Dear Chump Lady,
I met my ex at work. Everyone at work said he was single. I also didn’t sleep with him for 6 months to be sure it was right first.
Found out a year later that he had a girlfriend of 4 1/2 years and was leading pretty much a double life. I did question a couple things during that time that made me suspicious, but he turned it around on me, disappointed that I had no trust in him.
So eventually I ended it shattered and broken, and there was no one to support me because I’m the conniving OW. She’s the poor girl he’s committed to. He’s proposing to her on Christmas day with a 20k ring and I know this because he threatened that if I did anything to jeopardize it, I would pay.. I shouldn’t hurt an innocent person and ruin her life, blah blah blah. He’s decided he’s going to be good from now on so I should just accept it and move on.
Now how could she not have known all those nights he didn’t answer his phone or come home that he was with someone else?
If anyone can tell me what I could’ve done differently to avoid this happening then please do so because in my head, I ticked all the boxes.
Come Christmas day, I’ll be feeling like a trainwreck knowing he’s popping the question. I’d like to believe in karma and that it’ll eventually come back but I don’t. I know there’s nothing I could’ve done to ask for this that’s for sure. I’m crushed.
Wow what a charmer. He threatens you and he’s two-timing cheater? Linda, what exactly is here to miss? Please look at my last post “Trust That They Suck.” You need to really trust that he sucks. What about this abusive, lying, double life leading asshole makes you want more of that? Do YOU want to be the chump who gets the $20K ring? People who are dog turds need a lot of sugar coating to hide that stink — the diamond ring is just sugar icing on the dog turd that is him. It’s a sparkly distraction from the reality that he’s a sociopath.
Seriously. People who are capable of leading a double life for 4.5 years (and apparently hiding their girlfriend from all their co-workers for that long too) are disordered wing nuts. Healthy, sane people with functional moral compasses cannot pull that shit off. The only people who can convincingly pull off scams that compartmentalized and depraved are sociopaths and Cold War spies (there’s probably some overlap there). Normal people that you would want to commit your life to do NOT juggle two realities.
His long-term girlfriend is not getting a prize. She’s being conned.
You asked: Now how could she not have known all those nights he didn’t answer his phone or come home that he was with someone else?
Oh! And you answered too! I did question a couple things during that time that made me suspicious, but he turned it around on me, disappointed that I had no trust in him.
He blame shifted and gaslighted you and her both. That’s how. He’s a mindfuck and you fell for it. She did too. Feel some compassion.
Now, how could you have avoided being the OW? I don’t think you could have. You asked people you know and see every day if he was single, he apparently was single. You took it slow. You thought you had a green light. I find you innocent of knowingly hooking up with someone who was spoken for. The only part of your story I find murky and which you should rightfully beat yourself up about it is how long after you found out he had a 4.5 year-long girlfriend did you dump him? How long did you spend doing the Humiliating Dance of Pick Me? And how exactly do you know about his engagement plans? Really, that one has me curious.
You did the absolutely right thing in dumping him. Now I’d like you to go one step further and tell that poor woman. If you don’t want to tell her, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell her. Linda, I was that idiot chump and I wish to God one of the OW had clued me in before the wedding. It would’ve saved me a lot of devastating heart break and expense. Instead I skipped merrily along into my future, moved to another state with my child, bought a house (with my money), financed his career move, and THEN the OW called me — 6 months in, by which point I was totally fucked.
So everything in my being is imploring you to tell that woman what’s going on.
Fuck him and his “hurt an innocent person and ruin her life” — that’s PROJECTION. That’s exactly what HE has done — he’s hurt two innocent people and is ruining their lives. That’s on HIM, not you. You didn’t know — and now that you do, you should do something with that knowledge.
People can go to jail for threatening you. I would get your attorney to write him a no contact letter, stating that any further contact from him will result in harassment charges. If you work with him, I would look for a transfer ASAP or a new job. That shit is unsustainable. I would also tell your HR department — he could be fired for creating an environment of sexual harassment. Yes, even if it was a consensual affair. (My husband is an employment attorney, he sues workplaces for this sort of thing all the time.)
In short Linda, you’ve got a lot of that “karma” in your hands. Use your power. I would not out him as revenge. I would tell that poor woman compassionately. And I would do it soon, before Christmas if possible. (Although I suppose if you wait until after Christmas she can keep the ring as some sort of consolation prize for wasting 4.5 years with a sociopathic cheater.) Send her the evidence — people need to see proof, so the cheater can’t gaslight them. And then, protect yourself and go totally no contact with that asshole. Utterly, no contact.
You’re grieving what you THOUGHT it was, what it could’ve been. You’re grieving potential. The mirage of him. The actual him sucks and is no one to miss. Good people exist, shore yourself up, get some therapy on this one, and move ahead.
But do tell that poor woman, please! And check back in and let us know how you’re doing.