For the second time I’m referencing the totally brilliant https://www.chumplady.com. If, like me, you discover that your long-term life partner was in reality a cheating, lying, manipulative adulterer her website is an absolute godsend.
Likewise, her brilliant book Leave a Cheater, Gain a life is a must read if you are in need of strength during those all too frequent occasions when you find yourself at a low ebb.
Tracy Schorn is my kind of writer: eloquent, pithy and bullshit eradicating.
Here’s a link. Buy it now:
Here’s Chump Lady’s typically forthright response to a letter received from a fellow ‘Chump’.
Dear Chump Lady,
Why do serial cheaters get married? I really don’t understand this. I’ve been married four years and recently found out that my husband has been cheating on me with the same “ex-girlfriend” off and on since we met. I suspect now there were others too. And no, I had NO idea. (And yes, I feel like the biggest idiot ever.)
What I can’t puzzle out is, in this brave new world of Google and Craigslist — couldn’t he have found another swinger? Someone okay with open marriage? Isn’t there yet a dating site devoted to the polyamorous? He clearly knows he can’t be monogomous. Hell, why not marry the girlfriend? She’s clearly okay with being a side dish fuck.
Why did he MARRY ME? What does marriage mean to someone like him? What was the point?!
Because you are of USE to him.
That’s pretty much it. I puzzled on that a long time too. My ex-husband was cheating from day 1 as well.
Serial cheaters like your husband and my ex like cake. They like deceit. It makes them feel powerful. As you said, it’s a big world with Google — they could find a fellow swinger to forge an “understanding” with. They could stay single. But no, they CHOOSE to marry someone, feign monogamy, and fuck around. So it’s the power imbalance that they’re after. Only THEY can fuck around — not you. You get to be in the dark. They like it like that.
Meanwhile, you jump through hoops to please them and never quite get more than a C+ for your efforts — work harder! But they need you to be the Respectable Face of Marriage. You are of use. You make them look good. Maybe you’ve got money, good looks, connections. Whatever. You’ve got something they need. People like this need to appear normal so they can dupe other people. They get a high from deceit. And to deceive people you need concealment. Hey, Bob’s married. Bob must be normal. His wife is sooo nice. Ergo Bob must be nice. (Codependents who marry guys like Bob tend to be very nice. Bobs pick nice. Nice makes a good mark.)
Cake eating, serial cheaters think they deserve all the ego kibbles they want. Because they believe they are better than you. More deserving. More kibbles for them! None for you!
Please dump this guy if you haven’t already and find a fellow nice person. It’s the best way, in my opinion, of detoxing yourself from the Bobs of this world. Find a Paul. A nice man, for whom monogamy and devotion is not a 12-step program. Who reciprocates. Who is authentic. Pauls are not as sparkly as Bobs. But that’s a good thing.
I’m sorry this happened to you. Four years of your life is a lot to lose to an idiot. You know, Tennessee Williams always took four years off his age for the four years he worked in a shoe factory before he became a famous playwright. Consider Bob your shoe factory and subtract.