Hi Chump Lady,
In my local newspaper is an advice column called “Ex Etiquette.” The only thing this column inspires me to think is “what the fuck?”. . . bonus families and bonus moms, bio moms and counterpartners… please. Can’t we just say legit parents and dad’s fuck buddy?
I have a very hard time feeling warm and fuzzy for my ex’s fuck buddy and I certainly am not interested in co-parenting with her. My children are 100% aware that this woman is the Other Woman. In your opinion, how guilty should I, ” bio-mom,” feel about not wanting to co-parent with “bonus mom”? Why do these complicated relationships have to be so white-washed with politically correct terms? To the fullest extent possible I maintain no contact with my narcissistic ex as even the rare email communications we have are so fraught with narcissistic bullshit. Maybe the bio and bonus moms weren’t married to a cheating narcissist to begin with (which leads one to wonder why they’d need to get divorced).
Yeah, I’d agree with you that there must be people out there whose exes are not personality disorders, and whose marriages did not end because of infidelity who are able to achieve the Nirvanic State of Enlightened Co-Parenting (NSECP). I don’t know any of these people. My first marriage didn’t end because of infidelity, (but he is a personality disorder), and I find “co-parenting” a challenge. Fortunately I have custody and total decision making, so I can communicate as little as is legally possible.
About five years ago, I attempted a small experiment at NSECP — the miscreant missed our son’s violin concert and I allowed him into my yard when he showed up hours later. He wandered around aimlessly and while talking with my son, began to PICK PEARS off my tree. Seriously — just decided to help himself to my personal orchard. Didn’t ask, just fucking helped himself, the entitled nitwit. Who DOES that?
The guy has sued me (pro se) for a decade. He’s a mental case and his list of profoundly shitty actions I will not begin to catalog for you, suffice it to say that the Pear Incident was a watershed for me. You can’t play nice with these people. They don’t have any boundaries. It’s not enough that they try to fucking destroy your life, they want the pears off your trees — you know what I’m saying?
The Other Woman fucked up your marriage, you don’t have to let her in your yard or anywhere near your pears. It’s bad enough she’s around your kids. Can’t do jack about that. You may even achieve “meh” about it some day — but you absolutely, positively do not have to be this woman’s “friend” for the children’s sake.
For your children’s sake you have to tolerate her. You have to communicate about logistics with your ex — preferably by email in the shortest sentence structures possible. You cannot wage jihad with the ex, or talk smack about him or her in front of the kids — because you don’t want them to feel divided loyalties. They want to love their asshole father, and the OW is the price of admission they have to pay to be around dad. Give them that.
But that’s ALL you have to give, if you ask me. Also, drop the whole idea of co-parenting. What goes on at their house is THEIR business. You don’t get to say shit about it, unless it is endangering their lives and even then the courts don’t care a whole lot (ask me how I know…) Just be the best, sanest parent you can be, and if it’s really fucked up over there, get the kids therapy.
Know that you are their mom. The other woman cannot ever replace you in your children’s hearts. You are their mother and nothing she does or does not do can ever change your primacy.
Instead of co-parenting, think of it more as alternate parenting. When your kids are with them, they’re in that world and you’re off duty. When your kids are with you, you’re in charge. If that sounds scary, well, you’ll come to see the wisdom in this after you torture yourself trying to achieve consensus about some aspect of childrearing with your cheater. Bed time, food allergies, pot smoking. Narcissist love a power struggle. They to triangulate and make you the heavy. All you can do is parent your kids the best you can, create boundaries with the ex, and let go.
Just live your own life and be awesome for your kids. Frankly, if you want to unnerve the OW, that’s the best bet — being a class act. You make her highly insecure as it is, because you have kids with him and he’s a cheater. She’ll wonder about you and never feel secure about him. Be above it all, because it will underscore his crazy, I promise. And odds are, she’s not going to be around forever anyway. He’ll cheat on her too. They always do.
As for the politically correct terms? Why is an OW a bonus mom?
“Do you know how many legs a dog has if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln.
I have a slightly different situation, now. The original OM is long gone. But, my XW is living with a guy who was married to another when she interloped. He is an idiot, but has done nothing wrong toward me, so far.
I just steer clear of the entire place/quasi family they have over there at the loveshack. I never interact with my Xon anything other than logistics re the kids and never say shot to the guy. Works well for all of us.
The OM wants to sit down and talk with me. What about?
He doesn’t have any rights. There is nothing to say. He owns his guilt and all the shit that goes with it.
I really hope if ex meets a new partner that I am able to have a friendly relationship with him.
Just keep everything business like – good strategy
Baci, I got that too. My ex told me her OM/AP/STBH was “ready” to talk to me anytime I felt like it. She wants me to be cool about this guy because my DS likes him, and it would make things so much nicer…
We divorced (in part), because we were drinking. I had no idea how much she was drinking – at home – during the day when I was at work. She felt utterly “betrayed” by me when I would not go to AA with her when she decided to clean up.
Sigh… I was quietly fighting my own demons… I own my sucktitude. But as has been said here at CL: “better a fool than a scumbag…”
Eventually, and well before D-day, I cleaned up too. Just a couple of weeks ago, on the 12th – was my marker day. I’m sober three years. I did it on my own. I just stopped. No AA. I could NEVER get past that first step. IMHO, there is no higher power than me… YRMV. Awesome enough?
But get this. My ex went off and had an exit affair. She felt so betrayed by the fact that I “did not support her when she needed me”, that she then had this affair with a guy who had a wife that was a drinker too, and he gave up on his wife – to have his own affair with my ex…
Does anyone see the irony here? Do we truly need to be reminded to, “trust that they suck..? (BTW, the “13th step” at AA is a suckwad too…)
God, the stories we show and tell around here! Ready to talk to this guy…? “What about…?” is fucking right!!! I think they have no idea how blessed they are that I have no bleeding desire to talk to this guy WSE.
Skater Girl? Be awesome. Be a class act. But don’t feel you need to be anything you don’t want to be to the OW.
I stupidly tried to co-parent – even offered to meet the young skirt in order to help smooth the path for the kids. You’d think I’d offered to stab her through the eye with the hysteria that ensued from both her and STBX. Apparently I will NEVER meet her (oh dear, how hurtful) and she is a wonderful, wonderful person. And she will NEVER be there stepmother, she’s just there to support STBX.
Whatever. Once I said fuck it and decided I didn’t care as long as the kids were ok it got a lot easier. I reached meh on that one and I quite enjoy my time off.
Oh, and Leann Rimes can suck it with that bonus mom shit. She’s a psycho stalker and those kids are guaranteed a future in therapy due to their father and fucked up stepmother.
Anagram for “Bonus Mother Leann” = Unstable Moron Hen
Hahahaha….that is AWESOME! And I’m officially nicking it. Leann Rimes is certifiable, as far as I’m concerned.
Already nicked and tweeted! If anyone hasn’t joined the Leann Loathers on Twitter yet, come and join us! Yes, it’s all very high school gossipy but for me personally it’s cathartic. It’s fun. And when you’ve lived a nightmare and been to Hell, you need some fun. I think the first sign of recovery from a cheating sociopath/narcissist/whatever label you choose is when you regain the sense of humour that was knocked out of you sideways by the evil crackpot.
As for Leann Rimes, you don’t even need to tweet her to get blocked. I didn’t. To be honest I barely knew who she was until I googled, ‘Lying, cheating, shameless bastards’.
All you have to do is not kiss her skinny backside and tell her how wonderful she is for cheating, lying, stalking, pursuing a married man then publicly and privately tormenting his ex-wife, who, whatever opinion anyone has, is not a lying, cheating adulteress. Ask @blockedbyleann! (not me)
Getting back your sense of humour is paramount. Once that returns the rest kind of follows.
Your gang might enjoy this: http://irantthereforeiamdotcom.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/falcor-dimples-and-the-unreal-housewife/
Of course Leann is insane. Look at everything she pissed away.
She was the closest ANYONE in the country music industry came to sounding like Patsy in nearly 50 years. Her voice was THAT damn good.
But that was in 1996. Since it’s been one long trip of fights with her manager/father, lawsuits, shitty albums that nobody bought, drugs, booze, trips to rehab, whacked-out interviews, and best of all, destroying a loving marriage so she could run off with a serial cheater of a D-list ex-soap opera actor.
What sucks is her insistence that her marriage to her cheat partner is, like, amazing and her Bonus Mom bullshit can barely mask reality: Girlfriend’s a friggin mess.
You can’t believe everything you read in the tabloids, but my favorite story was about Leann having a freak-out and going to rehab, but while she was in rehab she had ANOTHER freak-out because she thought Eddie was out cheating on her!
LOL! You mean the guy who cheated on and left his wife FOR you is capable of cheating ON you?
(…And the karma…)
Give her nothing Nord. Treat her for what she is.
Just ignore her and deal with ex in business like manner. Fuck having coffee , being friends. My therapist ruled that right out.
Don’t be mean but just be cool.
You sound like you have your act together.
Yeah, it was early days when I made that offer, mainly because she was pushing so hard to meet hte kids and they were freaking out. Now they are forced to play nice with her so that their dad will be nice to them but I can’t imagine how much it sucks to have to hang out with the bitch who fucked their father after work while they were home wondering where he was.
This article has come just when I have a weird similar issue. STBX and I are just finalizing the divorce, probably within the next week or two (yay!!). In the midst of changing everything over, I’ve been going on our wireless records to see how many minutes I’d need on a new contract. Low and behold, though he said he’d be “off” hookers ever since D-Day last year, I found TONS of text messages to a couple new numbers, very very similar to his MO with the hookers last time.
Okay, so what, I’m divorcing him. But he’s texting all day long with them while he has weekend visitation with our kids! Yuck! I’m not sure whether I should tell him to quit his texting, or just stay out of it and hope that the kids don’t notice what he’s up to all day. Prior to signing the settlement papers, I insisted he get a sexual deviancy evaluation from a shrink, and he “passed” to be around the kids. Course, at the time, he wasn’t back to texting hookers all day around them either. Should I let it go? Write something into the parenting plan? God, I wish he’d just move away and leave us the hell alone.
do hookers get paid for their time spent texting too? Or is time spent doing that included in their hourly rate? 🙂
I would put something in the parenting plan… things that you would think should be so obvious that you shouldn’t have to say anything to these people clearly are not. You need to treat them like they are children and spell it all out. Not sure how much you can control about who he texts, but definitely who comes into contact with your children. Seriously, why can’t they save this shit for the other 26 days of the month?!?
I’m about to finalize my divorce in the next few weeks as well! I weirdly had my first dream in many many months about him and the OW the night I signed the first document (petition to file? whatever it’s called) so I guess it did subconsciously depress me. I don’t miss him, but I guess it’s just the final nails in the coffin.
My STBX was very keen to separate out our cell phones like immediately upon moving out… wonder why?? A good thing though, otherwise I probably would have been snooping and going insane for the last year.
I agree totally with CL. My teenage son was a handful during the year and a half my ex and I had 50-50 custody. It brought out the worst in everyone involved. Parents bidding for approval (a kind of “pick me” dance) and son playing one parent against the other, and seeking attention all along the way. A parental tug-of-war of the damned.
When his mother and her new husband (the last affair partner from our marriage) moved 1,700 miles away, and son chose to move with them (a Great California Adventure being much more attractive than another year in our small, dusty rural town), I followed my shrink’s advice and . . . let go of the rope.
It was Mother Effin’ Hard. Even harder in some ways than D-Day. I resisted the urge to fly him back and forth right away, and every few weeks. I wanted to make sure he had a clear sense of the two homes being separate, and I had the same sense as well. And, almost a year later, it was clearly for the best. Son realized his mother sold him a bill of goods about the Great Adventure (what she deilvered was a dull existence in a rented HUD foreclosure in a gang-infested suburb of Oakland), his new step-father is a douchebag, and he’s much better behaved when he spends time with me.
I can’t imagine that having to deal with that… but who knows what the future will bring with me and my STBX. Glad it did eventually work itself out for you guys.
You don’t have to be nice to the OW, but I agree with Chump Lady. Be a class act. Make it clear when you pick up your kids from their place that your ex was lying when he said you were a nutter. Make the OW wonder why he left someone like you. Make sure that your ex doesn’t see you falling apart without him. Above all, keep your children out of the crossfire.
If their dad tries to make them pick a side and you don’t, they’ll remember that. Be honest with your children. Tell them that daddy thought it was more important to screw another woman than to be their father. But do not act in a way that puts them in the middle or gives the ex more power.
Remember, every time you glare at the other woman you’re reinforcing the idea you two were competing and she won. Quit the field of battle and stop being a common enemy for your husband and his new squeeze. See how they like just dealing with each other.
“Tell them that daddy thought it was more important to screw another woman than to be their father.”
But that sentence does put the kids directly in the middle. We know these cake eaters are only thinking of themselves… they aren’t thinking of the repercussions with their spouse OR their kids. Eventually the kids will figure out that by their parent putting themselves and their “needs” first, they put their kids last, but I don’t think it needs to be deliberately pointed out by their other parent. It’s bad enough we have to summarize that one parent totally dicked over the other, but there is no need to point out to the children that he/she did it to his/her kids as well. That part I think can go without being said, and the kids can figure it out for themselves.
I put it more kindly; I simply said that dad had an affair and I wouldn’t live with someone who disrespected me. That’s it. I’m not giong to lie to them but they don’t need more than that. I MAY have slipped a few times at teh beginning, when I was heavily into my wine, but while they don’t know much they do know the truth.
yeah, that’s the route I’m planning to go (though my STBX is I’m sure hoping I’ll say we just “grew apart” etc. )… luckily at DDay my kids were just 6 months and 2 years and at separation 1 and 3. So, while they have an entire childhood of co-parenting ahead of them (ugh), at least I got to act like a mess a bit at the beginning and they didn’t really know it.
I actually have had to make an effort lately to point out that all mommies and daddies don’t have separate homes. They were/are so young they don’t know that what happened isn’t “normal” I don’t think. I probably went the other direction, avoiding talk of marriage and husbands and wives etc. at all though. I just now think I’m ready to talk about it a bit… though I’m not sure when I will be able to teach them the word “divorce”. Just thinking about my kids saying that word makes my eyes well up.
Yes, they always want you to go along with the ‘we grew apart’ thing because it lets them off the hook, they get to retain their good guy/good girl status and then they can outright blame or else allude to your deficiencies as a partner. Fuck that.
It took me a while to start telling the truth but my therapist and a good friend both knocked me in the head and said ‘stop living lies! Start living the truth!’ so I did…and it’s pretty freeing, to be honest, like a huge load is lifted. Hard at first but now it feels so good to just be honest. If I was still carrying around the lies and going along with the sanitised version of what happened I think I’d be dying inside.
I think we should retire the term step mother and step father. I don’t get how someone is entitled to be called a “parent” step, bonus or otherwise just because they married someone who has kids. I am sure there are wonderful second spouses out there who have great relationships with their spouses kids and maybe when the biological parent is not in the picture it would be appropriate to call the spouse mom or dad. More often than not referring to a second spouse particularly one who helped break up the original marriage is simply a kick in the ass. I think all of us would find a situation a little easier to swallow if someone didn’t get to be called your kid’s mother because they married your ex-husband.
I hardly think that’s fair. Not every marriage is over because of infidelity and kicking up a fuss at your kids acknowledging the place another man or woman has in their life seems to me to be rather petty and insecure.
I basically agree with Pearl. Although it would be impractical and may seem like it’s taking things a bit , I think a solution in an ideal world (albeit in an ideal world there would be no liars, cheats, narcissists, psychopaths etc!) would be to differentiate and have different monikers for maybe
1. New spouses who came along after the divorce and who are both decent people and good with any children involved
2. New spouses who came along after the divorce who are either jerks or rubbish at parenting
interesting premise for a show: “Bonus Mom or… Bogus Mom?”
Bogus Mom!!! Yes!
I never said that you shouldn’t acknowledge a new spouse. But the fact is acceptance doesn’t mean that new spouse is a parent. They are part of the family but something other than a parent
They are part of raising your children. Their role is the same as yours would be if the two of you were together. I think it’s bull to say otherwise. That step parent is also up with your kid all night when they’re sick when they are at their house. That step parent is there helping your child with homework, preparing meals, being a shoulder to cry on and an unbiased ear to listen. This thread is nothing but bitter parents not putting their kids first. Your kids “tolerate” the new gf? No they will respect her and listen to her or they will be punished in the same way they would for disrespecting their bio parents and teachers. Get over it and move on. Play nice. It’d be nice if both parents (and step parents) were involved in the kids birthday party, school events, etc. We DO coparent and the kids are happier for it.
I’m wondering if a strongly worded letter to the editor of the local rag that calls itself a newspaper are in order. That column is an affront to every upstanding Chump (Betrayed Spouse) out there. Bonus Mom’s???!!!! What the fuck. Are they in some alternate plane where everyone is nice to each other and everyone is like Tinkywinky and Poe. Give me a fucking break! At no point in time should C%mdumpster Other Woman EVER be followed by the word Mom. For that matter Lower_than_Whale-shit_pervert Other Man should never be followed by the word Dad.
Sorry for the vitriol today but I’m pretty sick of our society romancizing one of the most abusive things that we as humans can ever perpetrate on another.
If you’re going to write to the editor you also need to write to the writers of many TV shows and popular songs.
Where the fuck do you grow these people.
Bonus Mom- for fucks sake it makes my blood boil when talking about OM/OW. Different story if your ex meets a new partner that was not involved with the infidelity but please what is a bonus about someone that contributed o the break down of the original family.
Co parenting with the OM OW. You are the paremt together with your ex. The OM OW rank three feet lower than shark shit! ( in other words for you ” bonus mom authors ) not very fuckin high.
As I’ve said before my eldest son intercepted text messages and emails on my wife’s phone that chainsaw man was looking forward to eating pizza and being together withe boys. The boys currently want nothing to do woth him. Why? DER! He contributed to fucking up our family. The boys and I did not see this coming. We were as happy as hell as family. How blind were we. There was no conflict in our home. Non whatsoever.
There are two options here
One you give the OM OW want they want. In my case he wants to eat pizza and be with the boys. Give him full custody until he’s spitting olives out his arse! Of course this isn’t what the boys would want but it’s in the realm of dont wish for what you want- you might just get it. Anyway the boys would suffer .
You guys are spot on just be the best god darn parent you can be. The kids hate going between house etc. they want their parents together. It took me many months to realise the OM will not come within a bulls roar at replacing me. For fucks sake he has trouble spending time with his own daughters in New Zealand. YOU CAN’T LOVE YOUR CHILDREN BY TELEPHONE- doesn’t work you clown!
HOWEVER, if your ex meets a new partner after the affair partner hits reality and fucks off then that’s a different story.
A new partner has no baggage! As long as he she is a good person with the kids I hope we can all sit down and break bread and drink wine.
Bonus mom- the term should be banned.
I have been told numerous times this is one of the main reasons affair relationships fail. The kids just reject the OM. My family doctor, two parents involved with the boys footy all couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together because basically anyone who fucks another’s wife or husband or in the kids case my mum or dad is a fuckwit.
In my case the boys still refuse to meet him and I am very careful what I do. They do not want to meet anyone new. And I respect that.
The other thing is everyone ( apart from President Obama ) knows about chainsaw man.
There is a issue thought with what I’m saying. I am dealing with it from a position my boys are older 13 and 16. It would be a slightly difficult position with younger kids as the ow in particular probably would want to influence things. She still isn’t a bonus mom. I hate that term!
He’s not a bonus dad. He’s a fuckwit
Agree that anyone who comes along after the split would not bother me in the least. I’d be happy to welcome her and hopefully get on in a fairly reasonable way. But the fuckwit that banged my husband and sent him pictures of her twat to our home during Sunday dinner? Erm, no, she’s a twat and always will be.
“the fuckwit that banged my husband and sent him pictures of her twat to our home during Sunday dinner”
The fuckwit that banged my husband sent him a picture of her hand down the front of her see-thru panties twat. It arrived when we were at Holy Communion in church.
They really all are the same: the fuckwits who send ‘naughty’ pictures and the idiots who swoon over said naughty pictures and think it’s true love. Honestly, they want to be with soneone who sends snatch shots to them? Classy.
Sorry to hear that Nord. I wouldn’t tolerate that nor want someone like that near my kids. If I had proof I would have a restraining order on her..
Baci, I have the pictures, time stamped. They arrived literally in his email while we were having Sunday dinner. It’s gross. And it’s shocking that this is what he thinks is great to be with. Talk about htinking with your dick, eh?
Except, Nord and Baci, you can bet your ass that your ex will tell the new person some unture , bad shit about you. And, with men , in particular, thy lap this up so they can “save” her from you. So, the new spouse or GF/BF is inclined against you.
Isn’t that fantastic Arnold. They think they are saving her from me. That will keep him busy.
He was inclined against me from the minute he began fucking my ex wife.
My ex of course puts me down at every opportunity. I’ve lost contact with one or two close friends of hers but that was going to happen anyway. Otherwise happy days.
However what the OW is doing to Nord is plain sick. Nord though sounds like she has the bases covered.
This is a very timely article for me as it is not an issue which has really reared its ugly head so far. After D-Day in 2007, I chumped and chumped for 13 months before kicking the cheater to the kerb. He tried to return and when I said no, off he went to the OW whom he persuaded to leave HER spouse. Our 2 sons stayed with me, her two sons lived with them, OW’s husband was alone apart from every other weekend and one overnight per week.
My ex never discussed custody/access/visitation with me. He just turned up every so often when he felt like it, usually when he and OW had a tiff. He would see the boys alone, take them out for the day etc. They were never around OW, never invited to ‘their’ home, there was no regular routine. He would sometimes go weeks, months without seeing them. All this time, he was living with someone else’s children (same ages as ours) and telling OW and anyone else who would listen that I was preventing him from seeing our sons. Absolute codswallop of course.
They met her briefly one Christmas and our older boy was briefly taken to their home for half an hour the following Christmas and that was that. Our younger son has never met his “stepbrothers”.
In the four and a half years since I took off the Chumpy Hat, my ex and the OW has split about 20 times. They have a truly toxic relationship.
I’m sure OW’s poor kids don’t know which way they are facing, having moved home 5 times, changed schools 3 times and my ex disappearing from and reappearing in their lives like a Jack-in-the-Box.
In those four and a half years, during which they have both conducted a vindictive smear campaign against me, full of horrendous lies and the assassination of my character, my ex has visited me more often than he has our children, on his regular missions to woo me back.
The repeated break-ups with the OW have added to her existing insecurity and neediness and he has fuelled the triangulation, compartmentalizing his life to keep OW and me apart, so she never gets to know the truth about anything. At one point I offered to reassure her that I did NOT want him back but he turned my offer down!
OW, who is in her 40s but behaves like an overgrown teenager (my ex behaves like a 4 year-old), hates me so much (probably for not being a lying, cheating skank) that she has banned my ex not only from my presence but from communicating with me EVER, even about our children. He ignores this most of the time and only ‘obeys’ when he’s trying to hoover her back into his tarantula web.
She has spent a lot of the last few years kicking up a fuss if she thought he was seeing too much of our children or thought he was putting them before her.
Two years ago I asked ex why our sons did not see OW or spend any time at their home. He replied that she wasn’t fit to be around them!
At the moment OW and my ex are seeing each other but living apart again. All of a sudden (in the fortnight) ex has decided that as OW and her kids are part of his life (although I’ve heard that her kids don’t like him!), he wants them to be part of our sons’ lives too.
Our boys have their own minds, they are intelligent (emotionally and otherwise), sensitive, sensible and capable of making their own decisions. So, five years after having their lives ripped apart, they have decided that they want nothing to do with the woman who helped their father do that.
There is none of this ‘parental alienation’ stuff involved, certainly not from me. I’ve explained to them that if they are okay with it, then I am too and not to reject her out of loyalty to me.
They both insist that is not the case, it is just the way they feel individually.
So, why the sudden desire by the ex and OW (who he has disparaged to me as much I’m sure, as he has disparaged me to her) to play ‘Happy Blended Families’ after 4-5 years of ‘Never The Twain Shall Meet’?
My theory is that the selfish, self-centred little minds of ex and the OW cannot see that their ‘relationship’ is fundamentally flawed. That like most unions built on lies, deceit, betrayal, selfishness and causing immense pain, damage and devastation to innocent people, it is rotten to the core.
So now, because they don’t want to accept that their destined soulmate ‘true lurve affair’ is the pits and always was, they are frantically looking around for excuses and quick-fix solutions to their troubles.
They are no doubt telling each other that..YES OF COURSE!! It’s because OW and her kids have no relationship with our kids. And their answer is to use them (users never change their spots) to try to fix the unfixable.
That sounds like a train smash but the sad part is children are involved.
Just stay focused on your children’s needs and love.
Let the others carry on. You can’t save them. They’re too far gone