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The Unending Punishment of Breeding with a Fucktard

notplanBIf you’ve had the misfortune of breeding with a fucktard, you know that this misery just keeps paying dividends. You may successfully remove yourself from their toxicity, but your kids have to keep navigating this shit until they’re 18.

It sucks donkey balls.

It’s one thing to deal with their mindfuckery. It’s quite another to watch it play out on innocent children, as they’re goaded into the same wing nut dynamics they tried on you. Gaslighting, minimizing, blame shifting, the “pick me” dance. You want to save your kids from the pain, tell them exactly who this person is — but they love that person. And they’re kids. They don’t really get it. And if they do get it? That’s sad as hell.

Diminished expectations and jaded cynicism are what you expect from grizzled war veterans, not 6th graders. “Oh that’s how mom is. She forgets stuff.” “Oh, dad always cancels last minute. What are you going to do?”

I deal with this, even though I didn’t have kids with a cheater. (Not that I know of, I am however, an epic chump). I had kids with a mentally ill person. I know… gee, that’s so much better…

I divorced my son’s dad when my son was 4. So that’s 12 years no shows and unpaid child support, and crazy shit I won’t bore you with except to say — it’s CRAZY. But to tell you — or my son — exactly how insane it is makes me seems like one of those frothing, bitter exes, and we’re supposed to be above character assassination. Of course, this guy would have to have a character to assassinate — and he doesn’t.

What prompted today’s blog post is that I was supposed to put my kid on a plane to see his father tomorrow, for 9 days summer visit — and he canceled less than 24 hours before the flight to say that this “wasn’t a good time for him.” We live 1700 miles away. He hasn’t seen his kid in months. Oh, and as per usual, he owes me money.

I’m used to the deadbeat stuff, but to reject my 16 year old son because — who the hell knows why!? Maybe he gets some passive aggressive high off it. Maybe he’s very busy with his girlfriend, or his improving hobbies. I have no clue. It sure fucks my life up, because my husband and I are going out of town together for the week my son is away. The best laid plans…

I’ve spent today cobbling together a solution, which relies greatly upon the kindness of others. (I’m a chump. I HATE asking help from others. Hate. Hate. Hate it.) And my son is happy — he’s staying with a friend. As for his dad, my son just stoically said “Well, I keep my expectations low.” This is the second time his dad has bailed on him. The other time was Thanksgiving, again with no notice.

He rolls with it. And I hate that he has to roll with this kind of crap. That he doesn’t have a parent that cherishes him, who remembers his birthday, or shows up for his big life events. Well, I do those things, but there is a gaping hole where the other parent is supposed to be. My husband has filled that role heroically, but he treads gently as a step parent.

I suppose this is the time during this post for Uplift. I know my son loves me and knows I’m the parent who really has his back. It only takes one sane parent — I give that advice all the time. I know that his father’s lack of investment in his life is no reflection on my son’s worth, and will probably come back to bite his father in the ass some day. You only got one kid, idiot — who do you think is going to visit you in your old age? Your moldy possessions? Your girlfriend? Peripheral acquaintances from your lackluster career?

I really feel for you chumps out there who have affair partners in the mix as “co-parents.” This is hard enough without the infidelity cherry on top of the shit sundae. What is WRONG with people that they can bring children into the world and treat them like crap?

I went to the gym this morning to punch things out, and saw an older woman friend. I told her what was up. She shared that her father is dying of Alzheimer’s and she is his only caregiver. I said “you’re a really good daughter.” She said her father had not been a good father. I don’t know the specifics, except that there was some mental illness, some distance between them. She grew up to be awesome in spite of whatever his influence was or was not. She’s a lovely person and a successful lawyer. Having an absent father, she said, made her more religious. “I don’t have a father down here. I have a Father up there.” It’s how she dealt with it. It made her a better person. If you don’t believe me, ask the relative she is giving a KIDNEY too. (For real.)

Her pain made her a more empathetic, kinder person. It gave her perspective. I’m sure it gave her fuckupedness and relationship troubles too, but over all, she took something good from it. She says she prays to see the good outcomes in hard times. She visits her father now, and he doesn’t recognize her. Doesn’t recognize the lunch set before him. Or even what a closet is, let alone his own daughter. His health is failing and the stress of it weighs on her. She goes to the gym to work it out too.

Some people get better kids than they deserve. I’m trying to see the good in that.

I’m not there yet.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I am so sorry. Your ex sucks but you already know that. Your son deserves better but he isn’t going to get it from his bio dad. You know that too. That is exactly the reason some among us remain chumps (myself included). I don’t love the POS any more, I just know that as long as he is doing the “pick me” dance that I have more control and may be able to navigate a few teenage years for the better.

    Am I a chump? Absolutely.

    You ask how someone does this to their kids and the answer is no one with any soul.

    I don’t care why anybody cheated or why anybody ends a marriage. I care very much that kids are hurt. I cannot and do not forgive that particular sin.

    I know your son will be a very good person. He will be okay and even better than okay.

    It makes my teeth hurt to think about it.

  • It is very painful to watch what happens to kids, to see how they also struggle to redefine and relate to the person they thought they knew and loved. Great post today and one most people who had children with a narcissist can relate to.

    Here’s a link to an interesting article by Susan Anderson, who researches and writes about abandonment in relationships. It helps explain a little about the attitude of an abandoner: http://www.abandonment.net/profile-of-an-abandoner

    • As a Paralegal Student doing my internship you just said the buzz word coupled with the FACT ex owes back child support for YEARS.

      Lyn. You DONT have to cater to that “fucktard” anymore. If you don’t show up or answer his calls what’s he going to do? File a complaint? You counter file, get your money and explain he stiffs you and has been abandoning your child FOR YEARS. There isn’t a Court Judge or Attorney alive that wouldn’t take this case!
      😉 seriously.
      You 2 win now. Stand you ground!

  • I’m sorry to hear about your troubles, CL. I hope I don’t have tis sort of thing to look forward to — I don’t know. I’m in the same position as your friend at the gym — a narcissistic mother who now has Alzheimer’s — I’m her only child in town (luckily, she’s in a care facility). Hard going.

      • Figured out there was something wrong with Mom years ago. Why I didn’t see just how like her Agata is I can’t say. Agata really loathed her.

        • Hey ANR… my Mom and I recently had the conversation about how like my father my ex abuser is. She was telling me how it broke her heart to see what I was going through because she felt somehow peripherally responsible. Felt that her modeling being a punching bag may have given me skewed ideas of what love looked like.

          I didn’t have much of a reply. She was right, on some level. One of the reasons I got out when I did was not wanting to show my daughters that it was OK for your partner to abuse you.

          Good luck with your Mother. Sorry you have to go through more…….. we’ve all been though so much already.

          • My dad sure modeled being a punching bad for me. His escape came through death. And his mother modeled it for him — her escape was through her husband’s death.

            On my wife’s side, her father abandoned his first family and was a serial cheater and emotional abuser in his second marriage.

            What a mess.

      • Talked about this with my IC today — totally broke down. Why is it so hard for me to believe that I don’t somehow deserve this? Very low this evening.

    • Me three!

      Just what the chump doctor ordered for me today after going back and forth with X via email about our messed-up teen who is doing stupid shit to cope. When I began to cc our son on X and my emails about him, X went ape shit. It’s hard to gaslight a teen when he has both sides of an email exchange between his parents…

      Us: “Blah blah blah piecemeal information and accusations being told as facts from X about son, and how I tried to handle it and why my handling of it wouldn’t work, yada yada yada…

      Me: For transparency and because we are discussing our sixteen-year old, I’ll be copying [son] on all correspondences between us from here on out so there is no more “confusion” about what is (and is not) communicated.

      X: My last email was not intended for [son’s] eyes, and it was very wrong of you to share it with him. I was trying to communicate parent to parent about what’s been going on in hope of getting him back on track. Because he has probably already read this, his and my relationship, which had been pretty much in the toilet, is most likely now past the point of no return. What in the world were you thinking?

      Me: I believe I made my thought process quite clear. {Son] is our 16-year old son who needs to understand that his parents are concerned about him and are communicating our concerns with each other in a constructive, direct manner. He is very upset right now, and feels he has been unfairly targeted, scapegoated and judged. My intent is transparency with him and you from this point forward regarding his behavior, as well as any subsequent discussions regarding our concerns about him.

      X: Your “thought process” is outrageous and your actions only served to drive a deeper wedge between [son] and me. There’s more I could say, but since I don’t know where it might end it up, I won’t.

      Me: If you don’t have anything constructive or helpful to contribute to a discussion regarding an issue with any of our children, please do not contact me.

      X: Like you were constructive with that stunt. Give me a break…”

      Then I saw the title of this post, and it was a little ray of sunshine. Fucktard with a capital F! YES!

      So here is the reply I WILL NOT send but wish I could if only to shock the asshole into a brief moment of clarity…

      Me: What part of “don’t contact me” did you not understand, or is it still important for you to have the last word? Every snide email or remark you HAVE to make in any written exchange (it’s not lost on me that you’re too much of a coward to speak directly to me) just tells me what a laughable old coot you have become. Blow it out your ass, Gramps.”

      Thank you, Chump Lady!

      • Chutes, are we twins? I get the exact same- DDs issues and harmful coping strategies are all a part of living with ME, dontcha know? Nothing at all to do with moving OW and her kid into his place, nope, nosireebob!!!

  • A timely post for me. Not even half hour before reading it, I received a lengthy text from my ex, saying he had received a summons from the child support agency in our state, and was being ordered to appear with his financial disclosure and a check for his arrears. He wrote that they would of course lower his payments as soon as they saw his desperate financial situation. He has voluntarily quit THREE jobs in the past three years, and has lived off unemployment for nearly two of those years, while bragging to son he saw no reason to work as long as he could live on the dole. He does odd jobs here and there under the table, and lives with family members to avoid paying rent.

    Along with being the worst cheater I have ever heard of, he is completely delusional, manipulative, guilt trips our son beyond belief and cons, blackmails, mooches and sweet talks people into doing whatever he wants. I am thankful that my son is 17, old enough to see his father for exactly what he is, and does not have much visitation with his dad.

    I admit I am nervous, as ex will undoubtedly try to retaliate against me for opening a case with the agency. Most likely that retaliation will consist of abusive texts or emails, but with the disordered, it’s always best to keep your eyes open and watch out.

    • How could he possibly legally retaliate? He’s a JOKE! Hang on Glad — you’ve only got one more year. If he sends you abusive texts, post them here. We’ll all laugh at him. He’s a tool.

      • That is the best idea ever. I am laughing so hard at the thought of posting an abusive text and having the whole Chumpnation laugh at the author.
        Hew may never know but we can all have fun behind his back!

      • As I predicted, the ex NPD husband is lashing out in passive-aggressive rage because I opened a case with the local child support agency to help collect the thousands of dollars in arrears he owes me. He just received the paperwork a week ago, and sent some subtle threats then. I knew there would be more.

        Just got a text message from him. We do not communicate in any other way. I only hear from him maybe once a month in regards to the child support. No other communication whatsoever. We certainly do not exchange comics or cute little messages.

        He sent a text with the message, “Thought you would find this hilarious!”
        Attached was a picture of a comic from a newspaper. The comic is a guy sitting on a couch, staring and talking with a busty blonde right next to him, while right behind him is a woman who is obviously his wife, but doesn’t realize what is going on. The caption for the comic is, “Most of John’s wedding vows should have been followed by LOL.”

        Ex knows I would NEVER have found that funny, I always would have thought it disgusting and sad. There is no question he sent it as a vicious dig at me, letting me know that this is how HE always felt about our marriage. I admit it upset me, as was his intention. I didn’t bother to reply. It’s amazing how much he still hurts me, even though we’ve been divorced over a year.

  • I needed this today. STBX and OW just picked up my son so that he could spend the last week of his vacation at their student apartment o’love (OW was a former high school student of STBX; they live together in a hot, cramped one bedroom (kids – you get the floor or sofa! WE get the bedroom!) apartment near her college campus).

    Except by week, STBX means today, tomorrow, and the next day, at which time I get to go pick my son up.

    Now, STBX knew he had back to school meetings at the end of this week – he’s had these meetings every year for the past 15 years he’s been teaching. So you’d think that he would have picked him up last week, so he could have more time with my son.

    Except that would have interfered with the anniversary of STBX and OW starting their affair, the date of which is lovingly and immortally commemorated in ink in classy Roman numerals on the wrist of the OW.

    So once again, STBX, for whom math was never a strong point, sees an equal division of summer vacation as one month and two+ days for him and one month and 10+ days for me.

    My son still loves and misses STBX, though. He still cries at night for him (he’s 9). I’ve long since stopped with the “but he still loves you”s. I can’t say what I’d like to say, lest I be accused of parental alienation, but I refuse to promote a “man” who puts his whims and former student sidepieces before his kids.

    Now, my 14 year old daughter refuses to deal with the OW and as such, refuses to go to their apartment. STBX could take the initiative to spend time with my daughter without the OW, though the OW is loathe to let STBX out of her sight without constantly texting and calling him. So far this summer he has spent time with my daughter done twice, each time for a few hours at a time, although he shares the same vacation schedule as the kids and did not have any other employment this summer.

    And for the things he’s “supposed” to go to? Permit me to repost a message from this weekend here:

    My daughter just graduated from middle school. It was the first promotion ceremony she had been to. She was ranked #1 in her class (of about 450 students) three years in a row. She received many awards, besides the promotion.

    I was there, as was my son, my father, and her godmother – the people closest to her.

    Who was missing?

    Well, the STBX “couldn’t” make it because, as a teacher in the same school district, he was giving a final at the time of my daughter’s graduation. Now that sounds reasonable, until you factor in 1. In his many years of teaching, he’s always given his finals EARLY so that by finals day, he’s finished with his grades for the year, and 2. his teachers’ union told him specifically that his role as a parent trumps his role as a teacher, so that if his kid is graduating, he can make arrangements to attend without being penalized at work.

    He showed up later that afternoon, wanting to take my daughter out to celebrate. Except that he never told her what time he would be by (and never even told me he was coming by), so when he showed up, she was out with her grandfather.

    He called her later that evening. What was the first thing he said? Was it “Congratulations – I’m so proud of you! Keep up the good work these next four years!”. NOOOOO. It was, “Where were you? How come you weren’t home when I came by? We agreed to go out so I could get you your graduation present.”

    After she started crying, and took a break from talking to him, she got the phone back from me, and asked him, “Can you at least tell me congratulations?”

    I wish I were making this up.

    At least today I didn’t have to see the OW, though I could hear her blasting whatever music she was listening to in the car throughout my generally quiet neighborhood while she waited for STBX to return. But then again, she IS only 21 – that’s not too far out of those crazy teenage years…

    8 years, 9 months, and 4 days until my son turns 18 and the last child support check clears. Then the gloves are off, and if I even care at that point, I’ll be able to say whatever I want about STBX. It’s only time – I can wait.

      • STBX calls my son every night (unless he forgets). He asks to speak to my daughter every night. Most of the time, she refuses to speak to him.

        The few times she sees him (during my son’s drop off/pick up), she doesn’t even like to LOOK at him.

        Neither he nor OW have given her an answer to her question to the two of them: why did they start an affair when they both knew he was married?

        And might I add, STBX is adopted. His “adoptive” parents are dead- without going into too much, the woman he though was his mother was not biologically his mother; her family has asserted that the man he thought was his father was not biologically his father, but it is probably closer to the truth to say that his dad WAS his dad, and got someone pregnant; his “mother” raised him as her own; a few years after STBX was born, they left the country they were from; there are no legal birth records for STBX, nor is it clear if the “orphanage” he was picked up from ever existed. STBX looks EXACTLY like the man he knew as his father (who I knew as well, before he died); my son has some of his traits, too.

        So, the only two people ON EARTH that he knows for sure are his blood are my son and daughter, and he’s screwing it up with them for a 21 year old piece of trash homewrecker.

        • I…I’m speechless.

          He’s an ass. The stories are all so familiar, so shocking. These passive-aggressive ass hats avoiding responsibility, jabbing their kids in the heart–repeatedly, pretending they had no choice, making shocking choices. It’s just so hard to believe they have any grasp on reality.

          I’m so appalled by your stbx’s behavior. He is clueless. And yet, I’ve heard the same story with slight variations over and over and over. My story is incredibly similar.

          I’m so sorry for your kids. I’m impressed with how clear your daughter is that her father is an ass and is treating him accordingly, but sad that she has to do so.

          *sigh* My xH is adopted, too. I do think this is a risk factor for this behavior.

          • It’s awesome your daughter does so well in school. I’m sorry for what your kids have to deal with from the STBX, though. My kids were 24 and 26 when their dad left me. They have really struggled to reconcile the Dad they thought he was with the person who’s now enamored with his married AP’s children. They got to read in black and white how he “loves” her 4 and 6 yr old children and adores their mother, who he hopes to make his wife some day. He’s just waiting for her to leave her husband. My oldest has developed panic attacks and anxiety problems.

            • Yes Lyn, on the 16 months since D-Day , my beautiful and successful 20 year old daughter has suffered from anxiety and close-to-panic in social situations and says she never feels “good enough” no matter what she is doing and no matter how much the intellectual part of her brain tells her that’s silly. And she said she cannot imagine dating or trusting a young man ever again after what her father had done. Thank you fucktard-ex.

              • Big red therapy flag here.

                My kid sister went into therapy after my father died (she was the smart one). She told her therapist that she didn’t expect the therapist to take away the grief. She just wanted ways to keep functioning. It occurs to me that your daughter might have a similar chat with a therapist: she doesn’t expect her therapist to make her feel better about her father, but she does want to have help so that she doesn’t see all young men as following in her father’s footsteps.

    • Why does the AP always seem to have bad taste in music? Ex’s final OW has the taste of someone her age–it is suitably sucky. Even my kids can’t believe how bad her taste is in music.

      • One reason I can tell that STBX is in luuuurve is that he’s now watching chickflicks on Netflix and hulu. This from a man who refused to go to the movies with me unless there were phasers. OW, though, loves “romantic” stuff. She’s the 40-year-old who thinks Twilight is sooooo romantic, and has similar tastes in music, which of course STBX then posts links to. WTF?

        • We have the same OW. Mine is in lurrrve with Robert Pattinson, and she’s also 40. I hope that XWH is enjoying his life married to a pre-teen.

    • “….the date of which is lovingly and immortally commemorated in ink in classy Roman numerals on the wrist of the OW”

      Oh thank you, I got quite a laugh out of that one, what complete fuck-ups these people are in every single way, and how strangely pitiful(if I had any pity, which I don’t). They don’t deserve their own children

    • She got the date tattooed on her wrist?!

      I’m sorry. Has anyone checked her ankles for prior relationships?

      What a basket of crazy.

  • She seriously had the date they started their affair tattooed on her wrist? LOL, classy! Well, at least that should be easy to tattoo over once the relationship comes to its inevitable disastrous end.

    • In response to being called out on the affair, she had “Stay Strong” tattooed on her arm.

      I manage to stay strong all right without having to participate in an affair with a married man, without having to devastate the lives of two children, and without having meaningless words inked on me.

      • Maybe she has her name tattooed so she doesn’t forget it, sounds like she needs to tattoo reminders on her own skin. What an idiot. Yeah, “stay strong” and don’t give in to the temptation to fuck a married man next time.

        • Ooo…Glad! I got a good belly laugh with that one!

          Actually, she has a massive tattoo on her back that’s a picture of what her name means.

          Spot on!

            • I’m crying I’m laughing so hard.

              Three roses, to represent her grandmother, her mother, and her sister (so I heard).

              But…that happens to be her name, and her grandmother’s name, so go figure.

              Incidentally, it happens to be the name of people I’m related to, but I didn’t see a need to get it on my back. Having the same bloodline is enough.

              Opposite that one is a big tattoo of Marilyn Monroe, with something like “A smart girl leaves before she is left” under it. Nice. So, is that a threat? A mantra? A prediction?

              How is that going to look in 20, 30 years?

              • this is super funny, my XH has a MOW who has the name of one of her xbf tattooed right across her chest. so everytime he f*cks he gets reminded of her lasting love with one of her xbf!!! i think it is justice.

      • What is it with these people and the phrase “stay strong”!?!? STBX and OW use that phrase as their mantra. She has it as her fb cover photo and they tell it to each othe before ever court proceeding. Ho about “stay away from side pieces when you’re married?”

  • Horrible they way some people treat their children. Not to get political, but marriage is being redefined in this day and age. It’s hard to look at two men or two women loving each other and their children, then look at men and women who abandon their heterosexual spouses and children and argue that it is the homosexual community that will be the downfall of good morals.

    • Oh be political GreenGirl — I’m totally for gay marriage and anyone who’s offended by that can read at another blog. You may as well get offended that left handed people want to marry for as much choice gay people have over their sexuality.

      I saw a church sign posted on FB that said “You don’t like gay marriage… and this is your fourth marriage?”

    • You said it! Gay people are destroying the meaning of marriage? Oh no– I think that straight people are the ones doing a fine job of that. My good friends who have been together almost twenty years shouldn’t get married, but celebrities can have marriages that last less than a day, and it’s all good. Right.

      • Gay marriage is being scapegoated for the failings of many heterosexual partners. A society that encourages NPD is the no. 1 threat to traditional marriage, if you ask me!

  • Oh that’s awful Chump Lady. I find it is hard to plan anything for myself because I am always so nervous that my ex won’t pick his kids up. There have been many ‘reasons’ why he hasn’t picked up his kids and now more so that he has a child with OW (who makes my kids feel unwelcome so they hate going there). There was a time when he kept using the ‘funeral’ excuse. All around him ‘people were dying’, so he had to attend funerals so he couldn’t pick his kids up. I feel nauseous just thinking about those moments when you get those texts and you feel like you’ve been kicked, kicked hard in the stomach.

    He doesn’t want you to have a life by the sounds of it. That you might be heading off with your partner while he entertains his son is possibly too much for his ego to bear. Makes me want to slap the head off your ex and all those who do this to their kids.

    I spoke to a counsellor about this years ago and she said unless there was a full on emergency, a parent should never not pick up their kids when they are supposed to. The OW in my case is emotionally retarded and hates that my kids get any of his attention.

    Hope you manage to have a nice break after all that mindfuckery – you deserve it.

    • Thanks. Bring forth the head slapping! I think there are a bunch of chump here who’d like to line up their exes.

      No idea what his motivations are. He’s truly nuts. Not in a “oh, he’s nuts” kind of way, but in a court certified, mentally impaired kinda way.

  • Sad to report its not much better for the adult children of these fucktards.

    Our daughter found out just one week ago that her husband of 3 years has been involved in an affair for 2 1/2 years. She has supported him for the last 6 months while they built and opened a business – which has been incredibly successful since day one. It’s not even a month old. In addition to the adultery revelation, was the juicy text messaging to his soulmate that as soon as the business loan was paid off, he was filing for divorce and would have her out of the business in “5 minutes”. She was beyond devastated – not just chumped, but he’s attempting to defraud her out of her/their life savings which were invested in the business.

    So this past weekend her fucktard father decides to drive down to her house without any warning. She was shocked to see him, but curious as to what he would say. First words out of his mouth (you can’t make this up folks) “How is the dog, did his surgery go well?” The dog had minor surgery that morning to have a baby tooth removed. She told him he was fine and went in to take a shower. He apparently walked around the neighborhood for a while – she came out after the shower and saw his empty truck sitting in the drive. Then came back and drove off without saying boo. Neither of us were surprised or even angry, just sort of “what the hell?”

    I was talking it over with my sister in law later, and she was gob-smacked. Just couldn’t process it. Apparently you actually need to tell them what to say. What grown person (he’s over 60) can’t come up with a couple of simple phrases like, gee I don’t know, “How are you?” “I’m so sorry this has happened to you.” “Is there anything I can do to help?”And he complains to me that she never reaches out to him. N.P.D. much.

    • God, what a horrible spawn of Satan bastard is your daughter’s husband. Seriously, don’t you want to get him and the fucktard father and repeatedly bang their heads together?

    • I’m so sorry for your daughter. Direct her over here!

      I can’t believe your ex asked about the dog and left. It’s either deranged cluelessness or he’s a mean fucker and he wants to add insult to injury. I don’t know how else to interpret it.

  • Omg! I love you CL and I love your writing and what you call these people!! You make me laugh and I need that! Keep on fighting the good fight sister!!

  • CL, sounds like your son has it sorted. As you know I have a slightly older son and he has established his own boundaries with his mother.
    He stays with her on Monday and Thursday nights, maybe spending 7-8 waking hours avweek together. If the boys aren’t there then chainsaw man is immediately at the house.
    He would love to see mum more often but has to ask chainsaw man to leave. She doesn’t have the respect or understanding to even allow some time say all day Saturday to give the boys the opportunity to just drop in. She hasn’t even tested that possibility. She has no concept of the boys wishes. She just blames me for not moving on and it effecting the boys.
    We are moving on groceries ! The boys are having their best sporting year yet. Youngest is learning guitar and piano and loving it. The house is always full of their mates and dad is dating but quietly and with the most respect to the boys.
    I think she expects the boys to finally yield and just visit with chainsaw man there but the boys have set themselves rules and boundaries that they live by.
    I’m pretty confident that if I has someone here all the time I could lose them maybe. Of course anyone I have here hasn’t contributed to the breakdown of the family but I wouldn’t like to test it.
    The kids seem to accept a parents behaviour and work with what they have in front of them.
    It’s mind boggling your ex has something that would keep him away from spending time with your son. It must be life threatening. Mayb its guilt or shame.
    My councillor earlier in the week said that ex and chainsaw man would have so much guilt and shame it virtually drives them together. They have no one else but their parents so they mesh together in their fantasy.
    We just chose to have very little to do with it.
    The boys love their mother but they have the truth and have the power to make their own decisions and establish boundaries.
    I think all the fuckupness gets stored away and they have their way of dealing with it.
    Big life lessons learnt at such a young age.

    • My therapist said something similar: they will stick it out as long as they can because they’re full of guilt and shame and unless they make this the romance of the century then they’re just two assholes who wanted to fuck and didn’t care about anyone else who might get hurt. She may have been a bit more delicate but you get my drift.

      They’re glued to each other’s sides 24/7 and that is punishment enough.

      • As I have said before they are leaches. They can’t get enough of each other. Hardly anyone visits.
        They have nothing to share with the boys. As it was in the affair ex has to keep boys seperate.
        They either live like that for evermore or they get sick of it because it becomes so mundane. Love is about family and they both put each other first and their kids second.
        They have a totally different value system to us Nord. It’s truly fucked up.
        I now have my oldest asking about chainsaw mans age and he is figuring out that 12 years is very different. It doesn’t matter much to us but kids see 58 as been very old. My eldest just lost a former footy coach yesterday to a heart attack at 56 so the questions.
        CL’s son will be fully aware of what’s going on with his father. The kids absorb it all and often you don’t get feedback.

      • Nord, that’s brilliant and helps me enormously. I thought that because my ex and OW seemed so tight it WAS the romance of the century! But what you say about them being ‘two assholes who just wanted to fuck’ makes sense. It made me feel inadequate thinking they had something so special that I wasn’t capable of. Then again when you’re bogged down looking after two young kids it’s hard to be as alluring or ‘sparkly’ as someone fifteen years your junior who has no one to care for.

        • Angela, I used to and admit it gets to me sometimes that they are in paradise.
          But apart fr the fucking what have they got. NOTHING.
          They don’t have family. Sure we don’t buy our children know we didn’t screw them over.
          The guilt will never go away. The kids depending on their age make the own view of the situation and the cheaters have to face the consequence.
          The cheaters only have each other. They bind together like super glue ducking like rabbits- then what. What do they have. Shame and guilt.
          They have to live with it every single day. Then they keep lying to keep the fantasy and the justification going.
          Mayb the guilt or Shame will get to them one day and then it’s toooooo late.
          They then have an empty shell. I know where I’d rather be.

          • Baci, thanks, even though I know logically that this loved up thing does not last, my heart tricks me into imagining Their Paradise. I know, it’s ridiculous but I think in my case anyway it takes ages for heart to catch up with head. It is so helpful to read some of the comments and posts on this site. Maybe it’s their way of trying to prove to the world that their decisions were right but rocky foundations never make for good homes.

            • Angela, I struggle with the same things as you. My ex and the OW just got married on Saturday. My head knows they are both losers, but my heart plays the “they must be so happy”, “life must be great for them”, “she must be better than me”. My head knows otherwise though. Like, the only people in their wedding party were her sister, his brother and my 2 girls. Like, less than 100 people attended their wedding whereas there were over 200 at mine (because they’ve lost friends who think they’re both sick). I truly believe the only reason these two assholes got married is because they literally don’t have anyone else. Every time you struggle with this just keep remembering that you’re actually the winner…you’re rid of him AND have your kids.

  • CL, I am so sorry this happened to your son. He knows he needs to have low expectations of his bio dad and knows that he can have very high expectations of you. He is lucky to have such a lioness of a mother.

  • My father basically ignored us and then as he got older wanted a relationship with his daughters. (oh did I tell you when we got older he wanted us to call him Hank not Daddy)

  • CL,

    I’m so sorry. You give such clear-headed advice that I often forget that you’re still dealing with your ex’s shit, too. It’s sick-making when it involves your child.

    Thanks for the post. Breeding with them does make the hurt go on and on….

  • Had another of those bite my tongue till it bleeds moments last night.

    Was on the fence if I would even mention it.

    Last night, RFP made comments suggesting she is hearing the message that “mommy is wasting her life living in the past”.

    Let me see if I get this straight. The man who spent years unfavorably comparing me to girlfriends from as much as ten years prior to meeting me *in front of our daughter* has unilaterally decided I’m miserable because I’m not following his road map of sleep with anything that moves?

    Anyone else ever run into this shit of the crazy messages being delivered to the kid?

    I don’t know how well I handled it. What I responded with was that every person has the right to decide for themselves what makes them happy, and to do it. And as long as they are being honest about it with other people–and not using other people in order to get what they need–no one else gets to dictate how someone lives their life.

    For the record, based on what I was hearing from RFP, the behavior being criticized? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Love how Andy decides when –and how–I’m allowed to protect myself, and the pace at which I’m *supposed* to heal according to his timetable.

    If he wasn’t fucking with RFP’s head, it would actually be funny.

    • “Anyone else ever run into this shit of the crazy messages being delivered to the kid?”

      My ex has texted our son out of the blue to announce he’s going on a date. Our son doesn’t live with ex, only sees him a couple times a week for dinner, so there is really no need for such an announcement, other than the obvious fact ex hopes son will tell me.

    • Ex has spouted that sort of crap since the very beginning. It’s a variation of ‘just get over it, willya’. Because us taking the time to deal with the enormous betrayal means we’re ‘bitter’ and ‘scorned’ and ‘dwelling’. It has nothing to do with, you know, dealing with an enormous amount of pain and the continuing fall out, which comes in the form of our ex’s idiocy and dumb comments.

      I’m pretty meh these days but even now, almost two years later, i can still have my moments of ‘you have got to be fucking kidding me’, particularly when it comes to the kids.

      • “ENORMOUS BETRAYAL” is right….Nord other then our friends here or fellow “victims of chumpdom” not too many people understand the depths that blade of betrayal can cut. Your almost 2 years in? I’m over 5 and the pain still hits in waves. Mind you they are farther apart but they sneak up on you …for me in the quiet moments alone or stressful ones and I struggle with what my kids and myself were left to deal with because of her decisions and I get quite angry…I admit it. Because we did nothing to deserve it ! We not only dealt with the shock that the person we loved, wed, lived and sacrificed for.. BETRAYED us more then are most vile imagined enemy but they CONTINUE to lay blame , continue to cause pain, continue to say and do hurtful things…I found her actions hard to comprehend ..sorry not hard …UN-IMAGINABLY IMPOSSIBLE to comprehend so how in hell does a 7,12 and 13 yr old comprehend it. I knew for a couple years before that there was something wrong with her..her thinking ..always away with her friends…the things she would say…and do…the affairs… it hurt and I buried it..but then when she announced she was leaving us and that she was “moving to a single room basement apartment that is too small so you will stay here with daddy”….the looks on their faces will never leave my mind. The instant fear and pain that they were handed from their own MOTHER ! Their world was just destroyed and that look on their faces will never leave and thats what I see …thats what surfaces still… and for these “FAILURES” who have the audacity to call themselves “parents” continue to be abscent from the kids lives… continue to manipulate and do things that don’t make sense to them …that hurt them… to pit one against the other in cases ,at least in mine. Unfortunately they have to learn and deal with it on their own mostly . WE had to become both parents instantly, we had to be strong while they fucked off like immature teenager’s that were never taught responsibility or accountability. We held what was left together on half the time, half the finances (because you know they “deserve” alimony) half of everything and deal with all the emotional fallout – they deal with NOTHING and does it make us bitter?…your f’in right it does !
        My only hope is that my job as their “PARENT” was good enough , that being the shit-vacuum cleaning up the” failure’s” mess let my kids live as much a normal life as could be expected- being handed the circumstance’s that they were. And all we can do is continue to be that stable , solid , consistant pillar for them. I truely believe that they know that their mother or their father let them down . They know it . It sucks not having a law against these destructive people and unfortunately we don’t have any morality police . I gave up on friends or other people putting these social fuck ups in their place – they love the drama too much it seems.
        It hurts seeing these mindless idiots at school assemblies or graduations or kids sports events prancing around being the “interested parent ” when they haven’t paid a dime towards it or stay up one second past their precious bed time to finish a left-to-last minute school project or work thru math homework with frustrated teenagers ….BUT the second that spotlight is available- there they are for all to see how “NICE” they are!…ughhh vomit!
        you might appreciate this, I’ve often fantasized about compiling all her fuckmails and sexts and stupid POF online cheating conversations she had with absolute strangers and all the correspondence back and forth between lawyers where she refused any and all settlements that involved the kids best interest in favor for her own- yes true….I want to compile all this in a small booklet and hand it out to all these people she has managed to bullshit with her facade…yeah walk over and hand it to them and say “read this” …thats rite read this and see if you still think she’s sooo wonderful….they wouldn’t believe it! NOPE…never would believe it… only we , the chumps, know what its like to be on the opposite end of one of these short circuited, horrible HORRIBLE people.

        • Soyousee it, I couldn’t have summed that up better myself. My ex and his OW attend all my kids dance competitions…that they don’t want to help pay for. But they’re there all smiles and acting like they care. I struggle to get the kids to these classes, make sure homework is done before going to class, pay for costumes and fees, all while they’re off doing who knows what. But like you said, the minute the spotlight comes out they’re there saying “that’s my girl”. Makes me sick to my stomach. I just hope that the kids realize who was there for them one day. I’ve also fantasized about handing out copies of their ridiculous emails/lawyer correspondence. The world should know what these 2 are made of.

        • Omg I couldn’t have said it better- @soyouseeit2. I would even go for a tv mini series and hand out discs. Title: “THE TRUTH”. Netflix? Can I get a film student please?!? Lol. It is Calming to read something that sums it up exactly. Thank you!

      • Yesterday, my son told his father that he has a problem with Dad accusing him of lying when he lied about his “special work friend.” Dear old dad told him it is ancient history and to get over it like his brothers did. Um, it was last summer dumbass, and your son’s brothers are so starved for his attention that they are willing to eat the shit he is telling them is delicious ice cream. This one is calling you out on your shit and your are bullying him into submission.

        Fucktard is too kind a monicker for this kind of child abuser.

        • Same thing my oldest son’s mother did to him , tried to tell him her bullshit story of “why I had to do what I did” and he stood up to her. He had just turned 15 and she cast him away he asked me to come pick him up and has never gone back. She didnt speak to him for 2 YEARS. Barely acknowledged him at his birthday or christmas. Made such pathetic attempts at even the smallest form of reconciliation that it just hurt him more. I finally intervened and told her to leave him alone. you think that was the end of that? Get this , she files an app with the court and demanded the court force reconciliation with her son. I swear to any god you worship – I can show you the document…it’s horrendous the levels they will stoop to in order to get what they want. Our courts here scoffed at it and a female family judge dressed her down amazingly well ( I wish I had it recorded) including telling her to quote “put on her big girl panties and BE A MOTHER this court is not here to do that for you! ” I think that was the only time I smiled in that whole ordeal

  • My ex was Mr. “I adore my wife and kids” Sparkly, until I caught him on D-Day. Then he simply moved out and moved on. He had been cheating for k17 years of our 25 year marriage with two co-workers who became “family friends”, and who he often brought to out home.

    Our 3 children, ages 24, 20 and 13, have not responded to the handful of text messages he has sent them since D-day 16 months ago. My daughter (20 years) says “My father is dead. There is a man out there who looks like my father but that is not my father.” Sometimes we talk about how funny he could be, or something we did together as a family, and we both start crying. It truly is as if my husband and her father died and in his place has been delivered this cold dark monster.

    • Kelly, I’m so sorry for your loss . . . and especially that you didn’t get to claim the life insurance policy that should have gone with it. 😉

    • Oh, I feel for you. I can really relate to your feeling of him being dead and replaced by an alien you don’t know. The hardest thing to swallow is that they were wearing a mask all along.

    • I find the oddest thing is that ex tries to do the same things he did with us as a family, but with the OW in my slot. It freaks the kids out, to be honest.

      • Oh yes.

        RFP is too young to recognize it, but the hypocrisy makes me nauseous.

        Andy has even taken RFP on a vacation we planned as a family, and slipped his AP into my place.

        My daughter & my mother both see the physical similarities between me & the AP.

        And if that doesn’t make you want to yack, I don’t know what will.

      • I’ve described the past year as so: my “husband” was brutally murdered, and his killer is walking around in the shell of his body, continuing to torture us.”

        I cannot fathom the depths of his selfishness to be able to host the same parties he hosted with me, keep up the exact same family traditions we created, but with my replacement, the same vacations, etc. When I heard that he is planning to use our wedding song as “their” wedding song, and that I was essentially written out of his life’s story when he rationalized his affair with his dumsel in distress (coming off a 28 year marriage herself), I realized I was never anything to him but a prop in his fucked-up fantasy of what life should be. She can have him; he is the definition of an imposter.

        Give me genuine any day. And stop messing with our kids. They too have seen the emperor, and he is wearing really bad hair plugs and trying to be 27 again.

        • Whoa, your ex and his OW are using the same song from your wedding for their own? That is seriously fucked up and bizarre. What kind of woman would even agree to that?

  • CL,

    Chump Son here.

    Sorry for your difficulties. I used to wrestle (high school and college) and was pretty good. I’d like to hurt him. Though I know that would be wrong…..

    Now, to a more serious topic.

    I like your title. Let’s hear it again:

    “The Unending Punishment of Breeding with a Fucktard”

    CL, your website does untold tons of good for many folks who are already dealing with hurt. But I wonder if we could ever attract younger readers, that girlfriend who, after three months of bliss, suddenly finds that Edward exploded at the picnic when the folks next door tossed a Frisbee that landed in the potato salad; that person who, when they had their first fight with a new flame, found that the flame froze them out for a week, leaving them shaking and so happy when the sphinx started talking again; etc. etc. Maybe I’m being utopian, but I think that some early exposure to NPD-recognition skills might save folks a lot of agony. Like many who write in here, I wish I’d known what I know now a long time ago. The basic lesson is that it really isn’t worth it to debate/reason with/discuss with certain NPD/deranged people. Just use distance and keep it minimal. Don’t expect anything. Don’t expect them to keep commitments. And try not to let them get to you.

    Is there a way to pump this message to those younger than we are? I’m not a utopian. Folks will make mistakes, but I wish we could lower them in number. And, yes, once you have a child with one of these idiots, you are tied for a long time.

    This is such a creative group, I’m sure we can come up with something, some sort of early warning system. Heck, cigarettes have warning labels. Normal folks should be warned about certain kinds of people.

    Hang in there CL. I think you son will be just fine. He has a parallel reality against which to compare his father’s shiftlessness. That’s a big deal. Had you stayed, you’d be spackling and teaching him spackle skills. Once those get set in the personality, they take a long time to undo and they can lead to big mistakes. You were gutsy and didn’t fall for that. That’s heroic in my book.

    Give son a Bear Hug from Chump Son. Does he like to play strategy games like Axis and Allies?

  • “I really feel for you chumps out there who have affair partners in the mix as ‘co-parents.’ This is hard enough without the infidelity cherry on top of the shit sundae. What is WRONG with people that they can bring children into the world and treat them like crap?”

    While I am lucky (I guess?) that XWH puts on a happy face and plays Brady Bunch with the Owife and all of the children involved (her two and my three), it also makes me angry and nauseated. I know that there are those of you who are posting about the horrible neglect of your children by your ex-morons, and I realize that I could have it worse. I get that. My situation is a different kind of hell, I guess. The knife is being twisted in my back more subtly.

    My kids aren’t being neglected, but I feel like they’re being snowed. They’re spending part of their time with two hypocritical liars who are now (on the surface) doing what they should have been doing in their FIRST marriages! Suddenly, my XWH is all interested in what the kids are doing and plans on attending this and that. Where the hell was all that interest when we were married, and I encouraged him to be more involved? When we were together, his motto seemed to be that “children should be seen and not heard.” Now, his voice sounds fake and bright when I hear him talk to the kids, and it makes me shudder. This is the same man who spoke in an annoyed tone to our kids half the time they interacted and did plenty of yelling. Of course, I have to keep my true opinions to myself, so I have to smile and say nice things when the kids tell me how much fun they have or how nice the Owife is. In reality, I want to say, “They’re lying to you! They don’t care about anyone but themselves! They are doing all of this to look good!” Of course, I don’t.

    My kids do know the truth, though my younger two really don’t seem to get what it means at this point, and my oldest is unhappy about it but putting on a brave face for his dad because he loves him. And I tell the kids that, no matter what Dad did, they still need to be polite and nice when they are over visiting. However, I feel like XWH and his whore are being rewarded– she gets to have the life I wanted to have (though she has him, and I’m grateful to be away from him, so there is that), and the kids are all falling in line and not being difficult, just as they had hoped. It’s all built on a foundation of lies, and while that foundation may crumble over time and bring the house down, it’s infuriating to see that it’s holding steady so far, and the two of them think that they have it made.

    Everyone who learns that XWH got married one month after our divorce was final thinks that he’s totally insane and that his behavior is totally inappropriate, but he seems to just keep going on with his happy life, not caring that what he’s modeled for our children is dysfunctional at best. While some of you are being jerked around about visitation, I wish that mine would cancel so that the kids spent less time with him and his Stepford family! But, he’s so hellbent on keeping his “Dad of the Year” image nice and shiny that he does everything by the book so that he can pat himself on the back at the end of the day. I guess that it does benefit the kids for the present moment, but he strikes me as being completely disingenuous and hypocritical, and he makes me wonder how long he can keep this up before his true self breaks through to the surface.

    • Mine is involved and I too sometimes wish he weren’t. Or just that he had a completely different personality and was involved. ha! 🙂 On the surface, my ex is a really great dad. I also think he loves the show of being a great dad and having everyone think “awww, what a great dad! it’s so sweet!” I do have to admit he is pretty good so far – better than he would be if he had them full time, I’m sure. It’s just the little things, where the kids repeat something he’s said and I can see his warped values leaving teeny tiny prints on them. Or when he repeatedly refers to how “perfect” they are. I might be the only mom in the world that is bothered by someone calling her kid perfect, but seriously, my ex’s obsession with this appearing perfect, or having a perfect image I guess make me touchy about it. And don’t get me started on his remarks about how handsome our youngest is and how he looks just like him. I don’t know how he can say those two sentences together without noticing how conceited it is! Yeah, yeah, I know. He’s a narcissist. But it is almost too much!

      I hope he just sticks to helping them with their soccer and leaves the teaching about morals, responsibility, and empathy to me.

        • Lingrun – yep, mine are now 4 and 2. I assume that’s why he is as good as he is with them. They love him unconditionally right now. Things I’ve read say these types are good with kids while the kids love them so openly and want to be like them, etc. and not so great when the kids get more “independent”. We’ll have to see how it shakes out.

          • Same here– my oldest is 9. My kids are still easily swayed by trips to the zoo and candy; they see that as positive time spent with their dad. He’s either going to have to genuinely start enjoying being a parent, or he’s going to have to up the ante as they get older so he can continue buying their love once they stop being cute, naive little guys and start becoming independent teenagers.

          • That is so true. My daughter adores him and, to be fair, I think he adores her. He is pretty good with her at this stage but he cops out pretty quickly when things don’t go smoothly (poor sleeping, tantrums etc). He also doesn’t think about the implications of the things he says or does. He used to say all the time “tell Daddy that you love him” until I told him that was manipulative – it;s his job to tell her he loves her and she will respond in kind if she wants to. He is also passing on his lack of accountability to her – our daugher told us she had pushed another child off a see-saw and his two questions to her were – did she get hurt and what did she do to you?! To other people they probably sound like small things but to me they are massive red flags.

  • This is the part that is the worst. I can handle anything my ex dishes out to me – I’ve already survived the worst he could ever do to me and he has no power over me now. But my kids still love him and want (need?) to have a father. And knowing that my children are vulnerable to this FUCKTARD definitely pisses me off and worries me at the same time. And I worry he could try to undermine my relationship with them as well. Subtly undermining me is my ex’s specialty.

    I will just hope he manages to be a decent father (it’s early days) and I’ll do the very best I can on my end. I know no child has a perfect childhood, perfect parents, etc. so this will just be the way it is. But this is not how I wanted them to grow up. It never entered my mind that they would have anything other than the storybook, nuclear family existence. But nuclear families are screwed up too. I know if I’d stayed with my narcissistic ex ours would definitely have been. Even if there hadn’t been cheating, my ex would just be pulling the same shit from within the same house instead of from his own. But yeah, I think it’s easier to cover this stuff up for the kids when you’re still a “couple”. But I would have been miserable and feeling shitty because that is how my ex made me feel. I probably wouldn’t have even really noticed all the shit he was pulling if my eyes hadn’t been opened through the cheating… I would have just enabled him and not set a good example for my kids.

    I will never regret having kids with this fucktard. Somehow something awesome was able to come out of my relationship with him. If I hadn’t been with him then my exact two little boys would not be walking the earth right now. And even though my ex is pretty much a pile of crap, somehow my two boys, who technically have half of his DNA, are still wonderful. And hopefully my own personal growth from this “life experience” has also made me a better parent. And if I learned from this stuff, hopefully my kids will too. I wish they didn’t have to, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. Just gotta make the best of it. It’s what we chumps do! But it does feel exhausting at times…

    • Both of you — Moving On and Another Erica — are giving your kids a sane alternate reality. That is incredibly important. Thanks to that, the kids will do just fine. And so will you. I’m proud of both of you. It takes gut to have self-control (more than the exes ever had!) and make the best of a tough situation.

      The kids have a sane house for comparison, and while that’s not perfect, it’s very good, very important.

  • It’s tough with kids. I feel for you and your son, CL. Time will tell if my ex ends up like yours (exH moves overseas with the new family at the end of the year).
    For me it’s tough as the kids are pulled between their love and their father’s actions.

    i dislike hearing things such as what my exMIL said–, “at least he is a good father.” Um, no. Good fathers do not do what he did (lied and cheated, did not try to work on the marriage) or do what he is doing now (getting married in 2 weeks, kids not participating/invited), moving away with a new family).

    Daughter is torn. She knows the outline of the story/activities. She loves him, but hates what he has done/is doing. She does not want him at her upcoming birthday dinner. Not sure what I should do. She is turning 13, old enough to make her own decisions.

    The kids therapist told me I need to stop protecting the kids from his actions… The sooner they see what he is truly like, the better for them in the long run. That makes me sad.

    According to daughter, they are “literally left to their own devices” at his place. He is always on the computer/texting/on the phone (OW/fiancé lives out of state), and does not really interact/talk to them. Son was crying last week, as he had no idea when he would see exH/father after the move overseas… Son’s father has done nothing to reassure them, explain how things will work, etc.
    This also makes me sad.

    Like others here, I have no regrets marrying him or having kids with him. I pity him, for what he has become, and for what he has lost.

  • totally relate to CL’s post. My XH hadn’t seen his son more than a few days in a couple years. EH drove 600 miles to attend son’s graduation in June – then didn’t show up at his commencement. Texted him a few minutes before to tell him he wasn’t going to make it. Had a headache..My kid had tears rolling down his cheeks as I dropped him at the curb. It was great. Just great.

    The pain of the kids dealing with this type of shit is really tough.

    • The cruelty of these cell masses (I can’t bring myself to call them people) is beyond words. I will never understand where the pleasure comes from for them to do this to their own flesh and blood. I think you Mom’s and Dad’s who not only survive this hell but then nurture and care for your children are incredible.

      I am having a hard enough time just taking care of myself and am in awe of all of you for making sure your children are loved and getting what they need and more, at least from one parent!

      • I think we chumps go the extra mile for our kids but we’re not saints. I screw up here and there and I know it’s not great for the kdis when I have a meltdown but then again, I’m human and fucking up is part of the process. All I can to is try to be consistent overall in my parenting and minimise the times when I lose it. I had a meltdown recently and it was a doozy. My poor kid was in tears and I felt like complete shit. The difference between me and ex is that I talked to my kid about what had happened, took responsibility for losing it, did not blame him in any way for my failings and also explained to the kid that sometimes even grownups fuck up and the only thing we can do is get up the next day, be stronger, work harder at being good people and take responsibility for our own shit. Ex, during his many fuck ups, always finds someone else to blame, primarily me.

        • Me to Nord.
          We are not perfect. There is no guide to follow this total upheaval.
          It’s so hard to hold it together without wobbles.
          I’ve been where you have been and its just crap. However the kids see us as human. We are responding to the total upheaval of our family. They own part of that so they care.
          Like grieving for a lost parent well get through this but sometimes it just gives you the shitest feeling.
          They always want o blame someone else apart from taking responsibility for their own shit

        • For what its worth, I think the kids seeing first-hand that its okay to not be perfect, *and to see a parent apologize for their actions, pick up the pieces, and model that imperfect is not the end of the world* is actually good for the kids.

          Not, you know, getting soused on the couch, but –the whole not pretending like everything’s fine when something is obviously wrong.

          I’m sure a fair number of cheaters are obsessed with perfection, all or nothing thinking, so the kids seeing someone model a healthier attitude has to be a good thing.

  • CL – sorry to hear about your son and the flaky ex. “As jaded as a grizzly war veteran by 6th grade” indeed!

    It describes my daughters exactly. They used to be so close to XH, but now they avoid him like the plague. It’s been 3 years since XH walked out, and the girls (13 & 15) have adjusted well to life without him. When he filed for joint custody two years ago, they REFUSED to participate. They told him flat out they weren’t going to abide by the order, and if he pushed it, they’d be happy to tell the judge the same thing. XH didn’t push it.

    My challenge is S 10. We share 50/50 custody of him, and I’m devastated to see that the happy, confident little boy I’d raised (largely by myself) for eight years has now turned into a scared, nervous, cry baby. EVERYTHING sets him on edge, from the rain to the house creaking to the cats brushing up against him. He’s very clingy, throws in the towel on any challenge, and calls himself a “loser.” I can hardly believe he’s my child.

    I suspect my ex. Getting out from under his thumb has allowed me to get strong and regain my confidence. The desperate doormat he stepped over on his way out the door is long gone. But I think all the put downs he used to direct at me are now given liberally to S 10. It’s the only explanation I can think of.

    Any suggestions on how to counteract this? I would LOVE to have full custody of all three kids, but know XH would fight me because he doesn’t want to have to pay any more child support. Still, I don’t like S 10 having to bear the brunt of all of this. He’s the only one shuffling between two houses, the only one who doesn’t really have a place to call “home.”

    “It takes a man to raise a man.” All XFIL apparently taught XH before he left was how to be a lousy father and cheat on his wife. I want better than that for S 10. Any suggestions?

    • Oh Red, so sad. I agree with the other comments, get counseling. It breaks my heart to think of your son like that, and worry what his father may be doing to him. All 3 of my children, ages 24, 20, and 13, have refused to see their father since D-Day 16 months ago (and ex has not tried very hard to see them either). They all said they are “just fine” and seemed to be too. But recently, our only daughter, the 20 year old, has been feeling incredible anxiety in general, and that she is “not good enough” in any situation. This from the sweetest, brightest and most confident young lady I knew up until last year. I have gotten her to agree to go to counseling starting this week before she returns to college. I worry over the profound betrayal my children have suffered by one of the two people they thought they could trust and who loved them the most. These fucktard fathers (and mothers) are the gifts that keep on giving.

    • My sister went through something like this. Her girls were miserable visiting their dad who never did know how to parent in the first place. Her solution was to have her lawyer write a letter offering a 1/3 reduction in child support in exchange for full custody and autonomy for the girls in deciding when and IF to visit. “He’ll never go for that”, said the lawyer. “Oh yes he will”, said my sister. And he did. I was hard for her to do without the money, but the payoff mentally for her girls was great.

      Narcs think that because they are paying money, they are entitled to get something in return, and by God, they will, even if they don’t like it, because the other way means they’re being taken advantage of.

      About S10, he is not experiencing the females in his life (sisters!) as being very nurturing and is having anxiety over what will happen to him if you up and bail too. I watched a good friend deal with this with two sons. They became super clingy and whiny. Her solution was to just let them cling. The spent hours just sitting together on the sofa reading books. That worked to reassure them and they eventually came out of it. I’m not saying that counseling wouldn’t help, but expecting a 10 year old to get reassurance out of essentially an intellectual exchange doesn’t seem realistic to me. Hugs. Give lots of hugs.

      Not much changed in my kids lives when the ex moved out but nonetheless, my son, age 13 did go through about 9 months of abandonment fears. I had to always be where he expected me to be and if I wasn’t he would text me or call me. The counselors we talked with totally got this, while the ex thought he was just being a big baby and should just “move on” and couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t.

      • I was just mentioning to my mother this morning how much I’d love to jack my ex up by the throat. He is a foot taller than me but I swear if I ran into him right now I’d be tempted. These guys are disgusting P’sOS.

    • I feel for you and your son, Red. My son turned 10 a few weeks ago, and I have also seen him become more needy and emotional the last few months. I agree, lots of hugs and reading. That is what we do.
      Maybe also have a chat with your daughters. I had one with my daughter. She does not understand why brother is not upset about the OW, etc. He is too young at this point, but as he gets older and his father continues to ignore him, etc., he will get it with time.

    • Thanks, all! I will look into getting S10 in therapy and into modifying custody and child support.

      I don’t think XH physically abuses him, but I’m pretty sure there’s verbal and emotional abuse involved. XH used to direct all that at me – snide remarks, put downs, nothing ever satisfactory – but it didn’t occur to me that he’d seek out a new target once I was gone. Now I know better.

      My poor baby! 🙁

    • Red, ill give my take on it along the lines that you are looking at.

      Your son has a huge responsibility. It’s my guess he feels somewhat isolated from his sisters when he visits father. He’s there on his own without his older sisters. Therefore it’s like he represents them. I bet ( and I may be wrong) but your son will be the conduit of information regarding you and your daughters. That’s a huge responsibility for a ten year old if that is happening.
      If he’s been left alone then he will be questioning why the ell do I visit dad anyway.
      I have found to connect to my sons they need to have a footy ball in hand and they volunteer the info or just just start talking about what’s on their mind.
      I cannot for all trying get them to talk with councillors.
      My youngest is now 13 but 18 months ago he would ask me questions if say we were preparing a meal together or throwing a ball around. He used to and still does the most profound observations of his mothers, mine and chains mans behaviour.
      To give you some idea of what I have experienced with my oldest son who is now 17. He read text messages and email from chainsaw man and his mother but held it all in. He used to have a really quick bad temper. His attitude sometimes just simply sucked. Lack of confidence etc.
      when I discovered the affair and subsequently discovered that he knew of the affair he became calm confident etc. he had held all this bad news and didn’t want to be responsible to break up the family. He probably saw stuff that I couldn’t handke let a alone a 14 year old.
      If your son is withdrawn try and play with him. Whatever is his passion. He may talk when he’s relaxed and he has to trust the person he’s with.
      If he goes to a good councillor and you dis cover what’s really going on hopefully he can get support instead of carrying the huge burden and responsibility.
      My ex said a few months she is so proud that she hasn’t split up the family. What she meant is one son doesn’t live full time away from the other. Whatvhappensin our case is one son stays Monday and Thursday night from about 7.30pm due to sport and music etc and the other Tuesday and Wednesday. She has the bos together maybe 6 nights a year. She s truly fucked up and a narc.
      Your daughters are amazing to have the strength and moral compass to live how they are. You must be a super mum.

  • Red, my heart goes out to S 10. Can you get him into kid therapy? It will help him survive the next two years and may give you documentation to change his situation sooner. This is really horrible. Good luck!

    • Jamberry – I would love to get him into therapy, but he’s resistant. I honestly think the best thing for him is to have him in one place with his sisters. They were all very close once; now, the girls sometimes call him “traitor” for going over to their dad’s, like he has a choice. It kills me. I didn’t have 3 kids to have them raised in separate homes.

      XH leaves S 10 home by himself a lot. Very little interaction, nothing intellectually stimulating. It’s ridiculous. Moreover, XH’s friends and family contact ME with updates on the kids, because whenever they talk to XH, “All he talks about is himself,” is the common complaint. In truth, that’s all he ever talked about; it’s just become more obvious these days.

      I hate that my youngest is carrying the load here…

      • Red, be the in charge mom here — drag that kid to therapy (and make him eat his vegetables). Don’t give him the choice of “resistance.” That is some SERIOUS change you’ve observed and frankly, it makes me wonder if he was abused in some way.

        You need to get to the bottom of this — and therapy is the place for that. Really, the kid needs professional support! Don’t hesitate! Do document everything, the changes, the being left alone, and talk to your lawyer about a custody modification. A therapist can also help you with that, if they suspect abuse. What you’re describing — that level of fear and anxiety is NOT normal.

        • Thanks, CL! Yes, I have been concerned, and prying S10 for info, but he doesn’t say much. He just clings and whines, which is VERY unlike him. It’s time to get to the bottom of it…

        • CL I disagree dragging him to therapy.
          He needs to be sold it. Therapy has got to equal fun or release from the responsibilities and shit sandwich he’s eating. He wants a vegemite sandwich! ( just an Aussie joke)
          I bet in his eyes he doesn’t want to talk to any adult because he keeps getting asked whats going on with mum and the sisters. If his father doesn’t in engage him when he visits then he’ll be really confused.
          Is there a mentor in the family, an uncle or aunt that maybe able to connect.
          I can’t get the boys to therapy but they get it from their friends and friends parents.
          I’m betting the poor kid is over all this adult shit and just wants to do stuff with his family but his mum and sisters are the only real support he has.
          One thing the sisters have to cut out the traitor talk and really support him. By the time he’s 13 he will be making some decisions himself and if dad isn’t there for him he’ll deal with that.

          • Red, I am so sorry that your formerly confident S 10 is so anxiety ridden, nervous and upset. 50/50 custody is not working because your Ex husband isn’t there for your son at all. He probably feels like he is being abandoned and now his confidence, self-esteem has plummeted. He likely feels that he has been abandoned 2 times by his father and now the sisters don’t live with him so this is like being abandoned 3 times. UGH!!

            I absolutely agree with Baci here on a potential BIG solution. Is there somebody in your immediate family like an uncle or grandfather who your son admires and could get some time with? If they could help by being a steady influence and spend time with your son each week this could be a BIG help in boosting S 10’s confidence. If not possible, look into Big Brothers for assistance. It is a great organization and it could be great for your son.

            I would seriously document these problems to your lawyer as to what is going on and see if the parenting arrangement could be changed- even if it means a little less child support being paid to you by him quickly striking an agreement in lieu of a motion to revise the parenting plan/custody arrangement.

            Your EX is despicable. One should NEVER fight for custody when he is not around to parent- what a nightmare! Good Luck to you, (((HUGS))) to you and your son.

  • CL, That really sucks that your ex bailed at the last minute. Not fair to your son. (Or to you, either, messing with your schedule/life.) On a positive note, I have met several people with crappy dads who have turned out well-adjusted in spite of it. They all had caring, loving moms.

    Reminds me what I have to look forward to. My kids are young now (toddlers, plus one on the way) so I have their entire childhood to deal with the consequences of breeding with my own fucktard. Ugh. I’m trying to make a custody/visitation schedule right now and every time I even write down a day/time for him to see the kids, all I can think of in my head is how he flaked on watching the kids when we were married. He would have to “work late” or was just “too tired” or he had a friend in from out of town who he *had* to meet for drinks. I’d say he flaked 80% of the time. If he did this during the marriage, how is he going to act after the divorce? Survey says: probably the same way. So I have a full 18 years of flaking ahead of me. Yay. Fun times.

  • It’s so sad that the shitbag husbands also turn out to be shitbag fathers. I’m sorry for your son. My kids are 6 and 9. My dirtbag has been out of town for 2 and a half weeks and he hasn’t called the kids at all. I’ll be curious to see if he calls them at all during the entire month he’s gone. I guess he’s training them early to have the lowest of low expectations of him.

    Hugs to your son. At least he’s got a rocking Mom who will always put him first.

  • CL,

    I am so sorry that this happened to your son (and by proxy to you). You sound like a great Mom and your husband sounds like a good and caring (step)Dad. The advantage in all of this will be that your son will grow up knowing how to recognize an asshat when he sees one and he will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. It bothers us as parents because we never want our children to be hurt; most particularly by one of the people whose charge it is to love and cherish them unconditionally. I am sending your ex a virtual kick in the ass – hopefully he feels it.

    My eldest child’s sperm donor was an obvious poor excuse for a father and no one has ever tried to pretend otherwise – to the point that no one acknowledges his existence. My STBX, Mr. Top 1% In His NPD Class, however, appears to the all the world like the greatest and most wonderful father. Only those who have lived with him know the truth, and it times it is galling – especially when people tell US how great he is. Pass the vomit bag, please. My children are now adults, but they still contend with the arbitrary nature of his kind regard. However, they recognized who and what he was long before I became aware. The phrase I hear the most lately is, “Mom, we tried to tell you that Dad is crazy.” I have told them all separately that they should get counseling because no matter how wonderful they are (and I believe them to be totally fabulous), they will have issues relating to their father, and the part I played in the f*cked up from the floor up coupling we called a relationship, that will need to be addressed. I used to wonder why I reached a point where I couldn’t really watch horror movies any longer – it was because I was living one.

    Just keep doing what you do CL and your great and wonderful son will continue to be great and wonderful, and more importantly, resilient.

  • It breaks my heart to see the shit sandwich my children have been dealt at the hands of the fucktard. Right now the girls are doing the “pick me dance” and it makes me sick to see that he will even accept the ego boost from his children. My son just seems disgusted with the whole thing. They are all afraid to say what they really think for fear of losing their father and he cries to them about how sad he is without them. I am very close to all three of my children but some days the unfairness of this really hits me hard. You see, naturally they are all experiencing anger as a result of this and, for now, it all seems directed at me.

    • Its normal.

      Its big time suck factor, but being angry at the “safe” parent is normal.

      For what its worth, take the backward compliment that they know you won’t walk out on them at face value, and try to ignore any angry emotions they throw at you personally.

      And yes, I know first hand how hard that is to do.

      I wish there was a magic potion, or a formula, or a solution for all of our kids. But whether the fucktard is active in the kids’ lives or not, either way the kids get hurt by them. Even if we can protect them from the fucktard’s presence, the kids get hurt by their absence.

      Keep lovin’ on the kids like crazy, and lean like hell on your friends and support network as needed.

      • Yes, my ex-fucktard walked out and never looked back, and has not seen the kids in the 16 months since D-day. At first. The kids were angry and glad he was gone. But now as reality hits them that their father was a cheating fraud who abandoned them, the hurt is beginning to show. I have finally convinced them to go to counseling but I’ll never understand how my ex could do that to his own children. One of the commenters here suggested that her ex go die in a fire, I feel about the same right now.

  • Thank you so much for the response. Both so right. I really value the comments here since I know when you speak you really know what you are talking about. I don’t believe in magic any more but some mornings, I wish I did. 🙂

  • CL

    I have tears in my eyes for your son. His dad should give a fuck. There should NEVER be a “it’s not a good time right now” when it comes to his boy. Breaks my heart.

    Perhaps the asshole can find “Cat’s in the Cradle” on YouTube. My own son and daughter, growing up so fast… what else can be more important? You have only a set amount of time. The clock is running. It never goes backwards.

    Fuck. Tard.

    Throw you arms around you son and even if he tries to wiggle free don’t let him go.

  • Hi Chumps, just posting this here, as not safe for facebook!

    Mehphista generally tries to be circumspect on FB, sweet, easygoing, understanding, compassionate, the whole liberal arts package, y’know? But without naming names……

    Jesus tapdancing Christ on a pogo stick with Shiva on Drums, ‘you’ are the most blinkered, blaming, stupid, greedy, selfish, vain, abusive, exploitative and just plain obnoxious ‘man’ I know. You pay for your pleasures in the pain of others, your misogyny and mendacity know no bounds, and you seem to think your shit does not stink. Your paunch will grow, your locks recede and one of your mistresses shall no doubt give you syphilis. You are a jumped-up sperm donor with a Napoleon complex, a nestshitting coward and a social travesty with an emotional age of five and an intellectual one of three, to match your penis. You are no monster, you are worse; a joke.

    I pity you, for never knowing genuine love, for having to perform your life constantly, and for not knowing what you really had, and what you have now lost forever.

    Demanding respect, while being unrespectable. Demanding loyalty while being unfaithful. Pretending to be good, when knowingly doing bad. Then making your ‘loved’ ones pay the price for your continued convenience.

    One month to go, then Sayonara, asshole..

    Phew! That’s better!
    M

    • Mephista,

      I do love your ability to give free range to your emotions.

      I know all of us with kids have had those moments.

      Next time I need a venting rant, can I get you to script it?

      ^_^

      • Sure, Blue!

        We are far far away from Mr Fab and the Downgrade, but as I am finding out, CLs point about distance is true….a fucktard, can, unfortunately still be a dad.

        hugs,
        Meh.

  • And guess what? These toddlers and teenagers we are SO worried about right now? They will so move on without you so get a new life. Right Now.
    Absolutely take care of them but on the side cultivate your own thing,
    Everyone thinks it ‘will never happen to them.’ Their children will never grow up and forget them.
    Think again.
    The second your kids marry and move away, you will be ‘Datdamwolf who??’

  • Lyn. Your not alone. I’m sure you know that. He beauty is you don’t have to put up with that fucktard anymore. Say what? He owes you money. Namely childsupport. So. He doesn’t have to see you 16 yr old. Yep I said it. It’s true. Would it help if I said I’m a paralegal student in a situation just like yours? ….. check it out and save your sanity. .

    • Omg is that my monster? With by wings haha. But seriously. I’m a paralegal student. He didn’t pay you for YEARS. owes you and you Don’t have to send your child to that fucktard because of that very FACT. omg… I see light at the end of the tunnel! !
      😉 it’s your time to shine sister! Next time just make other plans and don’t let him your X say you didn’t show up. What’s he going to do? Nothing!

  • Rereading this article for inspiration and with a plea for Chump Nation help – my exH, after 8 years of no contact (partly due to leaving the continent for 5 years to be with the OW who he had been “dating” our whole marraige, and partly due to a protective order), is now fighting the renewal of the protective order, based on it “hurting his reputation”. Never mind the money he embezzeled or the married co-workers he f’ed, his temper, his lateness, his cancelling commitments at the last minute…it’s my protective order on the other side of the state that’s “ruining his ability to provide”. Also fiction – he owes 6 figures in child support, and hasn’t paid even 5% of what’s owed, and has asked to be declared indigent despite living in a debt free house twice as big as ours, ..but again, my fault.

    The cold terror though is that I’ve been warned that he may be setting up to pursue contact with the kids. They were 2 and 5 when he left – now 10 and 13. The younger has zero memory of him; the older, only a few memories, many painful. They have not spoken in over 5 years; contact before then was a phone call once or twice a year. We had made serious progress toward “meh” and a new life – and now I feel like we’ve been kicked back into the hell of 8 years ago. The kids have expressed zero interest in seeing him, but he is, like many of our ex’s, very sparkly and a talented con artist. There is also a new, young wife who cussed me out and laughed in my face at the last court date, who doesn’t work (I work 50 hours a week), so I’m scared how courts will view their fancy life as compared to mine. If anyone has any advice or counsel, I could desperately use it. My sweet little ones have been raised kind and safe since he left – they are no match for his evil.

    • Run. Do not walk, do not pass go — run to a blog called One Mom’s Battle. You will find people there who understand and have been through the same nightmare, in graphic, unrelenting detail.

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