His “Rules” About Cheating

8 Oct

The last few days I have been trying really hard to process things.  I am realizing that it is harder to get into the mind of a serial cheater than the average person could ever understand.  I don’t recommend it at all, actually.

One of the things that shocked me are all of the non-sensical “rules” he had about things.  The way that he justified his behavior is absurd to me.  For instance, once he found a new woman to sex chat with online, he was only with her.  He didn’t seek out more than one sex chatting partner at a time.  He said that would have been too much for him…  Really?  If I wanted random, fairly anonymous sexual contact online, I would diversify.  Why only have one skank I could run to online?  Why not 5 or 6?  More chances to wank off!  More diversity!  More options!  Nope…  Not him.  He had exclusive, monogamous relationships with his random internet sex hookups.

He also had a fairly standard progression to things.  Go to chat room.  Seek out women to talk to.  Make sexual advances.  Attach to the first person to respond positively (yeah, that’s right… just the first sad, pathetic woman with no self-esteem and loose morals).  Escalate your chatting activity, phone sex, and virtual sexual contact for 3-6 months.  Verbally abuse the woman to the extent she would allow – the more often you could call her a bitch, whore, slut, cunt, etc. the better.  Once that got boring, choose a spot to meet up for in person contact.   Drive (sometimes hours) to see her.  Get drunk and high.  Fuck her a few times (as often as he could get it up).  Leave.  Never speak to her again.  Ignore all contact.  Repeat.

Yeah…  that was basically his pattern for 20 years.

Except… for when he was in a relationship.  Then the rules were different.  Don’t get me wrong, the above pattern was still basically the same.  Actually, exactly the same.  The only difference is that he had an “exclusive” girlfriend as well.  He wouldn’t see the girlfriend and the internet sex buddy on the same day.

So, if you keep following that logic…  He was more exclusive with them than he ever was with me!  That’s right!  He couldn’t have two internet skanks at the same time, but he could have one of them AND one of me.

Or, in fact, 4 of them and me.  Never all at once – THAT would be going too far, of course.

I discovered that the entire time we were dating he was maybe exclusive with me for 6 months.  He was involved in one of his fairly anonymous sexual “relationships” when we met.  He slept with his latest internet whore in the beginning of us dating.  That means he was probably close to the point in his cycle with the new harlot where he was getting bored.  Luckily, since he started dating me, he changed that plan and just kept cyber-fucking women in chat rooms.

When he asked me to be exclusive with him he got rid of his latest internet flavor of the month.  What followed was the 6 month period when he didn’t have a fuck buddy.  Don’t worry, though, he was still hiding pornography and jacking off to that multiple times a day while denying me sex, and there were at least one or two visits to strip clubs in there.  I still wasn’t alone in his head.

He can’t tell me a timeline for the other 3 – or at least he hasn’t tried to yet.  I do know that they followed a similar cycle to above except at some point he would realized how fucked up his action were, feel guilty, and stop.  He said the fact that he cared for me would trigger his guilt until at some point he felt worse about himself than good from what he was doing (as the buzz was fading).

Except for the last one.  Apparently there was nothing disgusting, nasty or mean enough that he could say to her.  And apparently knowing that our relationship was more solid and comfortable pushed him farther into his fantasy with her.  He thought I would forgive him if he was caught.  I’m so glad I lived up my part of that pathetic expectation.

When he made that revelation, I asked him  why feeling solid and safe with me would cause him to act out more.  He said in his mind he knew I would be there.  I had already discovered him hiding and lying about pornography, which crashed my laptop, and seen a few chats accidentally, and hadn’t kicked him out yet.  The more likely he could get caught, the more excited he was.  He also said it was easier for him to lie to me than to come to me and express any fantasies.  So in his mind, forgiveness = the ability to do anything he wanted to do and license to keep lying.

So how can I not expect the same behavior now?  How does that not mean that forgiving him won’t just lead to the same thing?  I thought I was at that point with the information I had, then all of this new information has again left me feeling devastated and on shaky ground.  My entire picture of our relationship has shifted.  Now I know that I was never his only “girlfriend,” although he never called the online skanks that.  Now I know that he has had about 5 times more sexual partners than I thought.  Now I know that only a week before our wedding he wasn’t committed to me.  He wasn’t committed to us.  He didn’t care about my feelings.  He lied to my face, and asked his best man to do the same (I just found that out last night).  If I forgive all of that am I just setting myself up for something much, much worse? (I think yes!)

To his credit, he did try to help me through this.  He told me all of the things that have changed for him from then to now.  He said that one key is that he knows he has a problem now.  Before (as incredibly difficult as it is for me to grasp), he didn’t think any of his behavior was a problem.  He would feel guilty and stop, yet somehow that wasn’t a problem.  When he started back up because he couldn’t help himself, that wasn’t a problem in his mind.  When I caught him, and he continued lying, he didn’t see the problem.  Now he does.

He also had medication to help him think clearer since he had undiagnosed mental conditions before.  Now he said he can think in the more linear process that the rest of us use.  He has accepted what he is, and he is going to therapy to correct it.  He also said that he knows forgiveness isn’t a given – that maybe I won’t be able to forgive him – or if I do that it will cause a lot of pain and hurt.

I still have a lot of concerns.  I still have a lot of fears.  I have a lot of questions, a lot of worries, a lot of problems with the things that he revealed.  I’m not sure what to do with them all right now, but I’m trying my best to hold on and keep going.


14 Responses to “His “Rules” About Cheating”

  1. emily January 8, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Only one at a time???

    Please dont believe this.

    Even in all this sordidness he is trying to portray himself as an honorable person.

    Not unlike “honor amongst thieves”.

    Their definitions of only one woman at a time is very different from ours.

    He maybe sleeping with just one, but would be grooming a couple of others.

  2. Samantha Baker October 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Ahh, so then A did know. Well, I’m really saddened by that news. But I’m glad it finally came out.

    There is so much you have to process ehre and do not rush it. You need to go through each thing and honor your feelings. But you know that.

    You know where I am when you need me.

    • beautifulmess7 October 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      I wish it had already come out. Mr. Mess still hasn’t talked to A yet like I asked. He has called and left a message, but no talking yet. I just found out he asked him never to mention it to me and to lie if I asked anything. It was something along the lines of, “I really screwed up, man, and if she ever found out we would be done. She can’t ever find out.”

  3. Elsie October 9, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I remember thinking the same thing, if I forgive him, am I giving him permission to hurt me like this again? The answer is a resounding no. I never thought I’d feel compassion for the women in my husband’s affairs and now I’m in a place where I do and I feel compassion for him too. I only feel this way because he’s chosen to work on himself and I’ve chosen to work on myself. You guys have both done the same thing. You’ve been through so much during your recovery work. This disclosure is another step. What they did while they acted out/cheated – it’s crazy shit and doesn’t make sense. My husband invited a woman into my home and I cooked her, her kids, her husband dinner, allowed them to spend the night and made them breakfast the next morning – all the while her and my husband were having an online affair and felt each other up the night before…are you kidding me!!!! And she had the audacity to send me a thank you card – for what? Letting her feel my husbands nuts, sure lady, you’re welcome! Come over anytime, really –

    They are all works in progress. I hope I at least let you know you aren’t alone, Beautiful. =) Much love and hugs headed your way!!

    • beautifulmess7 October 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Thanks for your support. I do feel sorry for these women because they HAD to be in a really bad place to have sex with a random man off of the internet. I can’t even imagine the mindset someone would have to be in to do that, especially as a woman.

      It’s a struggle, but it’s one I know I can get through. You give me added hope.

      • Elsie October 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

        I can’t even fathom being in that place myself. I tried to picture it but it was to much for me mentally. I know you can get through it – you are so strong!!! You rock!!

        • beautifulmess7 October 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

          I agree…. It was too much for me to put myself in that place. Some of them were up to 20 years ago, but some were very recent. It’s not like naivete could really have played a part, so it must have been desperation, extremely low self-esteem, and issues I can’t even begin to grasp.

          You rock, too, by the way!!!!

  4. workspousestory October 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm #


    ….I don’t know what to say. I have no authority whatsover here. But I am here, and feel for you. I’m so so sorry :((

  5. Castimonia October 8, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    The mind of a sex addict is a very confusing place. I have often times tried to explain things to my wife about what I am feeling or thinking or scenarios in my head about her being kidnapped because she wasn’t outside but was at the neighbors and the fantasies I had about rescuing her etc…. We both laugh now, she just says wow and that I’m crazy – but not in a demeaning way.

    One thing that stands out on your husband’s behavior is that the issue of control seemed to be key. If he had more than one online partner, he could lose control. Losing control is NOT what a sex addict wants. They want to maintain the illusion of control over everything and everyone in their lives, even acting out partners. When they feel they lost control, then anger builds up and they explode.

    Also, about being in a relationship making acting out with women easier. The mentality may be that “I have my back-up plan at home, so even if this acting out partner rejects me, I don’t have to feel the death-like sting of rejection.” Sex addicts don’t like rejection. As bizare as the thinking is, it is truth. Chances are, your husband has issues with fear of rejection.

    Finally, the part about continuing to act out after you caught him with pornography is almost as if his codependent self was testing you. I read an excerpt the other day on codependency where the codependent person has been wounded by abandonment as a child (possibly by the mother), then ends up repeating the pain of the past by “testing” their current parters to see if their love is unconditional. This is a fantasy and an illusion as humans are not capable of unconditional love, yet the codependent/addict wants what he didn’t receive from his family growing up in a dysfunctional home.

    Fortunately he has acknowledged he has a problem. That is important to break out of the bubble/fog created by the addiction. To continue the behavior and say to yourself, “It’s not a problem” or “I don’t have a problem” would be an increadible amount of denial at this point. If he continues therapy and working his recovery program, then that is a great sign. I know too many men that have left the program in search of their true bottom.

    • beautifulmess7 October 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      Thank you for your words of encouragement. The difficult part of this is that I CAN understand it to a certain extent. I can see how that warped thinking might take hold. I can get the back-up plan, the fear of rejection, the control, the testing…

      I get it all in my head, but there’s a disconnect. It’s hard to take that laboratory, scientific knowledge and apply it to my husband’s behavior without adding in the layers of emotional hurt.

      I recently made my own confession to my husband about something I am very ashamed of. It’s hard to admit our failings and our faults. It’s hard to look St them in the light of day. It’s hard to reconcile our actions with theater they cause others and vice versa.

      All we can do at this point is keep working, keep trying, keep moving forward.

    • littlecaligirl February 9, 2014 at 11:08 am #


      Wow. I really appreciate your comment. As an addict yourself, this holds a lot of weight. It sounds like you are working some kind of program. I am curious to know what has really helped you thus far. I just found out a few days ago that my boyfriend (ex) has a sexual addiction. He is definitely FULL of fantasies, hates rejection (his mother left him for many years at age 8), seeks unconditional love in ways of testing me, and seeks to control all areas of his life. He just recently began going to SA (sex anonymous.) I think he should do this and see a sex therapist. I was just curious to know what has helped you the most. I really wish you the best of luck. I feel for you and all those people who struggle with this addiction. You, my boyfriend, and all those who struggle with this truly are loving people who deserve an amazing happy future.

  6. Our Journey After His Affair October 8, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    No need to rush anything. I know you want to figure it all out and have it make sense, but it never will. Your thinking is totally different, simply because he is a man, but also because he is an addict. Does it make everything justified because he has a reason or a crutch (his disease)? No. way. He will never be “fixed,” just a better version of himself…of the good parts of himself. He will learn how to appropriately cope with his addiction and his urges to act out. He will learn how to deal with the feelings/thoughts/situations that cause him to want to act out. You are not a fool because you forgave him and decided to work on your marriage and see that maybe he will change. You made the decision to work through all of this because you love him, but he does need to understand that no matter how much you love him, you do have a breaking point and that forgiveness isn’t unconditional.

    I totally understand your fears. I still have them myself. I want to keep that barrier up to constantly be protected. At some point in your recovery – with all of the information that you know – the decision will just click and you will know exactly which way you want to go. Don’t rush it because you will wind up making premature decisions and ultimately have regret. You don’t have to have all of the answers today or tomorrow. 😉

    • beautifulmess7 October 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      “He will never be “fixed,” just a better version of himself…of the good parts of himself.”

      I want that for myself, too. Thanks!


  1. His "Rules" About Cheating | Narcissi... - September 4, 2013

    […] The last few days I have been trying really hard to process things. I am realizing that it is harder to get into the mind of a serial cheater than the average person could ever understand. I don'…  […]

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