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Dear Chump Lady, My ex wants us to be “One Big Happy Family”

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cheater_just_friendsDear Chump Lady,

Six months ago my (soon to be ex) wife, came home and asked me for a divorce. I spent a week begging for her to reconsider, and then asked her to move out. Prior to her announcement, we would periodically argue about the close relationship she had with a co-worker. All the behaviors were there: unaccounted for credit card charges, suddenly working out, going on “business” trips together, etc. Two months after we separated she told me that she was now dating her co-worker. Her official statement, is that they magically realized they were in love one day, but NEVER engaged in anything inappropriate before we separated. She is finally happy and I should be happy for her because it will make her a better parent (I don’t get the logic either). She constantly reminds me that it was the best decision for both of us and I should work through my hurt feelings “for the kids” so that we can be friends.

We were together for a little under 17 years and have small children together, however we live in a state that does not recognize gay marriage or second parent adoption. My wife does pay child support even though legally she is not required (which she is quick to point out), and she would say we share custody, but in reality she only sees the kids when it is convenient for her.

I maintain as little contact as possible considering we have small children. Whenever, she tries to engage me in small talk, usually to slip in an insult or remind me how awesome her new life is, I just smile, put the kids in the car and drive off.

In public, she plays off our divorce as a “mutual decision.” In reality, everyone knows that she cheated and is pretty disgusted with her. And that Chump Lady is what has me so pissed off. She walks around telling people I was a horrible wife and claims I was emotionally abusive, and everyone lets her, myself included. Family and friends just shake their head and don’t ever dare to contradict her, in fear that she will fly off the handle. When talking to me, they are quick to call her a liar and complain about her out of control behavior. Even I just ignore her mean-spirited texts and only respond when they are about the children.

I recently found out that she is taking her new girlfriend on the family reunion vacation we had planned this summer. She just swapped me out for the new model. Her family has told me how upset they are about the whole thing, but not one person told her that it was inappropriate. Nobody wants to listen to her tantrums about people denying her the ability to be happy.

Chump Lady, when does this all stop? When will I stop caring when she does mean spiteful things like send me holiday pictures of the kids with her new girlfriend so that I can see “we could all be one happy family” as soon as I “get over it” even though there is nothing to get over because she did nothing wrong. She asked for a divorce, I gave her a divorce. Why won’t she just leave me alone? I read somewhere that I should just ignore her and she would eventually get bored and forget that I exist, much like she forgot she was married. Why does it seem that the more I ignore her, the meaner she gets? I’ve spent enough time on your website to know that “meh” will find me on some random Tuesday. Any advice on what to do in the meantime?

Signed,

Waiting Not So Patiently

Dear Waiting,

Gee, I can’t imagine why you don’t want to be friends with someone who tells everyone you were a horrible, emotionally abusive wife. Isn’t character assassination the stuff abiding friendship is made of?

(Snark over.)

Gay, straight, whatever — cheaters are all alike. They detonate your life and then stand back and Fail To Understand Your Hostility.

She cheated on you. You’re not obligated to be her friend. Period.

And Waiting, if I’m reading your letter correctly, you’re not legally obligated to give her jack shit. It is unjust that your marriage of 17 years is not recognized by your state, but dear God woman, make the bigoted state laws work for you!

If she has no legal claim to the kids, that means YOU call the shots on when she sees the kids. YOU have custody. YOU are in the power seat. She walked out on those kids, and you have ZERO obligation to share them with her. Bitch should be dancing to your tune, IMO.

Just how badly do you need the child support? Enough to put up with her narcissistic ass for the next 18 years? If she is not obligated to pay child support, do you really think you can count on that support anyway? Do you really think she would respect a visitation agreement when she only sees the kids when it is “convenient” now?

It seems to me she has you in the chump lock of “It’s best for the children that I remain in their life.” So you eat that shit sandwich. But Waiting — she abandoned those kids for her fuck buddy. And unlike your straight brethren in chumpdom, you are NOT legally obligated to eat that shared, co-parenting shit sandwich.

Maybe it is best for the kids to have a relationship with both of you. I don’t know. But I do know that you wield some power here, so start using it. Feel free to say — when she wants to take your kids on a vacation with the OW — “Yeah, that’s not a convenient time for us. How about you have them next weekend instead?” Or whatever suits you. Waiting, YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT THIS SHIT SANDWICH.

Now then, as to the issue of why she’s mean to you the more you ignore her? Kibbles. You threatened kibble supply.

Why does she want to be “friends”? Kibbles. You can be a secondary source of supply. And your friendship helps the impression management that She’s Not Such a Bad Person. See! She has Waiting’s endorsement that she’s wonderful!

Why does she send you spiteful pictures of her holidays with the OW? Kibbles again! She’s trying to goad you into the Pick Me dance. Don’t you want to compete for the fabulousness that is her? Are you heartbroken? Kibbles! Do you care? KIBBLES!

Narcissists all want centrality. She will use the kids (and pay the support) to maintain some centrality in your life. Oh and here’s your first clue she doesn’t care about motherhood — she thinks paying you support is doing you some kind of FAVOR. She took on the monumental obligation of bringing children into this world and being family, and she REMINDS you that she’s not LEGALLY their mother — so you take her up on that, okay? She’s a POS. She should do what’s right because she made a commitment. Oh, but she sucks at commitment, legal or otherwise.

It’s only been 6 months, Waiting. You’re in the early days. You WILL gain a life. This idiot will become less and less relevant to you and the kids. Once the kids stop acting like cute props for vacations with the girlfriend, and act like actual children, you know, sticky and annoying and whinging about chicken nuggets for dinner — she’ll probably lose interest. Maybe when you aren’t so obliging to fit in around her schedule, she’ll lose interest sooner.

As to the family and friends who go along with her impression management and don’t contradict her version of events? You don’t control that. I’m sorry you’re losing 17 years of family with her, but that’s divorce. It sucks. It’s not good for your no contact to be parsing the details of how “out of control” she is at family functions. And anyone who passes along a mean bit of gossip is NOT your friend. They’re stirring up shit.

Here’s a sad thing about the disordered — they demand spackle. And most people (yourself included) oblige them.

Yeah, yeah, you’re a Solid Citizen. Okay! Please don’t explode in chaos! (Throws fistfuls of kibbles at them…)

People prefer the narrative that your ex is a loving involved parent and you’re all One Big Friendly Family still. They much prefer it over the reality that your ex callously left you and two small children for a co-worker. And that she pays child support like it was ransom.

You know what they win with their spackling? ALL HER CRAZY still in their lives. They win her narcissistic, chaotic self. They win the constant boundary pushing and shifting narratives. They win more buckets of spackle!

They lost you — a good, faithful loving person. And if they can’t muster up outrage, well, they aren’t worth spit.

What can you do in the meantime, while you’re processing all this loss?

Trust that she sucks. Trust that the OW isn’t getting a prize, she’s just fresh kibble. Trust that you’re going to be just fine without her.

(((Hugs)))

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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.
  • So sorry for your struggle, Waiting. If you’re in need of venting, come hit up the forums…we have a good time in there and its private, if you choose.

    Many (dare I say?) all of us here are familiar with your confusion and the disbelief that comes from uncovering such disorder. The benefit to it? The more that’s uncovered, the more you struggle, the more you heal. When you think it can’t get worse, it will. When you think she won’t go any further down the despicable path, she will. But you’ll become callused & numb to her sociopathy and it’ll eventually become a joke to you.

    Side note: I too am having the vacation debate (STBX wants to take our toddler on vacation with OW and her family) and I vehemently object. So, in my opinion, you say no and that’s that. In my state STBX will have to file a petition and hope that the judge sees his desire to take her is in our daughters best interest. But you’re in luck, to don’t have to worry about that. And if you say no and she makes threats? Call her bluff…see if she contacts a master about it…and if she just takes the kids without your consent, call the cops. CL is right, you’re at an advantage and you haven’t realized it yet, likely because you’re being hoodwinked by your ex’s entitlement.

    • Lol, I meant see if she contacts a lawyer about it, not master. Haha…that would be a whole other bdsm topic in itself!!!

      Anyhow, my point was that she has no legal entitlement to hang over your head with this vacation or anything else for that matter. She voluntarily gave up custody of the children. Just as I’ve told my STBX, just go on your vacation with your OW, don’t include the child(children) because it’s not what’s best for them. And that’s where the focus should be. Your ex will claim that it IS best for them, but she gave up the right to decide that when she blew up your family. SorryNotSorry.

      • I think it’s perilous for any of us to give legal advice here based solely on the basis of the information provided in the letter. I think Waiting should get in touch with a lawyer and find out what she rights she or the ex have (if any) regarding visitation, custody, etc. before restricting access to the children, especially since the ex has already shown her willingness to play dirty, if necessary.

        • I’m not arguing to restrict access. That’s different than saying “that week doesn’t work for us.”

          I’m also saying if this woman has no legal bind to these kids (like pointing out she is not “obligated” to pay support), it’s best to move forward not relying on that support, or this woman’s continued presence in your kid’s lives. Take her at her word. She does not feel obligated.

        • Lulu, I just wanted to add, I agree with your advice to see a lawyer. I do not know what she is legally obligated to do. But it seems to me if she said the marriage and adoption were not recognized by the state, she’s the sole legal parent here. But of course, I don’t know the particulars. Thanks.

          • In Virginia, child support and custody/visitation are separate issues. I’m not sure how that translates to gay couples where there is probably one obvious biological parent, and gay marriage isn’t legal. 🙁

            I guess if the children were adopted it gets more confusing.

            • Jen,

              The children are biologically only related to me. I did make an appointment to see a lawyer so that I can figure out how to best protect everyone involved. When I was pregnant, I read an article about a local couple who broke up and the biological parent just denied the other parent the right to see the child. There was nothing anyone could do. It made me cry. Of course, everything made me cry at that point. I would never flat out deny her the ability to see the kids, I could not live with the karma that would bring me. I can just allow her to just walk away slowly without a second glance. At that point, she terminated the relationship with the kids, not me.

          • I agree, I think the best case scenario is to ALWAYS get the specifics from a lawyer. However, in the event that an ex (either side/the one who left of the one who’s being left) tries to push for things that are not in the child’s best interest it’s ok to object.

            My main point is for Waiting not to allow her ex to push her weight around and force her and the children into uncomfortable situations in which they may not be mentally/emotionally equipped to handle, whether she’s paying support or not. I should’ve clarified better. 🙂

          • Yep, see a lawyer. She may have some type of rights and you do not want to put yourself in a bad light if there is a legal battle. Get a free consult if possible.

    • My children are grown and on their own. My son only contacts either one of us for money. Which he doesn’t get. My daughter has tried to have some kind of relationship with her father but its on his terms only such as ignoring her mostly. She didn’t call him for easter and that bugged him but she called me. She’s tired of being the one to text or call first and if he answers the briefest of conversation and then has to go. She’s 34 and he is 57. Grownups. I told her not to pick a side he is her father. But she’s found out on her own what he’s all about and is now “over it” he’s done the same thing to his sister and they were close. I will never understand how cheaters can throw away their family and ignore them especially their kids. I’ve been two of the kids step mother for 28 years. Bio mother drug addict who couldn’t be bothered. They have always and will always consider me mom. Dada’s loss.

  • WNSOP, even if neither of your children are genetically related to your ex and she is not recognized by the law as their legal guardian, I still think you should get in touch with a lawyer before taking Chump Lady’s advice regarding playing hard-ball with your ex when it comes to the kids. As anyone who has gone through a break up knows, the law is used effectively both as a shield and a sword.

    • Lulu, I’m all for consulting a lawyer, but gay marriage is not recognized in her state. Seems to me the state cannot have it both ways. Oh hey! We don’t recognize your family! Or your marriage! But you have to grant this person parental RIGHTS? How exactly would that work?

      I wouldn’t want Waiting to do anything illegal, but it seems to me she’s got the power seat here and fails to realize it.

      • I agree! Don’t fucking recognize the marriage…well then! And I think a sane parent needs to set boundaries, and just say hey we had plans. She does not need to play nice all the time.

        • This sounds just like a typical cheater exercising entitlement and control. Protect your children and go no contact. If your not married and she has no legal rights to the children why accept money for their support? Having your children vacation with her and the OP is not in their best interest. Who is she to make demands.?

      • Keep in mind that unmarried straight people who have children still have parental rights.

        Without knowing the laws of the state she’s in or crucial details like whether or not the children are biologically related to the ex, we shouldn’t make assumptions.

        Otherwise, Tracy, your advice is spot-on.

        • Exactly, Lulu. We need to avoid giving legal advice. Best to let a practitioner in her jurisdiction advise her.

  • Being on the receiving end of the narcissistic “discard” is painful and heart wrenching PERIOD. There is no magic formula for healing or “meh” and there is no way of estimating “when” a chump will get there. We all have to trudge THROUGH the mountain of shit to get to meh and to slowly get past the pain. You will NEVER fully understand because we are not like THEM and it is unimaginable to us.

    As for the kids…. as a loving parent we constantly have to put our feelings aside and do what is best for our kids, it is HARD. ANY parent that consistently puts their NEEDS/WANTS before their own children is a selfish piece of shit. We can NEVER count on the disordered to put their children first. How can they abandon their children?? They are DETACHED and severely dysfunctional, they BELIEVE that they are “good” parents just like they believe that they have done nothing “wrong”. It is what they MUST tell themselves because the truth is far too UGLY. I am getting to the point with X that I feel sorry for him because I can’t IMAGINE what it must be like to be so VOID of basic character, integrity and devotion. What a miserable existence to not have the basic capacity to truly LOVE your own children.

    Basically….. your STBX wife is a “shitty person”, it’s that simple. Treat her as such.

    My son cries and tells his Dad he wants him to “come back home with me & Mom” and X says “I love you buddy” and exits as fluently and abruptly as he did 5 months ago when he grabbed some clothes and abandoned us without a backward glance. Fuck them.

    • It’s almost as if they are refusing to change their behavior on anyone else’s terms, not even their own, hurt children. By change behavior, I mean, he could at least see and acknowledge your son’s pain and take a moment to address it, but no, he acts like his son is just trying to get candy out him at a grocery store checkout.

      • My X has an AVERSION to negativity, he is so non-confrontational that he can’t deal with anything he deems unpleasant. Son is hurting and X can’t handle the pain his decisions have inflicted on son, it’s all about comfort level for X, not son. Disordered asshole.

        His aversion to negativity makes no contact easy though, he does not contact me at ALL unless it’s about our son.

    • NCStevie, I can’t imagine a father treating his child with such indifference. My children are adults and we were always a close family. When my therapist said he would discard his children and granddaughter I defended the asshole, saying he would NEVER do that to them. It has been 11 months and he never sees any of them. He used to see my granddaughter every weekend and has given her rides on a few occasions. These are heartbreaking situations for children as they feel abandoned.

      • It is so very disturbing Donna, it shameful. It eliminates ANY doubt whatsoever as to just how fucked up he is, his inability or unwillingness to put his own discomfort aside to do whatever is necessary to help our son work through this just validates how deeply broken and TRULY selfish he is.

        Now that I am six months out from DDay #2 I can actually look back over the last year and see that he started to disappear then, right around DDay #1 (last November). My son started having separation anxiety and I thought it was because he has been with me 24/7 since birth (no daycare) and then I started wondering if HE sensed it….. up until that time everything was about our son….. X absolutely adored him and vise versa. He was the APPLE of Daddy’s eye. Dad would constantly brag on son’s accomplishments (super smart & super athletic) and come home from work and play with son and spend time with him…… until he just didn’t. All of a sudden life was only about X and what X wanted/needed.

        I guess I was too busy policing, spackling & denying to see what was happening. Maybe I didn’t want to see? Chumpy me 🙁

        • NCStevie, I towed the line with my X with three children. I put up with years of abuse. Why did I stay with a torturous asshole? I loved him. He never changed and the discard became more vicious. My adult daughter wants to let the X know that he should spend more time with my teenaged granddaughter and I told her HE is a grown man. She wants to blame the OW for his actions. I let her know he takes no responsibility for HIS actions and blaming it in the OW gives him no consequences. Hopefully you can get therapy with your son. I would recommend being present because if his age. Discard is difficult enough for chumps, but we have to recognize just how disordered they are to disregard their children. I am thankful you didn’t have to waste any more years on such a sick person as I did. I have to say that I consider it a gift that he finally left all if us alone and my family doesn’t have to be in his company. Your son will move on and appreciate the people in his life that are present and are authentic.

  • WNSOP,

    You wrote, “Two months after we separated she told me that she was now dating her co-worker. Her official statement, is that they magically realized they were in love one day, but NEVER engaged in anything inappropriate before we separated.”

    Got something almost exactly like this as well. It’s not her call to decide whether or not it was inappropriate or not. YOU made it clear it was inappropriate well before her leaving as you wrote. It would be pathetic if it wasn’t so maddening. Don’t buy her twisted narrative! You don’t have to agree.

    Personally, I reserve friendship for friends. Someone who lies about my character and betrays me is NOT my friend. She does not sound like friend material for you to me, IMO.

    Blessings,
    DM

  • First of all *Hugs* to you Waiting this is just terrible. Listen to Chump Lady with her advise. This is the same pattern of behaviour that all of these individuals do that have Personality Disorders especially the Cluster B ones.

    If your marriage sadly isn’t recognised in your state and also she doesn’t have any legal claim to the kids then she has not right to be in your life what so ever. Plus you just don’t have to deal with all of her bullshit. If you have doubt contact a attorney in family law and to confirm this.

    Then go 100% NO Contact.

    Get yourself and your kids therapy and we are here for you. Please stick with us.

    We love you and we are here to support you and your wonderful children no matter what.

    The ex is the one that is sick and she is the one no matter what will never ever be happy!!!! It’s ALL FAKE! It’s all about a front and image that they want to let others see. Let me repeat this IT’S ALL FAKE!!!! They will never ever be happy!!!!! It’s a show that’s all.

    We all have heard this same bullshit from the ex’s. Yes, does it hurt like your world is ending- hell yes it does! I have been in your shoes and my heart goes out to you. But you as the loving, caring, stable and wonderful mother in these darling sweet children lives and you all deserve so much better. The ex is nothing and her new OW is nothing.

    Just like Chump Lady wrote the OW is just a new piece of kibble. That’s all nothing more than that. These people cannot love. They are not able to love due to the disorder that they have.

    I’m going to give you a link that will help you understand the relationship cycle that these Cluster B Personality Disorders do all the time. This helped me place what chump lady wrote to you above in a better time line for me. It was my break-thru to really fully understand what Chump Lady writes about on this blog. Here is the link and I hope and pray it will help you in your healing process:

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/relational-harm-reduction/2014/10/24/after-a-pathological-love-relationship-hes-moved-on-and-is-with-someone-new

    We are here for you!!!!!

      • Jeep, You are most welcome! It really did help me and I hope it helps others on here. It’s amazing how it is the ex’s. When I heard it the first time I was in tears talking to the computer saying “That is him! That is what he did with me!” I have been able to really heal from this information. Thank you Chump Lady for letting me post it!

        • Yes, thank you. It helped me although it brought me to tears too. The part about being replaced like a worn out recliner or a newer model TV.

          • *Hugs* Lina! It was hard for me to hear that part also. I hope it gets you closer to your healing process. Just remember you deserve better than what you had to deal with in the past with that individual. Life is so much better when they are out of your life. *Hugs* again!

    • Wow, Beth! Wow!!!!!
      I just listened to that link as I prepared for work and I’m stunned. To many of us it’s not new info but it’s so validating. And I don’t know about you buy occasionally I need reminders…my chumpy heart starts to soften and needs a swift kick.

      I could go on and on about all the details of what was said but something that sticks out continuously for me is the scary part that many of the disordered behaviors in the early stages seem so much like what true love looks like. They mimic it so perfectly! It sets my scales all off balance and I wonder “then what the hell does real love look like!!?” because many successful relationships I know of begin in the same fashion. Then the past projection chimes in and I behin to wonder if it’s just all me…if I’m the common denominator…if I have these qualities because my Narc surely projected that all on to me

      But I have to remind myself that our relationship ended the moment I wanted more. I wanted to grow together and I yearned for a deeper connection and STBX just wasn’t capable. So the devalue & discard began. I need reminders like that to set mr back on course.

      Thank you!

      • Hi TheBetterJamie, You are most welcome. I’m so very sorry with what you had to deal with your ex. *HUGS* to you! When I came across this link and listen to it myself everything that I have asked myself over the years since the Dday1 and the others Ddays and then the divorce was answered by that link. Yes, it is very validating. I do agree with it. It for me is hard to describe how I really felt when I listen to it. All I can it is very powerful information! The entire time I was listening to it I was saying to computer screen that is him. I had to share it here. To me it’s a must hear. If it can just help one more person besides myself I would be so happy with that. Now it has helped 2 that is even better. I hope that everyone listens to it. Male and Female. If this can help others with more knowledge and more education about Cluster B Personality Disorders and yes even closer to the healing point in their lives like it has done with me I will be so much happier. I want to support and really help others that have dealt with such evil. That is what these individuals are just pure evil.

    • Thank you, i watched the whole thing and i believe this is what exhole has done. might be borderline personality disordered but i am at the point that i dont care. it still was interesting.

    • Beth, thank you! This was absolutely stunning, and is extremely helpful. Totally worth the hour. The last ten minutes are PURE GOLD when it comes to dealing with our own healing. I’m just…wow. Thanks again.

      • Beth, I lived with the cluster b personality for 41 years. I now have a better understanding of each stage I experienced over the years. I was stuck in the middle stage as they stated for years with the Dr Jeckle/Hyde confusion. There never was a deep layer of intimacy. In addition while I was stuck there he was continuously in the pre stage (our eyes met) where he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to cheat. It also explained the early phase where he taps into their empathy (OW) by saying what an awful wife he lived with me for years. And finally the end phase when his mask comes off because “you are smarter than he is sick”. That was why he discarded me, because i stopped trying to please him, I let him know I had needs. This was met with rage after all the abuse I put up with. This helped me so much. It also helps to know he is the SAME with latest pig. Thank you!

    • The link wouldn’t open on my crappy computer that my STBX x 2 (second go-round, second one to leave me/cheat on me) will probably take, but I did Google search Cluster B Personality Disorders and found the mother-load!!! OMG, so so so so true about BOTH my husbands!!!! I am taking CL’s advice and signing up for counseling ASAP…I just found this site/group— feel so much better now that I know I have a person out there to get my mind right as soon as I start thinking of trying to find a way to make him stay…

      • Be selective! Make sure your counselor or therapist understands what has happened to you and knows about how to help people heal when they have been in an abusive relationship with someone who looks like he or she may be on the spectrum of Cluster B disorders. (I hope I said that correctly…) Not all therapists or counselors are the same; not all are good; and not even all the good ones are good at helping people who have been through what you’ve experienced.

  • Why won’t she leave you alone, and why is she getting meaner? Cheating is about power and control (amongst other things) and this kind of escalating meanness is often motivated by the cheater sensing their loss of power.

    Cheaters can be masters of manipulation, and it is entirely typical for them to cycle through through different behavioral strategies, testing the waters until they get a bite. When they get a rise out of you using one strategy they then stick to that particular formula until its power over you weakens … then they just cycle on to another. Every time you react to their behavior it validates their sense of power over you and gives them a buzz. It becomes a massive metaphorical hard-on for them.

    Managing that is not simply a matter of ignoring her though, as you’ve found. It’s really about removing yourself from the reach of her dramarama. Any access to you that is on her time-frame, for her benefit, or at her instigation will be giving her access to you on-demand, and is thereby a source of jollies.

    In general terms, if your cheater is pissed off, that’s a good barometer that you’re on the right path. Keep forging ahead towards no unnecessary contact (‘necessary’ might be governed by legal stipulations).

    Don’t dance to her tune.

    • I’ve commented on X’s maintaining control many times, I’ve realized certain behaviors… mainly controlling money. He doesn’t provide ANY assistance unless I “ask” and is constantly reminding me “all you need to do is tell/ask me when you need something”. I’ve just realized that while he is truly just selfish and horrible with money…… I can’t help but wonder if his refusal to pay the rent and stick to HIS outline to get it caught up is just another way of exhibiting control and another big “F.U.” to me???? The massive metaphorical hard-on that you mentioned…… idiots.

      • God, I got sick of those lines. If the table was turned, would he like having to “ask” or be told “all you need to do is tell/ask me when you need something.” If I said I need to go to the dentist doesn’t that meet the criteria? Do creditors calling meet the need to pay a Dr. bill for a child ? I guess the KING wanted a formal question. “Excuse me. I do not have enough to cover…… would you mind helping?” It’s like getting on your knees and begging in a way. I would rather ask my parents or do without than ask and he called me stubborn for that. While all your own income covers other family expenses with no room for savings. Yep. That one PISSES ME OFF!! It clearly shouted make your needs smaller until they disappear and hopefully you will not ask at all. Thats how he has four banking accounts and a couple of credit cards and really expensive hobbies. But hey, whats mine is mine andy whats yours is ours! By the way,”You haven’t contributed anything anyway.” Controlling Asshole.

        • “It clearly shouted make your needs smaller until they disappear and hopefully you will not ask at all.”

          Especially THAT ^^^ but pretty much EVERYTHING you said is spot on with my controlling asshole too. He was entitled to everything he wanted, he was the one doing EVERYTHING dontchaknow.

          I guess it worked. My needs became pretty much non-existent. I felt like I didn’t count at all. Sad.

    • Wayfarer, You are describing how all of these individuals with Cluster B Personality Disorders act in the relationship cycles. It’s a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! When the mask is off and they (us chumps) are in the “Discard” stage of the Cluster B Personality Disorder Relationship Cycle all bets are off with them. We the “ex’s” are their enemies now. We must be destroyed. We know too much about how they really are. They do not want to “see” how they really are. In their disordered mind they MUST have this “image” of being perfect, having the perfect life, must have people admiring them. In a way they want to be like a “God” like image. If we “the ex” no longer see them that way then they no longer need us. They need new kibble. Someone so below them that will believe the bullshit that they once told us. It’s an endless cycle. Once Waiting’s wife’s AP sees this also this OW will no longer be her “soul mate”. Waiting’s wife has so many others just “waiting” around to be the next “soul mate”. These Cluster B PD individuals always having “others” or “soul mates” waiting in the background. Just takes time to get them in the position the cheaters want. These Cluster B PD individuals cannot stand to be alone also.

      • Beth, he did exactly this! His phone records revealed multiple women he dated at the same time. And even now while living with his latest he STILL calls other women. When he left he sarcastically said, I like being alone. Being a Cluster B type explains why he has to line them up so he’s never alone.

  • Waiting,

    My cheaterpants ex wanted to be friends. He thought we could share our vacation cabin. The answer was No. When disordered people want to “be friends” with their former spouse, what they really want is to keep you on the back burner to be used at their convenience. If it doesn’t work out with the OW, you’re handy. If they want to make the OW jealous, you’re handy. As CL says, they want lots of kibbles, from as many sources as possible. Your ex doesn’t deserve your friendship and you aren’t obligated to help her restore her tarnished image. Take care of yourself and your children and trust that your ex wife sucks.

    • Same thing the ex told me also. Funny thing was we were never really friends. Plus his idea of friends was way different than mine. If we were friends I think well I know he was looking up the term of friendship from a different directory than mine. Just recently what you wrote above that they want to keep you in their back pocket was confirmed to me with some reading about how these NPD people treat others in the discard stage. Now I know why the ex is in contact with my family and friends after so many years since the divorce. I have been zero contact with him and them for years. These NPD people are no able to just let go at all. It is about the disorder. They cannot see what they are doing to others no empathy what so ever. Do not be surprised one day it can be 2, 5 or even 10 years from now but they will contact you again. They always do.

      • My ex stalked me until I moved far enough away to make it impossible for anyone to believe his random appearances were accidental. He brought the OW along to break into my home. Was pumping all mutual friends for information about me. I had to go no contact with nearly everyone we knew. When my replacement part didn’t work out for him, he came back looking for me. People with NPD view others as their personal property, to use as they see fit. You have to remove yourself from their kibble dispenser inventory to find the peaceful life you deserve.

        • This is 1,000% correct Survivor that they “view others as their personal property”. I’m so very sorry to read what happen to you. The ex did the same things with me also. It’s amazing how they ALL act the same way and then the AP gets involved. I moved very far away myself. I’m in no contact with any of his family, friends, my family and friends also. I live a very peaceful life now. I am able to sleep more now. I like it that way.

          Life with him is very messy. Very dark. Very toxic. Very exhausting!!!!! Very frightening at times also. I still kick myself to this day for not listening to my inner voice saying I need to look at the red flags I had during the dating years before I married him. Sadly there was no knowledge back then about these individuals with Personality Disorders and also there was no internet.

          These individuals with Personality Disorder are a nightmare to deal with no matter what. When you tell others they think you are the crazy one. I’m not to bothered by that now. I do agree you have to remove yourself from any level of being involved in their lives. My heart goes out to the ones that have children and have to deal with co-parenting with these evil freaks.

          I think the only way we will be 100% free from them is when the day they pass away!

          • I am so sorry, Beth. Sometimes the price of peace is high. I flew under the radar for over a decade until a friend saw the ex’s obituary and soon the congratulations started rolling in. I could list my phone again. Go wherever I pleased. Open a FB page. I walked out into the sunshine and have reestablished contact with old friends and the former in-laws, all of whom understood my radio silence. Apparently, I was the settling influence that kept that crazy man in check, and after he kicked me to the curb his life spiraled out of control. Happily, that was not my problem.

            I too ignored red flags. I didn’t know what red flags were. There wasn’t internet- available information back then, and I’d never taken a psychology course. And I was seriously outgunned. My disordered ex was a clinical psychologist.

            • Thank you very much, Survivor! First response is congrats with his death! I know how you feel about being able to just breath again must be a relief! You and I are dealing with the same mind fucktard but yours is dead and mind is still alive!!!!

              • First priority, Beth, is to keep yourself safe. Live a kinder and gentler and peaceful life. That is a great gift. If you are far enough away, shut the door on the fucktard and live the life Beth wants to live. You can do that without alerting the sleeping dragon if you take reasonable precautions. I am of course assuming no one is taking crowbars to your windows and such like I saw first hand.

              • Thank you so much Survivor! I am trust me I am. Thank you so much for your love and support! It’s so sad we had to come together this way but also you get to find some really great people that fully understand and believe how dark these individuals can be. I hope your life is so much brighter and peaceful truly peaceful now. Living a great life should be on our terms and not on these individuals’ terms. I wish you that!

              • No reply button at the bottom of the thread, so this could come up anywhere. Beth, My life is brighter now. I read the Asshat’s obit about six weeks before I married my Sweetie of seven years on the beach. In St. Thomas. What a beautiful day that was. And I love to come home every night to someone who is just good and normal and fun to be around. That’s not too much to ask. Really, it isn’t.

              • Hi Survivor, I’m getting the same thing as you with the reply button. Congrats with your wedding. It’s so wonderful and lovely to have it in St. Thomas. Now that is a bright and sunny place to start you new life together. I’m so happy you have found the peace you so deserve. I’m remarried myself. It’s so nice to have the peace of mind to know that there are real good, normal and yes FUN people to be around. My hubby makes me laugh so much now! Being able to just to chat with someone like him knowing that he doesn’t judge me means the world to me. He tells me that also about me not judging him. Plus we support each other in our life journey. I never had that before with the ex. It’s nice to be able to just sleep at night not having to be the marriage police also. Just like you with your ex I was keeping him together also. I’m so happy it is not my problem any longer. I have heard many things about the ex also. I’m not surprise with anything I hear. It’s so nice to have people on this site get that support also and no judgement. I hope we get to chat again. It sounds like we have loads in common. I just love this site! *hugs* to you. I’m so happy your life turned out to be so much better. You deserve that! Much love to you also! Congrats on your marriage!

              • Beth, we’ll have our fifth wedding anniversary next fall. Normal and caring beats bat shit crazy every time.

              • That is wonderful and congrats! I’m going to place a big AMEN to your last sentence!!!!! BIG FAT AMEN!!!! lol;-)

          • You have a good handle on the BPD and cluster B’s , Beth. Unfortunately, many of us have kids with these folks and have to remain in some contact.
            For those of us who were naïve enough to consent to the stay at home parent deal, we had to leave our kids behind, in the custody of these folks, which is really heartbreaking.
            My kids are getting to the age where the court will allow them to choose who they live with. it will be tough getting a bigger place to accommodate them after 10 years of paying $26,000 after tax dollars ( so like 40k) to their mom.
            I am trying to scrape together a downpayment for a house vs the condo where I live.
            One daughter hates her mom and her new husband and is really pushing to come live with me.

            • Arnold, in some states a new spouse’s income can come into play with how much support you have to pay. Check that out. It affects the household income of the household of the payee former spouse. Not you.

            • Arnold, You are a hero in my book! I would not even know how to deal with still having the ex and then kids with him. I don’t know how you do it! The chumps that have kids with these cheaters have my respect. *Hugs* and thank you for your comments. It has taken me some time to fully understand it all but it’s getting there. I’m not there 100% but I’m getting closer and closer every day.

              Maybe think about writing a book one day to help others out. I think that would be a great idea. Just a thought.

              Maybe even Chump Lady could think about it. Just a book focused on that.

              • The relationship between the cluster B disorders and cheating is really well established. I had never even heard of them before my therapist and my divorce attorney suggested I was dealing with a disordered spouse..
                I got kicked off several sites for continuing to suggest that betrayed spouse look into these as what they are probably dealing with.
                Seems the biggest concession I could ever get from those sites was that maybe the “fog” caused the cheater ‘ s behavior to somehow mirror that of a Cluster B.
                I tried pointing out that most of us had experienced the same dopamine etc chemicals when we fell in love but we did not lie and abuse people like these folks do.
                And, could this “fog” really last month’s or years without there being an underlying disorder?

              • Arnold, spot on as usual. When I really found out the truth about Groceries affair it took many months and a lot of soul searching to finally realised I’m dealing with someone with a split personality.
                It wasn’t until talking to therapist etc and really analising what happened during the affair that groceries is disordered. I mean who in their right mind goes purposely out of the normal norms, morals, integrity, and expectations to purposely hurt the very people ,a loving husband, a 10 and 15 year old son and all the subsequent destruction. The only escape clause or logical conclusion that can be made is they never expect to be found out. However they are so stupid and naive to think that they won’t be caught.
                Then when found out they carry on as if to expect complete forgiveness and total lack of remorse as if nothing happened.
                Chainsaw man and groceries are total wing nuts. They deserve each other.
                Fog isn’t a good analogy. More like nuclear fall out. That stuff lasts for fucking years!

            • Arnold, that’s the terrible heartbreak of chumped dads–having to leave the kids with a disordered cheater. Best of luck as the situation changes. Remember that for a kid, a happy home is about being with the one sane, rational parent, so don’t sweat the accommodations too much.

    • Or they want impression management, “Hey, my X is friends with me, I can’t be so bad, right?”

      Wrong–you are that bad. No friendship for cheater.

    • OMG, you guys just reminded me! My ex cheated for over 15 years with his APs, leading a completely astonishing secret life with multiple AP’s, group sex, etc. etc. Our children do not even speak to him. Yet, after our divorce, he suggested that he re-mortgage our beach home into his name so he could keep it for me and the children and we could all “share” it. You see, he had decided to marry the main AP, and he thought we could make the beach house “family neutral,” so that our children and I would vacation there some times, and he and the AP and her teenage sons (one of whom had to be DNA tested to confirm he was not my ex’s) could “share” the house. I asked him how long he would allow us to do that, and he responded in typically braggadocious language, “as long as it takes.” I asked him whether I would be sleeping in the same bed as him and AP or whether they’d just have sex in the children’s beds. (Of course they had been having sex for years in my house and beach home while I was away, so this concept wasn’t as shocking to them as it apparently was to me).

      Anyhow, I demanded we list the house and we ended up selling at a loss. The phrase, “over my dead body,” repeating over and over in my mind….

  • As a chump with children, I understand your position. And you are so very spot on. Decisions concerning your children and the cheater should always boil down to What Is In The Best Interest of The Children.

    You sound like a terrific mom. I agree with everyone here re:get an attorney. Your situation is more complicated due to your unrecognized martial status. But I do not think that negatively affects your custodial rights. I’m not a lawyer! You are the sane parent who did not walkout on your kids to pursue “happiness” an implode a family.

    Educate yourself and continue to protect those kids. You are mighty.

  • Poor Waiting! I’m so sorry that your ex is badmouthing you like that and no one stands up for you. I have a Chump friend that had the same thing happen with her ex-husband, it was like everything he did to her, he went around telling his (mostly new) friends and family that she did it to him! And the ones that knew the truth wouldn’t contradict him either, for fear of being on the receiving end of one of his Narc rages. She said she wasn’t going to let it bother her, as the ones who actually knew her, knew the TRUTH, and the others were strangers. Oh, and her ex-husband had the exact same story for his new Schmoopie that your ex did! They really all have the same playbook!

    I agree with CL, go see a lawyer and find out for sure what both of your obligations are – her with child support, and you with visitation. I really have a poor opinion of the family court system, so if you don’t have to involve them EVER, because the state won’t recognize your marriage, that might not be a bad thing.

  • Waiting.. and CL.. This post is SO TIMELY for me today.. my STBX doing the same thing.. wants to know if we can be “friends”.. and can he come “over for dinner a few nights a week”.. I guess presumably I would cook? And maybe we can “still take a family vacation together” this summer. Is MOW coming too???

    La La Land.

    Agree totally with CL.. this is all about kibbles. Your cheating wife is probably unsure if her new fuckbuddy is really worth two cents.. and she wants to keep you “warm” in case the whole thing blows up in her face.. which there is an about 100% chance of that happening eventually. If you hang around and keep that door open.. she has a place to get those kibbles when she’s ready. That’s what the whole “friend” narrative is about.

    We straight folks deal with this mindfuckery too.. our X’s threaten to fight alimony, threaten to require more child visitation (although most of the time they don’t want it because it interferes with sparkly new fun and fuckbuddies), so they throw those threats around. Don’t succumb to it.

    It’s manipulation.. pure and simple. It’s mean, but it’s how narcissists work. As for her family, I’d be a month’s pay that any of them that are worth two cents already know the score on this chick. They may not say it to keep the peace (they are related to her after all) but they know the score.. and those who don’t.. who cares. Almost all of these people tell lies about the divorces to their family and friends.. so they can look “okay”.. and not be the “bad guy”. Their images are very important to them… kibbles kibbles kibbles.

    Chump Lady… thank you for always managing to put the right post on the right day for me. This one hit home, as mine is doing the “friend” thing too.

    Waiting.. hand in there.. you are going to be okay!!! This chick isn’t worthy of you or your ,kids. Stay mighty!

  • It will make her a better parent — definitely. A nonexistent one is better than an abusive one. The mind games, neglect and abuse your wife inflicted on you also extends to your children. Ask the therapist who has been working with my third grader. The kid had no anxiety issues before the affairs and while I had no idea what was going on (must be work stress .. duh) my son did at some level and turned into an insomniac, breaking down at school, at other people’s houses, and developed all sorts of strange little habits like teeth chattering. He felt the devalue/discard months before the idea of my husband cheating ever crossed my mind.

  • The question that caught my eye was, “why does it seem the more I ignore her, the meaner she gets.”

    The answer is, she’s a narcissist and they hate to be ignored. But if you payed attention to her, she would also make your life hell, or ignore you, she needs it on her terms.

    A narcissist needs all the action in the play to revolve around them. Whether it’s good or bad, it should be about them. Think Madea, the Greek one, not Tyler Perry.

    I would do what you can to get her out of your and your children’s life. Do it from as far a distance as is possible. Also hope the coworker becomes a more interesting cat toy to her, then she might lose interest in batting you around.

  • Waiting,

    CL is right about other people. They don’t want to confront the reality of who your ex is. Yes, they talk about her behind her back…but to her face they’re sweet as pie.

    It’s easier for them this way. This way, they can claim to have morals and values, but they just *can’t* stick to those values regarding your ex because REASONS.

    And, sadly, this works.

    After a 4-year marriage, I divorced my ex-wife because of her incessant cheating. I’ll give you one guess which one of us “kept” most of our mutual friends. Now, I don’t have children like you do, so I understand your situation is different. But my point is that I had to simply write off all of those people as out of my life / unimportant.

    Recently, I had lunch with my former cousin-in-law. She officiated my wedding. She told me that my former MIL misses me, and said that she’s sure I missed my former MIL, as well. I had to correct the cousin; I had to tell her that, no, I don’t miss my MIL. I’ve heard the things that MIL said about me when my wife was f***ing her coworker. I accept that blood is thicker than water, but then my MIL should understand that she’s a spackling enabler who raised a cheater. Fairs fair.

    Waiting, you have to make a new network. I know it sucks. And I know you can’t replace family/friends the way you can replace a pair of shoes. But it’s what must be done.

    • JC, Wow. Your MIL is my ex’s entire CLAN. Ex’s sister posted on FB how “lovely” his new wife was. Oh yuck like her insides aren’t !!!! I have cut everyone toxic and those with situational morals out of my life too. Buh bye!

      • The ex in-laws are just like the ex! Apple didn’t fall from the tree with these people I had to deal with. The ex was nothing compared to his step-mother. She was full NPD! I used to blame it on dealing with menopause but noppers she is full blown NPD. His brother is really bad many marriages and loads of other issues! I don’t miss any of them.

  • Well, any lame excuse for cheating is simply a lame excuse.

    I do think however, when someone is caught with their pants down, they gotta’ make lame excuses, particularly if they really have no excuse for cheating on you.

    Still, there is an upside to staying with a cheater. I have stayed and now five years out the rewards are many.

    Years ago, my fiance cheated and I dumped him. But you know what. He went on to stay faithful to both his future wives, both of whom……guess what, cheated on him and left without trying to work it out. Karma, maybe???

    I stayed in touch with him as a friend and many of our former friends and I could see, and they could, see that he truly regretted cheating on me and he learned a lesson on how destructive cheating is and stayed faithful to his wives.

    Anyway, my former cheater now treats me better than ever. I truly finally have the husband I always wanted a husband to be. I think, like my ex fiance, my husband has learned his lesson.

    He is truly working on us and the marriage. He is more romantic than ever, more attentive than ever. Cripes, he always helps around the house, now, without ever needing to be asked. He is transparent, present.

    Where I used to be the saver and he the spender. He is now saving. And, I believe it or not am spending more. I buy things I never brought prior….spa visits, expensive perfumes, clothing, etc. Things, I formerly deprived myself of.

    I am glad I stayed and tried to work on things. My life is so much better now. If I left him who knows who the next guy would be.

    My husband was not the cheater type. Everyone said so. He always swore he would never cheat, but he did. Life is risky. Love is risky.

    However, if a cheater asks for a divorce and does not want to work on him or herself, let them go, IMO

    • X was never romantic. Yes, he could fake it for years. All the while using me for supply while dating and exposing me to STD’s. He lacked basic morals and had no empathy. He still cheats on her and told me he was using her for sex. I still have access to his phone records, and he has MULTIPLE phone numbers. I pity his latest and tried to warn her but she too is disordered and needy. She is probably impressed with his house cleaning skills. Beware he always washes the sheets after bringing his latest home to screw. My children and I are fortunate he is no longer our problem. OW will never get it. He said she’s not too bright. We hope she keeps him busy for a long time.

  • My STBX would also like to be pals. I told him no. I am not interested in being his friend. Besides the control aspect and the kibbles aspect, they also love to be pals because it minimizes what they did to us. That is primarily the reason I will not be friends with him.

    Six months out is still pretty early days, Waiting, you’ve got to keep hanging in there. The better days are yet ahead.

    xox

    • You are so right about that: “it minimizes what they did to us.” At the end Jackass was bleating about “losing a 30-year friendship.” And you, ML, deserve a better friend than a cheating, lying, gaslighing, selfish asshole.

      • Yes!! THIS!!

        Moving Liquid, you are SO right. If we’re friends afterwards, then it makes the story something other than “my spouse left me because I’m a cheating POS.” It makes the story about some “other reason” that the marriage ended. It reduced the cheating to a minor aspect of the overall story.

        Don’t get me wrong: my ex-wife’s cheating is a VERY minor aspect of my overall life story. But it’s the primary aspect of the story of our marriage ending.

    • You’re right, ML, they consistently minimize what they did to us (and if they get us to go along with their narrative, they can justify to everyone else that they didn’t really do anything so awful).

      I refuse to be an accomplice to any of my X’s lies–I told both daughters he had been married before (a secret he kept from them), that he serially cheated on his former wife, too. I am also about to reveal to his brother’s sister (with whom I am friends, but she is not keen on my X) the exact reason for the divorce. No more lies, and no more friendship so that X can hide behind his former-double life.

  • I don’t know. I am friends with and ex cheater and it has worked out fine. I once loved him, and he is for the most part the same person, except for the cheating. But I moved on and I am happy. So, being friends just seems natural to me.

    What control aspect, what kibbles? I don’t compliment or give him kibbles. I feel as if I am the one in control of whether or not the relationship continues. And, my new husband is wealthier and more attractive than my former cheating spouse. So how does he garner kibbles from that. He doesn’t.

    Also my cheating former spouse taught me a valuable lesson. Never trust anyone, and I don’t.

    Anyone can cheat. It doesn’t matter if they were cheated on, or promise to never cheat or are too ugly to cheat, in your mind. Anyone can cheat. If you read marriage forums, you will see that the most unlikely to cheat people still do cheat.

    The ones that were cheated on, very often cheat too. Why? To build their self esteem, again.

        • Noname: You must have an interesting marriage to your attractive and wealthy second husband if you don’t trust him, cause apparently you don’t trust “anyone”. Are you counting the days before he cheats on you? Why did you bother to get re-married, if the marriage is going to go to shit anyways?

          • Or maybe it’s Noname who is expecting the cheat, this time around? Or maybe did before? After all, ‘you can’t trust anyone’, and ‘anyone can cheat’.

    • No name said, “Anyone can cheat. It doesn’t matter if they were cheated on, or promise to never cheat or are too ugly to cheat, in your mind. Anyone can cheat. If you read marriage forums, you will see that the most unlikely to cheat people still do cheat.”

      Count me as dubious. I’d like to see actual evidence rather than anecdotal evidence from cheater/reconciliation sites.

      There may be differences between serial vs. single-time cheaters, but I suspect the vast majority of them have major entitlement issues and showed red flags long before they cheated (see Buss & Shackelford, 1997 for support).

      • Well said Tempest (as ever 🙂 ). We do hear here of fellow chumps who were cheated on by cheaters who’d been previously chumped, but that doesn’t make it a rule. No name is probably right that no one is ‘too ugly’ (LOL – doesn’t that say a lot about No Name’s values) – and certainly, the point about people promising they won’t cheat but going on to cheat – well, doh, yep – those pesky vows include a promise not to cheat, so it’s not really ‘news’ cheaters will break promises, is it? 😀

    • No name,

      My heart goes out to you it really does; however, I’m going to disagree with your entire post. Please don’t take this as a personal attack. I feel for everyone that has dealt with such pain that cheating brings to any person’s life. Sometimes I read post like yours and it really bothers me with the pain that so many of us on this site are dealing with. Also when I read post like yours I think the world itself is losing it’s values and it’s morals and just common sense what is right and wrong in the world. In-between the lines I read from post like yours saying cheating is so common and we just need to accept it. Sorry but no way in hell will I do that. I have morals, respect myself and my spouse, common sense, ethics and most of all boundaries knowing I need to keep my hands off from any person because sorry I’m damn married!!!!!!

      So you are “friends” with your ex that cheated on you? Do you have a “friendship” with him. Because as you wrote above “Also my cheating former spouse taught me a valuable lesson. Never trust anyone, and I don’t”. Maybe you mean you are on “friendly” terms with him. Maybe define this a little better from your side. How can you been “friends” with someone that you don’t trust? Someone that has changed your viewpoint on trust. Who place you in danger of illness and STDs risk? Who changed your way of living? Who’s morals and character doesn’t exist? Who really did not give a hoot about you and your feeling with screwing anything that came around? Who did not give a crap about the marriage vows he said to you? What do you have in common with a person that did these things to you?

      I would not call this person a friend at all.

      Also I will have to disagree with you 1 billion percent with “Anyone can cheat”.

      NO!

      Cheating is a CHOICE!!!! It’s NOT a mistake. These marriage blogs out there go into blame shifting the faithful spouse and most say in their silly stupid post it is our fault (the chumps). Hell fucking no!!!!! I have no control on what some asshole choices do I? No I do not. It’s a choice the cheater did and the AP. I was not in the room and didn’t place a gun in his head to screw her!!!!! Going to a hotel room and their place or where ever and taking their clothes off and getting on top of each other or whatever position they do and placing their privates together and most likely no protection is not like forgetting to turn off the TV in the morning when you are in a rush to get to work. Now that is a mistake!!!! Then the lies and the mind games that go along after this even. Not a mistake and not a friend and it’s a CHOICE!!!!! He is an adult and let me own that. What kind of control was that between you and him? None.

      Also you wrote “But I moved on and I am happy. So, being friends just seems natural to me…..And, my new husband is wealthier and more attractive than my former cheating spouse. So how does he garner kibbles from that. He doesn’t.” I hope and pray you don’t look at this new marriage and this man you married that he is your source of happiness.

      No name, I am remarried myself but also I fully know that people cannot make me happy. That is not up to another person to “make” me happy. People these days have a poor viewpoint on being “happy” and it is very co-depenent to think that someone poor person alone has to make you happy. That isn’t good at all. Also life is full of ups and downs you cannot be happy all of the time. Happiness is a state of mind.

      From what you wrote above in your post I can see that you had major lifestyles viewpoints that have been changed from the ex’s cheating event because you wrote “I once loved him, and he is for the most part the same person, except for the cheating. But I moved on and I am happy. So, being friends just seems natural to me.” If he is such a “friend” and from what you wrote above the marriage didn’t last. Maybe deep inside you saw that he IS NOT the person you think his is with what you wrote “….he is for the most part the same person, except for the cheating. If he was the “same person” why didn’t you forgive him and rebuild the marriage? My thoughts you saw who he really is with his? Maybe?

      Also how does your new hubby feel about this “friendship”? Sometimes the past needs to be in the past and maybe looking at your new life with your new hubby is the best you can do. Toxic people like your ex husband is bad news with a new marriage and very bad news to focus on your happiness.

      Also I can read from your posting how you view the world from your statement above “Also my cheating former spouse taught me a valuable lesson. Never trust anyone, and I don’t”. So why would you want this type of person in your life? Maybe your term of “friends” is very different than mine and others but he isn’t the prize you “think” he is and he isn’t not friend material.

      This ex of yours placed you in a dangerous position of the risk of STDS and HIV/AIDs and what about your finances and so on. This person you call a friend is not the same person you “think” they are. They are self absorbed babies! Cheaters are individuals that have no moral, no character, no ethics, no common sense of what is right and wrong, they don’t care about others and just care about the moment.

      Also I would have to disagree with the following statement “What control aspect, what kibbles? I don’t compliment or give him kibbles. I feel as if I am the one in control of whether or not the relationship continues.” You cannot control him. There isn’t nothing to control. Most likely he makes you “feel” like you are in “control”. These people that Chump Lady writes love to make you “feel” like that. I seriously doubt that. These people we discuss here love to play mind games with you and everyone around them. So if you don’t trust him why is he in your life. What value do it bring to you to have him in your life? Nothing most likely.

      Cheating does not bring anything good to the table for anyone!!!!!

      As Divorce Minister writes in his blog and he has written on the comments on this site it is Cheating is SOUL RAPE. This is ABUSE just like Chump Lady wrote above. This is life changing and also placing your life in danger with health risk. Also placing you in financial risk of losing everything you work so hard to do. It changes just like you wrote above the way you view the world with not being able to trust ANYONE including your new husband.

      The pain alone from learning that your ex husband the one that told you in front of your family and friends that he would love you, he would be there for you no matter what the good and bad times in sickness and health, he would honest with you, he and you will grow together, to cherish you and only you, builded a life together, and most important and it’s very simple and not hard to do be FAITHFUL to you for the rest of your life.

      So how is the friend with the ex now looking?

      • Beth:

        Preach, girl!!! Everything you just posted is where I am with STBX x 2!!! He has spent the last few years practically begging me to go have sex with another person (M or F, he doesn’t care) either in front of him or away from him and let him listen on the phone or come back to him and tell him all about it… I have been trying to tell him for years now that my personal moral/ethical/self-respect will not allow me to do that- his response has always been, “not if you have my permission”… ….

        I have never been nor will ever be is a cheater. I may be a lot of things, but a cheater will never be one. It goes against everything I am as a person, but that’s just me. I am not about cast stones or point fingers at anyone else’s opinion or position on this issue, just stating mine
        My first husband had the same desires and I never gave in either.

        Anyway, my first husband and I share 2 kids- we’ve been divorced for over 10 years now. I wouldn’t exactly say we are best buddies, but at least we can talk for a while about our children and what’s happening in their lives without it becoming a big fight. Husband2 canNOT stand this- he hates H1 with a passion and it has cause much friction between us over the years we’ve been together.

        H2 has opted to bow out of our many-year marriage. I have always had my worries of him cheating, but until a month or so ago I never had real, actual proof and now I do.
        I’m trying to process through the fact that yet again I am being dumped for nothing more than getting “fat” and “boring”.
        Thank God I have found you guys!!!

        • UnsinkableMollyX–what is it with these cheaters and wanting their spouses to have sex outside the marriage, too? I can’t tell if my X wanted that so that we’d be “even” if I finally discovered his extra-marital escapades, or he is just so sex-warped that it really appeals to him.

          Sick puppies. Why can’t they marry each other instead of finding nice chumps to torture?

          • Tempest,
            I have NO clue, I’m going to need a whole lot of therapy when this one is over, because I am 2 for 2 on the lousy husband score card.
            Every time he brings it up, I respond negatively and he zings back that he is giving me permission to do it, so why not? I guess in his mind he was begging for me to say, “Oh, husband, OK- you can go out and cheat on me now, it’s OK.” so he’s relieved of accountability and guilt. It’s so-not OK!!! I guess what they are thinking is that adultery is taken off the table for divorce/custody issues in court if both parties have either both cheated, or one gives permission for the other to step out. Sick, sick, sick!!!
            Yeah, there’s got to be some kind of dating service like match or plenty of fish for people like this to get married but screw around with whoever waving their “sex with someone I’m not married to” card!!! UGH…

      • noname, Beth pretty much covers everything, but you don’t seem to understand what “kibbles” or “narcissist supply” is. For a narcissist, it won’t matter if you are married, single, happy, married to a Brad Pitt clone (etc.). Narcissistic supply is the means by which narcissists maintain their sense of self in the world. They are not emotionally organized like most people. The average 1st husband might note that your 2nd husband is better looking has more money, etc. and either feel jealousy or understand such comparisons are superficial and not indulge in them. Narcissists, on the other hand, have an excessive need for admiration, attention, centrality and worship from others in their environment, often from someone who is in a dependent or co-dependent relation to them. This “worship” or admiration is a major source of narcissistic supply (kibbles) by which the narcissist maintains a false self . I am not a psychologist, obviously. But when CL talks about kibbles, she is drawing from this concept in narcissism to talk about the behavior of cheaters who operate out of a sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy. They do terrible things to their spouses and children in order to “feel good” about themselves, exactly the opposite of what a normal person would do–which is to feel good about themselves for their CHARACTER, not the admiration of some random person. These cheaters may or may not be narcissists in the clinical sense; they may or may not have traits attributed to the “Cluster B” character disorders. But their behavior looks like and smells like Cluster B behavior. “Kibbles” is not feeling good because you are better looking than some person with whom you are comparing yourself. “Kibbles” is exploiting other people to extract worship and admiration because it feels good to the exploiter.

    • I disagree. I would never cheat. I suppose that came with maturity. In high school you do look at all your options, but once out of high school, your relationships become less superficial. You have a responsibility to let someone know if you don’t plan on being monogamous.

      If you are pretending you are and you’re not, you’re pulling a con.

      • Some of us didn’t even ‘look at all our options’ and didn’t settle for trash, even in high school.
        I know I certainly didn’t.

  • First of all, I have to declare, I don’t have children, so what do I know, right? but…..

    I’m always very suspicious of anyone who wants to play ‘happy families’ with the children and their new partner, so quickly. Surely, surely this is way too risky. Even if her 2 months timescale is the bullshit we suspect, for your children it is ONLY 2 MONTHS since their home, their reality, was blown to pieces. They may be too young to understand what is going on, but they are not too young to ‘feel’ the atmosphere in their home, they are not too young to have noticed their other mum no longer lives with them, they are not too young to pick up on the change in how both mum’s interact with each other, mum number one’s sadness (and WNSP – that’s natural, you’d have to be made of stone to be able to fully hide your grief/anger/confusion/sadness, and I’m sure you are trying your very best to shield them from your pain). How confusing then, and what a dreadful message for them to be picking up, that mum number 2 wants them to welcome this interloper into their lives as though sparkly new girlfriend will make up for all that pain and confusion because mum number 2 is just so giddy happy right now.

    So, OK – it goes to plan, and confused children accept new woman into their lives – they take the risk of developing a relationship with her, but, oh hold on, mum number 2 gets over her hormone induced hots for this new girl, decides she’s not all that, it’s not going to work (or OW decides it’s all got a bit intense, what with the responsibility of 2 small children when all she really wanted to sign up for was some ‘funtime’ – she’s not ready to ‘settle down’) – or, God forbid, OW turns out to be a complete abusive nutcase – I mean, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to hide you’re a lunatic for 9 weeks, does it? I doubt very much whether they’ve had a lot of discussions about parenting styles – corporal punishment or not? and furthermore – how on earth can you be sure, in just 2 months of giddiness, that someone is NOT A PEDOPHILE? How do you figure that one out so bloody quickly?

    Personally, if I were a family court judge I’d take a very, very dim view of the idiot who would take this risk with their own children’s emotional and physical wellbeing – I’d even put it up there as abusive, or at the very, very least irresponsible. It’s probably a good job I’m not a family court judge – I’d be MEAN!!!!

    WNSP – so sorry you are going through this, I wish you all the strength and peace you need and more x

    • Jayne, this is a smart analysis of the risks of the “Instant happy family including affair partner” scenario.

    • I might have misunderstood – but ok, it’s 6 months not 2 months since she walked away and blew up the family. Still not long enough, in my book.

      ‘The Great I Am’ has two children and I didn’t want to meet his children for the first year we were together. We met on a blind date and I was very leery of getting too involved with him, so for the first year, in my mind (though ‘The Great I Am’ was full on lovebombing and pushing for more) we were ‘dating’. My thought process was ‘what if me and the kids meet, get on great, but then ‘The Great I Am’ and I decide we are ‘not that into each other’? It wouldn’t be kind or fair to his children to come, uninvited, into their lives, strike up a relationship, only to disappear again. I just couldn’t bear the thought of screwing with emotions like that, and until I was ready to make a commitment to ‘The Great I Am’ I certainly wasn’t going to ask his children to accept me. As it was, ‘The Great I Am’ was as committed to his children as he was to me – which is – not very, and weird with it …. a tale it bores me to even think about, let alone try to relate. Suffice it to say, his son went NC (quite rightly) with him and his daughter, who is deaf and has learning difficulties, hasn’t much choice in how her relationship with dad goes. To be fair, last I knew, he kept contact with her – a very, very rigid once a fortnight visitation where he takes her to the pictures or horse-riding (and has been that way for 14 years). It was a very odd and strange dynamic with his kids – I liked them, especially his son, but even after marriage ‘The Great I Am’ did all he could to exclude me from their lives (I hasten to add, not because of my reticence to meet them in the first year – I feel it had something to do with his obsession with not wanting to feel like he ‘owed’ me something – as I’ve alluded to before).

  • Waiting, she is not your friend. SHE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. She has made herself your enemy. Everyone above has pointed out the genesis of the “let’s be friends” thing. Centrality. Kibbles. CAKE. Your X isn’t any different from the husband or wife who cheats and hides it from the spouse in order to have the AP, the marriage, the spouse, the kids, the joint income and the house. Your X just went for day-to-day kibbles from the AP and wants your family on the side. If you go “no contact,” you won’t have to hear or see these stupid, unfeeling requests for your attention.

    It’s sound practice in any separation/divorce–whether the marriage was endorsed by the state, or by agreement between the parties or “common law” marriage (where the couple represent themselves as married to the community for the requisite time, as recognized in my state)–to see a good lawyer for advice as to what your position is legally regarding assets and shared obligations like children and debt. But in this case, the issue is the position that you, Waiting, are putting yourself in. As you say,, the X comes and goes with the kids as she pleases, so even if it became an issue legally (which seems unlikely given the situation), all that it would mean is that you can ask for a regular agreement that lays out your expectations.

    That seems like the best thing you can do: tell X that you want a clear, written agreement about child visitation and support. While you can’t press the issues using the state, you can say you wants everything spelled out in a clear legal agreement. Then, you can set out how much time the X can spend with the kids and under what conditions. You can say “no overnights” or “no vacations” and “no pictures posted on social media of any activities including the kids.” You can negotiate child support, medical expenses, and who gets the kids when on holidays. You can designate how you prefers contact to be conducted. And if the X balks at setting things out in clear, written form, in a document prepared by an attorney and witnessed, that’s pretty much like a cheater saying “no” to a post-nup and credit check. Protect yourself.

    But most important, Waiting, is that you are still in early days. 6 months out with kids? You are mighty if you are getting dressed and functioning every day. But don’t continue to play “nice” with this terrible person. She blew up your life, the lives of the kids and your family. You don’t have to be nice to her. I think there is a difference between “ignoring” someone and going “no contact” (to the extent it is possible with children involved). We sometimes “ignore” people because we want them to notice our absence, our silence. What you need, instead, is to establish your boundaries with someone who is NOT YOUR FRIEND. I don’t have a contact issue in my situation, but Jackass just started courting a mutual friend whose FB feed I see. Previously I knew he has his cheater pants FB page but he was inactive and not an issue. Now he is blocked. I don’t need to see his courtship activities with his next victim. I am not “ignoring'” him. I’ve cut him out of my life. So block what you need to block. Stop looking at her social media. (Yes, it is terribly hard but worth it–thank you MovingLiquid!). Tell her in no uncertain terms she is not to post kid pictures on FB or other media, as you are the legal parent and you do NOT want others to post their images. (It’s also good practice not to put kid pics up at all, if you can’t control their dissemination via your own settings. On FB it is possible to post pics that just go to selected friends and family.) Put THAT in your negotiated agreement–no pics on social media. Set up a dedicated email channel for communications or one of those Google calendars. Don’t “ignore” her–have a “no contact” plan that helps you heal, that protects you and the kids, that helps you move toward your own awesome life.

    Finally, do you want her to have visitation or partial custody? Is it (for now, in the newness of your loss) really a lifeline to your old life? Is that contact in the best interest of the kids? What is the best kind and amount of contact for someone who appears to be incapable of empathy and commitment? Start thinking about you and your life and not about her and her life.

    • Oh LAJ – that is bloody brilliant advice! Particularly re posting pics of the children on FB. Good one! 🙂

      • I don’t have kids either, ha ha. So I think it is easier for us to see how horribly abusive what this stupid cheater is doing. The longer I read here, the more I think these cheaters take full advantage of the emotional pain and confusion they cause, not only to conduct their affairs but to manipulate chumps and kids in the aftermath. So glad Waiting found her way here.

        • I’ve worked in ‘Care’ for many years now and at one time I worked in a crisis intervention centre for children aged 12 to 18 years old. Most, if not all, their short lives had been warped by dreadful abuse, usually by family members. Perhaps I’m particularly sensitive to the chances of this happening because of that. What I do know, though, is you cannot ever assume your children are safe from abuse simply because you ‘like’ the other person. Whatsmore, my lovely neighbour was an advocate and advisor to family court re abused children, and the stories he could tell would turn your hair white. How he has remained such a positive, happy person, I’ve no idea!

        • Same here LovedAJackass, I don’t have kids with the ex and I fully agree with you. It’s amazing how much energy they place in being so evil and to be honest with you it would take less energy and planning on just being a good and faithful spouse. Plus it would save loads of money because having a AP cost money and the divorce also cost a hell loads of money. I guess common sense is not that common! ha!

  • I agree with the poster above me..Never trust anyone..Not with your innermost secrets or plans..And most definitely not with anything as valuable as your life..I don’t even trust my grown kids to know my divorce strategy..My kiddos knowledge of such stuff would put them in uncomfortable spots anyway..If you can get by without the child support, do without it…This cheater needs to know there is no going back..Forever..She needs that heavy dose of finality..

  • Dear Waiting,
    I know what it is like to be left with two small children. I was blindsided and didn’t see it coming. The first six months, he made extra copies of the photos of all their outings to the zoo, etc. and gave them to me as if that was being nice. WTF? It was a slap in the face that I couldn’t be there too with my family. He even gave me professional pics of them sitting on Santa’s lap. More tears. While he was legally bound to make child support payments, he only did so when forced to and then stopped anyway. Guess what, even with the law on my side he racked up $60K in back child support because Child Support Services didn’t collect. My point is, even when someone IS legally bound to pay Child Support one still can’t really count on it or plan one’s life around it. Additionally, the back and forth between two homes was very hard on the children. I needed a break, after all – I was working full time – but the children had difficulty adjusting between the visits to their other parent’s home. As time wore on, he spent less and less time with the children and eventually stopped taking them overnight. On another note, I resented being trapped in the same town as X. I remarried, and my new hubby was trapped too – unable to seek employment outside of the area due to “visitation.” We were held hostage by my X who didn’t not — even though he provided ZERO support for the children (despite the law) and who now rarely even saw them except for a couple hours on Sunday afternoons. It took years (I’m almost 10 years out), strategic planning, detailed record keeping and schedule tracking, and enormous time, effort and money on my part, but I was finally able to get Child Support Services to clamp down on X’s arrears, drain his bank account, and add interest to the remaining arrears (bringing the grand total owed to more than a half million) and we had a court date coming up that would surely send him to jail. We made a peace offering of my hubby adopting the children, which would require X to voluntarily terminate his parental rights. Even with financial ruin and jail time imminent, my X even didn’t want to agree to that, and held up the process until the last possible minute. He finally agreed to it but only if the children kept his last name (Image Management). My hubby accepted a better job out of state last summer and we moved hundreds of miles away and have not looked back. X and the kids communicate via phone and we have told him he can still see the kids. But guess what: we have all the legal parenting rights now so it will be on our terms and our schedule. So far he has made no effort to visit them in our state. He did see them when we went back to our hometown to visit family at Christmas and we even let him take the kids for a few days to stay with his mother four hours away. The kids get to still have this person in their lives (if they want) but none of us have to be held hostage to his whims and lack of dependability. My hubby and I have an inside joke that 10 years ago was my X’s divorce, but last year’s adoption was MY divorce. I share all this with you, Waiting, because depending on the laws in your state, your legal arrangement with your X, and what your lawyer tells you, you may not have to go through the HELL I went through to become truly free from my X. You may already be free and simply need to exercise your freedom. One last thing. It’s hard having two very young children in a divorce. But it’s much harder to have older children. The young children are resilient and you will have much longer to shape their lives. It’s often harder on the older children, who by this time have internalized much of the cheating parents destructive ways as normal. So I am thankful that your children are younger in this instance. Good luck to you. Let us know how things work out for you. Blessings.

  • I am also in a state that does not recognize my legal-in-most-other-states marriage, but there are legal ways around it. Highly suggest you contact a lawyer. So sorry you are going through this – check out the forums if you haven’t already. Great support system there.

  • Tempest:

    Isn’t this site anecdotal? Is there any proof of any wisdom shared here????????

    I agree with the prior author. We both post on the same forum. It’s a marriage forum.

    Time and again we read stories from people who claim their wife or hubster cheated on them, even though they were once cheated on.

    I also don’t agree that the vast majority of cheaters feel entitled or are narcs. Some perhaps. But the reality is, if you talk to counselor who deal with such people are simply people who got carried away with an attraction to another person.

    According to numerous counselors who deal with this issue. Many regret it dearly and desperately want to save their marriage. But often there is too much damage to the trust and such.

    Have you NEVER been attracted to someone other than your spouse?

    • “Have you NEVER been attracted to someone other than your spouse?” I’m not Tempest, but I had to pipe in.

      Of course, anonymous! What distinguished me from my serial cheating spouse was Respect for my spouse and marriage, Integrity knowing I was in a committed relationship(NOT an open marriage) and therefore Responsible to establish healthy boundaries both verbal and physical with those to whom I was attracted. Jeez! I’m not a freaking nun BUT by taking vows of FIDELITY meant I Honored my spouse and my marriage above my desire to get laid by some hot dudes.

      My cheater felt attracted to numerous people and lacked impulse control. The guy fucking failed the marshmallow test for 17 years! If you can’t keep your pants on, don’t committ, lie about it and steal time and money from your family to fuck strangers, coworkers, XGF, sex workers, etc….

    • ‘According to numerous counselors who deal with this issue. Many regret it dearly and desperately want to save their marriage. But often there is too much damage to the trust and such’.

      I’ve no doubt there are cheaters who regret the consequences of their actions, just as I’ve no doubt there are many other types of abusers who regret having to face the consequences of their abuse. I don’t really need the validation of ‘numerous counselors’ to ‘help’ me make that intellectual leap. It seems a bit of a no brainer. Just a damned shame all these abusers couldn’t have desperately wanted to save their marriages / avoid the consequences of their actions when it would have made any bloody difference – i.e (for the hard of thinking) BEFORE they abused. Funny how their regret /desperate need to save their marriages wasn’t quite so terribly, terribly painful for them when they decided to drop their pants, isn’t it?

      Your last sentence? Too mindless for me to even want to address.

      • Ditto.
        Anybody could conceivably after a major fight with a spouse, get rip roaring drunk and end up doing something stupid like snogging with somebody or god forbid a one night stand. That’s a mistake!
        But where does trolling dating sites, courting another person, planning interludes, giving gifts and actively having sexual relations with more than one partner fit into the definition of a little mistake? That is a conscious decision to cheat.
        If a couple is arguing and yelling over a very emotional subject and one of them slaps the other and is absolutely mortified by that action and it only happened the once and never got repeated that’s a mistake. Repeatedly punching, kicking or using weapons against somebody and or threatening to do these actions is domestic abuse.
        I am not in any way excusing a one night stand or a person slapping their spouse. But in some ways these things could be something a committed couple might be able to work through with counselling and concerted efforts by the perpetrator to modify their impulses
        To the troll who’s excusing cheating please leave this site as you are not preaching to a choir; you are wasting your time and ours.

    • Anonymous:
      Have I ever been attracted to anyone other than my spouse? Yes. Did I ever, ever, cheat? No, nor would I.

      And sorry, but I know the psychological literature, and there ARE personality traits that predispose people to cheating–entitlement, lack of empathy, impulsiveness. These may be more prevalent in serial cheaters, but cheating itself is an act of entitlement.

      I also know many therapists; their anecdotes don’t equal data either. Some of the best data on cheaters came from Shirley Glass, who found that many cheaters reported having satisfactory marriages but liked a bit of fun on the side, AND that the cheaters were typically pulling LESS weight in the relationship (i.e., were more selfish and less committed).

      And oftentimes, people who report, “I was cheated on” and then re-marry and cheat themselves, LIED. They were the ones who cheated BOTH times (ask CL herself).

      Sorry, but I believe your whole post to be wrong, and I do have studies to back it up.

    • Anonymous, the only person I was ever attracted to unfortunately was my serial cheating narcissist pathological liar. He cheats on the whore he currently lives with. He cheats in his taxes and has no friends. He attracts many needy pigs. Some of us just have morals others are disordered. I accept the fact that there are many people out there who prefer sleazy sex with other peoples spouses. I prefer honest people with integrity. Just personal preference. Life is better since I relieved myself of the toxic loser.

    • Anonymous, if you and your friend post happily elsewhere, that’s fine. You are surely entitled to your opinion. However, this thread is addressed to a woman whose cheating partner is causing issues for her. It feels to me like the 2 of you are trying to hijack the thread. And finally, no one here thinks all cheaters are narcissists or Cluster B disordered types. This board, however, is not optimistic about reconciliation, particularly with regard to those married to people with character disorders. It feels abusive for someone to come here and tell recently betrayed spouses/partners that “everyone cheats,” and not just because that statement is demonstrably untrue. It’s unkind.

  • I am with noname.

    I agree. It’s wise to learn to never trust anyone.

    Not a new spouse, not a friend. You always need to be a bit wary of everyone in your life.

    It is a valuable lesson to learn.

    Alas, none of us will likely every know who our real friends are until we get to the other side and can see into their soul.

    Don’t be naive Beth. Otherwise your ripe for being blindsided by a cheating husband again. Keep your eyes open hon.

    • wryone ….

      It might surprise you to learn that, as a social animal, trust is a fundamental survival skill, as a species we have had to develop, nurture and rely on. Heck, don’t take my word for it, just educate yourself a bit. I’m really very sorry to hear that your life is so warped now by your experience that you feel never to trust anyone is the only way to exist on this planet. I pity you.

      Pity aside though … please take your condescending, warped and pitiful self off this site. I’d rather keep the company of ‘naive’ Beth (I don’t think you are naive Beth – this person is an arsehole) than have someone with your passive aggressive attitude (Hon? – tell you what, go to Glasgow and say ‘keep your eye’s open, Pal’ and we’ll see how long it is before you get glassed, ok)?

      respectfully, wryone …. piss off.

      • Thank you Jayne! Just troubled people trying to make trouble. The joys of the internet at times. I’m sure Chump Lady will be on it and fast. Just have to laugh at them. I feel so sorry for them to be honest with you and I will pray for them also. ha!

      • Jayne,
        Not only do I agree with everything you said, I think Beth will know the next time she can’t trust someone. Like for instance Internet trolls. Where is Charlie Sheen when you need him?

  • “Have you NEVER been attracted to someone other than your spouse?”…….YES anonymous, I wasn’t dead…I was married. But, and here is the big thing, I NEVER acted on that attraction! I was married. I did not ever want to hurt my spouse. I loved him. I don’t hurt people I love that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • And the mature response is to feel the flattering gush of someone finding you attractive, and realize that doesn’t mean the dread pirate Roberts is Wesley and your husband is the evil King Humperdink. It means you’re flattered someone cute found you attractive. Happened to me the other day with a kid half my age, but I’m way too mature to act on it and behave like Mrs. Robinson. When I was with my x, I refrained from acting on it even when I knew he had plans to hook up the next day. If you can’t be loyal, why did you committ?

  • Beth: Did you really read all that from the OPs posting. Wow, that’s odd. May you possibly be projecting? Seems so, perhaps? Because your post is way to heavy and reads the impossible from a little blurb the person you are responding to left here.

    Also, I post on the same marriage forum as the others, and NO Way do they place any blame on the faithful spouse. Not sure why you are opining when you don’t even know which forum we are talking about.

    Nope. The forum we frequent does NOT EVER place blame on the faithful spouse. Sorry. You can spread that rumor if you wish, but it’s wrong.

  • “….YES anonymous, I wasn’t dead…I was married. But, and here is the big thing, I NEVER acted on that attraction! I was married. I did not ever want to hurt my spouse. I loved him. I don’t hurt people I love that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Kimmie: Yet. You have never felt the desire to act, YET.

    Or maybe the right person hasn’t approached you. Lots of people who cheated say they felt the same way. In polls 90 percent of people say cheating is always wrong. But some 70 percent of people end up cheating at some point in a long marriage.

    Maybe you are a saint. Maybe you are lying to yourself. Maybe the right opportunity has not arrived.

    Talk to us all after you go to heaven. But telling lies, even to yourself can lock you out of heaven.

    • And hiding under the tenants of your faith makes you a coward and a liar. What about Commandment no 7, 8? Please don’t Imply the other poster is going to Hell because she actually lives by her religious creed.

    • bridlepath….
      I take offense to your judgement of my character. You are specifically targeting me and implying that given the right opportunity I would choose cheating on my spouse/partner rather than ending a relationship to begin a new one. I was married for 23 years with the last 5 years living in limbo (false reconciliation). I did not cheat on my then husband ever, even when he wasn’t exactly showing me love, affection and kindness. That situation was ripe for cheating, yet I remained faithful. I am in no way saying I am a Saint. I am no better than anyone else. However, I do live by my own standards. Maybe I am one in a million. I would like to think that I am.

      • Kimmy,

        They are trolls. Just trying to start trouble. You are a great great great person! I have read so many of your comments. Do not be bothered by these sad people! *hugs* to you! They are just so very sad empty souls! They are trying to attack me also. I think it’s funny myself. ha!

    • I’m not a percentage. I’m a human being with morals and I know what right and wrong it. Plus I have character!!!!!!

    • Because we all have a complete lack of self control and can’t control our desires for other people? Oh puh-leeze.
      I know for a fact that I can ‘keep it in my pants’ around people I’m attracted to, because I have self control and morals.
      You on the other hand? Your words tell me enough.
      I suggest you go crawl back in the pathetic hole you came from, along with all the other twits who came with you from ‘that forum’.

  • Beth:

    If you are so happy with your choices, decisions, philosophy and new marriage, why do you need the support of someone like chumplady to feel whole.

    Be happy with yourself and fashion your own philosophy.

    BTW: Chump girl has deleted several responses to you. But there are thousands of people who post at the forum we mention here. Stop bad mouthing our forum. You can’t block us all.

    Anyway, Beth, don’t trust your new spouse too much. That’s just too dangerous.

    • Smartone–I guess YOU don’t feel whole since you need the support of the “other” forum you mention.

      We don’t come to Chumplady to feel whole; we come to make sense of our common experiences and to achieve a sense of community.

      If you can’t contribute to that, go back to your other forum and try to get whole.

    • Smartone, do tell us which forum it is, I’d love to visit it sometime, maybe meet all those thousands of people.

      • When we were kids (and ‘orrible’) we used to play a game called ‘nick,knock’ – bet you have something like it in US but a different name, where we’d knock on some poor neighbours door and run away. I’m sorry, I know – like I said ‘orrible’ – but it was the height of entertainment in the 70’s if you didn’t own a pogo stick or a Chopper bike. These ‘marriage forum’ ah hem ‘visitors’ remind me a lot of that game. Bless ’em – never stopped being 8 year olds – obviously! 😀

        • “bet you have something like it in US but a different name, where we’d knock on some poor neighbours door and run away.”

          In the US it’s called Ding Dong Ditch — ring the doorbell, then run away. I admit to doing this as a kid, but in hindsight I feel bad about it.

    • Jesus what drugs are you on? Or whose husband did you fuck? Go away. She doesn’t want him, you can have him.

        • Sorry, it was meant for up above. You got that right? I feel silly for even responding, but I don’t have to work today, my son is with his dad and cash is too low to leave the house right now. i’my as bored as the trolls. You can only look at Pinterest so much! I am avoiding facebook, too many mutual friends.

  • You are trolls because you come here to instigate and don’t know what you’re talking about. Either come here to be supportive, or if you want to debate, read the evidence, and then get back to us.

    Instigation + ignorance = trolling

    • Ignorance is correct! Love it Tempest. I just hit the truth nerve with them. I have no clue what site I attacked. I didn’t say a site name. This is so funny! So they are also making up things. I guess the bullies are going to beat me up tomorrow at school tomorrow and take my lunch money. Really? Why?

      Light always beats darkness!!!!

      • Beth–you know what’s really amusing? That internet trolls themselves were found to have high levels of narcissism & entitlement in a recent study. The best revenge is that these people never make themselves happy, even as they are trying to make other people unhappy.

        Your strategy of laughing at them is the best one. Well-done!!

        • Tempest, Thank you so very much! Well your statement of internet trolls having high levels of narcissism and entitlement has been proven right here on this site. All they can do is sit behind their computers and type and that is all they can do. Nothing more that’s it. It’s just words. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me (saying this while I’m still laughing at these silly stupid fools). Thanks for the laugh trolls! You made my day. I’m sending you all the hugs you need. I guess you didn’t get them when you were kids.

        • Narcissists never get help. They continue to cheat. By moving on with his OW he takes his disorder to her life. I on the other hand have had the opportunity to better myself. No as a normal loving person with morals I never looked outside my marriage. Now I do notice many men that are interested in being with a woman with morals and dignity. I am glad I don’t have to settle as narcs do. What a sleazy life they lead

  • People who talk about Heaven and the Gates are usually referring the tenets of Christian faith. So, for the other poster to imply someone is lieing to themselves and they may find themselves locked out of Heaven led me to assume they meant Hell. Putting on my God Squad hat and reading through poorly veiled religiousity leads me to believe the person who attacked the other is a hypocrite. That’s not within the tenets of Christianity nor on the tablets.

    Not abusive to bridle path. Just calling a spade a spade regardless of faith or religion. If you are going to talk the talk, then walk the walk. And let’s focus on who became all judgemental. Bridlepath.

  • Oh my, Jayne, Shame on you. That sounds like an abusive statement.

    Abuse often begets abuse. That means that people who are abusive often invite abuse in return. But I won’t play your game.

    LOL Anonymous – am I bovvered? 😀

  • I would really have liked to been friends with my ex for the sake of my children and our family, but it’s just hard to be friends with someone who’s gutted you and made unilateral decisions about your life. There’s nothing worse than being betrayed, I’ve been through a lot of other stuff and nothing came close to the pain of betrayal. I’m not saying my ex wasn’t also in pain, although I don’t believe he could see the pain was of his own making. Anyway, was I ever tempted during my 31 year marriage? Yes, once. There was a period of time where my ex was gone for weeks and I was so lonely, a man at work seemed interested and I actually considered it. But in the end I couldn’t do it. I loved husband and my kids too much to break up their family. Believe me, it would have been so much better for the end of our marriage to have been a mutual decision that we arrived at after marriage counseling, honest discussion, etc. Ending our marriage would have been hard, but much easier than lies and betrayal. The experience felt like being run over by a mack truck. Imagine the driver getting out and asking if we could still be friends even though I’m bleeding on the road and he walking around fine. It ain’t gonna happen, at least not for a LONG LONG time.

    I do still hold out hope that many years from now being in my ex’s presence doesn’t feel like a knife in the gut. I know it can happen, because it happens in other traumatic relationships. https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/FORGIVENESS-Unbroken-Louis-Zamperini-Story But I’m not going to worry about it for now. It’s up to the Universe/God to orchestrate something like that, not me.

    • I was friends with my first x (who was a narc who left no evidence of cheating, just abusive). I liked every woman he ever dated, they were all really nice, professionals, good to my son, etc. Drove him nuts, he wanted me to be jealous. So when he got married he cut off most communication and went stealth. Even his beautiful young wife who he blocked from me for as long as possible sees through it. A narc can’t hide his mask forever.

      They don’t want to be friends, they want to fuck with you. Why, I don’t get, because IMHO, it would be easier to be friends. I don’t want him. We weren’t together long enough for me to care about his retirement pension. I just wanted out. Clean. But narcs need you to focus on them at all times.

  • It’s always amazing to me how alike truly disordered people are. Male or female, straight or gay… the stories are exactly the same. We have chumps here from a wide range of cultures and countries, the stories are the same. I have no doubt we have chumps here of every race, the stories are the same. That tells me that the disordered are broken on a very, very deep level — their very humanness is broken.

    • Or are disordered people just really immature? I worked at a daycare once, the behavior seems similar.

    • That’s so true GIO – I made a comment earlier about how we are social animals who, as a species, need trust to survive. I am certain the need to trust and be trusted is in our DNA, no society would survive 5 minutes without it, therefore cheaters, are indeed, broken humans..

  • So sorry you are going through this, Waiting! Your situation reminds me of how my 1st DH (the “D” is for disckhead) had me convinced that we were too good of friends to stay married, that I needed to “go out and find you a husband that loves you the way a man should love his wife”, etc. but then had the nerve to expect me to be at our kids’ birthday parties, ball games, etc. and do exactly that- “one big happy family” so that the world would know that this divorce was mutual and is all good between us… what a joke! I can’t believe how stupid I was.

    It’s been almost 13 years to the month since all that, and honestly it felt like I was Daniel going into the Lions’ Den. Every single time. It nearly killed me, but I survived and so will you 🙂 . I know it’s hell right now, but it will get better, and like CL said- You are in control- I damn sure wasn’t!!!

    Stay strong, my friend!!! You will overcome this!!!

  • Very much like my own situation, apart from the fact that I’m a man.

    Fuck her. She has treated you like dirt and is continuing to do so.

    Don’t give her the satisfaction of thinking you’re her friend. Keep all communication business-like and kid/asset-related. Ignore everything else she sends your way and focus on getting your life back. It takes patience, effort and time but you will definitely get there. Then you can look back at the moron you married it will feel like another life.

    All the best!

  • Chump Lady,

    I appreciate the advice. I thought about what you said and scheduled my lawyer appointment this afternoon. I have no intention of keeping the kids from seeing her, regardless of what this crazy state says, they are still her kids. However, you were dead right when you said, I need to stop dancing to her tune. She can see the kids on her days, and if she skips, not my problem. I was a stay at home mom for years. My therapist constantly tells me to prepare for a day when she will no longer be around or willing to pay support. So I recently went back to work and may not be making the money she does, but I make enough to support myself and the children alone. Money would be a little tighter, but I realize how lucky I am to be able to pay my bills.

    I want so badly to just do what is right, follow the rules, in hopes that she will do the same. Rationally I know how absurd that sounds, if she did what was right, I would have no clue who you were. There is still a part of me that thinks there has to be a good person in there somewhere, no matter how many times she proves me wrong.

    • “I want so badly to just do what is right, follow the rules, in hopes that she will do the same.” BTDT, now realize that’s another form of Chumpiness.

      It is INCOMPREHENSIBLE to us that a parent might truly not EVEN THINK about their children’s best interests. That we might have to consistently set boundaries with our co-parent. That we might have to NOT be flexible about last minute ‘changes of plans’, in order to avoid being taken advantage of.

      You had to give up your image of who you were married to (legally or not). Now you have to also give up your image of who you are co-parenting with. My ex disappointed me far more profoundly in how he treated our kids than in how he treated me (and he disappointed me badly, believe me). But my kids were in their early teens. Result; they started refusing to see him. Now, after huge amounts of back-peddling on his part, some rounds of family therapy for the three of them, and the passage of time, they accept seeing him once a month for a few hours, MAX.

      And he wanted to ‘stay friends’ and play happy families together too (all super-transparently in the interests of maximizing his kibble supply and minimizing his responsibility for his choices). Not happening, bud. I bent over backward to make you feel good and look good, and to try to get you to do good, for a decade and a half. Now it’s on you.

    • Waiting
      What ever part of you is still thinking there is a good person in your ex… That part needs to meet the other part of yourself that thinks she is a low life mother fucker… Then that part of your self needs to kick yr own ass.

    • Waiting, make your own rules, honey. Get a written agreement. Set down your expectations. They may also be “her” kids but you are doing all the heavy lifting, all the planning, and all the real sacrificing. You have every right to set ground rules and expectations, and especially the boundaries for communication. So glad you have a counselor who seems to be wise and kind. You are mighty, and you will have a great life with those kids.

  • My STBX can’t understand why I don’t want to be friends either. Why wouldn’t I want to be best friends with the man who dumped me for a woman 15 years younger than him. He considered our marriage over, so he didn’t really cheat, plus he “loves” her, so that makes it ok too. Never mind that he didn’t tell me the marriage was over and he didn’t love me anymore. He waited until he had his little twinkie securely on the hook, then asked for a divorce. He wants me to be friends with her too. He told me all about he rough life and how hard she is working to keep her life on the right track. I told him I could be civil for the kids but I don’t want to be his friend, I don’t even want to meet his girlfriend, much less be her friend. He wants me to be happy for him, because she makes him happy and he deserves to be happy! Meanwhile he has left me devastated, feeling worthless and used up. You would think I would be used to being cheated on, he has done it before and every time he was going to leave because he “loved” the OW more than me. Stupidly I took him back, but it never stops hurting!

    • Tossed away, Remember cheaters just cheat. It was never about you. My sister, for example, was with a man for ten years Disordered spend their lives in an endless cycle of “not getting it right” because they will never be or find “perfect” or “real.” Your ex “falls in love” with his dick, and easy, because life is just too hard…. New is the drug. Poor choices are made. Over and over and over again. No value in that.
      Your Chumpy heart deserves better. (((big hugs)))

      • Oh! Lol back to my story! Sis was with a nice guy for ten years, was working in hospice, and fell in love with the dying man’s son (who btw was a total mooch. Didn’t work, drank like a fish, and sat on his ass reading, and criticized her all day-at least he could cook). But, who does this, right!?! Lazy boundary-less cheaters that’s who! In less than a week she had a new narrative for her relationship with her ex, they had never been intimate, she was “in love” for the first time EVER! And within days had moved her new boyfriend into their home. Her ex was so hurt (and truly loved her) but he continued to support her and hoped she would one day wake up. Five years later her heartbroken ex left (as did Mooch, financial responsibilities were not his cup of tea) and in three days she was hanging with someone new.

  • I’m sorry, waiting, that your thread seems to have been hijacked. We need to get an exterminator in here….

    I feel your pain, as our stories are very similar: 16 years, denied a physical relationship with OW, wants to be friends. I was fortunate in that XH didn’t publicly insult me; instead, I thnk he played the pity dad: “*I* want to be friends! but SHE won’t let us!” And I feel really really bad about how much pain she’s in! If I could, I would take away her pain.” — BULLSHIT!! If he really felt bad, he would have worked on us, and let that sparkly little bauble pass him by. But, y’know, you gotta follow your bliss, right? No matter who gets run over….

    She’s not your friend. She showed no self- control, no commitment to protecting your heart, … What kind of friend does that? I, too, have struggled with the “it seems a shame to let so many years together go to waste with nothing now.” In fact, I was recently thinking I should maybe reach out & say hi. (I’ve been NC since June)

    But why? I don’t want to be just friends with him. And to hear him talk about his wonderful life would crush me. I need to put him in the rear view window & let him go. You, too.

    Good luck. It’s hard, but you’ll be better off.

    • NWBiblio, The day my ex chose to cheat was the day our marriage and story ended. Our life together did not have great moments; looking back there was always something missing. Ex was disengaged, detached, and spent a lot of time away from home (I knew this too growing up with an alcoholic workaholic parent ;/ and isn’t familiar comforting ). Life is too short and too difficult already to waste on those who show you time and time again who they are. Who wants to be friends with someone whose idea of a good life meant destroying his family?!?! (the crawling into bed with someone else was icing on the cake). The familiar thread here is that many of our Cheaters couldn’t handle life or it’s challenges, good or bad. Why else were they leading double lives? Why waste any more time with that? I think the whole “one big happy family” thing is a crock of shit. It goes against everything good. I lied to myself enough during my marriage (‘one day he’ll appreciate what he has!’ ‘One day he will recognize my worth’ ‘One day….’ Yeah, right!), it is obviously NOT the way to live/move forward. Living with truth, integrity, honesty, and intentionality is what will save me now. No room in there for a disordered whack ex and his “wonderful life.” NWBiblio, just sending warm fuzzies your way… (((Hugs))).

      • If you haven’t listened to the link posted above, you should, Drew. There’s a pretty stunning bit about halfway through, where the two speakers talk about how the person left behind is devastated, and how they SHOULD be. And how they (we) should be proud of the love and commitment and dedication we had to the marriage, that they did NOT have, and that’s why it’s so painful for us but not for them. — It’s pretty amazing, actually, and very uplifting (especially the bit where they kinda laugh at the question, “Does he love OW?” — “Of COURSE not!” they agree. “He CAN’T LOVE!!!”).

        Hugs back atcha.

      • I so relate to this:

        “I lied to myself enough during my marriage (‘one day he’ll appreciate what he has!’ ‘One day he will recognize my worth’ ‘One day….’ Yeah, right!),”

  • Waiting,
    I will have to side with CL in regards to your children. And while everything seems hunky dory right now… Just wait. My guess is yr POS cheater is relying on the fact that your marriage in not legally recognized… And if she doesnt now… You can bet your sweet ass if things get uglier between you it will be her out. Be one step ahead.
    I get your where your heart is with your children … We all do…. But… And i am gonna get a little ‘ sancti- mommy ous” on you. For the simple fact that your wife feels she can exposemyour children to this new partner before your relationship is over suggests she is truely only thinking about her self. Its fuck up. Like really fucked up and is a clearly demonstrate her lack of parenting instinct. In no,way shape or form is your wife putting the children first. Her blantant discard of you demonstartes to the kids… People are replaceable. So maybe she isnt locking them in a closet but the damage is nonethe less traumatic and selfish. This is not someone who,is thinking about yr children. This is someone who already has disney land plans with wifey number two… And you aint invited.
    Your children have a right ro know their mom… spend time with her and love her. They also have a right to be raised by a person that places their needs before their own. Your soon to be ex aint doing that.
    I would say more than likely the law is on your side… And you would maintain full custody. I say take the high road… Create a parenting plan that allows for some time with their mom… But also allows you to remain in control while she has no self control, morals or value system. What is in the best interest of your children?
    You once were able to make these life decisions with your partner… now you will need to make those important decisions alone. Of course she will berate you.. Tell you are selfish… Just witholding the kids because you are mad… Blah blah blah… It goes on for fucking years.
    Do yourself the biggest favor… See a lawyer. Find out about your rights vs hers and create the parenting plan. Most of us here would give our left arm to have sole custody. And not cause you win…. Its cause you will do what is right for your kids. Allow them to experience their mother without having ro endure her selfishness.
    She is a self centered mother fucker and certainly not a good parent. I dont give a shit of she pays child support or not… She uses that as leverage… And test her… Fucking test her. Get an informal agreement drawn up about child support and see if she will,put her money where her shit spewing mouth is… See if she will have it noterized…my guess is she wont.
    Good luck. In your corner.

  • The trolls said something that got my attention, though: “people who got carried away with an attraction to another person”. Seduction is powerful. There are techniques to seduce people. When one has been living with the same person for very long, there is no such thing as seduction any more, there is already too much work to do, and seduction feels like pick me dance. You cannot seduce someone you know perfectly well. Seduction has some mystery in it. Attraction must be a trick played by our hormones to spread our genes or something. Haven’t you ever looked at old pictures of someone you would have died for in your youth, and wonder what you saw in that person ? I like the words “got carried away” because this is very much what it is, swept off your feet, taken to a different world. Interesting point.

    I don’t think it excuses cheating, anyway.

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