how to make your spouse cheat

By Sarah P.

Please know this title is tongue-in-cheek because you cannot make your spouse cheat on you.

The theme of this article is about how you made your spouse cheat—according to your spouse. Like my article last time, there will be lots of questions at the end.

However, this is an important topic because many wayward spouses believe their betrayed spouse made them cheat. They have to build up a narrative in their mind where they (the wayward spouse) is some poor, neglected, uncared for, unloved, and unseen person.

In actuality, it is the betrayed spouse who is all those things because the wayward spouse is carrying on an affair. During this time, the betrayed spouse will be literally unseen, unheard, unloved, uncared for, and neglected by the wayward spouse.

It’s a universal theme and the only variation is to what degree a betrayed spouse experiences this treatment.

I was reviewing the last 3-months of my relationship with my ex. I was thinking about the subtle attitude shift in him that was happening. I did not see this shift (and its full significance) at the time. I knew my ex had gotten a promotion and he sometimes felt unworthy of the job and barely hanging on.

What would I do? Build him up of course.

But, through the fall, I remember having the strangest moments and strangest conversations with my ex. I wrote it off to stress on his part.

Also, I was a lot like the frog in the pot—the heat was turning up so gradually that it was hard to notice.

Here is what the last three months were like…

Here is the core of what he was doing during these strange moments: he was taking the things that he always felt were positive about me and turning them into negatives.

It could be anything at all; nothing was sacred.

The other thing I noticed were situations like this: if we saw a movie and I enjoyed it as much as he did, he would become angry with me and tell me to stop talking about it so much. But, it had always been normal for us to talk about movies we loved.

Now he got angry if I loved a movie he loved. It made no sense at the time, but it does now because he was attempting to paint a terrible picture in his mind about me. If he failed at doing this, the guilt would creep in and then the guilt would turn to anger against me. Because it would cause him to wonder why he was doing this to someone who was innocent. That would cause him to look at himself and he did not want to look in the mirror and see a jerk. So, he became angry.

The Coffee Shop

During the month before he broke up, he found out that a local coffee shop we went to had a poetry slam where people could stand and read their work out loud to others. Well, I had ten years worth of poems and was excited to hear about this opportunity.

I assumed he and I would both be going, but when I wanted to go, he became very angry and said he was the better poet and I would embarrass him. So, I did not go. One time I had the audacity to show up at the coffee shop unannounced during a poetry reading and he stormed out.

Then there were the times he would wonder aloud in front of me and say things like he always thought he would marry a woman with a boy’s body; she could follow him up mountains.

He and I had climbed mountains for quite a while and I was his athletic equal. But, all of a sudden the fact that I was not shaped like a boy became a problem. He said I could never truly be his athletic equal—even though I had been up to that point and also ensured we had workouts at the gym almost every night and ate healthy meals.



The Birthday Party

One time it was a coworker’s birthday. My ex had picked the restaurant and none of us had been there. Once we got there, we realized it was more of a bar and had no food. This colleague was bringing his wife and small children. I knew the wife and children well and wanted a comfortable venue.

I gently recommended that we find a nearby restaurant more suitable for toddlers, especially since there was no food on the menu. I thought about the coworker’s wife and children and wanted to include everyone.

But, I said it very gently, “Now that we are here and we can see our colleagues wife and children may not be comfortable at this venue, perhaps we can go somewhere nearby. I can look for something and you can call them before they arrive.”

At that, he yelled to everyone in the room: “You are SUCH a wet blanket!! Why do you ruin everything! You ruin everything good! You ruin fun!”

I was embarrassed and walked outside in tears. One of my female friends/colleagues was there and she followed me outside.

She said, “Sarah. I have NEVER seen him treat you that way or speak to you so disrespectfully. Are you going to allow this?”

I felt like a deer in the headlights and told her I did not know what to do. My thoughts failed me. She and I ended up leaving the venue and sent apology emails to our coworker who had not yet arrived.

The Receipts

Other strange things started happening. We had owned a house together for a while by then and we never paid attention to who bought which groceries or paid what bills. We both had enough money and sometimes one would pay, sometimes the other. We were a couple.

All of a sudden, he wanted me to start saving all my receipts from groceries and dinners. At the end of the month, we figured out who paid more that month and the person who paid less, wrote the other one a check.

I did not understand why he was doing this, but he had some excuse about 401ks and saving. I did not complain and did this process of accounting each month without being asked and without any hard feelings.


When winter hit, he announced a weekend skiing with his friends. In the past, I always went. I asked when we were leaving and where we were going.

He blew up.

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He said I was not allowed to go.

That was the first time he had ever said such a thing. His excuse was that I was not able to ski the double-black diamonds and that was true. 

When we went skiing, I would go on the runs I could handle and we would ski together later.

I had only picked up skiing a couple of years before and had not grown up skiing like he had. But, it was never a problem; I did my own thing or sometimes took classes to improve technique.

I still remember the morning he got up to leave at 5am. I said, “Are you sure I cannot tag along? I would love to go.”

That was met with absolute rage and he called me all kinds of terrible names along with the term “wet blanket.” He refused to have such a ‘wet blanket’ on his ski trip and stormed out.

He turned off his phone. To make matters worse, the news reported a deadly accident on the way to where he was going—several young men had been killed. I was trying to reach him all day and got know answer. Because I cared, I was terrified.

I do not think he went skiing that day, but at the time I believed him and I felt so ashamed and so useless. I did not know there was someone else because he hid it well.


Denying an Affair



I was not the type to look through computers; especially since we had an agreement. If one of us was to fall in love with someone else, we must tell the whole truth and the whole story to the other person.

When I asked him if there was someone else, that just brought rage. Terrible rage and denials.

It got to the point where he criticized everything I did.

If I accidentally dropped an occasional “F” bomb, he would tell me not to be trashy—knowing full well the social standing of my family. My dad was an over-educated and underpaid university professor. The rest of my family was made up of attorneys, finance gurus, doctors, and presidents of universities, and most recently an almost president of the United States.

But, if some other woman dropped an “F” bomb, he would laugh and say it’s funny when women swear and say it is ‘cute.’

Around the same time, he got into Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and movies of this sort. He got obsessed with all Asian films. They were entertaining, but I was not fervently dedicated to these films and he hated me for this. He told me I hated his interests and we had nothing in common.

Note: (Cue Sarcasm) We had nothing in common. We were both photographers, writers, gourmet chefs, singers, we both spoke French, we both climbed mountains, we had both been around the world, we were perfectly matched in the “physical” sense, and we both worked in the software industry. I think what he was trying to say is that we did not have the most fundamental and important thing in common…monogamy. He was right about that, but not about the other things. (End sarcasm) 

Why Was My Ex Messed Up?

Were did all this crazy stuff come from?

Well, recently I had a new theory that added to it. It was not just the other woman. He was being hammered from two sides.

And this will tie into the thinking involved in how a wayward spouse can cause himself to believe that you were at fault.

His mom always acted oddly toward me. When we would go to church with her, she always looked down her crinkled nose and introduced me as “his little friend” instead of his serious girlfriend. God knows I tried, just as I had tried to befriend the moms before that. But, her icy veneer never broke.

I knew there was something very wrong with his mom. I just did not have a name for it. He told me his dad had almost filed for divorce several times throughout the marriage because of her attitude toward people. There was a mention of personality disorder, but I had no clue what it was- in one ear and out the next. It was not just me she had a problem with.

Even more strangely, his mom had a sister who lived practically next door. His mom’s sister and I were two peas in a pod. We had so much fun together and she would send me beautiful hand-written cards in the mail telling me how much she loved and appreciated me. And I felt the very same way about her.

The rest of his family treated me very well too; it was just his mom who refused to warm up.

Here is my favorite story about his mom. Apparently, she was from a poor, Chicago family. (So what? That does not matter or make the person.) But, it obviously deeply bothered her.

It bothered her to the extent that she tried to become something she was not. She joined the Junior League. She had teas and seemed to have made up a backstory about an exclusive Chicago family. She created a new persona where she was a rich socialite who did all the things other socialites (allegedly) did.

(Cue satire) I do not know of any real socialites except for Paris Hilton. Now, there is a role model! (End satire)

His mom actually came from a dirt poor and uneducated family. His aunt went on to get degrees and become a teacher.

But, his mom did not. His mom had run away to Los Angeles, married someone, and then he divorced her for unknown reasons.

Then, his mom had met his dad who was a college professor. So, they got married and she invented a completely bogus backstory and persona. She acted as if she came from old New England wealth. (Now, there is an oxymoron… old New England.)

She entertained all kinds of people and pretended to be from elite circles.

I did not care where she came from; I just wanted to be her friend and have a good relationship with her. I was always asking my ex what present I could buy for her or what card I could send. I refused to allow any bad feelings to be continued on my side.

Anyhow, since the Junior League was so important to his mom, I found a limited edition Junior League recipe book. He said it was the perfect present. I picked out some other nice things that he said she would love and so I sent them.

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After I gave her the gifts, she sent me a Miss Manners book in the mail because she felt I could not possibly figure out basic manners on my own. I still laugh at that because it was such an over-the-top gift to send to someone as well as a blatant insult. Truly mannerly people do not give blatant insults.

Plus, I was raised by grandparents who were raised by strict Victorian era parents.

Do you think I knew manners?

Just come and watch me do a 12-piece place setting and see all my serving bowls and forks. Come and see my Thank You card drawer and pen collection. Come and watch me work a room during a Daughter’s of the American Revolution meeting.

You know what else I did to show how mannerly I was?

Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus

Now, the following is a true story to the very detail, but I had to write it using satire. I find this story so funny, that I had to use satire. Please know that I am attempting to be funny and I do not wish to offend anyone. This story was just always so outrageous to me.

(Cue satire).

When we spent Christmas Eve with his extended family… like with 60 different people… I had the manners to go with the flow and to be tolerant to unfamiliar but meaningful traditions their family had. I always enthusiastically joined whatever traditions they had.

His family had one such meaningful tradition. Each Christmas Eve, everyone crowded into the kitchen, lit candles on a cake made from boxed cake mix, and crowded around the table for a sacred ceremony. Then the ceremony began: all 60 of his relatives sung in unison a very sacred song. And the song went this like this:

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to you!

I had the manners not to laugh myself silly when they did this each year. In fact, this Ode to Jesus was so important it had to be done before the Christmas Eve Church service.

If it was not done just right and on time, apparently all hell would have broken lose. And I am pretty sure that the Devil could ruin Christmas even more than The grumpy Grinch.  After all, Satan can actually melt all the snow and set all the presents on fire.

Now to be fair, I was raised within a Christian context and I have great respect for Jesus and the life of healing and unselfishness he lived. He was a great man and he was also a Jew (just like me, genetically speaking).

But, I had never in my life seen a family bake a cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Did you know that the cake his mom baked was not even Kosher? She couldn’t even manage a Kosher cake for a Jewish man?

There was this other thing too.

They missed the part that Jesus ascended 2,000 years ago along with several other prophets before him.

And if someone ascends, do they really have a birthday? Because if someone ascends, they do not technically die.

They just keep their perfected body and travel to much higher cosmic realms that we mortals could ever imagine. In such realms, the concept of time, birth, and death do not exist.

Does the ascended Jesus even celebrate his birthday? Is that something they do in eternity?

Or like in Quantum Physics, does Jesus live in a realm where everything exists in a state of infinite possibilities?…which would not include time as we measure it and that would not include birthdays…unless someone wanted to create a quantum state where all infinite possibilities are birthday parties. Luckily, toddlers cannot wield their ‘tantrum powers’ over quantum physics.

Anyhow, I had such impeccable manners that I never questioned this tradition or the logic of this tradition.

I had such flawless manners that I did not break into frenzied laughter every time it was time to celebrate Jesus’s birthday.

But, backed to the boxed cake. If you really want to celebrate Jesus’s birthday, doesn’t he deserve more than a boxed cake mix with expired frosting and birthday candles from 1977?

Sure, it was not even Kosher, but there is something MUCH bigger here.

Jesus, is the man who died for their sins! Jesus is the guy who carried his own heavy cross while walking up the hill where he would be crucified.

Jesus died for their sins so that there was no penalty they had to face even though they lived crummy and petty lives.

Nope, all they had to do was give “their life to Jesus,” go to church, and then sin the other 6 days of the week. And when I know my ex’s mom will die, she will smugly wait in a line, perched on clouds, looking at those pearly gates she wants to enter.

You know what I think will happen?

I think that when she meets Jesus, I think Jesus will give her that Miss Manner’s book she gave me. Because who bakes a non-Kosher, boxed-cake from the Dollar Store in honor of the person who died for her sins and then ascended?

And I definitely know Jesus will be asking her why in God’s name did she not use that Junior League recipe book I gave her. Now, that book contained a recipe for a Kosher birthday cake that was actually fit for Jesus’s birthday.

Even Ari the Lion knows better than my ex’s mom!



(End satire)


So back to my ex….

Sometime right before he broke up with me, he came home drunk and in tears. That was the first time he had done that—came home drunk OR in tears. This was very out of character for him.

He was really acting crazy…. For example, one day he fantasized aloud about the hotness of our friend’s 12-year-old daughter and her breasts. New behavior!!!!

Crying and drunk? New behavior!

Me not being invited on ski trips? New behavior!

Me being called a wet blanket every other day? New behavior!

Note: I cannot even tell you why I tolerated this. I was very invested in the relationship. Stupid me.

So, he walked into our house around 9pm and he was sloppy drunk and in tears. He could not even talk he was crying so hard.

Apparently, his mom had driven two hours to have dinner with him, one on one.

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He said, “I don’t know what to do! My mom was crying so hard and she said that if I married you she would die an unhappy old woman and never forgive me!”

Then he kept crying.

Today it all clicked. He was a con…. Adult Child of Narcissist(s)

And my experience was so a con. That is an acronym I invented : SOACON. Spouse Of Adult Children Of Narcissists.  (Or almost spouse.)

Isn’t that a perfect acronym?

Because when you are married/engaged to the adult child of a narcissist (ACON), nothing is as it seems. Life can feel literally like a con sometimes.

If you are married/engaged to the adult child of a narcissistic mom, he will spend his life looking for the perfect woman.

Once he finds her, he will often pursue her to the ends of the earth. The adult child of the narcissistic mom projects all these qualities he has in his mind about what makes the perfect woman.

Since he cannot not tell if a woman has those qualities, he project the perfect woman onto her. But since a woman is not a mind reader, one day she will make a mistake and be a wet blanket, just like me!!

Or maybe another woman will be involved—or maybe a narcissistic mom—or maybe both. That was my case. He had a narcissistic mom and a narcissistic other woman hitting him from all directions.

A switch is flipped in his mind. I was no longer the perfect woman: mummy did not agree and the OW probably made promises of kinky sex and threesomes.

I fell from the ‘perfect woman’ to ‘evil woman who is a wet blanket.’

Falling from the ‘perfection pedestal,’ and into the depths of being the source of all that is wrong in a man’s life, is a long fall.

But, it is all in the man’s mind.

The woman (including me) never did anything wrong. And when you try to speak with the man about what the heck is going on, he will become even more angry.

The wife/fiancée who was unknowingly “imperfect” due to what mummy said caused the narcissistic wound to open – the life-long wound – given by “dear old narcissistic mom” while in childhood.

The wife just created the Cardinal Sin: being imperfect and this opened that painful wound in the ACON that will never go away.

And after this happens, an adult child of a narcissist will feel genuinely wronged.

He will feel duped because the woman he married is not a perfect. She is not a mind reader who anticipates his every preference and need before he even thinks of it—who likes everything he likes – and has every opinion he has.

That was the mistake I made—being imperfect. And every woman and man will be imperfect.  But in reality, it’s not a mistake— it’s a mistake in the eyes of the adult child of a narcissist.

But, he doesn’t see it that way. Since you (or me) showed ourselves to be human, this caused a narcissistic injury. And since we were not perfect, we wronged him! We fooled him! How dare us not be perfect!

I believe that this is how affairs begin, if you are married so an adult child of a narcissist.

The New (False) Narrative

Once an adult child of a narcissistic finds his partner to be imperfect, he genuinely feels entitled to find the perfect woman. He goes hunting for her and will blame the betrayed the whole time. He will say, “You drove him to this!”

When he finds her, he will assuage his guilt by assuring himself you hurt him, not the other way around.

If he is caught in an affair, he will have a laundry list of how you made him cheat.

I want you to watch this chilling video by a narcissist who explains the emotional mind game he plays to psychologically break a woman. He takes great pleasure in it. I want you to listen to this video several times to take in all he says and understand the gravity of such statements.



Let’s imagine this guy’s video did not exist. Let’s imagine he knew exactly what he was doing and was acting as predator, but that was his secret. Let’s imagine he had all the thoughts and actions in the video in his mind while you dated him. But he never told you about them. He pretended to be nice; a boy next door who smiled at your mom and dad.

Well, if you married this guy, you would start to feel crazy and not know why. When this man had an affair on you—and he would – he would have already determined the strategies he would use to further break you.

So, here is the most important part…

How to make your spouse cheat on you? You marry a man just like the man in the video. That is how you make someone have an affair on you.  I say this facetiously.


In reality, it’s still not your fault and you did not make him have an affair. He made himself have the affair. But, he will have a laundry list of items that you did to cause his affair.

The same goes for wayward women. Since I am talking about my experience, I am talking about being wronged by a man. But a man can be just as easily wronged by a woman.

Narcissistic cheaters are equal opportunity predators.


What did your spouse tell you about the affair?

How did he or she blameshift the issue onto you?

Did your spouse say you made them cheat and what were the reasons?

What did your spouse do to gaslight?

What did your spouse say to gas-light?

Is your spouse a con? (Adult Child of Narcissist(s)?

Are you in an experience that is so a con? (Spouse Of Adult Child of Narcissist(s)?

If so, how had it affected your marriage and affair recovery?

What’s your funniest story that you have about your cheating spouse’s family?

Please share your thoughts/answers in the comment section below.  Thanks!


Opt In Image
Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful
Understanding Why Cheaters Do What They Do

Doug talks with several ex-unfaithful persons who share their experiences, thoughts and feelings.  They answer the most asked questions betrayed spouses typically have for the cheater.



Photo credits:

Mitya Ku

Dark Dwarf


    56 replies to "How to Make Your Spouse Cheat on You"

    • TheFirstWife

      Last post I will be reading here.

      Full of disrespect.

      For one, a family’s traditions, no matter how odd they appear, should not be the target of humor or sarcasm.

      I’m not sure why this article wasn’t reviewed with a more critical eye before being posted.


      • Doug

        Hey TFW, I’m sorry that you feel that way. I edit every approved article that is posted to the blog (and we receive many that are not approved). And just so you know, outside of editing for typos (not always perfectly), adding photos, breaking up lengthy paragraphs and the like, our policy is to not mess with people’s points of view. The same goes for comments as well. I just don’t believe in it. Anyways, I’ve always appreciated your contributions to the site, your opinions, and certainly respect your point of view and the assistance you’ve provided to others.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I am sorry you feel this way…and completely respect your point of view. But I believe your input would be sorely missed, should you stop contributing.

        You have a wonderful way of cutting to the chase!!! Also, you are very quick to show support and understanding!!!

        I hope you will reconsider!!

    • shona

      Most of the article was interesting, and despite the emotional pain I’m still enduring, I actually laughed out loud a few times. The satire about making the WS cheat was spot on. My WS actually did take the blame on himself for what he did, but he also rationalized that what I did that made him get to that point. Choices, people, choices! Nobody can MAKE you sleep with a hoe!
      On the other hand, like TheFirstWife commented, I felt the time spent discussing the family tradition of singing happy birthday to Jesus was a bit lengthy an really unrelated to the topic. I think it was a sweet gesture, which Jesus would probably approve of and traditions should be respected, even if they seem silly. Now, mother being a narcissist? Yes, definitely. Thank God my mother in law was not like that, rest her soul!

      • Sarah P.

        Hey Shona,

        Let’s hear your story.

        I laughed when you said, “Choices, people, choices! Nobody can MAKE you sleep with a hoe!”

        What were some of the silly things your husband said in rationalizing it? It’s better to laugh than cry.


    • Sarah P.

      This is going to be a very long comment and I realized I needed to explain the context of the “Happy Birthday, Jesus” story.

      Here is a question for everyone: when I write in my satirical voice am I being serious and am I relating my actual, soul-level beliefs on a topic? Or am I shedding light on an issue in a way that is (allegedly) humorous and pointing out follies in a cring-y way? In my mind, I am doing the second. However, I realized I need to create more context when I write satire. This comment is a further explanation of why I write satire as well as the actual context for the Happy Birthday, Jesus, story.

      Here are a couple of quotes copied and pasted from Wikipedia about satire:

      “The rules of satire are such that it must do more than make you laugh. No matter how amusing it is, it doesn’t count unless you find yourself wincing a little… Satire and irony in some cases have been regarded as the most effective source to understand a society, the oldest form of social study. They provide the keenest insights into a group’s collective psyche, reveal its deepest values and tastes, and the society’s structures of power.”

      When I write in a satirical voice and mark it as such, I am NOT writing about my very serious and soul-level beliefs. The Happy Birthday, Jesus story was meant to shed light on the acts some people will do in public while having very different private lives.

      The topics that we discuss here are so disturbing that I must (for my sanity) have a pressure-release valve. Otherwise, life gets to be like a pressure cooker. And all pressure cookers have a steam-release valve on them. My metaphorical “steam release valve” is the use of satirical writing.

      Why? Because writing about infidelity day in and day out can be a taxing emotional process. However, I will not stop writing about it because this is a topic (infidelity) that will NEVER go away. As long as there is selfishness, infidelity will not go away, and I will keep shining a light on it.

      So, what was that “Happy Birthday, Jesus” story really about? Did I really mean what I said? Or was that a long joke in narrative form? (It was a joke in narrative form).

      The story was about shining the light of on a family who was able to make a cake for Jesus every year, BUT this same family could not follow Jesus’s teachings. I have never written a post about to what extent this family did not follow their “Christian values.” Some examples… I found out through the grapevine, that my ex’s mom knew about OW and she had met OW on some key occasions either right before or after I showed up– at her own (mom’s) request. Again, this was his mom’s request– to be able to compare us to each other like a couple of objects– only I was the only one who did not know. And of course he complied– he is the other half of the problem. And the OW complied too– because isn’t it great if your so-called competition doesn’t even know there is a competition? His mom played a large part in the break-up and definitely egged him on with the other woman. The OW and his mom were very similar and so they thought it was fun to team up to take another woman down. (I found this out later.)

      I did not explain the context well: this was the core of what was happening– my ex and his mom would talk about Jesus all day (if asked) and then they would live their lives in ways that were completely opposite to what Jesus or Christianity taught. I call this way of life “buying the Jesus ticket.” The Bible calls them hypocrites. The book of Mark, Chapter seven, verse six states:

      “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

      This is what the “Happy Birthday Jesus” ceremony was about: hypocrites were honoring Jesus with their lips by singing “Happy Birthday” while their hearts were very far from Jesus’s teachings. They were happy to do things that on the surface appeared to be Christian, however, they were NOT Christian in the way they lived their lives.

      Were my ex and his mom doing the following…?

      -Loving their neighbor as themselves? No. (They both expected to be loved unconditionally, not questioned, to break the rules, and yet to have special treatment. They could do what they wanted and should be accepted for it, but everyone else had to follow the rules.)

      -Were they obeying commandments? No– they were breaking the “Thou shalt not commit adultery” commandment. And his mom was helping, quite willingly. She was helping fan the flames.

      His mom volunteered at church all day long just to gossip, just to stir the pot, and just to belittle people.

      In all honesty, do I have a problem about people singing Happy Birthday to Jesus? No. Some families find this deeply meaningful.

      Do I really think his mom is going to be re-gifted a book by Miss Manners by Jesus? No. Do I really think about Jesus and how his story related to quantum physics? No. That is called absurdity.

      But, the Happy Birthday to Jesus story metaphorically summed up how he and his mom lived. They were happy to have a formal ceremony (as long as it did not take work or cost money) to outwardly show others they were “Christian.” His parents had money and they had time–lots of time. The money was spent on materialism and time was spent on gossip and stirring the pot. The “Happy Birthday, Jesus” song was the outward attempt (or grandiose act) of a narcissist to show that they were “Christian.” That’s all it was. It was not an Ode to Jesus. Happy Birthday is NOT a sacred song. (How about Silent Night… now that is a SACRED song and about Jesus’s birth). So why was this funny to me? Was it because I was disrespectful? No. It was funny because it was diametrically opposed to who they were. It was funny to me because of its falsity and its insincerity. They tried to appear sincere, but they were NOT. It was a narcissist’s ultimate attempt (led by his mom) to show how Christian she was without being Christian at all.

      Do I care of someone is Christian? NO. But, if they are going to be telling everyone all day long how Christian they are and then hurting others in very concrete ways all day long, this person is not a Christian. And in this context, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus is a narcissist’s ultimate attempt to scream to the world that they are Christian and God had better be saving the BEST house in heaven for them. (That is also a joke. But in reality, I have heard Christian narcissists talk about the giant mansion God has waiting for them on the golf course in heaven.)

      The Happy Birthday, Jesus, story could have been an incredibly inspirational story if it was done in a different context.

      For example, let’s imagine a completely different context:

      Let’s imagine there was a very poor family. Let’s imagine they could not afford Christmas. Let’s imagine they could not afford presents. Let’s imagine their power would be cut off soon. Now, let’s imagine they all looked under their mattresses and in purses and collected all the pennies, dimes, and nickels in the house. Let’s imagine they turned their house upside down looking for candles– any candles. Let’s imagine the able-bodied children walked to the dollar store and had just enough money to guy expired cake mix and frosting. When they got home, there was just enough oil, and only three eggs remaining. Let’s imagine that family used the last bit of oil, the last three eggs, and the last day they had with power to bake a cake for Jesus. Let’s imagine as they frosted it, the power went out, so they frosted it in the dark. Then they added the candles and had one match. They lit the match and lit the candles in total darkness. Now, imagine that family singing Happy Birthday to Jesus from the bottom of their hearts and watched those candles flicker because they provided the only light in the house on a snowy Christmas Eve. Imagine that family forgetting about Christmas presents because remembering Jesus and honoring him with ALL they had– even their last three eggs– was more important than the materialism of Christmas. Imagine they knew Jesus being born into the world to save them from their sins was the most IMPORTANT gift in the world. And they were willing to give up all they had, just to honor the most important gift: a man who came into the world 2,000 years ago. Imagine that.


      If that second family were real, it would be the kind of story that brings tears to people’s eyes. But, that second family was NOT real. The real family in this situation– my ex’s family — especially my ex’s mom, was the opposite of such a family. She had the money and the time to make a real cake for Jesus– if she wanted to. But, making a cake for Jesus does not even matter. What matters is that this woman and her son lived their daily lives in ways that were so unlike the way Christians are supposed to live while walking around calling themselves Christians and doing the opposite in their behavior. That was the point of the Happy Birthday, Jesus story.

      And that is my failing for not explaining the context of the Happy Birthday, Jesus, story after I told it satirically. I did not follow up the satire with the explanation and the context as to why I told the story. In a way, the story symbolizes the ultimate narcissistic act. A narcissist does something to look good or to impress others. The “Happy Birthday, Jesus” ceremony was supposed to impress Jesus. But, since it was done by a narcissist, there was no real thought put into it. It was merely done for APPEARANCE. Yes, there was a cake; but it was a cake that was expired and poorly put together. That is, it had the appearance, but nothing good inside– there was nothing of quality there, even though it looked like a cake. And also, this cake was not eaten… it was thrown away hastily as they rushed off to the Christmas Eve Service. Then afterwards, they came home and it all became a big gossip and materialism fest. “Who got who the biggest present? Did you hear what Jane down the street did? Oh but we love Jesus… oh is that a real diamond? Let me get my magnifying glass…”

      That was the context… it was an act.

      • weddingbelle

        Hi Sarah,

        I haven’t responded to anything at this point. I just want you to know that I have your back on this and anything else said about you or your opinions. You give me reasons to think harder and do better. I have read almost everything you’ve written here and may not agree with all of it, but you have every right to say how you feel. As betrayed spouses, mostly, we should understand how sometimes it takes a while to get our voice back, but then it all comes out. Stay mighty cuz you are!

        • Sarah P.

          Hello WeddingBelle,

          Thank you for your lovely comment. I do believe in a diversity of opinions and certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I so appreciate it when people keep reading my articles even if they don’t agree with every aspect of what I write. Diversity makes the world go round.

          All of us here have had different experiences in life, different families, we have read different things, and have known different people. All of these experiences serve to shape us.

          Long ago I told myself that if I had to live through traumatic experiences, I would learn from them. In learning from them, I decided the last stage of overcoming them was to tell others how to overcome them. In telling others how to overcome trauma, the trauma would lose the war.

          What’s the (metaphorical) war?

          Every bit of trauma we experience chips away at our souls — at our essence– or whatever name anyone wants to call it. It chips away at our inner light and our identity. Trauma can win the war and if it wins, its puts out our inner light. But, if we fight it and then teach others how to fight it, trauma cannot win and we all keep our inner light and/or our identity. (Or we revive our inner light, even if there is only the tiniest burning ember left.)

          That is what I am here to do. To teach others how to keep or revive their inner light.

          Unfortunately, I know that most will not agree with me. My Meyers-Briggs personality type is ENFJ. An extremely small percentage of the population shares this type of personality. We are supposed to be the change-makers. I attempt to be a change maker and save the souls of betrayed. But, I am only one person, having to come up with material based on whatever insight I have had that day, not knowing who the audience is, what speaks to them, or what they need to hear. I wish I were a mind-reader. But, since everyone is so different, it would not matter. There is no view, ideology, book, or insight that speaks to everyone.

          My deepest desire is to ensure that all the betrayed’s out there are NOT alone; that they have a place to come and find help that is free of charge and always available.

          By the way, I have often thought of going back and revising all of my prior articles to match my evolving understanding based on new research that is emerging. My understanding is rapidly evolving and becoming more focused. Have wondered if I should go back and revise old material because it may not match my current understanding. It will be a big project, but have been thinking about it. Thousands of people look to this blog for advice and I want to ensure it is accurate and reflects my current understanding of psychology. But, in the end, I am just like most people here– a mom and a wife– trying to use what I learned in school and what I find in the newest studies in psychology databases to help others. Thank you for calling me mighty because I do not feel mighty most days. LOL. I live with a chronic (daily) genetic illness and have two children who have special needs. I try to do the right thing and serve others; it’s how I find meaning.

          I genuinely hope this website has helped you and we would love to hear your story.

          Many Blessings,

          • Shifting Impressions

            I agree about the diversity… is something to be embraced.

            That’s an interesting thought about going back and revising some of your posts. Personally I love seeing the changes that are happening in all of us. For instance sometimes an old post pops up and I will see one of my comments from several years ago….it’s quite therapeutic to see how far I have come. Or to see how something that I thought was resolved back then really isn’t etc.

            Just my opinion…I would leave your posts just they are and add amendments as needed. That way it would document your journey…of how and why some of your thinking or information may have changed.

            I know for me my prayer through all this was that I would not become hard and cynical. That I would be open and authentic and perhaps more understanding of other people’s pain and trauma.

            I also like looking back and reading some the older discussions in the comment section….seeing how we have evolved and are still evolving.

            Anyway…it’s a journey…that’s for sure.

            • Hopeful

              I agree that posts should not be edited. I think only if there is a misspelling or error of a citation of some sort. I feel like these posts are somewhat like my journaling during the recovery. I look back and they tell a story. It is a representation of that point in time. I think that is critical. And I think it is good when not everyone agrees. Civil debate is critical!

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Hopeful,

              Yes indeed these posts need to be edited for typos. But, it is true the content is like a journal and an evolution of thinking.

              Did you journal during affair recovery and was it helpful?

            • Hopeful

              Yes I did journal daily at least once a day. I found it to be critical. It is so easy when you are in the midst of anything like betrayal to not feel there is any progress. I found by looking back it helped me see how far I had come and also how strong I was. I could not see that at the time. Also we had a weekly meeting where we scheduled time to talk. We did this for a variety of reasons. For me I hated focusing on it every day. I could have talked about it 24/7 but that was not good for me. My husband felt like it was constant conversation and a landmine every time he was home. So we would set once a week to talk when our kids were not around. We both were focused and ready to talk and mentally prepared. By looking at my notes I could see what was bothering me. It helped me stay on topic vs straying on tangents. In the end I felt more resolved after each talk. My husband learned to be less defensive. We did this after the initial phase of discovery and intense pain. Then the rest of the week we spent time together as much as possible. Almost as if we were immersed together. We worked, exercised and took care of our kids. That was it. We did not do anything unless it was just us, something as couples or with our kids. I felt like it was I think how the Gottman’s described a house and the wayward opened the windows or broke down walls. We worked to fix that and made it only us.

              When I did journal it was not always paragraphs. Sometimes it was words, sketches, really whatever I needed.

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Hopeful,

              Would you mind if we emailed at some point? As everyone knows, I don’t talk about on the blog what people email. Sometimes my content will cross both the blog and email– that is I will give someone email advice (via email) from a thought in a blog post I am writing but haven’t published yet or prior posts, but it doesn’t flow the other way. I would love to hear about your journaling method. Not the contents, but the method.

              Or would you be open to doing a guest post sometime on how you used journaling to help you. It sounds like you have A LOT to say.

              Tell me about your sketches… do you have any artistic hobbies like painting or drawing? Drawing and painting helped me through past break ups, but not the one with my ex because I had no time.

              In college and in my 20’s, I had time to create extensive projects that reflected the pain of the break up. I was cheated on more than once. What I have realized is many people never find out a break up is due to infidelity…. especially before computers and phones. I was always an “inquisitor” and would get to the bottom of something. Because I learned men don’t just break up with their “steady and reliable supply of love” for no reason.

              Except with my ex, because he talked to everyone but me, I had to figure it out through others he had spoken to directly or who the OW had spoken to directly. If he would have talked to me like other cheaters had, my blog posts wouldn’t exist. There would be nothing for me to say because I would have questioned him until I got the answers I needed. And I would have moved on.

              Recovery has been like trying to navigate through a dark attic where there are tiny points of illumination that allow me to piece together some kind of explanation. But even the small points of illumination are not enough because the perpetrator refused to acknowledge there was someone else to me, but introduced her to everyone I knew and they both talked about their affair to everyone but me.

              I still don’t understand why someone would be that stupid.

              Why would he refuse to tell me and then introduce her to the 100 people we knew in common. Really? It reminds me of “object permanence” in toddlers.

              From Wikipedia:

              “Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be perceived (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way). This is a fundamental concept studied in the field of developmental psychology, the subfield of psychology that addresses the development of young children’s social and mental capacities. There is not yet scientific consensus on when the understanding of object permanence emerges in human development.”

              The he thought I would think the other woman did NOT exist unless I could see, hear, touch (nasty), or smell (even more nasty) the other woman.

              Other people could see her and she existed. But, if I did not see her, she did NOT exist. That’s how I feel he handled it.

              And he was a 30-year-old… a 30-year-old toddler playing “peek a boo” with the other woman.

              Now I am laughing.. I don’t even know why I find that concept so funny. It just is.


            • Shifting Impressions

              I also journaled and we also had a weekly appointment with each other for the very same reasons you stated.

              I also found it helpful to look back over some of those entries every now and again. As time went on, I journaled less and less and the need to look back does not happen nearly as often.

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Shifting,

              Yes, prayer was the way through it for me too. But, I don’t talk about that aspect for fear of offending. Without prayer, I’d be dead. Once again, I have never shared the WHOLE story here. God and the help of all kinds of friends who crawled out of the woodwork helped me through.

              Do you have any prayers or ideas that you are comfortable sharing about recovery?

              I will keep posts as-is.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Great to hear you will keep your posts as is!!!

              As for the prayer….nothing elaborate. In my Christian faith the thought of God speaking in a “still small voice” is nothing new. In my own life I have had that experience but a handful of times.

              I was completely devastated after d-day….as we all were. But after many months of crying and sleepless nights…I heard this message; Did you think I would let you go through this alone? And I can honestly tell you…I have never been alone in this long and painful journey.
              I have had incredible support by my close friends and my amazing adult children. The right books have come across my path. Also all of you have been part that support.

          • weddingbelle

            Please don’t change a thing in previous posts. What you were feeling then is important. It shows how you’ve evolved. We all change and grow over the years. It doesn’t mean we were lying or wrong, it was just another time.

            To change your entire narrative would be like mimicking the cheater. I say no, we’ve seen far to much of that with the cheaters.

            I’m not sure whether I’ve posted my story or not, but will in the future. It’s a bit unusual, and am having a hard time coming to grips with it.

            Keep sharing, it helps and (hugs) to you.

            • Sarah P.


              That is an important point about how changing a narrative could mimic a cheater. Some of the advice I gave in the past has likely evolved. I don’t have the time to go and read the older stuff. In a way this is a type of journal for my own affair recovery. I never had a chance to recover because any therapist I spoke with was working from the “what did you do wrong” affair model. And so I told them every aspect of the story and talked about what I thought I did wrong. But after listening, they had no explanation for me. They (three different therapists) told me I did nothing wrong except getting involved with someone who cared only about himself. But, since his ‘social face’ was flawless, it took a long time to figure out. And there was no way for me to see it until after I was run over by the train, wondering what happened.

              When I saw that video that was embedded above, the guy who calls himself a narcissist, he reminded me of my ex… the way the guy spoke, a little bit of how he looked, but the general vibe he gave off. Mine did not have tattoos. And it clicked that I unknowingly got involved with a guy like that.

              Only the guy in the video was kind enough to warn women what he was about, whereas my ex was not. And that actually makes me wonder if the guy in the video is a narcissist because he talks about how he brings people down. Maybe he is a sociopath, maybe he is someone who was a victim of childhood abuse and “adopting” the abusive stance his abuser took, or maybe he is someone who is so depressed and so insecure that he feels he is suffocating if he doesn’t project his own self-consciousness onto others. It was my best-friend that made me think harder about it. She is single. I had sent her the link because I couldn’t believe the guy made the video. She watched it and the first thing she said was, “I am thankful he made the video because he is warning us what many men do to women. But he is telling us instead of hiding it. He’s an okay guy because he knows what he is and what men are and is warning us.” Yeah, my friend has had one bad experience after another for 12-years-straight. The saddest thing is, there is no reason. How does a beautiful, single, self-sufficient business owner not have a quality man… oh yeah, I remember why.

              Here is a story everyone. I asked her (my best friend) several times if I could tell this story. Each time she said I could. So, my friend and I met in high school and she is like me and she has “the list” where she goes to great lengths to figure out if a man is REALLY single. If my friend did not have moral standards, she would have ‘hooked up’ with a married man a long time ago. But, like the me that was single, she would get angry if a happily married man hit on her. She has a business that is great and she makes a great income. She is a music teacher and tutor who drives to people’s homes and generally serves very wealthy clients. So, she works in 7,000 square foot houses being a private music teacher to the wealthy in a very wealthy city. She moved out of my city because the weather got her down. She has been telling me the on-going saga of a MARRIED heart surgeon who injured his hands and cannot be a heart surgeon anymore. His wife is STILL a surgeon, I think she said the wife was a neurosurgeon. My friend spends most of the time alone in the house with the dad and his kids (and a maid). The wife usually arrives at the end of the lesson. The wife coordinates it all and ensures the kids practice. But, the husband is always hanging around blatantly flirting around his own kids. My friend doesn’t even acknowledge the married father. It came to a head when he followed her out to her car one day, demanded she put her phone number in his phone, and wanted a one-on-one meeting with her to talk about why she ignores him. My friend said she doesn’t coordinate with the fathers; she said that is her personal boundary and said if they needed another music teacher she could talk to the wife. Since then, the married guy has left my friend alone, but he mopes when she is around. She continues talking to the wife and tutoring the children. Now, some might say this is harsh, but the guy made many comments letting her know in no uncertain terms that all she had to do was say “yes” and the affair would be on. I am telling the HIGH LEVEL version of the story so that no one can be identified. My friend has had many opportunities to break up marriages and she has not even considered it. Instead she calls me and has opened my eyes to how many men act when the wife is not around. It’s really sad. She has had her business for 20 years and has never married or had children. (She WANTS to be married, but doesn’t want children and ensured through surgery a couple of years ago she could never have them). She is gorgeous- it doesn’t matter if she is wearing conservative clothing, which she does. But, it’s hard to hide gorgeous. She just becomes classy gorgeous. If she had no morals, she would have been married to a surgeon or a CEO years ago. In the beginning– 20 years ago– husbands kept their distance from her. But she has been experiencing a cultural shift (first-hand) for 20 years. It has become the worst in the past five years. These days many men actually flirt in front of their wives. And she ignores the husbands. We talk about this a lot because she has been seeking a husband for many years. She thinks men have become more obnoxious because of where she lives. But, I see the same obnoxious free-for-all behavior where I live. Anyhow… the story with the heart surgeon who injured his hands is sad and pathetic. The man is so insecure that he has to find an affair partner to feel better. But an affair partner does not have the ability to heal his broken hands. What the ‘doctor’ does not realize is there are so many academic jobs or medical consulting jobs for doctors. He doesn’t have to sit at home and mope when he has years of experience in a specific field while his wife works. I am sure it was depressing to lose the very thing he was good at, but there are positive ways to repair his self-esteem that don’t involve sleeping with my friend. So, that is a HUGE choice on his part. And my friend said she could be anybody really… anyone who was even remotely attractive and willing to feed his ego would do. She thinks his ego is that desperate to be fed. What is sad is that this man could find the right therapist to counsel him through his loss and this wound to self he has experienced. Then the same therapist could help him reinvent himself. But, nope, it’s easier to sit home and mope and attempt to have an affair with the music teacher while the wife works. Very sad for everyone involved.

              WeddingBelle, tell us your story because I have never heard it. The more stories the better!

              Thanks for your support and HUGS to you too,

    • Lynsey

      Hi Sarah, I appreciate your satire and didn’t see your Jesus story as offensive. I totally got your meaning with that story because I have also seen the hypocrisy of people who flaunt their Christianity in one way or another, then turn around and lie, cheat, steal, and otherwise be un-Christian in so many ways. It happens all too often. Please keep up your great work, and keep the satire!

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Lynsey,

        Thank you for understanding the satire. And thank you for understanding that I have a very sore point when it comes to hypocrisy. My ex’s family constantly talked about church when strangers were around. But, as soon as they did not need to “keep up appearances,” they were a very nasty bunch. Actually, let me clarify that.

        My ex and my ex-MIL were a very nasty bunch.

        My ex-FIL went to church, but he NEVER talked about it or referred to himself as a Christian. He just LIVED Christianity instead of labeling himself as one.

        And here is yet another story of how self-absorbed my ex-MIL and ex were. Toward the end of the relationship, I took my ex aside because I was noticing symptoms of a very troubling disease in his father. I liked his dad– he was a brilliant man and a college professor like my dad. I was really worried and told my ex that they should have his dad see a specialist that treats this disease that I was worried about. I had worked with people in the past who had developed this disease– coworkers– and I knew the signs. I wanted his dad evaluated. Well, my ex listened to me and was worried about his dad. Then he told his mom. Well, his mom told him I was full of it and did not know what I was talking about (since I was not a doctor) and that her husband would not be seeing a doctor. (Ex-MIL was a hypochondriac when it came to HER, but when it came to anyone else, well, they were NOT important. Not even her own husband)!

        Well, one day I found his dad’s obituary. And it said his father had passed away from that very disease that I said needed to be checked into and the family regretted it had not been found sooner.

        Why did they regret it had not been found sooner? Well because it is one of those diseases where if you get the disease diagnosed early, there are good medications. And if you diagnose it early, a person can live a long time with the right medications.

        But, since I was not an MD, and since I was the one to notice this condition, ex-MIL said it would NOT be spoken of and her husband would not being seeing an MD. Isn’t that sad? If they would have had him screened like I said, he could still be alive. Possibly. Well, he would have had a better chance at being alive and that is better than nothing.

        That is just one of the MANY stories I have about my ex-MIL the so-called Christian. Besides a man I refer to as “Devious Doctor,” I have never met a more wicked “Christian” in my life than my ex-MIL. My ex-MIL used the Christian church as a way to hide her extremely selfish, cruel, and narcissistic personality. She used it as a cloak to make people assume she was a good person so that she could stab people in the back all day long and do very cruel things to others. During that last Christmas with them, my ex-MIL had already met the other woman (twice) and even had the other woman meet the family during the early part of the week before I arrived to spend Christmas during the later part. My ex-MIL was orchestrating this. She thought it was funny to humiliate me when I did not know. That is CRUEL.

        My ex’s aunt tried to hint to me something was up and she felt terrible. She gave me a gold angel pin that Christmas and hugged me (with tears in her eyes) and said she hoped it would guard me and protect me. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart, but had no idea what was going on. Well, she knew, but she had been ‘silenced’ by her tyrannical and allegedly Christian sister from telling me there was an affair partner, my ex-MIL was encouraging it, and joyfully stirring the pot. (And of course there was the cervical cancer that I got and was growing… only it was not yet diagnosed because I did not know there was someone else.)

        I would like all of the female readers out there to put yourself in my shoes. Instead of falling back on the “well she must have done something to deserve this” like many people do, take me at my word. Imagine that you were head-over-heels in love with someone. Imagine you owned a home together. Now imagine his mom being the ringleader and ensuring that the other woman was paraded around this extended family on two different holidays while you did not know. And since his mom was a tyrant, they all kept their mouths shut so you thought everything was ok. Imagine how you would feel if you were in my place… if you thought all was well but your mother in law and the other woman were planning your demise and doing so intentionally. Imagine how that would feel– and no one would tell you. You had to find out later through the grapevine.

        Tell me everyone, how would that feel? And how would it feel knowing that you inherently trusted these people because they went to church? Imagine the betrayal of that– you blindly trusting because they said they were Christians and pretended to be. But behind the scenes they were breaking many commandments. After you found out about the betrayal, would you still believe this was a Christian family? What about the not committing adultery? What about the Matthew code? What about the Golden Rule?

        The part I blame myself for is that I used to take people at their word. They said they were Christian and went to church? Well, I assumed they behaved like Christians. Because it does not make sense to me why someone would bother going to church if they cannot behave according to the teachings. Why would anyone do that?

        Why not just live out in the world and be a cruel person, but one who is honest about it– one who does not pretend to be something they are not. So, the knife cuts pretty deeply in this situations.

        That’s a question to everyone…how would that type of betrayal feel? Anyone? After such an experience, would you feel as if you had just dealt with a truly Christian person– the one who baked the cake for Jesus? Baking a cake for Jesus is an insult when you are playing the role of “Judas” to an innocent person. After all, Judas kissed Jesus’s cheek before he betrayed him. Well, my ex-MIL was putting together a metaphorical last meal of sorts for me where my betrayal was to come. She knew it. But, because she was pretending to be a “holy person,” I had no idea.

        How would you feel if you had gone through such a betrayal? And why am I making Jesus a metaphor? Well, because my ex-MIL was all about Jesus in word, but never in deed. Jesus was all she talked about and then she went about doing some of the cruelest things to others. Constantly. I was not the only one who received her cruelty– but the pain still stings.

        Can anyone articulate how that might feel? I would love to hear from you…


        • theresa

          Sarah, I thank God for the gift of you.
          That being said, I have a quick comment. I’m the product of 13 years of Catholic School. one of my favorite lessons was from a wonderful nun. Her lesson was one short sentence.
          “I am a Catholic, that does not mean I am a Christian”.

          • Sarah P.

            Hello Theresa,

            Thank you, that is quite a compliment. I also thank God for you, Theresa, and for everyone else here on EAJ, whether they are readers, commenters, subscribers, or just here to take a peek. I thank God that people who are hurting find their way here. By the way, I hate the fact that people are hurting and going through the most difficult challenge of their lives. But, I am grateful when they find EAJ and have a support system here. If I could wave a magic wand, adultery would not exist. But, since I cannot do that, I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve others through this blog. It makes me feel as if I am redeeming my own life and turning it for the good. The very thing that was sent to destroy me (infidelity), caused me to develop a deep feeling that evil must not win. Through writing and through the support here, we are all chipping away at heartbreak and ensuring that it does not destroy us. All of us will win and we will make ourselves whole and reclaim what was stolen from us (trust, safety, love…) and anything else you can think of. I am grateful to be a keyboard warrior and write posts that allow people to help recover themselves and defeat everything the affair did to them. It is a process, but I refuse to allow infidelity to destroy you or anyone else.

            Okay, the comment about the nun stumped me. Care to enlighten?

            And for the anyone out there who believes in God, there is a song that I pray with everyday. I am flawed and know that and so this song keeps me focused on my ultimate goal: to one day be “the proof” of God’s love. I fall short, but I still try.



    • TryingHard

      In fact no. No one can make anyone else do anything. Good or bad. The whole bs about a woman driving her h to cheat is steeped in misogyny and social myth. And yet that myth survives today. It’s as old as time. But we all know it’s not true. We’ve all heard many excuses why people cheat and always the excuses are the opposite. One person cheated because their spouse was too fat, the next they were too skinny, and on and on.

      My h tried pushing that stuff. But our MC shut it down pretty fast. Point us cheaters will grasp at any straw. They will throw whatever they can to assuage their guilt, deflect their responsibilities for having an affair, impression management, any and all the above. Seldom will the cheater EVER come out of the fate saying “yes I’m a real asshole, loser, narcissist…”. Nope can’t do it. But sometimes once true reconciliation starts they will recant all the excuses, even forget they said them AND admit they indeed acted like entitled jerks.

      TFW— sorry to see you go. It’s too bad you couldn’t just roll past this and realize this is simply someone’s experience that just might resonate with someone else. I’m sure Sarah P hasn’t told us all the context around that which made her feel this way toward her ex MIL or even the Happy Birthday Jesus cake. I believe In this context it’s important not to take people’s comments or posts literally or personally. Wishing you all the best TFW.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello TryingHard,

        Thank you for bringing up the BS and the myth that we can drive others to do things. For a long time, I have wondered how this myth made it into the psychology community and how the myth became the foundation of the old model of how to treat infidelity. There is not a lot of information on this.

        Yesterday evening I found the missing puzzle piece– that is, how and why this myth (the myth that a betrayed spouse can make their wayward spouse cheat) become part of the way infidelity is treated.

        I actually found who started this myth (in the modern day) and how this myth found its way into the foundation of marriage counseling. This is something I have been researching for a while… I had always assumed it was Freud or just a misogynistic culture that caused it. But, who started the modern myth was hard to determine.

        However, I found The Person who brought it into the field of psychology and made this myth the foundation of how to treat infidelity.

        I am going to be writing about this for my next post because the truth is so much stranger than fiction on this one. Usually a type of therapy is developed because it has been tested by thousands and shown to stand. It turns out formal infidelity therapy was pulled out of the air and adopted with no question or research behind it. And therapists kept using it assuming it was researched. No one questioned it until recently really. No one questioned it until sites like EAJ or Chump Lady’s came along. Chump Lady questions every aspect of the old model and does it without holding back.

        Now that we know the old model stands on “air” and on a therapist’s choice to use it (or not) I think we can make some real headway.

        I am writing the article now and I am scratching my head wondering how the current and incorrect model made it this far.

        Thank you for understanding that there is a HUGE context here in terms of my ex-MIL. As I have said before, there are many aspects of this story I will never tell this in blog because they are far too personal and very heartbreaking. Thank you for understanding there is a much larger context.


    • TheFirstWife

      Flor me it was the tone and disrespect that was displayed towards the family’s Christmas Eve tradition.

      Some things are just off limits in my opinion. Sorry – it’s just my personal conviction.

      I do wish all of you the best – in surviving the infidelity nightmare and enjoying all that life had to offer.

      • stickfigure

        I completely agree with you. In fact, I can’t even believe this article ever got published. The only explanation is that the people in charge have so little knowledge of Christianity and Jesus that they actually believe that the post isn’t offensive. The author’s explanation of the context is ridiculous!!! She wrote the article as if every person reading it is Jewish and would agree that Jesus is just one of several prophets who ascended 2000 years ago and is now a cosmic being outside the realm of time and space. The chosen tone was irresponsible and flippant if her goal is to help those of us (even us Christians) who have suffered at the hands of a “narcissist.” Those of us who bake cakes on Christmas Eve with our grand children to offer an age appropriate diversion from the materialism of the season and to be able to segue into a moment of thanksgiving for the gift of a Savior were all thrown into a category of crazies who don’t know the difference between clean and unclean offerings. The truly beautiful thing about Jesus is that He sees the heart and I believe that any remembrance of his birth, life, death on a cross or ascension to the Father is a sweet aroma to Him. The author has nothing but kind words to say about her father in law. Maybe the birthday cake for Jesus brings him joy at Christmas even if she doesn’t like the motives of the hands that prepared it.

        • Sarah P.

          Hello StickFigure,

          I am “the author” and my name is Sarah P. and I am a betrayed spouse and a mom just like you. What’s your name?

          You are new here. Do you want to tell us your story and perhaps answer my questions?

          I think it’s wonderful if you bake cakes of significance and give offerings and participate in diversions that are NOT focused on materialism. I see that as touching– not crazy.

          The story was SOLELY about the hypocrisy of the larger family. If you are a Christian I think you understand that sociopaths and narcissists do not belong in the church. (That is unless you like having your life ruined by fellow church members). Perhaps you have not heard my whole story. If you have not, you won’t have a context. I have no issue with Christians or Jesus. There is a much bigger context here.

          But, if you have family traditions that focus on what Jesus did for the world and don’t focus on materialism, that is quite touching. When I still attended church and when I was a teen, me and my parents stopped having presents (by choice). We volunteered and served others on Christmas, also by choice. We did not understand why such a sacred time required getting more stuff. So we focused on giving.

          One of my favorite songs about Jesus is Breath of Heaven and Mary’s perspective.

          We all go through uncertain times and this song is powerful because it is about trusting a higher power despite an uncertain future. (Of course it’s about Jesus, but it’s about the bravery and trusting that Mary and Joseph required and that is inspiring too).

          Hope we can hear your story.


    • Hopeful

      I am not bothered at all by your story. You prefaced it by saying it was satire. Also your view point of them factored in also. My religious views have evolved over time personally. I was raised Catholic. At this point I identify as agnostic. Many things factor into this; the Catholic Church, the current political climate, the politicization of religion, the behavior of the majority of Christians I am surrounded by. I understood the tone of your story and also factored into your mentality of being around that family. I find on a daily basis I am disgusted by people who do whatever they think is right in the name of “Christianity” yet it is the farthest thing from what I was taught is the Christian way.

      I feel like the wayward spouse before, during and even after tell themselves what they need to in order to get through the affair. My husband talks about how it bothers him now how he was able to compartmentalize and literally forget we existed when he was not at home with us. I am sure he had to do this. Otherwise if he sat around and thought about us he would have felt horrible and he did what he had to in order to protect himself. It is a very disturbing way to live your life in my opinion. I find it confusing. I cannot relate at all with that behavior or way of thinking. I feel like this has to be a part of who he is on some levels. He has changed so dramatically it is hard to believe. Even now though he lives his life in extremes. It is hard. I am just more of a steady person. Such a roller coaster!

    • Nigel

      “And here is yet another story of how self-absorbed my ex-MIL and ex were….” I find this extremely funny that you (Sarah) are calling out your ex and his mother about how self-absorbed THEY are when basically all you do is is go on and on and on about YOU. All. The. Time. Almost every single post (either submitted as a topic or as a comment) is all about YOU. Talk about a narcissist!! Holy cow!!! I understand needing to occasionally include personal examples….but the way you continually talk about yourself and all your life’s accomplishments is just too much. This site is not all about you and your stories.

      And I agree with The First Wife….the Happy Birthday Jesus story was just in poor taste. It’s not your place to judge others and their ‘hearts.’

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Nigel,

        Let’s hear your story…. and also tell me why you are here.

        Are you a betrayed spouse?

        Are you a wayward spouse?

        Have never seen comments from you before, so welcome to the website.

        Let’s hear your affair story because we can all learn from each other.

        Also, do you have any accomplishments or credentials you would care to share? Would love to hear them.

        There is room for everyone to shine and I love to hear about people’s interests outside of this dreary topic. Especially love to hear about any accomplishments they have in real life. You see accomplishments help rebuild self-esteem after someone has been betrayed by their spouse. That’s been studied in research.

        So, Nigel, tell us all about you, What’s your story? Have you been hurt by someone, Nigel? I am very sorry if someone has hurt you and we are here for you if you care to join us.


      • weddingbelle

        Hi Nigel,

        I respectfully disagree with you about not being Sarah’s place to judge others. We judge others, and have to, everyday. If we didn’t, we couldn’t function. Most of us have a compass telling us which way to go because of our beliefs, personality, etc. As betrayeds, we certainly have to judge, to see if that person who betrayed us fits into the mold of someone who can still share our life or not. At the risk of sounding different, myself, maybe if we had judged our significant others a bit differently, we wouldn’t be here. Judgement is necessary and very personal.
        More, Sarah is an integral part of this website and thought provoking, to say the least. In fact, you’re being quite judgmental, virtually calling her a narcissist. That’s your opinion to have. Let’s celebrate our differences in judgment as I know from what I’ve seen here, it causes people to discuss. Maybe those judgments can change, if they were harsh, maybe not, but that’s for each of us to decide individually. Look, I’m judging you. Doesn’t mean I won’t comment in a good or bad way in the future, just means you struck a nerve and I have a reaction.

        • Sarah P.

          Hello WeddingBelle,

          Amen to what you said. Almost every act we do each day involves judgement. Do we approach the intersection when it’s turning yellow and stop or go through? Well, that depends on the cars… if we stop will we be rear-ended? If we go through will we hit a car? We must judge the distance, the speed of our car, the speed of the other car, and based on that, we make a decision. We must judge everyone around us to navigate through life.. does that teacher have my child’s best interest in mind? Does my spouse have our financial interests in mind or is he or she buying unnecessary items when we must plan for retirement? Is my child safe with that babysitter?

          If we don’t make the right ‘judgment call’ our life could be impacted in ways that are irrevocable. And trusting the wrong marriage partner– trusting someone who then cheats on us– is an act that cannot be revoked. So, we must judge people’s characters or we become a walking target and give off a vibe that says, “Con me because I am gullible.”

          Many nice women and nice men get involved with actual narcissists who meet the actual diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

          A segue…

          Writing a blog/journal in first person narrative and writing as if it were a memoir does not make someone a narcissist. It is a literary style that conveys a compelling message to readers and it is most suitable for emotional topics like infidelity. I get no goodies from writing this blog post. I am not rich or famous and I did not charge Linda and Doug for this post. Note: I do NOT want to be famous either– for what?

          The only thing we can leave behind in this world in the GOOD THAT WE DO FOR OTHERS.

          That’s it.

          That is the only thing that will be remembered– what we do for others. Blogs are amazing because as long as there is a server to host it, words project into the future. Who knows how many lives words (in general) will touch?

          I like being a keyboard warrior and it is about the message. All of this is done for readers– on my own time– so that readers who might be suffering have posts to read written by someone who has been betrayed and has graduate credentials in psychology and has a graduate degree in literature. Please excuse the typos!! And when I take the time to answer comments, I am a real mom and wife, just getting back to people who are real readers after everyone is asleep in my family. Oh, yeah, I do this for free. And emails are free too. If I am a narcissist, I am not being a good one; I am failing. Maybe I need to work on being a better narcissist. I will put that on my to-do list: must be a better narcissist. (Sarcasm)

          Onto real narcissists, when the narcissist has an affair and then gaslights and lies to cover up the affair, many betrayed spouses think something is wrong with them and they judge themselves… they must be “bad” or “naive” or “codependent” to have a narcissist cheat on them. Then they feel very ashamed. Then they (the betrayed) often withdraw because they view themselves as ‘bad’ or ‘broken,’ they reason that otherwise the narcissist would not be drawn to them. They (betrayed’s) often view themselves as damaged when involved with a narcissist. Like the man in the video who warns us, he will project all his insecurities onto his victim (aka girlfriend/wife). And he will build an island without windows or doors in her mind and define her value. When such a man cheats– and that one did– it’s an awful mess. I actually found him because I found his ex-wife’s song about his cheating first. She took his text messages and wrote a song about the messages he sent to other women. Then she sang it. It’s not for everyone – lots of swearing– and I did not post it for fear of offending. But, what an awful mess for his wife, escaping his grasp. From her music, she appears to understand it was NOT her fault, so that is progress. But many women who get involved with them tell me they are ashamed. However, what I have found is narcissists look for Nice People. They look for people from Nice Families. If a doe has never seen a truck before and if her deer family did not warn her about trucks because they never saw them either, the doe will be caught in its headlights. After the truck hits her, she will wonder what happened. (If she survives). Well, the narcissist is the truck and Nice People are from a metaphorical deer family who lives harmoniously out in the woods where no man dares to venture. So, when a doe strikes out on her own to see what lurks at the forest’s edge, she might get caught in bright, dazzling lights and she has never seen these lights before. What is this magical light coming towards her? Boom!! “What happened?” the doe says as the truck drives off. Well, the doe has never seen a truck before, has never heard of a truck before, and wonders how those dazzling lights turned into something that flattened her and was gone just as quickly. That is what a real narcissist will do in a relationship. So, if anyone was or is involved with one, you were probably not able to see him coming. (The majority of narcissists and sociopaths are men, not women. Most borderlines are women.) So, that is why I say “he” instead of she when referring to a narcissist.

          Oh and I am going to be a good narcissist and tell a story about my family. This story is about why fame doesn’t matter and why the only thing people remember will be the good you did in the world. My great-grandfather died before I was born. He was the president of a university and had about 12 children, my grandma being one of the youngest. They lived in a beautiful house that is on the national historical registry. I have never seen it or spent time in the state where they were from. My grandma settled in a different state and met my grandfather and married. I was always intrigued with the stories my grandma had about her large, happy family. I had no brothers or sisters because my mom was only physically able to have one child. (Uh oh, I am a narcissist. Only child alert. Sarcasm). So, I listened to my grandma’s stories about her fun, huge family and all the things she did in her youth. She was quite scandalous. A cheerleader in the 1920’s and a Master’s degree in teaching by 1929. She was a career woman and put a career before a husband. Imagine that. She and my grandfather met on a blind date. She was almost 40 when she had my father and she had turned down the proposals of many wealthy men because she said they had wandering eyes and she did NOT want a cheating husband. And when I was 12-years-old, by golly, I got a lecture from grandma about ‘those men with their wandering eyes’ and how I must avoid them. My grandfather did not have wandering eyes. And he had a master’s degree too. And my dad was also an only child. She almost died in childbirth because of the times she lived in and because of her age. So, I am an only child of an only child. Big Red Flag Narcissist Alert. (More sarcasm). The one thing that made me sad is I wanted to meet my great-grandfather who was the president of that college in a Western state. I had seen photos, but apparently he was quite an upstanding citizen. He was a legend because of what he did for others. He served others even though he was in a leadership role. A good, old Presbyterian Scotsman, he viewed himself as a servant and not a leader. Everyone in the family spoke of him constantly. I wanted to know if strangers felt the same way about him as my family felt about him. I had always wondered, but believed I would never get an answer. One day I was in Chicago and had gone to a very large retreat for Christians. Chicago is thousands of miles from where I live. And it was also thousands of miles from where my great-grandfather lived. I usually took a taxi to the airport, but the bus showed up and I decided to take it. I went to the back where there were empty seats. A women who appeared to be in her 80’s or 90’s boarded the bus with her daughter. I waved at them to come have the seats in the back and was prepared to stand if need be. There was room for all three of us and we made small talk about where we were going. Well, they were going to the large town where my great-grandfather was the president of the university when he was alive. I asked them if by any slim chance they had heard of him. The mom in her 90’s had not only heard of him, she had been a friend of the family and knew my grandmother who had passed on the year before. She told me all kinds of stories about the family I would never meet. She told me my great-grandfather died 50 years prior, but there are all kinds of things named after him and people still speak of what he did for the community 50 years after he died. The chances of me running into a couple of strangers on a bus, in a large city, thousands of miles from where my great-grandfather lived, were slim. I still wonder how God managed to arrange that one, because I was certain that was Divine Intervention. The chances of such a meeting were nearly impossible if one considers all the variables that had to occur to ensure I met someone who could tell me stories about the family I would never know, while in a large city, with plenty of modes of transportation, and then we had to be in the same place at the same time. The chances of that happening are slim. The thing that stuck in my mind was that they didn’t care he was a university president; presidents come and go. They didn’t care that he lived in a beautiful house– the most beautiful one in the town that had been built by an executive in the ‘telephone industry.’ What they cared about was how he worked tirelessly for the community and that he was a man of unyielding integrity, kindness, and mercy. They told me they had never met a man before or since like him and that is why the town remembers him: it was because of what he did for others and how he lived his life. He did not call himself a Christian, even though he went to church…he modeled Christian behavior in every aspect of his life and all the time, no matter what the circumstance.
          Wealth and fame do not matter. The only thing we can leave here is a legacy of service to others. That’s really all we have. This blog is part of my life legacy. I want to look back on my life one day and say THAT actually mattered. It was never about cars, or houses, or anything else. It was about relationships and bringing any kind of peace I can offer to betrayed spouses based on personal experience. Oh, and why do I want to leave a legacy of good? Well, because there is really no point to life unless someone has good to contribute to the world. You can’t take the house or the car with you and the only thing you can leave are the good acts done to others. And those good acts are like a stone thrown in a pond. They create a ripple effect that goes out and touches many places. (Bad acts do the same thing). So, the ripple I am trying to make on the pond is a good one that goes out and spreads across the water and touches the lives of many.

          I may not always write things that resonate with everyone, but I do try to add value.

          Thanks for your comment and thanks for tolerating my philosophical and meandering thoughts on the nature of life and our purpose here on earth.



          PS- We would love to hear your story.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Nigel

      I have an idea. Why don’t YOU write an article? Why don’t you put yourself out there and let us judge YOU. Pretty easy to cast dispersions on others when YOU risk nothing!!!

      • Sarah P.

        Hello TryingHard,

        TryingHard, thank you for not only understanding my story, but also for having my back as a betrayed spouse.


    • Sarah P.

      Hi Hopeful,

      Do you know if your husband ever developed a core sense of self? Many people make it into adulthood without developing one. If they don’t have one, they are able to compartmentalize as second nature. They are also able to dissociate when they are engaging in an act that they know is wrong. (Everyone can do this to some extent, but people who never developed a core self do this all the time.) Seeing him change from one extreme to another tells me he did not have a core sense of self. Of course, if you brought this up, he would say he is the psychologist and balk. Well, here is the thing. It takes very little to become a psychologist– truly. But, to become a good one it takes years of research, studying, counseling, and it is also an ‘art’ to a great degree. I have always seen a natural psychologist in you. (I also see that in Doug and Linda, TryingHard, ShiftingImpressions and many other regular commenters. And TheFirstWife is usually there to greet people too and talk to them in their hour of need). Anyhow, I see a psychologist in you and I have a feeling your husband fears that psychologist in you. Your way of thinking, observation, analysis, and everything else makes you a natural psychologist.

      There is a book I want you to read. It’s called The Myth of Sanity. I really, really, really, want your take on it after reading it. And please do not let your husband know you are reading it. It’s all about dissociation and follows the story of an MD who appears to be perfectly normal and high-functioning. But he never developed a core self. His dissociative states were so severe he did not remember what happened in them– not the details anyway. It’s a fascinating book. I have never read anything like it. The bonus is that it was written by the author of The Sociopath Next Door. She is a Harvard-trained psychologist.

      As for religion… I could write a 300 page book on my religious views because I live in a “no man’s land” quite literally. On my mom’s mom’s side, we are Jewish and descendants of the Tribe of Judah as well as many famous Rabbis throughout history. (Thank you DNA tests and Jewish relatives who have the genealogy). Then there is my mom’s dad’s side: French (from Paris), Cornish, German Jew, and Welsh. I am married to a man born as a Jew but who does not practice Judaism. He gets angry when I write a check to the temple. LOL. Then there is my dad’s mom’s side. Presbyterian. Scottish. Lots of Clans, one of them being McCain. Then there is my dad’s dad’s side: Italian, Northern Irish, and African-American. (Thank you DNA test and genealogy databases). My dad’s dad’s side were “passers,” as in black people who could pass for Italian or Greek. We ALWAYS suspected this and would ask, but the answer was they were Italian. We did not find out until after both of his parents died and DNA tests were available. My friend who is a genealogist found a photo of my African American family online. I was a really weird experience. As for religion, I was raised as a Christian because my mom decided to take it up.

      I am in a no man’s land both religiously and in terms of ethnicity.

      And I have strong opinions about religion. I do not label myself except that I am a spiritual seeker. Until I can live up fully to anything, I will not label myself as such.

      My biggest pet peeve are people who have no morals and who hide in the Christian church. (Or who hide in the Jewish Temple or any other religion). I do not have a beef with Christianity. I have a beef with such a wicked family using Christianity to fool people while they metaphorically knifed them in the back. I have a huge problem with this.

      Thanks for your comment.


      • Hopeful

        I will check out this book for sure. I am not sure if that fits him exactly but I always love to learn more. I have learned a lot from being around him all these years of education, training and work. That is how I am with everything, sponge like, I take it all in. I do not zone out but I listen. I am intellectually curious. My feeling is this stems from being entitled and indulged as a child with little consequences or boundaries. And even though he appears to be highly secure he is insecure. I think the core sense of self is an interesting topic. For anyone to betray their spouse they have to betray themselves first which is going against their core. I know we have talked about how from an early age we were in touch with who we were and have not changed at that core much at all. I brought that up and he said he has not changed either. He just covered it up and hid it. I also find it interesting that he sought out “friends” that did not like me. Of course this is not a huge revelation. I know they were threatened by me even though I was nothing but nice and supportive. I have a feeling they knew if I knew more about them I would have challenged those friendships. So that fed into him pushing away from me/us.

        At times I find myself treading lightly in my marriage. I know it is me protecting myself. I work hard to be more vulnerable. Sometimes it is just how I am feeling or it is something that triggers that in me. I would say the most progress is how we are able to discuss how we are feeling. Just this past week there were two major things that came up out of either of our control. It was the best, most productive, quality discussion we had together. We were both able to say what we needed to, open up and be supportive. He was not defensive at all.

    • Sarah P.

      Here is a video for all of you to enjoy. Take it within the context of us betrayed spouses and how we need to stick together, no matter what our opinions. (This video always makes me cry).

    • TryingHard

      That is a great video. Thanks for posting

      I also want to say thanks to you and Doug and Linda and the others who post articles here. You’re not here for the money. There’s no advertising or patron requests. You do this work out of a sense of responsibility to help others. to be so viscerally criticized for a post angers me. We all have a right to an opinion but to down right insult and denegrade people who make themselves vulnerable by being keyboard warriors is sad to say the least. I do not understand and never will why people feel the need to express themselves so hatefully. And it is hateful. If you don’t like what you read move on or make a helpful comment not a denegrading comment. Are we all so damn miserable that anger and gathered is the first thing we reach for?

      I meant when i suggested those ridiculing the posts here to write a post of their own. I’d love to read it. I’m certain I’d learn something, anything from it. I may not agree or even have a different experience but there’s always something to learn.

      Thanks again for all your thoughtful hard work. And well haters just have to hate. It’s what they do!

      For the record i don’t know how you kept from laughing yourself silly at the Happy Birthday Jesus cake!!! I don’t know if i could have ????????????????????

      • Sarah P.

        Dear TryingHard,

        Thank you again for your support. You are right that we are keyboard warriors here. There are no advertisements, no Patreon, no PayPal buttons to ask for donations. You are right that we are here out of a sense of obligation to the world. There are only three of us, Doug, Linda, and myself. We have no assistants, no volunteers, no one except for the three of us and we live thousands of miles from each other.

        My story about what happened with my ex is more detailed than I will ever put on the internet. The reason for that is because many will just use it to judge me, or perhaps gawk. It will not be honored and I learned long ago that I must watch what I say.

        We don’t do fund drives or constantly remind people this blog is literally a labor of love. We don’t sell mugs or t-shirts. We sell a few self-help products that take enormous amounts of time to generate; we believe in giving more than we could ever receive. But, we don’t constantly push products either.

        This blog is very special because it provides expert advice from people who have gone through it and who have credentials to write about these topics. One post takes many hours to create. Most posts take me about 20 to 30 hours. It depends on the length and the research involved. Yet, the advice is completely free to whomever stumbles upon the blog.

        Helping people overcome the pain of infidelity is a labor of love for me. I get nothing out of it except for the ability to give to others. And that is something in itself. I get the peace of mind knowing that someone I may not ever meet can find this blog any time of day and something they read here will prevent them from going over the edge. That provides me with satisfaction.

        Being unfaithful to another person is one of the most cruel and devastating things someone can do to another person.

        I do not want people to be alone like I was, trying to make sense of something where there were no answers. There were no good answers to my situation at the time. There are answers now and this blog is here any time of day for people to find. And hopefully they find relief and feel less alone by reading.

        We may not receive many comments, but we receive many emails about the fact that this blog is a lifeline to so many people around the world. And the traffic we get also shows that.

        Creating a safe space for betrayed’s to talk about their experiences is the point of this blog.

        So why do I care about this blog so much if I am not becoming rich and famous?

        Well, there are two reasons.

        The first is that I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through– 3am panic attacks and nowhere to turn that would explain what was happening. I don’t want people to walk this journey alone.

        I may not be a religious person, but I am a spiritual person. There is something in Judaism that provides the second reason. My writing for this blog is one of my main mitzvahs. I don’t attend a Jewish temple often, but I believe in many of their laws and follow some Jewish laws because I want to. Not because I think God will give me a giant mansion in the afterlife. The Jewish afterlife doesn’t work like that anyways… it’s very different than the Christian view.

        Anyhow, one of the Jewish laws is to participate in mitzvahs throughout the year. For something to qualify as a mitzvah, it must be an unselfish act where the person doing the mitzvah doesn’t receive anything in return. It is done solely for the benefit of others. But, a mitzvah goes much farther than that. God knows the hearts of all of us. He knows who does a mitzvah only because it is part of Jewish law and who does a mitzvah because it brings joy to their soul. I have been doing mitzvahs my whole life– only I didn’t know there was a word for what I was doing until I started studying Judaism five years ago. My friends would always ask why I would give a new coat to a homeless person or pay for a stranger’s groceries. I had no explanation for it except it was something my soul told me to do and such acts brought me peace. Then I learned about the concept of the mitzvah and it made perfect sense. This blog is one of my mitzvahs and it is a mitzvah I chose to do everyday.

        TryingHard, thank you for recognizing the value that this blog adds. I feel a duty to give what I know to the world. It doesn’t feel right to withhold information that helps people laugh or heal or both (if possible). The satire on this blog is meant to make people laugh and it is my way of doing social commentary. Thank you for understanding that and thank you for everything you do to help support this blog. You too have spent thousands of hours over many years helping people in need and that is an invaluable gift you give to the world. Just like Doug, Linda, and me, you help solely by choice and because you feel it is a duty. It is the ultimate act of unselfishness on your part. TRULY. You have touched so many lives through the years, including mine.

        Thank you for what you do and how you help us here, TryingHard.


    • Laura

      I found this article a great read, and I am a Christian with Christian values. I do my best to be a good Christian. I absolutely cannot stand those people who are pretenders and hypocrites! The article was informative and funny! It helped bring a smile to my face today, which I didn’t think I could do today. Today is the one year anniversary ( ugh if you can call it that) of D day for me. There is nothing funny about being betrayed, but I really enjoyed the article. This is a club I never wanted to belong to. I thought I had a great marriage and that being betrayed would never happen to me.But it did. With so many things I’ve read being so serious and sad, this article was well written, I noticed some similarities and it was relatable. Definitely nothing offensive and I enjoyed the satire. Especially today. This is my first comment and I’ve been reading for a year. My husband did some of the same things, said some of the same things. I chose to stay in the marriage. It’s been a year and it still feels like it happened yesterday. My husband has totally changed his ways and has been working very hard to help me heal. He stopped drinking, he’s been honest and kind and very remorseful and sorry for what he did. During the EA he blamed me, but he has accepted full responsibility for his actions and builds me up instead of tearing me down. It’s still hard for me, but I am getting through it. This place has really helped me with that. I am grateful for all of you here. All the stories, everyone’s experiences. It helped me to feel less alone. It has brought me understanding. I’m especially grateful for Linda and Doug, for putting themselves out there to help others. Thank you Sarah for this post. I needed it today.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Laura,

        Welcome! I am very sorry to hear that you went through this with your husband and joined the club no one wants to join.

        Thank you for your gratitude for the site. We all work very hard on it and see it as a labor of love.

        I am so very happy that your husband has accepted full responsibility for his actions and builds you up instead of tearing you down. I am glad your husband has totally changed his ways and has been working hard to help you make it through this experience. I am also happy to hear that he has stopped drinking and has been honest, kind, and remorseful.

        Can you give us some ideas of what your husband has done to concretely to help?

        And can your tell me what you understand about my use of satire and why as a Christian you do NOT find it offensive?

        I write satire SOLELY to make this topic less morose and I don’t pick on Christians; just on hypocrites.

        I was raised in the church and attended until I was 30 years old. I have had advanced religious training in the church. My ex was the last straw. You see, I was told I needed to find a “good Christian man and get married.” Well, guess what… every Christian man I ever dated cheated– every. single. one. of. them. But, I have never written that story. Why? Because Christians would think I was attacking them and singling them out. At 30 I decided I would date whoever came along. And several Jewish men came along. I turned them down. Finally, one came along I could not turn down. We clicked instantly. And at the time I did not know I was ethnically Jewish, but he did. He kept saying it was as plain as day that I was a Jewish woman, despite me insisting I was not Jewish. Also, he did NOT want me to covert because he doesn’t study it. And he was fully convinced I was Jewish but I did not know it. We eloped. (My parents were ok with that; they saw he was family oriented and he loved my parents the second he met them). I stopped attending church and dove head first into Eastern teachings, which are wonderful, but often misunderstood. I was trying to finish my genealogy and my mom’s mom had no information. Nothing. Nada. I got my friend who is an expert genealogist on it. She could not get grandma to talk. My friend said it was time for a DNA test on my matrilineal line and to opt-in to getting connected to all genetic relatives and to provide an email address. And I remember the day I got the results. My mother’s line was completely Jewish. And unbroken line going back thousands of years. I couldn’t believe it. I verified it through many relatives I was connected to and grandma finally talked about it and I found out why it had to be hidden.

        Sometimes I wonder if what happened with my ex happened for a reason. But if it did, why did it have to be so traumatizing.

        Maybe to lead me to this blog.

        Someone must go to the very bottom of the abyss and climb back out. (Lose your fiance, get beaten and raped by said ex-fiance to make me leave the home I paid for so he and the other woman could keep the house. That broke my spirit to fight for it). Someone had to recover from that emotionally and financially and be at the bottom of that deep, dark abyss and find a way out. That’s what I had to find my way out of and I did. And then I sought answers. None were satisfactory. So I got a Master’s degree in Psychology to find more answers– not just to my past but how to help my autistic child. Then I found this blog and started writing for it.

        Doug, Linda, and I have many goals and programs to develop to help others.

        I live a life of kindness. I keep my promises. I have never cheated on anyone. I am a true friend. And I always show up when people need someone the most. I have studied Judaism for almost ten years, seriously for five years. I have no label for myself except for spiritual– I am a prayer warrior– and I pray daily for everyone who reads this blog and for their marriages. I don’t mention this often. It’s just something I do twice a day. And I pray for myself, and friends, and family. But, I try to keep my spiritual beliefs off the blog because it is a secular blog. I have no issue with Christians; I have studied it in such depth and keep a journal of spiritual revelations. But, there is no label for me. I pray and do my own thing.

        Laura, thank you for understanding the point of my writing and not going into attack mode.I am very grateful for that.

        Tell us all about your recovery and if you have any tips.


    • Sarah P.

      Hello Everyone,

      I have some Shakespeare for you. Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, Lines 22–31):

      “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
      Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
      To the last syllable of recorded time,
      And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
      The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
      Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
      And then is heard no more. It is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.”

      Taking Shakespeare’s advice, let’s bring the post back to its purpose:

      Help all of us explore the mind-games wayward spouses played and to share our experiences. Here is the question list. Who is ready to answer the questions so that we can be on help to one another by sharing experiences?

      What did your spouse tell you about the affair?

      How did he or she blameshift the issue onto you?

      Did your spouse say you made them cheat and what were the reasons?

      What did your spouse do to gaslight?

      What did your spouse say to gas-light?

      Is your spouse a con? (Adult Child of Narcissist(s)?

      Are you in an experience that is so a con? (Spouse Of Adult Child of Narcissist(s)?

      If so, how had it affected your marriage and affair recovery?

      What’s your funniest story that you have about your cheating spouse’s family?

      Thank you,


    • CatMandu

      I’m surprised by the vitriol displayed by some of the commenters. This is a space where we all come to due to being a member of a club that none of us wanted to join. It should be a place where we can let it all hang out because we have had our world shaken to the core, in other words, a safe space.
      I for one appreciate Sarah’s articles and her willingness to bare her soul to us. And lest you think I’m not a part of this, my husband had an affair for almost eight years. I have difficulty explaining it. It’s hard for me to talk about my experience. I don’t have kind things to say about my husband’s family nor the OW’s. Does this make me a bad person???

      • Sarah P.

        Hello CatMandu,

        Thank you for your support. No, it does not make you a bad person for NOT having kind things to say about your husband’s family and the other woman.

        We must have a place where we can vent about the people who hurt us due to their infidelity.

        If we tell betrayed spouses they are bad people for saying unkind things about those who literally destroyed their life, then we are actually aiding and abetting in their re-victimization. We are sending the message that it’s okay for a wayward spouse, the other woman, and anyone who helped take down a betrayed spouse to do what they did if we silence a victim’s experience, or if we tell a victim they cannot point things out about the people who hurt them.

        When we silence the experience of a victim who was specifically targeted by a wayward spouse and the other woman, we are sending a message that it doesn’t matter if someone destroyed your life; you are not allowed to talk about aspects of it. In such an atmosphere, where victims are not allowed to describe the hypocrisy of people who hurt them personally, we are helping perpetrators flourish.

        CatMandu, I would love to hear about your husband’s family and the OW. No, it does not make you a bad person for thinking or saying unkind things. Let it all out. That is what this blog is for– everyone can rant all they want about the wayward spouse, the other person, and the people who helped in the “take down.”

        I do not support this re-victimization on this blog. I support victims speaking out and telling every aspect of what happened to them at the hands of their betrayed spouse and the other woman. A victim can regain their power by speaking out about what happened to them. My articles are for the victims/betrayed spouses of the world. I write such details of my story hoping others will speak out. I write details hoping that betrayed spouses will see that they don’t have to feel alone and they don’t have to stay silent.

        So, please tell us about your husband’s family and the OW. That goes for everyone else as well. Tell us all about it. I am so grateful when readers share their stories about their wayward spouse and tell us what they are going through. (I don’t want to be the only one telling my story).

        Why? We need everyone because we realize that we are all connected. We realize there is not just one person continuing to recover from this house of horrors called infidelity. We realize there are many of us.

        Thanks for your comment, CatMandu, and please share your story with us. I support victims speaking out about their wayward spouse’s actions, the other woman, and all the hypocrisies involved.


        PS- A notice to everyone:

        Since Doug and Linda are humble people, they do not advertise how many views this blog gets, how many subscribers it has, and how many people actually use the blog as a life line. The comments section is not a reflection of readership. This blog has an enormous reader base, subscriber base, and many views. I hope that more readers introduce themselves in the comments and well as our regular readers. We need everyone’s perspectives represented and I hope people will come forward with their own stories. As I have said before, all are welcome here.

        It doesn’t matter if someone is:

        -An atheist
        -An agnoistic
        -A Christian
        -A Jew
        -A Muslim
        -A hindu
        -A seeker
        -A Buddhist
        -A Jain
        -An “I am not sure.”
        -A democrat
        -A republican
        -An independent
        -A socialist
        -A “I have given up on politics…”

        Or any other label that I have forgotten. All are welcome here.

        This blog is about infidelity. Infidelity both infects and affects all the labels I have listed above. No one community or group is safe from infidelity. People can talk about their religious beliefs and political beliefs and anything else as it applies to infidelity. I truly don’t care because I know that there are bad people who also happen to be part of the labels above. Infidelity is everywhere. A victim can talk about their experience with the Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, atheists, republicans, democrats or whoever else hurt them. If a bad person is involved in a religion, it doesn’t meant the religion itself is bad. And if I talk about how people use religion as cloaks, I am not calling a religion bad. I am calling out the hypocrite who intentionally hides in (name your religion) so they can harm people and stay under the radar. This is hypocrisy and the highest form of blasphemy since they speak the word of God while doing the work of evil.

        When all the stories broke about the Priests abusing children were we picking on Catholics? No, we were not. There were pedophiles who made a choice to put on the robe of holiness in order to obtain victims and fly under the radar. These stories were not about picking on Catholics. They were about bad individuals who used the Catholic Church as a means to both hide and find victims. Their actions to do reflect on the Catholic Church even though the acts were committed there. Anytime, I mention my ex and Christianity, I am pointing out how he and his mom wrongly used the church to HIDE. That was not the fault of the church or Christianity.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I agree we need to get back to the issue at hand. Back to why we come here. I come here to read your stories and to share mine. I come here because all of you understand the pain of betrayal. Your words of support and kindness have meant everything to me over the past almost five years.

      I have learned so much by coming here.

      Some posts speak more to me than other posts….nothing abnormal about that. The use of satire is not really my thing but hey….that’s okay. I am of Christian background but was not offended in the least by Sarah’s post. I have also experienced first hand the damage of hypocrisy in the church. And have seen the damage that abusive people (under the guise of spirituality) can inflict on others. But I know that occurs in all religions…human nature being what it is. Abuse has no boundaries.

      Infidelity leaves a scar and changes one forever. I was reminded of that again last night. I stopped in to see my neighbor (88 yrs old). I have known her for many years as she was a good friend of my mothers. I have only known her as a single divorced lady. For some reason she shard her story with me. Her marriage ended many years ago because her husband had an affair with a family friend. She went on an made a very good life for her self and told me her faith carried her through that hard time.

      She then went on to share how her oldest son had been very distant with her the last few years. He was also unfaithful to his wife and married his affair partner (over twenty years ago) He was a doctor and had a work affair with his nurse. I am always surprised by the complete selfishness of those involved in affairs. The reason my neighbor’s son and his wife (the affair partner) were upset with my dear neighbor is the fact that she stayed in contact with her son’s first wife….the mother of her granddaughters. They saw it as a betrayal…how self absorbed can you be. She stayed in contact because they were the mother of her grandchildren and because she loved her and she was not the one who did the lying and betraying.

      This second wife even had the audacity to complain to my neighbor how she was bitter that the first wife had hired a very hard nosed lawyer and taken her doctor husband to the cleaners financially. And yes this happened twenty years ago and the selfishness continues.

      My wonderful neighbor said….I may be 88 years old but no one is going to tell me who or who I may not stay in contact with. I told her how proud I was of her for taking that stand.

      I felt privileged that she trusted me enough to share her story…..even though she doesn’t know about what happened in my marriage. My heart hurt for her as she told me that she had trusted her husband so completely that the thought of him cheating on her wasn’t even on the radar.

      We all have a different story to tell….there is power in the sharing of those stories. There is an easing of the pain, in the sharing. Will we always agree…absolutely not. And that’s okay!

    • Sarah P.

      Hello ShiftingImpressions,

      That is a lovely story about your 88-year-old neighbor and her perspective on life. She is a person of real character. That is so sad she trusted her first husband to such an extent she could never imagine an affair. (That sounds familiar). How wonderful that she had the back of the real victim– her son’s first wife. Both of them were betrayed by the same men (in a way). Your neighbor was betrayed by her husband and her daughter-in-law betrayed by the son. (The son had the same genetic material as dad.) It’s an interesting situation if you think of it that way. Your neighbor was betrayed by the original man and her daughter-in-law betrayed by that man’s offspring– even though he happened to be your neighbor’s son. How selfish that her son and second wife would expect your neighbor to not have a relationship with her own grandchildren. It illustrates the selfishness of these people who have affairs and marry the affair partner. It reminds me of the Devious Doctor and the Nasty Nurse. Nasty Nurse has told Devious Doctor to abandon his (biological) children since they are in college not speaking with him right now. They are grieving because they lost EVERYTHING they knew. She tells him that his children are selfish and they are traitors. And encourages him NOT to make in-roads or reach out. His children are devastated. Devious Doctor was actually a church elder along with his wife and the children we all strong Christians. Devious Doctor’s first wife and his children put their family first– it was the most valuable thing to them along with God and being missionaries. They lived in their dream home, in their dream location, and even had the hobby farm they always wanted. They had their horses, and goats, and chickens, and all manner of animal they had ever wanted. The kids were supremely happy for this life and so was the wife. The wife was a huge volunteer in the community and always welcomed everyone to the home.. she shared it with everyone and made it a place of healing.

      Then Devious Doctor abandoned this family for the married Nasty Nurse who was an atheist and who had informed others he was her ‘target’ and she would ‘get him’ and would stop at nothing. Well, she ‘got him’ and his children are beyond devastated. From the children’s perspective, their family (parents) meant everything to them– the missions they did as a family- the wonderful home they had with their horses. All of it is gone. Devious Doctor forced his wife to sell the dream house during the divorce. All the children’s animals were sold. All of it evaporated in an instant. Devious Doctor was kicked out of the church and did not care. Church members had tried to stage an intervention because the wife and children wanted to keep the family together. But, Devious Doctor refused and wouldn’t let anyone keep a semblance of their prior life. Can you imagine how that felt from the experience of a couple of kids finishing high school and entering college? Not only were they going to college, they had NO HOME to come home to. They had all their pets and livestock they cared for sold (aside from dogs). Their mom is devastated and trying to rebuild and their dad is off planning a wedding and buying a waterfront home for Nasty Nurse.

      And he married Nasty Nurse and now has her young children to raise. She in ensuring his bio-children don’t get financial support. She has convinced him they are traitors who want to destroy his happiness. He was excommunicated from his Christian Church long ago and his ex-wife is still an elder. It makes me sick.

      Since this is a secular blog, I do not speak of how God CARRIED me through the experience with my ex. There is a story I will never tell on the blog. I have several Christian friends about it, life-long friends, and I told them how I would NOT be alive had God not intervened. The laws of physics itself had to change to ensure I stayed alive. The people who have heard the story know that the ONLY explanation was divine intervention. I won’t tell that story on this blog because there are always trolls– there are always people who like to gawk– or people who would be offended because I was talking about God. But, it was God who carried me through. That’s all I will say.

      Thank you for your lovely show of support. It means the world to me. I am well-aware that not everything I write resonates with everyone and I am aware satire is a very specific type of humor. People either love it or hate it.

      All of us are individuals and everyone’s experience is different. If someone who comments does not do something the way I would do it or say something the way I would say it, or gives advice I disagree with, I just let it go.

      Everyone’s voice needs to be heard and everyone’s perspective needs to be heard.

      Thank you for respecting my writing even when parts do not resonate. It takes someone with an enormous heart to be able to see the gray areas and to let go of things that in the grand scheme are not that important because I am not intentionally harming readers with my writing. I am telling a very difficult story that is not black or white.

      What is important is that we all support each other, even if we don’t think about things the same way, or do things the same way, or have the same perspective in life. When infidelity strikes, none of it matters.

      A betrayed spouse has experienced a wound at the level of the soul. Even though we cannot see that wound, we all have it.

      If the wound of infidelity was seen on the outside, I would imagine it as losing both of our calves and feet. (Our foundation). And let’s say we all had the same brand of bionic feet and calves to replace what was lost. In fact, maybe the new bionic calves and feet would be stronger and more functional than our original ones. But they still were not ours.

      If we were all walking around in public wearing our new bionic feet and calves, we would recognize each other immediately– even from a distance. it wouldn’t matter if one woman was wearing a burka, or another woman a beret, or if another woman was wearing a large cross on her neck, or another a star of David. It wouldn’t matter if one woman was holding up a sign telling others to vote for a democrat and another woman holding a sign telling others to vote for a republican.

      I would imagine a world where if we spotted each other in public as strangers, we would drop our political signs, we would overlook the cross or the star of David or the burka, and instead we look into the eyes of each other and we would hug each other. I would imagine whether we were black or white, old or young, we would see past all the labels and be drawn together to stand united. Can you imagine what a beautiful sight that would be?

      Do I want people to have bionic legs? No I do not. But what if we could put everything aside and realize the only thing that matters: that woman (who might be different than us) has a soul level wound just like we do. And it unites us. It’s such a harrowing experience that I believe it joins us.
      We don’t all have the same views, religions, marriages, beliefs, incomes, ages, colors of skin, or anything else. But, we all have the same wound; the wound that will always be there.

      Supporting each other is what keeps us sane. Tending to the wounds of other betrayed spouses is the goal. I write this blog in hopes that people out there are getting their metaphorical wounds tended. They can come here any time of day and I hope they can get their wounds tended. Writing is something that lasts even long after others have moved on to other projects. There will always be infidelity and all the writing here is timeless. Human nature never changes.

      The other day my son asked me what the oldest written document was. (Note: I have not looked this up to verify because something older might have been found by now). But, I told him that in college our anthropology teacher told us the oldest piece of paper was papyrus and it was a recipe for beer from ancient Egypt. I told my son Homer Simpson has always existed (as evidenced that the oldest piece of paper is a recipe for beer). Of course, this was supposed to be humorous, but it is an illustration that human nature never changes. Until there is a great awakening, human nature will play out generation after generation. And people will get hurt.

      And we all have to be here to support each other. Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Big hugs,


    • Rose

      I just had to break in here and talk about “Christian” hypocrites. I’ll try to leave the GOP out of it. 😉

      My first marriage was at 18 to a guy from an extremely Catholic family. His father, an extremely Catholic Navy captain and chaplain, cheated on his wife when her bipolar got worse. My first H and I got married young to get out of the house. I finished nursing school, had a baby at 22, and was divorced at 23. The reason for the divorce was that my 22-year-old H raped a 13-year-old. This little child said it was consensual. She lived with her grandparents who never pressed charges. Neither did I. I was so young and naive. He should have done time but got away with it.

      Fast forward…I remarried and moved to another state. He remarried and had 2 kids. We were unfortunately connected til our daughter was 18. I never told her about this until much later (she was 30ish) because he told her that the reason for the D was that I was frigid. I had to tell her the truth.

      Now we have a 3-year-old grandson. This former H became an evangelical “Christian” and joined Promise Keepers, a radical “Christian” org that believes women should be subservient to men and that men are the only way women can get to “God.”
      He and his wife were here visiting a few weeks ago to see the grandson. I didn’t see them but daughter posted pics with her father wearing Jesus and Promise Keepers shirts. I am so angry. First I am totally sure his little subservient wife doesn’t know he’s a child rapist who thinks he is now “saved.” Second, my daughter’s husband is an engineer and she is a SAHM. He is good friends (but not religious) with her father. Recently I have seen some concerning things. He gives her an “allowance” and he has the rest of the money. I had to buy her groceries a week ago because he didn’t give her enough. He buys himself toys but she hasn’t had any new clothes in 3 years. She says it is “his” money. He goes out and goofs off with friends at night because HE is the one working hard. And she is not on the house title.

      Her father is NOT a Christian but believes women are below him, and I see her H treating her that way, and seeing this man with MY grandson makes me livid. I told her that he had better not preach this garbage to my grandson.

      That’s just my rant on fake Christians. Jimmy Carter is a true example of WWJD and a person to emulate, even if you are an atheist like me. I am SO SICK of people pretending to be Christians who are hypocrites!!

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Rose,

        ***Notice to all. Before writing for this blog, I was a reader. I am answering Rose in the context of being a fellow reader and a fellow betrayed spouse. Do not have a beef with Doug and Linda for what I say. Doug and Linda are two of the best people I have ever known, so if you have anything to say where you want to criticize me, email me and we will figure it out together. This answer I am giving is reader to reader.***

        Glad to hear from you and I am sorry you had to go through this. Your story is NOT material for the Jerry Springer Show even if it seems that way. The only difference between you and the rest of the world is you are willing to share your experience, while many people hide under a social face.

        How did you deal with the emotional fallout of your husband raping a little girl?

        Children are unable to consent to sex with adults.

        Of course, there are always middle school kids who might play “spin the bottle” and they are all the same age and pushing the envelope.

        But, this is not the same thing as a sexual relationship between a child and an adult. I don’t know how you handled this emotionally… I think my blood would have boiled with rage. However, you were in your early 20’s and I will tell you in my early 20’s I would not have known what to do either. If a child is “groomed and manipulated” into saying it is consensual with an adult and if the legal guardians are crazy enough to believe that and if you (the wife) were barely out of your teens, what was there to do except for get a divorce? Your story angers me. I am NOT angry at you. I am angry at what you have gone through. Knowing the mindset I was in at your age, I too would have gotten a divorce and run too. Because what is there to do if no one files charges?

        And people who are predators toward children don’t do it once. On average they do it 100 times before they are caught. Your story is not a story of your H having a mental breakdown and living out some absolutely bogus Lolita fantasy. Unfortunately, you were married to a predator and the research shows they just don’t stop. To further complicate the matter… and I don’t know if anyone has heard of this before, but there are two types of pedophiles:

        Preferential and non-preferential.

        A preferential pedophile ONLY prefers children (under the age of 16) and has an aversion to secondary sexual features (breasts, hips or body hair on boys). Every child develops differently and some develop as late as 16. The preferential pedophile accounts for 10 percent of the pedophile community.

        The NON-preferential pedophile becomes sexually aroused by both children and adults. Many of these pedophiles are married, HETEROSEXUAL men. (I am just citing research, so don’t hate on me). Non-preferential pedophiles make up 90% of the “pedophile” or sex-offender population. In fact, married heterosexual men can sexually abuse boys just as easily as they abuse girls. They have an age group preference that is generally stronger than the gender preference. A non-preferential pedophile can have intercourse with his wife daily and still go and sexually abuse 7-year-old boys. This is a confusing topic because people wonder if such a man is really a heterosexual. Well, here is the explanation. Sexual abuse of children is about power, control, and hatred. Within this context, a heterosexual man could act out on a boy. He has extreme anger or hatred and decides to take it out on a child– sexuality is his weapon of abuse, but it could just as easily be a belt. Now, the two are not equal. Sexually abusing a child is 100 times more evil than lashing a child with a belt. But, both are WRONG and evil.

        Personally, I have NEVER used any physical punishment on my children and I don’t allow my H to punish them either. They get time outs or privileges taken away for a set period. That’s all I allow in my house. I don’t judge people for not having my disciplinary style. Sometimes children are so wild, they may not respond to anything but a spanking. I have never had to do so, but that does NOT make me better than anyone.

        What are the implications of married men being pedophiles? There are many women married to men and they have intercourse with these men and they have children with these men. But, these men could be out abusing other children or their own children. And no one would know… because John is such an upstanding citizen and he ran for mayor. Has anyone out there watched the show Breaking Bad from beginning to end? The show can be viewed on two levels: a sensational story about bad people OR a modern Greek tragedy and a moral tale. I watched it from the perspective of a modern Greek tragedy and a moral tale. If anyone had watched it, they will remember the character called Gustavo Fring. He was one of my favorite characters and the man who played him is an terrific actor. Gustavo Fring was the portrait of a perfect hypocrite and perfect sociopath. He was not my favorite character because he was a sociopath; the actor who played this character so understood the pathology of the character that it was like watching a documentary about abnormal psychology. And it was a warning to the public– people may not be what they seem.

        Also, another point… the idea the gay men go trolling for little boys is absolutely false. Homosexuality does not correlate to pedophilia. The research has already destroyed this myth that gay men go looking for little boys.

        So, Rose, your story is NOT fit for the Jerry Springer show. The only difference between you and the rest of the world is that you tell your story. And you are EXTREMELY BRAVE to do so. I am just sorry about what you have gone through.

        As for your ex becoming a “promise keeper,” well, he just found the perfect organization in which he can become a predator against little girls. That is scary.

        And yes, Jimmy Carter is the REAL DEAL. I was a kid when he was running for President. But, I saw him on TV and he made a deep impression. I could see that he was a good man and the real deal. I only saw sincerity and gentleness and honesty when I watched him. I told my parents they had no choice but to vote for Jimmy because I said so. They were democrats at the time so they probably did. Jimmy Carter is inspiring and I am so happy he is still alive.

        As for your daughter, that is SCARY. You are describing someone who is being isolated both from her community and from access to money. Being a SAHM is isolating. But, when a man controls the money, then the man is in total control. It seems to be that your ex husband is influencing your daughter’s husband to be like him. It seems to me that your daughter could be in an emotionally abusive situation, if she is not already in such a situation. That is extremely worrisome. It’s too weird when her H is out partying and she cannot buy groceries. Also, if she cannot access the $$, how does she know where the $$ are being spent? Where is all the money being spent, on who, and how? You are describing to me what could become an emotionally scary situation for your daughter. If you can, see if there is a way she can access bank accounts. She needs to know where the money is going. Also… not being on the house title? You need to see what the laws are in her state because this could become a scary situation. She has young children who depend on her and a husband who doesn’t even have her on the house title. This is so scary and she needs to be on the house title… at the very minimum. I am glad she has an involved mom like you looking after her.

        Glad to see you have jumped back on the threads.


    • Rose

      And when I read these things I write, I feel like I should go on Oprah or Jerry Springer because I can’t believe these nutty things happened to me!!

    • Sarah P.

      Hello All,

      Wanted to close this thread on a positive note. TFW, you are always welcome here as is anyone else. There is a Christian song I like called City On A Hill. I try not to put my spiritual beliefs on this blog because it is a secular blog.
      But, I could hope that everyone could realize that this blog is a METAPHORICAL city on the hill where all people going through infidelity come. We are all different and cannot be divided by differences. (And for the Christians I am NOT a metaphorical Jesus. Lol.) Everyone take the metaphorical aspect of this song and the message about NOT being divided.

    • Always Sad

      The narcissist video was difficult to watch. That hit way too close to home. So here I am years later, still married to him, but having lived through years of destructive behavior, never feeling good enough, never feeling wanted…just tolerated, and lead me to a point that I couldn’t take it anymore. Basically had a bit of a break down and went to counseling. During counseling I realized that all of these things that were wrong with me really weren’t wrong with me, that I was fine just the way I was, I was not flawed.
      The realization of how much damage I had allowed to be inflicted and internalized was another difficult pill to swallow. My view of him changed from just being harsh and critical to being a pompous, narcissistic ass. In some ways this was freeing, in other ways it was more isolating.
      A situation presented, someone made themselves emotionally available to me. I engaged in an emotional affair. I didn’t even know what it was at the time. This happened for about a month when he found it and we are still together, but my life is a living hell as I am always the wrong one, the bad one, the one who made the evil choice.
      My counselor’s words, you handed him a blank check, I will support your choice of staying or going, but if you stay with him you will continue to never know happiness.
      My husband reads these blogs, they give him good back up as to why I am a bad person and it clears him from ever having done anything wrong….because it was “my choice” to have an EA and he has no responsibility for my actions. Which ultimately is true, but after seeing the video….maybe it’s time for me to go now….maybe it’s time for me to find happiness…I really miss happiness.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Always Sad
      Thank you for sharing your story. Your counselor is right in saying you handed him a blank cheque.

      I appreciate your honesty and that you take accountability for the choice you made. But what is done is done. Maybe it is time to go….only you know the answer that one.

      No one deserves to be treated this way. You deserve to be happy. I hope you keep seeing your counselor and ask yourself what it is that you really want. I hope you give yourself permission to be happy.

    • Deanna

      I am the spouse of a son of a narcissistic mother. He is also a narcissist and how this has impacted our recovery? Well we can’t discuss anything that will make him feel anything but good about himself or I have to strap in and hang on for the next cycle of emotional abuse. He won’t go to therapy, individual or marriage, won’t find a new job, even though both his hoes work with him, and gets angry with me if I try ever so gently to talk about how I am feeling or what I am coping with. I even offered him forgiveness and a chance to move forward and work on the marriage but guess what? He doesn’t want to talk, he doesn’t want to grow, he doesn’t want to fill in the blank he doesn’t want to do anything that might meet my needs or strengthen our relationship if it means he doesn’t get to feel good about himself. So where we are at is paying off the remaining bills and going our separate ways. I don’t think he believes that I will leave but I will as soon as we have a few more of the bills in his name paid off, because this jack hole will file bankruptcy the minute the ink is dry on the divorce papers and leave me stuck with his half of the debt. So yeah that’s marriage and affair recovery with a narcissist who is the son of a narcissistic mother and philanderer father. Boy I wish I had done more work on myself when I was younger and saw through him but that was 29 years ago and I was so young and naive.

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Deanna,

      Big hugs to you and my heart goes out to you. Hindsight is 20/20 and no decent human being could ever dream up or anticipate what a narcissist is capable of doing. Their way of thinking is so far outside the context of that of normal human beings that many of us never see them coming. We only understand what happened to us AFTER we “metaphorically” get run over by the train we never saw coming or even had any frame of reference for the train at all. Never beat yourself up. I am glad you are leaving your husband.

      But since narcissist people are so predictable AFTER you find out who they are, there are certain steps I urge you to take:

      1) Hire a forensic accountant. I have a friend in real life (who has given me permission to tell the high level of her story specifically to benefit others.) She did not think to hire a forensic accountant. One day she got strange paperwork from the IRS after her divorce. She owed several years of unpaid back taxes. Why? She let her husband do the taxes and trusted him. Little did she know all those years he was using her social security number and forging her signature to account for earnings on his business he didn’t want to pay. He put the earnings in her name and never payed them. She has had to hire an attorney to help but it came down to her word against her husband’s. Her husband was a master con artist. And no, she had no idea and neither did anyone else. He had such a perfect social face that everyone trusted him without question. You must make sure your H has not taken out secret credit cards or bank accounts in your name. You must have someone evaluate all finances with a fine toothed comb. Get a detective and a forensic accountant. You must know the whole story before you are divorced. You do not want to be in my friends situation.

      2) Hire a detective. I had to say it again because this is not optional. You know he is hanging out with ho’s but you need to know the whole financial picture. These people go to great lengths to con their wife and family and anyone else.

      3) You must have a plan for when the papers are signed. Lock your credit. Put flags on your bank account and SSN. Change the locks. Block his phone. Move away if possible. Far away.

      4) Develop a strategy for when he love bombs over email. Be prepared to get the… “Don’t you remember that time when we looked into each other’s eyes and knew it was true love? How can you be so petty when ho #1 and ho #2 are around. They are just ho’s. But you, you are someone special to me.”

      Translation of that future email from the narc ex: “I am pissed that you have doled out consequences. No one is allowed to enforce consequences and I am pissed. And now I don’t have a maid at home- you- who cooks and cleans and who I can stir up drama with because you are upset that ho #1 and ho #2 are around. And that makes me bored because you stopped playing the game. How dare you! And so I am going to send an email that is totally full of garbage but that I will use to draw you back into The Drama where I am The Center of the Universe.”

      Note: Narcissists may see themselves as the center of the universe but they are actually black holes from which no light escapes. Going back to a black hole is even more toxic than going back to a garden variety selfish jerk. (Jerks are awful but not as awful as people who fit the clinical diagnosis of narcissist personality disorder. And from your description, he meets the criteria. Of course I cannot say that for sure because people must be formally evaluated by a therapist. However, the pattern is there and all the boxes are getting checked. That’s a big, red flag).

      Finally, I am proud of you. It takes courage to walk away after 29 years. But, please, don’t walk away … run away. It is apparent that no matter who he is with, this is what life will be like. As long as you are here on earth, it’s never too late to start over and live a healthy life.

      5) Get multiple STD tests. Get checked for cancerous human papilloma virus every six months for the next couple of years, then it’s a yearly pap for at least the next 7 years.

      A tangent. We just got back from a family vacation. I was sitting in a coffee house alone one day doing some work while everyone played in the snow. (I didn’t want to play in the snow but my husband loves to and he and the kids had a great time). That song from the 80’s called Owner of a Lonely heart came on the radio. I was not young in the 80’s but I had not yet had the life experience to really “feel” that song at a soul level. Well, I really “felt it” for the first time. He kept singing “owner of a lonely heart is much better than the owner of a broken heart.” And I pondered that for a second. Was that true? And then it hit me: when you are a betrayed spouse you don’t even get to say which one is better because being betrayed makes you both the owner of a lonely heart AND the owner of a broken heart. As a betrayed, you can’t say one is preferable because you are experiencing BOTH at the same time and that is sheer hell.

      Sorry to be a downer. But I just have to reiterate that being betrayed is really the worst thing that can happen in marriage to the betrayed spouse. Now I think the only pain that could compare is losing a child. I think that losing a child is the only thing worse than being betrayed. But that’s really the only thing that I can think of that is more painful specifically within the context of marriage.

      Many blessings to you. You are NOT alone. We have a whole community here of betrayed spouses who are here to give advice.


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