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Dear Chump Lady, He wants a character reference

Hi CL,

I was married for 25+ years to a serial cheater, liar, sex addict, abuser, manipulator (yeah, he was all that and a bag of chips). I finally threw him out last summer and we were divorced last fall — best thing I ever did.

We haven’t communicated much (a good thing), but we do meet briefly once a month or so, to coordinate a monthly settlement payment and legal paperwork. Also, our college age son is living at his dad’s house, and we’ve had to discuss issues about him.

Like so many cheaters — less than two weeks after being tossed from my house, my ex moved in with another woman with several kids, who is still in the process of a divorce. He love bombed her, rushed the relationship, and told our friends and family that he was thinking about marrying/buying a house with her, that they were “meant to be” — all after supposedly only knowing her a few weeks. I’ve just stayed out of it figuring he is still the same old loser he’s always been.

Last time we talked, though, he out of the blue asked, “Would you be willing to talk to my new girlfriend? She wants to communicate with you about what kind of person I am, and learn more about my background.”

After picking my jaw off the floor, I said, “Are you sure about that? Because I wouldn’t lie to her about anything. At all.”

He said, “I know, I’m not asking you to.” He claims he has been totally honest with her and that he is a changed man.

I told him I’d have to think about it. Some part of me feels like “Yes! Time to release the truth hounds! Maybe this woman/victim can be saved from throwing away years of life, love and trust on this truly awful human being.”

But mostly I think I am just being played somehow, since he is the one asking and since she has clearly rushed into things, too. I think they’ll just write it off as “see how crazy the ex-wife is?”

Should I just walk away? Or should I have “the talk” with the new woman in his life about what I really think of him and what kind of person he is, if the opportunity arises?

Thanks a million,


Dear SummerGirl,

Oh man. You asked the wrong person. I have a big mouth. I would relish nothing more than to provide a character reference for a “serial cheater, liar, sex addict, abuser, manipulator.” I would probably come armed with PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheets, flip charts and a whole freaking multimedia display complete with laser pointer. She could take the whole mess — his dating profiles, porn, furtive emails, decades of double life evidence — home in a monogrammed duffle bag. My Trust That He Sucks public service campaign would be complete.

But I have the nagging feeling this is the wrong thing to do, as delicious and irresistible as it would be. See, SummerGirl, I have this weakness of trying to speak truth to stupid. At the end of the day, I’m still a big chump, and think I possess superpowers that compel people to do The Right Thing. (The thing I want them to do, of course. I’m noble that way… [cough].)

All the evidence points to the fact that she knows exactly who he is — a cheater — it’s just that she, like countless affair partners before her, thinks that she’s Special. Oh no, he’s a changed man. It’s different with her. Her love is the perfect love that can save him. You were awful and you misunderstood him, but she is the Fated One, whom the heavens bless. This relationship is a guaranteed train wreck, but no, They Love Against the Odds and they will win!

Truth meet stupid.

Was it a coincidence that she divorced at just the same time you threw him out? Is there a dating site for recent divorcees who want to shack up together in under two weeks? No, SummerGirl. She’s just another OW, and you don’t owe her anything. Except to stand by and let karma flatten her.

Your ex is a practiced manipulator. I can’t untangle the skein, but I can guess at a couple motivations for such a stupid request. a) He’s so narcissistically delusional he thinks you’d really tell her how wonderful he is, and it would be extra kibbles for him. b) He’d like you to come across as upset and angry to his schmoopie about their affair, so he gets the hit of how naughty they are. And you unwittingly add that extra frisson of torridness to their love life. c) He wants you to play straight man to the No, He’s Really Changed! routine.

I think it’s “c.” I imagine such an encounter would go like this — you would present evidence to her that he’s every bit the disordered wing nut and she would go “Oh no. He’s totally changed now. With me, it’s different!” And then she might trot out the incredible character changing remedies they’ve tried — he read a book! He went to counseling! He had past life regression therapy! Then with great condescension she would “apologize” for taking him from you. You’ll just have to understand SummerGirl, that it was bigger than them both, and you failed to love him the way she loves him.

I think you’ve got better things to do than listen to her crap. They’re two people doing crazy, irresponsible shit. Why? Because they want to. They’re either self destructive, narcissistic, delusional, or all three. I’m sorry children are involved. That makes me want to pull out the super suit and cape and save her from her stupidity, but it’s a force bigger than us both. The stupidity cannot be denied.

SummerGirl, I think the way to play this is leave them the hell alone. Go no contact (or minimal contact, considering your son.) If he asks? Your reply is:

“I’ve got nothing to say. I think your character speaks for itself.”

And then stand back and get on with your life. I hear the whistle of the karma train…

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • No. Don’t do it. It is weird and I think it abuses you further. The whole idea is preposterous. Stay NO CONTACT and see the karma bus (as Chump Lady suggests) flatten both of them.

  • Brilliant.

    SummerGirl, deny him that mindf*ck and chance to take up space in your life. So many love nothing more than pitting narcissistic suppliers against eachother, especially when one can be caught unawares.

  • I think he just wants you to recognize his sparkler has been refurbished and he’s all shined up. Way better than before! Can’t you see the difference?

  • Chump Lady, you are spot on with the advice once again. Early in my X’N’s new relationship (they married a respectable 3 weeks after our divorce was final but I didn’t know it at the time), in a series of texts, she seemed to be fishing for information. She certainly told me a lot of information that wasn’t true about our marriage such as we were already divorced and living apart. I told her exactly what she didn’t want to hear, trying to save the poor chump from making a mistake. But, in the end, I was made out to be the crazy one. I guess the lure of not living in a dump anymore, health insurance, no more worries about how to pay her bills, and trips to see her grandchild 4 states away every couple of months was worth it. The karma bus is in the station and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

  • If she’s ready and willing to move some strange guy into her place when she has kids at home, then as far as I’m concerned, there’s no getting through to her. The Owife in my situation (and she’s definitely the OW) did this to her kids. Who does that? Who moves a complete stranger in that she barely knows with her kids? Who moves her kids away from everything that they know and love to a completely new life with a stranger and his kids who live there part-time? A disordered, selfish nutter, that’s who. There’s absolutely no reasoning with that, and I wouldn’t bother wasting my breath talking to that either. Stay NC. Neither of them deserve your attention. And Happy at Last– I agree with your summation about the OW in your situation: “I guess the lure of… health insurance, no more worries about how to pay her bills…” also describes my XWH’s Owife perfectly. XWH pushed the divorce early and tried to knock me off of his health insurance because the OW needed to be on it! Yeah, you can’t argue with stupid, selfish, and crazy.

    • “XWH pushed the divorce early and tried to knock me off of his health insurance because the OW needed to be on it!”

      Two weeks after dday, my now-xh said that we should get divorced soon because it wasn’t fair to the other OW that we were still married….the OW who he had been “in love” with for maybe a month by that time.

      Yep, like you said, “Yeah, you can’t argue with stupid, selfish, and crazy.”

  • As tempting as it might be to spill, my vote is NO. How cruel but typical, that he wants you to play a part in cementing his relationship with the AP. You’re on your own slimeball!
    In an age where they talk of putting all your medical info on a computer chip implanted on your person, I wish they could do the same with the unvarnished truth about a cheater’s relationship history. It could make dating easier. Although, it would be a terrible invasion of privacy, in the case of a malignant narc/cheater/abuser/manipulator, it would be very germane.
    Of course, the majority of them go undiagnosed. Guess, we all just to have to fix our pickers.

  • I need a poster / t-shirt / mug in my life that reads: Don’t speak truth to stupid.

    This is a thing I need.

  • I want a chapter in Chump Lady’s book with all the great one sentence zingers that have been written on this blog…

    • Me, too! And this one definitely belongs there: “I’ve got nothing to say. I think your character speaks for itself.”

      SeeTheLight is spot on with this: “How cruel but typical, that he wants you to play a part in cementing his relationship with the AP”

      This is just a manipulator playing on your virtues (I will speak truth! I will save someone!) to serve his own, twisted ends. NC all the way…

    • I actually have one. Just finished it. It’s Stupid Shit Cheaters Say — And How to Respond.

      Chock full of rejoinders, for when you’re just too gobsmacked to say anything.

      • “…full of rejoinders, for you’re just too gobsmacked to say anything.”

        And can we have this in a special iPhone/Android App with voice
        recognition that automatically says the rejoinder for us?

        I saw the movie ‘Her’ and thought:
        “Wow, if Chump Lady was my phone’s personality it would be so cool…”

        • All I have to say is SILENCE IS GOLDEN! –
          They are all emotionally retarded and twisted like a pretzel and will never ever get it. Since they will make up whatever they want to say to OW with or without your assistance, let them do what they will do without you! : )

  • CL’s advice is spot on. Don’t go there SummerGirl. It’s inherently narcissistic of him to think that you would even consider speaking about him with the OW. As if you don’t have better things to do than carve out time to meet with his OW? Seriously? Who even asks that?

    No. It’s full of crazy and you don’t need it.

    My STBX has a girlfriend with young kids and they were together in a hot second after our separation. (Maybe before…who knows?) It’s astonishing to me that people throw kids into this mix of deception and double speak. I believe it speaks further to their character.

    I have moments when I’d like to shake some sense into both of them and as a super chump I have tried on behalf of my child. It has NEVER worked. I’ve begged my STBX for “time” for our child transition to new homes and come to some understanding of the divorce. Nope. It didn’t happen.

    It truly sucks when there are youngsters involved but there is nothing you can do. Your ex and this OW need to sort out it out. Not you. That she even wants to or would consider speaking to you about your perception of his character tells me she really doesn’t quite trust her own. So you know, that mindf*ck is all hers. Let her sort it out through her own experience with him.

    Take care of you.

    • They do what they want.
      My STBX nodded in agreement with the kids’ therapist about how to transition kids into the new relationship (after I discovered he planned to move OW in on the sly, contra divorce agreement).
      So how did it end up?
      They got married when the kids had only met her 1x, and I got the blame for the lack of a relationship. ExH, OWife and new baby moved overseas so at least the kids are only with them for limited amounts of time.
      (Though now I have the stress of sending them alone on flights with transfers)

  • The most powerful move I ever made was to NOT respond to the OW’s “heartfelt, sincere,” “Let’s get along for the kids” letter that she and X concocted for 7 hours one day at work (dumbass forgot that Word has “Authored By” and the amount of time spent writing it in Properties). It was a piece of pure hateful trash, mixed with such sensitive gems as, “I’m no stranger to the pains of divorce” and pious self congratulations, “As a God-fearing Catholic, I want to forgive you.” Yup, she wanted to FORGIVE me for something I did not do!

    [They] wrote it at work on Friday, and as hard as it was not to respond, I did not. X sent the venom on Monday. I’m guessing it KILLED THEM that I never took their bait. It’s true that silence is the best reply to a fool.

    Truthfully, it was harder NOT to send the whole piece of trash to the president of the University they work at to direct them to stop harassing me while at work. X lost his job within two months anyway, but it would have been so sweet for her to get fired, too.

  • Buyer’s remorse in a love bombed, needy, mother of several kids? I’ll bet. But due diligence would be to check references before you let him move in. Not your problem, SummerGirl.

  • SummerGirl,

    CL is right, just walk away and go NC. Like they say if the cheat with you they will cheat on you so her time will come. Just like CL said tell him “I’ve got nothing to say. I think your character speaks for itself.” Then turn your back at all the bullshit and start your new, awesome life without the low life cheater!

  • As CL said in a recent post, “He fired you from giving a shit about him when he cheated.”

    End of. You don’t need to speak truth to stupid, and this woman is very, very stupid. The correct answer is ,”Hell to the NO.”

    Your business with him concerns your kid, and nothing else. I would be more concerned with that.

    And that, my chumpy friend, can be dealt with by email.

    Step away from the skein, and get on with your wing-nut free life.


  • SummerGirl, every single moment you spend NC empowers you, and every single moment you have to deal with your ex takes away from you. Meeting his current girlfriend is not good on ALL levels for you. The fact that your ex and his girlfriend are requesting this means that they want/need something from this meeting, and you are simply the avenue to get what they want. Is their conscience bugging them when they wake up in the middle of the night? Highly likely. Are they having moments of intense guilt that it may be ruining their superficial, perceived happiness? Possibly. If so, they want the guilt to go away. Solution: “Why don’t we make ourselves feel better by talking to SummerGirl.” If you come across as a lunatic, then the girlfriend can say, “No wonder he left her!” and your ex can simply conclude that leaving you “was the right thing to do.” If you come across as gracious and even-tempered, then it would be, “Oh good, she’s over him. We don’t feel guilty since this was the best thing for all.” See how that works? They are doing this for themselves. All over again, your ex is using you to make them feel better about themselves. You have the power to say NO.

    I read from a spiritual teacher (paraphrasing here) that the harm we inflict upon others do harm them temporarily but in the end the injury is not nearly so great to them as it was to those that caused the harm. The person seemingly harmed has an opportunity to rise more than ever before (they eventually recover and grow) whereas the perpetrator of the nasty deed is haunted by memories until the day comes when he can finally forgive himself.

    Trust that there is a force greater than what we see in the works here on the visible plane. Let that force do its work. In the meantime, continue life in bliss with zero (or minimal) contact with the cheater.

    • Ah, Uniquelyme! You are my hero and now you are my Oracle (second only to CL).

      I have been struggling this weekend because I have had some minor dealings with the STBX and he is wearing his human mask over his pig turd face. I started ruminating on how he never seems to suffer any consequences for any of his foul and egregious behavior towards anyone, and seems to blithely skip along living a charmed life. I described it to a friend recently as feeling as if he’s Dorian Grey and I’m the picture. He just texted to me yesterday, “I plan on doing right by you. What do you think about that?” My response to that was, “I think you believe what you say.” He then responded, “I try. Sometimes it is difficult.” Difficult to do right? Difficult to do right by me? Both? I didn’t respond and left that skein untangled because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because it ends up being the same result for me.

      I don’t know if he truly feels anything deeply except those things that affect him either positively or negatively. He is so dishonest and manipulative, I just assume anything that comes out of his mouth is self-serving and meant to manipulate or intimidate. I took heart from the part of the quote that states, “the person seemingly harmed has an opportunity to rise more than ever before (they eventually recover and grow) . . . Trust that there is a force greater than what we see in the works here on the visible plane.” That phrase and your follow up gave me such a sense of peace when I read it and I thank you for sharing it.

      I needed that today. ((HUGS))

      • Chump Princess, karma – whether good or bad – is one of the laws of the universe and I’ve seen it play out not just in my life but in the lives of others. What we put out there comes back to us so I am choosing to be kind and gracious to the ex (in thoughts and deeds) although I fail miserably sometimes. And when I choose to be unkind, I know I suffer. Think about it. When we do something we regret, we are so hard on ourselves. Initially, we may justify it but eventually, it catches up, and we need to face ourselves. The caring people, like chumps, tend to get to the pangs of guilt more quickly than the cheaters but they’ll get there.

        Your ex will do everything to convince himself he did the right thing. Showing regret or remorse makes him too vulnerable which is quite scary. Being self-aware could be the death of him so he pretends his life is okay. Give it time. Trust that he is on the road to self- destruction.

          • I could be wrong Chump Princess, but when I read that you said, “I think you believe what you say.” and he responded, ” I try. Sometimes it is difficult.” …I took that to mean he doesn’t believe what he says either. Sort of like he’s telling you he lies a lot!

            • You know echo, he may not have intended it that way, but it sure is the truth. His lying is pathological as in, if his lips are moving and he’s not chewing, he’s lying. His subconscious revealing what his conscious attempts to hide.

              Thanks for pointing that out. LOL!

  • “I read from a spiritual teacher (paraphrasing here) that the harm we inflict upon others do harm them temporarily but in the end the injury is not nearly so great to them as it was to those that caused the harm. The person seemingly harmed has an opportunity to rise more than ever before (they eventually recover and grow) whereas the perpetrator of the nasty deed is haunted by memories until the day comes when he can finally forgive himself.”

    Did I ever need to hear this! For lots of reasons! Gives me lots of thoughts, besides hoping it is true. Would this apply only to people with a conscience? I wonder how it reaches narcissists and others who put themselves above the concept of forgiving themselves because it’s “not their fault” or are incapable of caring because they have no conscience?

    • Margaret, I believe that unless one is truly diagnosed as a psychopath/sociopath, we all have a conscience and cheaters simply attempt to drown theirs … but it is temporary. Chumps just have easy access to it. No matter how cheaters pretend it doesn’t bother them, it does. They may never admit it and they drown those pangs of guilt by buying more things, drinking, working too many hours, gambling, pursuing the OW (or whoever is the flavor of the month), ensuring the OW gives them what they want, etc. But, in the end, it’s not sustainable. Conscience will win out. It will not forever remain silent. (See Shakespeare’s plays.)

      I’ve seen this with my serial cheater ex. He has spent hours with his parents telling them he feels horribly guilty (he never knew I found out because his sister told me, not his parents), he looks terrible, he is on medication to sleep and his eyes are so dull you would think his brown eyes are now grey. He has done things that have made people say, “Huh?” He is spending so much money to feel better, and he was very financially savvy when we were together. When he came to see me a year later (unannounced) after the break-up, it was quite obvious who was more miserable between the two of us – him, by a wide margin. And he is stuck with an OW that refuses to go away because she has nowhere to go and refuses to work. A winning combination if I ever saw one.

      Be patient, Margaret, your cheater did not create himself. He doesn’t have complete control of his life, even though he thinks he does. He can lie to himself as well as he can lie to you but in the end, it will still be a lie. Good old conscience will come a-knocking. By the way, I read what I said in my post came from Joel Goldsmith’s “Practicing the Presence.”

  • Are you kidding me? I would suggest he is doing it because he is a sick son of a bitch who wants to watch his chumped ex interact with his live-in hoebag. It makes everyone uncomfortable and all about him. A decent person would not want his ex wife and his current partner to feel uncomfortable. Perhaps he wants you to be “friends” with her! That way he doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable. Again, it’s all about me!

  • Seriously, you cannot be rational with irrational people so why bother. If the two of them have love bombed each other that is a train wreck you need to avoid like the plague. NC is so much healthier for you. Let him screw up his life on his own. People always revert to type. Perhaps they will embark on a folie a deux and wind up in Canada.

  • Twisted request all around. Just say no to being used by him and take a trip to Colorado for some relaxing weed.

    Here’s another twist on CL’s (c option; the OW has now LIVED with your ex and she’s wondering if all the shit he told her about you is really true. He has figured that you will be emotional and give him traction to show her yes! You drove him to her arms and yes! the reason he’s acted out on her is because he’s still recovering from your abuse. It’s the you’re so special OW, only YOU can fix me thing, coupled with the “don’t act like my ex” cos it hurts me thing. So it really boils down to your ex convincing OW that she is “so special” she can fix his brokenness, and the beat goes on…

    • datdamwuf,

      This makes perfect sense if one can get inside the mind of a manipulative controller.

      Are you sure you haven’t been an FBI Profiler in another life?

      A really cool and calculating customer (which most are NOT when they have been nuked and are hurting so badly, that all they want is relief) would seize upon this opportunity to very sweetly and passive-aggressively do some extremely clever mind-f*cking with these two flaming dysfunctionals.

      But I don’t recommend it because it requires total detachment and an ability to be a bit of a psychopath oneself…and it would leave a person with a conscience feeling dirty.

      [Never wrestle with a pig. You will both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it!]

  • I wouldn’t engage. That part of me that tries to be helpful would probably get the crap beat out of it by the part that values honesty, especially being honest to myself, and… quite honestly… “they less we talk, the better. And why are we having this discussion?”.

    • Seriously, I thought 2 more seconds about it, and I had to add this:

      Who does he think he is? A little girl? And you’re his daddy, I suppose? Is he going to be bringing “home” all of his dates for your approval?

  • SummerGirl,

    I totally agree with CL and everyone else – leave that funky dog of dysfunction in the corner farting and snoring. What do YOU have to gain by talking to this woman who was clearly the OW? This seems like a ploy to triangulate you into their nonsense. There are books on Amazon that can give her all the information on men that she needs. She can do a Google search and look up behavior and behavior disorders in potential partners and partners. If your XH resembles any of them, she can make a decision what to do about it. You divorced him after over 25 years – that’s your input writ large. She can interpret that as a warning or not. Not your problem.

    They aren’t living on the prairie with no running water and no electricity (I don’t think) – we live in the digital age. She can run an on-line background check on him for a small fee if she’s concerned. These sound like two self-absorbed, navel-gazing idiots seeking you out for entertainment and to make them feel vital.

    CL gave you the best quote ever – “I’ve got nothing to say. I think your character speaks for itself.” Nothing else needs to be said. Ignore him and remain as far as you can out of the clown car that is his life.

    • lol. That little voice in your head saying, “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” is there for a reason, right?

      These folks have poor boundaries. And like the vampire who must be invited in, the invitation to over-step your boundaries begins with “Would you be willing…?”

      • No kidding TimeHeals, I had the Danger, Danger voice going off in my head about Summergirl’s ex. There is NO rational reason he would ask this.

        And a vampire is the perfect = for a narc.

  • Summergirl,

    My mom told me that if you don’t have anything good to say about someone, then stay quiet.

    Either refuse completely or spill it all. Either way, your ex won’t be given the positive light that he’s probably hoping for from you.

  • Yeah, don’t even bother with that shit. That’s a huge waste of your time that will not benefit you in any way at all. It won’t even matter what you say. You could tell the truth and tell her that he’s a fucked up liar asshole, or you could tell her that he’s the next incarnation of the Dalai Llama. Doesn’t matter. He would find a way to twist it into you being the bad one. Because that’s what they do.

    “He’s a cheating liar” gets turned into “She didn’t satisfy me…oh but you do baby, you’re SPECIAL.”

    “He’s not really such a bad guy” gets turned into “See? It’s for real, I’m a CHANGED MAN, and it’s just too bad that she doesn’t have me anymore.”

    No matter what you say, he will demonize you. He will humiliate you. There is NOTHING good that can come out of this and frankly, it’s unprecedentedly selfish that he would cheat on you and the have the audacity to ASK YOU TO GIVE HIM A CHARACTER REFERENCE. I mean, christ, just exactly how big IS his ego? I can’t think of an entity big enough to compare to the sheer mass of his ego.

    Don’t waste your time. Don’t get pulled into that trap. Don’t feed his already engorged ego. You don’t even have to tell him you’re not going to do it. Just don’t answer him when he asks about it. Keep it to business. You speak to him only for legal paperwork and that’s only because you have to. He’ll get that hint eventually.

  • I think you’re WAY too engaged with the ex–so much so that you reply to his bullshit texts, and you meet once a month to go over business deals (that should be handled electronically) and that he has the opportunity to ask you if you’d speak to the current homewrecker and you’re CONSIDERING IT!! ???

    Cut that off, and now!

    From the last CL post, “You fired me from caring.”

    My advice is to move on and turn him off. He’s getting his jollies off of being able to pull strings–he’s still the puppet master.

    And we all get it–there’s that fear of loneliness, the feeling that you still love him, that you want to know what is happening in his life, that you want to witness the karma train wreck.

    She is reveling in this new “love” (it ain’t love) and wants to immerse herself in all of him by meeting his ex WIFE, and/or gloat in her victory. She is morbidly curious about you and you might be of her, as well. And he is directing all of this. Why would you give two seconds of thought toward something he wants from you??

    Do you really believe this woman operates on anything based in rationality or truth? Do you think that anything you have to say even matters one iota? You only stand to LOSE in this situation. Best case scenario–you come off cool as a cucumber (saying what, exactly, the truth? Why??). She leaves him. (Hahahahha! Right) Then what? Worst case? You look like the jilted first wife, angry and bitter. Either way, HE IS PULLING YOUR STRINGS and hers! Don’t give him the pleasure, don’t let him know that he still controls you. Stop replying to his texts, do not engage on the subject with one more syllable, not even “No.” This subject needs no “closure” and he deserves no answer to such a preposterous request.

    Listen to your chump-mates here, my dear! SILENCE IS GOLDEN! SILENCE is YOUR power!!

    Have him send support payments electronically or by bill pay. No need to meet him ever. He has a legal obligation, and that is that.

    You go work on yourSELF and finding someone worthy of your time.

  • I’m not sure that I believe he or she have feelings of guilt, at least not the same feelings that you would recognize as guilt. Regardless–their motivations are not the same as yours. You would struggle to make sense of their actions using your thought processes and/or emotions, because they are thought DISORDERED. Their brains don’t work the same as yours, their feelings and thoughts lead to choices and behaviors very, very different from what you would rationally choose. This is what I think CL means by trying to untangle the skein–don’t even bother. Good Lord, what if you begin to think like they do as a side effect?? Save your empathy for someone who matters.

  • Don’t do it. I agree with Dr. I Can’t Believe, above. This is all about creating a confusing swirl, one in which he stands at the center. Imagine the wonder of it! Two women discussing…HIM! No matter what you do, you can’t win. If you go negative, you are the bat-shit crazy ex. (You’ll be portrayed that way.) If you admit that he had occasional good qualities, then you provide evidence of his transition. He may also think that you will check out the new chickadee and start wondering, “Well, maybe he was good all along. Maybe she’s better than I am. Maybe….” Again, this is his little drama, his little play, and he’s doing the casting for the roles. As the others advise, I’d say you should just firmly and politely decline. There is nothing here for you. Nada. Time to board that Karma Train!

  • Eek, I wouldn’t have much to say to this new wife-to-be either. I don’t have much experience with this sort of situation–my ex’s first “serious girlfriend” turned out to be a total nut-job, and I don’t date–but one of my friends gave me a heck of a story. She had left her husband because of domestic abuse, and she tried to warn Wife #2 that she would probably be beaten also. Wife #2 thought she was the Special One for Whom He Would Change. One night, several months later, Wife #2 called Wife #1, crying that she had been beaten up. The moral is, sadly, she probably won’t listen anyway.

    • The abuse scenario you speak of is common apparently. I didn’t warn my ex’s OW because hell, she knew I had a protective order – I thought about talking to her because I know he was telling her I was an abuser. Ultimately I realized that was idiocy, after all the OW sure wasn’t thinking about me when she was being his “soul mate”, fuck her. The OW figured she was so special she could fix him, not my job to help her. Why would I risk myself by talking to her? I got off the crazy train and left them both on board.

      When I renewed my PO I discovered that 6 months after divorce was final my ex attacked the OW (now GF) and she put a protective order on him for several months. Unfortunately, the karma bus STILL didn’t hit him, once again he did NOT get arrested for domestic assault. It boggles my mind that didn’t happen when he already had my PO on him, there was a room mate as a witness, and he broke down her bedroom door. Irony, 3 days before my PO renewal his GF had HER PO removed and he moved back in with her.

      Point being; CL is right. When truth meets stupid, the lights do not go on.

  • CL, your replies never fail to brighten my mood and my day! :)… Did I tell u I stopped seeing my overpriced Therapist the day I spent half a day reading this blog. :)… I would gladly pay you for the wisdom and humor I get here. God bless u CL.

    • CL would never bring it up, but she does have a “donate to the blog” button on site. (If I emptied all my assets into donations, it still wouldn’t be enough to repay her from saving me from dissolving into a miserable heap.)

  • SummerGirl, after all is said and done, it’s completely irrelevant why your ex wants the meeting. The more pertinent question is: what will this meeting do for you? Do you want to go because you’re curious? Do you want to be assured that your ex made a fool of himself? While I understand the morbid curiosity, maybe practicing extreme self-care trumps it. No need to take chances that you might get hurt in the process. It simply is not worth your emotional well-being. No contact is still the only way to help with your healing and reaching meh.

  • “We can’t fix stupid, but we can sedate it.” – Nurse’s T-shirt.

    Summergirl, this request reminds me of the time about 2 months after my XH moved out when he stopped by one night unannounced to drop off some papers. He left his car running in the driveway while he droned on and on for 10 minutes about the paperwork, his life, the kids, etc., in a stop that should have taken 10 seconds. It was weird. Suspicious, I left him talking to the kids while I went upstairs and looked out the window at his car. Sure enough, OW was sitting in it, getting more and more annoyed that he was taking so long.

    Finally, he left and got in his car. I watched OW rip him a new one and remember being insulted that he dared to bring THAT WOMAN to our house, even if he did leave her in the car in the driveway.

    Looking back, I realize he was just playing one of his stupid games. He had OW waiting on him while he thought he was getting away with something with ME by having HER wait in the driveway. Of course he denied it later when I asked him, but I SAW HER and knew he was lying.

    I agree with the others, Summergirl – your XH has a hidden agenda with this request. The only way to win is NOT TO PLAY. Sedate that stupidity NOW!

    • don’t you love it when they deny something you saw with your own eyes? are you going to believe him or your own eyes lol. Talk about gaslighting. My ex was/is an expert when it comes to gaslighting! he looked right at me, denying the phone calls between the OW’s and himself while I had the phone logs in my hand lol. still SMH…

      • I can’t tell you how many times he looked me straight in the eye and lied about OW. It made me wonder how many OTHER things he lied about over the years since he never flinched…

        • I know, same here…I can assure you there is so much more than we know about and like you said, not just the lies about makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it and just the thought of him touching me all those times while lying through his teeth makes my skin crawl now..all the times after he was with the OW’s then touching me…makes me want to barf…

  • call his bluff and say, ” sure as long as her parents get to here what I have to say too.”

  • I have an all time favorite my best friends husband said after one of their adult spoiled kids called & she was trying to figure out their skein. It reminds me of the gist of CL’s stellar post above:
    “Don’t bother figuring it out Dorothy, YOU CAN’T OUTSMART STUPIDITY!!”

  • I’d give a reference, but I’d keep it business-like: “Fired for cause. Not eligible for rehire.”

  • Don’t do it…you don’t want to spoil the surprise! Seriously, they’re just trying to stir up some drama. They got what they wanted, but they have to triangulate to keep things exciting? Oh, well….

  • Talking about the karma bus. I know this is sort of off-topic, but it’s been in the news recently. Did you know that Mia Farrow was an OW to Andre Previn when she was like 21 years old and he in his 40s and their affair caused Previn’s wife to have a nervous breakdown and be hospitalized? Not that this excuses Woody Allen’s totally inappropriate behavior with Soon-Yi at all, and I do have some sympathy for what Mia Farrow has been through, but maybe some of the things Farrow did when she was young came back to bite her.

  • Seriously, who asks their betrayed spouse to give a character reference to their affair partner? A disordered person, that’s who. And when you are dealing with the disordered, there is always a hidden agenda involved and it is always to your disadvantage.

    I’d say the reasons for this request are:

    Cheater wants to rub it in your face that he has someone new.
    Cheater wants to triangulate you and the OW.
    Cheater hopes you will go off on him, thereby “proving” what he’s undoubtedly told the OW about you being “a crazy bitch.”
    OW wants to rub her “victory” in your face.
    All of the above.

    Regardless of their disordered reasons, you are better off staying away from both of them. I also suggest finding a way to handle business issues with your ex other than meeting him once per month. No need for that.

  • I was married for entirely too long to a serial cheater/seduction addict/liar/con artist/manipulator, and this smells exactly like the drama that was his fundamental underlying addiction. Drama addicts can and will turn any situation into more bloated, tiresome, silly, melodrama to feed their never-ending chapters of The Me Show. This is not about your testimony to his current OW, nor her need for your input, this is about keeping the drama mill spinning. You have successfully escaped the dense gravitational pull of the drama machine, which will automatically prompt your XH to turn himself inside out to pull you back in. Don’t bite.

  • My psycho ex invited one of his OW’s to come to a craft show I was doing. He bragged about how talented I was. She and his other whores actually bought soap, candles and body products from me! This was before DD – while I was oblivious to the affairs. What kind of sick people do these things? If he asked me to give his latest a reference, I would just point her to the Bad Boy Report.

    • Yeah, and who can even imagine how twisted the others are! No soap could wash off the stench that betrayal.

  • Absolutely do not do this. You owe him and his schmoopie nothing, it’s rude and ridiculous to ask you to talk to her. These guys are so delusional, they always think “we can all be friends.” They have no compassion or understanding of the emotional pain they inflict. Protect yourself from him, you are the only one who can.

    • My ex FIL did this to my ex MIL. Left her, never admitted he was with another woman, but would meet mil for a diner dinner every zfriday so he could retain his little harem and never get properly divorced. He strung her along about his fabu lawsuits that were sure to bring in big cash for his nonexistent business. She worked retail for min wage, lived alone as a married woman and died of cancer a few years later. An the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. My narc brags to others about his good looking ex wife. Because you know, he’s so special he even kicks the pretty ones to the curb

  • I found a scrap of paper with ex-bf Mr. Cheater-Pants’s address and phone number in my then-current bf Mr. Control-Issues’s pocket (I was doing laundry, and yes this is every bit as bizarre as it sounds). I asked Mr. Control-Issues why on earth he had that, since he knew I was NC with Mr. Cheater-Pants for almost a year. Mr. Control-Issues deflected and blame-shifted for about ten minutes (“well, you looked up my son on Facebook!” “oh, so I’m on trial here!”) before finally blurting out, “maybe I wanted to ask him about you!” Are you happy now?”

    Finally understanding that Mr. Control-Issues was definitely a wrong-un, and quite possibly dangerous, I felt obliged to break NC and warn Mr. Cheater-
    Pants about Mr. Control-Issues. Mr. Cheater-Pants was a baffled as I was. He said, “what could he possibly ask me about you that he doesn’t already know?”

    So : SummerGirl, you can’t possibly tell the OW anything she doesn’t already know. Your ex is playing headgames with you.

  • For the last couple of weeks I have been considering becoming an Artists Rep for someone as a new career. I have been in Marketing all my life and was considering it as I liked his project/art. Then I started feeling the “sparkliness,” the self absorption, the consideration of others a little too far down the list…..and thank God for this site, I recognized I was actually being attracted into a business relationship with a Narc/Nutjob. Last night he hit me with a passive/aggressive quasi-insult that could be taken more than one way & I told him I was not interested. I was so glad I recognized who he was and did not try to make up Chumpy excuses for his bad behavior & ego trip. I have worked for one before & sure do not want to repeat that mistake. Man, these people are everywhere!

  • Actually, I have a confession to make. This is my fantasy. OW (if you could call a 22 year old a woman) is a self proclaimed inspirational speaker and “dream inspirer”. Her passion is to help teens and their parents achieve their dreams. X now living with her after fathering her baby, has started a business. He uses the fact he is a “parent” to promote his newage focus and has written blogs about how his philosophy is based on “simplicity and honesty” . I just want to write a testimonial for them from both my and my children’s perspectives. Pointless I know, but I imagine I would get some satisfaction out of it and it would give me and my friends something to have a giggle over. And….well it would only be defamation if they could prove it’s not true….and well….deep down I don’t want to give him the time…but every so often I think awwww fuckit! 😉

  • Dear Summergirl; Keep your chin up, it sounds like you have a doosy—a “Newage” narc-a-doosy to be exact! How nauseating he is spreading the “good word” about all his loftiness and understanding of life’s depths. (barf) Well, with his new Baby Mama and his “magic wand”, it sounds like he is all set!
    Like many have said, you couldn’t make this shit up!!

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