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Dear Chump Lady, My ex-husband is on Match.com

Hi Chump Lady,

I bit the bullet and joined Match.com. Guess who is a 95% match with me? The ex…This is the guy who says he’s “the happiest he’s ever been” with his new love. Who constantly rubs my nose in how great things are between them. On Match, he’s presenting himself as a single guy who “is new to online dating and is dipping his toe in the water.” I have Ashley Madison, iFriends, datehookup, CougarLife and mingle.com screen shots that tell a radically different story.

So – the good news for chumps is that they WON’T be better for someone else. But that’s the bad news for the rest of humanity – he’s on the loose and is as sick as ever.

I’m slightly tempted to tell the new chick, but think she’s getting what she deserves by not taking the time to fix her picker before jumping into the next thing. She’s also spending the night at ex’s house while my son is there (despite the fact that she lives two doors down…Yes, the recently divorced neighbor is ripe for the picking by a guy like my ex). My son is conflicted about that, and I’m sure her 4 year-old daughter is confused, too.

What do you think – tell her or don’t?

Movin_on

Dear Movin-on

Only “slightly” tempted? Oh, I would totally tell her. Especially if she’s not an OW. I can’t tell from your letter. If she’s just a sad person who didn’t, as you say, fix her picker before shacking up with her neighbor, she deserves to learn this hard lesson soonest. Give her the screenshots, tell her you divorced him because he’s a cheater, and you’re passing this info along, not because you want to hurt her, but for the Universal Sisterhood.

If she is an OW? Tell her anyway. Okay, it’s not very “meh”, but who could resist such an opportunity? I couldn’t. I didn’t — same exact thing happened to me. And I sent her all the profiles with the email subject header “Your boyfriend is on Match.com.” Apparently it pissed her off hugely… and then… she kept seeing him. I mean, she’d been seeing him for 20 years at that point, through three marriages. She knew he was a cheater — she just didn’t want to be reminded of it. Yeah, it’s a special kind of fucked up.

So, go ahead and tell, but don’t expect that this woman will stop seeing him. She might be more damaged than you know. Hopefully, she’ll dump his ass, but she may not. In either case, your conscience is clear. Tell.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Going through similar…the ex hus started contacting me again out of the blue a couple of months ago, asking to start talking again, then meet up, very suggestive stuff. It got weird fast so I did a little online digging and lo and behold, he’s living with the OW now….but trying to cheat with me. After all these years he still manages to surprise me, not sure why.

    I contemplated getting in touch with her and telling her what he’s doing (and send her the texts, etc.), but have decided not to. She is the OW and we did speak once years ago so she knows what she’s got on her hands. It’s on her if she’s chosen to disregard it.

    • I can’t help but think… it would be far more “delicious” for her to get sideswiped by the realization (as perhaps you did?) than giving her a heads up.

      People who would cheat with someone elses spouse deserve everything they get!

    • My ex has also started sending me “I miss you” & “Good morning, have a great day” texts. Really? He’s got 2 women he’s currently boinking, I have wish to re-join that harem.

      Despite the fact that I NEVER respond to the texts, they just keep on coming.

    • I’d forward the texts to the OW and tell her to keep her boyfriend on a leash. Being the relationship police is HER job now.

      But you’re probably right, it may be better karma to let her be broadsided.

      It’s a tough line to draw. I don’t think innocents should be kept in the dark. I feel bad for this neighbor woman with a four year old, vulnerable from a recent divorce. On the other hand, you can’t save everyone. And it’s not very “meh” to go around warning the world about your ex. Although it’s understandable… I mean we fence off super fund clean up sites, why not serial cheaters?

      • “It’s a tough line to draw. I don’t think innocents should be kept in the dark. ”

        BUt how do you define innocents though?

        For instance, my x’s new baby-momma had him living with her after 2 weeks of knowing him (I get the feeling that she didnt know that we were still talking and trying to work things out). Before she told him she was pregnant, my x told her he was moving out because he wanted to work things out with me. As he was packing his things, she told him she was pregnant and wanted to work on things.

        In the interim, he kept telling me that he wanted to leave her and was going to come back to me and I foolishly accepted. It finally ended about three weeks ago (I know it sounds short but I have NEVER not spoken to him for that long in the past 8 years) so that is a big deal for me.

        My point is, do you really consider her an “innocent” when she told him she speculated that he was still talking to me and she had her own dirty laundry of her own?

        • No, she’s not innocent……and the others that might actually be just because they are not fully informed, aren’t really innocent either — they’re just low hanging fruit that got picked off. I’ve read more posts here about them learning the truth and it not making any difference than the other way around.

          • She seems to be a very “new age” type of woman. She doesnt clean or cook, very into her career and very head strong (not saying anything is wrong with that dont get me wrong, just seems like those types dont take shit. She even broke up her first engagement because he cheated. Plus, if you met my ex he definitely likes the “domestic goddess” type but into a career as well but more into the family).

            Part of me thinks she does know enough to want to leave but perhaps because of the baby is turning a blind eye for now.

            I do get some pleasure knowing he has already tried to come back to me and even called me from her house. I know its not nice but it does feel good to see SOME of the karma (God only knows he deserves SOOO much more of it) 🙂

            • Sounds like the hard-nosed chick was getting anxious for a “family” and jumped right in w your ex. I’m a career- minded/not much if a cook/hire a maid-type gal myself…and I wonder if I wound up with a loser because I wanted the family.

              Anyway, don’t know about her innocence, but perhaps desperate and conniving?

              • Yuck…sounds like I was calling myself desperate and conniving: two things I’m not! 🙂

              • Weird thing is she hates kids she even wanted to get her tubes tied in her twenties. I have no clue what her deal is except she is a therapist. I do know that there was some drama with her ex going on when he first met her and got pregnant.

                Oh get this he even blamed me (or at least insinuated) that he would not have gotten into a fight with her ex if I had just seen him when he asked. I guess the ex came over her house drunk screaming to know who was in the house and he went out there and got into a fight. According to the dr thats probably the week she got pregnant. She claimed her and the ex hadn’t spoken in over a year… Yeah right.

                That’s also why I don’t think she’s exactly innocent!

            • It seems to me that anyone can be a chump in relationships. Whether they work at home or earn six figures doesn’t make a difference.

  • at least you were divorced by then. mine asked for the separation. the next day he was online trolling for women under the single status. what a piece of work.

    • It terrifies me that these are the men I’m seeing online.. and how would I know?

      My ex gave me a sob story about how mean and abusive his ex was… I contacted her after I left him and it was all BS of course. He did the exact same thing to her as he did to me.

      • Witty29, I think that’s the MO. Mine told me his first two wives cheated on him. Very involved, sad stories, about coming home to an empty house and being left for another man. He neglected to mention his serial cheating, and the fact that yes, they did both move out on him on the sly, and did both eventually (happily!) remarry. He saw that as “cheating” on him. Pathological nut case. He was utterly convincing too. How he’d done therapy, owned his issues, etc.

        I think the only way to know is give it time, and observe their character.

        At the time, I hadn’t experienced infidelity. If I had, his story would smell of bullshit. It was all forgiveness, and owning his part of what made them cheat, and no anger. I mean, nothing that relates to the actual experience of being a chump. He also used to tell me (projection) that if I cheated on him, he wouldn’t leave me. Which I saw as pathetic and sad, and some leftover fuckupedness that he was “left.” I said “well, if YOu cheated on me, I’d leave you.” WTF! It’s a deal breaker. But then I’d go into ego kibble reassurance mode, that no, I’d never do anything to hurt him. Poor sausage.

        Some people are master manipulators. Sounds like you were married to one. I was too.

      • CL says to get a better picker. it doesn’t take long to see the patterns on their profiles so it becomes easy to eliminate those people. like the universal cliché crap they shovel your way before, guaranteed they are shoveling unto some poor personthe same lines after. when I showed my sister my profile and the people who were sent my profile she complained that I was being to selective. after 5 mins and around 20 male profiles she had to agree with me. I even started to guess what the next one would say and was always right. that these people are lose in society is a mystery to me but trust me they are just as nasty as when we were married to them.

        • Oh yeah, my ex told me his last relationship went south because the woman “needed to be abused to feel love and he couldn’t do that”. He sure did it to me down the road… during false R he changed that story to tell me she had cheated on him…um no.

          I talked to the woman after he nearly shot me and asked her why they broke up (didn’t tell her any of his stories). She said it was because he lost his job as soon as he moved in and didn’t try to get a new one, he spent all day watching TV, not doing anything around the house for a year so she kicked him out.

          Interesting that 2 weeks after he moved in with me he lost his job, after 3 weeks I told him if he didn’t have a job in a week he had to leave. He got a job and kept one until 17 years later shortly after Dday when his drinking went out of control. I spent years “helping” him keep his drinking under control, I was such an enabler but I had never dealt with an alcoholic before. I can promise you, I never will again…

        • Anna,

          Maybe we should come up with a list of red flags for such profiles? I know that chump-hope can spring eternal, but it would be good to warn people. And these narcissistic folks fall into certain patterns…. Fall into them almost every time.

    • Anna,
      Mine was trolling the entire marriage. None of them wait – that’s why they’re cheaters. Cowards, deceivers and bullies of the highest order. I’m sorry yours didn’t waste a second on calling himself “single.”

      • Trolling the entire time. So true. The first time I saw my husbands dating profile where he claimed he was divorced cut me to the core.

        • Jane,
          You’re right on. “Visceral” best describes how it felt to stumble upon the dating profiles. Even years later, thinking about it cuts me to my very core.

          I would definitely send an anonymous tip to the neighbor lady. Print out the screen shots and drop them in the mail.

          I still have screen shots of my ex’s profiles, including his adult friend finder and ashley madison profile. It’s a reminder of what life was like during the false reconciliation and MC, when all I could taste everyday was the big shit sandwich.

          When being a single mom leaves me feeling overwhelmed, I look at those screen shots and remind myself that, even on my worst days, I never have to tolerate that shit again.

          • I have the screen shots and for the time when I had access to his extra email account I forwarded to my account, all the “Welcome to” confirmation emails I could find.
            One of the problems with showing a new victim the screen shots is that he would have told them all sorts of lies….that we were separated, or that I created those accounts and so on. They are master manipulators.
            I don’t think I could ever engage in online dating. From my “research” into many of the sites I can tell you that many of the profiles are fake and/or that most of them are falsely representing themselves.
            From searching across many different sites, I see the same users over and over. They are on multiple sites and if they are stupid enough to pay the prices they are spending lots of money which is a red flag of some sort of addition or issue at best.
            The other thing I’ve noticed is that you may get a flirt, wink or whatever that particular site calls it from someone and think it’s just for you, but if you can log in as several different ‘people’ you would see that everyone got the same heartfelt message. They fling their nets wide and will take which ever nibble they get, make you feel like you are the one. Meanwhile because this is their M.O. they are still trolling looking for more and/or better cake.

  • Wow, must be an epidemic going on. I recently found out that my ex is already cheating on the OW with his first ex wife. (Im ex wife #2). I also have screen shots of my ex and his ex talking about their last fuckfest and making plans to do it again. Part me thinks that the OW should know what kind of man my ex is, since he was a liar and cheater when she hooked up with him. AND he admitted to her that she wasn’t his first OW. But, since the ex got the snip after our last kid (and hates condoms) Im sure he’s boinking them both unprotected. eewwww. His first ex wife if total trash (I guess beggars cant be choosers) and has bend around the block so many times its not even funny. So I do think the OW, for her health, should know. BUT, she knew what she was getting…….

    If I could figure out a way to get her the info with anyone knowing it was me – I’d prolly do it.

    • I knew that an acquaintance was cheating on his girlfriend.

      I created a fake facebook account in a random name and sent her his screenname on the dating site/s he was registered at, so that she could go look for herself. Or not.

      A few weeks later she updated her relationship status to “single” …..

  • Hi CL and thank you so much for sharing my conundrum here…your wisdom and the wisdom of all of your followers continues to bolster me through the shit sandwich phase as i strive for “meh.” She is not one of the many OWs. I’m concerned I’ll look like the bitter ex who can’t move on. We have several mutual friends. I am so with you, I’m just scared, when it gets right down to it.

    • I hear you there Moving On. At this time, my dealings with my ex are fairly civil and since we have kids together Im going to have to keep dealing with him for awhile. So I do I out him to his ho-worker (partly for me so I can fuck her world like she did to mine) and partly for her health (he’s cheating on her and I doubt very much he’s using condoms) at the risk of having a huge drama / blow up that will make my life more difficult? For now, I wont risk making my life harder for the sake of the OW who knew what she getting when she starting banging a married man.

    • I think you should respond to the ex(!) and let him know it’s YOU that is his perfect 95% match and probably always was! Too bad about that 5% mis-match, you know the restless dick syndrome/cheating part…….. See if that doesn’t freak him out a bit.

      Be sure to tell your mutual friends too — make a big joke out of it and you won’t come across as the bitter ex.

      • Oh, he knows, Chumpalicious. You can see when someone has viewed your profile. I knew that, but I couldn’t resist clicking on his. He had me blocked within the hour (but not before I got the printouts and screen shots),

        He texted me yesterday, asking me to talk to our son about something for him. I said, “are we pretending I didn’t see you on Match last night?” He told me to do what I want, he hasn’t been on there in months (screen shot says “online now” and “active within 3 days”). It continues to amaze me the ease with which he lies and how convinced he is that his bullshit is truth. It’s scary, actually.

        • I didn’t know that’s how it worked — since I’m on extended vacation from relationships, I don’t go near those sites and even had to anonymize (sp?) a facebook account to keep from being pestered by old high school classmates.

          That is kind of creepy that you’re a 95% match for a lying chameleon.

          • Exactly! Totally shot any credibility the system may have had. Although we do have quite a few shared surface interests…just not on the same page when it comes to honesty, fidelity and not manipulating others…

            My online dating days are over.

            • And now so are mine! I know many people have met online and are happy together and even married. My experience was meeting my ex boyfriend who was a serial cheater and recently went on 6 very bad dates with other men and had several contacts with men who clearly have serious issues of their own that I didn’t even get to meet in person as their problems clearly showed in the emails and conversations with these men.

              I want healthy and grown up and I didn’t find it there.

              Time to move on from things that don’t work for me.

              Thanks CL, this past Tues. was finally MEH for me!! 7 months later after a 1 year relationship with a Serial Cheater and tons of reading about how to heal from it and no contact, I am done!!!

            • It’s not like a computer know him. You’re compatible with the person he pretends to be when he controls the narrative. You already knew that. You married him because he could convincingly pretend to be a better man than he is.

        • I swear they think we are all idiots!!! That’s ridiculous MO! Sad part is there is no use trying to prove them wrong because they just won’t budge and it ends up driving us crazy.

        • its such bullshit, anyway. He can block you all he wants. All you have to do is use a different email and open up a new profile. Call yourself Winona-ride-her. He’ll love it. Not that you would or should, but you could. Its a good thing to do in case you do start dating someone. He says that he’s taken his profile down. No. He’s just blocked you.

    • Well, maybe you tell her “At the risk of coming across as the bitter ex, I just thought you should know, I was online dating and came across X’s profile (and others, after I looked). You have a small child, and are making an investment in him. I wanted you to be informed.” And leave it at that. You have to let go of the consequences.

      It’s not like you don’t want your ex to move on. (Please God, make him move very far away from you.) Or date. It’s just that he’s moving on and dating while pledging commitment to another woman. If she’s not an OW, I would tell her as compassionately as you can.

      It’s just the Golden Rule, really. Wouldn’t you want to know?

      • CL,

        I absolutely would want to know. I like the framing you gave. Ironically, several good friends knew about his cheating track record and “thought he would change for me,” “he was young and stupid when he did it,” he wasn’t MARRIED to the others,” etc. I wouldn’t have my precious son had I not married him, but my God, the time wasted, the money wasted in MC and the heartache I could have avoided had I known…

        • But be honest: before you went through this, I bet you had a much more “nuanced view” of the potential for change in people who cheat, and I bet you didn’t frame it in terms of empathy, boundaries and character. Am I right?

          I know I had to learn the hard way. I am a graduate of the “School of Hard Knocks”, and I got left-back a few times before I finally graduated 🙂

  • If you want to increase the odds that innocent partners down the line know the truth, you might post a profile at cheaterville.com. Then when the unknowning potential partner of next year is doing her early-relationship due diligence, she’ll have at least one read flag waving on the screen in front of her.

    • Cheaterville uses bots to make sure it comes up on the first page in google. Do be advised that the site doesn’t verify anything, so if you post there and your ex is vengeful he can fabricate a cheating post about you.

      • Yeah, I think it’s a tar baby for that reason. That said, I did find my ex’s profile on there. Some other poor soul he fucked over posted something, along with his match.com photo from ages ago.

        In the case of Movin_on, I think it’s far more credible to hand over actual evidence, with screenshots, than have an anonymous profile on a cheater site. He could explain that away by saying it was a jilted ex. He’d have a harder time explaining his multiple dating profiles.

      • “if you post there and your ex is vengeful he can fabricate a cheating post about you”

        Point well taken; however, many cheating exes (my own included) are already out there saying false and horrible things about the betrayed spouse (e.g., they were the cheater, or were abusive, or denied me sex, WTF-ever). So that’s not really creating a problem I/we don’t already face. And if they create a false profile on cheaterville, at least I can see it and comment on it myself. If the ex tells crazy stories to family, friends or neighbors, I will likely never know what they are saying.

        • My only discretion in sending her the evidence is her own actions. She is moving quite fast, even having him sleep over with a youg child in the home (I mean, lets be honest, would you let a man you barely know [really] spend the night in the same house as your little girl????)

          She doesnt seem too concerned about details, just what is making her happy now. she is not doing what a logically woman would do when meeting a man, so why do you think she would act logically after finding out?

          IDK i think she might just ignore it and if she is not willing to do the work to make sure she is protecting her own daughter I dont think she will care about this. Sounds like its about what makes her happy for now. Ignorance is bliss to some folks.

            • years ago… this dude on fakebook started flirting with me— like about 5 little messages all in one day! Turns out I had met him and his wife a few years earlier when they were looking for interior design help for their home! (they didn’t hire me, however)

              So, I asked him wtf he was doing and he said he was JUST saying “hi”. right. So, I blocked him and contacted his wife to tell her what hubs was up to. She was very sweet and said, “thanks for letting me know.” yep. still married to the loser. Three cute young kids too.

          • Kristina, you’re so right. She’s totally vulnerable, stupid and completely without boundaries (her poor kid). That’s why it’s such a conundrum…but I like what CL is saying about doing the honorable thing and at least warning her with iron-clad evidence. At least she can’t say – 10 months or years from now – I didn’t try to warn her.

            On a brighter note, son just called Dad a hypocrite because Dad tells son “don’t raise your voice at me” then turns around and yells at son. When son says “don’t raise your voice, Dad, jackass says “I’m not.” Gaslighting my son……asshole.

            • Kristina, let us not forget that we chumps fell for those “sparkles” pretty damn fast. Don’t forget how manipulative and sweet and charming these assholes are before we condemn a lonely woman for moving to fast with her child meeting someone.

              • Oh we definitely fell for those sparkles! They are certainly addicting. I would just assume that after being recently divorced and having a small child she would watch who she brings around her.
                However, I’m not a parent yet so that may not be the case. That’s jusT my assumpTion.

              • Datadamwuf…I’m a recently divorced woman with a young child. I am totally judging her – her choices suck and she’s hurting my son. I don’t have any charitable feelings towards her.

  • yep. they suck.

    I have a little clause on my match.con profile which says that if your marriage broke up because you were cheating on your wife, please, kindly move on to the next bimbo. It *might* keep some of them away, but they also say stupid shit like “getting their toe wet” (what a euphemism!!!) or “not really sure what I want” or “want to take things slowly.” Anything that will sound “safe” to a vulnerable woman. Oh, another good one he’s an entrepreneur with “bi-coastal business” and he lives with a relative (in a swanky area) when in town. But, you might hear shit like that later on, not in the profile. That’s code for he’s currently unemployed and fucking around like a mad dog.

    But yeah, I’d send her the screen shots, but do it anonymously. And don’t follow up even if she engages you. In fact, I’d send her the shit and then delete the address. You did the right thing and your part is done. You’ll have to make a phony yahoo or gmail address to do that. And like CL said, don’t expect any thanks or that she’s going to believe her reality even in the face of clear cut proof. Some people simply DO not want to be saved. And its also possible that she’s just as fucked up as she is, but I think its right to go on the assumption that she’s not and that she was an easy catch for a predatory fuckhead like your wasband. He’ll get his… maybe not today… and maybe not tomorrow… but soon…

    • yes, you can also post and warn the world on

      http://www.dontdatehimgirl.com/home/

      I didn’t read the above comments, but again, I’d do the unsavory (but honorable) deed, anon. There’s no need for you to get caught up in all that drama. And I also think coming from the X sounds like you have a vendetta against him and she will think you are a crazy stalking mess for tracking him down like that on all of those profiles. In fact, maybe only send no more than two or three. Hell, one is bad enough. Revealing your identity, however, may very well back-fire and also create some problems for you. Just my opinion.

  • If you feel you must warn the woman, do it anonymously. Create a new email address under a fake name. But expect that the new woman won’t leave him anyway. I think more often than not, when a new woman is flat-out told the guy is a cheating dick, she blows the info off as a “bitter ex” or “crazy bitch” and thinks he is going to be “different” with her.

    Also, never underestimate how much lying the ex has done about previous relationships. Like CL wrote, he’s probably told the new woman that YOU were the cheater, that YOU are a crazy stalker who won’t let him go and that YOU just can’t get over him.

    When my ex was having his two affairs simultaneously with married women, someone (NOT ME, I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT) sent one of the women an email detailing all of ex’s sex with men. You would think that would be enough to scare her away, but nope, she stuck around for many more months, even though her HUSBAND saw the email and that’s how he found out she was having an affair. I guess ex had convinced her he was only gay because he didn’t feel enough passion for me, but it was so DIFFERENT with her. That poor husband played the pick-me dance so hard, but I think they eventually divorced.

    The other married woman, I happened to be on the checkout line at the supermarket shortly after Dday, and her husband was on line behind me. I knew him (I knew both women and their husbands, they were coworkers of ex) and I told him right then and there his wife was sleeping with my ex. He thanked me and said he’d keep his eyes open. Ex later told me it was very “malicious and vindictive” of me to have told the husband. I guess it was okay to fuck his wife, though. I have no idea what happened with that couple.

    Anyway, my guess is warning the OW/NW rarely makes any difference, because they will either not believe you, or will convince themselves that the cheater is going to be different with them. LOL, because they are so SPECIAL, and now they have found their SOULMATE!

    • blech. you are right Gladitsover. so right. Well, they’ll just have to learn the hard way.

      typical x cheater gross comment. He is the malicious one. A true sadist. Actually, he should be locked up somewhere with his hands tied behind his back.

  • As far as I know, my ex isn’t on any dating sites. But he sure has no problem meeting and dating women, he’s incredibly sparkly, outgoing, witty and Mr. Life of the Party. He has told people that he no longer has sex with men, because that was “just a sordid phase he went through” (yeah, a phase lasting his entire life) and his church “changed him.” So he’s real busy trying to find Ms Right now, his true love, because he is such a family man, so Christian and wants to be married again.

    Except he loaned our son his computer a few months ago, and when I looked in the history, there are plenty of gay hookup sites he’s been visiting. LOL, seems a leopard can’t change his spots so easily!

    My point is, it’s not just on dating sites that predators lie to snare victims. After what I’ve been through, I don’t trust anyone.

    • sex addicts proliferate at church; I hear this ALL THE TIME! Sex addict “found” God… Sex addict is now going to Church and reading the Bible.

      sooooooooooooooooo??? its a sex addict walking into a church and reading the bible.

      he’s pathetic and the fact that he didn’t erase his history before lending his young son the puter is tantamount to child abuse!

      I understand about the trust issues. I’m hoping that Tracy addresses in her book what to look for that gives these losers away. In that way, we can avoid them early on.

      and then… there’s always lunch with the ex.

      I think that would be a great idea! Socios so often project themselves onto their Exes. So, if she’s crazy… guess what?

      • IMO, sex addicts who “haunt” churches are actually hunting for vulnerable women, whether they consciously admit it or not.

        • Yes, there’s kind of a self-selected crowd there of “good” girls, who are usually very interested in “new meat”. It’s also a great place to use the tales of woe to get sympathy.

          Or to hide from the evil ex who totally has your number.

      • STBXH’s fraternal organization uses the Bible in a lot of its rituals (see theater rather than crazy men). The organization sees itself as helping good men become better. If STBX had had a history of affairs, he’d never have been accepted. Of course, this was before Dday.

        Anyway, it’s amazing the cognitive disconnect between the interest in moral lessons read or watched through biblical reinactment and the actual actions. I suppose that entitlement plays a large part in helping these people feel as if their actions are somehow justifiable.

    • yeah… facebook is a great pick up place. anyone even hints at that is BLOCKED.

      My wasband played pixiepit scrabble. lots of ways to pick up willing accomplices and better way to woo a woman than through his brilliant command of the English language. yuck.

  • Ah, the joys of online dating 🙂

    Online dating sites, where miscreants can easily hide behind the camouflage and relative obscurity of a carefully edited profile, where the anti-social and avoidant can sit back in the gloom of their existence without going too far out of their comfort zones hoping somebody comes out and pries them out of the gloom and monotony of their existence, and where the majority of the rest of the participants reduce others to shopping lists of potential mate traits 🙂

    They’re kind of like a singles bar but with more deviants represented and possibly fewer alcoholics (I am only guessing about the representation of alcoholics. As far as I know, nobody has undertaken any controlled experiment or survey that would confirm that, so I could be wrong. There could be just as many as in a singles bar).

    • So true…I am so turned off by it. Every time I read something a guy posts there, I see so much if the same phraseology ex uses. Blech!!

      • Work hard and play hard? Passionate about my career?

        That is code for “I’m gonna be real busy, babe. I might not hang around the house much. I’ll try to make some time for you when I can, but don’t ask for too much.”

        I saw these red flags all over the place when I was online dating!!

          • “work hard, play hard”.barf!…what he really means is he likes to drink beer,WATCH sports, and fall asleep on the couch most nights by 900pm 🙂

        • The profiles that send me running are the ones that have phrases my ex uses, like:

          Following my passions (this means unemployed)

          Zest for life (this means he likes cheating)

          I’m pursuing a career in the entertainment field (no thanks!)

          I also move on if I see obvious narcissistic bragging, an extreme emphasis on material things or negativity towards women. Oh, and if I see a pity play, that’s the mark of a personality disorder. Also, if they include things like “sensual” “love kissing” “good kisser” or “passionate” in their profile. I’m not looking for a guy who is going to pressure me to go to bed on our first date.

          I’m probably extreme in looking for red flags, but after what I’ve been through, I would rather be safe than sorry.

    • Ugh. I’m not bothering with online dating at all. Although I’m sure that some great love matches have been made, I feel like I hear about more awful connections than good ones. A GF of mine did online dating for a while, and although it wasn’t awful, she quit doing it because she felt that the men she dated just wanted her to be the 2.0 version of their first wives. She much preferred being herself by herself! As do I.

      • I met my current boy friend online. In his profile, he talked about music and tv chefs that he likes (uh, and also pots and pans!??). When he contacted me, he sent me a link to a song. It was so dorky and sincere. No sparkles whatsoever. I adore him.

        Just want to put that out there – lots of creeps online, but also some sweet guys.

        • I know quite a few people who have met their serious partner or spouse online. I don’t think it’s really that different from meeting someone any other way. No matter what, there are liars and cheaters out there. What is a problem online is if you don’t meet fairly quickly, but just keep a texting or email relationship. That’s bogus. The whole point is basically an introduction online, then meet IRL.

          Having said that, I do think the majority of single men in my age category (I’m 49) are single for very good reasons. It’s like a needle in a haystack to find the one good guy amidst the disordered out there. I’m sure it’s exactly the same with the single women my age, but I’m not looking to date them!

          • GIO, I wonder if it’s because the men in our age group may be experiencing what we experience. Does it take 20 years of marriage for us chumps to stop spackling enough to realize that the damage is too great?

          • Our priorities change as we go through the various stages in life. What you valued and looked for in a partner in your 20s is somewhat different now in our late 40s. So, I wouldn’t be that discouraged about looking for that special one that we will enjoy spending the rest of our life with. But don’t dare to adjust your picker 🙂

  • Oh boy this one hits close to home. My husband and his online profiles, mostly fiction. But once I found the recent ones and started digging I found old ones…from before he and I met.
    The funny thing is just last night we were watching a court case program and the man was cheating on his girlfriend when he traveled to Billings, MT. My husband said he was a scumbag and when he used to travel all he did was work and sleep. And though he worked 7 days a week I know for a fact he had dating profiles because those were the old ones I found and coincidentally one was from when he was working in Helena, MT. I bit a hole through my tongue trying not to quote to him the site American Singles, the screen name Carlos92 and what he said about himself, but it wouldn’t accomplish anything.
    Today we were on the local college campus. He starts classes Monday and I was watching the young girls and I had a realization. He won’t go for the little bimbos like I would think, no he will go after the sweet shy young woman, because she will be easy to impress and when he tells his “story” she will be so dazzled that someone like him will be talking to her. Because that’s how I was.
    So if I find proof he’s ‘talking’ to someone, I will definitely show her the profiles from before he and I met and the ones now. Because to someone who doesn’t know the reality of him or cheaters like him I think it’s only fair to give them a heads up. Or at least try.

  • Great discussion.

    The only two cents I can throw in is that most cheat partners are more often than not just as fucked up (sometimes more) than our cheating ex’s.

    Remember cheaters like CAKE, first and foremost. And cheat partners are usually cut from a very codependent cloth. Love-bombers. Obsessive. With our ex’s on a pedestal. As such, it’s safe to assume that most cheat partners live in LaLa Land and believe whatever they’re told.

    Honestly, I can totally picture any one of you grabbing your ex’s screenshots from Match.com and e-mailing them to the OWs,….only for the e-mail to be promptly ignored. Swept under the carpet as the cheat partner plants her head either firmly beneath the sand or up your ex’s ass.

    Hell, last year my own ex cheated on his cheat partner with me and to this day the OM doesn’t believe it. Even though my ex originally cheated on me with him.

    It’s all fuckupedness inside of fuckupedness no matter how you slice it. My advice is to give a one-finger wave/salute to the laptop screen and laugh it off.

    SIDE NOTE: If somehow your cheating ex, post-divorce, breaks it off with the OW and manages to snag himself a good-hearted, Charlotte From Sex and The City-type girl and you come across his dating profile….I’d say leave that alone too.

    I don’t know. Maybe we can talk more about this. I don’t like the idea of playing posthumous marriage police. Even though I’d NEVER wish the hell I went through on ANY man or woman, I just think contacting a new girlfriend (read: Non-OW) sends the wrong message and it very un-“meh.”

    Whether he’s staying true to his OW, actually giving the “real relationship” thing another go with a Charlotte-type, or banging hookers while paying child support for the illegitimate kids you didn’t know about while living with some other woman…that’s not your cross to bear anymore.

    I’d rather my ex think I was dead than cyber-stalking him.

    • I agree with Chris. When the inevitable day comes I hear my ex has “settled down” with some new woman (read, a front for his hidden homosexuality) I’m certainly not going to contact her, warn her, send her the list I still have that ex wrote out on our wedding notepaper outlining all of his gay activities (This was an activity for sexual addicts anonymous, which he briefly attended. Why he wrote it on our wedding paper, then showed it to me, I don’t know) or do anything else that would allow ex to portray me as a crazy, bitter freak who can’t get over him.

      I did my time. I’m done policing him or worrying about who he’s screwing both literally and figuratively. Heck, if any woman goes out with him and doesn’t see that he is FLAMINGLY gay, I figure she’s in lala land anyway. His flames are burning a lot brighter since we divorced, for all of his claims that he’s no longer interested in men.

      But who knows? Maybe he really WILL go straight and be honest and true with the right woman. And maybe hell will freeze over and rainbows will shoot right out of my butt.

    • Chris, great points, and I always want to err on the side of ‘meh’ — but I gotta say, when there is a small child involved and the person is an innocent, they don’t know about this serial cheater… my chumpy, save everyone, codependent self says TELL.

      As I wrote, I sent the OW the dating profiles to no avail (it was spiteful and un-meh, I admit it). That I can say, don’t do.

      But later, when we were divorced, I drove by my old house (rather unavoidable, it was on a main road), and I saw a young woman out tending the garden, pulling weeds at the neglected wreck. He was nowhere around. And I thought, OMG, he’s got a new chump doing his yard work. I knew exactly what it was to be her, all full of promise, attacking this Project… optimistic and… alone.

      I nearly pulled the car over to warn her. My ex was abusive. I knew I would seem like the crazy ex, and I didn’t want to give him any reason to contact me or hassle me, so I drove past.

      But my conscience bugged me about it. I don’t really have a hard and fast answer on this.

      • CL, I totally get you on this. We were brought up to take care of people, to help where we can, to be honest and ethical and when doing that conflicts with our own safety, with taking care of ourselves we feel bad for picking ourselves. We should not, we have to overcome that indoctrination.

        I’m so much like that, I even wanted to warn the OW for a while but I couldn’t without bringing the ex’ attention back toward me and I was afraid to put myself in that kind of danger. As it turns out he did attack her and she put a protective order on him but then rescinded it after several months and moved him back in. So, actually she has all the information she needs but she still stays with him.

      • Great points, CL, and as a childless bachelor I’ve never factored children into this. It definitely adds introspection to the discussion because as a mother and a chump you absolutely do NOT want any innocent child being put through the misery of an NPD cheater—be it your own children with the creep or some good-hearted girl’s kid(s) from a prior marriage.

        And it sounds like you drove right past a Charlotte-type and saw yourself in her, busting her ass, sleeves rolled up and working hard on her domestic Project. If you had pulled the car to a screeching halt and went on a Chump tangent with her, I would totally understand. That makes more sense now that you saw the girl and immediately got ChumpFlashbacks.

        You’re right. Definitely not a hard and fast answer to this one.

        SIDE NOTE: In a comment above, CL, you referenced speaking at length with an ex of your ex post-D-Day. For some reason I’m fascinated by the idea of two ex’s of an ex, otherwise strangers, lifting up their shirts and showing off their battle scars. It’s not something I’ve ever done but for some reason I’m intrigued by it.

        Any chance you could do a separate post about this since you said you spoke at length with her? I’m curious as to what you learned from the discussion, any teachable Chump moments you might have gleaned, and if it brought you any closer to “meh” than you otherwise would have been if the two of you never made contact.

        • Chris, I too contacted an ex-girlfriend of my STBXH. I contacted her the day I filed for divorce, and I actually had wanted to contact her many times before. I knew this was a woman that my husband loved before me, and although he hated her b/c she had one discretion, to his ten; I knew she was a good person and I also knew he cheated on her all the time. I actually had looked her up (stalked) her on face book many times, just trying to figure out how the hell she got out. She looked so happy in her new life and I wanted to know HOW she did it.

          When I first emailed her, I just put it all out there, I said he had cheated on me at least 4 times and I was desperate for help. I explained the whole predicament and then I said I didn’t really know what I wanted from her, and if she chose not to email me back I would totally understand.

          She did email me back and I found out a lot of very sad things about my husband. He had cheated on her TEN times!!! Just like me she kept taking him back. She finally had enough after number ten, and sent him packing. She is now married with a baby on the way. We email each other probably once a week; she has been one of my biggest supporters throughout this journey and has truly helped me stay in the right direction. I think we may be friends for a very long time.

          One of the weird things I learned, we are basically the same person. Our names are very similar, are birthdays are one day apart, we both are the third child, and believe it or not, her name for her new baby girl is a name I had picked out if I ever had another one. AND we both are very strong, women. My fuckface was both of our only weaknesses in life.

          I benefited greatly in contacting her; I’m sure some people wouldn’t. I was looking for common ground and I needed someone who KNEW what I was going through.

      • I can understand that if I was where you are now. I don’t think it’s “in-meh” of you to want to save someone else, you would do the same if you found out it was anyone else cheating on someone. It wouldn’t matter who it was.

        It is “in-meh” to do it if you are doing it in spite of your cheating ex. So I guess the real question is what side of the line are you on?

        I personally am still on the side of gloating in his suffering so I don’t think it would be good for someone in my state to do it.

    • “Hell, last year my own ex cheated on his cheat partner with me and to this day the OM doesn’t believe it. Even though my ex originally cheated on me with him.”

      haha. I cannot even begin to try and comprehend this.

    • Hey Chris – I’d still rather know than not know. I’ve actually been is this situation a few times – & each time I told the wife or girlfriend, that they had cheated, etc. I’ve never had a bad response. Firstly, I don’t CARE if my ex thought I was cyber stalking him – as I don’t care what he thinks of me. That’s true “meh”. Secondly, I don’t care if I looked like a crazy or jealous ex – I have job to to do and it involves the truth. Get in, get out. I ONLY wish someone had told me about my ex!

      Lastly, it’s a bit of an assumption that we think the chump is just as fucked up as the cheater. Eg. When I found out about my ex’s cheating & lies – I asked him to move out that very day. One month later he was gone for good. No looking back.

  • I’ve gone back and forth on this topic. To tell or not to tell. My X made a serous push for us to get back together just before the finalization of our divorce this summer, but also hinted at “new friends, and a lot to be thankful for” in his life. I thought about doing some stalking and finding out who the new woman is (I am certain that Mr. Sensitive Beautiful Sparkles has someone new; I don’t think it is the original OW). Thought about maybe warning her. After reading Chris’s points, I think I finally fall into the no tell/meh camp. As he said, it is very “un-meh” to have anything to do with X’s relationships. And, better to be thought dead than cyber stalking!

    My policy on this, which I just now formulated, is to be the cheater police for all friends and acquaintances, but never when it involves X’s relationships (unless in the unlikely circumstance of being directly asked – I’ll never lie about it). To be truly separate from him and all of his crap, I must let all of this go.

    • River, your policy seems a good one. I will always regret not telling my friend’s wife he was cheating (with a woman who was my wife’s only bridesmaid and is still a good friend of hers).I think, though, that I’d forget meh if children were involved. But hell, I’m not near meh yet — still in limbo.

      • I agree with you, river. Although sometimes it is hard to imagine another woman of any substance falling for the same crap I fell for over 20 years ago. I know Uncle Daddy’s patter hasn’t changed, I have seen the emails prior to my divorce to his married OW. I cannot imagine it has changed with his newest girlfriend. I don’t want to have any interest in his newest woman, I don’t want to think about the two of them at all. I trust he sucks, and as much time as I have wasted on him after forgiving his 1st (maybe) affair and continuing with our relationship until the last (for me) affair 16 years later, I know he sucks, and his new woman will have to find that out for herself. Or not. It’s not about me and him anymore, it was never about me, anyway.

  • I agree – tell them, but only if you think they are truly being chumped (in this case, it looks like she already knows more than enough). But don’t expect the person to leave the cheater.

    Think about all the pain and suffering all of us chumps went through, when had our first dday…..most of us didn’t kick them out right away. We spackled. We hoped. We forgave. We tried, and then tried harder. Don’t expect anything different from the cheater’s next victim. Unless they’re educated chumps like we are becoming, they will probably go through all the same stuff we did, partially learning the hard way that the cheater really does suck. It’s hard to put down that hopium pipe.

    That being said, I would still probably tell, just so my own conscience is relieved. If they don’t listen, well, at least they know.

    I don’t know about you, but right after dday I was devastated that some people knew about the affair and didn’t tell me. Heartbroken that the affair was going on for *so long* before I found out. I would have given anything to have known sooner. It was a basic human dignity thing, and I was denied it (as much of us chumps are). I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone. So, again, I would probably tell anyhow, just because I remember those searing pains in my heart after dday where I *wished* that someone – anyone – would have clued me in.

  • I met my current husband on Match.Com. We’ve been married 8 great years…

    I didn’t sign up for online dating until 3-4 years after I was divorced – and will share my perspective on the online dating thing.

    Before I started pursing online dating I made a list of my expectations of BF/mate – and clearly listed on paper – my nonnegotiables and must haves. Far easier to do this when your not referencing someone you like. Kept the list and revisted it as needed

    1) There are some really nice guys out there.

    2) There are some not so nice guys out there. I saw not only my ex posting but a guy that I knew was a convicted felon who’d served time for conspiracy to rob a bank.

    3) I met maybe 15 guys before my husband thru match.com. Dated one of them for a few months. I used my ‘picker’ pretty well and by and large, they seemed to be decent enough fellas. I’ll offer my perspective on screening for what it’s worth.

    you do not have to answer every response or accept every offered date.

    read through profiles and responses carefully – before you communicate or respond in any way. If something doesn’t sound right or is too smooth or evasive – delete. If someone’s posted 20 pics of themselves or pics without shirts or with fast cars – or brags about being wealthy, or needing someone to be ‘complete’ – MOVE ON..if someone’s first question to you is to ask your weight (frequent)..MOVE ON.

    communicate via email or IM for a bit – and do not use an email address that provides any information regarding personal names, information, etc. Consider your online name carefully. I had a friend that’s online name was somewhat suggestive and she couldn’t understand why she attracted creeps. Don’t use your work email. Do not divulge too personal or identifying info about yourself, your kids, your place of work,or your finances. Keep your radar on.

    If digital communication progresses and you’re interested. Mutually decide to speak on the phone – use the blocking function so your name doesn’t pop up on someone’s phone – takes two minutes to find out where you live using google. Speak a time or two – again if anything seems off, move on.

    If you decide to meet – meet in a casual public place (Starbucks works great) – and do not drink or limit alcohol. Observe how much alcohol he drinks. Red flag? Again if something seems off, thank him for meeting, shake his hand and leave. YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE ANTHING BUT BASIC COURTESY. Several times I had great phone conversations with guys but once we met in person – no chemistry or I had an ‘off’ feeling about them –

    Take things slow. Listen and observe carefully – it’s easy to overly focus on giving a good impression of ourselves and forget to listen or observe the other…Meet a couple times in this manner, ask him about his family, worklife etc.,. One of my benchmarks on gleaning character was to see how date spoke of ex’s, their family, their kids, their co-workers, their mother. Being a bit raw after a divorce or sharing some career frustration is understandable – calling the mother of your children a bitch or talking about how you hate your asshole boss, to someone you just met, RED FLAG. Does he feel sorry for himself? Does he have a good relationship with his birth family? Does he have friends and interests? Is he interested in you – or talk about himself all the time? IF he has kids – is he involved with them – I crossed guys off list quickly that clearly had little interest in their own children or sufficed to just blame their ex for making things too hard..

    Be cautious not to drink too much on dates too early in the dating process. Both from a safety standpoint and it dulls your ‘picker’.

    The internet is a wonderful thing. Once you have some personal info – google away to confirm his truthfulness. DO NOT FB friend him until you’re in a real life relationship – some things just not yet his business – and you’ve provided access for him to learn too much about you, your family, your friends, your kids, etc.

    Finally – consider the whole process a business transaction – don’t take it personally when someone isn’t interested, or stands you up, is a jerk, or things don’t progress. MOVE ON. They don’t know you. Keep your picker intact. Accept that you may not be someone’s cup of tea for any number of reasons or that some people have no manners, and that you’ll never know about –

    There may be more suggestions out there from other readers? These worked for me and I ended up with a great spouse – of course every time the dating ads come on TV we both joke about ‘desperate ax-murderers’ …..

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