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Remedial Chumpdom

Here’s something I’ve learned painfully over the last couple of days — the lessons you take away when you leave a cheater (and gain a life) stay relevant. They translate into other aspects of your life — and woe to you if you lapse back into chumpdom — because the Universe is going to bitchslap you upside your head until you get it right this time.

To wit — trust that they suck. People who suck? They keep sucking. If you go no contact with a sucky person, and then get back into their orbit? Don’t expect different results. They’re still going to suck. In fact, they may have upped their suck game. They probably suck epically now. While you were gone, they were honing their suck skills, going to suck conferences, and blogging essential How To Suck pointers. Yes, chumps — THEY STILL SUCK.

I think a lot of us in chump recovery (I’m talking to myself here), think they can strike a Devil’s bargain. Well, I have to hold my nose around this person, I’m sussed, I get it — but maybe this time It Won’t Be So Bad. We can work something out. Maybe they’re really sorry about the way they behaved before, and really want to do me this favor. You know, let bygones be bygones…

I don’t know how to give you an abridged version of my current circumstance. Except to say, I’m traveling with my 16 year old son with a fractured arm strung out on painkillers. Had to cut the holiday short, come get him and fly home. The people who I entrusted with his care — I knew they sucked. I didn’t want them to suck. I don’t want to judge them too harshly (except I am, I’m mightily pissed), as an unexpected calamity happened on their watch — my son fell off a bike and broke his arm — and they got him to the ER. But I knew from former experience, that they sucked. And I let them do me this gracious favor of watching him when his father bailed, which I accepted in desperation.

When my son’s father bailed less than 24 hours before the visit, the choices were — leave a teenager home alone and cobble together care for him remotely, cancel a long-anticipated and fully paid for vacation, or accept the invitation. (The option my son was heavily lobbying for, and had finagled with his friend.) I didn’t like any of my options, but I went with accept the invitation.

Why didn’t I want to accept the invitation? Because I’ve fallen out with the couple. When I got less chumpy, I realized my relationship with these people was toxic and I ended it. Which was really difficult, as it was a long friendship. The dad is a cheater, and the mom is a unicorn chump of the I-like-my-SAH-lifestyle. When her DDay hit, I gave her the advice you read here. But she never called the lawyer (in a fault state). She had a little revenge affair instead, did the counseling, and told her husband how I’d advised her. Which didn’t endear me to him. (She neglected to mention her revenge fling to him as well.) Everything was Fine. Better now. Together for the children. Etc.

And I would’ve tiptoed around that, for the sake of our son’s friendship, until the day her husband wrote a letter of support for the court, for my crazy ex. Saying a boy needs a father, and he shouldn’t have less time. (I was lobbying to reduce summer visit to 4 weeks from 6 weeks.) Apparently he did it because Crazy ex showed up at their house with tears in his eyes, and a sob story of thwarted paternal love. Anyway, he did it.

People who had known me for over a decade and seen how this guy has sued me, and who have never let their son stay at his home (because he is a HOARDER), gave him a vote of confidence in court against me. Then the wife was all “He did it, it was dumb, but we can still be friends? Right?” And I was — don’t ever speak to me again. We’re not friends. The boys can be friends. We’re not friends.

And the boys still are friends. Collateral damage in the fuckupedness of adults and their messy lives. They see each other every time my son’s dad has him. Why? Because he’s been dumping him there for years. Every holiday. Easter. New Year’s. Thanksgiving. Most of them are spent there. It’s the family he knows. They’re the people he wants to see.

And frankly, it’s been a relief to me over the years, because I thought they at least care for him better than his own father. At least he’s fed, bathed, and entertained.

I didn’t go 100% no contact because of my son. I should NEVER have accepted that favor, however. Because people who do not have your back — don’t have your back.

If my son hadn’t been hurt, of course it would’ve been fine. I would’ve eaten the shit sandwich and been gracious about it. But my son was hurt, and when the chips were down, and things got difficult, the mother fell to pieces.

When I got the news, I was told it was a broken arm, he needs to rest, he can’t do anything, so better to get the cast next week and let him sit tight for a few days. I asked my son, can I get you home? And he was all no! And the mother was sending me “got it under control” texts on his care, making him broth, calling him an angel, saying he was feeling better and wanted to go to a movie.

Until she wasn’t. Until 24 hours after the accident, she calls at 10:30 at night, when I’m hundreds of miles away and shrieks at me that she can’t handle it, and I need to have him gone in the morning. ASAP. She’s done.

Where is my son’s father? A half mile away. Will she call him? No. “I don’t want him mad at me. I don’t want him to think I’m a bad mother.” I said “Bad mother?! This is the guy who won’t see his son! You care what HE thinks?” to which she said “If that’s true.”

If. That’s. True.

Well, we told his father — emailed, called, texted, then called his girlfriend in desperation. No response. From the first message, for a full day — no answer.

So I spent the whole night canceling the trip and paying nearly $2,000 in new flight and rebooking fees to get my kid out the next morning and us all on flights home.

When that’s done — his father calls back. Not to say “What’s wrong with son?” But to say to my husband, “Why is Tracy bugging my girlfriend?”

It gets worse. Next morning, the mother goes off on me again as I’m driving to the airport. “I don’t think he’s in any condition to fly” and how he could’ve stayed. As if I just imagined the whole melt down hours before. When she freaked out, it was how she was all alone, and now — oh, her husband is back from his business trip. It was like she was angry with me for doing EXACTLY what she wanted me to do — come rid her of this responsibility.

I lost it with her when she said: “You only care about the money this is costing you. If you were a mother, you’d care more about your son.”

Hey, Unicorn bitch, if you read this blog — and I doubt you do — PROJECT much? I’m not the SAHM who’s never held a full-time job in my entire adult life who stays with her cheating husband for the lifestyle. Good luck with that. Check for STDs.

Anyway. I got my kid. And when I picked him up (text from her: “I’ll leave his things in a pile.”), the father says to me — with a STRAIGHT FACE, like I was the mean mommy breaking up the party — “Oh, we were really hoping he could stay.”

What’s the point of this long tale of woe? TRUST THAT THEY SUCK. I knew that former friend was weak. Prone to meltdowns. Narcissistic. I should’ve worked from that knowledge base. I did not need to have her character demonstrated to me again. I put myself in that position — I put my SON in that position — and paid the price. People who are unreliable tend to STAY unreliable.

Same with son’s father. Why did I think that idiot would rise to the occasion? Because of a medical emergency? No. People who are checked out tend to STAY checked out. I need to manage my expectations of him accordingly.

But chumps, here’s the good news — the lessons you take away when you leave a cheater (and gain a life), that you keep applying to your life, pay big dividends.

I chose a wonderful partner — and at every step of the way he had my back. He never once sulked or complained. He field marshaled. We got the news of my son’s accident just as we were walking into a Red Sox game — his long-awaited 50th birthday present. He showed concern for my son, and he also appreciated the time we did get together. Even though it was cut short. He supported me — a person who is a lot less gracious and together than he is. I field marshaled too. But I also wept and cursed and essentially lost my shit. (You would too if you were on automated customer service with three different airlines.)

My cheater ex-husband would’ve sulked. Held the calamity against me. Made it about him. Not my husband. People who have good character DEMONSTRATE good character.

I’m so glad I know the difference now. Occasionally the Universe likes to remind me. Puts me back in remedial chumpdom. But I think I got it now. Hope so.

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  • Wow. Unfreakingreal!!! What a horrendous pile of shit these people are. Well Tracy, you are kick ass and your son is damn lucky to have someone who has his back always. You. And through your example, he will grow up to have and demonstrate good character, just like his mom.
    And your husband is kick ass too. Happy you found one another.
    Dust those shit particles off your lovely self and keep on. We all have reminders of who are real peops are. Thank your lucky stars you are wise enough to decipher the difference and the courage to walk away from toxicity. ((((((Hugs!))))))

  • Tracy,
    So sorry this happened to you, your son, and your husband.
    But, good in the end overall:
    A) your son saw yet again how you are the one there for him
    B) you saw again what a wonderful person you married [doe he have a single male relative? 😉 ]
    C) you still see and hope for the best in others. In tis case, they failed you, and you will not trust them again, but I would rather remain hopeful than distrustful.

  • Sorry your son was hurt and that your vacation was cut short.
    Love the way you put a totally positive spin on what was an all-together shitty experience.
    Thanks Tracy, we love you – you Rock!

  • Oh my goodness! What a horrible experience! I hope your son is feeling better.

    I’m with you – excise mean people right out of your life! They don’t change, and they only make things harder on you.

  • It is so true that a tiger never changes its stripes. I have dumped many tigers in my life and never looked back. Those tigers sometimes try and wiggle their way back in, but no way, I’ve learned my lesson. So much better to surround myself with people who are honest and have integrity and morals.

    Feel bad for you Tracy – what a disappointment in so many ways.

  • Thanks guys. I should open up the floor here, as this was a rather long me-centric rant. Has anyone else slipped back into chumpdom in other aspects of their life?

    • That is a very good question. (and your post has a right to be mecentric because this is YOUR blog) :] I have to say in all honesty, that in all other aspects of my life, I’ve NEVER been a chump; not since my mom found her voice and kicked my homicidal father outta the house when I was 14. You go MAMA!!! I don’t take no shit from nobody… (and God only knows that ADVOCATE is my middle name in regards to the amount of shit, I’ve had to wade through getting my son the help that he needs).

      And I never took shit from wasband either, but the truth is… aside from his cheating… he IS a very nice man.* Except that being passive and grotesquely negative isn’t really nice. And being an internet predator (in stealth mode while one’s married) isn’t very nice. But I can tell you that this situation you endured would’ve never occurred with my was. Responsibility, he has in spades— for his children, at least. Me? no. He’s a misogynist. but misogynists “love” women— and they do stuff form their women— just enough so that he can go… see, how nice and helpful I am to her? (until he pulls shit like not letting me come to pay my respects to my deceased mother in law.)

      It just occurred to me, however, that he’s a chump. Can a cheater ALSO be a chump? Have we ever considered this???

      I think he is… he lets people steam roll over him and it was one of the things that drove me nuts, because it affected his livelihood and ability to support his family… but his mantra is that “we shouldn’t have it too good.” Its not an absolute. Sometimes he puts his foot down, like trying to pull my son out of his pre-college music program. That would’ve been a really dumb move. I found a way to subsidize it which he would’ve deemed “emasculating” but you see… he figured out a way to ensure this would happen, by not earning enough money to support his family… One can’t win. Either son gets fucked or he gets emasculated. (because he’s too busy chatting it up with some bimbo to figure out how to support his fucking family!)

      *I guess he’s not really all that nice and he’s also a cheater and he’s also a chump. In short, he’s pretty fucked up— a selfish, self-serving prick.

      • Like Laurel, I too am not a chump in other aspects of my life. My ex is also nice but a weak coward with no integrity.

        Tracy, I am sorry for your son’s accident and your shortened vacation. But life throws us these curve balls with blessings. Your husband remains wonderful even in the toughest of situations and your ex-friend has proven one more time that she still stinks. I hope your son is doing well.

      • How odd…my Ex lets people run him over in work situations to an extent as well…and then would come home and bitch about people behind their back, but never go and stand up and tell them face to face, no matter how many times I tried to talk him through this stuff. I remember saying to him once ‘How can your partners know you are not happy with something if you don’t actually tell them?’. Which should have told me exactly what he was like: he ended up selling his shares in a company he owned literally without warning. Just went in one day, wrote a resignation letter and that was that. And then sent his sister in to negotiate sale terms.

        Why did I not see this as a HUGE red flag?

    • Of course! That’s part of the reason my marriage lasted as long as it did! I am a people-pleasing chump in the first degree. My over-arching codependent needs require that I give of myself until I have nothing left for myself. It wasn’t until I found myself lying facedown in a D-day puddle of self-pity and pain that I realized that I was giving to the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Now I’m taking a crash-course in “What do I really want” without the filter of worrying that he’ll leave if I make the wrong choice.

      It’s a constant struggle to balance kindness, generosity and responsibility with self-care – especially in regards to my children. They’ve grown (almost) up with a narcissistic father who continues to feed them the “You deserve to be happy” fairy food without the undercurrent of “working for what you want”. Taking care of myself (finally) means setting boundaries for my kids, too – without alienating them and making them feel like the gravy train that their father subsisted on is leaving the station. It’s quite a tightrope.

      I’m only beginning to learn how to ask for what I need and not feel like I’m being selfish. It doesn’t help that a great number of the people I encounter are selfish zombies who have no problem taking what they want without giving back – the narcissism virus is everywhere! It’s been very hard to establish healthy boundaries when it seems the entire world models cake-eating as a virtue…

      • I’m a Situational Chump. Circumstances and desired outcomes usually determine my level of Chumpdon. In the horror show (read: marriage) I was the Ultimate, Top of the Heap, Queen of the Mountain Chump. I was a doormat – please sir, you didn’t wipe all the shit off of your shoe; please come back and try again.

        Where my children were concerned, for the most part, I was a lioness protecting and advocating on behalf of her cubs – except there were times I backed down from doing it with the STBX because I got accused of taking sides against him. I found out recently that he was quietly undermining me with the children during the entire marriage. Once again, as pertains to the STBX, Super Chump. Of course, at the time, I simply thought I was being a good wife.

        In my professional life, I usually stand up for myself, but in the business world, everything can’t be a fight. You have to pick your fights wisely, which I have learned to do.

        I am currently going through the process of learning how to erect proper boundaries in ALL areas of my life, learning about myself and about the pre-programming I received that kept me in a situation where I was being mercilessly emotionally abused. I hope to come out on the other side a Chump (because Chumps are those salt of the earth people you hear so much about), but a healthy Chump, who still loves and cares for people the way I always have, but making sure they are the right people. I intend to have that “WELCOME” tattoo removed from my back.

        • Sometimes my inner chump rears its ugly head. I can get sentimental and think, oh did he didn’t rely mean to do that or what if he’s really sorry. At Christmas time or when I get emotional about my kids, about the past and such like. I have even been known to feel sorry for my ex on occasion. And then he’ll pull a stunt or I’ll get a glimpse of other woman (who told me to get a life, when I confronted her about cheating, cow, cow, cow), or I’ll just remember how he nearly drove me to the edge and then I want to punch his lights out.

    • Yes– I’m a people pleaser. There are two people I can think of that I put up with (one for years) that totally sucked. The first one was a close relative who no longer talks to my family, but we ALL did the “pick-me dance” with her for a while, begging her to talk to us, to come back. Now I know that we were well rid of her. She’s a toxic, egocentric gossipmonger who enjoyed stirring the pot in my family whenever she could. But I was hugely chumpy with her for years, longing for her acceptance and validation. I’m glad she’s gone. I’d never re-establish a relationship with her for anything.

      The second was a co-worker who I thought was a close friend. She basically ditched me because I was no longer of use to her. I think that she’s a sociopath; people really fall for her flattery and sense of humor, but I’m no longer sucked in. She’s a total drama queen; she’s constantly making mountains out of molehills and is another gossip. I feel relieved to no longer be more than a work acquaintance. She was exhausting to have as a friend, but my chump self wanted to see the good in her (AND enjoy her flattery because my sense of self-worth was in the toilet). No more. I keep her at arm’s length with frosty politeness.

      Interestingly enough, these two relationships were good training ground for the A. I hadn’t found CL when DDay occurred, and SI focuses more on taking your time, not rushing into making a decision. I didn’t need to take my time because I had been exposed to what happens when a chump tries to patch up a toxic relationship. That wasn’t going to be my marriage, so those previous experiences helped me to decide on a D in less than a week. I guess I should be grudgingly grateful to the gossips (there’s some alliteration for you).

      CL, I’m so sorry that your vacation fell apart, and I’m glad that your son is okay. I hope that you and your husband can figure out a way to reschedule a nice break for yourselves. By the way, you are spot on about this:

      “My cheater ex-husband would’ve sulked. Held the calamity against me. Made it about him. Not my husband. People who have good character DEMONSTRATE good character.”

      That is EXACTLY what my XWH would have done because HIS plans were being destroyed, never mind that it was due to an emergency. I’m glad that you’ve found someone so decent and kind. I hope there are more like him out there in my neck of the woods!

  • Tracy,
    You are superb. Just how a mom should be. Your husband is also, what a man of character should be. Hope your son should also turn out to be a very fine human being.
    “Trust that they suck..They probably suck epically now”…YES!
    Good job. May your son recover soon. Amen.

  • Oh Tracy— I actually had to read this one twice because, let’s forget the menfolk for a sec.

    The mom is a classic specimen of a personality disordered fuckwit of the highest order.

    “While you were gone, they were honing their suck skills”


    Thank you for my second big guffaw of the day. (the first was seeing photos my son’s GF sent of him SEWING the stripes on the pants of his marching band uniform and then the after shot with the stripes not looking too bad, actually, but the pants are at LEAST THREE inches too short! Sorry, for the long aside, but I LOVE this girl to bits. No chump there. And if they ever break up, I’m going to be REALLY upset!)

    Although, the rest is no laughing matter, but that is one of the things I love about you so much is your fantastic ability to temper mind-blowingly sucky behavior and an absurd on zillions of levels situation, teetering on the tragic with the most outrageous humor! I’m so sorry that your son fell off his bike and got hurt. Now, THAT sucks! sending healing prayers. (my son fell off his bike and knocked out his two front teeth and was knocked unconscious last January, but thankfully, was wearing a helmet. no joking matter. Bike riding is DANGEROUS!) I still can’t wrap my mind around your wasband and your wasfriend and entire situation which is why I had to read the entire thing twice. (some parts THREE times.) What an utter clusterfuck of pathology… It truly IS like a not-so-fun-house of mirrors!

    Speedy recovery for your son!!!

    big ((((hugs))))

    • “While you were gone, they were honing their suck skills.”

      This is the take away line for sure! Laurel, I was so disgusted with the “wife” I could not even address her behavior. Live on planet What About Me? much? Perhaps if she spent less time doing the Pick Me Two-Step and teaching the Remodeling Relationships Through Spackle seminar, she would have time to self-reflect and become a better person.

      Nah! Probably not. She just SUCKS!

  • My mother is Queen narcissist/bitch/fuck up. She had my 5 year old in the ER for stitches with me 400 miles away and put him on the phone with me so he could scream “MOMMY, I WANT YOU”……

    He is 13 now. His stitches were minor. The pain in my soul was permanent. Trust that they suck…..

    I am so sorry about your son and I wish him a speedy recovery.

    • Bev, I too am a chump daughter (and a chump ex-wife). My mother takes the cake in narcissism/bitchiness/fuckedupedness.
      Every time I think I’ve worked things out with her and think we can have a reasonable mother/daughter relationship, she pulls more crap. I’ve been hanging on for my father’s sake, but damn is it hard!
      I wonder if being the child of a narcissistic fuckwit makes you more prone to marrying one???

      • I am assuming that it does. I suppose I was so busy fending off my sainted (according to her) mother that I totally was not focused on my H screwing hookers ( no offense to hookers).

        Every time I deal with my mother all I can think is, “Who does that????”

        My brother and father tell me that I should just ignore her and let it go…..

        • I have an issue with the “friends” thing…
          History: I left my very good job, my family and moved with my young children from SC to PA 23 years ago to be with my STBX. As a result many – actually all – of our good friends were his friends originally. (Of course anyone I tried to bring to the “friends of US” table was rejected…)
          One of those people became what I would consider my best friend. The kind of person who will take you to hear the bad news from a mammogram and hold your hand through the whole thing – and not hesitate to ask the same.
          Problem is – she is still in touch with my ex. Regularly. In fact she just went to a party at his and the OW”s house (which used to be our house BTW). There were extenuating circumstances regarding that gathering, …but still…
          More history:
          6 months after I kicked my ex out of the house, another dear friend passed away after 3-1/2 devastating years of a terminal illness. That couple – she and her husband (we’ll call him “H”) of 42 years – was part of our tight group of 5-6 couples.
          H and I we both devastated, and spent many hours talking and consoling. We are now partners. THIS caused a huge row – spurned quite effectively by my STBX. H and I had never been but friends prior – but of course the cheater went wild – making up a plethora of ridiculous unfounded nonsense. Total bullshit. Of course it was all laced with his classic sociopathic/narcissistic opinion that he “deserved” to have affairs blah blah and he was so mistreated because I was jealous and resentful.
          I haven’t mentioned that the STBX was the one who posted on Facebook that he was “now with his true love of 36 years” (nice, asshole). There’s other history here in this blog.
          We (H and I) have friends who have stuck with us – some who thought it was just no one’s business if H and I were happy together – they were supportive and happy for us. Others stuck by us, some of whom had to get used to the idea, but were loyal.

          That’s the issue here – LOYALTY.

          I tend to get very emotional about this issue – and being a CHUMP have a lot of issues with my fear of “what do they think of me”. I need to work on that and spend more time believing in myself.

          I feel like so much of my life has been lost to all of this. It’s hard to give up that hand-holding, that person who you can rely on in really hard times. She was the one who supported me though years of my STBX’s filandering and drinking. What has come to pass is that I now understand that the hand that I held belonged to a disloyal busybody.

          H says – look – we’ve made new friends, people who see you as youself not an appendage to the STBX, they like you, love you, respect you and stand by you.
          I agree – but those old ties are hard to sever.

          I just don’t get it. I don’t know how to :unfriend: her. I try too keep my head up – be the better person – go though live with grace. How do you tell someone to F$*@ OFF. I’ll miss her.

  • Tracy,

    I am so sorry that your son was hurt. Poor thing!! Don’t beat up on yourself too much – it was an accident and could have happened at any time with anyone. Those people, however, DO SUCK – HARD! Their overall response SUCKS!! There is a saying that goes “When people show you their true colors, don’t try to repaint them.” You are so lucky to have a husband with you now that is truly a loving, supportive, considerate, humane and caring human being – unlike that pig from hell sperm donor who held the title of “husband” for a time in your life.

    I am fortunate that most of the people who suck in my life were people who are actually acquaintances of my STBX. I tend to shed people who I adjudge to be less than stellar examples of humanity. My STBX was taking up all of that air and I couldn’t tolerate any more people operating in that space. Thank God for at least that much discernment. I was being so emotionally abused at home, I couldn’t tolerate much outside of the home.

    I am sending hugs and kisses to you and your family, Tracy. Your rant served as a lesson and inspiration to me as a Chump Princess on how, no matter what, you can and will keep moving forward no matter what PEOPLE WHO SUCK throw at you. You Rock Tracy (and so does your husband)!

  • Sorry to hear about this Tracy. These folks sound like another mindf*ck situation. “Take him!”, “No, We’ll take him!” Ugh.

    Thank goodness you are kind and wise and your son will benefit from that. You did the right thing and the best thing.

    I hope your son heals and you continue on your awesome path.

  • Wow! An unbelievable level of disorder. The woman sounds borderline personality disorder. Ugh, I am so sorry for what you had to go through and for your poor son’s experience. Those “friends” are the biggest piles of shit I’ve ever heard of.

  • Argh!!! I am so frustrated for you!!!!

    It is just like these people to pull their shit on you and then act like they did ‘t, like you imagined it, essentially. “We were hoping he’d stay?!?” Or NOW she can handle it since her husband is home now that you’ve come all that way, spent all that money, cancelled your plans???? Grrrrr! I’m sure she didn’t even apologize for it. And I really can’t believe all those other shitty comments she made either.

    I’m glad to hear how your new hubby responded. I’d like to think that is how i would respond in a similar situation. I know my ex would’ve sulked and made it all about him.

    I think it’s natural to slip a little bit back into chumpdom once in a while because after getting the crappy people out of your life and surrounding yourself w good people you might forget, just a teeny tiny little bit how much they do suck. Especially if they have at least on the surface done a few decent things (watching your boy during his visits w his dad) and you haven’t had much other contact w them.

    Now you know for real FOR REAL this time. At least w these guys. I’d like to think it won’t ever happen again, but we chumps are trusting and like to believe the best in people. So chances are somebody else will again show us they suck. We just have to catch it early, believe them, and remove ourselves from them as much and as quickly as we can. Easier said than done too, unfortunately.

  • CL – I don’t get this. Why a melt down? Boys with any sort of get-up-and-go break arms. It’s part of being an active teenager. So what! The fracture got set, he got painkillers, no doubt your health insurance is good, so what is the big deal???

    He gets less kills on COD and can’t ride his bike any more. He’s still alive, still a boy, what’s the problem for her?

    Not too sure what the melt down is about?

      • emotionally stunted, weak, self-serving and labile. Trust that she sucks.

        Stephanie- You are exactly right!

        • I can’t figure this one out, either. I mean, it does sound like she’s got serious mental problems. If this woman is the one that CL’s described in the past, she’s the one that stayed for the money…but her physical health has suffered (weight loss, etc)…perhaps her tenuous grasp on reality has finally just evaporated as well.

          I can’t imagine the mental gymnastics you have to do in order to stay with a serial cheater for the reasons that she openly admits.

          How can you put one foot in front of the other each day, knowing that your husband is humiliating you, endangering your physical health, endangering your kids’ mental health–maybe bring a truly crazy bunny boiler into your life too….along with an STD (and not the kind that can be cured with antibiotics…the kind that gives you cancer!)

          There is no way that this woman is any kind of stable. No way. She is actively and openly endangering herself and her kid(s)…mentally, physically, financially and emotionally.

          She’s sick and sees no reason to seek help. Tracy should keep herself and her kid as far away from The Nutbags as possible.

    • His hand was a bit swollen from the cast. He mentioned it. For some reason this caused hysterics, my son related. Threats to call 911, etc. Go back to the ER. That’s when she called me. I said, if he needs the ER, get him to the ER! But I think some swelling is normal. Then she googled and it was normal. But it was All. Too. Much. She said she was all alone (her husband came home a couple hours after this call from a business trip). She couldn’t handle it — and she shrieked at me that he had to be gone by morning. Insults, crying, yelling.

      Come morning, no one tells my son. I get that job. She never told him he had to go home. I got to be the bad guy.

      And then I get the crazy — oh well he could’ve stayed, I don’t know if he’s in any condition to fly, bullshit.

      She just wanted out from the responsibility. And you know what? I’d happily lose the vacation and the money to remove my son from a place he’s not welcome. Hours before her fit, she was telling me how much she “loves” him. He’s an “angel.”

      Until he isn’t. Idolization. Devaluing. The BPD might not be so far off. Who knows what flavor of fucked up it is. Just happy to be home and away from it. All of us.

  • Tracy: im so sorry you continue to deal with your former fucktards skein. Know that you did the right thing by retrieving your son (deep down he wanted his mommy, trust us on this). Dont beat yourself up about agreeing to Mr n Mrs Useless’ offer to help, it seemed like a viable option at the time. Kudos to your hubby for being the gem he is! We got your back girl. Keep Calm and Carry On. Hugs, nmc

  • Maybe it’s just my twisted mind Tracy and maybe it’s because I’ve dealt with enough mindfuckery in the past. But, I smell a rat here. Is it possible that cheating husband of Mary Poppins (they both sound like lying cheating toe-rags) might have told your son’s father about the injury?

    That thing of not responding to your texts, emails, phone calls for that length of time sounds deliberate so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the problem. He was supposed to be with your son anyway. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were all in cahoots, judging by her ‘if that’s true’ comment on the way to the airport. Your ex has obviously being filling her with his’ woe is me’ tales.

    I think your ex sucky suck meister is making you pay because you thwarted him all those years ago. He hates that you might have been having a nice time away me thinks. His reaction and concern for your son was touching!

    I am furious on your behalf Tracy and feel your pain. Hope your dear son recovers well. Am so glad you have a lovely man in your life to ease the pain, it makes all the difference.

    • I think you are correct. My ex was supposed to come relieve me in the ER were our daughter was getting over a migraine, so I could make it to my very first private meeting with the custody mediator. He didn’t show and didn’t respond to texting, so I bundled her up and put her in the car. Miracle of miracles — the concerned father called and wanted to intercept me on the way so he could take her home where she would be more comfortable. He had two of his creepy meddling sisters with him. They all just waved and smiled.

      A year later, but still during the divorce, our son gets a greenstick fracture of the radius. Not obviously broken to look at except for the swelling and pain. So he splinted it with a couple of tongue depressors and an ace bandage (I shit you not), cut the camping trip short and sent him home for me to deal with (and pay the huge insurance deductible – which was the whole point). My lawyer could not believe it. But what could we do? I had already been awarded sole custody. In his mind, it was my responsibility anyway.

      They do not care about anyone but themselves.

      • Chumpalicious, don’t even get me started on meddling sisters. Could fill a book with such tales. Here’s one scenario. The OW goes into labour on one of the weekends he has our children. I get a call from my eight year old daughter who is sobbing uncontrollably to say they are with his mother and that she’s scared her daddy won’t be her daddy anymore as he hasn’t explained what’s happening. She asks me to come and get her. On instinct I drop what I’m doing and rush over to his mother’s house to get my bewildered kids. I am met at a half opened door by one meddling sister who tells me to leave my kids there. In the background I can hear my daughter crying.

        My ex had given instructions that they were to stay there even though they wanted to be with. I feel so intimidated but my mother’s instinct kicks in and I say I’m not leaving without my kids. Eventually and reluctantly she lets them out. Now we are all upset.

        And later I get angry calls from ex to say I should have left them there. He didn’t give a fuck about their emotional well being, just wanted to have control over situation aided by his family. It took my daughter weeks to get over this mini trauma and I had to console her and reassure her night after night.

        • I was the patsy/strawman/scapegoat/bagholder for that seriously narcissistic family and I never realized it until almost too late.

          OW was pregnant at the time — since those two sisters kids won’t breed and give them grandchildren, they were on hand to baby snatch at a proxy grandkid. The whole thing was A-OK with them and that just blew me away. God help my own brother if he ever pulled some sort of shit like that. “You got some social climbing slut pregnant? Good luck with that! And good luck telling our mother! Yikes!”

          • Funny…it took me quite a long time to realise that it’s not just my Ex who is fucked up but also his family. I always knew they were a little off but figured it was a bit of the in-law thing, where they do things differently, and just saw them generally as amusingly odd…and sometimes frustratingly odd.

            But then all this happened and I started to see that their reactions to things simply were not normal. The way they were ‘there for me’, visiting me, ‘being supportive’ and ‘holding my hand’ because I was their daughter/sister/family….and meanwhile, behind my back, they were doing everything they could to undermine me and screw me over. And now they’re all apparently very insulted and upset that I’ve cut them out of my life. They’re ‘hurt’ of all things.

            As you say, God help any friend or family member who treated someone the way I’ve been treated by my ex. In no way would I keep my mouth shut about their shitty behaviour and in no way would I support it. I wouldn’t tell them what to do but in no uncertain terms would they not hear from me exactly what I thought about how they were behaving.

            • My in-laws pretty much left me alone. They went straight after the kids, who were definitely NOT OK with the OW and having some half sibling. The pseudopsychological smog they laid down trying to gaslight the kids into thinking it was going to be so wonderful (and had nothing to do with the divorce — that was all my fault) was awful to watch. It was a wonderful day when the daughter told them they had no idea what our family life was like and to butt out. Son just ignores them.

              Two faced as they come. And sneaky.

  • Tracy,

    The unicorn bitch may not read your blog (not yet anyway) but I’ll bet your ex does. Getting called a fucktard nationally is just what he deserves, but I’ll bet that any interaction you have with him or anyone on his side has the potential for sabotage like this.

    2 more years to go……. Even though I had sole custody, when the last child turned 18 I heaved a huge sigh of relief.

  • I can beat this. Went to my sister’s for a long weekend. Was away from my cell phone for an hour and when I checked it there is a voice mail from H “Why the F do I give you a cell phone (Love that) when I can’t reach you in an emergency” OMG what emergency. Call right back He had locked himself out of the house. I am 1oo miles away. Call a locksmith. Not trivailizing you CL no children hurt but if the shoe had been on the other foot I would not even have called him. What will you do next time your child

  • Hi Tracy,

    I feel weird offering you my advise learned from experience when I have relied on yours for so long! It’s like the student trying to help the teacher.

    But here goes: I think you are being too tolerant of the bullshit your first ex is pulling over and over and over and over again regarding visits with your son. He does as much as he can to make you squirm, but he really doesn’t seem to invest all that much in your son. He shuttles him to those two incredible LOSER friends of his (cut from the same SNPD cloth, I think) and they essentially take care of your boy while your a-hole ex…..does what? Show up occasionally? Takes him out to eat once in a while?

    And I’m sorry – but my incredible cynicism makes me believe that this last minute cancellation of your son’s visit to him was not a coincidence – I think it was carefully orchestrated to screw over you and your plans for this wonderful vacation with your husband. You may disagree – but sometimes convenient timing of things is just too damn convenient. I think his main goal in his miserable life is to try and screw you over because he wants to feel like he “won.” Just my opinion.

    Here’s my bottom line advise: Your son is 16 years old. I think the time has come to let him have the ability to say if he wants to visit his dad. I know you don’t want to bring him into the mess that your ex has created over the years, but he is old enough and – as your son – smart enough to recognize that he is being used by his dad to screw with you.

    He is now completely of the age that – should he decide he doesn’t want to visit – he doesn’t have to. You have ample evidence of the ex’s douchy behavior when he has visited. You have all the evidence of the change ups and bait/switch tactics. If your son doesn’t want to see him over the summer – NO COURT IN THE LAND will force him to at this point in time. And it will not affect child support- first thing I learned in child custody fighting 101 is that estrangement of the child from the supporting parent doesn’t affect support in ANY way. Again – you know your situation better than any of us – but you have options (as you have shown us a million times!) and I think it might be time to have that talk with your son and see just how much he really wants to go visit.

    And – if he still wants to see his douchy dad, ask him to request his dad come to Texas and get him. Tell him he wants to take a vacation with his dad – not head back to DC. Do whatever it takes to force that asshole to have to come and take full responsibility for his son’s care for the amount of time he wants to visit. And if he doesn’t want to or bitches about not having the abililty? Then he can book a weekend here and there to fly to Austin and take him out on the town there. And if your son wants to visit his friend with the asshole ex-friends? Invite him to fly down and visit you. Take all their power away regarding this situation. Your son is of the age where this WILL work.

    And then – the next time you schedule a getaway – you can look to your family and true friends to help keep him under their care until you get back……or just wait until he gets to college – then the world is your oyster! 🙂

    This just really pissed me off – I want to come down and bitch slap both those jerks (your ex probably isn’t worth the effort.) Sometimes – the false friends you find out about after D-day are more toxic almost even then the ex.

    Think about what I said – then decide what’s best for you. You are aces in my book!

    • Char,

      This is so spot on! I did not want to presume to give the teacher (read: Tracy) advice, but I am two thumbs WAY up on your advice. I watch a lot of detective/lawyer shows and there is one where the main character says, “too many coincidences is no longer a coincidence.” I totally agree that so much of Mr. D is for Disordered Dickhead’s behavior is all about power and control and messing with Tracy’s head. If his son was a priority, since he doesn’t get to see him all the time, he would be swimming oceans and moving mountains to make sure he never missed an opportunity to spend time with him.

      Tracy, life for Chumps is hard because we always try to take the high road and do the right thing. We care about the people in our care and want to make sure they are happy. We totally love our children and always try to act in their best interests, even when it isn’t always in our best interests. Disordered Dickheads depend on that to play their one-upmanship games and to facilitate their power-plays, because some of them are not constrained by that level of selflessness, caring and maturity. That’s why they are exes.

      I was so angry with your Disordered Dickhead (and those emotionally-stunted and brain-dead ex-friends) when I read your post that I wanted to slap them like Jack Nicholson slapped Faye Dunaway in “Chinatown.” If you are able to work it out, and you decide it will not hurt your son, as Char recommended, I would be looking to remove that visitation lever of control from Disordered Dickhead.

      You’re a lot more clear headed than I am (you’re my Shero!) so whatever you decide, it will be a good decision for you and your son. Take care and lots of hugs to you and your family.

  • Tracy,

    Ugh. Here’s how I would have handled it, had I been charged with the care of your son:

    1) Take him to the emergency room.

    2) We have a garden variety fracture, doc? Awesome. Cast now? No? Come back in 8 hours. Check. Can do.

    3) Hey boy, your gonna live. Here’s some pizza and Advil’s. Video games are gonna be hard, here’s my Netflix account. Chillax.

    4) Wait 8 hours. Enjoy any leftover pizza, or bitch and moan teenage boys ate it all.

    5) Let you son pick a cast color. Bring Magic Marker and be first to sign it. Take picture.

    6) Shoot Tracy a text and ask how the Cubs game was.

    7) “Oh that’s good. Sorry they lost (or great the won, as the case may be). Oh by the way your son’s a Lefty for the next 2 months. Bike accident. Doc says clean break, unlike the one you have with his dad. Anyway I have given him some chopsticks to get to those internal itches. No worries. He says hi. Bring him a cap that does not suck. And bring me a hot dog, the little shits ate all the pizza.” And text the picture of Son with a cast and a smile.

    Time = free.
    Pizza = $12.00
    Advils = .10
    Netflix = well I pay for it anyway
    Text = well I pay for it anyway
    Chopsticks = well I only have 298 more.

    For fucks sake. Seriously how hard is it?

        • Eventually, I hope that indeed I will re-marry, and I assume their will be step-kids involved. Can’t wait for my first “YOUR *NOT* MY DAD!!” – lol… hey kid, your right. I’m here, and he’s not.

      • I don’t mind. I love kids, and no not in that creepy Micheal Jackson way 🙂 And no, I’m not Super Dad either. It’s just pretty basic. I’d like to exit this world thinking I was a semi-decent role model. When my own dad passed away, my last words to him, besides of course I love you, were: “You did your job… you did your job.”

  • CL–Good Lord! I am glad your son is okay!

    These two “ex-friends”–I remember one of your blogs that described her? Is she the one you went to during one of your D-Days…and was the one that decided to stay because she likes her pretty shit?

    Although I do applaud you for wanting to be civil for your boys’ sake, his friendship…I would have sat down with that kid (yours) and explained the whole enchilada to him. What Psycho Mom did, What POS Cheater Dad did (all of that fucktards shenanigans would be fair game)—and let your son decide whether or not he wants to be in that atmosphere. You can’t have one without the other–meaning, your kid can’t go over there and just hang with their son in a vacuum–the influence of those two morons will be there too. I wouldn’t want my kid anywhere near ’em, to be honest. That’s where my “I’m telling you how this is gonna play out and you don’t get a vote” gloves come off.

    Yes, I have been sliding back and forth, to answer your question as to if this happens to anyone else. There are days that I think that maybe he really wants things to go back to the way that they were (although they never were all that good in the first place)—and I “almost” get sucked back into the vortex.

    I usually stop myself with “Ok, do you remember when you asked him how his day was doing his hobby thing, and he made up a whole elaborate scenario, with scores and people he talked to and what he ‘did’….and that turned out to be a complete fabrication? He was actually fucking his girlfriend all morning long, coming home all smiles, kissing your daughter on her cheek and asking where we’re going out to on date night?”

    Mostly, it works.

    Maybe put this particular blog post up on your fridge–every time you feel Chumpdom coming on in reference to these two idiots—read what they did. Remember her screeching that “she can’t handle” a sedated 16 year old for one night. Remember that Cheaterpants Fucktard (either one) are the epitome of everything you DO NOT WANT MODELED FOR YOUR SON. He should never see that behavior as acceptable or normal.

    Keep your head up, Tracy. Like they say–when you die, if you can count your true friends on one hand, consider yourself a success. They showed you who they were a long time ago–you didn’t believe them that time (for your son’s sake)—and they fucked you over again. Next time….

    ….there won’t BE a next time, right? 🙂

  • Hi CL:
    I am very sorry to read about your vacation nightmare and I hope your son’s arm is ok.

    What I love about you and your blog is your total honesty and sharing of your chumpiness with us all in all aspects of your life. It just shows that we are all human and yes we fuck up sometimes and make bad decisions even when we know better.

    Don’t beat yourself up and I must say reading your story really made me want to punch both the husband and the wife in the face! I really can’t stand that kind of wishy washy, mind fuckery game bullshit anymore. Say what you mean and mean what you say!!!

    Happy 50th to your husband and reschedule a bullet proof vacation next time, one that does not have your fucked up ex involved in any aspect of it and one that has your son staying with someone you can trust completely who is normal and healthy with no connection to your fucked up ex. What kind of asshole doesn’t go running to his child?

    Really, all of this is beyond me. I will never fully get this shit, it’s so crazy and evil that my mind can never really get around the reality of it and what people with this disorder do or how they think. Sometimes I get so frustrated and angry that I feel like I have the opposite mental disorder whatever you want to call it and I don’t think Chumpiness is the right word.

    Love to you, your husband and a speedy recovery to your son!

    To hell with the rest of the nuts in your story.

  • The hysterical phone call at 10:30 PM from the wife makes me wonder if she drinks or takes some sort of meds that got her all wound up and crazy. No way I would let my kid go there again.

  • Oh. And about Wasband’s behavior.

    Cancellations at the last minute, especially when there is a huge cost to you and your kid, screams passive aggressive.

    “What’s Tracy doing calling bugging my girlfriend?” No mention of the texts that you KNOW he received. Or the messages. Choosing his reality. Oh yeah. PA. He wants to engage you in an argument that is pointless–it’s a powertrip. He wants you angry and crazy….”LOOK what I have to deal with!!” He pushes your buttons in order to get a response. He knows it hurts, he knows from your reactions what will give him the best mileage…and he pushes those buttons.

    Passive Aggressive Douchebag.

  • Tracy,
    Next time you are in that kind of a situation, let me know.
    Raised 2 amazing boys, been around hospitals all my life. Fractured arm? Drugs, TV and junk food; no problem.
    I will fly out to Texas and watch your son – gladly!
    We ALL would do anything for you. You have given us all so much.
    I would sooner leave either of my kids with anyone on this board than a cheating, crazy friend.

  • Ay Yi Yi

    My girls are all grown up now with kids of their own but this brought up some really bad times….I’ll try to make this as short as I can.

    Long long ago (26 years ago) I was married. It was for the most part an excellent marriage….in just about every way.

    My husband told me repeatedly over the years how horrible his family was…his Mother yes. But even worse his sister who had the evil gene also, just like his Mother but was educated.

    There were several incidents throughout our time together but he protected me and coming from a large mainly loving family I laughed off his warnings. (Chump)

    He died

    The first thing they did was show up at my door and DEMAND that I give them all of the furniture, his clothing, etc. Then they said they wanted to help me by taking our daughter (1 year old) because I wouldn’t be able to “afford her” anymore. Of course I said no.

    Several months later said daughter touched a burner on the stove and had a tiny blister on her finger.

    The next day was the Grandmothers day to have her. They called the police and claimed I had held her finger down on the burner intentionally.

    Child services came in and took both of my children and I turned myself in to be arrested. They would not arrest me because the whole town, police dept. etc. etc. had known me my whole life since I was born and had watched me with my girls since THEY had been born and knew what a good mother I was. BUT…I was “in the system” now and there was no way to get me out. When I walked out of the “interrogation” room my sister in law was waiting outside…hoping to see me in shackles.

    Within 6 months I had my girls back, after doing parenting classes, AA (My family owned a bar, and my husband and I managed it when my father was out of town…..Bar Owner = Scum) urine tests, etc. etc. People that spent time in the home where my children lived (the “outlaws” house) said that both girls cried for me …continuously, all 6 months.

    After 15 court appearances the Judge had finally had it. He gave me FULL custody with reasonable visitation up to MY discretion for them. I let them see her on weekends because I thought it was the “right” (Chump) thing to do and she would come back to me a punching kicking crying mess.

    The baby (she’s 26 now) is an amazing adult and mother with horrible anger issues that manifest themselves in night terrors to this day because of a million wrongs that they inflicted over her then, and to this day. And in the very beginning? Uncovered by the Guardian Ad Litem Turns out it was for….

    1. A welfare check
    2. Food Stamps
    3. My husbands SS benefits that were for her.
    And you can imagine the trouble they caused me by trying to claim her on thier taxes year after year after year. Fraud.

    They were (and are) very wealthy people.

    So CL…I feel for you. but he IS NOT going to stop turning your lives upside down out of selfishness. Ever. That’s what they do. You are such a good person, and like an animal you swooped down and rescued your child with bared fangs and claws. All instinct. That’s what love is. And it’s something they will never, EVER understand. The people that had him, and MUCH worse your husband see him as a pawn. One of the happiest days of my life was when my daughter was old enough to say “no more” to visitation, and did.

    (((((((((HUGS)))))))) Thank you for sharing and giving us a chance to try and be here for you.

  • CL,

    As I read your account, the rawness of the situation oozed out. Too fresh, I thought, it was a mistake to go there, CL.

    And then the alchemy, trusting your intuition, turning shit into gold on several levels. Thank you for sharing.

    (But… the Red Sox?)

    • Oh yeah, the Red Sox.

      Probably was too fresh and raw. Probably a mistake to post, but I swear if I didn’t my head was going to explode. And I deeply appreciate all the perspective of the chump collective. I don’t feel like a “fearless leader” so much as a fellow chump a bit further out. The support is wonderful, but today I’m putting my CL hat back on and getting to the back to work.

      • CL, not a mistake to post. You are leading by example. It’s absolutely unrealistic and unattainable that you should be the “Perfect Ex Chump” with all of the answers, always and forever. You are a human imperfect being, just like all of us.

        Anybody here says otherwise, then perhaps the post hit a little to close to home, IMHO. Maybe something in your vent reminded them of something they themselves did–or put up with and are still justifying it to themselves/others.

        Honesty is a bitter pill, especially when you swallow it about your own behavior.

        I’ve acted out in crazy ways, too–whether it’s frustration or anger–it’s a human thing to expect that people are upfront and honest. It’s difficult and draining to always be on guard, wondering if everyone around you is gaslighting you. How can you live a healthy life if you can’t be sure of what reality is?

        That said–I am not sure who was taking offense at you snarking that you felt sort of bad for cheater husband–

        but isn’t that “Hyperbole”? ANR and HearthBuilder came to my rescue once already, teaching me that word–when I said that it comes into my mind that when my STBXH and his Mommy are clinging to each other at his bedside…”why don’t you two just ‘do it’ and get it over with already”. I didn’t actually WANT that to happen or EXPECT that to happen–it just made me sick to my stomach watching the dysfunction…and being angry at myself for putting up with any of it.

        I have asked this question of others and I might as well as it here, since I think this is where the confusion comes in with CL’s “pseudo friends”…

        What happens when two Narcissists get together? Can they have a relationship or do they recognize each other and are like poles on a magnet?

        I think Cheaterpants Dad and Crazy Ass Wife are both NPDs of the highest order. They feed off of each other…each trying to one up, each trying to out gaslight the other, each trying to maintain the illusion of normalcy—and failing miserably.

        Neither can let go of the marriage, because that’s not in the Cheater NPD Handbook, as we all have learned! It’s an admission of failure for an NPD and they don’t do failure well, especially when the blame is on them.

        I think they both are nuts and dangerous–both NPD at best, possibly sociopaths at worst. As Tracy was describing them, I considered all of the past couples that are just two peas….evil and destructive….yet they stay together and thrive in dysfunction…you would think that ONE of the pair would say “Hey, this is just sick.” but they don’t.

        There’s no law or rule that says that one in the couple has to be “normal”…so I don’t give Cheaterpants Crazy Wife any slack (revenge affair? UH……CHEATER!!!!!), nope, none.

      • Sorry that I didn’t make myself clear!

        As I read, I mistakenly believed it was too fresh, and that there was no way you could be expected to come up with the right perspective.

        But you did. And that, as much as in any of your many brilliant pieces, shows the hard earned wisdom of trusting your gut is the silver lining to the chump experience.

        We all face less than optimal choices on a regular basis and sometimes have to hope for the best. Life chumps everybody from time to time. Your great gift to us is showing how to get unstuck when we are chumped and make it less likely that we will get chumped.

        You got a doozy of an experience, but also the validation of what you have come to believe, both about the dingbats and that great husband of yours. And you got the opportunity to exercise your ability to assess, correct, and move on. And a great post.

      • Not a mistake, you are human we are here for you. You are still a chump ( although not as bad as you use to be) and still going through some of the battles chumps with children deal with. Love you CL (((( Hugs)))))

  • hey y’all.

    Let’s cut Tracy some slack here. The blog post was pretty clear. It was a fuck up, but we have all been there before, and probably, will have some more along the way. Everything is always 20/20 in hindsight, but this the real world. Personally, I know I have made adult friends via my kids, and lost those same friends years later, when my marriage exploded in a heap of rotten elephant dung. Kids are caught in the the cross-fire. Not only are they losing a two-parent home, but friends, extended family, everything. We all know this. And we call make judgement calls, with our basic instinct, which is typically “trust they DON’T suck”. Yeah that’s right. Innocent until proven guilty 10 times over. “Trusting they suck” is an acquired skill, it’s counter-intuitive to the way that I think that most of us are wired. And even the most skilled practitioner has off days. You try to get shit done, and play the hand your dealt, and you hang on to the slightest hope against hope that somehow, someway, other people won’t suck so badly today.

    This ability, the humbleness of honesty, is the difference. At the end of the day, I want to be able to look my children in the eyes and say that I did the best I could do at the time. But they won’t know that until years from know. Until they grow up, it’s only natural for a kid to want to know both of his or her parents. Yes, the dad sucks, or the mom… but I get the fact of hoping, for your own child’s sake, the other parent will have some presence. You can learn to know they suck, but I’m not sure how you learn to not be disappointed for your child’s sake, just the same.

    • Chumpman, I don’t think anybody is being down on Tracy here and I read it that practically everyone here identifies and empathises with the awful situation. However, I also read frustration in some of the comments and replies that Tracy’s ex arsehole husband seems to be getting away with murder and taking little or no responsibility for his son.

      It’s not about fucking up, it’s about this man stomping all over a decent person’s good nature and being enabled by these so called friends and getting away with it on such an epic level. I don’t even know what the answer is as each situation is unique.

      One of my contemporaries had that shit when her parents divorced many years ago. Her dad fought for custody of her to piss her mother off because he was caught several time with his pants down. Of course he didn’t get custody but he did have access to her. On weekends he was supposed to see her he promptly collected her and dumped her at his sister’s and went off philandering. This from a man who claimed to want full custody of his daughter. That just added insult to injury.

  • Okay, after reading all this I have to say that I have a different opinion from everybody here including CL (who I much admire and respect) but I have an opinion that is 180 degrees different here and I will share a story with you as I was reminded of it when I read this post.

    The SAHM is really not the sucky one at all. Who is the sucky one: CL’s ex-husband What really appears to me is this. SAHM is a SUPER chump BUT she sounds to me like a nice person. CL, your ex is DUMPING your son on this couple all the time and has been doing that for years! SAHM is actually a nice person, getting taken advantage of by her husband and your ex. Your Ex should have been the one dealing with ALL OF THIS while you were on vacation- but didn’t. EX should have had his ASS in the E.R., getting prescriptions for painkillers, talking to the doctors and assuming RESPONSIBILITY.

    Now I’ll share a story which reminded me of being stressed out. 8.5 years ago, my American neighbor/ friend divorced her Chinese husband after discovering his infidelity, moved out, took the kids and got an apartment in another city closer to her work. I liked their two kids VERY much and they grew up with my kids playing together. My American friend asked me to write something in support of her for her dissolution. I was not privy to observations about cheating and could only write about what I observed. I did describe how isolated I felt the wife was with the kids and all the child bearing responsibility she had on top of her job. It was a ‘fair’ declaration with descriptions of the situation AND I wrote and gave credit to the Chinese dad because although he was not perfect- he did CARE about the kids even if he was not a hands on Dad. The Chinese Dad grew up under Mao and was raised in a state run daycare away from his parents as all Chinese children were at that time. He didn’t have a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ type Dad for certain- but he was ‘trying’ to parent even though it was way different from how idealized American Dads parent.

    During and after the divorce the wife got primary custody of the kids living in an apartment 45 minutes away. What happened when the Chinese Dad got visitation? This was really sad but this is what happened. The kids when picked up made a BEE-LINE to MY home. They loved and played with my kids ALL weekend if they could. One day, I watched a really sad scene. Chinese Dad gets back from a trip to China. The kids and he talk briefly and then they ZIPPED over to my house where they spent most of their time. They hadn’t seen their father in 2 months! They took their ‘material’ presents he brought them from China and were happy to get something but they BEAT a path down to my door for the rest of the weekend!

    Now I love those kids but I was really NOT liking this situation AT ALL. Geez, I felt like I should have been mentioned in the Court ordered parenting plan because these kids were at my house ALL THE TIME! I felt bad for them and realized that I and my kids represented to them what had been torn from their lives- STABILITY, FRIENDSHIP, A WELCOMING HOME, A SOFT PLACE TO FALL. I however grew more and more resentful about parenting 4 kids instead of my own 2 kids every other weekend. I wanted privacy, time with my STBXH and I for Christ sake wanted my OWN free time! I felt PISSED OFF frankly!

    I knew though in my heart that these kids needed what I and my kids represented to them- sort of a ‘home’ to come to. I said nothing. If we weren’t home on the weekends, the kids started monopolizing other kids’ family time in the neighborhood as well and these parents resented it too and said so to me.

    I continued to say nothing because I didn’t want to hurt feelings AND I knew that maintaining friendships for the kids with my kids was good for everyone.

    Thank goodness for what happened next because it SAVED my sanity! The Chinese husband remarried a Chinese woman in like 1. 5 years. She was pregnant before they married and now as a U.S. citizen had a lot to deal with. I tried to be friendly with her but I think she was suspicious of me because she knew I was friends with the husband’s ex.

    About 6 months after the Chinese husband and Chinese wife married something dramatic happened. I was looking out of my window and saw a police patrol car at the house. I immediately made a beeline to the home and the Chinese husband was there alone. He told me that his new Chinese wife had been arrested because she got ‘angry’ and started a fire in the kitchen sink. There was no damage but it had set off the smoke detector. The Chinese husband told me that he thought she might be crazy as she had a depressed brother and there was ‘some’ mental illness in the family “Hmm. . .” I thought to myself.

    About 2 hours later the Chinese wife came home after being taken to a mental hospital as she was released. The Chinese husband called me and said she was now leaving. I ran over to the house and went upstairs to talk with her and gave her a hug. She was packing clothes and said she was leaving her husband. I asked her to come downstairs and talk with me and talk with the Chinese husband. Reluctantly she came down but I got her to open up. What I found out was that this woman was COMPLETELY overwhelmed and struggling to deal with step parenting. She totally felt like she was losing her battle and she felt resentment when her stepchildren were treating her rudely etc. Then I also found out that the Chinese husband was suffering from some stomach symptoms and refusing to go to a doctor because he was so scared that he might have stomach cancer or something really bad. I’m not a therapist but I put my arm around this woman and told her that she had a Tall order as a second wife and that she was to be admired for coming to the U.S. and taking on a role which was totally foreign to her. At that moment a friendship was forged. She talks to me about her difficulties in raising kids and her worries- I do not discuss ANY of this with the other wife and told her so. Why? Because she as the second wife has the hardest job and she needs support and encouragement. Although her husband cheated on the last wife I have not discussed this because she has not asked me and I do not know if this is going on again or not in their marriage now.

    Eight years later, how is it going? I like her VERY much although it has been a very difficult path for her to be a step mom because that is simply NOT done in China. When divorce happens in China, she explained that Chinese people just go on and lead separate lives and the kids’ relationships are severed with the parent who doesn’t get custody (this may be slowly changing now but it was the norm in talking with her a few years back) I really felt sorry for her trying to get used to being a step mom in a foreign country and learning how to parent step children and her own. I would talk to her and offer her advice to the best of my ability. Her step children slowly responded to being part of a blended family and they are not monopolizing all the neighbors time and my free weekend time- THANK GOD~!

    What is the situation now? My kids are teenagers, and the kids from both relationships are on friendly terms with me. It has been a blessing but it really was NOT so easy. Now when I go on vacation, my Chinese neighbor feeds my parakeet and waters my plants. I do the same for her. The teenagers from the first marriage don’t monopolize my weekend time on visitation because the Chinese wife is trying to build a relationship with them. I encouraged her to build ‘family’ time as a blended family doing things together. She has really blossomed. She learned how to garden and gets the kids to help her. I admire her and tell her that I think she is doing a great job as a Foreign step mom for someone who never even imagined step parenting!

    CL, I suspect that the Chump ‘wife’ has really been dumped on and feels overwhelmed with your son as the EX has just dumped your son with them ‘all’ the time. This past weekend must have been a melting point for her and rather than projecting her frustration on your EX -you ended up having to ‘rescue’ your son and got the brunt of her stress. In her heart of hearts she likely ‘knows’ that you are right and she needs to leave her husband but she just can’t do it cause she’s stuck in SUPER chumpdom.

    Don’t be angry with her- she has been there for your kid for MANY years. Be angry with your EX. He is most definitely -a MAJOR asshole.

    Now, I think your husband is a ‘peach’ and I am so sorry he missed out on his Red Sox game because from all you’ve written about him your man DESERVES a Red Sox game! I know you wanted to do something special for him and you will get that chance again.

    Your son is 16 years old- he is SO almost there at adulthood He needs the friendship with the boys and the family. You know what I would do? I would apologize to her and offer HER something. Volunteer for ‘her’ kids to stay at your house some weekend so that SHE gets some free time- seriously. She has had to share her Thanksgiving, Christmas vacation time etc. with your son and has shared her family time- SHE could use a return on the favor.

    Anyway, that is my 2 cents. I don’t think she’s crazy-just majorly stressed. Maybe others have a different take on the situation as well and I am interested in your and their thoughts. Hope your son is feeling better and mends quickly.

    • Hope, I get that perspective but I can’t apologize for something I did not do — dump my kid with her over the years. My ex did that. I also didn’t dump my kid with her for this trip — they offered. They invited. Their son asked. The boys wanted this. The very last people on earth I’d want a favor from are these people.

      I’m sure she does feel sick of hosting my son — feelings she should voice and act on before INVITING him to stay with them a week. I’m not responsible for her lack of boundaries. I was as gracious as I could be — sent a generous sum of money, my husband sent 10 lbs of Texas BBQ shipped to their door. And when she said she couldn’t handle it? I was there in 12 hours.

      And it would be one thing if she broke down and said she couldn’t handle it. Talked like adults, made a plan. It’s quite another thing to shriek and insult and get ugly. And then gaslight the next morning, as if she’d never said those things.

      I’ve known this person 14 years — I do have some sympathy for her situation. She’s a SAHM who had no college degree until recently and almost zero work experience. Her options were limited when D-Day hit. I think since then she is much more volatile and fragile and emotionally strung out. But fact is, she’s also always had a rage problem and been pretty narcissistic.

      I had been a very good friend to her, for years. I was in her corner when she had DDay, and I took her many calls to vent, cry, whatever. As for returning the favor? I once watched her two children — moved into their house — for a week when they won a trip to Italy. And when I lived in the area, I constantly hosted her kids. The lopsided dump off thing has been my ex’s doing. And I am not responsible for whatever resentment she feels towards him and that situation.

      For the first time — I had real sympathy for her cheater husband, being at the receiving end of her rage and crazy. I think they’re both doing some toxic dance, and I want my kid and myself far the hell away from it.

      • Sorry if I’m off the mark here and I may be hated for saying this. SAHM may be full of rage but the sympathy for her cheating husband somehow does not sit well with me. I am a little confused, you say your son’s father was nearby. Has he yet given you a reason why he couldn’t be with your son in the first place? I just feel that the ripple effect of HIS gross lack of responsibility is enormous and that he is deflecting his shit all over the place. You did everything a good mother would do at huge expense to yourself and got hurt in the process.

      • Hmm. . . .From what you are telling me, I am guess then that she is experiencing some major NPD behavior and gas lighting. Maybe her NPD husband has really ramped up the cheating etc., and she is just going ‘nuts’ with fear.

        They say that at the base of anger is “fear.” Hmm. . .I’m glad that you shared your blog with her because just maybe it ‘touched’ the truth kernel in her gut and it is ‘really’ bothering her. She knows in her gut that you are right but she can’t face the ‘change’ that it takes to get OUT of her situation. Very sad!

        Do you talk with your son about her situation, the cheating and gas lighting that she is probably experiencing? Does he minimize what is going on because he wants to be able to see his friend when his Dad gets ‘visitation’ (which is non-visitation?) Tough situation BUT CL this I know. You are one smart ‘Mom’ cookie and if you talk openly about your concerns and what is going on your son will learn a WHOLE lot. We can’t protect our kids from everything and everyone and he is about to get launched into the world in 2 years time. What we can do however is to talk about stuff with them so that they can know how to deal with people and not be sucked into chumpdom. Your son may have to work someday for an NPD asshole. This whole experience is not necessarily ‘bad’ and he may be miles ahead of other kids going into the real world, real soon.

  • Hi CL:
    What have you said to your son since this insane incident?

    It sounds like the Wife had the meltdown upon her husband’s return from a “Business Trip” aka “Cheating Trip” as far as he and she are concerned and the unfortunate fall out from this was the proper care of your son due to her inability to properly cope with reality and his total denial of reality.

    Your ex, he should just rot in hell but you know that already. His absence in all of this for your son is beyond my comprehension. As is all of this mental/emotional retardation in all of our situations and especially in this new one that you were unfortunate enough to be in. I will never fully understand anything they think or do. At this point I don’t even want to understand.

    It seems the only way to deal with this is to keep your son far from them and their son as you know this shit has had to effect the son. Unless you only let them hang out when they are with you and explain it all to your son so he knows it’s not you manipulating who he is friends with but for his own mental and physical well being.

    You are lucky it was only a broken arm this time. I hope your son will be fine and have a quick recovery.

    So Sorry you had to deal with this on your husbands 5oth Birthday.

    Happy Birthday to him and I suppose it was a lesson all to well learned so it doesn’t interfere with you and your family again.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us as I started and am still thinking of cleaning up my house of people in my life since I ended my relationship with an ass. There are a couple of questionable friends on my list.

    One who had never met my ex ass but when she found out we broke up she was looking on his fb page and wasn’t even friends with him and told me who she thought he was now dating at that she looked like me. Well, she looks nothing like me and she is damn ugly. My “friend” said she had many industry friends on fb who were friends with the new victim and she seemed to have good connections and much more going on in her life than he did.

    All of this interest and reporting to me by a so called friend who is not friends with either my ex or his new victim seemed a bit off to me and her stating that this new victim looked like me really insulted me because as I stated before, she looks like Gene Wilder.

    Needless to say, I have been out with her once since that incident and not again.

    It’s interesting what you see and how you see others once you have been through a relationship with a NPD nut job.

    I say clean your house and keep your son away from their’s entirely, at least when he is in your care.

  • CL, I hope your son is doing allright, considering being treated in such an offhand way by supposed ‘adults’. I have noticed throughout my life that a good indicator of real character is willingness to give up ones own needs, to take care of a child (even at 16, they are still tender and need lots of reassurance that they are IMPORTANT). At least he has you, and your cool H, to make it work out!

  • Dear CL
    You are a great MOM and a great WOMAN.
    Your post frustrated me… Do even the most intellegent of us ever learn? Why do we have these inane expectations that there will a normal reactions from the OTHER SIDE?
    Again and again I try to apply common sense to the laughably absurd and end up again wondering WTF I was thinking!.

    My empathy for you is palpable.
    How could something so simple go so wrong? Remedial chumpsmanship – I like that.

    My best to you and your son.
    Best regards,

  • How dreadful! I feel for you and what you had to do just to get your child back in your arms and the care he deserves. And honestly, I’m a little envious that you had a nice guy at your side, cheering you on as you jumped through the flaming shit-burning hoops those assholes erected just to fuck you over AGAIN.

    I hope you hear what everyone here is saying; you are an incredible woman, and your son is a lucky kid.

  • Wow, CL, what a crappy experience. On the other hand, your husband sounds like a true keeper.

    If your son’s father was so close by, why didn’t he pick up his own son? Did he even try to give an excuse?!

    I hope your son now realizes that this toxic couple sucks, too, and no longer wants to stay with them in the future. What is your son’s father (your ex) going to do for holidays when that happens?

    I’ve read many similar stories to yours, about ex’s cancelling on parenting time, at the last minute. It seems endemic. My divorce is pending, and I’m looking at sharing custody with my narc-ex, and trying to learn from you and everyone here on how to navigate the waters… seems like you either A) need to have a solid back-up plan if (read: when) the ex flakes, or B) don’t plan any out of town trips, at least not until the kids are 18. Because narc-ex’s suck and they will continue to suck. Yay. Fun times.

  • The important thing is that your son is all right and your husband came through for you. He really showed his character by simply going right into support gear without a hitch or a squeak. That’s a guy with his priorities straight!

    I would agree, too, that when dealing with the disordered, they is little chance that they will change. In fact, if they have any chance of changing, you need to dump them and , then — maybe, just maybe — they will change for someone else. But they rarely change for the person they’ve successfully chumped.

    You did all the right things, CL, and you have a great kid and a great husband, and you saw proof of both. Sorry for the troubles, but a lesson (re) learned is, in the long run, a good thing.

    Ever Your Admirer,

    Chump Son

  • Wow. Just reading this makes me pissed for you. What a bunch of ass holes. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • It looks as though my last comment and two subsequent replies to my comment (which came to me via email) were deleted. I’m not sure why that was.

  • Tracey, what stuck out at me in your letter was this: “This is the guy who won’t see his son! You care what HE thinks?” to which she said “If that’s true.””

    You are 100% correct it’s time to cut the relationship with her fully. She told you who she is.

    I lost a friend of 20 years after my ex pulled the gun because she insisted she could talk to my ex and me and keep it separate and would not understand that this was unacceptable to me. During that conversation she said “You know, I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened” and “You know, I could have agreed not to talk to him and done it anyway and you would never have known it”. She told me who she was and after what I’d been through I believed her…

    Her big deal was that I couldn’t tell her who she could be friends with. She didn’t understand I was telling her who I could be friends with. I could not be friends with someone who doubted my word and insisted she could be friends with someone who came within an instant of shooting me dead.

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