Should You Stay Or Should You Go? Know the 9 Common Traits of A Serial Cheater So You Can Decide

Common Traits of A Serial CheaterBy Sarah P.

Note: Recently, one of the readers asked whether or not there was a way to know if a man who cheated would be a repeat offender.  After thinking about it, I put together this post about traits that set serial cheaters apart from “one hit wonders.”  Though this is written using a man as an example, the traits would apply to women as well.  However, human behavior is always complex and a myriad of factors play into the decisions people make, for the better or for the worse. Ultimately, we can only predict what a person might do, rather than know with 100% what they will do. So, it is with that caveat that I have written this post.

Common Traits of A Serial Cheater

I have put together a list of attitudes and behaviors that are commonly found in those who are likely to be unfaithful multiple times. Those who are likely to have multiple affairs possess one or more of these traits, which take a starring role in their personalities.

Sociopathic attitudes: Constant disregard for rules; lacks guilt and remorse when caught doing something harmful. He appears to lack a conscience in all of his social dealings. He sees himself as belonging to a ‘dog eats dog world’ where no one is loyal. Therefore, he will not settle for being less than top dog. This usually translates into a global disloyalty to everyone in his life.

Narcissism: This person displays pathological selfishness, an extreme sense of entitlement, and he is always looking for new sources (people) to feed his ego. His needs are paramount and everyone else exists just to fill them. In fact, in his mind, only his needs are real and he cannot comprehend that others have needs apart from his own.

Addictive behavioral tendencies: He could be a diagnosed sex-addict, or he may just be an alcoholic or recreational drug-user. But, don’t let substances such as alcohol fool you. If he uses them frequently, his better judgment has taken a very long sabbatical and it won’t be returning anytime soon.

Behavioral baseline & past actions: People’s past actions usually dictate future behavior. Unless they have undertaken a long-term process of behavioral modification with the help of a professional, it would be better to assume they will not change. As they say, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” That phrase originated because of this phenomenon of repeating bad behavior.

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Displaces blame: This man constantly displaces the blame onto others when he is clearly the person at fault. He will perform the most impressive mental acrobatics in order to make it seem as if others are the cause for his terrible behavior. You can ‘nail his foot to the floor’, develop ironclad guidelines, and you can show objective evidence that he is at fault. But he always, always, always finds away to displace blame. In fact, this bis his most reliable trait—his ability to always blame others for his bad behavior.

High sensation seeker/loves adrenaline driven situations: He loves jumping out of planes, he dreams about racing fast cars, he is saving money for a solo expedition up Mt. Everest. Yes, ladies, this guy can appear to be really exciting. But, his adrenaline seeking behavior usually extends to his love life and he finds the challenge of conquering new women intoxicating. If you don’t believe me, watch a James Bond film.

Early role modeling involving infidelity: This guy has wounds from his childhood and he has witnessed one or both parents cheating over and over again. There was never any resolution to his parent’s behavior and they never changed. He did not have positive role models and he does not know how to do things differently. When trouble strikes his marriage in the form of boredom, fighting, mid-life crisis, he will likely begin an affair. After he starts having affairs, it is easier for him to continue than to find other ways to handle marital frustration.

Low tolerance for deferring gratification: This guy has to have everything now and he cannot see how current actions effect future outcomes. He might have mountains of credit card debt and his house might be littered with doo-dads he does not need. If this type of personality enters into an affair and loves the feeling, it is highly unlikely he will go back to faithful behavior.

Extreme insecurity: This fellow needs constant reassurance and he is always looking for sources of reassurance. If he has decided to use other women as a source of reassurance and specifically if he feels reassured by the affairs that he has, he will have a difficult time letting that source go.

This is a list of personality traits that might pre-dispose someone to an affair. However, these traits can be present and a man may not have an affair at all. Or, if he does, he may not continue. These traits just make him more than likely to have affairs and continue having them.

But, in terms of staying or going, I believe that the above knowledge coupled with what your gut tells you to do can help you make the decision. Leaving a marriage, no matter what the circumstance, is very difficult. However, it might provide at least some cold comfort to know the nature of what you are dealing with so that you can leave with a little confidence that you are taking the right steps.

Still, only you know what is right for you to do. So learn as much as can in order to make an informed decision and follow that path that feels most right to you.

 

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91 Responses to Should You Stay Or Should You Go? Know the 9 Common Traits of A Serial Cheater So You Can Decide

  1. Gizfield April 25, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Oh, no! I have four of these traits, but at a very low level. I imagine all of us have a least one. I don’t plan to be a cheater ever again though, it just doesn’t even interest me. A colossal waste of time.

  2. Gizfield April 25, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Doug and Linda, maybe ya’ll could do an article on nine traits that indicate you are less likely to cheat. I am an introvert, not really concerned with appearances, grew up with many positive marriage role models, dislike talking on the phone or texting, emailing a lot. I also like to be alone a lot, and have “solitary” interests, like reading, crafts, playing games , watching movies. Interesting to see what people come up with.

  3. Gizfield April 25, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    One other trait I have that us kind of different is that I’m an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person. I let people drift in and out of my life and dont really miss them when they’ re gone. I dont hsve really close friends and am mostly interested in whoever is around me at the time. Like when I find an old friend on facebook, I enjoy catching up a bit and seeing their posts, etc. but I dont feel an interest in establishing a close relationship like we might have had before. That doesn’t mean I dont like them, I’ve just moved on I guess. I’m just as happy talking to someone once a year as I am every day. Is anyone else like that.?

    • Lynsey April 25, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

      Hi Gizfield, yes there are other introverts out there. I also prefer alone time, despise talking on the phone & texting, would rather listen than talk, love to read, cook, garden, watch movies by myself. I catch up with friends rarely, and just pick up where we left off when we do meet. It’s me, it’s peaceful, and I’m comfortable with it.

      • Gizfield April 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

        Lynsey, I totally agree. I think one thing bothering me after my husband cheated was that I felt I had to act like someone I wasn’t. Always trying to be entertaining, engaged, funny, etc. There’s nothing wrong with those things in limited doses, but you just can’t keep it up if it’s “not you”. I never much liked “dating” as such. Maybe thats why I’m always married, lol. And I dont mean that in a bad way. Someone who knows who you are and likes who you are. I’m getting back to myself, and I like it.

  4. Sarah P. April 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Hello Gizfield,

    Just found some interesting information in a study done by the University of Guelph. They found that what they term as ‘sexual personality’ is the most likely factor to increase the likelihood that people will cheat. Here are some quotes from an article I found on Science Daily:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725123411.htm

    -“People with sexual performance anxiety are more likely to cheat on their partners.”

    -“Men who are risk-takers or easily sexually aroused are also more likely to wander.”

    “For both men and women, personality characteristics and interpersonal factors are more relevant predictors than are religion, marital status, education or gender. This research shows that demographic variables may not influence decision-making as much as previously thought — that personality matters more, especially for men. All kinds of things predict infidelity. What this study says is that when you put all of those things together, for men, personality characteristics are so strong they bounce everything else out of the model.”

    Their study also found that men and women cheat in about equal numbers. Finally, they ended with the same caveat I had– that there are so many complex factors that could occur to add to infidelity that are outside of the scope of these characteristics or studies about characteristics.

    Also, my two cents on your own traits that correlate with the list. Like you said, it is possible that all of us have at least one. I believe that a person could have almost all of the traits on the list and still not end up cheating. It all depends on the degree to which these traits rule and define the person’s life. So, if someone has almost one of these traits, but at a very low level, and if he makes a very conscious effort NOT to allow these traits to rule his life or take over his better judgement, then he might not cheat.

    On the other hand, if there is another person who has no boundaries in his or her behavior and then has most of these traits and then allows these traits to take over his personality, then he is going to be highly likely to cheat.

    But, that study’s finding about performance anxiety is quite interesting. I would not have guessed that and have not found it in prior literature.

    • Gizfield April 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      thank you for the info, Sarah P! You know, it’s interesting that a lot of cheaters have sexual dysfunction. I saw the other day that Craigslist love affair said sex with her affair partner was terrible. Same here. I only slept with my affair partner once during our affair, but our sexual history was long and pathetic. He was my high school bf, we sleep slept together when I was 16, off and on til about 20. I had very little outside experience, but always suspected he was not very good in bed, and I was right. My first husband was excellent sexually, yet I cheated on him with mr. Sexual Dud. I guess these guys cheat to prove they can, especially since they are sorry lovers a lot of the time.

      • Sarah P. April 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

        Have heard that before too- that sex with the AP is usually over-rated.

        By the way, and earlier comment you made struck a chord with me and a light-bulb went on in my head. You mentioned in your comment earlier that when your H cheated on you, you felt like you had to be engaging, funny, and entertaining and act like someone you were not. A lightbulb went on in my head because I was able to put into perspective something my ex-fiance did when he was cheating on me. Of course, at the time I did not know he was cheating on me– in fact, I had to hear it from a third party 6 weeks after he broke up with me and I had moved out. Anyhow, during the time he was cheating on me, I remember that he would make random comments about how I was not the life of the party and how that was a bad thing. He would mock my introversion and then give examples of extroverted women he admired. When you said you felt like you had to be someone that you were not when your H cheated, I remembered how my fiance was trying to get me to be a more boisterous and socially aggressive person.

        I have observed that when men have affairs, they start to find flaws in the partners personalities to feel better. Prior to getting married to my husband, I let him know point blank that the person he was getting is not someone he can train to be a certain way as if I were a pet. Now, my husband did not make me feel that way– it was my ex fiance who did. But, I wanted my husband to understand going into it that he took ‘the whole package’ or nothing at all. And I told him I felt the same way about him. I accepted who he was, good parts and annoying parts. That is the only way to be since trying to fix someone ultimately ends in frustration and bitterness.

  5. Sarah P. April 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    PS-
    I would be curious to see what Doug and Linda have to say about traits that make a person less likely to cheat.

  6. Sarah P. April 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    PPS-
    Hey Gizfield, introversion is great and introverts play a wonderful role in society! Sounds like a lot of what you are describing about yourself is standard introversion, which is a very valuable characteristic. There is an awesome book called “Quiet” that describes the incredible value introverts have to offer, especially in terms of future innovation and contributions to society.

    Here is a quote from amazon about the book:

    “At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.”

  7. Forcyrin'outloud April 25, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Giz – I’m an introvert and have many of the traits you speak of. My Meyers Briggs classifies me as an INFJ. The rarest of personalities. Oh lucky me! (Meant with all sarcasm). I have found over my 4+ decades that I am unusual, complex and unique. I like hanging out with myself a lot too. And I don’t need people to fill me up. I also keep A LOT close to my chest. I like people but I need my space. Nor do I need them to know everything about me. I will say I have highly correct intuition about people and situations which has never proven me wrong.
    So you have a fellow introvert here on EAJ as well as a southerner. 🙂
    As Sarah recommended , “Quiet” is an exceptional book. I wish HR honchos had to read it. In the world we now live in I believe introversion is looked at as being a little peculiar. Oh well.

    • Sarah P. April 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Hello Forcryin’outloud,

      Hah- I have found that HR honchos rarely read or consider anything that is truly useful. (Or at least that was the case in the information technology industry).

      You have another INFJ here (and former Southerner), but I did not know it was a rare personality type. When I was in my mid- 20’s, I took a lot of flack from my (now ex) fiance because I wasn’t more of an in-your-face extrovert. His Meyers-Briggs was ESTF. (Complete opposite of myself…) Well, that was the guy who ended up cheating and then I left for good. Definitely for the best.

      But, the good news is, I am observing a change in society that started to begin in the early 2000’s. I see that introverts are beginning to be valued more (and for MANY good reasons). In the past we were definitely labeled as peculiar, eccentric, strange, non-social, etc etc. Now books like Quiet are coming out and I have noticed that companies are starting to specifically look for qualities that are most commonly found in introverts. Hey, maybe one day introverts will ‘quietly’ rule the world. (Only no one will know it!)

  8. InTheFog April 26, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    I have much the same personality traits as Giz and was a CS. I don’t have sexual anxiety (rather the opposite) and have cheated twice while in my last relationship.
    I’m married now, know the danger point (not being valued) and don’t see me cheating ever again. the reasons I got there in the past don’t figure in my marriage. (I wasn’t married to my ex which shouldn’t have made a difference but it did, his refusal to commit made me rethink my faithfulness.)
    I don’t think 2 CS counts as ‘serial’ in any case. One was my childhood sweetheart. Although he did open the gates to my longer, more significant AP.
    I was so naive, coming here reminds me if how far I’ve come.

  9. InTheFog April 26, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    Linda/Doug,
    Maybe you could ask if being married makes a difference. A meeting that led to kiss that led on eventually to two affairs probably wouldn’t have happened if I’d been married. Its still cheating, of course but marriage makes all the difference to me.
    Now I’m married, I’m even more bemused as to how my (married) AP could live with himself.

  10. Tryinghard April 26, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Sarah P

    Good job. These traits could really apply to anyone so I guess it’s true, ANTONE can or would cheat.

    I made myself nuts during the aftermath trying to answer the whys, not to mention making my H nuts withe the same. What it boils down to is opportunity, lack of personal moral code, and a great talent for lies, manipulation and entitlement.

    Sometimes the simplest answers say the most. Because they wanted to.

    I think it’s important at my stage to never assume they won’t again and that’s a chance I take everyday. I’m just going to always listen to my gut and see the red flags as real and not doubt my own intuition.

    Trust in your spouse may be important but that paradigm is forever altered and is unreal. More important is to trust ourselves and be aware.

    • Sarah P. April 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Hey TryingHard,

      Yes, yes, yes, listen to the gut! Most times it won’t steer you wrong.

      But even more, I would say evaluate your marriage and figure out if there are any areas where you can be proactive to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

      For example, no opposite-sex friendships for your husband. Period. Especially no opposite-sex friendships with co-workers. Even though it is seemingly ‘enlightened’ to claim that men and women can be just friends, I have seen too many disasters when this attitude is taken and marriages destroyed. People can go into the friendship with the best of intentions, there can be no attraction (at first), but then as the friendship progresses, things can quickly get out of control if given the right circumstances.. Thus, I subscribe to the When Harry met Sally viewpoint that men and women CANNOT be friends.

      I have this rule in my own marriage, for both of us. I cannot tell you how many of my husband’s female co-workers I have had to warn away in some way or another. Some of them are truly relentless and have no shame and do not even try to hide their intentions.

      In fact, in the past few months, I am still having to put up boundaries with one of his female co-workers because she will not give up. And you might say its up to my husband to put up boundaries– well he does and I have even been present at his work when he does. So, after he started putting up boundaries, she started emailing me and begging for us to come to her house to dinner. Each time she says that, I suggest a one-to-one coffee for just us girls and suggest a time. And each time I do that, she never answers me back but then starts in on my husband again. Then he sets a boundary and she emails me again…and on and on. I will never understand this, for many reasons, but knowing it exists, I am pro-active.

      Do any of you ladies have any advice on what I can do to up the ante with this female co-worker who will not go away? I do not want to confront her because I think that could endanger my husband’s job if she went to HR– and she is the type who goes to HR and launches lawsuits on a whim. (It would appear that she is a full-blown narcissist, by the way).

      Well, if any of you have advice on what me or my husband could do to get her to go away, let me know. I am at a loss.

      • tryinghard April 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

        Hi Sarah

        Well since I work with him in the same office at our business there is no room for any kind of office romance–except with me of course!!

        Actually the OW didn’t work for him but worked for a vendor and she begged for a job with my H’s company. I wasn’t working here at the time as I had started my retail store. Yep he was stupid enough to invite the camel into the tent. Talk about not knowing that you don’t shit where you eat!!!

        To that end, I’ve heard some of his phone conversations with female vendors etc and have called him out on it. He was way to friendly and was just lapping up all the attention with their seeking him out for his business acumen. We had a huge heated discussion and I very firmly pointed out how his demeanor sends the wrong message to females. I heard the conversation and I knew it was flattering bullshit coming from the other end of the line. I heard his fake laugh and I swear my hair caught fire. I actually had to leave the office for a while but not before shooting the evil eye to him. He knew exactly what I was mad about and what he had done. But I think this charming behavior has been going on for a long time with female vendors or customers. This is the first time in a very long time we have worked together where he has actually given me the authority I had previously demanded. So I think he was just going back to his old behaviors that he carried on with when I wasn’t here.

        I hate to say it, but with my H I have to be very firm with no chance of ambiguity on my part. We discussed this with the MC and she agreed. I can’t use the female charm, “oh honey when you do such and such it makes me feel, blah, blah, blah…” No I have to say, ” listen here’s what’s going on in the other woman’s head when you converse with her in that manner you silly SOB!” But I also pick my battles.

        Sure he likes being perceived as Mr. Nice Guy but more so he likes the attention and flattery from the OW. Who wouldn’t?? What he’s learned is most time people have their own agendas and sometimes they are measuring him up on how big a dupe he’s going to be. He’s learned to look past the flattery.

        LOL I hired a woman who tried a little too hard to impress my H. She turned on the charm with him, complimenting him on his clothes, making up meetings she had to have with him about FILING???, ignoring tasks I set up for, BTW she reported to me, always trying to subtly undermine me to get to him. Yeah well she was fired after oh about 6 months. Loved doing it. She cried on her way out!

        So yeah my intuition is on overdrive. Never going to mistrust my own gut over trusting someone else.

        I think everyone here has given you great advice Sarah. I will say your H needs to totally ignore her. No unnecessary contact and that includes you too, although I subscribe to keep you friends close, keep your enemies closer. Of course she’s a narcissist and she’s trying to play you. She wants to see you squirm when she’s around. Don’t EVER let her see that.

        They only thing I would add is, take the bitch back to the parking lot and beat the crap out of her!!! BAM, NOW WHO DA BOSS??

        • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

          Hi TryingHard,

          So, my husband is charming like that, but with everyone, even if they are 90-year-old men who are wheelchair bound. But, it is sincere on his part. He has a lot of natural compassion for people, no matter who they are. We had to have a talk early on about how women can perceive his niceness. He has reeled it in a lot over the years in terms of being more cautious around women. But, he is still a naturally likable guy and many women misread it.

          As for that woman who reported to you and was trying to get your husband’s attention. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (That is, I cannot believe that she could be so stupid and ‘backstabbing’ in front of your face!) I do not know how you held out 6 months. I think I would have been very upset from the get-go as soon as I saw that happening. You held yourself very well. Still, it is so unbelievable to me that women like the one you hired/fired actually exist. These women are a standard archetype in the daytime soap operas, but one just does not expect to see such obvious examples in real life. I would have been livid.

          By the way, my best friend of thirty years said the same thing about taking the B out to the parking lot to settle it once and for all. 😉 Heh heh.

        • Strengthrequired April 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

          I have always told my h, watch how he talks to women, because they can take it as if he is interested in them. He never really believed it, I guess until now.
          I believe he is now more open to not trusting anyone anymore. He knows that most are only after what they can.get out of you.

        • Strengthrequired April 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

          Lol the love it.

          • Jrs May 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

            Have to weigh in on this string bc I have the exact same problem. Husband is way too friendly and it sends a signal to women that it shouldn’t. Now, he’s not way too friendly with all of them – primarily the pretty ones. And the ones who aren’t so pretty are the ones I get to meet! The other ones he keeps for himself. BTW we have had the no opposite-sex rules of no lunches, no texting without disclosure of what’s going on, but he does not ever at all follow the rules except the lunch one. i don’t think it will change. Curious to see any other comments people post about a solution.

  11. Jeddy April 27, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Your husband should go to hr and find out what rules of engagement exist in his workplace. If she’s crossing boundaries in an unprofessional way, it’s up to hr to deal with it. At least there would be a record in her file. This may be a pattern of hers. He should beat her to the chase.

    • Sarah P. April 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Jeddy,
      Good point– now I need to convince my husband to stop being a people pleaser and fearing offending everyone. Knowing him, he would be afraid to go to HR because he did not want to cause a fuss and would be too embarrassed.

      I have thought long and hard about if he may have engaged in some kind of affair with her (EA or SA or both). I have thought about how he might have gone about it if he had wanted to, and I am coming up blank. He works one solid shift and leaves at the same time in the morning and comes home at the same time of day. If I call him o text him at work, he answers. He works in an environment where everyone works in a large room that is full of computers and everyone is always around the other. There is really no room for getting to know someone one-on-one. No business lunches (since there is no lunch break). He does not travel without me and never has. All of his co-workers know me well since I drop in from time to time and since we do socialize with a couple of the married couples (like his boss and his boss’s wife). This lady who is chasing him has lived with a guy for 10 years and the guy will not marry her. She ‘claims’ that he is the sole heir to a banking fortune.

      I just don’t see how an affair could happen giving the context. On the other hand, stranger things have happened and i realize that. I have been on high alert for signs but have found none.

      Still, I would like for this lady to chill out and back off. I am getting pretty p****ed off at the situation and it is getting under my skin.

      My best friend always reminds me that any man who is successful, nice, and even just ‘okay’ looking is going to be a target for some women. But still it is unnerving!!

      Any other ideas?

      • Jeddy April 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

        15 months ago I would not have imagined what I’m dealing with now, courtesy of an ea(?) my h had with his subordinate. I spent a year being told the problems in our marriage were due to me, so I tried to fix me. I was humiliated at family functions she attended. I was not able to make decisions about my life or marriage since I was kept in the dark about the third person in the relationship. I would have grabbed that damn phone locked myself in the bathroom and read everything whether he called me crazy or not, and then I would have given him 5 min to leave. I would have realized the romantic overnights he treated me to we’re just to throw me off the trail. He told the ow about those too. I would not have had to listen to my teenage on call my husband a “f— p—” when the whole story came out. I would not have had to endure the last 8 mos of this woman still in h’s life and still reporting to him. My inlaws avoid me since I’m a cold bitch who won’t go to funerals etc, nor do my kids want to go. I could have used the thousands of $$ wasted on fake marital therapy to get out of town. I’m 1000miles away from any support, job, insurance, car, and my husband can’t make me feel safe because of his fear of getting sued. I had to bawl my eyes out at the gyno explaining why I needed std testing – no good reason to believe this was ea not pa.

        the ea ended 8 mos ago and we are still reeling. Every cheater thinks they are the one who can have an affair with no repercussion or fallout or collateral damage. In the history of the world, it hasn’t happened. Ever.

        Now I’m moving away to remove myself from all the toxic crap where I am. Boy what I would do to turn back the clock and call him on the carpet the first day my spidey senses tingled, which was over a year ago. I’d be gone, settled and almost a year into getting my life in order. Or we’d be in a different place in our marriage. But since he was too chicken to man up and put his family first and deal with his mess as soon as he knew it was a mess, here I am. Knowing that my emotional safety, sense of security and general well-being were put last without my knowledge has altered me. It also kept me from being the best mother I could be for my kids.

        Trust me, these women know what they’re doing. She would whimper to men flirting about how having a husband and four boys was too much men. This was not her first rodeo. Women and men need to be called out when they behave unprofessionally. They survive and thrive when no one shuts the behavior down. My kids will be taught what an older female colleague told me: When a man at work complains about his marriage, tell him he should be having this conversation with his wife, then walk away. Remember that it doesn’t take a genius to mirror back the opinions of the opposite sex. It’s the easiest ego stroke, and it can happen at the water cooler. And f it’s tingly, you keep going back for more. The garden you tend will be the one that grows.

        The other things learned thru this is that these are not strong women and men. They are the weak injured idiots at the back of the pack, waiting to be be taken down. Strong, confident folks? Front of the pack leading lives with integrity, not anywhere near those maimed creatures.

        I would rather have been labeled bat shit crazy a year ago than experiencing my life now. So many people have been affected by this mess, and there’s a 6 year old who’s going to have it the worst. But if her dad can’t fix his mess, I can’t help. I’ve been left with a pile of debris, and since I can’t trust my h to scoop me up and deal, I have to leave.

        I tip toed for a long time – who wants to be the accusing untrusting wife? I didn’t stand up for myself, I believed my lying h over my vomiting body and I let myself down as much as he let me down.

        Are you glad you asked?

        • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

          Wow, Jeddy, Yes, I am glad that I asked because your answer provides insight on many levels. I am also truly sorry that you are having to live through such pain. I cannot even begin to tell you how sorry I am that this ordeal is dragging out and that some careless, narcissistic (and possibly sociopathic) woman won’t bother to just go away with at least one minute shred of dignity in tact.

          I just pray that you have some support when you arrive in your new town. This is just too much to deal with alone. But, I am glad you are standing up for yourself by removing yourself from the situation. Once you are gone, he (your h) is going to feel like he was hit by a ton of bricks and then run over by several monster trucks. (And that’s before Karma kicks in…when Karma starts to do its work– watch out!)

          After all, you are/were the reliable/dignified/intregrity-based woman in his life. He is going to find out what it means to try to rely on someone who is only a mirage– a temporary mingling of smoke and mirrors.

          I am angered that your in-laws treat you badly and that the OW is even seen at family functions. That is so wrong on many levels. I am also angered that your body literally had to get that sick and he still would not come clean when he saw you vomiting your guts out. I don’t know about the positive attributes that your marriage possessed prior to his affair, but I am starting to think that he really is not worth your time. It’s such an insane situation on so many levels yet you, who are the innocent one, has had to bear the brunt of the pain. All of that is so unfair. Don’t even get me started on how furious I am that your children are caught in all of this. Your story is such a testament to the devastation that affairs cause for all the innocent bystanders who did nothing wrong. I hope and pray that you find peace soon as well as a loving support system.

          As for your older female colleague and her recommendations, she is right and it has always been my attitude, even prior to being married. In fact, something interesting happened yesterday that made me realize no one would be having affairs if everyone refused to take potential bait. I was at a large, indoor play center with my youngest. I was working on my laptop and suddenly my son’s male dentist was standing in front of me grinning. He has always kind of been a flirt when I take my youngest to see him, even though he is married. He was smiling and making small talk and invading my personal space. (Let’s say I know the difference between friendly and ‘interested’ and I am not an ego-maniac who believes every man who talks to me has an agenda… far from it). Once my intuition told me it was along the lines of ‘interested’, I said, “Hey, where’s your wife? I bet she is lovely and I would like to say hello.” So, he sheepishly brought me over to his wife (who was in another part of the complex with her female friend) and I chatted with her, ignoring him, talking about ‘mom’ stuff, and making it subtly known that I am not a threat. (She is, by the way, a lovely woman and cute as a button). After that conversation, I found my child and we ran around the play area together. Anyhow, this is how I have always been around men, even when I was single. To me, it has always been a tremendous violation of ‘the girl code’ even to flirt with a man who is taken. But, ever since I married, I do not flirt with anyone (taken or single) because it is a violation to my marriage. Anyone else out there have ideals similar to these and stick to them in all situations? To me, it seems like if all women refused the bait and refused to even open the door to the bait, there would be A LOT less affairs.

          Jeddy, again I am so sorry about everything you are going through. 🙁

      • Exercisegrace April 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

        Personally I think you have handled it well up to this point. Unfortunately, it sounds like it needs more handling. First I would start with a conversation with my husband. I would recap her sins to date, and tell him you are compelled to take further action. I would ask him point blank if there is any reason for her to be continuing to pursue this so aggressively. Ex: is he sending mixed signals by holding her off but also enjoying the attention? I would tell him it would behoove him to be totally honest. You will be taking steps to put a stop to this and you don’t want to find out from Her that he has been flirting back or encouraging her attention in many way.

        Before taking any concrete action I would seek the advice of a knowledgable professional. This person sounds dangerous. My husband also worked with his affair partner for several years and initially ignored the occasional over the line comments. Unfortunately he began to enjoy them after his father died and business was nearly failing. A sick way of medicating his falling ego. These sickos often have more than an affair in mind. “Our” whore tried to ruin every possible way. I would not take this lightly.

        Next I would print out any emails, log any and all conversations and events that you feel are over the line. I would show up unexpectedly and calmly tell her that she needs to stop. I would tell her that you and your husband will be forced to seek advice from HR if she does not stop this behavior immediately. Inform her you have logged evidence and will continue to do so, proving she is harassing him and you.

        It truly is mind boggling the number of women who just don’t care. Don’t care that these men are married, don’t care they turn the attention away. The whore playbook seems to tell them to keep pressing until the caves during a weak time in his life. My husbands whore flat out admitted that it took her a long time to get him to fall.

        • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

          ExerciseGrace,

          Those are great recommendations– in fact, I have done all of them, including keeping a log of emails, except I have not yet confronted her.

          My husband does have a part in this and here is what it is: he is the type of guy who is so affable that he has no enemies. When he is at work, he is always in a jolly mood, he is a team player, and he loves to make small talk about safe topics such as the books he is reading. (But, I also know he talks a lot about our marriage in an extremely positive light. So many of his co-workers have said things like: “he adores you and makes it known” and “what’s the secret of your happy marriage?”) On the other hand, there have been several occasions in the past where any non-stable women in his work environment mis-read his personality. They take his jovial-ness personally while ignoring all of the times he talks about being happily married. I am on good terms and friendly with several of his co-workers and know that he has never crossed the line. I have let him know before how he attracts these types, but he is genuinely naive about this because he is just being himself. (And his friendlyness is in no way flirtatious if that makes sense. He is just a guy who is extremely easy to work with a attempts to build harmony in his team. He abhors drama and bad feelings and then goes overboard to make sure everyone is happy and there is no tension in the air).

          So that is his part of it. I have thought about asking him to shut himself down, but that isn’t fair because he never does anything inappropriate and does not even engage in any kind of conversation that is R rated. He is extremely cautious.

          We have spoken openly about my view of how this happens and he validates my feelings. He always assures me that he never singles anyone out for special treatment or even friendship and I believe it since I have corroborated it.

          It sounds like the best way to go about this is legalistically, like you suggested in keeping logs about everything and gathering data. Then when the time it right, serving her with a verbal warning and asking her to literally ‘cease and desist’.

          Thanks again for the feedback– really appreciate it.

          Your H’s OW was definitely a predator. There are some women who get pulled into affairs even though they have no intention of doing so– then there are women who seem to seek out to destroy the happiness of another woman. This is deplorable. I hope your husband has gotten clued in.

  12. Jeddy April 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Also, in my experience, people who are married to actual heirs to any fortune never tell a soul. It’s gauche and irrelevant. She’s lying to seem more swanky and chic.

    • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      Gauche, indeed. Ahhh… but, here is the catch. She is NOT married to the guy. She has lived with him for 10 years and it is her ‘sob story’ that she tells my husband about how this guy has taken “the best years of her life because he won’t marry her.” She makes him out to the cad, while she is the defenseless victim of his cad-ish ways. It takes two to tango and she admits she has forced this guy to buy a house with her with both names on the title. He still won’t marry her and since he won’t marry her, she uses this story as alleged proof of further insult to her right as a woman to be treated like Queen. (Or that is how my husband describes it).

      I remember when my husband told me that story about her very recently. My only response was, “That’s a smart guy.”

  13. EyesOpened April 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    SP – in answer to your request for suggestions: As the CS, I am wondering if my APs wife could have done anything that would have stopped us in our tracks.
    1) would have been to ‘be seen’. 2) to be happy when seen (she always appeared in a mood with him , fuelling the perception that their relationship was over ) 3) she was aloof on the rare occasions she visited the office – it was notable and mentioned by his staff. So being friendly and having people ‘on her side ‘ would have helped, I think. 4) displays of affection (not showy embarrassing stuff – but a touch of a cheek, a shared moment – anything that displays love and affection is rife in your marriage … ) would be a good move.

    Ultimately – him not flirting ‘back’ will end any shannanigans before they start – and just as in a marriage – nothing is going to happen if BOTH people are not taking part. If your h is setting boundaries and saying no – an affair won’t happen! If she wants to have you BOTH over for dinner – then accept and show her how fantastic a relationship you have with him. Any fantasies she might be entertaining will be laid to rest there and then.

    I told a friend of my h and mine that I’d had an affair. He said his wife SUSPECTED he’d had an affair – and he said she did something really clever. She told him to call ‘the ow suspect’ on a speakerphone and he had to say the following : ‘I’ve just told xxx (my wife) everything. I’ve told her the whole truth – and she wants to hear your version of what’s happened between us – please tell her the whole truth’ .

    I thought through this, and decided it was an exceptionally clever tactic. If my AP called and said that, mid-affair – I’d probably have slammed the phone down or apologised profusely. Either way – his w would have found out the truth!

    • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Hello EyesOpened,

      Thank you for sharing those tips. I really appreciate your input. I have a question for you if you do not mind. What did the affair process look like? I mean, was he the one who started showing interest? How did the affair evolve and what were some of the clues the wife could have seen? How and why did it end and who ended it?

      Do you think during the affair started that the wife could have done things to stop it or did it need to run its course?

      Do you think you had different reasons for entering into it than your affair partner did? (I mean, the stereotype is that men want the variety that another woman provides and that women embark on this path because their husbands cannot meet their emotional needs.)

      Please realize I do not intend any of these questions in a demeaning way. Thanks again for your honesty and your perspective. Your perspective is an essential part in helping to understand the hows and whys and ultimately how to strengthen all of our marriages.

      • Strengthrequired April 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

        Sarah, I know there wasn’t much I could have done to stop my h ea, it started when he was overseas, so I was out of sight out of mind to him, that was until he had to face me, with what he had done. Once he saw me, he was covered in guilt, and must have thought that he was in too deep to ever think I would want to keep him. It shocked him, when he saw I chose to fight for him. He even told me, that I had now made it harder for him, because I chose to fight.
        Unfortunately though, I had to let the ea run it’s course, there was nothing I could say or do that would make my h leave his skank, there was nothing I could do or say to skank to leave my h alone either.
        I did try and leave several times, out of sheer frustration and emotional exhaustion, yet my h would stop me each time. The only time it stopped, was when we had moved, but it took another four months before he did tell her that she had to stop, because he was not going to leave his wife and family. That was because he knew that one day he would come home and see me and our children gone, I had already made arrangements for a place to stay, which he knew about, so he knew I was dead serious, at nolonger waiting for him to choose his family over her. She had actually by this time though, the day he told her to stop, she had told him that she wanted him to leave me, he told her no.
        Of course as you know she still tries to call, at times gets through to talk to him, but he doesn’t give her the time of day anymore.
        He doesn’t spend much time at his place of work like he used to, he always tries to be out, or closes and locks the doors there so no one knows he is there, just in case she shows up at his door.
        Anyway, I just wanted to say, that it doesn’t matter what we say or do, if the cs doesn’t want to let go of the ap, they won’t, until they are good and ready.
        They will push the limits, until they finally have enough.

  14. tryinghard April 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey Sarah P

    FYI the Ow in my H life had tons of sob stories like that. It’s bait. They try to get their target to feel sorry for them. Maybe on way of shutting her down is if your H would turn and say “Well why on earth would you stay with a guy like that? That is pretty dumb on your part!” Makes her think he thinks she’s stupid instead of feeling sorry for her. Like she needs to be rescued. She knows men like that about some woman. They can be the big Hero. This chick is NO dummy.

    It’s probably going to be against his grain but he HAS to make her think he thinks she stupid and def not that he feels any kind of sympathy/empathy for her.

    • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      TryingHard,
      You make a very good point. The last time I addressed this with him a couple of days ago and talked about the pattern, he says that when she asks again, he will say to her “You talk about how you want to get to know Sarah, you text her and email her asking for us to come to your house. She has suggested meeting for coffee twice and you have not answered her twice. So, I do not believe this is a way to make in roads with us as a couple. You need to get to know Sarah.”

      Now, if he actually has the cahones to say that, I do believe it will deter her, at least for a while. If she has any sense of shame at all, she will at least feel embarrassed.

      The good news is, the place where he works has shifts and different employees are rotated through different shifts constantly. He has not worked with her for 3 weeks. But, this all came up again last week because she was emailing me again, pressing us to come for dinner.

      Now, my husband thinks, that because she lives with her boyfriend and owns a house with him, that she is ‘lonely’ to have another couple to befriend. But, anytime I have dropped into work to leave homemade cookies and cakes for the staff, I do not get a ‘lonely for another couple’ vibe from her at all. My spidey-senses say that she is a black widow waiting in the wings, planning when to pounce. I have also noticed that she is very aggressive and opinionated and not afraid to instigate arguments. So she is not one to give up easily. (The thing that works in my favor is my husband secretly hates that type of personality, but again, he is nice to everyone and makes sure to avoid conflict).

      But, I am always extremely nice to her and everyone else at the office. There is no other way to be, you know?

    • Strengthrequired April 28, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

      Th, those damn sob stories. Omg, they catch a man hook line and sinker. They know that most men want to be a hero, and as long as they show a damsel in distress act, then the man, won’t even look at them. The ow that does this, definitely not stupid by any means, they know exactly what they are doing.
      My h would always say to me, how bad he felt for his skank, ohh the poor thing had such a horrible marriage. Ohh boy, it must not have been that bad if she stayed with him for 20 friggin years. Yes she left him 3 times, but why keep going back. It’s not like she was doing it for her kids, because apparently they don’t even like their dad. Lol. That’s what he tells me anyway. Ohh and she also, had my h listen to one of their conversations on speaker, while she was talking to her exh.
      He said, ohh he spoke to her terribly. Ohhh really, well this man has just been separated from his wife and she starts having an affair with you, wtf, what do you expect this man to do and say to her, while his emotions are running high.
      I said and by the way, she did the wrong thing, putting her exh on speaker phone, because she only did that, so out of all the conversations you hear of them talking, she puts the one on that has him get angry on. If he wasn’t angry, she wouldn’t have had you listen, as that doesn’t show him as being a bad exh.

      Honestly, talk about blinders being on. All rational thinking gets shoved out the window, when they don’t want to see what’s right in front of them.

      • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

        Strength,
        As my dad says, “men, just like dinosaurs, have two brains– one in their head and one in their tail. When they are thinkin’ with the brain in their tail , all bets are off because tail brains are no good for thinkin’.”

        But seriously, your H’s other woman was extremely manipulative and she knew how to use a man’s innate need to “be needed” and to “rescue” a woman against him. She knew what she was doing and she played it to the hilt.

        It is even more heartless that she was attempting to make an innocent woman and her children homeless just so she could conveniently have someone else pay for her kids and bills. Just terrible.

        • Strengthrequired April 29, 2014 at 12:41 am #

          Unfortunately Sarah, she wanted my life, she left her h, was seeking divorce, and used my h to help her anyway she could. Even to drag him down, and then to continue to drag him down the longer he kept seeing her.
          She believed he was only with me because if the children, because she was so wonderful, why would he stay with the wicked wife, unless for the children. When she realised that she was losing her grip on him, she decided to tell him, that she would be happy to raise his children, so he could have them with him. She figured that way, he would have no contact with me, he would not need to give me child support, yet I would have to give him child support instead, so her little pocket stays full of money. She then would be able to keep a track of what he spends on his kids. If that would have happened, should would have had my husband, my children, and my home as well as business we established together. I would have had nothing. I would not have been able to cope if she had succeeded in having him take my children as well.
          He used to tell me she was not very smart, she needed help with everything. Little did he realise, that is exactly what she wanted him to think. She was very smart and cunning with how she played him, she fed him her sob stories, and then he thought she was such a poor thing, she knew he would start telling her things. By the time he was ripe for the picking, she knew all she needed to do was get him by himself, where I would not be any where near him, and that was getting him to pay for her ticket to see her family, he feel for it, paid for her ticket, unknown to me, and that was it.
          She played with his head, her family played with his head, next thing I know he was losing his mind, and telling me on his arrival from his trip, that he nolonger loves me. You could have knocked me over with a feather, as it was the last thing I expected. I did know there was something wrong as after a week of his trip, which was the time she arrived to see her parents, he was being cold and uncaring, which before she got there, he was calling, telling me he loved me, missed me asking about his children etc, then a change just like that. Me wondering wtf I had done. Turns out it wasn’t anything I had done, it was all she was doing, she planted her bait, and let him nibble at it, until she hooked him, by playing with his head. Just a whole heap of mind games.
          Stupid skank, she may have thought she got what she wanted when they were overseas together, and the poor little wife didn’t have a clue, but she had reality slap her in the face, on his arrival home. Reality was also staring my h right in the face too, he was able to live in denial while he was away, but he couldn’t do that when he came home and saw me.

          • Sarah P. April 29, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

            Strength,
            This really is a terrible story and I am so sorry you have had to go through it. Your H’s affair partner sounds very intentionally vicious, manipulative, selfish, and heartless. It is a good thing he came to his senses for many reasons. But, I can bet you money that if he would have left to be with her, just being with her would be a hell worse than anything Dante could have imagined. His AP sounds unstable and emotionally abusive. He should be thanking his lucky stars that you fought hard for his soul and won it.

            • Strengthrequired April 30, 2014 at 4:06 am #

              Thankyou Sarah, but honestly it’s ok. I am fine, I knew along time ago, that she must have had an eye on my h, just by the rumours her h apparently spread about her. Her h not wanting her anywhere near my h. So for someone that was so smitten though with my h, and expressed to him that she had loved him her whole life, she certainly dropped him from her life for two decades, and she found it so easy to do so.
              Until she finally needed that sucker to hold her hand, as she had finally decided to walk away from her h, and go for a divorce, unfortunately she decided to target my h, after I had told her that he had helped out several cousins, that that was the only reason they called him, and nagged him when they needed something from him. Yet he still helped out. I guess, I gave her the ammunition she needed to get my h to help her, and potentially leave his family for her.
              I never even remembered that conversation we had until a while after the ea came to light. All the pieces just started to fit together nicely. So in a way it was my fault for giving her what she needed, to get her hooks into him.
              So, I think now, he sees, there is no more helping relatives, unless it is both our immediate families, because they just used him, each one he had helped.

  15. Tryinghard April 28, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Sarah

    The woman I hired and fired was not the AP. I hired her as my assistant but she did everything but assist me. She only wanted to answer to the men. I caught onto her very early. I tried talking to her and being “nice” but she was just too stupid to get it. I’m sure she thought because my H had had an affair he would be easy picking so I caught her many times trying to make small talk. I warned my husband but she was relentless so I fired her and am glad I did. I have another assistant who is perfect and keeps her mouth shut and does her work. I can smell that shit a mile away. The poor chick I fired was getting divorced, desperate, and broke. I’m sure she was trying to move in on him. Well she was also very stupid because once I saw it and her ineptitude she was gone.

    Ok fair warning here. The OW he had the affair with was everything my husband found abhorrent as well. She was a nosy buddy, gambler, drinker and very loud. He hates all that in men and women and yet….. Well you know.

    Do not friend this woman but do let her know you’re on to her. These types do not scare off just because you two pronounce your happy marriage. Matter of fact it makes him that much more appealing. She can’t know anything personal about you two good or bad. Any information gives her power. He HAS to give her the cold shoulder. She will think because he wants her to get to know you that he wants to socialize with her. She will misread and interpret everything to suit her. It’s a power play on her part. Ignore her, both of you. She does not want your friendship. She wants your life.

    Yes parking lot ass kicking she will understand. Bring wine and snacks, I’ll help:)

    • Strengthrequired April 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      Th, exactly, any attention given by the h just makes her misread his intentions for her own good. These type of ow don’t let go that easy. Total ignoring is needed, no socialing of any kind. She has to see that he has no interest in her, but his own family.
      My h ow, was also recently separated, kids, broke, stressing out how she was going to pay for her family, so of course all the sob stories to my h were about that too, “ohhh how am I going to live, where am I going to live, blah blah blah”. All she wanted was a man that would come and start paying for her and her children, so she didn’t have to worry about It herself.
      All I can say, was my h was a sucker…. For her crap.

    • Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

      Hello TryingHard,

      Certainly got the part that the assistant you hired was not the OW. What I was blown away by was that your assistant, who you hired, would come in and attempt to pull him in to something. You hired her, she was your assistant, and yet it seemed she had designs on your H and she did not attempt to hide it. Talk about disrespecting an employer! It blows my mind.

      As for not friending my H’s co-worker, believe me, I have no intention of doing so. What I gave her each time was a ‘test’ to see if she had the guts to face me one-on-one for coffee. She doesn’t have the guts to face me and I figured as much– just trying to confirm it and it was confirmed two times over. So, to me there is absolutely no ambiguity as to her intentions and that is what I needed to see. You are right that she does not want my friendship, but wants my life. It is what I had suspected all along. I will never understand it, but I do realize such people exist and we have to keep one eye open at all times rather than lulling ourselves into a sense of false security. I learned this hard lesson years ago when I lost my fiance to his affair partner prior to the wedding. (He had been having an affair under my nose and I had no idea. The engagement ring, the fact that we worked at the same company on the same floor, the fact that we seemed to have an excellent relationship in all areas, and the fact that we owned a home together had lulled me into a false sense of security. After going through that experience, I am now keenly aware that it is possible– even if a relationship appears to be wonderful.

      As for the parking lot confrontation, do you prefer a nice chianti, a chardonnay, or perhaps a nouveau beaujolais? I know which wine goes best with a slab of steak, but, for a slab of butt-kicking, not so much.

      (Kidding!)

  16. Tryinghard April 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Oh Eyes

    If you would answer those questions it would be so helpful.

  17. Strengthrequired April 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Well everyone, just over two years ago, I probably though we would never have made it to this day, that was when the ea had started.
    After I found out about my h ea, we were shy off 21 yrs married, I didn’t even think we would get the chance to celebrate that mile stone, but we did. It was a beautiful time, but you know that was as tainted as they come, of a wedding anniversary.
    So fast track to now, today we are celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary!!!!!!
    Yet I don’t think we will be celebrating until the weekend because my h isn’t home until the weekend. Yet today is the day.
    I actually told my h that we should celebrate it as our 21st, because the last two years were a nightmare and just didn’t seem to be like we were really married, lol because of his ea, and it felt like we lost two years of our life.
    He won’t have a bar of it, “we are married for 23 yrs, not 21, you have always been my wife and the one I love” lol. So 23 it is…..

    Who would have thought after such a nightmare, that we could have pushed through for another two years under our belt of huh hmmm marital bliss. That is the last two years of nightmare marital bliss. None the less, here we are, still fighting our way through all the crap the ea has thrown at us, and surely but slowly, seeing the fruits of all our hard work.
    So skanky breathe, this is to you. You may have caused a lot of trouble trying to break a family, but let me tell you this. You did not succeed in breaking us, you did not know who you were up against, that was your biggest mistake, not knowing who your opponent was, you thought you knew, but you had no idea. You made a mistake at thinking that I would think like you, but you were wrong. I am a wife that loved her h, and actually knew her h, knew how he really felt towards me, that’s what happens when you have shared a lifetime together. You thought you knew my h, but that was another one of your mistakes, you tried to change him to suit what you wanted, you thought he would think like you. You may have gotten into his head for a little whole, but you thought you needed to ruin a good man to end up getting your way. You didn’t count on him having a good wife by his side, helping him find his way back to being a man of dignity and respect for himself, you tried to take that away from him, so to control him.
    Your mistake thinking I was like you, and wouldn’t fight for what was right, you thought I wouldn’t fight to save my marriage and to save my husband and children from the likes of you. Huge mistake…..
    Thankyou for showing my h, never to trust anyone again, especially relatives like you.

    • Doug April 29, 2014 at 4:28 am #

      SR, congrats on the anniversary. You’ve come a long way over the last 2 years. I hope the next 23 years are the best ever!

      • Strengthrequired April 29, 2014 at 6:00 am #

        Thankyou very much Doug, I think my h has come a long way, since dday. It could have turned out so different. Thankfully he finally opened his eyes.
        We still have some recovery work to do, I still am so very embarrassed about what happened, but I think the ow can be more embarrassed about chasing a married man, trying to break a family, and not letting go of him when he made a decision to stay with his family.
        I gave her a good fight, I wasn’t about to hand my life, my husband and my children to her on a silver platter, she didn’t deserve any of it.
        I think we both have learned from this, it was difficult, still is, but I am hoping he has learned more from what he almost lost because of the ea, so it never happens again. Hopefully he will never let his guard down, I know I won’t. Lol
        Honestly to think that was our darkest moment, and we can say, we got through to the other side, a stronger couple. Yourself and Linda have also come such a long way, and I know that if I hadn’t of found your site, I would have left my h at the beginning of last year, when I found that he was still lying and seeing his ow, while I had moved house, moved from my family and friends, my oldest children, while I tried to adjust our younger children to their new surrounds, while I tried to get my children through all of their tantrums, of having no friends, no family except for me, and occasionally their dad. He had told me he had stopped speaking with the ow, but the week we moved, I heard their telephone conversation one night as he came home in his car, as I waited. I saw a few days later a donation that he had made, not from him and I, but for him and his ow, because that was what she wanted. She had arranged it, and had placed them down as h and w, but using her first name and our surname.
        Then I saw his phone records, and it was for hours on end, every time he left home, he was on the phone, every time he was in his car, he was on the phone with her, every spare time he had, it was talking, or texting her. He would get off the phone with me, then be straight on the phone with her. Honestly it’s a wonder our business was able to survive.
        Then I found here, in my despair. I felt so alone, I felt she had finally got her way, then I read others post, some of the blogs, and everything just made more sense. You and Linda, gave me hope that we could make it, that month my h stopped his contact, after he knew I was done.

  18. Sarah P. April 28, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    StrengthRequired,

    Yay!!!!! What an empowering letter. Love it!

    Congratulations on reaching your 23rd wedding anniversary!! I agree with your h, 23 NOT 21. Because if you say 21 years, you acknowledge that she has played a hurtful role in your life, and that’s a tiny win for her. No wins for the other woman, and 23 it is for you and your husband!

    I am so happy that you two have come out the other side even stronger. They say that in the fire, the gold is separated from the dross. Your marriage endured the proverbial fire and it has come out as pure gold.

    I raise ‘virtual’ champagne glasses in celebration: may what happened during those two years be only a tiny blip on the radar of a healthy, long-lived, loving, and fruitful life together. May you have many more years together, growing together, and may your husband continue to recognize and show gratitude for the jewel that he has had all along.

    • Strengthrequired April 29, 2014 at 12:13 am #

      Sarah, Thankyou very much, so sweet of you to say. Your right, while we were celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary, it would have drove her nuts, being on the other side of the phone, wondering what he was doing while with me. We took photos of the beautiful suite we were in, and I posted them on fb, lol. So she could see, how nice it was. It would have eaten her up inside, knowing that here he was celebrating our marriage, and not celebrating a separation instead with her.
      One thing I wanted to get out there, was not all ow have the upper hand over the wife. They think they do, they think they know what the wife is all about, but they don’t always have a clue. They forget they mess with fire, they will get burnt.
      History goes along way for a wife, and a husband, we wives know everything there is to know about our husbands, and they know all there is to know about us.
      One thing my h always said, even through throughout his ea, I was the only person he can trust, he does not trust anyone else.

  19. Tryinghard April 29, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    SR

    I believe the talk between the affair partners about how miserable their lives are with their spouses is a vital conversation to justify the affair. They are unhappy in the marriage because of X,Y, z, whatever the made up excuse is to justify doing something they know is wrong. It becomes part of the vernacular of the affair. So in all the cases the husband is unappreciated by the cold, frigid wife, all the OW have husbands/boyfriends who drink, abuse them, gamble, whatever the excuse to justify. They start to rewrite and make up alternative histories to excuse their behavior. It’s all unreal and a fantasy but these alternative scenarios have to exist in their minds and in their stories. I often wonder what my H OW thinks now that the affair is over, they no longer communicate and he is back home with is seemingly horrible wife. She must be shaking her head thinking WTF is he doing with her, he told me he couldn’t stand her and now here they are traveling all over together, working together, what the hell happened? He was miserable and she was a cold hearted bitch. I’ll bet she has a thousand more questions Thani and why because she never really knew him and well he lied to her just as much if not more than he lied to me.

    Someone here put it very succinctly .. It’s a chicken and egg scenario. Are they unhappy in their marriage so they had an affair or are they unhappy in their marriage because they are in an affair? Personally I believe it’s the latter. For most I believe they have something lacking in their own character and it makes then easy prey for an affair. Once they get so entangled in the affair and all the talk about each other’s misery in the primary relationships fuels and perpetuates the affair. They are however getting something from the affair that satisfies a need. One would think with all the drama they see in each other’s lives they would run for the hills. I mean who really wants to be with someone who is always complaining and continues to live in such a seemingly miserable existance if all their complaints about their spouses are true. I mean is there ever a story about affair partners saying “oh yeah my wife is lovely, she’s beautiful, successful, a wonderful lover, great mother, I just like screwing other people on the side and lying to her.” They have to believe her sob story and she has to believe his. Without those sob stories they know they are nothing more than feral dogs and the “relationship” is pointless. You cannot tell me that one person really believes that cheating is ok. I don’t care how ignorant they are. I think for many cheaters it just becomes part of who they are. They don’t care and more so they don’t need an excuse. I guess these would be the hard core cheaters, the incorrigibles.

    So SR to answer your question. Yes your husband fell for cousin Its sob story because he had to in order to justify the affair. Your husband is NOT one of the incorrigibles. He’s a good guy who got caught up and manipulated in something he was just not smart enough to get out of.

    That’s what affairs are, webs of deceit that just grow and grow the longer they allow them to go on. Is sad but I think it’s important to not focus on those details of the OW flaws and look at the bigger picture of our spouses own character flaws and weaknesses such as believing the lies about people’s intentions and motives. The spouses inability to have personal boundaries and their commitments to their primary relationships. Cousin It definitely has character flaws and why he would choose to hook his wagon up to that should make you want to look more closely at your husbands own flaws and weakness not the weakness in your marriage. This is the difficult aspect to deal with. It’s not the marriage, it’s whos in the other half of the marriage. Marriages only exist because of the level of respect and commitment each partner has for the other.

    Now all of us here have decided for one reason or another to continue to leave our wagons hooked to people who obviously have deep character flaws. Why on earth we do it speaks volumes about who we are. And I’m not saying this in a negative sense. We do it for many reasons, most of which are good. I just think we impede our own personal growth by only placing the blame on the OW. Yes she played a huge role as facilitator but he was a willing “victim”. That’s our battle.

    Congrats on your anniversary. Yes take those 23 years. You’ve fought and worked hard for each of them. Do not give one single day to cousin It and her selfishness and meanness. She is no more than shit on the bottom of your shoe but always be aware there are many people out there just like her waiting to pounce. Just like the idiot assistant I hired. I smelled that shit show and closed the curtain on her! One point for the good guys!

    You’ve learned a great and valuable lesson. Don’t let that lesson go to waste.

  20. Strengthrequired April 29, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    Thankyou the I think we have all learned that lesson, I am sure we all need to make sure we don’t waste what we have learned.

  21. EyesOpened April 29, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Sarah. Apologies for the delay. Time differences and post-update-delays conspired against me!

    I have copied and pasted your questions with answers below . In all honesty – I am nervous a out replying, because this teeters dangerously close to ‘blaming’ – which I avoid at all costs. But here goes:

    Q: What did the affair process look like? I mean, was he the one who started showing interest?
    A: I remember liking him as soon as I met him. I was new to the job and he was a tease and a flirt. Very openly complimentary. I am not shy – but he made me blush and nervous and heaped a lot of praise and attention on me. I returned to work after having and raising kids and felt overweight and ‘out of the game’. His compliments boosted my ego and confidence and I re-payed the gestures by supporting his ideas, helping him to achieve things he hadn’t been able to push through previously. He was a constant prankster and flirted with everyone (men and women). Most of all he was the life of the party and it was very dull when he was away on a trip or holiday. In my heart, I thought he was ‘a really fun person that made me laugh loads’.

    Q: How did the affair evolve and what were some of the clues the wife could have seen? How and why did it end and who ended it?
    A: We started working on lots of projects together (over a 3 yr period) – and the more we worked together – the more success we had – so our ideas and projects were supported by our boss and peers. We found ways of travelling together and being in one another’s company as much as possible. The crunch came when he sent me a public Facebook message on my holiday – saying how quiet it was and they all missed me. I knew that was overstepping but I liked it.
    We talked openly on fb a lot (sign). We hugged a lot (he hugged everyone – so must always have smelled of perfume) (sign).
    When we got to full swing – we would make excuses to go out to text each other – to get the milk, or go and fill up with petrol, put the kids to sleep alone – anything to be alone to send a text (sign ). Constantly guarding your phone (sign ). Weight loss and improvement in your appearance (sign ).

    Q : Do you think during the affair started that the wife could have done things to stop it or did it need to run its course?
    A: I think she needed to be more present in his life . He’d had previous affairs which I did not know about but which he admitted to , full of remorse and shame during the affair. She suspected him and told my h that she had noticed him becoming detached and different for some time and had decided to keep a look out. She found a note I’d given him which he kept in his work book. (Strangely both his counsellor and I said he wanted to get found out).

    Q:Do you think you had different reasons for entering into it than your affair partner did? (I mean, the stereotype is that men want the variety that another woman provides and that women embark on this path because their husbands cannot meet their emotional needs.).
    A: honestly – I ended up having an affair to escape the place I found myself in in my marriage. I felt trapped, unheard, controlled and was unable to leave. (Financial constraints. My h refused to accept there were problems and talk. He was stubborn and controlling, threatened suicide, depressed and angry). I felt utterly trapped. My AP made me feel happy , sexy and alive – and I could go home and was able to let all the crap sail over my head – and felt sexy enough to keep up with my h’s CONSTANT need for sex. As I’ve said before – my deranged self thought I was helping my AP ‘s wife!!!

    I think our needs were similar – just both wanted adoration and to be told we were fantastic. I think I ‘fell more in lurve’ when it ended because his w and my h made such a huge deal of it – I knew that we must have something – or everyone would have just tutted and moved on.

    Cripes! I was utterly delusional.

    • Sarah P. April 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      Hello Eyes,

      Thanks again for being so honest and thorough about how the affair process worked. You have heard this part analysis from our other lovely ladies here, but wanted to add my two cents, for whatever it is worth:

      You said: “I remember liking him as soon as I met him. I was new to the job and he was a tease and a flirt. Very openly complimentary. I am not shy – but he made me blush and nervous and heaped a lot of praise and attention on me. I returned to work after having and raising kids and felt overweight and ‘out of the game’. His compliments boosted my ego and confidence…”

      My comments: Red flag 1: you liked him as soon as you met him– that screams narcissist- he is a narcissist. Red flag 2: The fact that he heaped positive attention on someone he just met– that is also a narcissist’s ploy to hook ‘nice people’ into being under his spell. He needs new nice people under his spell because he needs more narcissistic feed for himself. He preys on nice people because they are the last to see through the likes of him because nice people are courteous, trusting, and give the benefit of the doubt many times over. Red flag 3: He picking the woman who he knew was just getting back into the workforce after raising kids. Anyone with half a brain knows that most of us women feel unsure of ourselves in such a situation. So, he was sitting there thinking, just like the ‘big, bad wolf’ in sheep’s clothing, “ohh, the better to fool you with, my dear!”

      The rest of the details that you provide indicate the typical predator/prey dynamic that narcissists thrive on. He was the narcissist, you were only being human.

      Eyes, I do not see you in the same type of light as other ‘other women’. I see you as a nice person, who otherwise has better judgement and who has the capacity to feel guilty and to empathize. It is clear that your affair partner was a very troubled narcissist and that he was just looking for easy pickings in terms of the next victim. He knew the lay of the land at the job, he knew how to charm circles around his co-workers, he knew what made each of them tick– and he used it to his best advantage. He knew that it would be easy enough to pull you into it for many reasons– the most important factor being that you were re-entering the workforce and you were unsure of yourself. Narcissists smell that out just like sharks smell blood.

      I have observed many a decent woman become temporarily fooled by a married, male narcissist in the office. In most cases these decent women just could not see through the narc’s insincere flattery. (There are sincere compliments that normal people give each other and then there are the over the top compliments and flattery that narcs give.)

      As for his wife, if her reaction to you is true, she obviously did not see her husband’s contribution and that indicates he was playing both of you like a violin.

      I have an unmarried friend who recently got caught in a dynamic like this. The guy was not married either. Anyhow, they were in a relationship but pretty soon my friend finds out that he is leading his ex-girlfriend to believe he is still in a relationship with her as well. It was amazing to hear the iron-clad lies this guy had and also how devoid of any conscience he was. When my friend tried to leave for good, he turned up the heat and was quasi-stalking her. This went on and on for several months and it looks like now my friend is finally breaking away for good. It helps that his other ‘girlfriend’ started smashing his windows and slashing his tires and keeping him on a tight rope. And by the way, I do not blame his other girlfriend for doing those things because I got to experience through my friend the level of mind-f****ing this guy used in order to keep his victims close at hand. The lengths that this guy would go to were more skilled than almost anything I had seen or read about.

      So, EyesOpened, even though you went along with the affair for a while, I feel like you kind of didn’t stand a chance against this guy and he knew it– and so he pursued you.

      It was also good of you to write the wife a letter of apology. If I were her, I would have probably called you to hear your side. It was apparent she knew he had done this before and instead of blaming him and looking at what part he had, she was lashing out and blaming you for all of it.

  22. Gizfield April 29, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    I think a lot of cheaters dont care if they get caught or not. Especially those who have been caught before and not tossed out on their ass. This would probably include most serial cheaters. Even newbies get brazen and egotistical. It shocked the hell out of my husband when I finally threw him out. He didn’t get to go through all his “explanations” and get his ego stroked anymore. It’s hard to feel like mr. Stud when you are sleeping on your mamas couch, lol.

  23. EyesOpened April 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    TH – you have life sussed! Your observations are just so accurate in my opinion. One day, I think it would be useful for me to list all the things he said about his w and me about my h – cos frankly – we probably all read from the same script !!

  24. Tryinghard April 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    Eyes
    I didn’t see that as blaming at all. Thanks for telling your story so please don’t take my comments as derogatory or personal.

    I figured something out in Eyes story

    I had a business acquatainance when I owned my retail business. This man was very nice. Very respectful, church going, seemed normal. He opened a business with whom I did business and we shared business contacts. Nothing special just a normal business contact. Through some time I found out he was divorced and his ex and children lived several hundred miles away. I never questioned why he moved to my area. Never cared, it wasn’t my business. We attended a couple of parties and I met a lovely woman that he had met at his church. They seemed like the perfect couple. Anyway he invested heavily and even took on a partner. He got married to the woman and they even went to my ex business partners vacation home for their honeymoon. Well fast forward 6 months and I realized we hadn’t seen much of “john”. Well a nasty little interior decorator who worked for me told me “john” was a crack head!!! I was completely bowled over. Not only was he a recovering addict but he had fallen off the wagon. He lost his new wife, she divorced him immediately, lost his business, I mean shut the doors and he was literally living in a crack house completely using again.

    Now this man had by all appearances and actions to have not only completely remove himself from all his nefarious contacts by moving across the country and his children. He had gone to rehab, found God, found a wonderful beautiful woman, had a successful business and yet through all the positive things that he had in his life and also realized what he had lost previously, he managed to find his way back to the gutter.

    How on earth could he make that choice to do something that he knew would make his life a living hell again?

    He was an addict first and far most. He remembered that high, that exhilaration of the drug, his drug of choice. How did he find these suppliers. He certainly didn’t travel in those circles. But once an addict, always an addict. He didn’t have to travel in those circles to find his supply. He could go to Mcdonalds and find it. There’s a look, a nonverbal communication between addicts and desperate people. They found him and he found them. A look, a smile, a touch, an acknowledged yearning(although strictly business or platonic), a harmless text and the signals are sent and received.

    EOs MM had cheated before. He knew how to do it. He knew how to cast the line to see if she’d bite and she bit, all he had to do was reel her in and brush up on his cunning so his wife could be fooled again. Here’s the mistake that the wife made. She forgave him once, twice, three times, surly he wouldn’t think she was dumb enough to forgive him again? LOL but he knew she would. He had nothing to lose. He knew he was a good liar. He became a pro. The wife made the fatal error of trusting him AGAIN!!!

    Cheaters become addicts, and just like my friend John the crackhead and how he remembered the exhilaration of the high of the drug and just couldn’t resist going back to the gutter, the OW may be out of their life and tossed to the curb like yesterday’s trash, they will always remember the exhilaration of the high they get. And guess what, there is always another OW or OM to be the supplier of that high. Sure they can overcome it but it will take a lot of personal fortitude and work and even then they still know they can do it AND get away with it for a while. But pish paw, they can deal with the fallout when that time comes and mostly in their minds IF it comes because they don’t ever believe they will get caught.

    So ladies watch your H’s interpersonal reactions to every female and trust??? ha not me. Trust=stupid. Watch the smiles, the eye contact, the verbals and non verbals Only then will you be certain of what you are really dealing with. It’s not paranoia or drama on your part, it’s real red flags.

    Just like the assistant I hired and fired, I saw way to many clues with her and her real intentions and shut her shit show down fast. She knew my H had cheated and she was just setting herself up to be the next one.

  25. Tryinghard April 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Eyes

    Do it sister:). Hey I’ve always wanted to ask you. Did his wife ever acknowledge your letter to her?

  26. gizfield April 29, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Trying hard, my first husband was an alcoholic, and you are right about the backsliding. He was drinking when we first met, but I was a college student so I didn’t really think anything of it cause I was a sot too. He quit for two years, and I was very happy. He started electronics school and started drinking again with a guy after school. He never really quit again, and made my life a living hell to the day he died. I could never be involved with an addict or alcoholic again. I would rather be alone. It’s like they are always just one drink, or hit, or whatever away. It is horrible. I think serial cheaters are the same way, even when they aren’t doing anything they are just one step away from it.

  27. EyesOpened April 30, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    Hi TH – I will do it – soon…

    For those that don’t know about ‘the letter’. Once I began understanding the level of pain I had caused his w (after reading Linda’s 10 things I hate about you and reading the experiences of other bs’s – I desperately wanted to let his w know I accepted responsibility for my part and that I wanted to reassure her I would never talk to her h again. I wanted her to know I was leaving my job and taking action and to let her know that I cared that my actions had caused her pain and I’d never ever do this again).

    So TH – the quick answer is no she didn’t reply. I had sent it via email.

    On my last day of work – the AP called me into his office and said he’d been to SLAA, he’d never loved me and that I ‘made men with self esteem problems feel good about themselves’. He said that ‘it wasn’t all your fault though’ – which really made me cross. I remember saying ‘I’ve learned a lot myself and about myself too. The difference is – ‘I don’t BLAME you for anything. My actions are fully my responsibility -and yours are yours’. I learned much later that he took that to mean that I accepted the blame for the whole affair.! But that’s another story !… Anyway. I asked if his wife had got my letter and he said ‘yes she saw it but she still wants to smash your face against a wall’. I replied ‘ I wish she would ‘ . I walked out of his office and left the job later that day (we’d had to continue working together whilst I’d worked my notice – but we didn’t talk for 4 months and he’d been away in a recovery place for 5 weeks of that).
    The end!

    • Tryinghard April 30, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Hi eyes

      Thanks for answering. I’m sure the wife doesn’t have the same opinion but I think you did the right thing by sending the letter. It sounds like your AP wasn’t truly showing you his real side as most don’t. I’m sure you felt all kinds of crazy emotions after you talked to him. Sometimes those folks who are the life of the party and all affable on the outside are dealing with a lot of demons on the inside and unfortunately you weren’t privy to those but you can bet the wife was. At least you had closure to the whole affair and have finally seen it for what it really was. I’m sorry you had to learn such a bitter lesson the hard way. Your heart must have been broken. I have to reassure you his wife knows he’s the responsible person in the affair. It wasn’t his first rodeo! You were both actually victims of this guys narcissism.

      Hating you or wanting to smash your face is her normal knee jerk reaction to his bad behavior. Him having to go to some kind of treatment should tell you a lot about the real person he is. I hope your new job is going good and that the remodel to your home is brilliant as well. Hugs to you.

  28. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Wow, Eyes, your AP is a real turd. I think that is actually a “good thing” though , cause you will not see him in a positive light and not have good memories of your relationship. Your experience sounds really rough, so I doubt you would ever want to repeat it. His wife should ditch him, in my opinion.

  29. EyesOpened April 30, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Hi Gizfield

    Truthfully – sadly I STILL don’t see him in a bad light . I feel sorry for him, because I know he, like me, had to learn some very painful life lessons.

    My hope is – that the affair was the catalyst for them to work on a marriage that clearly wasn’t dead (as has happened with my h and I ). Without this shock, neither my h or I would have discovered all our problems and it is likely we’d have split somewhere down the line. Now – I think there’s a good chance of happiness and I truly hope the same for him and his w. If anything he said is to be believed – his previous activity was physical and this one was emotional .

    Not wishing to ‘stir’ but I do wonder how many BSs on this site are being hoodwinked into believing that this was their h’s first crime, when actually there were more that were never disclosed?

    I remember wanting to wallop my AP when we got caught – after a couple of weeks he said ‘you won’t tell (my wife) about (my previous AP), will you?’.

    I was speechless that he thought I would!! And angry because after all the mess we created – THAT is what he gave a shit about .

    I’m shaking my head in disbelief at my former self here. Boy I’d like to kick my own arse!!!

  30. tryinghard April 30, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    OK Eyes time for some tough love!!!

    First of all quit seeing yourself in a bad light and start seeing this self centered narcissistic jerk who used you to stroke his own tragic ego as a jerk. If it walks like a jerk and talks like a jerk, IT’S A JERK!

    Of course he’s going to tell you that “this one was emotional” the others were just purely physical and guess what he’s telling his wife the same thing about you. Oh Honey forgive me but she meant nothing to me, it was just sex because well narcissists don’t feel emotion about anyone but themselves!

    You take yourself right out of that Cinderella princess fantasy land that you meant something to him because you didn’t. If you had he would be with you—NO EXCUSES–not children, not family, not financial obligations, nothing, no one, no how, had you meant a scintilla to him he would have left all that and been with you. That’s the truth. Now I think for most of the female affair partners it is so hard to reconcile the fact that you gave the best part of yourself to a pig! You were manipulated and used by a pro.

    Now if you’re a pig to begin with you don’t mind wallowing in the mud with other pigs (ie in my H’s OW case, she’s a pig, she knows she’s a pig) but nice, decent, conscientious women like you aren’t pigs you just weren’t using good judgement and you allowed yourself to be swept off your feet. Don’t do that again!!! There are millions of men out there just waiting for people like you. Don’t give away your goodness to them.

    I think you are right, most wives only know about the most recent affair but in the end does it really matter? He some balls asking you to keep his secret. I think he told you that emotional crap line to make sure you didn’t tell his secret. Love to think what he would have really said to you had you told his wife the whole truth!! I guarantee he would have been whistling a different tune.

  31. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Wow, Eyes, I will just have to see I didnt see that one coming. I’m not an expert but thats not a good sign, still feeling sympathy toward affair partner. I’d known my personal turd since I was 15 and he was 17. A chronic perpetual liar and cheat. That kind usually never changes. Your AP just doesn’t sound like a very nice person, honestly.

  32. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Oops, should say “say “not see. For some reason my AP didnt seem we quite as bad to me when he was cheating WITH me, not ON me.

  33. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Well said, Trying Hard. I’ve seen several instances on here where affair partners still think the other person is “good” when evidence points to the contrary. Honestly, what I think is ideal is just to feel detached from them. Immediately after I saw my Turd for what he was, I had and still have , absolutely NO FEELINGS for him whatsoever. He could be a complete stranger walking down the street. One that I would not get involved with, ever.

  34. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Regarding what Trying Hard said, it’s counterintuitive I know, but admitting that you truly meant nothing, or very little , to your AP really gives you your freedom back. These serial cheaters are opportunistic predators. my AP was my first boyfriend, my first lover, I truly thought he was my soulmate, one true love for YEARS. looking back, I think I was probably just a cute girl with a nice body who was an easy lay. When he wanted an ego boost,some drama, and a nice piece of ass, call gizfield, day or night cause she “loves” you and will come running. Do I feel bad about myself due to this? No, cause this is what he DOES, to everyone he is involved with.

  35. tryinghard April 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Hey Giz

    Very wise words!!

    BTW you and Eyes are not one of the PIGS. I understand and am even emphatic to those who make big mistakes. I just have NO tolerance for those that continue to run roughshod through their own lives, wreaking havoc on others with no impunity is when I get all judgmental.

    We’ve all acted with boorish behavior, the trick is knowing and acknowledging it, accepting it and change.

  36. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Thank you, Trying. I know what you mean about the pigs. I also think they get a bigger thrill from being in an affair with a non pig rather than another pig. By this, I mean my AP knew I wasn’t a cheater til him so that really engaged his ego. If I’d had a history of cheating, he would be just another one, and not “special;.

    • Sarah P. April 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      Gizfield,
      You make a great point about how pigs get a bigger thrill of being in an affair with a non-pig than with a pig. It’s like they say, misery loves company. The pig is there wallowing in the mud with other pigs. It is more fun to pull a nice, clean non-pig down into the mud than to wallow with a pig who is already there. For a pig to win a non-pig provides the pig with a sense of power. So, I believe that pigs seek out non-pigs in a predatory fashion to see how far they can get. This is what happened to my single friend who got pulled into a relationship with a pig who would not commit to anyone and who collected as many women as possible.

  37. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    On the topic of serial cheaters, I have always been completely baffled as to why my AP was the way he was. I think he was at least a sociopath. Liar, cheater, just plain mean. Especially to people like fast food workers, cashiers, etc.

    He came from a good family, lower class like mine. Parents married til one of them died. Nice people. Everyone seemedclose. Went to school with two of his sisters, they were ok. And then you have him. Very cold, no consciouse that I ever saw. Just strange. He wasn’t a thief or beater,either.

  38. EyesOpened April 30, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Warning : I’ve had a wine so shouldn’t be posting. Gizfield – I imagine you to have a voice like Roseanne Barr and can hear you saying ‘ I didn’t see that coming ‘ and I have the giggles. I think they’re nervous giggles after being ‘spoken to ‘ by TH. lol . I don’t for a minute think he thought a lot of me – but I do believe I had an impact where previous conquests had passed through. It was coincidental mix of timing and opportunity – but the fact he ended up in rehab on this occasion and appears to be working on himself tells me he learned something this time which he hadn’t learned before. That’s all (but maybe I’m giving myself too much power again…). I think all this talking is shaking me up – so I may just observe for a while. My h says I’m v stressed at the mo. New job etc not helping! TH – we are in the new house :-). New beginnings and happy days ahead ( although some concrete floors and plasterboard walls to be finished ….). Wish I could invite you all over for a Chablis or two. What a wonderful lot you all are!

    • Sarah P. April 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

      Hello Eyes,

      You are far too nice and here is why I say you are too nice: your ex-affair partner has his issues and it is apparent that you feel sorry for him in a way that takes the focus off you having to meet your own needs. Your ex-AP is an irrelevant human being in terms of your life and you need to put #1 first. (Number 1 is you). You need to care about your well-being and your wholeness as a person. He is not worth your mental energy.

      As a friend who goes to alanon says: “You did not cause that person’s problem, you did not create their issues in their life, and you cannot control that person’s life in a way that brings them goodness, or otherwise solves their issues.”

      And that is that 🙂

      It kind of makes me sad that you still care about this wellbeing because, in a way, he is still being able to “take” from you, albeit in a whole different way than before.

      Please give yourself a big hug, take a deep breath, and say “I am worth more than worrying about or otherwise thinking about him. I cannot help him or otherwise solve his issues and I am now releasing him to a higher power”.

      Please do it if you can 🙂

      You are worth more than this!

    • Strengthrequired April 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      Eyes, you know that I think your just great. If you were the type of ow I had to deal with, I would have thought myself lucky. Not all ow are as remorseful as you. You come here supporting us that have been betrayed, and hurt. You hear us lash out at the ow, that caused so much pain to us, and you don’t take it personally, which I am so glad about. When we talk about the ow, I’m sure you know we are not meaning you, your one of us, really, you have been seeking out help and support, just like us, just a little bit on different sides of the fence.
      The ow, we talk about, are the ones that have no conscience, who seek out married men to manipulate and take the life of the unsuspecting wife. These ow, don’t care who they roll over to get what they want. You are not that type of person, I could see that the first time you posted here. I saw the good in you, and I could see how desperately you wanted to seek help.
      I may not always respond, but I read everything you write, because you my friend, are such a good soul. You have come such a. Long way, and you have been so insightful too. You have given us insight into what the cs thinks and feels about the ap, from the beginning and to the end.
      You know it is funny, it doesn’t matter what side of the fence we are, we have something in common. The ap for you, the ow/om for us, although we know they aren’t worth the time or space in our minds, they have caused so much havoc in our lives, that it is hard for us to truly let go of the thoughts that come to mind, and we end up getting emotionally tired and upset, just wanting them to leave our minds for good.
      I know sometimes when I write about the ow in my life, I get so frustrated and upset, after a while. Lol. She has invaded so much of my headspace, that I should be charging her rent. Lol. Maybe that way I can get some of the money back she took from my family, hehehe, if only that was possible. Lol.
      Yet seriously, I think with time, the place in our minds they take u space in will eventually disappear, and they will just be a distant memory, that is so insignificant, that we just couldn’t give a rats ass, about how they treated us, how they manipulated the situation to their advantage, how they tried to destroy the life we know, because you know why? They didn’t…. We the bs and the cs have been fighting for our marriages, our families, and on both sides, it wasn’t easy, but my friend, we became stronger, within ourselves.
      I know you will be happy, and in all honesty, from me to you, your ap, didn’t deserve you, you deserve to be with your family, and I know you have had so much guilt, and so many reservations, when it comes to your h and you that has held you back a bit getting closer to your h, but I know you both are turning that around, and it does take time, but I know by what you have said about your h, he really does love you. I don’t think my h would have been so understanding if it was me who betrayed him, so take it as a positive step, at renewing your marriage, renewing that spark that you both had when you first met.
      You deserve so much happiness in life, I hope your h shows you everyday, just how much you mean to him, yet I know as well, being a bs, I want to be shown as well, and just as much, probably a bit more too, just quietly, I deserve it lol. My h knew before how much he meant to me, and now he knows even more, and he shows me more than ever before.
      I admire you, I admire you for putting your best foot forward, and swallowing your pride, by sending a letter to your ap wife. What a good thing you did, apologising and informing her that you are not a threat to her marriage, and that she has nothing yo fear, you will not be contacting her h again. I applaud you for that, it just goes to show the type of person we know you to be. I know my h ow, would never grow a conscience, she would never apologise, she will always believe that she was in the right to do what she did. She will never feel guilt or shame.
      You are a good person, don’t ever think your not, and don’t ever think your not deserving of a happy marriage with your h, because you are.

  39. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Eyes, I wish we could have a wine too, lol. I’m not trying to disturb you or upset you in any way . Please believe that. I guess that my main point , and maybe Trying Hard too , but I can’t say since I’m not her, is this. What this man thinks of you is or should be is completely irrelevant. You are investing too much of your self worth in his opinion and what he said or did. This, in my opinion, keeps you too tied to him in your mind. If you are over him none of that stuff matters. He is a serial adulterer, and you are not. That is what matters.

  40. Sarah P. April 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Has anyone seen the film The Other Woman? Saw the previews and it looks like the wife and the (several) mistresses of a married man gang up on him together after they all discover each other. Instead of the women fighting each other, they bond over wine and plot their revenge which includes spiking his drinks with estrogen so that he grows breasts 🙂
    Hah.

    • Rachel April 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

      Heard it was good but from teenagers.

  41. tryinghard April 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    Oh Eyes, I am so, so sorry if I made you feel bad 🙁 You know that was NOT my intention. You know I think you are a good person.

    Please believe what Giz and Sarah P had to tell you about the MM. I’m no psychiatrist but I’m learning to spot those Narcs a mile away. This guy played you and I’m sure it hurts to think that.

    I want you to stop blaming yourself and see the MM for who he really is and NOT who you wanted to believe him to be. I want you to quit hating yourself and hating HIM!

    Quite honestly I know exactly how you feel. My H is verrrrry charming. A great salesman and he knows how to work me. He tells me his story and I WANT to believe him. Some times I do and some times I don’t. LOL trust me I call bullshit when he puts the smooze on too much for me 🙂 You are no dummy and I am sure there had to be times when it MUST have occurred to you that this guy was too good to be true. Well those were your red flags.

    Oh yeah I think he saw the light but I think it’s because Mrs. MM said “look here you tosser (LOL like that, it’s English, I know 🙂 get your crazy self to rehab or I’m divorcing you this time and taking EVERYTHING’! Like they say here in the US, Money talks and bullshit walks! He was probably crying and begging her like a little school girl not leave his sorry ass!

    OK huggggss to you and I will be raising my glass of Chablis to you tonight Eyes! Egads I can’t wait, haven’t had a glass for three days and I swear I think I’m getting the DT’s it’s been a long freaking week.

  42. Gizfield April 30, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    I dont think you were too harsh, Trying. I will certainly be the first to say it took a long time to actually “see” my affair partner for his true self. They can be charming, and convincing, and make you believe what they say. It is HARD to say to yourself that things weren’t as they seemed, that maybe you were used, and that you weren’t special to that PARTICULAR PERSON. it is in no way a reflection of your worth but rather of theirs.

    In his defense, which you wont hear often, lol, I have never heard my husband flirt or act inappropriately with any other woman in public or in my presence. So for a married man to carry on in front of the whole office would just disgust me. My h did send his whore a birthday card and “trinket” along with a card with “comment s that will make you blush” after he told me he wanted to be married to me

  43. Tryinghard April 30, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Thanks Giz. I would never intentionally say anything to hurt someone, well yes I would if they are a total asshole but certainly not anyone really trying to do right. I’m not one to soft soap or pull punches. Sometimes we all need to hear the cold, hard truth even if it’s hard to take. All of us hear have been played to one extent or another and it’s not funny. I don’t care what end of the stick you are on. I hate my H’s OW as much as anyone can hate someone but I don’t put all OW in that category. It would be pretty ignorant if I did.

    I just feel so bad for Eyes because she has really beat herself up over the affair. I truly believe she’s a very nice person who got sucked in by a self serving narcissist. I would HATE to think I had given my love and trust to someone that used me. HEY WAIT, isn’t that what my own semi narcissist husband did to me???? Lolololl. I crack myself up:)

    • Strengthrequired April 30, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      Th, I don’t place eyes in that category the ow in my life is placed either, I place eyes, in the same rank and position as my h, one that was used by someone who was self serving and manipulative.
      The ow, we despise are the ones that don’t give a shit about who they hurt. These ow, who claim to be a good caring person, one that is praises herself to be a wonderful mother, yet does not care about the young children who’s lives she tears apart, because her needs are more important and above that of the mm’s children. She does not care if this children’s lives are turned upside down, due to becoming a child of divorce, and now I am speaking of my own ow, to have placed her own children, who i am sure had a hard time coming to terms with her own separation from their dad, to jump straight away into a relationship with a mm, and not truly see the damage she is causing her own children as well, because she can’t stay without a man, it is just selfish.

  44. Gizfield May 1, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Oops, didn’t get to finish my comment. anyway husband, or anyone else in the past, has acted inappropriately with other women in my prescense presence, just behind my back. They probably sense I would be pretty pissed. I’m not jealous, but I’m not putting up with that shit either. Actually, now I think I’d just walk out and leave him with the whore. I have never been one to appreciate attached men who act single. To quote facebook, If you want to act single, be single.

    • Strengthrequired May 1, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Exactly giz, don’t drag innocent bystanders down the destructive path, by trying to act single. Leave, divorce then single will be for the taking.

  45. Gizfield May 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Right, Strength, but it’s a tricky situation cause they dont WANT to BE single, they just want to ACT single. They’ve been there, done that and did not like it. too many rules and regulations. People on affairs like it cause they make up the rules as they go. Your actions dont have to match your words. If you dont want to see your AP , just say you ” can’t. ” They use marriage as a built in excuse for things they dont even want to do.

    For example, from my husbands personal archives, he told his GF stuff like “I’d talk to you til the phones go dead, I could talk to you for days” , blah, blah, blah. Yet there were emails saying “sorry I missed your call 2 days ago” or “sorry I didn’t get to call you this weekend”blah, blah, blah. Seriously, dude??? Why the hell not? If he were single and dating, this would not go over well. You would be heldAccountable. If you wanted to call, you would hsve called.

  46. Strengthrequired May 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Definitely, I know, although they want to act single, they don’t want to be alone either. My h didn’t want to end up alone. If he didn’t want to talk to the ow, he would turn his phone off.

  47. Strengthrequired May 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Ohhh and then she would go psycho, because of course he wouldn’t turn his phone off for her, I must have done something to him.

  48. EyesOpened May 2, 2014 at 3:30 am #

    Sarah P – you must think me so rude to have ignored your very thoughtful response to my answers – I really am SO sorry! I read this site on my phone , and Doug has explained about the cache problems – but what happens is that as well as not updating sometimes – it actually does download some comments – but not ALL of them. So I see more recent posts thinking I have the full picture and realise later that there are other golden nuggets that have been waiting in cyberspace. I’m hoping it’s not just me that experiences this!

    Anyhow – thank you for your valuable insight. I know it’s not exactly what you’re saying – but I was no innocent victim ! However, I would say I was naive and frankly, stupid. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing…

    Thanks also for your recommendation on ‘letting the thoughts go’ and not wasting my energy ever thinking about him.. That really is the reason I need to give myself a break from this site. I’m addicted to it but it kind of keeps so much that I want to let go, front-of-mind, and sometimes I question if I’m hindering or helping my recovery!

    TH – you really didn’t offend me at all – you know that is why I’m here . I like tough love and honesty. It’s hard to find in the ‘real world ‘. Also – and we all know this – you can’t make me sad – only I can :-)!

    My AP didn’t ‘make ‘ me do anything. I did it all by myself. The day I blame him for my actions is the day I have to accept the blame for his. And I’m not going to do that!

    I still remember the wise words my h said right at the beginning, when the ap and I had to continue to work together. My h said – I don’t care if you stay or go – because you need to fix this inside yourself. It doesn’t matter what job you have (or the ap has) – there will always be another you or another him and it will happen again until you won’t allow it to happen again. Neither he or I knew how incredibly wise and accurate that statement was. But it really was.

    Anyhow – I think I’m going to take a break – but I’ll probably be back tomorrow – ha!

    Thanks everyone for your wisdom, kindness and time – SR, TH, SP and Gizfield. I could not have predicted the way this thread would go a year ago… I am bowled over by your compassion!

    And TH you’re right. He IS a tosser! WHAT a great British word!!! And Let It Be is a great British song which is always in my head now :-).

  49. Lightman June 17, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    A heads up to everybody, this article , which is very good endeed, is done in a context that the MAN is the sole perpetrator of this hurting behavior, I am a man and have 15 years of marriage and after our son was borned in 2006, is that I realized who I was married to, All nine traits depicted above, and much more, all executed masterly by my wife, one particular evening I had the need to know why and typed in my computer: “profile of people who poison”, I was knocked out of my shoes when I read that, it was she, my wife the person I loved so much for so many years, since then I keep investigating and have learned plenty of psico stuff and here is the heads up, women cheat as much as man do and I dare to say even more, beware, most of this people have a tendency to be sociopaths, eventually they will hurt you somehow, maybe a bad meal, some altered eye drops, non friendly shakes, whatch you in your sleep and the cherry of the top is that they will tell to all of her/his friends that YOU are the one doing all those bad deeds, one very good hint for you all, find in the web the “hare test” don´t run away yet, perform the test, if he/she obtain 20 to 30 point then now you HAVE to run away like hell, times have changed my friends

    • ChristBrown September 17, 2016 at 11:30 am #

      I’m with you bud. Same here. Gender stereotypes have got to go!

  50. anonymous October 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    Serial cheating is nearly always the result of men marrying for reasons other than love… Citizenship, for example….Add into that equation children that guilt the father into staying, despite the fact that the marriage is, and always has been loveless. So, yes, despite the wife’s protestations, and the husbands promises it will stop when finally caught… the fact is, it never will stop…it will continue until the wife wises up and leaves.. So…decide to tolerate it and live your life as a lie… or, decide to finally take back your life and leave… there is no other options…Mihaela, you are truly a fool!!!!!

  51. Susan January 12, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

    Is rhis a description of the president elect? To me it all concurs.

  52. Susan January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm #

    I lived with a cheater and all of this describes him to a T. I am done with that.

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