.

A year later I was a mentally abusive spouse who never supported him and hadn’t had sex with him in ten years.

The story has to change when they start doing shitty things. It excuses the shitty things they’re doing.

So many of them focus on “ownership” and not staying if you’re unhappy. I truly don’t think most people think any of this through. We’re not talking about a summer romance here. We’re not talking about a couple who has dated a year or two. We’re talking about, in this case in particular, two people who were married to other people. They made plans with each other. They bought houses. They may have moved across the country. In one case they had two children together. The time to figure out the relationship is not working for you is before you get married and certainly before you bring children into it.

And again, I’m not advocating staying in a loveless or toxic relationship but, Jesus Christ, could maybe someone put a little effort into maintaining their current relationship, the one that did produce those children, before they decide the potato peeler is the new love of their life? I think the innocent children in these situations deserve a little bit more than, “Golly, I just wasn’t happy. Mommy didn’t support me quitting my full-time job and becoming a pot farmer.” Grow the fuck up! It is not just about you anymore.

That seems to be the popular refrain. You’ve got two choices. You either wait out a miserable life being trapped in an unhappy relationship or you cheat on your spouse and get the hell out. Repairing your current relationship never seems to be a solution. What an antiquated idea!

I loved the one that posited, “I’m sure they’re all better off. No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their responsibility to someone else’s feelings.”

What kind of bullshit minimizing is that? It’s a marriage. It’s a legally binding relationship. If he’s in the hospital, as his wife I will be the one deciding whether to pull the plug or not. Our lives are entwined. Our money is combined, I’m taking care of his children. I’m keeping his house and doing his laundry. Do not reduce it to some kind of half baked responsibility to my feelings. No, I’ve created a life with this person. We have made plans for our future. When he decides he no longer has a responsibility to my fucking feelings he’s not just hurting my fee fees he’s fucking with my life.

How does this person know that everyone is better off? Maybe the kids have psychological problems stemming from this. Maybe his ex-wife is struggling to keep a roof over her kids’ heads. Maybe she’s working two or three jobs to keep afloat. Maybe his ex-wife was a depressed, suicidal mess for months, if not years, after this happened and his kids were barely being taken care of because their mother was unable to function. This idea that everyone magically pairs up with someone new and has this fantastic life now is magical thinking designed to excuse people like this.

Look at Jennifer Ball. She’s lived just above the poverty line ever since her husband left. She raised four kids on her own. The jackass ex was rarely around. He was far too busy with his ho-worker and their two new spawn. Is she better off? I think she would tell you that she’s happy and counts her blessings, but better off? I don’t think so.

I’m going to have to invoke my John Walsh analogy one more time. He’s got a lucrative career on television because of what happened to his sweet little boy, Adam. Had he never been kidnapped and murdered John never would have done the work he’s done with missing children or going after wanted fugitives. But I think anyone would have a hard time arguing, “Oh, he’s better off.” Quite honestly, I think anyone stupid enough to say that to him deserves a punch to the throat.

I also appreciated the person who declared that, yes, it is a kick in the teeth to get dumped, and golly, it’s probably hard on the kids to deal with a change in their lifestyle, two different homes, and potential step-families, but gee whiz, wouldn’t it suck to get to old age and realize you’re with someone you don’t want to be with.

Yes, it’s slightly disappointing when you find out you’re being cheated on and deceived. It kinda sucks when you have to return to the workforce after being a stay at home mom for 15 years and you don’t get paid enough to actually support your kids and have a home of your own. 

Sure, the kids do sometimes struggle. I mean, I’ve got one who now thinks he shouldn’t have to even complete high school because it’s pointless and another one who calls me up crying because her anxiety is out of control. They both suffer from anxiety but one gets stressed and cries, and the other finds it difficult to reach out for help and fails school. Neither one of the kids dealt with anxiety or depression when their father and I were together but hey, if one of them winds up killing themselves it’s worth it so long as their dad is happy, right? The kids are collateral damage. Don’t get too attached.

Yes, the real travesty isn’t one parent living in poverty or kids having anxiety attacks or lives being upended. The real travesty is finding out after the kids have left home that you are in a loveless relationship and you were too much of a chicken shit to actually do anything to improve your relationship, or to end it the correct way.

I think my favorite comment though was the one who said that people in loveless marriages have a character flaw because they are keeping their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

What the what? First of all, maybe the spouse in the loveless marriage doesn’t think they’re in a loveless marriage. Maybe they think they’re in a very happy marriage. Second of all, if you’re both in a loveless marriage, but only one person goes off and cheats while the other person remains faithful, why in the fuck is it the faithful partner’s responsibility to get out of the marriage? Oh, I’m sorry. Why is it their responsibility to make sure their spouse finds someone who will love them? I would think it would behoove the person who can’t keep it in their pants to get out of the marriage before it comes to that.

That whole comment is just one big mindfuck.

Oh, your partner cheated on you? That’s not a big deal. Move on and get over it.

Oh, you stayed in a loveless marriage but didn’t cheat? You horrible person! How can you keep your wonderful spouse from finding love? I hope you rot in hell!

I’m going to say it one more time. I’m not against ending an unhappy marriage. Hell, I would advocate for ending unhappy relationships far sooner than most of us do. Most of us who stay, even when things aren’t going great, do so for good intentions. We do it  because we want what’s best for our kids. We believe in commitment and working through the hard times. We think about things other than ourselves and our own happiness. We regularly put others ahead of ourselves. 

I will, however, take issue with someone cheating on their spouse and then excusing it by saying, “I wasn’t happy.” That’s entitlement and crappy character, not a search for happiness. It’s about selfish people putting their own wants and desires ahead of everyone else.

The Exit Affair

We’re all familiar with this term, right? It’s what they call it when your spouse leaves you for someone else. I guess it differs from the “just want to fuck ‘em” affair somehow.

I’ve never liked the term but I couldn’t put my finger on why until recently.

…minimize the cheating and wrong doing, instead focus on the shortcomings of the relationship.

As in: Yeah, I cheated. But I haven’t been happy for a long time/we haven’t been happy for a long time/we’re not right together/our relationship would have ended anyway/we’ll be much happier apart/it’s for the best, etc. etc.

I think this is another form of manipulation. You’re not allowed to react, get angry or upset about them cheating on you, because instead they’ve switched the focus to ending the relationship as if the affair never happened- they’ve sidestepped and minimized the affair and gaslighted you into thinking your relationship was ending anyway.

Yes! That is exactly it. I was always left wondering if perhaps I deserved it. Maybe we weren’t right together. Maybe he would be happier with her. It wasn’t just an affair. It was an exit affair, which means I was to blame because I was lacking, our relationship was lacking. And everyone knows that if you have a shitty relationship the way to end it is to fuck your cousin. Or the person of your choice. Doesn’t have to be a relative.

He wasn’t just a run of the mill cheater, out having sex with new people because he liked a bit of strange on the side. No! He was still an upstanding man with great integrity. He was practically forced to cheat on me because our relationship was so awful.

An exit affair is all about the relationship; the cheater’s character can never be called into question. Because if the relationship had been better he or she would have never cheated. No, sir!

Someone else on Chump Lady chimed in with this:

You’re so right that the “exit affair” narrative is another form of manipulation, defined by a massive amount of side stepping and down playing.

That is precisely what it is. It downplays the shitty character of the cheater. It sidesteps the total destruction of lives caused by the cheating. And it manipulates people into believing that somehow this is an okay thing because who can argue against happiness and true love?

I’ve written about this before. People like to say they didn’t leave for the affair partner; their marriage was already dead, over. In other words, the affair was simply the catalyst that made them realize the marriage was over. I’ve long argued that, no, if you were still with your spouse up until the moment you began fucking your affair partner, you left for that person. You didn’t leave until you had a replacement lined up. Ergo, you left for that person.

You were too much of a chickenshit to leave honestly and ethically. You were content to sleep with your spouse and take advantage of whatever they brought to the marriage (you know, the long dead one), whether that was a paycheck, child care, laundry services, cooking, yard work, etc. You didn’t get out of this horrible, horrible situation until someone else came along and volunteered to do all of those things for you.

Or as another commenter on Chump Lady puts it:

Ah yes, the exit affair. I hate this term because whenever I read about what it means, it seems like the ultimate blameshift. The relationship was so bad that the fuckwit had to leave under the protection of an affair partner.

It focuses all of the blame on the person who’s being fucked over. It’s all about the crappy relationship. Nothing about the cheater’s crappy character. It’s not their fault, y’all! The relationship was bad! Their soul was dying from the weight of this cancerous relationship. Then this new person came along and suddenly they feel alive again! They can hear the birds sing. They can see the sun shining and marvel at how blue the sky really is. You can’t argue against that, right? So let’s dress it up in a pretty package and spin this sob story into something that has the cheater seen as the victim and the betrayed as the perpetrator.

I didn’t have an affair. This was an exit affair. Exit affairs are all about escaping bad relationships and finding well-deserved happiness. They’re not about sex and entitlement and people who lack a moral compass.

My advice? Don’t take the bait. It doesn’t matter how the affair is labeled. Even if the cheater leaves for the other person it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean their “love” is special. It doesn’t mean they’ve found someone with whom they are more compatible. It doesn’t mean it was your fault. It doesn’t mean that your relationship was lacking. It means they have an entitlement issue and shitty character. They are the same person regardless of who they’re with. Personality transplants don’t exist.

Labels and Real Life

I was reading the other day and saw it posited that labels were unhealthy and harmful. We shouldn’t label people, so the theory goes, because it limits them. They are essentially reduced to that label. People especially don’t like the label, “cheater.” Some feel it diminishes that person, as though that’s all they are. More importantly, how can you effectively reconcile if you label your spouse that way?

Yes, because that’s the overall goal. We all want to get back together with that dreamboat.

Aren’t they a cheater, though? It seems to me that if they cheat on you, then they’re a cheater. You can call this acts of exuberant defiance if it makes you happy, but it’s just playing with words. Would it be easier if they were called adulterers? They committed adultery, therefore, they are adulterers. Is that too harsh as well? Do we pussy foot around with other labels?

If someone asked you to describe Michael Phelps you would probably say something along the lines of, “He’s a swimmer,” or, “He’s an Olympic athlete.” Is he more than that? I’m sure he is. But that’s what he’s predominantly known for.

If you saw your co-worker, Larry, beat the crap out of his wife would you call him a wife beater or an abuser, or would you focus instead on his other qualities? Sure, ol’ Larry beats his wife but I wouldn’t call him a wife beater. He is one hell of a dart thrower and he really knows his way around a grill. Let’s not focus on the negative.

Is “cheater” the only label that is detested? Is it okay to label a person who likes to have sex with little kids a pedophile? If someone breaks into your home and robs you can we label that person a thief? How about murderer? Rapist? Drunk driver? Child abuser? Embezzler?

Are all of those labels bad? Should we be looking beyond the rudimentary surface? Or do labels sometimes tell us exactly what we need to know?

I’ve told this story before. Shortly before I got married, way back in 1994, my future mother-in-law was not loving her job. She decided that she was going to pull out her retirement and hand it over to her brother-in-law and they were going to go into business together.

People begged her to reconsider. They pointed out that her brother-in-law had been convicted for embezzlement. They didn’t trust him. They didn’t feel this was a wise move.

Now, maybe others would say, “Hey, give the guy a chance.” It’s not like once an embezzler, always an embezzler, right?

In this situation you would be wrong. She handed him her retirement money. He spent it while talking up their business and telling her how much progress was being made. Once the money was gone he informed her that they didn’t have any clients and he was getting a job; she should do the same. My former in-laws never recovered financially and they lost pretty much everything.

I’m sure some people would say that he wasn’t only an embezzler. I’d agree with that. I’d say he was a damn fine con artist as well. Certainly we are given the message that the cheater is more than just a cheater. How often are we admonished to not judge a relationship on one little, tiny mistake such as infidelity? That person you are harshly labeling a cheater is an onion. There are layers and layers to this person’s personality. He or she is so much more than just a cheater and you are being unduly harsh and unfair to only concentrate on that.

Funny follow up to the in-law story… Onion Boy ended up in jail. Again! If memory serves me correctly it had something to do with cars he was selling. I don’t remember if he was the actual salesman, or if he was a middle man, selling cars to dealerships. He may have been messing with the VIN numbers or something like that. Regardless, what he was doing was illegal and he was shady as fuck. Go right ahead and tell yourself he was much more than a guy who enjoyed fleecing people out of their money. He probably would have taken you to the cleaners with your Pollyanna attitude.

If you want to argue that a person is more than a label, especially if that label is “cheater”, that’s fine. I’m sure if you’re giving a person who betrayed you another chance there has to be something good about that person. I’m not saying they don’t have other delightful qualities. I would also never dream of telling someone that the “cheater” label is the most important thing about their spouse, or that that’s the only thing they should focus on. You can dress it up any way you want. You can ignore the behavior. You can convince yourself it was out of character or born out of toxic shame. You can believe with all your heart and soul that this “one” act is not the sum of who they are. That’s all fine. Not that you need my permission. That doesn’t mean the label isn’t accurate. It may not tell the whole story the way you’d like it told, or the way they’d like it told, but it tells a story. The reality is it did happen. The cheater may not be just a cheater, only a cheater, but they are indeed a cheater. Just like regardless of whatever good qualities he may have had Onion Boy was an embezzler, a thief, and a con artist.

They Cheat Because Their Souls Were Starving (Oh Brother)

I needed the perspective. I needed the REASON why he did it. Much like you his only answer was selfishness. That wasn’t good enough for me. You say there’s no good reason but there is. You were lonely and sad and you felt unloved and unwanted and you were HUMAN; you were human searching for someone to feed your soul after a long time of starving. You say it’s not a reason but it is. Your wife has a responsibility in it just as I did. Leaving someone’s soul to starve and decimate over time no matter how depressed we were is still cruel; it’s still not ok. In its own way we should have let you go instead of handcuffing you to a dead person. Isn’t that the same thing as leaving someone before you cheat? They are both actions that denote consequences for another that is detrimental. If you refuse to accept your wife had some part in this I don’t see any hope for you.

I was bored this morning and wanted to languish in my comfy bed, surrounded by snoring dogs, so I read old posts from others I follow and I clicked on links and came across this. It was a comment on a cheating spouse’s blog.

As you can probably glean from the comment the actual cheater was not making excuses for the behavior. It was a betrayed wife who was making the excuses.

As far as excuses go I think this is the one that gets the most traction and the one I find to be the biggest load of bullshit.

I’m going to take a wild stab at this and guess that almost everyone who reads my blog has had a job at one point in their life.

Let me ask you, those of you who have had jobs, if you begin working for a company and over time start to believe you are underpaid does it ever occur to you to embezzle from that company? Do you ever start to think, “Wow! The pay and benefits here are horrible! They really should pay me more. I might be able to make more money elsewhere but I really don’t want to put forth the time and effort to job hunt. I know! I’ll just embezzle from them. Maybe fudge a few expense reports. If they paid me more I would have never done this.

I’m genuinely curious because I do happen to know three embezzlers. Good grief, I’ve lived a colorful life! Thankfully, none of them were close friends. One was a friend of my mother’s and  happened when I was a child. One was the first wife of Pastor Fake. The third was actually an ex-boyfriend. To be clear, I was not dating him at the time.

All that aside I can honestly say it has never once occurred to me to steal from my place of employment because I didn’t think I was getting paid enough. My thought process has always leaned more towards, “Hmmm…. I should look for another job.”

Yet this seems to be a common refrain in the reconciliation industry. No, you aren’t to blame for your spouse cheating but you must honestly examine your marriage and see where the cracks were that led to the cheating. No matter how many different ways you try to spin it the question at heart becomes: What is it that you were doing wrong to make your spouse cheat? What are your faults? Where were you lacking? What can you do to improve?

I think that’s a very slippery slope you start to go down when you begin to explore that. Why? Because again, what it all leads back to is you are responsible for your spouse’s behavior. Your behavior determines whether your spouse will be faithful or will cheat.

Did your spouse feel abandoned by you? Like nothing more than a handyman and a paycheck? Did they feel like a cook and a maid? Did they feel like they couldn’t depend on you? Did they feel like they couldn’t talk to you about deeply personal issues? Did they feel like they couldn’t be their true selves around you? Were they lonely? Feeling sexually neglected? Did they feel like the two of you were nothing more than roommates? Were you focused solely on the kids? Did you no longer wear makeup or do your hair, or belch and fart in front of them, thus erasing the magic of your romance? Did you shut them out? Did you make them feel less than? Did you have poor communication?

Oh, ok! We can work with that! Just stop doing whatever it is that you did and then your spouse won’t ever cheat on you again.

The problem with that thinking is it doesn’t get to the underlying reason of why the cheating spouse thought that an affair was an acceptable solution to all of that. What happens when something else occurs in your life to take attention away from them? What happens if they begin to feel abandoned or betrayed or unheard or unappreciated again?

We don’t do this with physical abuse. We don’t ask the wife, “What did you do to make him mad?” Then when she goes through the litany of answers:  Oh, I didn’t have dinner on the table… I talked too much… I wouldn’t back down in an argument… My clothes were too sexy and he said I was flirting with other men… I blocked his view on the TV… I argued with him… I put mushrooms in the pasta sauce… He couldn’t find his favorite shirt… We don’t nod wisely and then suggest, “Stop doing that then! If you would stop arguing and be a better wife he wouldn’t beat you.”

We don’t ask a person what they did to cause their spouse to physically abuse them, so why do we continue to ask a person what they did to cause their spouse to cheat on them?

That brings us to the second problem with that kind of thinking. You’ve just told the person who betrayed you that ultimately they’re not responsible for their own behavior. YOU are responsible for their behavior. Your actions are so powerful that they will determine whether or not your spouse cheats.

Let me be very clear. I don’t think there is a problem with looking at a relationship and seeing where things went wrong. Acknowledging that you didn’t communicate well, or you never made time for yourselves as a couple, or you fought dirty is all good and fine. Work on the communication. Make time for yourselves as a couple. Resolve to stop fighting dirty. But don’t ever let anyone use those as excuses and justifications for infidelity. You were both in that relationship.

CF told everyone that he was nothing more than a paycheck and a handyman to me. He told me we were nothing more than roommates. He pointed out that we had barely spoken or had sex in the last 6 months to a year. What he didn’t point out is how his own behavior led to any of this. What he neglected to acknowledge is that we were both in that marriage and yet only one of us began an affair with our cousin.

That was the first time around! That was the time when I was eagerly hopping onboard with this idea that it was a marriage problem and if we resolved all of the issues that made him unhappy and led him to seek out another person then all would be okay.

Does anyone else find it absurd that he cheated and yet I was the one with the checklist of things to fix? I was faithful but I needed to fix this. He cheated but he had reasons and therefore nothing to fix.

The second time around was even more bizarre. I was accused of hating him. He’s a crying, drinking, isolating-himself-in-the-bedroom mess, and I’m running around like that guy who tries to keep all the spinning plates from toppling off the sticks and crashing to the ground. I’m taking him to the psych ward. I’m visiting every day. I’m bringing him goodies. I’m taking care of the house and the kids while he’s having a break down. I’m making his appointments. I’m going with him to those appointments. I’m cheering him on. I’m hoping to God he’ll come out of this slump and we can finally start to do things again as a couple. Meanwhile, he’s telling everyone how horrible I am and fucking around with his whore cousin. If anyone had a reason to cheat it would have been me! So no, I don’t give much credence to this thought that the cheated on spouse has to own their part in their spouse’s infidelity.

You can examine every inch of your relationship backwards and forward. You can see every flaw in your relationship, every crack that existed and even nail down who did what to whom and when. It still comes down to one person unilaterally making the decision to cheat. No one made them do it. It is a choice they freely made. I don’t care if they were lost. I don’t care if they were weak. I don’t care if they were manipulated. I don’t care if they hadn’t felt human touch in twenty years. Ultimately this person decided they were entitled to cheat. They decided that “job hunting” would be too much trouble so they were going to embezzle instead. Sadly, they have a whole army of people lining up to pat them on their little heads and tell them that it’s not their fault; they wouldn’t have done any of this if only their spouse had done things differently.

If you choose to believe this line of thinking I would suggest you ask yourself one more question: What has changed in this person so that the next time a crisis occurs or they aren’t feeling loved and special they don’t opt to go fuck another person?

Maybe because of my own experiences with being betrayed, forgiving, and then being betrayed again I am jaded. Or bitter. Pick whichever one makes you feel better. Nonetheless it is stunningly obvious that despite the fact that I was willing and eager to “own my part” and “look at what led to the breakdown”, despite the fact that I made all of those changes he asked for, while he made none, and despite the fact that I uprooted my children and agreed to move us 2000 miles across the country so that he could be happy, when he was faced with another moment of unhappiness/disappointment/crisis he resorted right back to his first response- cheating. He didn’t talk things out with me. He didn’t try to fix things. He took no responsibility. He simply resumed his relationship with Harley and blamed everything on me.

Hurt

The mobster and I were talking one day about the topic of being hurt by infidelity. I responded that CF didn’t hurt me. He pissed me off. He then went on to ask, “You were never hurt by his behavior?”

I had to think about that and I had to go way back to when all this crap first started, back in 2013.

I was extremely naive in 2013. I still thought I was married to an upstanding, honorable guy. A guy who understood and believed in things like: honor, commitment, marriage, fidelity. I never in a million years thought he would cheat on me. How stupid is that? I know I’ve said before that I figured maybe he would one day leave me, but I never thought he’d cheat. STUPID!

So back to me finding out something hinky was up five years ago….

When I first discovered him there, shriveled up in our bathtub, rocking himself back and forth and giving a performance of a lifetime in his self-written, self-directed, self-starring (naturally) play, “Anxiety, Thy Name Is Cousinfucker” I couldn’t begin to imagine what the problem might be. When he tearfully told me, in a whispered voice, “I’ve been texting other women,” the bottom dropped out of my world. I was absolutely shell shocked. This was simply not something that he would do. He had just told me less than 6 weeks prior that he loved me and he had always loved me.

I was so stupid and so naive that I actually convinced myself that he was probably only confessing because he felt guilty that he had actually talked to other women about our marriage. Yes, that’s how far my head was stuck in the ground. I foolishly thought he felt guilty about merely talking to other women, maybe confiding in them about our marriage. At that moment it never occurred to me that he was sexting or saying, “I love you,” to his whore cousin, or making plans for a future with her.

No, it took another whole week or so and a little bit of mind fucking from the whore before I began to suspect that maybe his texting hadn’t been so innocent after all.

I don’t recall feeling hurt back then though. I was sad. I was sad about my marriage potentially ending. I was sad about disrupting my kids’ lives. I was sad about the implosion of a 17 year relationship. I was sad that I had let things get to that point (and yes, at that point I was willing to shoulder almost all of the blame). I remember crying. I remember wanting things to go back. I remember wanting our marriage to work out and to be restored. I remember wanting him to love me again. But I don’t remember being hurt, or feeling hurt. Sadness was my overwhelming emotion.

Yet I spent the next three months trying to show him what life could be like for us. I spent the next three months “pick me” dancing, trying to cautiously woo him back. I rejoiced when he tenderly fed me a piece of tenderloin he had grilled. I was thrilled with every seeming loving gesture from him. He never said, “I love you,” and I didn’t say it either as I didn’t want to push him and “scare him”.

I wasn’t completely sure the whore was gone at first. She was very good with the mind fuck- posting little inspirational quotes, liking his pictures. And then came the day I believed she was gone for good and we were back on track. Followed shortly by her husband contacting me and letting me know they were still at it.

Hurt? Oh, honey, I was pissed! There was no hurt. There was only fury. “What in the fuck are you doing and why are you doing it? Are you seriously willing to give up your wife and kids for your cousin? She’s a fantasy, not reality.”

I was not nice. I was not calm, although I wasn’t as out of control as one would think I might be. Hey, I had a party to throw; I would not disappoint Rock Star. I yelled. I told him outright that he needed to shit or get off the pot, that I deserved to be happy, too, and I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for him to dump me when Picasso graduated from high school.

I felt certain that divorce was imminent. I didn’t think he would “pick” me. I was pretty certain after I issued my ultimatum (you end it now or we’re done) that he was going to pick her (and he did- it just took him two more years of wasting my life and completely destroying the lives we all had out in Utah before he could do it). But I remember being so happy when I got the text message that he was going to end it, that he didn’t want to lose any of us. Blech! I should have left his sorry ass back then and saved myself a whole lot of trouble.

I had sadness when I thought my marriage was over. I had fury/anger when I realized he had been duping me all summer long. But I can’t say that he ever hurt me. His behavior the first time stunned me but it didn’t hurt me. His behavior the second time pissed me off.

I think what actually hurt me more than anything was realizing what a bunch of complete assholes his family was. They never cut the whore off. I was disposable; she was not. It took me a very long time to wrap my mind around that. Naturally, just as I began to forgive them and gradually allow them back into my life he cheated once again and they, once again, were done with me and fawning all over and supporting his union with Harley.

Fast forward two years and once again I find out he’s cheating. Again I’m in disbelief. Not hurt. Frantic. Juggling twenty million things. Keeping all those plates spinning. Thinking about the situation financially and not with my penis.

Seriously- he had been a mess for more than six months. He had emotionally drained me. I was perpetually in fear that he was going to have a massive breakdown and we would end up bankrupt. He had moved us 2000 miles across the country because this job was supposed to make him happy and he was so miserable out in Utah, and yet here he was less than a year later, crying in bed and supposedly unable to function. I don’t know why but I had this feeling that he was once again involved with the whore. I was probably right.

I wasn’t sad; I was suicidal. I wasn’t suicidal because the great love of my life might be off and running with the whore. I was suicidal because I could not take anymore of his shit- the crying, the drinking, the unhappiness, shutting himself off from the rest of us, breaking down every time we turned around, unable to take him anywhere, never able to make him happy, watching all of our dreams collapse around our feet in this new place with no friends and no support. I was mentally exhausted. I had been sold some magic beans, but unlike those beans that led to the goose that laid the golden eggs, my beans were old and rancid and led to nothing except total destruction.

I had kept trudging on. I would put my head down and keep going. We would fix this. We would be happy once again, like we had been. All those dreams we talked about when we talked about moving would become a reality. I was convinced I could do it by sheer will power alone. Until I could no longer do it.

I remember getting that message from The Saint, and my heart sinking. It didn’t break; it sank. Now I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do. Keep those plates spinning!

He had no worries. He didn’t care about what would happen to the house. He didn’t care about the upheaval the kids would experience. He didn’t think about the pool we had just put in our backyard, or the money we had spent decorating and furnishing this new house. He didn’t think about the new car he had just bought for me, or the two new kittens we had, or the new cell phone company we had just switched to. He was fucking his cousin. The world was his oyster! No, I was left to worry about those things.

So no, once again, I was not hurt. I was in a panic. I had kids to worry about and protect. I was worried about the house. Our mortgage was less than a year old and I had no idea how I would ever be able to afford to maintain this house on my own. I didn’t know if I would get enough in support to pay the mortgage, much less be able to replace a furnace or air conditioning unit if necessary. How would I make repairs to the house and keep the yard and pool up? I worried about how we were going to pay off the pool and our other debts. I worried about whether or not the kids would be attending their current schools or I would have to uproot them once again and move in with my mom. While I was tasked with letting Rock Star and Picasso know that their parents were getting a divorce, he was off having another fuck-fest weekend with Harley the Whore.

I kept the house clean, went grocery shopping, made breakfast and dinner for my kids, chauffeured my daughter, and took care of the dogs and cats. I stayed involved in their schools and activities, and paid the bills and went on field trips with them, while I also worried about finding a job and what I was going to do, how I was going to find insurance once the divorce was final, and learning how to live on a whole lot less than we had been living on. There wasn’t time to be hurt. I was trying to survive.

Sure, there were moments when I wept. There were moments of sadness, like when I realized our house wouldn’t be decorated outside and hers would, because he had always done the outside decorations. He did nothing for us; everything was about her and her kids. Or when I felt sure I was going to be alone forever and he, a complete and total anti-social fuck up had someone new already. Or finding out how deep his betrayal had run- all the lies about the money being sent to his mom, phones being purchased for her, a joint bank account with the whore and the rest of his stock cashed in and given to her.

Him losing his job and forcing us to move was devastating, but I can’t say it was hurtful. It was yet another blow and another shit sundae I was forced to eat while he was off doing whatever the fuck he wanted. You know how that makes me feel? Angry!

Everything that has happened since June 10th, 2016 has enraged me. Forcing us out of our home, leaving me to be the one to tell our kids that we were going to have to move again, a mere two years later, having to sell off all of my belongings, moving in with my mom and sleeping on the couch, having to watch Rock Star cry as she realized she wouldn’t be getting her license on time, watching Rock Star struggle at school, working two jobs and still barely able to afford much of anything, stocking shelves at Target, getting up at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 in the morning to go to work, not being able to support myself, watching my kids suffer, wondering if he was going to get away with everything and not have to pay squat in support, hearing all the lies he and his family have spread about me, losing time with my kids, always being tired and feeling like a failure at this mom gig, learning about all the money those two nitwits spent while my kids and I lived like paupers. It was infuriating, but not hurtful.

The reality is, at least the second time around, I lost every bit of feeling I ever had for him the moment I discovered what he was up to. He didn’t hurt me; he disgusted me.

I have a visceral reaction to this idea that I write the things I do because I’m hurt. Nope. I write the things I do because I’m pissed off when I think about all the hell that asshole put me through. I write the things I do because I hope that someone who has just discovered a cheating spouse will come across my blog and read my story and not make the same stupid mistakes that I did. I hope they will see the futility in it and that they will do the sane thing and get the fuck out. I hope those that choose to stay will read my story and be able to discern the difference between being truly sorry and wanting to avoid any painful consequences. That when their spouse tries to blame them for the affair, or refuses to tell them the truth when asked for it, or when they want to avoid the topic of the affair, that they can say, “This is unacceptable. We’re doing it my way or you’re getting the fuck out because I’m not dealing with your shit.”

Hurt has never been a part of my story. I’ve been sad, I’ve been despondent and suicidal, and I’ve been angry, pissed, enraged… pick your adjective. This past year I’ve been hopeful and very, very happy. Yet I don’t think there will ever come a day when I just shrug at his antics. I don’t think I will ever get to the point where I am not pissed off about everything he put us through and everything he took from us. He changed the course of our lives; he changed our destinies and altered our futures. There is so much that he took, so much that he altered. I have hope for my kids that they will be able to forge a new future, despite what their father has chosen to do to them, and yet I still feel the very real pain of everything they’ve lost. This is not the life I would have chosen for them and I will always regret the things they missed out on, no matter how the future plays out. I do not hurt when I look at the ruins of our lives, but I do mourn.

Do They Lie To Protect Us?

I was reading another blog not long ago and the author was talking about lying and the different types of lying. Apparently, the only bad kind of lying is the kind where you are purposefully trying to harm another person. It’s okay to lie to protect someone’s feelings. It’s okay (although non-productive) to lie to yourself. It’s okay to lie to protect yourself.

I’m not going to quibble about the rightness or wrongness of the different types of lies. What I do take issue with is this idea presented that cheaters lie to protect our feelings.

No, they do not. CF did not lie to me about Harley because he wanted to protect my feelings. He lied to me so that when he sent her money and told me, “Oh, if you see wire transfers I’ve been sending money to my mom for groceries,” I would never question him and say something like, “Really? Are you sure you’re not funneling marital funds to your no good, hooker-whore cousin?” He lied to me so that he could buy his cousin and her kid new iPhones when her own husband tossed them off his plan, and I would be none the wiser. I dutifully got online and paid that bill for the next few months before I realized what was going on. He lied to me so that he could go away for the weekend and not have to explain himself when he got back because I thought he was visiting his mom, or seeing his best friend. He lied to me so that he could get his ducks lined up in order to leave us. He set up a bank account. He interviewed for jobs. His plan was to not say a word and just vanish one day. None of that shit was about protecting my feelings.

Yes, finding out my husband was cheating on me was horrific. It hurt like hell. Finding out I had been duped was much worse. Never once did that man think, “Oh my, if Sam ever found out I was fucking my cousin again it would destroy her. I simply must keep this under wraps and lie to protect her fragile feelings.” No, his thought process was much more along the lines of, “How can I get out of this marriage with the most stuff and the least consequences?”

If he cared so much about my feelings and how hurt I would be a simple solution would have been to NOT have an affair.

This idea that cheaters lie to protect our feelings is absolute bullshit. No, it goes beyond that. It’s infuriating. They don’t lie to protect us. They lie to protect themselves.

The Devil You Know

I came across an article written by someone who purports to rebuild remarriages after affairs. For a tidy sum he can help you keep that delightful lying, cheating love of your life.

I have long said that I’m not here to give advice. If you’ve read much of my blog then you know that I had more than one DDay which means I forgave my lying cheater at least once. Technically speaking I suppose Harley was the gift that resurfaced three times. The first time was when he supposedly spontaneously confessed he had been “texting” other women.

True story? Her husband discovered what they were up to and messaged me on FB. Cousinfucker deleted the message and then blocked him. Why he owned up to texting her is beyond me.

Oh, and he never elaborated on exactly what it was he was texting and then refused to disclose a week or so later. I was so stupid and thought he was so honorable that he might have felt guilty simply because he was talking to other women and spilling secrets about our marriage.

So that was DDay #1. Happy Mother’s Day!

DDay #2 was August 14, 2013, three months later. I got yet another message from her husband.

Yeah, about that blocking thing… when he came back from Jezebel’s wedding Harley the Whore blocked me. I had her profile picture up all over the house when he got home and my lying cheater promptly told his twu luv all about it. Once I realized I was blocked I did some digging and found her husband on my list of blocked contacts, which was really strange because at that point I don’t think I had blocked anyone ever in my life!

DDay #3 was two years later, almost to the day. August 10th, 2015. A day which will live in infamy and is only surpassed by June 10th, 2016 as one of the crappiest days of my life.

I dredge all this up again to point out that I, too, forgave my husband at one point. I don’t condemn those who choose to make a go of it. I don’t look down on them. I’m here telling my story and sharing my thoughts so that hopefully others won’t suffer through the same shit I did.

With that said, what the hell, Mort? You’re selling snake oil!

Some of his wonderful advice? #1- Don’t ask about the affair or go to marriage counseling. #2- Tell them divorce is not an option. #3- Have sex with your partner if you want to. I’m not sure if #4 is from him or some other person promising success for 3 easy installment payments of $299, but I’ve also heard that if your partner is still in the affair then be extra sweet and understanding. Don’t make them feel any “toxic shame”.

O.M.G. This is a cheater’s wet dream! I get to fuck around and you can’t ask me about it!

Of course they don’t want to talk about it! They don’t like consequences. They’d rather engage in all that hysterical bonding. Now that’s where the fun is at!

Let’s concentrate on the sex and forget the talking. When you talk you make me feel something akin to guilt and I don’t like that. I’m so splendiferous that I wouldn’t actually feel guilt but when you use words and say things like, “You really hurt me,” and “I don’t trust you anymore,” or “What were you thinking fucking that low class whore?” then it almost makes me feel bad and it certainly doesn’t get me hot and bothered. Let’s stick to sex and forget all the talking stuff.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but let’s face it divorce is always an option when one person wants out. You can’t prevent it no matter how much you personally may be against it.

Honestly? It’s just another form of pick me dancing. No matter what you do I won’t divorce you. Keep fucking the whore. Tell me everything is my fault. Give me a list of things that I need to work on. 

I think my favorite thing about Mort, though, is his philosophy on forgiving the cheating spouse. https://marriagemax.com/cheater/  What if your spouse has done the work and is truly repentant? Don’t you owe it to him or her to forgive and forget and reap the benefits of all your hard work? Don’t you realize that your chances of dumping the cheater only to end up with someone else who just cheats on you is sky high so you may as well keep the cheater you know? I think Mort says it so much better.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

Here’s Sam’s philosophy: Yes, if you don’t fix your picker and figure out why you settled for so little in your relationship there is a good chance you could wind up with the exact same kind of person- a person who is willing to lie and cheat and take you for granted. But if you do fix your picker you have a really good chance of finding someone who won’t cheat on you, someone who will value you. Or put another way, you already know your current partner is a cheater. Those odds are 100%. It’s done. This mythological new person? Hasn’t done a damn thing to you!

But I’ll bite. Let’s take Mort’s theory bit by bit.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

Yes, it might be true. Then it again it might not be. As I said above; however, you know with 100% certainty that your current partner has the ability to cheat on you because they have already, wait for it.. cheated on you!

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

Well, Mort, the devil is in the details, isn’t it? The problem here is that a lot of very remorseless cheaters say they’ve changed.

What they really mean is they don’t want to go through the hassle of a divorce. You are useful to them. They’ll do a better job of keeping the affair hidden.

My own husband swore up and down that he had learned his lesson. Harley was the biggest mistake of his life. He should have bought a motorcycle instead of engaging with her. He talked to her the way he wanted to talk to me. He would never make that mistake again. I was the reason he was alive and why he fought in a war.

Two years later I was going through the exact same hell and with the exact same whore. The man learned nothing. He wanted everything to be perfect and go back to normal and at the first hint that that wasn’t the case he reached out to Harley the Whore.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Even if I agreed with your 40-50% statistic for men cheating, I still have a 50% chance that the new guy won’t cheat and I’m still left with the fact that I’m 100% sure that my current partner is a cheater.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

I think you are way too optimistic. You are also assuming that every person who does not wish to divorce is invested in the marriage. That is simply not the case. Many times they are simply invested in not suffering consequences. Divorce has many consequences- losing custody time of your kids, splitting retirement funds, moving out of houses, no longer having someone to do your laundry/cook your food/clean your house/take care of your kids, no longer having access to your partner’s paycheck, losing friends and relatives…

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

That’s the kicker, isn’t it, Mort? How do we really know which one we ended up with? Is the person truly remorseful? Have they truly transformed themselves? Or are they avoiding consequences?

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

I don’t appreciate your scare tactics. I also don’t believe you should continue a marriage based upon the fact that, “Well, the next person will probably cheat, too, so why bother to find someone who won’t cheat and who will value me?

Maybe this person will find someone who is 100x better than the person left behind. That is another possibility.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

Ah, the ol’ personality transplant! This person is now going to be everything you’ve ever wanted them to be! Nicely co-mingled with a giant helping of shaming people into forgiving the person who has devastated them.

Here’s the problem with your thinking, Mort. If my spouse has been an ass for 15-20 years and I’ve been begging him to change his ways and to please, please, please, keep his penis in his pants and then I finally wise up and realize his behavior is never going to change so I tell him I’m leaving him, it is NOT my fault that the marriage does not survive when he is finally facing  uncomfortable consequences and promises to change to avoid said uncomfortable consequences. You are putting the responsibility of the relationship succeeding or failing onto the person who has been abused and gaslighted for years. No, the relationship didn’t fail because I finally wised up and accepted my husband was an ass who was never going to change. It failed because my husband was an ass who was never going to change.

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

Again, nice job blaming the victim. This relationship could work if only you would forget what I did! Yes, I may have mistreated you and taken you for granted (not to mention lied to you and cheated on you) for 20 years, but the real reason our marriage ultimately failed was because you refused to forgive me the 21st year.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

It so rarely works that way. That’s the fear that keeps people stuck. He/she will be better for the next person!

No, chances are very good that he or she will not be better for the next person. Oh, it may look that way from what is posted on Facebook or Instagram. He or she may even be able to keep that mask on for a few years. It will eventually slip. The shiny will eventually wear off the new relationship and they’ll be looking for something new and exciting once again.

Mort likes to tout his high success rate of couples remaining together. That’s nice, but there’s a difference between staying together because a divorce or splitting up is too inconvenient and your partner is of use to you, versus actually recommitting to your relationship.

Who Had June 25th or Six Months Post Divorce?

Cousinfucker and Harley the Whore got married in Vegas. My mom told me. Isn’t that quaint? The two cheaters made it official. Now the destruction they wrought has purpose.

Can I just say, “Vegas? Really?” On one hand it makes perfect sense. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It’s all cheap drinks, gambling, and street performers. It’s showmanship and glitz. It’s a mirage. Perfect for cheaters like them. A farce registered at Macy’s and celebrated in Vegas.

On the other hand I can still remember him tearfully telling me that he felt so isolated out west. If he had to stay there much longer he would wind up in the psych ward. Apparently he can get married out there; he just can’t live out there.

As far as I know my kids have no idea their daddy has remarried or that they now have a brand spanking new step mommy and four step-siblings. Rock Star has said nothing so far and if I know her like I think I know her she could only sit on this information for a day or two.

Picasso washed his phone and it no longer works so even if his dad wanted to contact him he couldn’t.

I haven’t said anything because it’s not my news to tell, and frankly, I found this all out just as I was leaving work to go down and surprise the mobster for his birthday. None of us needed a cloud hanging over our heads thanks to CF.

I will also add that while he was all tears and stone faced for his daughter’s graduation, he was smiling in his new wedding pictures. Can’t smile for or with his daughter, but can grin away for a whore.

Honestly, it left me feeling strange for a few hours. As the mobster said, it’s like the final discard. He has completely and totally replaced me with this horrid other person. It was a little weird to think that she was taking over my spot in that family. I suppose I should add legally taking over, because let’s face it, she replaced me a long time ago. That’s really at the heart of it. I was effortlessly replaced and no one said a word. It was as if, despite twenty-one years with him, I had never existed.

Fear not! I don’t want him. I don’t grieve the loss of him. As I said I was on the way to see the mobster and throw him a fabulous surprise 50th birthday party. The mobster is my future. Despite any weird feelings CF’s marriage brought up I know I’m so much better off. I am happier than I’ve ever been.

Them? Well, let’s say I wish them all the happiness they deserve. He’s a man who cheated on his wife. She’s a woman who cheated on her husband. And who cheated on him in the first six months they were engaged in their affair! How much longer can he keep that mask on and convince her he’s a loving family man, a doting daddy to her kids? How much longer can she keep her legs closed to other men? Or refrain from sending naked pictures to other men? How long until she winds up being arrested again for writing bad checks because all that extra money that was so new and exciting is now routine? That’s the crappy thing about pretending to be someone you’re not. Eventually you can’t keep up the charade any longer and the real person comes out. Uh-oh!

Now a new pool will begin. How long will this last? How long until she cheats on him again? Anyone think he will be the cheater once again? Final bet: Will he tell his kids what he’s done, and if so, how long until he does so?

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