ChumpLady: I’m An Ex Marine Chump

Some really good advice here.  I don’t understand why people ask what should I do when they find out their spouse is cheating.  Sure you’re life is going to get hard if you leave.  But isn’t it harder staying knowing that your partner is screwing someone else, taking advantage of you, etc.  But I have kids, people cry.  What the hell are you teaching your children?  What values and morals are you passing on?  It’s okay to be a doormat for things (the house, the car, the bank account…insert verbiage here).  You cheat in a marriage instead of telling someone you don’t love them or you want out because it’s too hard to leave? Lying is a good way to do things?  The bank account, house, working hard is not worth your self esteem? What about your self respect?

Frankly I don’t get it and I was there.  Didn’t have kids, but I had the house (shelter only not in my name) the car and the bank account.  I was in the middle of a semester and I had to chose which was more important…my education or a cheater.  Yeah, my education won. I finished out the semester and it was hard seeing him text night after night and arrive home later and later and then lie to my face.  But you know what I had a plan.  As soon as that semester was over talked to an attorney and got a part time job on top of a full time one.  People, help yourselves. Money and material goods isn’t everything. Yeah the principle of the matter it sucks to pay out a liar and a cheat but you are rid of them for the most part.

Dear Chump Lady, I’m an ex-Marine chump

Dear Chump Lady,

Here’s my story and I’ll try to keep it short. I married my high school sweetheart and we’ve been married for almost 20 years. We have three kids 20, 18 and 6.

Shortly after we were married and had our first kid, I joined the Marine Corps. Life was pretty good; we went places and were able to see a lot of the country. I was gone a lot once the Iraq War started, but I came home and we picked up where we left off. I went to war and she stayed home taking care of things at the home front.

I’ve always thought she was a strong woman for being able to handle everything in my absence. The war did have some emotional effects on me, but nothing that made me irrational, angry or abusive. I just became more aware of my surroundings. I always had my wife as my rock though and she helped me through everything.

Fast forward to 2015. I retired from the Marine Corps and took a government position in Washington, DC. We were here four months when things started going wrong. She took a position on a Marine Corps base and always had to work late and so on. I was the blind one who never thought that she would cheat. She hated people that cheated.

She was always on her phone and I figured that it was for work. Even at our anniversary dinner I had to ask her to put her phone down. I found out through looking at the phone records that she was having an affair with another Marine. I confronted her and of course I got the trickle truth that she only kissed him and so on. Then I found a pregnancy test (I’ve had a vasectomy).

Now she admitted after the finding that she slept with him, but the condom broke and she didn’t want to take any chances. Again more bullshit. She started taking the pill during the height of her affair because it “helped” with her cramps and so on. She still takes the pill to this day. She has said that she fucked up and can’t see her life without me.

All of this happened because she “never got to play the field” and this guy was “just a friend with benefits.” Since we’ve been married for almost 20 years, I just bought a $500K home in Northern Virginia and we have three kids, I decided to try to work things out. She says that she’s not cheating on me, saw how bad she hurt me, and doesn’t want to lose me (Cake).

I have my good days and my bad days like all the other chumps out there. I think that I’m the chump winner for my pick me dance though. She said she wanted a get away from all the responsibilities. I flew her and a friend to New Orleans to have her get away. I bought her a new diamond wedding ring because she said that she wore her old one while she was with him. I still watch the kids even though she left them with me to go have an affair. It was me that was running back and forth to the football games/practices while she was out getting laid. I give long back massages and sexually try to destroy her so she’ll think I’m the best and not stray. All of this while I’m eating the shit sandwich.

I know that you’re going to call me a jackass because I see it now too after finding your site. I’ve had plenty of chances to cheat but I never have because I couldn’t stand to look at her afterwards or myself knowing what I had done. This guy I mentioned is the one affair that I know about. She was texting another married guy all hours of the night for a month and a half too while having this affair. She even sent him a picture on the morning of our anniversary. I received one of her naked two minutes after she sent him a MMS. She said it was only about a workout though and not the naked picture that she sent me. She was also texting and calling a guy in Arizona while she was on travel there. She was hard to reach while she was gone. She said it was just a guy from class and it was nothing.

Untimely, I love this woman. I always have. I don’t want a divorce, lose 50% of my youngest child’s life, lose my home, retirement (she rates half) and be financially drained with court/lawyer fees. I didn’t do this and I’m eating the shit sandwich. I know all of this is fear and like most chumps I’m looking for that unicorn. I live in fear every day that pales in comparison to anything I did in Iraq. I’m asking for the harsh reality that I probably need to hear; I’m a chump, she sucks and leave a cheater, get a life. Hard to accept when you are in love with the person who fucked you over for selfish pleasure. The shit sandwich sucks and I’ve been eating it for 6 months now.


Dear Chumpomatic,

Let me put this in Marine terms you might understand: “PUT DOWN THE SHIT SANDWICH, SOLDIER! THAT’S AN ORDER!”

Chumpomatic, I’m just echoing the sensible voices in your head giving you the same damn order. You KNOW this isn’t sustainable or right and you know you don’t have a unicorn. You know that a good marriage does not require an unending diet of shit sandwiches. You want me to bitchslap some sense into you, or drop and make you do 50 pushups or something.

I’ll kick your ass in just a moment. But first, on behalf of Chump Nation, I want to give you a great big (((HUG))). You’re battling alone to save your marriage. It’s a very miserable place to be. We get it. We’ve been there. Consider us your scouts — we’re up ahead, we’ve taken mortars to our heads, and had our lives explode. RETREAT.

The problem is, Chumpomatic, you’re a good person and your values of loyalty, honor, and sacrifice — values also forged in your military service — are in conflict with your sense of self-preservation. You’ll keep waging this losing war because you feel you must. You’ll eat shit sandwich after shit sandwich, humiliate yourself and take any kind of punishment, because you’re not a quitter. And the advice I’m giving you will sound like failure. You’re a Marine. You don’t fail! You adapt and overcome!

Listen to me — you CANNOT adapt to abuse. And the only way you overcome this shit is by getting the fuck away from it.

Let me belabor the metaphor — you can’t go to war with a traitor. You think you’re in this war together (getting your marriage back, winning your cheating wife’s commitment to you and your family). You’ve thought of this woman as your partner for 20 years and you just woke up one day to find out she’s the Taliban. You don’t quite believe it and you’re spackling like hell. Oh, that’s not a trip to New Orleans incendiary device, it’s a fuzzy kitten!

Dude, she’s still cheating on you. She’s suffered ZERO consequences. And she feels entitled to KEEP cheating. You’re there. She KNOWS you don’t want to lose your children, your home, and half your pension, so she feels quite free to eat cake. She’s playing a game of chicken with you, convinced you’ll never call her bluff, convinced she can have it her way, and all she has to do is feed you some bullshit and you’ll buy it. Kibbles and cake!

Unmask her as the traitor that she is.

She said she wanted a get away from all the responsibilities. I flew her and a friend to New Orleans to have her get away.

The woman DESTROYS her marriage and what she really needs is a trip away with a “friend” (read fuckbuddy)? You’re not utterly staggered by her entitlement? You’re not wondering why, if she really needs a trip, it’s not with YOU?

Chumpomatic, if she’s not a cheater, I’m a Mardi Gras float.

I bought her a new diamond wedding ring because she said that she wore her old one while she was with him.

Lovely. She cheats and gets new bling.

What did you get? Oh, the bill? A twitch? Permanent trust issues?

I still watch the kids even though she left them with me to go have an affair.

Cake is so much nicer with a babysitter.

Read Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse until it sinks in. You don’t have a unicorn, you’ve got a traitor.

Find your courage, face your fears, and call a lawyer today. Don’t announce it to her, just DO IT. You live in a FAULT state — you are incredibly fortunate in that respect. You’re also fortunate that one of the affair partners is a Marine. You could hurt or destroy his career with proof of that affair. I want you to gather up ALL your evidence of cheating, document all the times you had the kids while she was cheating. And gather up all your financial documents. With this woman’s penchant for travel and bling, I’m going to make an educated guess that you have financial infidelity as well. Take all this evidence to a lawyer and figure out how to PROTECT yourself.

You are at war, it’s just not the one you thought you were in. Time to get clear on who the enemy is.

There is no dishonor in protecting yourself and there is nothing shameful about divorce. Get an individual therapist to help you shore up your boundaries now. We’re also here for you.

I know you don’t like your choices (eat shit sandwiches and die by a thousand cuts, or divorce and lose half). But you have nothing to work with. The only way forward is to cut your losses and build a new life. That, sir, is a battle worth waging. Good luck.


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