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Dear Chump Lady, How do I manage weekly contact?

notmyproblemDear Chump Lady,

My ex-husband of ten years effectively abandoned me while I was pregnant with our 2nd child (our oldest, now 8 years old, is mildly disabled) due to his emotional affair with a ho-worker. I had to go back to full-time work at 7 months pregnant for the first time in 7 years because XH flat-out insisted that supporting the family (he wasn’t making any money at his job, but stuck with it because of his “friendship” with the ho-worker) wasn’t his responsibility. He later had a physical affair with another woman, and ultimately, insisted on rushing the divorce so he could pursue her. She dumped him before the divorce was final (and wrote a hilariously narcissistic blog post about dumping him), so, um, yeah, that worked out.

Fast forward to now. I have been divorced for 5 months. All things considered, I am happy with where my life is right now. My commute is long and my job is not glamorous, but it is a government job with a nice assortment of benefits, relative job security, and opportunities for advancement. My children (ages 8 and 18 months) are happy, I have an active social life, my finances are in good shape (something that was seldom true when I was with XH), and I am very slowly finishing my master’s degree. (Passed my final comp a few weeks after the divorce finalized!) I was never overweight, but I am now two dress sizes slimmer than I was pre-pregnancy and looking and feeling great. I am just starting to date again.

The problem: I have to see my XH on a fairly regular basis due to visitation. The “why” isn’t important; it cannot be changed. I have to see him so that I can hand off the children to him 4-5 times per week, and he often does his visitation at my apartment while I am at work. You say that these NPD cheaters only have 3 channels: rage, charm, and “pity me.” Well, he’s been stuck in “pity me” mode for some time now, and it’s getting to me.

He mopes about how depressed he is. He sends me texts that say things like, “I have decided that I am of absolutely no worth to anybody and the only thing I am good for is paying child support so I’m just going to keep on working and doing that and let that be my life.” He reminds me of how broke he is because of how much child support he is paying. (In actuality, I am letting him pay $200-$250/month less than what he agreed to pay in the divorce; he’s broke because his job sucks and he refuses to even look for a new one!)

If I offer constructive suggestions for bettering his life, he shoots them down. If I try to show sympathy and concern, I get stupid crap like, “I’m surprised you even care.” If I dare to point out my own feelings and frustrations, it’s, “Why do you have to make everything about you?!” He has an amazing talent for making me feel horrible about myself, even though (as I said earlier), when I am not interacting with him, I usually feel pretty good about how my life is going, all things considered.

I know that this is about ego kibbles for him. What I don’t know is how to interact with him daily without being sucked into his “pity me” routine. You’ve written some great columns on “no contact,” but “no contact” isn’t much of an option for me. Maybe you could give some pointers on “defensive contact”?

Rarity

Dear Rarity,

You wrote: The “why” isn’t important; it cannot be changed.

Yes it is, and yes it can. Your children are minors. Nothing in custody is set in stone. You or your ex can take matters to court until the kids are 18. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of breeding with a litigious fucktard (raising my hand!), you’ll know that custody can be challenged over most anything. (I was once sued for moving 5 miles across a river. No kidding.) Doesn’t mean they’ll win, but it will be heard.

I’m not implying that either of you are litigious fucktards, I’m just trying to jolt you out of the notion that whatever you decided in the heat of trying to divorce this creep, is NOT irrevocable. Document, document, document. Focus your arguments on the best interests of the children, and talk with your lawyer.

Because Rarity, weekly contact with this idiot, having this idiot in YOUR HOME, is enough to drive the sanest and stablest of chumps totally bonkers. So my first bit of advice to you is — change this arrangement. The best cure for crazy is prevention.

Also, if the goal is to get Mr. Mopey into the regular workforce, he can’t be watching the kids in your apartment while YOU are at work. So you’re working at cross purposes here if you want the guy to have a steady job. He may actually like the arrangement just fine. Something tells me you would prefer less contact and more child support. Meditate on that.

Okay, now then, let’s say you are stuck with this situation indefinitely (you’re not!)… the person who has to change here is YOU.

You can’t change him. He’s going to keep being a sad fungus moldering in dark corners, crying “Woe! Woe!” He’s got the sadz. Your sunshine will not be the disinfectant that can bleach him.

Why? Because his “poor pitiful me” act gets a reaction from you. You care! You react! You advise! You listen! You get exasperated!

STOP IT.

Seriously, stop talking to him about ANYTHING that does not pertain to the children.

Now tattoo this on your forearm and read as necessary: HIS MOOD IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

He’s dejected? Not your problem.

He hates his job? Not your problem.

He doesn’t like child support? Not your problem.

See, he fired you from giving a shit about his life when he cheated on you. You’re divorced now, so his problems belong to HIM, solely! They aren’t your problems!

Should his problems slop into how he manages the children? Like he’s so sad he sleeps in and doesn’t pick them up? Document. He loses his job? Document. His moves in with his latest girlfriend? Document. And then you’ve got some substance to work with when you go to court to change this arrangement.

But — big picture — HE IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

So, stop taking the “poor me” bait.

Consider your visitation exchanges to be less like two friends catching up, and more like a hostage drop off.

Are we chatty at hostage drop offs? Do we make idle chitchat at hostage drop offs? Do we discuss our sad existential feelings at hostage drop offs? No. We do exactly what the ransom note court order says to do.

How do you manage that? Let’s practice.

You leaving for work. “Here’s the diaper bag. There’s extra wipes under the sink and here’s Motrin for teething.” Move towards door.

“FINE! Must be nice for YOU to have money for extras like baby wipes. Not me. I hate my job. Heck, I can’t afford toilet paper. I have to steal it from gas station bathrooms and stuff it in my pockets, all because I pay so much child support. Yes, Rarity, that’s what you’ve reduced me to — a man with no wet wipes. Or toilet paper. I HAVE TO STEAL PAPER TO WIPE MY ASS!”

You: “Bye!”

“DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT ME?!”

(Door shuts.)

See — that’s how a person who knows his shit is not HER problem acts.

You’ve been mighty in every other way. You’re rocking this divorce thing with your degree and your finances and your social life. So now be mighty in your apathy for your ex.

He. Is. Not. Your. Problem.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Perfect response, CL. Rarity, if you are allowing him to pay you $200 to $250 less a month simply because he is helping you with childcare, please re-think that. It’s preventing him from finding better work and moving on with his life, and mostly its keeping him far too involved in your life.

  • You’re too nice rarity but that’s the problem with good people stuck with people of lesser integrity. ..we have too much empathy. If the roles were reversed I don’t think he would care if you felt blue. He demonstrated this when he left you high and dry twice…and when you were carrying his child. He epitomizes selfishness. Let’s pretend his new schmoopie affair was giving him firework kibbles I m sure he would not try to make you feel guilty and responsible for his happiness. Like cl said ignore him look right through him as if he were the last asshole on earth.

    • I totally agree with fbi– if he had someone “special” in his life to tell him how schmoopiliciously wonderful he was, he would change his tune. He’d either ignore you or, in my case, be totally hostile toward you. He’s just a pathetic crybaby looking for ego kibbles, and right now, you’re the only potential source. Cut him off. He wanted this wonderful new life full of strange women… oh, except it’s not full of strange women! It’s full of child support and responsibility! Boo-hoo! And tough shit.

      He’s reaping what he sowed, so ignore his blubbering and change the child care arrangement. I was in the same situation– the ex helped with the kids at my house a few years ago– but now he’s with his Owife, and the battle lines have been drawn, so he’s not in my house anymore, and that means he’s in my life far less as well!

      • And please note that there is someone else here posting with a similar name– moving on– and is a man. We are not the same person. Female here. 🙂

        • I agree Moving On!! Tough shit! They never consider your feelings or those of your kids when he decided to live his “new exciting life”.

          Someone told me this yesterday that I am capable of True Love and my husband is not. Save your time, energy and money for someone who will appreciate it!

      • Awesome comment.

        I already know that this is true. He has mentioned to me that he isn’t getting much interest on dating sites, and he is a tall, good-looking guy. I’m like, maybe you aren’t getting much interest because women see “ballroom dance instructor” and “has kids” and run like hell the other way?

        As our marriage deteriorated and things with these affair partners escalated, I tried to warn him that I have been performing most of the “adult” functions in our marriage for some time now and life was probably not going to be as much fun once he had to worry about how to pay his own bills and manage his own life. He didn’t care. He said I make him miserable and Schmoopie makes him happy so he wanted to be with Schmoopie.

        He didn’t get that Schmoopie wasn’t happiness, she was just a fix. Now the fix is over and his life sucks. Guess I need to stop letting him make that my problem. Thanks CN.

        • Rarity,

          Let him suffer. Who really gives a rat’s ass? He doesn’t care for anyone and doesn’t care for himself also. He is nothing special at all. None of this stuff in his life is your problem. That day ended when he make a CHOICE to cheat. It was not a mistake-how can they call it a mistake when they place their penis into someone else is beyond my understanding at all. The day when you really fully understand that you will have this type of peace that overwhelms you that you fell like a new lease with life. That is what happen to me.

          I told my ex few weeks before he left me for the schmoopie that is about 18 years YOUNGER than his is that he will never be happy. You cannot “find” happiness from someone else that is very co-dependent and we all know how unhealthy that can become. Plus my marriage with the cheating NPD ex was the same as yours I did all of the adult things for example paying all of the bills and stuff like that.

          I can recall him calling me several weeks after he left me giving me the “poor sausage” talk and saying the power was cut off because he didn’t know when to pay the bill. I told him Welcome to the real world and laughed at him on the phone and hung up. Still don’t understand why he called me about that problem because he already moved in with the Schmoopie. Plus it wasn’t my problem.

          When he had a new Schmoopie in his life he was get so mad at me at a drop of the hat and when he didn’t have one I was the love of his life. I can recall him getting me these lovely cards and flowers up to 2 weeks before he left me. Then he told me I was the love of his life the week before he left me. So really these people are so very sick in the head and the pain they cause in our lives is beyond words to describe how bad it is.

          He is NOT anything special at all!!!!!

          Now the ex is now married to the last AP as I wrote above (with me) and sadly they have 2 very young kids. He is now her problem and I truly believe and I did experience with him that the best predictor of the future behaviour is past behaviour. I’m sure he is cheating on her and maybe she is even doing the same. Good thing it isn’t my problem. In my case how he behaved with me got worse and worse over time. The very sweet and kind person that I dated and even married and lost 2 babies (the last miscarriage was about 3 months before he left me) is dead in a way but to be honest with you he never was real. So be glad you are rid of this thing. It is not your fault at all. Please don’t let those thoughts enter your mind. You are a great person. These cheaters are the ones that have these mental disorders.

          I hope you can get everything sorted. I really do feel for you and everyone else that have kids with the things. Get to an attorney and work out what is legally due to you and the kids. Get all the documentation (especially his wages) you can get to help you out. Write down all he has done and hasn’t done over the years-any texts, emails, other ways that he has communicated to you also and bring that to the attorney. If that attorney doesn’t work for you the way you think he/she should fire them. From this day and beyond-Don’t let one single person walk all over you and your kids. Don’t take it anymore! Also get you some therapy but not all therapist are not created equal. I can find time to find one that will really help you and dealing with NPD people.

  • Rarity, I hear ambivalence towards him in what you wrote. Clearly, you have feelings for him still. I suggest looking into that as it will be a major barrier to executing CL’s game plan if you do not deal with those feelings head on. What do YOU want? What is in YOUR control? Those are important questions to answer here even after divorce. Personally, I think CL is right on this but those feelings still need sorting and possibly grieving. Perhaps reading what he did on a card might help you resolve such caring before he comes by to visit the kids…just a thought.

    • very good advice. it is hard to remember that “Its not YOUR problem” when you are still in love with him. you took care of all his needs for so long because your love was strong. it is super hard just to turn that feeling off. but you will need to find a way because THAT is the reason you are frustrated. in away you still care, and are trying to do the same thing you always did whenever he was sad and unhappy.

      you cant fix it. he fired you. he doesnt want you to fix it anyways, he just wants to complain and make you feel bad because HE is feeling bad. that is why anything you say he has something hateful to say back. boyman was an expert on manipulating me by just saying things that would pull on my sympathy. or my desire to fix things. i am kind hearted and he used that against me ALL THE TIME. twisting everything i said to fit the hidden agenda in his head.

      i love chumplady example on what to do. i hope you do it. i know it is very hard to keep it just about the kids especially when HE is the one who talks about everything except the kids. i tried over and over and over to get boyman to talk about the kids, to make a visiting schedule with me because he and his oompa loompa were so unhappy with the visiting schedule i did. he would complain to the kids that i was “cutting into his time” or something like that. oompa loompa would lie to my kids telling “your daddy and i really miss you so much and we really wanted you to come to our house last weekend but you mom wont let you” ummmm EVERY OTHER weekend duh…

      but all he wanted to do was complain, he didnt really want to change anything, EVERY SINGLE suggestion i made was barely even heard much less actually discussed. if i tried to talk about kids i would get “ya okay but you did this ____” or he would say “it doesnt have to be your way” of course when i asked how he wanted it, i got “i dont know” (just not MY way god forbid).

      so i KNOW how hard it is to “keep it about the kids” when HE isnt. and you need to remember that it is not your job to fix his problems. this is what HE wanted when he rushed the divorce so tell him that the next time he is whining about his job or child support or being broke or how worthless he is (if someone tells you who they are believe them). make it your mantra.

      he says”i’m broke because ____” you say “this is what you wanted” he says “nobody wants me” you say “this is what you wanted” he says “nobody cares if i die” you say “this is what you wanted”

      i know it is hard but dont let him suck you into his crazy!!! good luck
      be strong
      be F.R.E.E.

    • Or she is trying to make things amicable for the kids. I did a lot of that. It’s true he never would have given me all the breaks I gave him especially with money.

      Is there anyway to suggest a real daycare for the purpose of socialization? The trick is to let him have his stupid ego. It’s not that you are ditching him as daycare, it’s that your children need to socialize with other children. Let him believe child support won’t change, you can always attend yo that after you safely have everyone in a new routine.

  • I would not have this creep hanging around my house, period. Is the visitation weekly or 4-5 times weekly. The story is contradictory about that.

    • Yeah, ex did this at my place for a couple of months. It was bullshit and I put an end to it. All it did was mess everyone up AND he used to drink all my wine. That’s way over the line, as far as I’m concerned.

        • Mine was coming over and pointing out if my trash needs emptying, not emptying it mind you, just pointing out things that needed attention. Eye roll. Get the fucktard out of your space

          • the few times boyman came over we would clean the house like company or my mom was coming to visit….so it would be REALLY clean. that a$$hat walked all around until he found something to b*tch about just so he could say something. which was “you need to clean that toliet in the boys bathroom” ummm no it was cleaned it is stained and needs to be replace since it leaks but he KNEW that already. fucker.

  • Rarity, my ex did SOOOOOOO much of this ‘poor me’ stuff, and would take advantage of EVERY contact about the kids to again talk about himself and ‘us’. I got sucked in many times, but finally learned; I respond to the practical stuff, and IGNORE everything else.

    So if he sends a long e-mail about what a poor sausage he is, and how he regrets everything he did (but it’s still all my fault, funny how that works), etc etc, and it also includes a nugget of practical info or a question about practical matters, I only respond to the practical stuff. “Yes, seeing the kids this Sunday morning instead of afternoon is fine with me, as long as they are back by 2”. “Thank you for depositing the payment for X”.

    And when he complained that I wasn’t responding to the rest, I would reply with something like “I am not interested in having this conversation”. THEN IGNORE! Don’t reply, no matter WHAT he says! He’s actually told me he can’t believe how ‘without compassion’ I’m being, how ‘harsh and self-righteous’. This stings, but I ignore it. Actually told him once he had fired me (repeatedly) from the job of caring about him. He doesn’t ‘get’ it, because it’s to his advantage to not get it.

    (If he threatens suicide (the ultimate hook to pull us in) call his family/friends and let them know, and WALK AWAY. If the threat is a serious-sounding one (even if you think it’s manipulative), call 911, give his address and contact info, and WALK AWAY.)

    STOP the visitation at your apartment. He’s a grown man, he can figure out how/where to take care of his kids. If it’s a bit hard on the kids (not as much fun, ’cause he doesn’t have stuff for them), that’s HIS problem. I’m betting that if visitation is made a little less easy on him, and comes without kibble supply from you, he’ll start backing off on visitation. (Then document, document, document.)

    You’re doing AMAZING with rebuilding your life. Now you just need to stop providing kibbles to the idiot. We Chumps have soft hearts, so when people tell us how unhappy they are, we respond caringly. But this is just manipulative on his part, he’s saying this stuff to get kibbles. And so far you’re letting it work, so of course he’s not going to stop!

    • Don’t even reply to their complaining about not getting enough kibbles. When ex pulls that shit I laugh and delete. I am under no obligation to explain why I am not interested in anything about him.

      • Me too. My response to ANYTHING he sends me is…___________[crickets]. “That man died a long time ago,” you know the one who had more on his mind than getting his dick wet.

  • Chump lady is right – keep your child custody arrangements as business-like as possible. I exchanged 3 children with cheater-ex over a span of 14 years. He would pull into my driveway – kids (and dog) would pile out of the car, into my house and visa versa. He did not come to my door, nor did I come to his door. Neither one of us stepped into each other’s home. (Cheater ex married affair partner, so no way did I want to lay eyes on her) If we had to talk about the kids, we did it over the phone or by e-mail, not in person. We did not comment on each other’s private lives. Children’s birthday parties were held separately. The only time we shared space was at kids sports functions, graduations, and grandparent funerals – I felt safe within a crowd of people.

    Can I say that there were never any glitches over 14 years – no. But when you are used to maintaining strict boundaries, the glitches can be dealt with more efficiently.

    I am free of cheater-ex now – finally that time has come – so liberating. Kids are grown – they have their own relationships with him. I don’t pry into those relationships because as adult children they can sort out their own feelings towards him – not my problem anymore.

    • I don’t want to wish my kids’ lives away, but I admit that I will breathe a HUGE sigh of relief when I am where you are, tflan386. Less than twelve years left! :S

          • My youngest is already 18 and graduates from high school in May. I’m glad I’m almost there. It’s been nearly six years since we separated for good, four years since the divorce was final.

            • Ugh, I don’t know how you young parents can do this! So fucking admirable. Especially under these circumstances. Raising children is a wonderful job, not so much with the disordered….

              • Ha ha…. not so young in my case lol…. this is ROUND #2 for this chump and I’m 51. My oldest is 26 now, her father was my very first narcissist fuckwit (I had NO idea back then but I know now) and just about 2 months before she was to graduate high school I found out I was pregnant. My beautiful son is 7 1/2 years old and worth every excruciating moment I’ve been through, I was 43 and “thought” I was past the point of conceiving…. ummmmm nope lol.

            • Hopeful Cynic, my “math” is a result from the “same formula” as yours….how do you manage? How does everyone here manage? Because for me nothing that he does “adds up” in my head?

              • In a way, he taught me how to manage by never being home. I was caring for a toddler and then a newborn all on my own anyway after his affair started. For my whole year of mat leave, I was basically a single mom with an infant, a toddler and a sullen self-entitled ‘teenager’ who rarely helped out and didn’t want to be there. When I finally figured it out and we got through false reconciliation and he left, it got easier because A) I didn’t have the pain of his lies anymore, and B) the ‘teenager’ moved out.

                When it got tough, I always reminded myself that “if he had died, you would be doing this on your own,” or “no matter how bad it gets, it’s better than being hurt by the person who promised to protect you.” Which was a hell of a lot better than the “doing it for love of him” crap I told myself while he was off with schmoopie and I thought he was working.

                I try not to waste too much time trying to add him up in my head. He’s just selfish, that’s all, has no idea what it’s like to make sacrifices to support someone you love. I don’t need to know any more than that (CL would say it’s untangling the skein of fuckedupness).

  • Rarity,

    Is he seeing the kids while you work so that you are not paying for child care? If so you might want to rethink that because anybody who feels entitled to cheat on you has no boundaries in your new home. Do you really want him perusing your mail and looking through your closets. Get him paying that extra $250 and invest in daycare. Ask your family for help if you can’t meet your daycare costs and oh yeah get more than $250 from him to cover daycare. Lawyer up. He made the two home dynamic happen and that means he needs to pay his share of child support (that includes daycare so both of you can earn an income)

  • I’d be really interested to see everyones comments on this one, I’m a new chump and currently 31 weeks pregnant with my xbf’s baby. I’ve been lurking on the site since D day and I swear it’s saved me from making some very stupid decisions and has managed to keep me safely away from reconciliation.
    Baby was planned but he started acting very strangely about 2 weeks after we found out I was pregnant, going out with work all the time, coming home drunk late at night and waking me , or not coming home at all, drinking loads at home, criticizing me, gas lighting, he even convinced me and my parents that I was being an irrational pregnant woman and had me move out of my own house on 3 separate occasions to stay with my parents. Guess what?! – I was unknowingly doing the pick me dance with the secretary from his work.
    OW is a complete hound, she’s 26 years old (7 years younger than me) but looks in her early 40’s she looks strangely saggy in a bikini, and has these weird Sanpaku eyes which are apparently a sign of being mentally disturbed – if she’s not already she soon will be with my xbf
    As soon as I found out about the OW at 16 weeks pregnant, I immediately through him out of my house (actually I made him homeless) but I continued to speak to him via sporadically via text for the next 4 weeks, but the lies continued, he tried to get money out of me and he didn’t seem remorseful in the slightest, in fact he was positively nasty to me, the mother of his child. Eventually I realised what a huge messed up narc he was and went total NC with him (blocked on every way he has of contacting me) which has been total bliss. He’s with the OW and she’s welcome to him.
    I rented out my house as I can’t afford the mortgage on maternity leave on my own, I also got made redundant since this all happened, but that’s another story. I moved back in with my parents, who have been amazing, they really are wonderful people.
    He’s been in contact with family members of mine, still no remorse and unfortunately he wants to see the baby when it’s born, he obviously doesn’t give two shits about the child. Considering I had two miscarriage scares during the pick me dance, probably due to stress, and ended up getting hospitalised on a drip with hyperemesis gravidarum during the 4 weeks post D day contact (he never bothered to ask why) He’s also doesn’t think that he has to help me with all the associated costs of having a new baby as he paid to live with me in the 4 years we were together – yes he’s so sparkly I should be greatfil that he lived with me, the whole time we were together he wasn’t paying rent to me he was saving for a hypothetical baby that we hadn’t even agreed to have. He’s obviously trying to look the good guy by appearing to want to be a “father” really I would just like him to fuck off but the law doesn’t allow that
    There’s not a chance in hell that I am letting him have unsupervised access when the baby is here, so looks like I will have to see him probably on a weekly basis. Any form of contact with him(i.e via third parties) sends me right back to D day, the anxiety and panic returns. I really don’t want to have to see him ever again but I’m not sure of any other way.

    • Chumpetta, first and foremost, you are awesome!

      If you haven’t already, definitely get yourself to a lawyer to find out what your options are. I would also suggest getting a background check done on the OW and your exBF in case either of them have a criminal record that might become relevant for the courts when deciding custody and visitation.

      Also, definitely document his treatment of you while you were pregnant, especially his lack of contributions toward your health care while you’re pregnant.

      • On the lawyer issue — talk to an employment attorney as well. Are you SURE you were downsized? Or did they just downsize the pregnant lady? Pregnancy discrimination is illegal. I don’t know your situations particulars, but if you’re in the US, check it out. Your medical bills will be expensive and it’s a bad time to be without insurance.

      • Definitely talk with a lawyer. Since you were not married to Fucktard, you don’t necessarily have to allow him to visit with the child–it may depend on if he’s paying child support.

        • Especially if hes not named as the father on the birth certificate.
          Do NOT allow this fucktard to steamroller his way into visitation.
          If he wants to have access to that child, he can pay for DNA testing to prove paternity (which he won’t, because its all about him). Great way to not have to worry about sharing with the fuckwit.

          • He’s 100% not going on the birth certificate, I’m not having him having the power to stop me leaving the country with the baby.

            Luckily in the UK you don’t need to prove paternity to claim maintenance it’s up to the father to prove that he’s not the biological dad.

            It’s come out since this all happened that my exes father did the exact same thing to his wife when she was pregnant with my ex, it was all hushed up though. She stayed with him and he continued to cheat with various women throughout the next 13 years when they eventually divorced. She told me staying with her husband was the worst thing she ever did, she never got over it. Xbf’s parents are both old and lonely, if that’s not validation that I did the right thing throwing him out then I don’t know what is. I just hope this baby doesn’t have the faulty cheating gene.

    • Many hugs to you chumpetta and welcome to the club. My ex (husband) and I were trying to get pregnant when the decided to leave me for the OW that now is his wife with 2 kids. Special note I had a miscarriage couple months before this happen. Prayers to you and your little baby and congrats with upcoming birth. So many of us fully understand what you are dealing with and we are here for you no matter what. It’s so wonderful your family is supporting you. I didn’t have that myself. My so called family and friends took his side. Still don’t understand why?

      • correction….when he decided to leave me not the decided. maybe that is what I need to call him “the” he isn’t human or anything at all. Just “the” IDK!!!!

        • That’s how I refer to the ex; as a “the”. I will NOT put “my” into that sentence. He’s a little thing that I like to call not my problem anymore. What a loser!

          • Cheatersuck,

            LOL! Thank you so much!!!! VERY, VERY, VERY true!!!! I don’t place any claim with him being “my”. He isn’t mine. If I could I would love to erase him for any type of memory I have. All of them are losers. Wish there better words to really describe what they are even losers is too kind for them. ha!

  • If you look at your conversations you will see that they are always the same. He has taught you to respond in a certain way each time. Tracy is right on the money. Silence is golden. Your body even responds a certain way. Compassion, sadness, irritation. It is all like a well designed dance and you know all the steps. The feelings should be recognized and then put aside. He wants to get a rise out of you. Just be prepared for him to rachet up the dialogue. He can’t stand the idea that you have gone on with your life and he hasn’t. Just a cautious word. Narcissistic people can become dangerous if they don’t get the kibbles they think they are due.

    • I agree on the dangerous aspect- or at the very least having no boundaries in your home. When in ( no) recon with my XH I allowed him access to my home ( for cat feeding) when I had to visit sick parents . I tidied away most private stuff but he found a notebook, which he commented about and also stole some of my meds. Of course, in retrospect he may have done other stuff ( OW?) but I hadn’t come across CL then and didn’t understand what was at stake. I did decide to move away from him – which required more trips away from home. I got a neighbour’s child to cat sit then. You can’t trust these f—-ers.

    • Let go,
      I really needed to hear what you had to say today. I will (hopefully) be divorced in the next couple of months, but until then I must still communicate with stbx because we own a business together. I refuse to verbally communicate with him at all, and will only email or text. Every single time I email him with a business concern, he takes the opportunity to create drama by either accusing me of doing something wrong or being a horrible person. And I jump into defense mode every time because it he chooses to submit our emails to the court for our trial (he refuses to settle out of court) then I have to refute what he is accusing me of because no response is as good as agreeing that the accusation is true. What I realized this week is that even though he’s threatening me with submitting these to court, it’s really all about kibbles for him and keeping the dance going between us…and my body follows where he leads because I know the steps by heart. He IS just trying to get a rise out of me. He can’t let me move on. I’m going to copy your words to my journal so I can keep them fresh in my mind. Court be damned…I’m no longer going to respond/defend!!! Thank you!

      • Mighty, did a lawyer recommend you respond? Because a far more effective defense, legally, would be to keep copies of these e-mails, and document how any actual accusations are wrong. Then IF he does bring this up in court, you are ready to roll. Unless he has some proof of bad behaviour on your part, THAT THE COURT IS INTERESTED IN (’cause there’s a lot of stuff courts don’t care about, including ‘being a horrible person’), he can make as many accusations as he wants. it’ll just make him look stupid.

        Consult a lawyer, and STOP responding. He’s getting lots of kibbles from this!

      • Mighty Mite,”He can’t let me move on”! They cling like a tick. First the lies, cheating, and then the ice cold discard by the X. Why can’t they follow through. They want a divorce, blame shift and THEN drag out a simple process. X never filed, his lawyer withdrew and he didn’t show until the court ordered an appearance. He still threatened to get a lawyer 9 months after DDay. We finally settled. He was literally falling apart right in front his wife of 36 years. Parting words of the fuckwit, “I think about you all the time”.

        They can’t imagine US moving on! Getting through the divorce was so stressful but on that day HE lost my support, unconditional love, forgiveness, kibbles and cake. He was overwhelmed and had to spew out his desperate attempt to keep me hooked.

        It’s been over a month now and he has failed to manipulate me through my children. They don’t really fare well when they are on their own. There are so many positive changes in my life since the divorce. I haven’t lived up to lies he concocted and NO one respects his lifestyle. My therapist said it best, “you made him look good for years and he will fall apart on his own”. I love my cheater free life!

          • LovedAJackass, you are absolutely right! These cheaters chose to cheat so therefore they have no place in our lives or any right to tell us how to live or feel! Kick them to the curb and create the life we know we deserve! They deserve whatever shit comes their way!

      • Mighty, the hardest thing to do with a spouse, ex spouse, bf, gf is to just be quiet. We all want to defend ourselves against unfair accusations. This is my training. Don’t engage. Just let him say what he says and then be still. Hard job. You can do it. He will keep trying. He will change the dialogue. Just be still. You cannot be found guilty of saying/writing something if you did not say/write it. In my job I dealt with some angry people. I always had a witness. If you need a friend to be with you every time then get one. Don’t say/write ANYTHING that you want unsaid/unwritten. And always use a lawyer. They don’t come cheap but they are worth it. And find one that is mean as hell. The best one I ever knew is a woman and she scared the hell out of anyone going up against her. Good luck. You can see daylight! Yay for you!

        • Let go,
          Thank you again! “Be Still” will be my new mantra! All of the accusations have been baseless anyway (and sometimes downright bizarre), he’s really been grasping at straws to find anything I’ve done or said that would warrant his attacks. I’ve been very careful and have nothing to be ashamed/afraid of. I really do see now that it was all just about kibbles and I have been able to look back on our 21 year marriage and see that that’s how he manipulated me. Attack me and walk away leaving me to spend hours and days trying to figure out what I could have possibly done to make him say such horrible things about me. He’s been dumped by the OW recently, so no more cake from her which means he’s desperate to find it somewhere else. Well, it won’t be me…I’ll be still and silent.

  • Rarity, CL is right on this one: his problems are NOT your problem. He made the mess, he gets to clean it up.

    XH and I shared custody of our youngest child only. S12 would go over to his dad’s and when he came back, I’d ask him how it went, if they did anything interesting, etc. Just basic courtesy stuff. Until S12 came home one time and said, “What happens at dad’s stays at dad’s.” That’s what XH told him to tell me. Fine. Right back at you.

    I stopped sharing ANYTHING that wasn’t child-related with XH. It was actually pretty liberating. He became like a former classmate or co-worker who used to be close but isn’t any more. He’s no longer part of my circle.

    Which he HATES. In his mind, his hiding secrets from me about other women is one thing; me not including him in my life anymore is something else entirely. But you know what? He wanted out. He’s OUT. He can’t have it both ways.

    Neither can your XH, Rarity. Get him out of your house, curtail the drop off to kid business only, and make him live with the consequences of his behavior. Like CL said, he forfeited his right to your counsel and sympathy when he started chasing other women. He doesn’t like the consequences? Neither did you when you had to rejoin the work force at 7 months pregnant. But you survived, and so will he. Just show him the door.

  • Rarity, I suggest you get yourself a chainsaw and start cutting away that dead wood that has grafted itself into your new home.
    WTF? If he was all set up and comfortable in a new place getting on with his life do you think he would be willing to have you sit at his dinning table bemoaning your life as he gets ready for work. I don’t think so.
    There is no way in hell I would let my XH have visitation in my house.
    Your ex walked, he cheated, he sucks and because the AP got smart and kicked him to the curb he expects you to pick up the pieces.
    Rarity next time you offer him a coffee ask if he would like it with a few spoonfuls of concrete? It’s time he hardened up. From your letter it does not sound as though you like keeping misery company so just don’t.
    His actions, decisions and choices are not your fault. Stop shouldering his shit.

    My XH is a bitchy drama queen to his very core so learning he had cheated with men was no earth shaking revelation, but I did worry in the beginning that he may take his own life due to the weight of it. No he ran back in the closet slammed the door shut, treated me like shit and has now moved on to his next cover story. I hear the I’m poor, I can’t afford it BS, the looser even cancelled our hospital insurance after our daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia. Why because he could!

    Get space, and look after yourself.

  • I’m at work and can’t comment more, but really quick:

    His profession: ballroom dance instructor. 100% commission-based. It pays every bit as crappy as it sounds.

    His work hours: M-F noon-9 PM, he usually works extra (variable) hours on weekends to try and bring in more commissions.

    He does visitation M-F 6:30 am-11 am, taking one day off with notice, so 4 days during the week. He basically provides AM childcare for me. He also does 4pm-9PM on Saturday and 1pm-5PM on Sunday every other weekend.

    I have discussed the situation with fellow chumps on the forums and, IIRC, most people felt that I’m probably stuck sucking it up until my son is old enough for AM preschool, in 1.5-2.5 years.

    In the summer, when it’s warmer outside, we have agreed that I will drop the kids off at his place at 6:30 am instead of him coming to my place. But for now, I don’t think I can change it.

    • Rarity, this arrangement really needs to change. If you haven’t already, meet with a professional accountant to have a look at your finances and what you would need to afford childcare. Also, if you cant afford a day care center, many cities and towns have nanny share programs (where parents pool money to pay for a nanny or nannies to watch their kids). A simple Google search yields many options.

      Most importantly, if he’s constantly giving you the poor-me routine when you see him and over the phone, I can only imagine what he’s saying to your 8-year-old when you’re not around. He probably demonizes you for ending the relationship, complains about how broke he is and plays the “fun parent” and the martyr for dutifully caring for kids while you’re at work and school.

    • Dude needs to quit the foxtrot and get a real job. Like, with benefits. I’m trying to imagine how you stayed home on a dance instructor’s commissions. Hey, YOU got a job at 7 months pregnant, I’m sure he can put away his tap shoes and find something too.

      I can’t believe he’s bitching about having to DANCE for a living. Seriously?

      • Rarity,

        Chump Lady, Lulu and everyone else is correct. Time to get the professionals involved with this. Get everything written down and legal and bidding. Never ever believe what this losers say they will or will not due. That is what the court is for. I hope and pray things will work out. Just never turn your back on this fools. They will try everything in the book to get you to back down. My heart goes to you and your children.

        • Correction will not do. Sorry to the poor spelling today. I have forgotten how to spell. See this is what these cheaters do to your mind!!!! Ha!

      • WTF, he can teach dance during the evenings and weekends, and work a real job during the day. Rarity, you would be FAR better off paying for childcare and going after your ex for the full amount of child support. You are enabling this pathetic excuse of a man with your current arrangement. No wonder the OW dumped his sorry ass. He reminds me of my ex, who has now permanently moved back home with his father, still has no actual job, and is planning on writing three children’s books about the dancing Sasquatch, along with a line of accompanying plush toys. Yeah, that should go well.

        • GIO and Rarity,

          Your situations sound a lot like mine, and your exes sound like mine, too. Right after D-Day #1 and shortly before retaining a divorce attorney to divorce me, my STBX quit his high paying job in the music business to start working on his own cartoon. (He has no art/video background.) Money earned on this project (as far as I know)–$0. Money earned by him doing anything over almost one year–a few thousand dollars. Now he’s throwing himself a pity party about how much the court has ordered him to pay and tells me I should work around HIS erratic schedule. I told him that I will see him back in court.

          Rarity, after a bit of practice ignoring your poor sausage ex, I think that you will start enjoying the exclusion of thoughts of his problems, which he brought upon himself, from your brain. My life improved dramatically after I got my narcissistic, self-pitying cheater out of my brain. I hope that you can get your bad ex out of your home soon, too.

        • GIO, my STBX is even less imaginative. He’s going to republish Shakespeare’s works because he doesn’t believe Shakespeare wrote them. He’s going to publish them under “Anonymous” and get rich.

          There are no words.

      • CL, my guess is that he got the dancing AFTER his separation from Rarity because the lower his income the lower his child support payments.

        • Nope. He’s been dancing for 4 years and has made a crappy living for most of it.

          Last year, he was working a dance job that made OK money; at least, more than I make and more than he’d ever made before. The CS payments were set based on that income.

          Got fired a month after the divorce, took a new dance job which he swore was going to bring in more money than his last job, not less. Guess what? It pays less. A LOT less. Now he insists that no one else in all of Chicago (where dance studios are more plentiful than corrupt politicians) pays as much as his last boss.

          And no, he won’t even consider a career change, or doing this on the side from a real job. No benefits, no perks, crappy hours, and he makes maybe $1100 net every two weeks when business is good. That goes way down when business is bad.

          • Most courts will not allow a person to be wilfully unemployed or underemployed. He should be working a full-time job and paying you the child support ordered by the court. He has created this crappy situation, but YOU are the one paying the price. It seems like he is still calling all the shots because you don’t want to rock the boat. But the boat has sunk. It is past time for him to live with the consequences of his actions and grow up! “Won’t consider a career change”-what career???He doesn’t have a career,he has an excuse to avoid working. Fuck that. Seriously.

      • I was “able” to stay home thanks to SSI (our daughter was disabled), Medicaid, student loans, the generous tax refund we get every February, and the occasional embarrassing “send money” phone call to one set of parents or the other. I was in graduate school for a lot of that, slowly working on a master’s degree, and did have a part-time job for two years of it.

        However, it was always my goal to wean ourselves off of those things, and he kept on promising me that his dance career would eventually make better money. But the money only kept getting worse. Later he made it pretty clear that he was content for us to be welfare leeches. Whatever it took so long as teaching dance (and spending time with the ho-worker) remained priorities.

        I did try to talk him into other career fields, promising him that he could either continue to teach dance part-time on the side or could just take lessons and keep competing professionally on the side once he had a real job. He wouldn’t have any of it.

        • Rarity,

          Please forgive my bluntness, but I lived through your kind of sick and your kindness and humanity is directed in the wrong place. You have to get your badass on, or that creep will suck you life away.

          This guy is going to pull you and your children down with every single interaction and conversation. Get childcare and get him out of your life as much as possible. He should not be in your home. You have options. Many here have good advice. Talk to other parents for a childcare share or ideas about people to hire. Borrow for childcare. Let people who care for you know how awful it is to deal with him. I borrowed money from my mother for a lawyer, it is horrible to have her savings for this purpose, she is not happy, but it is a way out of chaos (he is an unsafe parent). I wonder if you too do not trust your ex to care for the kids in his own space. Would he be a safe parent if he had the kids in his place? Would he have a safe and secure place for them away from your home? Is he a safe parent? Get him out of your home and see. If he is not a safe parent, you are putting your own credibility and ability to act in the future at risk by allowing him so much access to your kids at your home.

          They are chaos and the more you are entangled with them the more chaos they bring and suck your energy. You are clearly entangled and have been working to “help” him—this is a self-destructive response. You are not protecting your kids by dealing with him. The “keeping you enemies closer” only works for the Godfather. You are not that.

          Document his parenting and trustworthiness—all of it and take him to court so that he is in your life as little as possible and making his share of the child support.

          When you take kibbles away you will see how little he will show up at your doorstep. That may sound rough for you but not as life sucking as what you are going through now. Take back your power and better things will come your way.

          Best of luck, I am rooting for you.

        • Ah, okay, so he’s a bum, basically. Now he REALLY reminds me of my ex, at least, my ex since our separation. Mine did have a very good career prior to that. Rarity, the situation with him providing child care is keeping you stuck. I really see no way for you to move on with him in your home several days a week, doing his best pity-play to pull you back in. I bet that now that you are working, he sees you as a very desirable gravy train.

          Do you have anyone else that can do child care, or can you find any sort of paid place for your kids? Because seriously, your situation is not going to really get better until he is OUT of your home entirely. If he is as much like my ex as he appears to be, he is only going to spiral down further. You need to cut the ropes so he doesn’t drown you with him. He can get a better job, he can go live with his family, he can live under an overpass. All his choices and not your problem.

          My ex took me to court in October to have his ordered child support payments lowered, he is $41K in arrears. He actually told the attorney that because he was homeless, he couldn’t see his son much, so boo hoo, please lower the payments. This from a man who used to make over $100K before separation, and has refused to get a job since. The court DID lower the payments; ex is still not making them. That’s how these types are.

    • Make him pick the kids up and take them to his place. And put him on notice that you expect him to get a real job and start paying enough support that you can afford actual daycare. Because what happens if he get involved with another Schmoopie and walks away from his responsibilities? Again?

    • He does am child care for HIS child, not for you ! If this is his visitation schedule it is his parental responsibility. Your options are either to change his visitation, drop your child at his house, or to find daycare or family to watch your child. It always amazes me how dependent they appear when they have to man up. They have no issues scheduling their lives around the ho. They HAVE the skills when it is in their best interest. Go for everything you need and he can cry in the ho’s shoulder. Not your problem. Looks like a man talks like a child when it’s really indifference.

      • ^^^THIS RIGHT HERE ^^^ “They have no issues scheduling their lives around the ho. They HAVE the skills when it is in their best interest. Looks like a man talks like a child when it’s really indifference.”

        My asshole X has worked every friggen weekend for the past SEVERAL years, I had our (his) other kids on our weekends… NOT HIM!! And yet…. the gutter tramp MOW comes into the picture and all of a sudden…. no matter HOW bad his cash flow is… he does NOT work weekends ever.

        I can’t WAIT for all of this to blow up in his face…. he gets farther and farther behind on his bills every single day…. and a little karma kicking in….. transmission went out on his truck…. I think he got caught driving on a suspended license AND plates (suspended for having an accident while driving without insurance… stupid idiot will never learn)……

        • My asshole x, couldn’t take one minute off from work to go anywhere for YEARS. Incoming ho goes on vacation during his busy season within four months of picking him up. RED FLAG I missed for sure. Not enough time because he had a double life. When I think of all the time wasted on this asshole it makes me angry that I didn’t file years ago. I wait no more.

  • I believe that dealing with your ex fucktard breeder after they cheat on you is one of life’s biggest challenges. I don’t think people who don’t have kids have any idea, lol.

    One thing important to realize is that what may be “good advice” in regular, non cheating divorce is Bad Advice for those who have been cheated on. If two spouses who have kids have problems, work on them, and decide to divorce in an honorable way, I think it’s wonderful if they are friends if they want to be. I have seen many families do this successfully. BUT, unfortunately the fucktard cheaters ruin that option. They usually aren’t doing it for the kids anyway. Just their own usual horse shit as always.

    • Not Juliet, and then WE get blamed for not trying hard enough to be their friend! I have no interest in being my ex’s friend and I don’t pretend that I want to be. I am civil at drop off, and that’s the best I can do. I don’t say hello or goodbye, I speak to my daughter as soon as I open the door and usher her in. I will only look up at the ex if he speaks to me regarding my daughter.

      My ex FIL recently said something along the lines of, “she sees how you two interact with each other and sees you don’t speak.” PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT…THAT’S EXACTLY HOW I WANT IT TO LOOK. I will not model being “nice” to someone who fucked me over, cheated on me, exposed me to std’s, and financially strained my future. I make it very clear to my daughter that you don’t have to be nice to people who did mean things to you. At 4, that’s a good enough explanation for now. I wan’t better for her so I model strong badass Mama to her.

      • I get stupid remarks like that too from people or relatives!!
        What? You don’t talk to him? They don’t get it! Even when I tell them he is a manipulative Narc, and that he is super nice, friendly and outgoing but thats his manipulative side! I don’t say anything to people anymore. They look at me like I got a 3rd eye!!!

        Scares me how I could ever find somebody nice:(

      • With Brave Wings, YOU have got this! [Pic of Chump clapping] Your little girl will realize one day where she gets her courage and integrity, which is a great legacy to leave her with!

        • On not “being nice to” the x….

          I was a fabulous wife, I really was…in a lot of ways and he was still really mean AND cheated

          I would NOT, however, have been a really good Xwife, in fact I would have been a gradeA Bitch and would have done any and everything to make him wish he was never born. When its cheaters were talking with, I think its a perfectly reasonable response.

          During the time of the “pick me dance” I put on quite a show but if he had left (if that had happened, he would have moved 3000 miles away because his Schmoopie couldnt leave her family) I was going to pretend that he was dead. All I would have wanted was his money.

          To me its a very sad state that things went so much better for me when he died…on some level that is a genuine tragedy. That any spouse/parent would live in a way that their absence benefitted their former family…amazingly sad.

      • I got that also and plus when the ex called me couple weeks after he left me for his 18 year YOUNGER AP he said something to the level of let’s keep the divorce friendly as we could and that we can stay friends during this time. I was blown away with his statement. I thought to myself and I told family and friends we were never really friends. He never really had friends to be honest with you. Being a friend you have to have some level of trust, being nice and honest with each other and on and on. He holds none of that. So I’m not sure what his “idea” of friendship is/was. How in the world will I ever trust him and then let alone be his friend. I still don’t understand that.

        I have no desire to be friends with this thing or his AP. I don’t understand why other people think that this behaviour is fine to deal with. Plus I never understood why he would call me about stupid things. AT the end I did tell him to stop calling me. The divorce was weeks away from being final and there was nothing more to say. I did ask him to stop contacting my family and friends but that never did happen.

        If I did something or go any place I would get a phone call from him the next day asking me 20 questions about that event. I placed 2 and 2 together during those phone calls and I knew certain “family” members were calling him and telling him on what I was doing and saying. I didn’t care any longer. Decided then it was time I need to stop contacting these family members and even friends to get my life sorted and get truly away from him and his ways. I still don’t understand way he was so “concerned” on what I was doing. He was never concerned with things in my life when we were married and dating so why the concern then? No matter how much a read about these NPD things and AP I still cannot fully understand it.

        Now get this my family and friends are in everyday contact with him and the AP. For some reason they have forgotten what he did to me and have even forgotten that I’m even alive and I guess they took his side. All of them knew what he did. Even during the time of the divorce I didn’t get many people contacting me on how I was doing and how was I feeling. Most I would get is phone calls on what he was doing and how him and his AP was. I had several blown out chats with these people. Very sad. Let’s just say I have no contact with any of them. The sad thing also he told me many many times he didn’t like any of my family and friends. Could someone please explain that to me also?

        • Some people thrive on drama. These ‘friends/family’ want to watch the soap opera that was your marriage and breakup. Since you won’t give them updates anymore, they have to get it from him.

          I know it hurts, but you are better off without these people in your life too.

          • Oh I can see that Hopeful Cynic. Yes it does hurt. But I must say my life is so peaceful with any of them in my life. My ex would say my brother was very gullible. I knew that but I would just try to let him know when my ex was giving him some made up story. Geez what is wrong with people now? Thank you so much Hopeful Cynic for this very great insight. This does make sense of how they are. They do love “drama”.

    • People either get it or they don’t. My sister and best friend basically said he was always an asshole and couldn’t figure out why I stayed. However, no one, myself included knew he was toxic. This is why it is so important to have no contact, or minimal contact (email) if children are involved. As soon as he knew I would no longer tolerate his shit, the raging began. The only response was talk to my lawyer. I will not allow him anywhere near my house and I have him drop my granddaughter off at my daughter’s work. By setting these boundaries both my granddaughter and daughter know I will not tolerate his abuse. He LOST the home we shared when he slept with the other woman in my bed. Those are consequences of his behavior.

      It is better for children to know you have boundaries when someone is abusive.

  • “I have decided that I am of absolutely no worth to anybody and the only thing I am good for is paying child support so I’m just going to keep on working and doing that and let that be my life.”

    Excellent! That is exactly what you should be doing!

  • I just saw my IC regarding this same situation only with my 34son who is becoming am image of my narc ex, his father.
    Because I do want a relationship with my son my IC said when conversing put it back on him…when he complains about his job, you say sounds like its bothering you and walk away. When he makes comments about how bad life is, you can respond sounds like you are dissatisfied, what are you going to do about it?
    I am finding this helpful and I am avoiding the sticky endless spiders web of narcissistic suck you in to their disordered thinking….but like I said, I wish to have some type of relationship with my son.

  • Thanks you both for your replies

    Actually the xbf does have a criminal record which will definitely help me, its not for anything major (or so he tells me) but he did serve a month in prison when he was in his early 20’s – yep I should really work on that picker of mine.

    I live in the UK so luckily healthcare costs aren’t an issue, the redundancy is legal as I work for a company that’s in administration, but luckily I got a payout that will help with money, and the rental from my house along with the maintenance that he will be forced to pay (thank you CSA) financially I should be fine, in fact even better than if I was with him as he was never any good with money.

    I don’t think he will take me to court (too lazy and wouldn’t have the money) but morally I will have to allow access. Due to lack of trust on my part, and my concern about his drinking which was always a worry but took a turn for the worse during the secret pick me dance, the baby won’t go out of my sight. I plan on breastfeeding so no court over here will allow him to take the baby overnight while it’s little even if it did get that far. I just somehow need to manage contact with him without committing a murder!

    • Chumpetta – he showed ZERO morals when he treated you like crap…why are you morally obligated to allow him access to the baby? He is a psychotic POS who abandoned you at your most vulnerable …you don’t owe him shit. You don’t have to allow access to the child because he displayed spectacularly crappy behavior – being nasty, gas lighting, drinking, staying out n straying out… Hope you have it all documented… Take him to court if he wishes access to the child… IMO, it would be morally wrong to allow him access to the baby.

    • Whoa, Hold on there, chumpetta!

      You be a moral person, yes…..However, in this situation, ‘morally’, you need to protect that innocent child! THAT is where your moral obligation lies. Since when is it the ‘moral’ thing to allow an out-of-control, cheating, bat-poo crazy alcoholic be within 100 miles of a precious new-born child?!

      At the very least, breastfeed that baby as long as you can!! Two years or more is a very good thing!!

      My dear, sounds like the pregnancy hormones are getting the best of you at the moment.

      I TOTALLY agree with what Mind Logic stated, including this final statement “…it would be morally wrong to allow him access to the baby.”

      Please, Oh PLEASE, re-think your position on allowing him to EVER have anything to do with this new life!

      {{{{{{HUGS}}}}} to you & to the little one when they arrive!

      ForgeOn, chumpetta……..ForgeOn, all you precious ones……

      • I’d love to keep him away from my precious baby, but it seems that most people seem to think that it’s in the babies best interests to see it’s dad – even if he is a total piece of shit. Even the courts would grant him access.

        Unfortunately he is very sparkly, he manages to charm to everyone (by lying) and he holds down a good job, everyone thinks that he just likes a drink but they’ve not seen him drink a litre of vodka in one sitting. In fact he had me completely fooled right up until I got pregnant. We was the golden couple everyone thought had the prefect relationship – boy did that mask fall off in spectacular style after D day.

        My thinking is if I give him access on my terms not court orders, but make his life as hard as possible he will eventually get fed up and disappear or mess up before the baby will remember him disappearing. The fucktard has moved out of the area where I live – let’s see if he actually sticks to a 3 hour round trip just to see his baby for an hour on the weekend, early morning of course (babies start their day early don’t you know?) I honestly can’t see him giving up his nights out for too long, if he turns up smelling of alcohol from the night before I’ll send him away.

        That way it’s not me that’s stopped him having a relationship with the child it’s on his own head. I’m just praying that this all pans out the way I hope it will and he eventually fucks off.

  • Thank you both for your replies

    Actually the xbf does have a criminal record which will definitely help me, its not for anything major (or so he tells me) but he did serve a month in prison when he was in his early 20’s – yep I should really work on that picker of mine.

    I live in the UK so luckily healthcare costs aren’t an issue, the redundancy is legal as I work for a company that’s in administration, but luckily I got a payout that will help with money, and the rental from my house along with the maintenance that he will be forced to pay (thank you CSA) financially I should be fine, in fact even better than if I was with him as he was never any good with money.

    I don’t think he will take me to court (too lazy and wouldn’t have the money) but morally I will have to allow access. Due to lack of trust on my part, and my concern about his drinking which was always a worry but took a turn for the worse during the secret pick me dance, the baby won’t go out of my sight. I plan on breastfeeding so no court over here will allow him to take the baby overnight while it’s little even if it did get that far. I just somehow need to manage contact with him without committing a murder!

  • Yeah, my ex was good at playing pitty cards. Luckily, we have no offspring together, so no contact was possible, and I was able to move on to not my job to care easier.

    It doesn’t sound like you are going to get there without limiting contact, IMO. Good luck.

    • Same here TimeHeals. When the ex and I was separated in the middle of the divorce process his father had a heart-attack and I knew about it and he called me (I still don’t know why he called me) giving me this sad sad story about how he had to be at the hospital and stay over night for weeks at an end and really he was saying I don’t have any time to screw the other woman and I’m not getting my cake from her. I just didn’t say anything to him and just thinking to myself this is your father you asshole and he could die and you are an empty shell of whatever you are. Plus I was thinking what did I see in him. It was all about him and what he was giving up and not how his father was doing and if he would make it. So sad!!!!! Sorry excuse of a son if you ask me!!!! No heart and no soul!!!!

      • Xs father died last year. He moved 600km away from his kids supposedly to help his mum with his ailing father. When they knew he was dying he sent the kids an email to let them know and to tell them it wouldn’t be long. Then a week later he emailed to tell them he’d passed. In that time he did not go and see his dad himself. According to MIL he didnt shw up until the day of the funeral where he cornered his mum and asked her for money. She hasn’t seen him since. What a spectacular POS they are.

        • Very sad Nat1. It seems like all of them act the same way in these types of situations. I still don’t understand why so many people still think these people are so great and don’t really see what they really are. I still cannot find the right term to call them all and the people the screw around also. So sad!

  • Who gives a fuck if he is depressed? He SHOULD be depressed, because he is a horrible example of a human being and a pathetic role model for his children. But that’s his bed to lie in, not yours. When he sends you his poor, pitiful text messages, “I have decided that I am of absolutely no worth to anybody and the only thing I am good for is paying child support so I’m just going to keep on working and doing that and let that be my life.” simply reply, “Awesome.” When he tells you how bad he has it, and how good you have it, say, “Yes” as you’re walking out the door. Stop letting him get away with underpaying the child support (you ARE keeping track of his arrears, right?) because he is almost certainly remaining underemployed to take advantage of that. Instead, assuming you are in the US, go to your local child support agency (every state has one) and set up an account so THEY are in charge of collecting his monthly child support payment and distributing it to you. They can tap his bank account, garnish wages, take tax refunds and go after any assets his sorry ass might have, plus they will keep track of arrears. This takes the burden off you to hear his woes about not having money.

    Rarity, you are so mighty and awesome, I bow in your general direction. You have totally remade your life after this turd of a man firebombed it while you were pregnant. Look at you go! Then look at him… a pitiful fucktard without a decent job, boo hooing how HARD it is to be a grownup. If it gets to you, remind yourself how GREAT it is that you are free of that human anchor and hold your head high as you leave him behind.

    Oh, and stop letting him have visitation in YOUR home. WTF is that about? He can take the kids to his own place, or to McDonalds or to the park. No way should that wastebucket be spending time in your place. You are being way too easy on him, Rarity, and he is taking full advantage of your kindness.

  • Off topic…. Question for the group. After Dday, I notified the girlfriend (fiance) about my wife’s affair. My wife is scared of the potential viciousness of the GF. And that I should have left this between me and her. Because she is 100 percent to blame. I have not told my kids who are 17/20 but she is concerned the OW will show up and hurt her kids. Was I wrong in notifying the other person? I believe she had the right to know.

    • David,

      You were right to let the wife know. Your wife is playing games on your and your kids. Since they don’t know what about this affair your wife is “concerned” that the kids will find out what their mother is truly is. TRASH!!!! Sorry I don’t mean to be rude but your wife is more concern about what everyone will think about her and then the pain she has caused. This is her true self, David…is her and her only. She isn’t concerned about the kids and their safety and you and if she was she would not have an affair with another married person. Time to move on. Let the kids know what is going on. Be honest with them. They are old enough to understand. Let me make their own decision on how “wonderful” and “loving” their mother really is. NOT!!!!!!! The wife of the OM will not do anything to the kids. She is dealing with enough pain and grief finding out what she has married to also. So sad for you, the kids, and his wife.

      • I agree. If a cheater wants to keep something secret, that just enables them in protecting their nasty little secret world. If they don’t want people to know, they shouldn’t do it. Period.

        • Thank you LovedAJackass! It’s so sad these things happen but I’m so happy that we have Chumplady.com for all of us to come together and learn and become mighty all together! We are here for you David and you are mighty! LovedAJackass you are mighty also!

            • Well the whole time she was acting concerned about my notification of her affair to the affair partners fiance….. I was just thinking… You are just worried someone will find out and your world will crumble around you. She has to have a certain amount of Im a good person to everyone! It seemed to be very self centered and selfish. Me, I think the other person should know what she is about to marry. At least now she can make an informed decision. I told her over and over if she had not had an affair there would be no one for me to talk to!

              • There you go DavidB. You are spot on and how she is acting is what she is concerned about it HER! Not you, Not the kids. She is using you telling the girlfriend about the affair against you to make you look and feel like you did something wrong. Typical behaviour of these NPD. It’s always mind games with them. I hope you are moving to the next step is to get away from this thing you are married too? You are seeing her mask coming off and see her true colors and it’s not a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end. It will get worse and worse. You are to good of a person to deal with such a mental state of a thing. Hopefully the girlfriend will make the wise choice also if not it will get worse and worse and most likely this affair is still going on. They always do. Please don’t waste anymore time on her. There are good people out there who are worth your love and your time. Trust me I did find one myself.

              • You’re right, DavidB–your W is concerned about her own well-being, not anyone else’s. You did the honest thing by alerting the fiancee of W’s affair partner. Let’s face it–all of us would have wanted someone to tell us.

      • Hi DavidB,

        The most important thing to remember is that cheaters lie. They do this to justify their deceit, keep the affair intact and protect themselves from the consequences of their actions. It’s likely that your wife’s affair partner told her horrible things about his fiancee. It’s also likely that your wife made you out to be a horrible person to her affair partner.

        Now what if the fiancee of your wife’s affair partner really is a dangerous and unhinged person? Perhaps your wife should have considered how the crazy fiancee would react BEFORE she fucked the crazy lady’s partner. Your WIFE is the one at fault NOT YOU.

        • thats what i was thinking. your wife is “worried ” and “scared” that the girlfriend will harm the kids but it still didnt stop her from fucking him. what kind of mother would purposely do something that could hurt thier kids: i know that i would NEVER stay with a man especially if his wife\gf is capable of hurting, or harming my children….it just isnt worth it.

          i hope she is just lying to scare you.

          • Want to know how to de-escalate this “fear” of hers?

            Call in the authorities. Call the Sheriff’s Office, call an attorney–have the Sheriff take a statement that she is “fearful for the safety of her children” and have it officially served on whomever it is she’s claiming will harm her kids.

            If she’s saying that she’s afraid of her kids “HEARING” about her bullshit, then you need to tell her to fuck off and die—her kids NEED TO KNOW what she’s done. She’s just trying to protect herself with that one.

            But if there is a “real danger” she’s claiming? Get to the bottom of this right fucking now. Either call the authorities without her permission, or tell her you are going to do it. Watch the “fear” dissipate so fast, it’s going to make you wonder if you heard her right the first time she claimed it.

            I know of a man who cheated on his wife with some young girl–this was about 20 years ago–he worked in the same facility as I did—his wife found out about it and confronted.

            He told the wife that the gf had “made mention” several times of “taking shooting lessons” and “buying a gun” all of a sudden–apparently implying that the gf had never owned one before and didn’t know how to shoot.

            Seed planted in wife’s head. GF IS DANGEROUS.

            Then he went to the gf and told her that the WIFE had purchased a gun because she was “so afraid” of the gf.

            Seed planted in gf’s head. WIFE IS DANGEROUS.

            What this does is first, keeps the two parties apart and not talking, because they are afraid of each other. Thus, preserving the cheater’s lies and his cake. Neediness because of fear is a great feeling for these fuckwits.

            Second, it gives him time to plan. He needs space to maneuver and this will give it to him. Time can make people lazy. Enough time goes by, people tend to let things slack.

            SO—wife called the Sheriff and reported the gf. Sheriff went to the house, sat with dazed and silent Cheater and Wife—she told the Sheriff exactly what Cheater said about gf—and Sheriff was now lawfully obligated to pay a visit to GF’s apartment.

            Which he did.

            Then he got the story from GF—the exact opposite as what Wife just said!

            Cheater got kicked to the curb, paying child support for 4 children under age 12 and alimony to a SAHM. Turns out, she finds that he was fucking around for YEARS. Now it’s on record officially about his false accusations against both GF and WIFE (both dumped him)—and his kids are aware of it.

            Don’t let her get away with this bullshit.

    • Every cheater knows the risk of physical retaliation. She’s only worried about getting her ass kicked in the five & dime in front of God and everyone! Maybe OM’s GF won’t disappoint your wife!

        • Well I did it in the face of shock and anger right after DDay and had one other talk with her few weeks back. So you do start second guessing yourself. The other thing that truly puzzles me is….. how can a grown woman with a medical background, have sex with a basic stranger 5 times, unprotected…. and not on birth control? Knowing the risk of disease and pregnancy? I guess they are special and nothing bad could happen?

          • DavidB it’s normal to second guess yourself. I still do and it’s been years. That’s what they do to you make you think you are the crazy one. But you are not. I’m not sure when DDay was for you. When my 1st DDay happened I was in this fog for a very long long time. There is a few years that I really don’t recall much all I was doing is breathing. There were other DDays also I just didn’t want to admit it at the time and I couldn’t get the proof because of the fog I was still in with the 1st one. Just know you are right in knowing that this thing you are married to doesn’t care one ounce about you and your kids. Her mask is off and you are seeing who truly is right now. Don’t let your guard down one second because they will play all those mental games with you and your kids because they know you “love” them and you had all these years of history and that they know is your weakness. Don’t let her see that way get strong. Get pissed off and tell her nothing. No emotion. Get all the proof you can and get a really great attorney. If you don’t have an attorney and I’m sure you can ask others on this site that can help you with your situation and get a referral from a member here. That is if you are ready for that. There is really nothing more you can do. It’s over sadly. Go NO Contact and get the attorney to sort everything. That is why we pay them the big bucks. I’m so very sorry you are having to deal with such a nasty soul.

            Ask yourself do you really want to still place you health at risk with someone that really doesn’t even care about the risk that she has played with her own health? This is who she really is. Please, please, please trust me on this. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT waste one more second with her. That was my major mistake I made and I wasted another 5 years and I had a miscarriage. I’m still finding out things the ex did during our marriage and even dating years. You cannot control what she will or will not do. She is going to do whatever she wants to do. That’s how they are. They don’t care for anyone else and from her not using any type of protection with this guy she doesn’t even care for herself. Please get yourself tested for STD’s and HIV. Get an attorney and get some therapy and stay with us. Go no contact with her. We are here for you. I’m not an expert but I am a chump. Also not I am remarried and I’m cheaper free. I know it’s too soon but when it is time for you and if you want to get back in that dating world there are so many wonderful woman that would be so grateful to have such a outstanding man like you. *hugs* to you. Being cheater free is great because you will be fully in charge of your life the way you want it to be. Trust me in saying that!!!! Oh the best thing about being cheater free is the amount of great sleep you get. I’m still trying to get the 20 years of sleep I lost with that fool.

            • It is not a physical attach on kids it is potential of discovery of act that has her concerned. I made her get STD tested! She got lucky and all came back negative…. or I got lucky! What a screwed up view of the world they have while deep in the deceit! She used no common sense…. no thoughts of reality. I truly believe in the thought that until ones sins are brought into the light, they will continue. Oh well, she made her bed… her decisions… she will have to live with the outcome…. alone….

    • I struggle with this as well, scenario is a little different though and I’ve been planning on writing an e-mail or posting on the message board for some input. I called the OW’s husband, he had caught them texting (700 texts in 10 days) and thought she had quit, in reality she had bought another phone and I told him. There have been a LOT of major developments since that day and I suspect that he doesn’t know about them, so the dilemma is… do I call him again? Of course X told me what an a$$hole I was (really?) and that I was trying to ruin someone else’s life…. not that the TWO of them were ruining ALL of our lives, including the children involved on BOTH sides… but me…. for telling. I do NOT feel sorry for cheaters and YES you did the right thing. IMO… if the fiance’ kicks your wife’s ass… she had it coming, she should have thought about that before she started shagging another woman’s man (she is not the victim). It won’t change anything, might make the fiance’ feel better…. and the cheater wife….she can always file charges for assault if it happens.

      As for your kids…. if you spoke with the fiance’ and told her about the affair… perhaps you should call her again…. IF you think this is a problem??? I don’t see WHY the woman would harm the kids because of what your wife did?? Maybe she is just playing the victim and blameshifting like they always do….. your fault for telling…. not her fault for doing. Your kids are old enough to be told what is going on.

      • A big component of cheater justification is “what they don’t know can’t hurt them.”

        So when you go and tell someone, now they know, and are hurt, and the cheater blames the teller for causing the hurt, because they can’t possibly blame themselves. When really, the hurt was there already, and the chump just didn’t know about it or have the knowledge to do anything about it.

      • NCStevie, That is a normal reaction that the OW’s husband did and all it is a reaction to shocking news. Just a reaction and no you are not ruining his life. His so called wife and your husband is doing that all. You cannot control how other people react and his reaction is very normal. I’m sure he had the red flags but just didn’t want to admit it. These things are life changing events in our lives and the kids lives. That is most likely what he is thinking. I would just leave him alone right now he will not listen to anyone right now. You did all you can do now. It’s time to focus on yourself and your healing.

        I had someone tell me that my ex was cheating (again) but I didn’t want to admit that it was true. I just wanted the person to go away. I’m just starting to recall all of these things. From what I understand I was also dealing with PSTD after the 1st DDay and with the foggy state I was in for years I’m just starting to recall those years now. You didn’t do anything wrong at all. I would call you a hero to trying to help someone to see the truth.

        That’s the thing about these cheaters and the AP they are with there is no truth. Look how they started hiding, sneaking around all they are is a big fat juicy ugly lie. They are lying to themselves on how wonderful they are together and how great their lives with each other is and how they really understand each other, their are “soul mates”….. blah blah blah. Well to be honest with you there is the real world with the mortgage bills, power bills, water bills, taxes, alimony, child support, health cost, car bills, attorney cost and on and on that awaits these magical couples. Their looks will fade, their bodies will age and so on. Just like they were with us the exciting and the thrill of them 2 being together in the beginning will disappear and they are getting older and all of that will fade and then another bright new shiny model with come up and it will start up again. Then they will be chumps. Just a matter of time if you ask me. Just a matter of time!!!!! The magical circle of a cheaters life-that’s what I’m calling it. ha!

        • Thanks Beth, I have no guilt over calling her hubby. I may not have worded my statement clearly…. it was MY asshole X that said I was trying to “ruin” their life, not her husband. I felt sorry for the guy, he thought she had stopped talking to X and had no idea that they had met up. I had actually called him once BEFORE their little meet up trip but he never called back or responded (I am SURE that she covered her ass by acting like they were friends, she was “consoling” him because we had split (NOT) and I was crazy so he would not pay attention to me). He cried about their demise to me on the phone, my suspicion is that she is also a NARC (can’t wait to see who cheats first) because he said “we’ve spent many nights up talking through to morning and crying, well… mostly me crying”. SO, she is a heartless bitch just like X. Funny, her husband said “he doesn’t live with you anymore” I said “I beg to differ _____, he should be pulling up in our driveway in about 15 minutes, I assure you he DOES still live here, very much so, with me & my son.”

          They are ALL nothing but LIARS, their selfishness and fuckedupness knows NO limits!!! I still can’t figure out if it angers me more or just SO pathetic and sad that they are so damaged.

          • You’re welcome NCStevie, I could have misread your statement and very sorry if that is what I did. Thank you for clarifying it also. I’m a little confused if your ex a guy or a girl? Or you two still living together under the same roof? I wanted to clarify more before I comment on your situation *hugs*

            • My X is a guy (won’t say man), Stevie is a nickname 🙂 He is no longer living/sleeping in the house, he took about half of his clothes, his laptop and Ipad and his precious “supplements” and went to stay at his mother’s about 15 minutes from here. His affair started in August, I caught them almost immediately, he continued the affair while living here (until November) lying and conniving ALL the way…. unfortunately for him I am smarter and relentless and exposed him every step of the way. That is what finally drove him to run to mommy…. I wouldn’t eat the shit sandwich quietly….. I was still eating…. but I was making it known that I was tired of it. He doesn’t like the truth when it exposes “not nice” stuff about him.

              See…. after I called the hubby and told on her for having the secret phone…. my idiot X bought them both new phones on another plan (don’t know HOW he could even get them?? credit is beyond ruined) and AFTER he lied about that….I found the phone hidden in his truck…. along with some cards she had given him. I had given the hubby my cell number but he never called again. When I found the phone I brought it in the house and I took pictures of the majority of the texts, forwarded myself the e-mails and so on. I have accounts numbers, e-mail addresses, pictures…… in my opinion what SHE did is deplorable. The information that I have doesn’t do shit for me…. we aren’t married….. but her…. they are married and have been for 14 years and she was deliberately setting her husband up and making “plans” with X. I believe that her hubby should know (they separated right before Christmas) but I haven’t contacted him yet.

              As for X…. he is screwed financially anyway. He has absolutely DESTROYED himself… that is another story lol. I have never shared my full story with my fellow chumps…. maybe I should do that….

              *Hugs* back to you!!! And thank you….

              • You might email him and say what you said here–that you found cell phones and “have accounts numbers, e-mail addresses, pictures,” which are evidence of an on-going relationship, and you will forward it if he needs or wants it. He may be in denial or full of hopium that she will change.

              • You are most welcome NCStevie. I’m so sorry I couldn’t sort out if this thing you were with was male/female. It was early and I didn’t have my much needed cup of coffee. lol!!!! Anyway good he is gone from your life. Wonderful that you are not married to this thing also. Yes, it still hurts like hell but what you did was the right thing. Keep the information you have on these 2 fuckers. Her husband is in denial and in shock right now. That is so normal when it comes from another source like you. I was the same way when boyfriend of another AP came to me with his information. I feel so bad now how I reacted to the guy. He was very sweet and was just trying to let people know how evil his ex was. I have no clue on how to contact this guy now. I don’t even recall his name. I was still in fog land with the 1st one Dday and just trying to make it day by day with the sorry excuse of the life I had then. I knew deep down my marriage was over but I didn’t have anything in place to get this to happen. I didn’t have the life skills to even think how to make it happen and the money also for an attorney would cost me so much. I know excuses but that was my reasons then. Please don’t take it at heart how the husband of the OW is acting. It has NOTHING, I mean NOTHING to do with you. It is just hard to take it all in. Just like you he is in serious pain and doesn’t know where to turn and really just not ready to face the fact of what his wife is. He will in time but when that day happens who knows. Time to focus on your new life and heal. Get rid of the stuff he has in your home and get the help and support (which you have here) and change the locks if you haven’t already. It’s good his life is destroyed but that is all in him. He IS NOT your problem. Good for you that you don’t have to deal with a divorce and the other mess that comes with it also!!!!!! You are a great person and you need to be in charge of your life and not these 2 fucking fools. I don’t feel sorry for any of these cheaters and AP at all. There needs to be more laws that make them truly suffer if you ask me. I don’t think they should just go on with life and nothing has happen to them and we are the ones that suffer. Something must be done to these things both parties!!!!!! Thanks for the *hugs* and sending more to you. You are mighty!!!!!

    • Funny how cheaters are so concerned about the children after they are caught. Why do they fail to show such concern for their kids while they are fucking someone else’s partner? My X brought psycho-bitch into my home and exposed my kind, sweet 12 year old to the crazy. But when I honestly told my daughter the truth, I was accused of intentionally damaging her. What was damaging to my child was the fact that asshole X cared so little about his own daughter that brought a lunatic into our home. Of course, once the serious stalking by the OW began, there wasn’t a whole lot of ability to blame me for protecting my kids.

    • You weren’t wrong to let the fiance know. Your skank of a wife should have kept her legs closed, and not thought about cheating, if she didn’t want repercussions of someone writing her name in blood – with her own blood. Diddums to her, basically.
      Also, your kids have a right to know what shes really like, too. Not this ‘we grew apart’ tripe that she no doubt will be spewing.

  • I’ve been extremely blessed with my friends and families help, my heart goes out to you as I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without them. He definitely sounds inhuman to me!!

  • First of all, stop texting with him. STOP TEXTING. Texting is for quick communication with people in your life that you trust not to waste your time or hurt your feelings. Ex-husbands can make do with email. Or phone calls that you can screen and take when it’s good for you.

    Rarity, you divorced this guy legally but you are behaving like you are still emotionally connected to him. Get him out of your house. Stop talking to him about his life. Block him on FB. Whatever you need to do to cut the mental and emotional cord.

    You have business with XH involving two kids that he abandoned. Hold him to his child support amount. Hold him to either having an appropriate space in which to conduct his time with the kids or cut his visitation. Set some standards for you and the kids. Set some boundaries. You are just enabling his bullshit. You’ve got 18 more years to deal with this fucktard. You are very mighty to have pulled most of your life together. You can finish the job. But get him the hell out of your home, off your text messages, and out of your mental space. He’ll live. He’ll find someone else to leech onto.

  • When you allow people to text you, you are giving them an instant portal into your life. The first thing I did was take Jackass’s out of my phone contacts and put, where his name was, “DO NOT CALL OR TEXT” so that if he contacted me, that is what showed up on the screen. When you divorce a cheater, you may still be in a business relationship with him or her because of kids, but it need not be personal. I don’t talk about my personal issues with my colleagues or listen to intimate details about their lives. I save that for people who care about me. As a co-depended chump with a terrible picker, I have to check my boundaries all the time. I realize that texting seems like the default to people in their 20s and 30s, but you wouldn’t let the someone who fire-bombed your house text you every day. Just sayin’.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Email only. Keep communication “to the point and business-like” re children or other pertinent issues. His crap?let him OWN it. That’s what divorces are for. 😉 Ignore all else, the drama (blah, blah, blah), and just stick to what needs to be communicated. That’s it.

      • I do not understand why people let an abuser have instant access to them via text message. People lived and communicated in emergency situations without texting for thousands of years. The Cheater can email or pick up the phone in an emergency. Otherwise, manipulators are in your head 24/7.

        • My phone is set to send me a notification every time I get a new email, so there isn’t a huge difference between e-mail and texting for me.

          I have also told him that if he is going to be late (happens all the time), he needs to call or text.

          • My phone does the same thing. My point is that it is more work and more formal for people to email. And it’s a lot easier to avoid “conversation” with email. You can even set up a dedicated email account with an auto reply. With texting, he says something, you reply, and the debate is on. I have 2 friends who used to start text arguments with me–they’d do something stupid and then text me to whine or be outraged that there were consequences and I’d (stupidly) respond. I don’t do it anymore. I just say, “When you are ready to talk about this to find a solution, let me know.”

            This idiot needs consequences in a major way. If he’s late, that just gives him MORE KIBBLES because you have to pay attention to his lateness. It’s one thing for him to be occasionally late because of traffic or (if he had a real job) work ran late. But “all the time”? Rarity, set those boundaries or he will be yanking you around for another 10 or 15 years. One thing I learned from Jackass is the power of ignoring texts. When he was in the discard phase, he stopped answering my texts. He was fine with me texting HIM. He just couldn’t be bothered to respond. What I learned from that is that he was truly indifferent to me other than as a kibble source to keep in storage. It’s not how the phone processes incoming information–it’s how you set up your lines of communication with someone who is not good for you. If you let him text only in an emergency, you just don’t reply unless it’s an emergency. You get to set your boundaries, but take a look at what those boundaries are allowing in your life.

            • LovedAJackass, I must say I love your kick ass comments. You rock!!!!! I wish a strong person like you during my time I was trying to sort things out with my ex and also ChumpLady. You are so damn wonderful prime awesome strong MIGHTY!!!!! We need more of you in this world that can help us chumps when we are in need for someone strong like you!!!!! I say you need to take over the world and ChumpLady. *hugs* to you and your mightiness!!!!!

              • Beth, I’ve learned a lot here. I was a kibble dispenser for years. No longer. 🙂

            • LovedAJackass, Same here I have learned so much from this site and same as you I was a kibble dispenser for many many many years. Knowledge is power. I just love love this site.

  • Hello Rarity,

    Lots of terrific progress–well done! To put this in perspective, he is serving the function of child-care provider. I see some advantages with this: less disruption for your children, less work for you in packing them up and dropping them off, your kids are not around other kids at a day-care center and picking up colds on a regular basis. You’re letting him pay you less in exchange for the childcare, and given the costs of that, you are probably coming out ahead this way. So–this is not something you are stuck with; it’s a reasoned, considered, deliberate choice. Here are a couple of thoughts for making it be a better choice for you.

    Think of him as your nanny, because essentially that’s what he’s doing. This is his other part-time job. Can you use child-care by a family member as a tax-deduction? If so, get him to pay the $200 a month, and then write him a check for his `work’ for you. Tell him it protects him, because if this goes unpaid, you’ll eventually be able to go back and sue him for the arrears.

    Don’t tolerate any behavior from him that you wouldn’t put up with from a paid nanny. “Please be quiet. I’m trying to get out the door and I need to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. I’ve written out a list of things you need to know in the notebook on the table. Please read it over and let me know if you have any questions. If there’s anything I need to know about the children, please write it down on that some paper so I can look at it later.” (Fresh page each day, dated. Never know when something like that will be needed as evidence.)

    Set and keep boundaries: “There’s food for the children in the refrigerator.” “Please make sure the children put away their toys when you are done with them.”

    Make sure your privacy is protected. If that means a lock on the bedroom door, or on your desk drawers, or whatever, make it happen.

    “Defensive contact” sounds reactive, and so do your conversations with him. Kibble-free contact might be a more precise goal. If you need to stay open to his texts because of kid communication, then you can’t block him. But you can control how you react. How about this?

    “I have decided that I am of absolutely no worth to anybody and the only thing I am good for is paying child support so I’m just going to keep on working and doing that and let that be my life.”
    “Yes. Gotta go. Bye.”

    He reminds me of how broke he is because of how much child support he is paying.
    “Yes.”

    You said, “If I offer constructive suggestions for bettering his life, he shoots them down.”
    You know this now, so stop it.

    I got sucked into this for years:
    “I hate my job.”
    “Do something different.”
    “What could I do?”
    “How about ____?”
    “That’s stupid. It won’t work because of blah-blah-blah.”
    Lather-rinse-repeat ad nauseam.
    I got sucked into it because I thought that we were two people in a rational conversation trying to find a solution to a problem. Big breakthrough for me to realize that was not the case.

    You said, “If I try to show sympathy and concern, I get stupid crap like, “I’m surprised you even care.”
    “Actually, I don’t. Just trying to be polite. I think the baby might be getting a touch of diaper rash, so please keep an eye on that.”

    If I dare to point out my own feelings and frustrations, it’s, “Why do you have to make everything about you?!”
    So don’t. You’re right, he doesn’t care. If you had a Golden Retriever, he would care. He would lick your face, bring you slippers, and try to make you feel better. If you had a mail-drop box in your living-room and you told it your troubles, it would not care. You are trying to make a mail-drop box into a Golden Retriever. When he reminds you that he’s a mail-drop box, thank him and move on. It will help you and confuse him.
    “Why do you have to make everything about you?!”
    “Thank you. I think the baby might be getting a touch of diaper rash . . . ”

    You said, “He has an amazing talent for making me feel horrible about myself.” Of course he does. He knows how to push your buttons because he wired them up in the first place. One of the gratifying things I find happening now w/STB is watching him try to push those buttons and nothing happens anymore. Wires are clipped. So he pushes harder, and there’s still no response.

    This is boundary stuff. He gets to do this to the extent that you let him. You’re back to that Golden Retriever/mail-drop problem again. You are still feeding him information and letting him have an opinion. Any one of us posting here could shut his behavior down in a heartbeat, because we could see the irrationality and immaturity and selfishness, and not get sucked in.

    Likewise, if I shared with you the BS I’m getting from my STB, you’d see through it like cellophane and be able to advise me on how to shut that down. The challenge is for each of us to get to that headspace with our very own X’s/STBX’s/wish-you-were-my-X’s.

    My recommendation is fake it ’til you make it. For one week, while you’re around him, channel your Inner CL. Be her when you open you’re in his presence, and don’t let anything come out of your mouth or enter your ears that you know she wouldn’t put up with. Ol’ Dancing Shoes won’t know he’s watching a show, but it will change the dynamics of your relationship enough to make it a little better. And you’ll build on your `a little better’ to make it more-better. And pretty soon when you open your mouth it won’t be CL you have to channel, it will be your own words coming out of your mouth as you leave instructions for child-care and then leave.

    Good luck. You’ll get there, and then look back later and shake your head in befuddlement that you let yourself put up with this crap for so long.

      • Yes, this is good advice…as much as he sucks, you can manage him better with boundary skills and anything on planet Earth is better than dragging 2 kids out of bed at 0600 when you have to be somewhere on time.

        My mom has a personality disorder that leads her to insult me all the time and as she is my mom, she has quite a knack for it. It took a long time, but with her, “Meh” looks like this: “I don’t respect your opinion about ANYTHING which includes your opinion of me and/or anything I do”. Demanding or insulting comments from her are met with either laughter or a blank stare and no response at all. You should have seen the blank stare she got when she recently told me she hoped I would take her in so she wouldn’t have to go to a Nursing Home. ::::blink blink, turn away, pretend the Borderline Queen never spoke:::::

    • This is priceless and smart: “You are trying to make a mail-drop box into a Golden Retriever. When he reminds you that he’s a mail-drop box, thank him and move on. It will help you and confuse him.
      ‘Why do you have to make everything about you?!’
      ‘Thank you. I think the baby might be getting a touch of diaper rash . . .’ ”

  • “He’s got the sadz. Your sunshine will not be the disinfectant that can bleach him.” Great line and overall post, CL- your humor alone is reframe and healing balm.

    For Rarity and all us chumps whose cheater gets stuck in the Poor Me gear… it is their last best chance to grow up. We can’t do that for them. Never could, never will.

    The Poor Me part that bothers me now is when people overlook XH’s swath of destruction, extreme selfishness, and continued lies…and take pity on…HIM! I have learned not to care what some people think. But when his “eeorish aspie-ness” (phrase adapted from another chump) manipulates my young adult daughters, I DO care. As well as cringe…and then worry… about their well being as they relate with him. I see how dangerous his personality is now. They did, but now they don’t. His disordered manipulation is working. It is like watching chumps-in-training. I am selective in what I say to them but always speak up when he lies. Always open to advice from other chumps on this.

    As each month of NC goes by, I feel less anxious and more hopeful about my new life. So for chumps who must have necessary contact with cheater, I highly recommend finding simple ways to dissociate or detach, i.e., being physcially present but not fully attentive. For example, focus on the tree or the wall hanging when talking with cheater. He fades, and you remain present to the rest of your world. This psychological version of NC may help some. Good luck!

    • Chumpette, I want to pile on in support of The Clip’s suggestion. Give.him.an.out. You are not married to that asshole. Tell him the baby is not his and then leave it. I much doubt a cheater of that magnitude will actually get a lawyer and arrange a paternity test. You could raise your child without the asshole in your life. I ask you to seriously consider this option.

      TheClip says
      March 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm
      Chumpette,
      Not sure what you expectations are once the baby arrives…he hasnt signed the birth certificate and would need a test to prove paternity. Give him an out.
      Shitty thing about custody is it can always change…but if he has an opportunity to walk and you are ok with it…trust me…you will be fine raising a kid without a fucktard.

      • As much as I would love to tell him that the babies not his – I think he’s very unlikely to believe that considering the baby was very much planned, with charts and ovulation sticks I don’t think he’d buy that story.

        ……..and whilst this may still make me a chump I hate lying, I couldn’t bring myself to lie about it. *sighs*

        I would love him to walk which I think he will eventually if I make his life hard enough for him.

        • Put it this way, if you DON’T lie about it (or at least not confirm it), you’re setting yourself up for 18 years (or more) of pain, fucktardery, and having to protect your child against being used as a pawn in his shitty mind games. Just say nothing, and do not place him on the birth certificate. If he asks to see the child, say ‘no’. Do not allow him anywhere near that child. A lot of people will say ‘But hes the father’ but as far as I’m concerned – if you’re a fuckwit whos willingly endangered your health and wellbeing, he certainly isn’t looking out for the health and wellbeing of someone who’s reliant on him for everything. A lot of people will do it for the child support money – but fact is – you cannot put a price on your kids growing up happy and not influenced by fuckwittery.
          You’re being given the opportunity of a lifetime, one that a lot of people would kill to be given, if their lives were rerun over.
          Your choice.

  • Rarity, you are definitely being too nice to him. How he feels is not your problem. My ex left after my kids were grown so I didn’t have to deal with this crap, but he did actually expect me to be sympathetic to how bad he felt. My response was to stop seeing him completely. It’s hard to feel sympathy for the person who just spilled your guts on the floor because you’re too busy trying to stay alive. Anyway, I feel for you having to see your ex so often, but if you can’t change visitation you can definitely change listening to or caring about his issues. Once I was able to get some people in my family to go to counseling by constantly repeating “I think you should talk to a counselor about that” every time they tried to put me in the middle. I said it so much I sounded like a broken record. They finally stopped trying to talk to me and went to counseling. Life was MUCH better after that. Maybe you could give it a try.

  • In your house, There is also a chance of him getting back at you in sneaky passive aggressive ways that you would not expect of an adult human being. If I were you I would not want him in my house with access to my food, and I’d totally hide my toothbrush out of fear he’d scrub the toilet with it. Really. That’s how little I would trust that guy.

    • My thoughts exactly. This is too creepy for me. Heck, I’d worry my perv would hide spy cameras —- mine would SO do that :/

      No way would I let an ex or stbx in MY safe zone/home. Other arrangements need to be made a priority for sanity and safety. Best wishes Rarity!

      • My thoughts exactly.

        There is no way I would let my XH in my home. I am currently at a stale mate over the selling of our family home because I refuse to give my XH unrestricted access. A month ago when he picked up the remains of his belongings after 14 months of seperation he was very pissed that I refused him access to what was once our room. His response “I have every right to go in that room and search any boxes in there to see if you are hiding anything from me”. I have no intention of letting a narcissist with huge FOMO issues have unrestricted access to my safe place.
        These asshole think they are so entitled.

        • Thankful, hugs to you, I sure hope this gets resolved in your favor soon; but good g-d, what an entitled piece of pitiful poor sausage shit your x is.

          What he doesn’t know he’s “missing” shouldn’t hurt him right? Lol –

          ( oh, I really hope you have loads of cash hidden in the boxes in your bedroom, and I really hope that he dies young, alone, and miserable)

        • “Just the same as you hiding your skank whore behind your marriage to me, right?”
          (Probably not the best of things to say to a narcissistic man-child like him, but thats what I thought of as response to that comment)

        • I have a STBX who is giving me grief like that Thankful. I get you are denying me access to MY house. I accept that he needs to come but no way José on his own. When I did he took things that were ours without telling me. Had he asked I would have probably said OK you take them. I do not trust him not to snoop around and rifle through my things. There is stuff that he must not know about because it was not only me he behaved like QN arsehole to and I do not want him to find an address .

    • Getting him out of your place will be a HUGE step towards getting over this situation. As long as he feels welcome in your home, he will feel welcome in your life and keep sliming you with his crap.

      What does your actual separation agreement or court order say about child access? Does it seriously have to be in your home? Getting that changed to something more reasonable will be good for BOTH of you.

  • Dear Rarity,

    He abandoned you at 7 months pregnant. He abandoned his eldest child when his/her mother was 7 months pregnant. He abandoned his youngest child’s mother when mum was 7 months pregnant with the youngest child. He insisted he wasn’t responsible for any of you. He was more than happy to leave the survival of all 3 of you down to a 7 months pregnant woman who was 7 years out of the job market. He knew you well Rarity. You pulled up your big girl maternity pants and COPED with his abandonment. He knows what you are capable of, and now, Rarity, you know what he is capable of. How can you function knowing your childcare arrangements involve someone who has NO QUALMS WHATSOEVER about leaving you and his children to starve / be homeless whenever he feels like?

    When he walked out on you at 7 months pregnant, you had no idea he’d be back to give ‘child care support’ so you had to face making arrangements without him in the picture. He’s back now, but dear lord, you can’t trust he’s going to turn up from one day to the next. He’d had 8 years to ‘bond’ with his eldest child – but he didn’t give a fuck about her when it looked like he could just go off and start a new life. It’s very unlikely you can trust he’s bonded any better with his youngest child. How can you bear the uncertainty? I honestly think you should consider he died when he walked away from you and the babies, and consider his child support as a trust fund he left for them. Talking of which – I don’t have kids so am probably the last person to comment – but I get so fucked off reading about people whining about their child support payments. These ‘adults’ chose to procreate so they damned well are obliged to support their children. You, Rarity, and all other main care-givers of children, have not hit the motherlode when child support is awarded, children cost money to keep alive, healthy and functioning!

    If it turns out it suits you best to continue with this arrangement whereby he looks after his children in your home on this almost daily basis, then absolutely, go with CL’s advice, shut down the kibble-mining. Walk away, don’t engage. You are not obliged to. He is not your friend (would you choose a friend who would abandon you at 7 months pregnant)? Keep foremost in your mind what you know he is capable of – tomorrow he might meet a new schmoopie and he might not even turn up to look after the kids in your home – so what will you do then? Have you got a back-up plan? Why not go with plan B and shut down plan A as an exercise in hope rather than expectation. You are awesomely mighty in the way you have taken the reins of your life, you just need to get rid of the flaky loser now. Good luck xx

    Dear Chumpetta,

    Much of the above is for you too. Make your arrangements and plans as though he has died. Absolutely, document everything. Seek legal advice re what, if any, visitation shithead ex has rights to and what behaviours he demonstrates that will limit the contact even further if necessary. You can arrange visitation with a third party attendant (a friend / family member / counsellor) if your solicitor thinks you have a case for worrying about how trustworthy he can be with the care of his children – explore that if you feel it’s relevant. You don’t know unless you ask. Good luck to you too 🙂 x

    Dear David,

    She didn’t care one jot if the Chumped fiance bashed her brains in should she fuck her fiance – funny that, eh? Absolutely, you did right to tell the fiance. Your ex wife is responsible for the consequences. Tell your grown children. If fiance is a physical danger to them at least they’ll be aware of the danger they might be in. It was your ex wife who endangered them, yet another thing to hold her in contempt for. She couldn’t have guaranteed that her affair wouldn’t have been discovered by fiance by some other means other than you – she absolutely took that risk and she deserves to be ‘shitting herself’ right now. Good luck – don’t let her blameshift any of this – silly, silly bitch! x

        • Morning ML and LAJ 😀

          I’m good thanks! Adjusting to new home and new work regime (increased hours)- tending to fall asleep after dinner most nights so that’s why I haven’t been posting so much 🙂 Still, summer’s coming – hurrah! 😀

          Decree Nisi was granted on Thursday, the judge awarded me costs (big deal apparently, according to ‘Miss Useless Solicitor’) we’ll see though, eh? She’s supposed to be trying to get him to give me a small financial settlement to help with the house move, but I’m not holding my breath.

          Oops – is that the time? Gotta go – speak later 😀 xxxx

    • Thanks Jayne,

      Oh how I wish he would die or maybe just not exist anymore. I’ve never been a one night stand kind of girl – but I realy wish that was how this baby was conceived. I could swing a dead cat in a crowded bar and whoever it hit would be a more suitable father than this jerk.

      I think everyone is in agreement that I should seek some legal form of advice.

      I know for sure I can keep the access supervised while I’m still breastfeeding. I think roping my parents in to deal with him at the start may help. Unfortunately they’re both chumps too so I need to give them some serious training on Narcs and the games they play.

      • Getting your parents to supervise is a great idea, BUT you have to make SURE they won’t help out at all! He’s a grown man, he can figure out how to change a diaper, give a bottle, soothe a crying child, etc. The supervision is there to make sure the child is SAFE and well-cared for. It needs to be made clear to him that they will NOT step in to help – he’s the dad, and that if he can’t deal with caring for the baby, then he needs to keep his visits very brief indeed.

  • CL is such a great writer. This one made me just laugh and laugh! As usual, all of her advice is just spot on. These NPD assholes do a lot of passive aggressive bullshit. If you react either positive or negative, that just feeds their narcissist supply. IGNORE THEM. They hate to be ignored.

    • While I would love to share the ramblings of that fatuous slut, if I post the link, chumps will likely comment on her post. Then she will contact my ex, he will contact me, and drama will ensue.

      I haven’t had any interaction with her whatsoever in 4-5 months and I think I’d rather keep it that way.

      The post was titled “When Love Is Not Enough” and it was all about how she really did love him, but she loved herself more, so she just had to break up with him. At no point did she mention that the relationship was an affair and that the man she was leaving was a married father of two.

      Also, those two ass-clowns were saying “I love you” less than 2 weeks after their relationship started, so they were pretty much the only ones who were surprised that their “love” was not enough.

      The real reason she broke up with him: because she wanted to date someone else. Apparently she has the relationship attention span of a squirrel.

      • “Also, those two ass-clowns were saying “I love you” less than 2 weeks after their relationship started, so they were pretty much the only ones who were surprised that their “love” was not enough.” Rarity, this made me laugh out loud.

        • LMAO!!! Me too!! EXACT same for my idiot cheater and his idiot cheater MOW… only it was less than 2 weeks after they started “communicating” via Facecrack Messenger and then via text messaging (they met 3 weeks prior to commencement of the stupidity at a competition). Him 46 and her 40, seriously?? Complete fucktards, both of them.

      • “Apparently she has the relationship attention span of a squirrel.” LMAO ;0

        Rarity, please change that whole watching the kids at your place thing. This is not healthy for you or the kids or your ex and it can sometimes be very unsafe with someone disordered. Move him out of your life. I would rather you err on the side of caution as you’ve stated that your ex seems depressed and is unwilling to change his circumstances. IMHO, Guys who abandon their pregnant partners (and children) are saying quite a bit about their priorities…and our children are precious.

  • Omg. This is my cheater! I out-earn him by about five times (and be cheated on me with someone who makes less than he does!). I tried to reconcile but he broke NC so I asked him to leave. We are separated and living together while he looks for a place to live and oh my is it hell. I bought a new camera this week and I heard all about it…”Must be nice!” I scheduled a vacation with my parents and kids for the summer, since he never wanted to travel with the kids… “So while I’m figuring out how to pay rent you are planning beach vacations, nice.” He even goes as far as to tell me he hates me because of this. Sorry dude I was planning on sharing my income and life with you for the rest of my life. You chose otherwise. Not my problem!

  • My ex subjected me to the rage/pity me treatment the other day – the charm no longer works. OW is pissed off about the financial settlement I am likely to expect after a marriage of over 30 years and 3 children together.
    I was mainly a SAHM as he was a cop and worked irregular hours – when he was not screwing his colleagues.
    He is now with one of them – not the first workplace affair for either of them – and she is a “problem” in how we resolve our finances as her principles prevent her from stating her income and assets. He claims that she pays nothing at all into their joint household. Well I say, if I was half way decent I would just go live under a hedge somewhere and make no claim on his generous pension…I would not want the ruin of their being soulmates on my conscience.
    He seriously expects me just to resolve this in mediation and is hurt that I am asking for proof/documents/evidence instead of just taking his word…this guy lied and lied and lied…I asked if he had undergone a character transplant and was told that he has.
    He is being vague, not answering questions, humming and harring and getting angry and indignant if backed into a corner.
    I am scared of what he might do if I force him to show his hand and worried that he will manipulate our adult kids into feeling sorry for him.
    The woman he is with is very materialistic and he is her lapdog.
    Any ideas??

    • Be mighty. Let your lawyer handle it. Tell your STBX that you are sorry both of you will have less financial security going forward, but that is how divorce works.

      Remind your adult kids that all adults must live with the consequences of their choices and their dad is no different. Explain to them that 30 years of marriage entitles a spouse to a share of joint assets because marriage is a partnership with legal implications and when someone chooses to have an affair and divorce, there are major financial implications. Remind them that you too have lost a great deal because of his choices. Tell them you love them and tell them they don’t need to take sides. It’s between your and your STBX. Then go get ice cream!

      • Oh and PS. So sad that your cheater X feels “hurt.” Next time he brings that up, say, “Yeah, I learned how much things hurt when I caught you cheating the first time, the second time…

        It’s OK to feel afraid, but remember, that is what he wants you to feel–afraid. Or sorry for him. Or some other emotion that will make you back down and take less than you deserve. Your job is simple: take care of yourself. Look after your interests. And make sure your lawyer does the same. Once you get the settlement, you will be set. And don’t spend one minute thinking about his Schmoopie and her manipulative ways. There’s a Karma bus wanting to roll over her.

    • Mary–exactly what LAJ said–let your lawyer handle discovery and negotiation. Do NOT mediate. Your STBX will use any opportunity to mindfuck you, guilt you, etc. Don’t talk to him at all–the only path to sanity and a fair settlement.

      • Mary, LAJ and Tempest have given you great advice. I would also urge you to spend money on a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. You will never regret money spent for a fair settlement. My disordered ex was a peace officer and spent two years before Dday dissipating assets and then went scorched earth in the two years it took our small hick town family court to grant me a divorce. So pay great attention to finances. Mediation only works with normal. Not disordered. Let your lawyer know what happened because this will affect your outcome. Make sure your lawyer deals with it. People who have the ability to live a double life also have the capability to destroy what they no longer care for. That pension is one of your greatest assets (so too is your home, be sure mortgage is addressed early if it’s a concern) and your lawyer may need to file a joinder to attach it to your dissolution (in CA). Get your QDRO done before divorce is final and don’t allow STBX to drag his feet. Your lawyer works for YOU (I have seen some crap lawyers sit back and watch the drama unfold-mine did- she didn’t even know how to save the house!) so BE SURE you are getting the information you need to make a good decision. My ex played the system and when family court granted me $70./month for spousal you can be sure I panicked. Subpoena your ex re this financial information (my dishonest ex never supplied his current pay and for some reason his OT didn’t factor into the equation either. Sick time, vacation hours, comp time are all cash at retirement. So don’t allow bullying tactics to distract you from having the court enforce orders. A lot of cops here (CA)purchase retirement years with their 401k monies (effectively getting rid of community savings and padding their own retirement) if this isn’t disclosed because you are unaware your ex could be the only one to benefit. And let your lawyer know what perks he gets. Car, maintenance, etc. these should be added to income….Thirty years is a long time. Google alimony formulas. All states have them but my lawyer wasn’t working for me on that either. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. And Good Luck

        • Drew, this is brilliant. We really ought to have a feature thread with info like this on it. It’s so important for people to know what not to do if the STBX is disordered AND how people try to dodge equitable distribution.

    • The Karma bus doesn’t always hit with the same force, but do the right things, stand up for yourself and live the best life you can.

      When my sitch was all an uncertain blur, my husband made $100,000 +, his OW made $100,000+ and they would have been double income/no kids. I made $39,000 a year (caring for dying children) and would have had 3 kids to raise alone. I was uncertain what the courts would award me but I was looking at borderline poverty and spending the rest of my life education my kids.

      OW married the man she was engaged to when she boinked my husband but they later divorced. She was a hot single 34 yr old OW back in the day but now she’s a middle aged single mom..boo fucking hoo.

      H died and I got a million dollars. My fiance has more money that me. Im paying for my kids to go to college and I went to Europe twice last year. Bam.

      • Wow Unicornomore ~

        “H died and I got a million dollars. My fiance has more money that me. Im paying for my kids to go to college and I went to Europe twice last year. Bam.”

        It is SO refreshing to read this! Yay you!!!

  • Chumpette,
    Not sure what you expectations are once the baby arrives…he hasnt signed the birth certificate and would need a test to prove paternity. Give him an out.
    Shitty thing about custody is it can always change…but if he has an opportunity to walk and you are ok with it…trust me…you will be fine raising a kid without a fucktard.

  • “See, he fired you from giving a shit about his life when he cheated on you. You’re divorced now, so his problems belong to HIM, solely! They aren’t your problems!”

    Oh so I’m not a “selfish fucking bitch” for dismissing his woes about his “unborn 4th child” when all I asked him to do ws sop spreading lies about MY kids?

  • Rarity, couple of thoughts for you now, to partly echoe what Divorce Minister wrote, it’s really good that you are moving on and now dating now, but as a male I can promise you any guys that you date will really quickly pick up on the fact

    a) that you some feelings at your ex, or at the very least are ambivalent

    b) if your ex is hanging round your home a lot, it will make tour dates feel very uneasy as they may start to wonder if your ex husband is seeking getting any other “benefits” and are they are just being played.

    Or your ex could try spoiling your new relationships out of spite , as he obviously knows your ” hot button issues” leaving all the kibbles for him!

    just my two cents as you say in the states

    Ex UK Chump

  • Ex UK Chump says
    March 27, 2015 at 5:49 pm
    Rarity, couple of thoughts for you now, to partly echo what Divorce Minister commented, it’s really good that you are moving on and now dating now, but as a male I can promise you any guys that you date will really quickly pick up on the fact

    a) that you have some feelings at your ex, or at the very least are ambivalent

    b) if your ex is hanging round your home a lot, it will make any dates feel very uneasy as they may start to wonder if your ex husband is seeking getting any other “benefits” and are they are just being played.

    Or your ex could try spoiling your new relationships out of spite , as he obviously knows your ” hot button issues” leaving all the kibbles for him!

    just my two cents as you say in the states

    Ex UK Chump

    Sorry reposted due to the typos it is late over here!

    Reply

  • I learned quite early on in my divorce process to NOT engage my X in ANYTHING that is NOT a *necessary* direct question that requires a simple answer. You want to give me shit about something, like “why do you make everything all about you?” – I act like you didn’t even say it. You have an off-the-wall question or bullshit remark? I don’t even respond.

    Interaction with these types of people – and my X was/is definitely one of them – needs to be kept to an absolute minimum, with no room for drama. And all in writing if possible – written letter/note; email; or text. This is where you need to be. Starting with different visitation arrangements.

  • Thank you for a great column, CL.

    Thank you everyone for the encouragement, feedback, support.

    I sent XH an e-mail today letting him know that I want to change our visitation arrangement. I will either drop the kids off at his place in the mornings or he can come get them from my place, but I won’t let him watch the kids here anymore.

    I will think about putting in a claim with Child Support Services. My concern is that, if I press the issue, while I may recover arrears, he may succeed in getting his child support payment reduced (even below what he’s paying me now) and then I will lose money in the long run. I may have to talk to an attorney about it.

    I suppose part of me does still have feelings for him. It’s not that I haven’t tried to kill those feelings. It’s just a process. It’s certainly true that he didn’t show any regard for me while I was pregnant or when he got together with the OW (they were EXTREMELY exhibitionist about their relationship). I will keep that in mind next time he goes in for a round of “what a poor little sausage I am.”

    BTW, I can get a relative to watch my kids in the morning any time I want. That’s not really an issue. XH has insisted on the morning visitation schedule because those are the best hours for him to see the kids. Personally, I would relish switching to the standard every-other-weekend / one dinner a week schedule that most divorced parents use. As it is, every time his weekend visitations roll around, he usually starts bugging me to give him a change in the schedule.

    • Rarity,

      Great idea to email him. Stick to your guns and don’t let him do this mess to you and the kids anymore. You don’t owe him anything. Cut him out of your life. Also let the system work for you. I would explain in detail what is going on. If he is taking care of the kids that many times per week then he can pay to feed them and watch take care of them in his own place with the overhead cost that deals with it. His “poor sausage” excuses are just words and he knows you still care for him and he is using that to walk all over you and the kids. Let him talk to someone else with that. He is NOT your problem now. You don’t want to be re-hired for that job position anymore. Like so many have written the child custody agreement is now a business matter. Let the system work for you. If he isn’t happy with it that is his problem and he can play “poor sausage” excuses with them and you can always appeal the decision also (I think)-I don’t have kids thankfully with my ex.

    • Rarity, when he bugs you for a change in schedule, you say ‘Sorry, that won’t work for me. If you can’t take the kids, I’ll figure something out, but we will then go ahead with future visitation as scheduled.’ Practice in front of a miirror, on your phone voice recorder, with a friend, until you can say it nice and calm and cool, little smile. If he argues and insists, you then say ‘Sorry, won’t work’. Repeat as many times as needed; DO NOT justify your choices. If he continues to insist or gets rude, say something like ‘I don’t see any point in continuing this conversation’ and hang up or walk away.

      You are NOT obliged to be flexible or swap out days, and if someone asks for this more than extremely rarely, they’re clearly either
      a) shopping for kibbles; bugging you is still kibbles!
      b) completely inconsiderate of your time and their own responsibilities (usually spelled ‘s-e-l-f-i-s-h’
      c) trying to stop you being able to plan any ‘you’ time or, HORRORS! A DATE!

      Or, of course, they could be doing all three!

      It sounds to me like you’re treating this guy like he’s a reasonable person with whom you can have a cooperative co-parenting relationship. BUT HE’S NOT!! He’s a selfish jerk who still wants kibbles from you, so you have to stop being so reasonable and cooperative!

  • Rarity, you see you know what you want. You are right about court– right now, should you go to court,you may get nothing if he has the kids 4-5 days per week. So first, get onto a regular visitation on the weekends. That’s what you would “relish,” so make the change now so that you have that established pattern if you do need to go to court.

    Once you get that the way YOU want it, then you can work on getting him to pay the full amount.

    I think you really figured something out when you said that part of you still has feelings for him. That’s certainly easy to understand. And probably you have a little hopium going that maybe he will “get it,” whatever it is–the responsibilities of fatherhood, an appreciation for your awesomeness, a character transplant….But as CL says, “Trust that he sucks.” I was at the sink today rinsing dishes and found myself having a MENTAL conversation with Jackass. That’s fitting enough, because the conversation, like the whole relationship, was mostly in my mind. You are clearly a kind, responsible, giving woman, and no doubt you have feelings for the best of him, the person you saw he could be if he wasn’t a lazy, lying, cheating, pregnant wife-abandoning asshole. I think many of us have a fantasy that cheaters will be sorry, will recognize our worth, will see the damage they did, and we can have that life we invested in. But the tremendous survivor instinct in you knows that will never happen. But the bottom line is that you will never, ever, get past those feelings if you have him in your home and in your text messages. And until you decide to close that door–really close it, you won’t be ready for someone who could love you and make a real family with you. That smart guy who has a good job and won’t cut and run when things get tough.

  • Rarity… What the court likes is… Status quo. So if you can enter into a verbal custody change and establish that schedule for 6 puls months prior to submitting a modification tomyour custody plan. If you can demonstrate to the court that you have been at that schedule without glitches… It would then be on your ex to prove to the court that the arrangement( that he agreed to) is not in the best interest of the children. All YOU would be petitioning for is to include the modification in the child custody agreement. Does that make sense?
    So if you can convince him… Without the court… Dont mention court… Just try to talk to him about a different schedule that you think would work better… To help his schedule out. Dont mention child support. Try to make it look like you are being reasonable and present the change to him. If he bites then you need to be in that agreed schedule( regardless of the previous custody schedule) for atleast 6 months. You can then make the modification by petioning to make the change apart of the legal document. If he objects then the burden of proof is on him to prove the current schedule doesnt work. And he will need a lawyer for that.
    Once the modification has been included you can then modify the child support. But if you can live with out the increas in the money… It will demonstrate to the court that u are not interested in money for time. U can do all of that without a lawyer…. Unless he objects then u need to lawyer up. Try getting him to agree first.
    Custody is the fucking worst part of divorce… Children are not pizza’s. They cant be divided in half.
    I ate shit sandwhiches and suffered mental and physical abuse for months trying to get an emergency hearing for custody. I was very lucky. Lucky to have a sympathetic judge. I have primary physical custody. He has our daughter for two days a week. I can live with that. Its still not ideal and i anticipate as she gets futher into her adolescences and can connect the dots she will spend less time with him. Its already started.
    When i was putting together my case I read and read and read. One thing that stuck with me that I couldnt swallow at first was…’ kids figure it out after awhile’ She is. I aint raisin a dummy. I cant rob her of the opportunity to love her father the way she wants. I can however arm her with enough skill set to eventually not be affected by his triangulation and anger. She tells me everything. And while i want to scream’ your dad is a lying sack of dog shit who put his tweeny bopper ahead of you’ I dont. I listen. Thats what she needs… And thru that dialogue she puts the pieces together. Its not always perfect… But niether will be her relationship with him. Its the’ biggest’ thing that I have ever had to do. And thats to allow her to love a man that i feel doesnt deserve her love. He lives her when she is good. And when she makes him look good. She is putting it together. And that is how I know she will be ok.
    Be the rock in your childrens lives. They need one sane unselfish parent who puts them first. And by putting them first it means making the hard decisions.

  • Whatever you are doing now, the court will take that as predisent. Be very, very careful with your arrangements.

  • If she can demonstrate that they have been doing an alternative schedule( not the written custody agreement) that is agreed upon and has been in place x 6+ months…. The court can now consider that as the new status quo. She can then petition to have that modified from the original custody agreement…. Usually without lawyers… He just has to sign off on it. But if she petitions now, in the arrangement she has( the current status quo) the burden of proff will be on her to establish that the agreement is not in the childs best interest. And that does involve lawyers.
    Again…. The shit thing about custody … It can always change. Even fathers/ mothers in prison have rights. You can go broke trying to establish custody plans. Be smart. Read. I was told to write down my bottom line… What was my worst case scenario that I could live with…i was told to shoot just above that. You never ever know how a custody case( without blantant abuse or neglect) will go.

    • The Clip, such great advice. I too did a lot of reading after Dday. I knew more about my case than my lawyer did. Needless to say, I was blindsided on Dday, losing assets hand over fist (it’s par for the course with Cheaters) but worse than that was the realization that he screwed over his kids too. I am still angry but recognized that I needed to allow them the freedom to make their own way. I allow His actions to communicate his priorities and WHO he is. I don’t sugarcoat the truth. They still love their father but realize he will never be the same man they knew growing up. They all prioritize accordingly.

  • Dear Rarity,

    It is hard & yes, I know this too well! My ex hasn’t paid proper child support for over 12 yrs now & yes, I still have contact with him because, I have two children with the moron!

    Anyway regardless of my story, they never change & the ‘poor me’ routine is just a cop out to take less responsibility & rub your nose it their shitty life!
    I am also an empath so, really hard to be mean & hyper vigilant when you have to work & have children & a life to get on with.

    I wish I had a CL back in the beginning because, she is RIGHT!
    Make him accept his financial responsibility & step up to the plate re the kids.
    You & he are over, caput & no more so, move him on.

    He can still see the children if the court rules etc….but, in my experience the children thrive much better with one responsible (you) parent than a half assed one (him).

    Time to put the past to rest & have limited if any contact between yourself & him.

    Your being too nice & kindness can be your weakness/downfall.

    The only way you will truly stand alone is alone & you sound like a girl that can do just that.
    Cut the ties that bind & shut him out of your life once & for all. He’s a loser & the narc hates to lose so, he will make you pay by being a millstone around your neck with the ‘poor me routine’ for ever if you allow it?

    Good Luck. 🙂

  • Hi Rarity
    You are amazing it is so hard to bring up our beautiful children with a person who sabotages our efforts all the way. Walk your own walk and believe in yourself. Fucktards can fuck their own lves up all by themselves. I supported my ex to have a great relationship with my daughter for a while there in my early days of D-Day. No great about it and it stopped my detachment too. My strength came from only no contact in my home, eye contact only to my daughter in visitation exchanges, only responding to texts that impact on visitation. Ironically my daughter was preferring after school care over her father. At first thinking very sad for her but realised wow my daughter is scoring a boundary. Setting boundaries all the way and parenting the best way I can. New boundary though we arrived home tonight and he had left a chocolate milk in my fridge (for my daughter no doubt) despite changing locks. So new challenges come and go. Fuck off cheater shit head I am going to keep on walking.

    • I’d be questioning how the fuck he got into your house, then – if the locks are changed.
      Thats a pretty big deal. Who knows what else happened.

      • Yes, that’s beyond creepy and into downright scary. It’s like he wanted you to know that changing the locks can’t stop him from invading your personal space. I’d be doing everything I could to figure out how that happened and put a stop to it.

    • // ,

      It seems like the daughter learns from this, and from you.

      You must both have wills of steel, by now, I suppose.

  • I have changed our visitation arrangements! Today was my first day of dropping off my son at XH’s apartment. My brother will be putting my daughter on the bus in the mornings. When daughter doesn’t have school, both kids will go to XH’s apartment in the mornings.

    I’ll probably stick with that until next year, then sign son up for AM preschool.

    Thanks CN.

    • Hi Rarity, I didn’t get to comment on your original posting but well done on making the visitation changes. It’s another example of good CL advice making a difference. It was only after finding this site and realising what was really going on with my XH that I filed for divorce this time last year and am now divorced with a cheater free life. I keep checking in for CL advice/support as it helps the healing ( continuing no contact, the OW wasn’t special, etc etc.) Wishing you well with your ongoing exit strategy!

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