Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Parents Who Abandon

robertandjoeyLOWREZThe day my 17-year-old son passed his driver’s test (hurrah!), was the same day I learned his father took him off his health insurance back in April and failed to notify us. (I called. The policy was canceled for nonpayment.) In March, he stopped paying child support. Also in March he sold his house for $575,000 and moved out of state. In case you were wondering if he had an economic hardship or something, no, he’s just an asshole.

Presumably he moved in with his long-suffering girlfriend. (Or maybe she’s a wife by now?) We don’t know. My son hasn’t seen the man in over two years. He doesn’t call or write or send gifts at Christmas. He sends the occasional text. I don’t ask.

In March, perhaps feeling generous after his house sale, or flush from his non-payment of support, he purchased a 2015 calendar for my son and a t-shirt with a cartoon taco on it. The care package arrived and sat unopened for days. When I noticed it was gone, I asked my son about it.

“It was a calendar. It’s March, Mom,” said my son with the withering disdain that teenagers excel at.

I told him to thank his dad anyway.

In case you think I, Chump Lady, have this divorce shit all figured out, let me tell you that the sheer horror of breeding with a fucktard still takes my breath away.

I’ve been sued pro se. Endured custody trials when he owed me thousands in back support. The last big one five years ago, he got a lawyer with Tourettes who twitched every time he crossed examined me —  who said I’m “peripatetic” and have “minions.” (Can’t. Make. This. Up.) I’ve paid for plane tickets for my son’s court-ordered visits, only to have his father cancel at the last minute. And, of course, I’ve watched my that idiot stand my kid up multiple times since he was 4 years old.

And still every act of abandonment rocks me.

Who does this? I read horror stories on this blog every day. You read them too, and you guys don’t even see my mail. I joke sometimes that I have Chump Lady poisoning. I know disordered people exist and I certainly know what they are capable of. But when it’s MY kid on the receiving end?

It makes me feel murderous. And it still hurts.

So, about that driver’s test. They don’t make it easy in Texas for teenagers to drive (or get on the voting registers). I had to prove my citizenship, my son’s citizenship, have utility records, school records, driver school certificate, 30 hours of driver’s training (in addition to the classroom time), and a parent log (time stamped!) of hours we spent driving with him (in addition to driving school).

And he flunked the test three times.

The first time, he wasn’t ready. Nerves. The second time, he failed to look both ways at a railroad crossing. Fail! The third time, he went through a yellow light. Fail!

We took a long break from driving. He practiced more. Matured. I got over my Department of Public Safety PTSD. (Hyper vigilance is one of the symptoms. Do I have my insurance card?! Birth certificate? Blood type?!)

My husband took him this time. Let him drive down the terrifying corridor of I-35 to New Braunfels. (Figured a change of venue might help.) My son was nervous, but prepared. My husband, the world’s chillest lawyer, was a reassuring presence. “You’ll be fine. You’re a good driver.”

He aced it!

I cried tears of relief and joy. No more schlepping the teenager! A rite of passage! A triumph!

And like a thousand large and small triumphs before it, his father missed out. Not because I’m some bitch who won’t let him see his kid (the sad sausage narrative I’m sure he tells), but because he simply does not give a shit. Not enough anyway. He cares about as much as a 3-month out of date, discount calendar.

My son deserves better, of course. He’s a great kid. See that sweet blonde child in that picture? Fuckwit missed out on THAT. Yep, even when he was young and adorable, and before he was 6’1″ and insufferably snarky, his father was standing him up. Oh, he made the visits some times, but 9 times out of 10 he was dumping my son off at a friend’s house.

The story my husband tells, is when we were dating, he met my ex. The ex had taken my son for a day at the railroad museum. We asked how they liked the train ride. He says, “Oh, we didn’t go. It cost $20.”

Who takes their child to a train museum and DOESN’T RIDE THE TRAIN?

This spring, I took my son to look at colleges in Pennsylvania. We went to the train museum. We bought a ticket for the goddamn train ride. The 100-year-old engine broke down. We sat on that train for an hour, full of screaming Thomas-the-Tank-Engine-obsessed preschoolers and weird old train geeks. He wanted to wait. We rode the goddamn train.

I feel like I’ve spent nearly 18 years trying to make it up to my son. I’m sorry your father sucks. I’m so sorry.

And yet — the paradox that anyone who has bred with a fucktard knows — if I hadn’t made that colossal error in judgement, I wouldn’t have my child. Who I love so much.

Look, don’t feel sorry for my son. He’s incredibly blessed. He has the most wonderful step-dad and he has my family. My family especially has given my son the financial gift of not needing his father for jack. College is covered. My son never has to go hat in hand to that freak for a thing. (In fact, the creep bummed money off my son for years. I knew my son was destined for a future in business when he started charging his father interest. He was 11.)

Still, I worry.

What if being a crappy father is in his DNA or something? What if he abandons his own children? I google articles on child abandonment and found this essay from a single mom, who quotes Dr. Leah Klungess when trying to make sense of why her boyfriend abandoned her while pregnant. Klungness explains:

“Such men are repeating, often not consciously, a pattern of life decisions familiar to them. For the same psychological reasons the likelihood suicide increases when a parent took his/her own life, the likelihood of parental abandonment increases when such abandonment is part of a man’s personal history.”

Oh GREAT. My son’s at risk for being the same kind of asshole his father is? Despite all my parenting to the contrary? This pattern is unconscious? And familiar?

I freak out until I realize that there is no Evil Fairy curse. No one pricks you in your cradle and dooms you to being a disordered jerk. The world abounds with examples of people who’ve risen above the challenge of crappy parents.

President Barack Obama was raised by a single mother. Heck, my mother-in-law, one of the sanest, nicest people you’d ever want to meet was abandoned by her father and spent some time in an orphanage while her mother worked. She had a 50-year career as a registered nurse and raised five incredible, over-achieving children (a rocket scientist, a PhD engineer, a lawyer, a CPA, and an English professor).

It gives me hope.

If you have had the misfortune of breeding with a fucktard, please have hope too. Keep being the sane parent. One day your kid is going to call you from the Department of Public Safety elated and say “Thanks Mom! Thanks for all the time you spent helping me.” And then he’s going to drive home up I-35 and some day out into the world, and be a kick ass adult. Because you raised him right.

And somewhere in a selfish little universe full of two-bit distractions, is the jerk who missed out.

Their loss.

Photo by Yoma Ullman.

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.
  • Once again CL you aced it. My idiot ex ran off over 4 and a half years ago to be with the howorker and her kids. He hasn’t seen his son in nearly 2 years, who is doing a double degree in physics and chemistry at uni and my daughter who is gorgeous, incredible, smart has seen the idiot twice this year for about 4 hours in total. He spoke all of a dozen words to her in that time. He’s missed all this time, missed seeing them grow, seeing them become the incredible people they are. He’s missed those teenage years and before when he wasn’t around anyway. How do you give up the lives of your kids??? These incrediblempeopke who you’ve made, how do you turn your back on them? I will never understand. My kids make me smile everyday, make me laugh, I love them more than life and so proud they are my kids.

    • JABT, I hear you!!! My Fucktart after moving out for a year to “get his head on straight” as his work was stressful, of coarse he had nothing to do with US, he had no desire to be or see anyone and he LOVED me…. only to find out in February (As im getting ready to sell our Dream home we built just 3 years ago) that he is having an affair with the 29 year old that used to work for him AND went to school with our daughter in law!. Now up to that time his youngest son kept contact with him, our oldest Fucktart accused of spreading rumors when he 1st moved out, but then found out it was really the Heifer but of coarse never apologized to our son, just told him he knew it wasnt him and that was to make it all better. THEN once the affair came out (And it was public “breaking news at 10” as he was fired and in a public position) Now He doesn’t want anything to do with his boys “AS they weren’t there when he needed them” WTF????? IM so PROUD of both the young men they have become, but its sad to see them hurting, even at 27 and 31, no mom wants to see their kids hurt and then by a person that you should ALWAYS be able to count on, is just inconceivable…..

      • CL, I so agree with you that it is a character issue, it was HIS choices, HIS lack of character, morals, values and a conscience……it just sad to see all that crap on the KWWL news as a leading story and know that your kids have to be not only humiliated but confused….. this was their DAD, who they looked up to and modeled their life after…. I just tell them you take the good pieces and keep it, as for the bad, now you know what NOT to do OR be like as you continue to grow.

      • His kids weren’t there for him?! How could someone say that?! Reminds me of my kids “father”. When his affair came out with our coworker (that’s right we all worked together) I had to quit working bc I was pregnant and felt it endangered the baby. We had to cut all extra expenses but I said our daughter would stay in gymnastics but our expensive membership at the gym had to go. He actually said “SO SHE GETS TO GO TO THE GYM AND I DONT?” Mind you she had just turned 6 years old…horrifying really

        • Mind boggling isn’t it…. It’s one thing to throw away your wife of 35 years for a 29 year old, but what kind of person throws away their kids???!!! I hope the karma bus is a BIG one for them BOTH!!!!

    • same… same shit. he missed sooooo much and i still find myself apologizing for their father (AKA sperm donar) because no REAL FATHER walks out on 3 kids and a wife. So I am waiting for the Karma bus which i hope hits him hard enough to make him suffer pain and agony. Death would be too good for him.

  • Thank you for saying this, Chump Lady. I also have bred with an Evil Fucktard. i am terrified his total lack of morals has passed down in DNA to my daughter (who is 4). We are already seeing a shrink. All my life, I was SURE that Nurture was stronger then Nature. But I still have occasional panic attacks thinking that I am raising a pathologically lying criminal. It made me feel so much better to read your post. I feel a little less worried now. 🙂

  • This story is so sad. The little boy on the picture is beautiful. I can’t imagine how an OW, any OW, no matter how pretty, wealthy or intelligent, could be preferred over this family. It definitely demonstrates that some men have deep issues and their perception is skewed, and there is nothing that can be done to bring them back to their senses.
    (Dr.Klungess remark resonates with me, my cheater’s father cheated on his wife at the exact same age and was kicked out of the house, when my cheater was 13, at the same age I lost my father. But cheaters do not go to therapy, they do not seek to solve their issues, they do not take a look at their family history to avoid repeating mistakes, they had rather follow their disordered feelings wherever they take them).

    • In my story, I didn’t leave my son’s dad for infidelity (that I know of, I’m a chump!), but for untreated mental illness. Which partially explains his inability to parent. Over time, however, I see that the biggest reason is character. He’s a lousy person. The illness isn’t his fault. His lousy character is. As you rightly point out, people who want help, get it.

      • Tracy, Your son is GORGEOUS! He has your hair and your chin! What a beautiful human you produced!

        Your son will succeed in being a caring man!

        I did “damage control” all of my son’s life, teaching him how to be a better human & he paid attention. Now, he is the polar opposite of his dad, by his own choice, having observed first-hand the horrific affects of his dad’s life-long crappy choices.

        We have had many conversations on the topic over the last 2 years and it brings delight and comfort to my heart to know that all those years of effort did not go unnoticed by my son. He is a truly kind, honest, genuine man!

        Continue to model what you model. Your son ‘gets it’. He sees the difference. Nurture trumps nature (DNA/Bad genes—whatever!) most of the time. Show a child the loving, authentic way to live and the chances are strongly in their favor they will live that way, too.

        Thank you for ALL you do!

        ForgeOn, Nation!

          • My serial cheater is on vacation with his AP right now. He ping-ponged between my house and hers for a few months, but after running the numbers decided to go with AP #3. My kids went to visit him for the first time last week. They said his GF wipes his feet with baby wipes and gives him pedicures. WTF?! I pray my kids can process all this someday in a way that’s healthy.

      • My STBX had a terrible, abandoning father (whom he gave money to all the time before he passed away). Unfortunately, he became the same way. He sees his daughter more than his father saw him, but he is still not paying child support, etc. I am not even remotely close to the divorce being finalized, so there is some hope I’ll get this all sorted out. But, yes–hugely disappointing. I know he ACTS like father of the year when he is with her–which isn’t that often.

    • “But cheaters do not go to therapy, they do not seek to solve their issues, they do not take a look at their family history to avoid repeating mistakes, they had rather follow their disordered feelings wherever they take them).”
      – THIS.
      My husband would rather divorce and break up his family (he is a good father thank goodness), than do this. It’s not that he hates me, or doesn’t care about me, but his automatic hard wired default position is:
      ‘you are not the boss of me’
      It has taken me years to accept my therapist saying ‘he is a narcissist’ is true. Because it is so weirdly inhuman that it can’t be right!
      And when the kids start saying things like: ‘when I was 15 Dad got me a Dell laptop for my birthday. But 3 weeks later, he got himself a Macbook Air’.
      And: ‘Dad just cannot take criticism. Even the smallest thing, he gets angry and stops speaking’.
      Yes, they are starting to work him out, but it is still so sad that my beautiful children have sh* in their lives that their friends just do not have. Most people, contrary to the myth, DON’T get divorced. Apparently it is only about 10% of marriages, about the same proportion of character disordered people in the population…

      • ^^^THIS^^^my ex always gives great gifts and then “gift’s himself better” and brags about it! You absolutely cannot criticize him….I’m waiting as my kids figure it out, they are still fairly young, (15 and 11) and I spackled like a maniac….

      • Wait, how is he a good father? The top two requirements of good fathers are treating the mother of his children well and keeping their family together. Fail!

    • ChumpfromF–in our 20’s my ex in heartfelt agony, told me how he would not repeat the acts of his father, a man who cheated for over 30years on his wife. Ironically, the OW of my deceased FIL, lived around the block from my x and I. I would often see his car parked in her drive. By then, my x, now in his 30’s had changed his narrative to “It’s none of our business”. Remarkably, in his 40’s my x repeated the pattern…BOOM! my life imploded….

  • Sorry to hear your story chump lady – you are an inspiration to us all. You hit the nail on the head. Like you said people who want help get it. But for a lot of people it’s easier to not get help and blame everyone else for their problems.

    • Blaming others is a huge feature of narcissism. It’s never their fault and owning their shit is akin to swallowing glass: a painful abhorrent thing (in their sick perspective). Normal people admit mistakes, own them, take responsibility, repair. This is impossible for Narcs; it would mean too much exposure of their non-false-self. Remember, they truly are mentally ill and NPD (narcissist personality disorder) is irremediable, i.e., can’t be cured. All we can do is role model a life of integrity, purpose, moral conviction, and love to our children. The worst part of my situation is my 20 y/o is beginning to show signs of narcissism. I know this is ex’s influence because she says things she should not even know about. Through a series of events triggered by ex (a full-fledged card carrying narc) she has disowned me; written me a narc-like letter with no empathy, no regard, called me names. This is heart breaking because she is so aligned with ex narc (he was an okay father with my two girls, did activities with them, gave attention, overall pretty good but very conditional love). It has been 2 months that I have respected my daughter’s request (demand) that I stay out of her life. My therapist points out that I have no other problematic relationships in my life. I have had an incredible group of friends for my entire life, strong family relationships, great co-worker relationships, all good except for narc and now this with my daughter. I have never experienced anything so maddening because I feel that I truly can do nothing at this stage of her life but respect her request. She is an Ivy League brilliant kid. Her younger sister wants nothing to do with her and complains about how she was treated by older sister growing up (and honestly it’s so parallel to how narc treated me throughout our 24 years).

      How I feel that I blew it was putting up with the narcissism, the disrespect, the verbal abuse, the cheating for so long. I have deep regrets that I did not get out years ago. And my youngest daughter who is now a junior in high school recalls his love bombs she discovered on his emails in 6th grade to AP of which ex shamed her so deeply she did not tell me because she said, “I didn’t want to cause trouble in the family.” Fortunately, youngest daughter is so intelligent and aware and so far off the spectrum of narcissism. The saddest thing in my life is my oldest daughter and her blaming behavior toward me. Me, the one who nurtured her, cared for her, breastfed her, stayed home with her, gave gave gave (as all chumps know) and then she rejects ME! Did I make mistakes? Yes, of course, as all parents do (and I analyzed this very deeply with friends and therapy to understand what I did), but I loved her with all my heart, did all that I felt was right (e.g., staying for so long), and gave every bit I could because I loved her. I am one year out from D day and dong slightly better with ex narc and getting him out of my head and healing from the abuse, but this part, with my daughter, was so unexpected because we have always been so close. It makes my healing difficult because there is just a hole in my heart.

      This is my story and this is my experience and this is why I encourage all mothers who begin to see cheating narc behavior in their ex’s to get out as fast as you can.

      • Wow, ChumpB, that is greivous. You are mighty for even talking about it. I am both a Chump and ChildChump of narc divorce.

        Maybe some insight? I didn’t speak to my cheater Dad for seven years, and we were never close again. I also didn’t speak to my Mom much either-and part of that -aside from her -righteous anger and his out and out abuse-just was the phase I was in-18, just starting college. I got back in touch with her within a year.

        Where I was at at that point was struggling to individuate, and BOTH my parents remarked that “You are just like your Mother/Father!” My response was ‘Yeesh, whatever….’ and I got on with my life. A loooooong way away from both of them. It may be she is trying to get you to do a parental pick-me dance-that might fit with her Dad’s being a flaming narc.

        And there is also the fact that I was told when they were breaking up that they had stayed together for my sake for far too long. Which was true, and it was a godawful atmosphere to grow up in. It may be she feels held responsible-now we as Chumps know that is BS, but as a kid, I recall it makes you want to get away from the whole skein for a while.My DD is finally cool with my doing what seemd right at the time, but it took some pretty brutal conversations.

        Your eldest is YOUNG-once she gets treated narkishly by a guy, she’ll measure that up against dear old Dad. Or, as for my kid, Daddy Cheaterpants will put the Schmoopie first. She simply may not have added up those elements yet. Sounds to me like you are dealing with this in a measured way-channels are open-and I got back in touch with Mom because she respected my space. That was huge. Your daughter knows where you are, and she might likely come round. Time and space are important ingredients. I SO can identify with your youngest-my elder sibs were abusive, too. Sounds like your youngest gets it.

        Love and more power to you.

        x-Meh.

        • Mephista, I just typed a response but was googling the meaning of Mephista and “poof” my eloquent speech and acknowledgment of your insight and help gone! Let me recap (I’m kind of wordy as it is so this gives me a chance to be more succinct). First, thank you so much. You truly understand and I really needed this today. I appreciate you conveying what you needed at 18 and was saddened by you being a chump-child and a chump. My heart also goes out to you regarding the sibling abuse. That is some trauma there and I am so sorry.

          So glad to hear that you needed space and kudos for taking it and following your 18 y/o heart. I was heartened to hear that you felt regarded when your mother respected your need for space. I could relate to the righteous anger you said as I feel that too and know this scares my oldest.

          You said, “I got back in touch with Mom because she respected my space. That was huge. Your daughter knows where you are, and she might likely come round. Time and space are important ingredients.” This is my hope.

          So Mephista: Italian shoes, a cool band, or powerful comic book character? You are mysterious, smart, and awesome!

          Ps, I want to recommend a book that has changed my life, helped to explain my life, and completely inspired me: WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES. Would love to hear what you think.

          • Right back atcha ChumpB, glad my story helped a little with the suckitude.

            “Mehphista”-the ‘h’ is a salute to Chump Lady and the glorious power of “meh”- was a nickname given to my by my philosophy tutor at uni-I had a talent for asking impossible questions, because I like, duh, totally did all the reading. I like it, so it is my nom de Chump. Mehphista Strangeways, in full.

            Women who run with the wolves is a fricking masterpiece! I really liked how it taps into that whole Jungian/Joseph Campbell thing. I have left it floating around for DD to find.

            Love to you and your daughters!
            x-Meh.

            • Ahhh, Mephista, you are wonderful! So glad to connect with something positive such as what I affectionately call My Wolf Book. And yes, loving the Jungian style all the way. Look back at The Sealskin story if you get a chance; juicy stuff about sacrifice, wanting to do right by our choices, but drying out, becoming exhausted and needing to return to the sea. Very applicable to chumpdom.

              I am with you on leaving it out for my youngest 16 y/o daughter to read. I actually collected several copies and have been giving them away at random to those I ‘just have a feeling might need it.’ Love the depiction of you asking “impossible questions, because I like, duh, totally did all the reading.” I am one of those who asks the impossible questions too, maybe an ironic chump trait because the need to understand seems to run through these threads like blood through arteries. Understanding the abusive narc thing has truly been a mind-blowing experience for me and as CL says, it’s mindfuck that makes the most solid head spin (okay, I am taking a liberty at paraphrasing but I think that is the jist). Nice to talk to kindred souls here, especially you, and please know you put a smile on my face big time today and I feel some peace and motivated to exercise patience with my oldest daughter. I’m kind of new to this world of blogging and very happy to feel so connected and supported. Thank you Mephista. And love love love the name! You are a star!

              • Very much likewise, ChumpB-great to be part of a community that ‘gets it’.

          • I love that book ChumpB it has been a great resource in the past and thou it has been a very long time that I read it, I still remember the message.

            • Schmetterling, it’s worth picking up again and again. In mine there are practically no sections without my underlines and highlights. The Bluebeard story to me represented spackling to a tee.

  • Wow! CL just Wow.

    I am a strong believer of nature v’s nurture, and despite breading with a fucktard I trust that my kids will expand emotional and cognitively to be who they are with integrity, supported by an honest soft place to land.

    From your post it sound as though your son has a man of integral character in his life, and a mum who will be there to support and guide him in his journey. This is powerful.

    My XH only sees our 16yr old son for a few hours per month yet takes our girls every second weekend. I was at the licence office the day our son got his learners permit and took him for his first lesson. XH takes him for one lesson with his new GF in the back seat and makes a statement out of it by listing it in his affidavit to court to support how great a parent he is. But reality is he is the jerk who is missing out.

    As for abandoned children becoming abandoners, or the children of cheaters becoming cheaters themselveS this is a ball of fucked up no one can unravel. Personally I believe it is just another form of selfish entitlement justification. People tried to use this form of excuse to rationalise my XH’s behaviour. But by this rationale from my upbringing I should be a full blown lesbian who couldn’t stop cheating if my life depended on it. Not the sane parent doing my best to raise three kids, who unless a proven man of worth comes alone may be single for my remaining days.
    Thank you CL for your honest transparent view on life. I hope one day you may be able to fully glimpse the impact you have on those who are on this journey behind you and have gained insight and healing through your willingness to do what you do.

    • I agree, Thankful. I bred with a serial cheater whose own bio and step dad cheated on his co dependent mom. His siblings have all cheated or have been cheated on… My kids are not like their father. Thank fucking God.

      I have been the single parent in an “intact” marriage for 99% of my kids lives. Parenting as the mother and father is and was exhausting. But you know what? My kids have MY values. They do not cheat, lie or steal. Have they done dishonorable things as children, sure. BUT they have always been held accountable for their actions and resulting consequences, the good and the bad. And the same message I hear over and over again about my kids is how intelligent they are both emotionally and academically. They have the courage to call foul and the self awareness to accept and learn from criticism and failure. They are empathetic without being a pushover. They support their friends and siblings and stay true to their beliefs. They make judgement errors and seek to right their wrongs.

      What sucks about parenting with people who don’t give damn unless the focus is on making them appear great, is the repetitiousness of parenting. The constant cycle of teaching and learning right from wrong. The investment in the emotional development of other people when you would rather be reading a book or sleeping. This is where the uninterested parent fails because parenting sucks time away from their greatness, so the other parent plays both mother and father at the same time. It’s draining but the pay off is so worth it. Makes me wonder,what if asshat’s parents had put him and his siblings first before their own stupid, fucking childish, narc wims? What kind of person would he have been?

      That’s part Hopium that beyond the facade shell lies a real person capable of nuturing their own children. We know this doesn’t exist. This is what is also so disappointing when you breed with an asshole.

      • Let me add, asshole claimed his cheating was to make him a better father……

        How the hell that helped, who the fuck knows. He was absent physically and emotionally all of their lives. Now he’s in image repair mode. And like his yo yo dieting and sobriety, who knows how long this will last.?

        • Claimed his cheating was to make him a better father? Now if that isn’t the most ridiculous thing. Give him a pat on the back – he’s a great dad now….he cheated on their mom. Clap Clap. For gods sake… The justification of their actions are insane.

          • Lady Strange. That is the twin brother of Cheating makes me a better husband. Ex was getting marriage advice from a known whore NO ONE wants after they get her, lol. Plus she was Helping him understand women. Uh huh. A Martian has more in common with me than that whore.

            • Yep, they don’t need therapy when they have the OW/OM around. The OW in my life offered much advice to my husband. She was such a good friend. Always listening. Always ready to help. Funny thing is, she was dishing out her nuggets of wisdom on marriage, parenting and depression when she is divorced due to cheating but still with her ex, this time as boyfriend/girlfriend, addicted (pills, alcohol, bulimia) and suicidal. Oh, and she has no children but she’s an Aunt so she thinks she knows all about parenting.

        • OW–and in my ex’s case, the psycho therapist–feed them cliches that they’ve heard before, so the cliches ring true in their reptilian brains. These are (c’mon! you’ve hear them all before!) Children Are Resilient! Children Are Happier When Their Parents Are Happy! Children Raised In An Unhappy Home Are Unhappy!

          BULL. SHIT. It’s ALL bullshit. But it’s what the cheater and the OW want to hear, so it’s welcome bullshit. And the loser therapist likes making herself the hero by telling the cheater what he wants to hear. So it all works out.

          • yep, that is what the oompa loompa hood rat who is not taking care of her own children is telling the exhole wasband. and he believes her. she doesnt want to share him with his own kids and he is a dumbass to believe her.

            i guess he wants to hear it too even thou he KNOWS differently. his own mom and dad periodically would disappear, he remembers being all confused and frustrated. then when the missing parent would come back (i am sure there were many telephone calls that the children did not hear or know) everyone would just act all normal, like the parent was not gone for 3 to 6 months. but he still remembers being confused and not understanding wtf his parents were doing. sad, that he can now do it to his own kids and wants to believe the lies this b*tch is telling him.

            but that is his choice. he doesnt want to hear anything i tell him because i tell him the truth which contradicts HER LIES that make him feel better. so i am the bad guy that always “makes him feel bad” while she lies to make him feel better. so it all works out. FOR HER and i guess him…..

            the children and i will be ok. we have my parents and family. we are better off without that kind of crazy in our lives. i mean seriously does a Grown Man HAVE TO BE told how to be a decent human being and need to have every little thing explained to him on how his bad behavior and decisions are HURTING his children (not to mention his wife who doesnt count anymore at all). like Chumplady says THEY KNOW what they are doing, they just dont want to acknowledge it or be held accountable.

            • It blew my mind that my kids’ father could love a woman who helped him be cruel to them. You must feel the same–she has abandoned her own children! GAAAAAHHHH!!

      • ~~~Makes me wonder,what if asshat’s parents had put him and his siblings first before their own stupid, fucking childish, narc wims? What kind of person would he have been?~~~

        in my case i was actually with the exhole longer then either his mother OR his father were. we were together 14.5 years. his mother would always just disappear for months at a time and he stayed with his dad. who would also randomly leave. when he was 14, they both left and he was in a group home for boys, then foster, then jail. (yes, i know it should have been my first red flag)

        my parents have been together for 50 years. still together. i have a great and wonderful childhood which exhole loves to throw in my face, “not everyone had the perfect childhood you had mrsvain”. i knew he was broken but still NEVER thought he would leave and just stop loving me at the snap of your fingers (or his hood rats fingers). I also NEVER DREAMED that he would bail and fully abandon his boys. you know the children he so very wanted to have. the ONLY children he will ever have because he was snipped (not tied). no child support, no calls, no texts, no christmas gifts. we just do not exist in his new and wonderful life. the only thing that matters now is keeping his hood rat happy (and she DOES NOT want to share him with his children no matter what the b*tch says to him). we no longer matter. kids dont have shoes and we have many days without a heater during the coldest nights of the winter. meanwhile he has new truck, new clothes and new shoes.

        my mom is completely disgusted with exhole. not only because of what he has done to me and the boys but my parents supported him and loved him like a son (more so then just a son in law). my whole family can not believe that he is acting this way. well neither can i for that matter. but everytime i try to make excuses for him, my mother tells me “He has been with you long enough to know better. It is like he hasnt learned anything in the 14 years he was with you.” And that is true. i thought if i just showed him how to love then he would be so grateful and so happy that he would never leave. i thought if i just treated him good then he would also start to treat me and the boys good. i thought if i was just patient enough that he would finally learn that what we had was enough…..

        I. WAS. WRONG.

        i dont know if it is parenting, his childhood, or just the plain and simple fact that he is selfish, always the victim (fostercare is always calling the children the victim), and borderline personality disordered. whatever it was, i gave him my all and it was not good enough for him. HOwever, after the last trainwreck, i understand we are better being abandoned by this asshat then to have him in our lives fucking everything up and twisting everything we say and blaming us along with making us feel like shit for “letting HIM down” or “hurting HIS feelings”. fuck that!! i would rather be abandoned and raise my boys with morals, values and standards.

    • Thankful, I am sure that it hurts your son to be so ignored by his father, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the issue your XH has with his 16-year-old son is that the son is 16 and doing the normal things that teens do when they’re figuring out the adult thing. Your daughters may not yet be at that stage, and as a result, it’s a lot easier for your XH to “handle” the girls. They still fawn over his every word, while your son probably challenges him on what he says and what he does.

      When the girls get older, he’ll find that it’s harder and harder to withstand their challenge to his authority, and he’ll stop seeing them as often as he does now.

      That’s sad.

      • kb,
        You are not out on a limb your understanding is solid. As our son came into his teenage years the relationship between father and son became more strained. It has never really been great. Shortly before D’day it got to boiling point. Little did I know that my son had been keeping his fathers secret for several years. Knowing that things weren’t great between his father and I and that I had asked for a divorce but had submitted to church authority and agreed to marriage counselling with church elders, when our son found homosexual pornography on his fathers phone he battled with it and finally after two weeks came to me with what he knew after being encouraged to do so by a school friend. That night I asked my XH to leave a week later he confessed to an affair and multiple others for oral sex. As a dutiful Christian wife I was expected to remain silent on the matter allowing my XH freedom from consequence while he dealt with his issues. But I didn’t. Most know my story. A month after D’day our youngest got diagnosed with leukaemia. This added dynamic didn’t help with the issue between father and son, at 15 trying to find his feet in this word as a teen and with what had happened. Our son was angry with his father but my XH took no responsibility for any of it and when our son voiced his opinion he was labeled as being just like his mother. No one was to hold my XH to account because in his mind once he told what he had been doing, to him it was all then in the past, and to bring up someone’s past is spiteful and mean. My kids understand that their father sucks. Only tonight I made my 12 yr old daughter look up the word “placate” so she could understand what she needed to stop doing as to not upset her father. He has taught them well how to behave around him and I am doing my best to rewire that behaviour. All of my kids are doing ok considering.
        In the words of my sons school principal my son is a “good bloke” and I could not be prouder of him.

        • That story just stabbed me in the heart. I cannot get over what your ex did to your son’s adolescence. This is a time for kids to be a little selfish and be with friends and figure love out, and which direction they want to go in life, and sleep until noon, and score little victories in their social lives, and have inside jokes, etc. And your son’s father just shit all over it, didn’t he?

          Fuck him. I hate him.

          I hate these cheater morons.

          • Neither of my parents were cheaters, that I know of, but I wasn’t allowed to do any of those teenager things either. In fact, my mom made sure to regularly tell me that my girlfriend at the time “thought she loved me”. I wasn’t allowed to individuate, I had to cater to my mother’s whims. I’m 36 and still trying to work all this out. I’ve made remarkable progress in the last two years, though of course my partner ran off in the midst of it. It felt like she gave me the final confirmation that I’m irrevocably broken. Hey, guess who has therapy this afternoon!

            I don’t know what my point is, other than your description of adolescence triggered me something fierce. I’ve come to recognize some of my FOO dysfunction as trauma, and it’s always right under the surface.

            Cheating or not, shitty parents be shitty, yeah? It’s been a shock to me to discover that abandonment doesn’t have to be physical. I abandoned myself somewhere along the line to cope with the pressures of having adult emotions before I was ready for them.

            • My father sounds a bit like your mother. I say in another comment that he is a very good man–and he is. But, like your mother, his anxieties led to attempts to control everything in his environment, including me. And I really identify with your description–I was not allowed to individuate. I don’t know if this was common in the ’70’s and ’80’s (I’m 10 years older than you are) or if this was behavior unique to my father’s personality, shaped by having a very chaotic childhood.

              I am convinced that when a child has to cater so intensively to a parent, that they keep this trait into adult bonds. We flex pathologically. We are chumps.

              • My ex catered extensively to his father and in the end did the Freudian classic move called “Sublimation” and turned into his father…..

              • Miss Sunshine, I’m always impressed by the ferocity in your posts. How is your self-esteem?

                Mine is perpetually low. I rather think my ex thought, “if he doesn’t even like him, why should I?” I mean, I understand the whole “can’t love someone else until you love yourself” thing, but when my therapist points it out to me I think, well of course my ex ran off. Again, I don’t know that she had someone else, but if she stayed true to form she did. I think she’s still looking for the fulfillment she didn’t get when her parents gave up on her as a teenager. She was promiscuous as a young adult and has now abandoned three long-term relationships. I too readily admit my shortcomings and I’m fighting like hell to improve; rather than admitting her own, I think she enjoyed helping me beat myself up until it got old and she ran again.

      • I think you are right, kb. Our custody evaluator said the major reason my STBXH has such a strained relationship with our two boys (15&12) is because they are at an age where they are exerting independence and have a mind of their own. These controlling types hate that. The evaluator is forcing the stbx to take months of parenting classes. Yeah, let’s pretend that’s going to help.

    • My ex’s father was a cheating alcoholic who committed suicide after he was caught. My ex is a cheating narcissist addict…..and here’s crossing my fingers on him copying the last part. Penis size is hereditary so I worry for my son but heart size isn’t. That can be taught and nurtured. My kid is gonna get MY heart. And apparently my food allergies. But I don’t believe there’s a cheating fuckwit gene.

  • And just to add, breeding with a fucktard or not, we can only do the very best we know. And worrying about how our kids will turn out is part of the job description. Even with the very happiest and best of circumstances and opportunities we can see those who still end up with ‘bad character.’ Big parts are nurture, but some parts are an outright lottery!

    Yay for your son. My high achieving middle child (also a boy) also took four attempts at his licence. But he got there. Support and great attitude when he felt ‘less.’ Proud of his tenacity. Great job CL Jnr!

    • I agree, horses. My parents were great role models and have been married faithfully for almost 52 years, yet they still had a child who is a selfish brat who no longer talks to any of us (and may have untreated mental health issues because she’d never admit to needing help), and they also had a child who cheated on his first wife (whom we didn’t talk to for a couple of years when he was with the Owife). How did such great parents end up raising two people who have shown very poor character? An “outright lottery” is right! Even kids raised in the most stable and loving of homes may very well make some very, very bad decisions in their lives.

  • Well, this is coming from the mind of someone who is the daughter of a liar/cheater/fucktard who I haven’t seen since the day he phoned my mother to tell her he was ‘pursuing a relationship with someone else’ (despite the fact that they were married for what, 21 years. Fuckwit logic, really) – I have no intentions whatsoever to cheat. In fact, I want nothing to do with cheaters, period. (And I haven’t seen my fuckwit father from that day 9 years ago. Nor do I ever want to, ever again. You back my mother’s life into a corner- you get no inkling whatsoever into my life – he misses out on all that success. He loses.)

    • Bravo, Lania. You are a strong, ethical loving woman if your post is any indicator. And you have a moral compass and an enormous amount of compassion and loyalty, as evidenced by your protective stance with your mother. You ladies both rock!

        • I like to think I have a lot of compassion and loyalty – its about keeping life simple and devoid of drama crap. And I’m in an age bracket where drama thrives (21-35), with loads of women who thrive off celebrity gossip shit, reality TV, and entitlement – none of which I want to be within 200m of. I’m far more inclined to be knowledgeable about world issues, than that shit.
          In life you have two choices if you piss me off though: ‘Wrath of Me’ or a tsunami. PS: You’d have better luck with the tsunami.
          I wouldn’t call it being mighty – just doing what needs to be done to be fucktard free.

  • My ex parents in name only– he does just enough to feel good about himself. I think that if he could get away with it (as in he didn’t fear being judged by his mommy and/or being cut off from the family money), he and the Owife would have moved far away from where I live and reduced his interactions with the kids to cards at holidays. So, while he hasn’t out and out abandoned them, he only does what little he has to in order to keep up appearances.

    I guess that these idiots can abandon their children because of why they had children in the first place– it is “what is done.” Having children allows them to fit in with the rest of society; the children are “of use” to their images.

    That’s why they treat their children like we might treat an item of clothing we bought that is now dated– that neon pink blazer with shoulder pads was very hot during the 80s and helped us to construct our then-80s appearance, but that look isn’t popular at the moment (and we didn’t really invest ourselves emotionally into it– it’s just an item of clothing), so it doesn’t really pain us to donate it to the local charity.

    It’s weird to think of children that way, but I honestly believe that these remorseless losers see their children as possessions that they aren’t truly invested in, so they think nothing of discarding their children when they are no longer helpful in maintaining an image.

    • Ah, yes, the FireBowl dad. Mine tends to take the oldest daughter out for a meal, and possibly to walk the dogs afterwards. Youngest isn’t in contact with him any more, but when she was after separation, he would pick her up for a meal at FireBowl and drop her off afterwards. Kudos to those “parenting” skills, eh? Furthermore, he is clueless that his cheating was a betrayal of his children, too; it’s my fault since I told them about the affairs. smh

      • Ah, Tempest, our exes are twins… ExH says he did not abandon the kids, and that I should not have told them he was a cheater (cuz the marriage was long over, dontachya know…)

  • Well I’ve never received a call of excitement from the Department of Motor Vehicles. ..but yesterday morning I did receive a call from the Correctional Facility. My 18 yr old spent his first night on jail.
    I am heartbroken that I can’t save him from his feelings of abandonment and no self worth.
    He is my heart.

    • Jackie, I am sending the best thoughts I can to you and your son. Mine is 16 and I worry so much about his feelings of abandonment and rage. Before flying monkey left my son would have walked around an ant rather than step on it. Now, I can’t even share some of his thoughts that he has shared with me. Hugs and more hugs to both of you.

    • Just keep loving him, Jackie. He’ll be OK. Sometimes that one night in the can saves him from going down the wrong path.

      I know this from experience.

    • I am so sorry Jackie.. Hopefully one day he can see that he is worth so much more and is capable of so much more. This could be the wake up call he needed. ((((Hugs))))

    • As much as we want to wrap them up and protect them, we can’t. As others have already said. Keep loving him.
      And find good strong people around you to help with that. My son took off a few weeks back with the aid of his fathers GF. Was with his dad one night and then began to bounce from friends house to friends house. I was left to think he was with his father as my XH had made no attempt to contact me an let me know what was going on. It was only that a good friend reached out to my son and sat with us to talk things through that he came home again. Now that friend is on our driveway an hour before school one day a week to take my son for breakfast or a driving lesson to chat and give him space to talk. I know nothing of what they discuss and I don’t need too. Boys need someone to talk too.
      I hope this helps.

    • Hugs from me, too, Jackie!

      All is not lost. Please don’t give up. Remember that even young men from “intact” homes end up doing stupid things and having legal consequences. This is just a bump–it may be one that shakes him up. It may become a defining moment for him. Hell–one day you might shake your fist at him as he recounts it all, laughing, but in control. Let your attitude show that you expect better from him. Do not treat him like an abandoned child. Treat him like he’s a young man who is way better than his father. Love him like only a ma can. He will be forever grateful to you for staying on him to be his best. Don’t show pity, don’t show fear. Show courage, and look to the future. Go get counseling for you both. Your ex’s idiocy does NOT define YOU, and it does NOT define him. Help your son take charge of his own life–get him into college or a trade school. Help him plan his future, and stay on him until he feels as though he is the master of his own destiny. Do not allow him to play to the lowest–he has the whole world in his hands. So do you. Make sure YOU are also taking full opportunity of all that life has to offer. Throw open your curtains, roll up your sleeves, and get this done.

    • wow…Im shocked at all the replies I saw this morning. thank you all for your support. This has been going on for years with him, since he was 15. I will never give up on him and he knows that. Im going to see him tomorrow and am dreading it. No mother should have to see a child in jail…but I refuse to bail him out. He knows I love him but he also needs to learn that there are consequences for his actions.

  • Chump Lady, you are so right. Children KNOW. They get it. The responses I’ve read above from children of fucktards tell stories of knowing, smart children who are not fooled by narcissistic image management.

    This article was so timely for me – last week I got an email from my fucktard telling me with next to no warning that he was cancelling my daughters’ insurance allegedly because rates went up $130 and he couldn’t afford it AND pay what the court ordered he pay to me. This after spending the one visit he had with my kids in 2014 bragging about how he remodeled a $20K custom bath, imported and installed a $10K bar set up for a “man cave” room at his new house (which his OW/wife owns). PLUS the $22K oceanfront private home (with servants) he booked for the big Barbados wedding last December.

    But $130 a month to cover his two daughter’s health and prescription insurance? That’s just too much of a burden financially!

    Fucktards…..they lure the best people into breeding with them and then slither back into the swampy little corners of their worlds.

    • Hey, it was BARBADOS!

      I don’t know how these people live with themselves. Seriously.

      But I think you’re right. A lot of our kids develop narc-dar, and I think our example of leaving helps, instead of modeling chump-dom.

      Of course, with kids there are no guarantees. But I think modeling helps a lot.

      • Some of these kids deserve a masters in psychology.
        As for cancelled insurance, mine cancelled our hospital cover a month after our daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia without a word. When I asked why, he stated it was his to do as he pleaded with seeing he was paying for it, and that he could no longer afford to do so. But then got upset when I rejected his proposal a minute later to go halves on the mortgage.

        • Thankful–check state law. In my state (Texas), not usually known for intelligent legislation, the non-custodial parent MUST pay the cost of the children’s health insurance. My X tried to get that reduced to half, since only 1 child is underage, but I informed him the cost through my employer is the same whether I am covering 1 child or 2 or 17. He pays the whole monthly cost (and is responsible for half her medical bills, including co-pays, though I doubt I’ll ask him for small amounts).

            • Not going to get an argument from me there, esp. when he makes 5 x what I make (and I make 2/5 of what I’d be making at my old job had I not moved so that he could have a more prestigious job). Dick indeed.

              • No Tempest the dick is untouchable, laws here are different, we do have a public health system here so he can do as he wants with the insurance. But he is so selfish, I have paid for all of our daughters out of pocket expenses since diagnoses, he has not asked once how is her outpatient chemo treatment being covered. But he is an amazing father his 22 page affidavit to court says so.

                Has anyone else experienced their X mash up events and time frames in order to put themselves in a better light?

    • Char – look over your child support section of the decree. One of you was likely court ordered to maintain her insurance until she’s 18, and/or possibly longer than that. The abandoning f-tard in my case lucked out, since I’ve always carried my kids on my insurance, but it’s in the decree, and he actually is paying 1/2 of the monthly cost for me to carry her on mine. It’s a part of the child support total he pays me. If the douchebag in your case was court ordered to keep it for her, too f-ing bad that he doesn’t feeeEEEeeel like it. Take him back to court, present all the evidence that he CAN afford it (all the shit you mentioned that he has spent money on), and then have that f-tard pay your court costs, too. F that. Seriously. (((hugs, girl)))

  • I too struggle with how the bastard could have abandoned his daughter, now 16. He disappared nearly 2 years ago. We were married 23 years before D-day and he moved out and directly in with OW and her 5 year old son.

    From a Darwinian perspective you are supposed to instinctually love your offspring to protect your DNA for the future. My XH doesn’t have a shred of that instinct. Instead he is more like the lower order life forms that just want to provide sperm and move on – after sperm donation all bets are off – if he encounters his progeny at a later date he would be happy to eat them for lunch. My XH never liked kids, but he tolerated his own by ignoring her expect when convenient. He never let her have friends come over and visit the house or have sleep overs. He was the kind of person that could never let his kid win at any game, even as a toddler. He ALWAYS had to win. What was he proving by beating a 4 year old?

    Now he is living with a kid that isn’t even his own offspring. How is that working. Will he now be the fantastic parent he never could be before? My daughter is an amazing young woman and he has completely missed out on the last 2 years of her life, not that he participated much while he was around. I think what hurts most is the idea that he might be a great parent to someone else’s kid when he was such an awful parent to his own kid. That seems so unfair to my daughter. On the other hand, I do trust that he sucks and his real colors will surface. He didn’t start being a really lousy father until
    my daughter was around 7 and started having her own interests and was less of a kibble supply for him.

      • Or he’ll be a fun-loving stepfather while the kid is only 4 years old and completely hate it once the child starts having a mind of her own.

        • Mr Fab went from Uncle to Stepdad as far as the Downgrade’s kid is concerned. And as to whether she liked having her Auntie now be her ‘stepmonster’, well, my Kiddo elected to live with me over 6,000 miles away. She is back there visiting now for the summer, and said she was looking forward to seeing her friends, cousins, godparents, grandparents and ‘them’ In that order.

          Yep, our kids are smart. They have to be, to survive.

    • I have the same fear, that he will be a better father to the OW’s kid and any children they have together, than he is to ours kids. Like, since she is better, her kids and their kids together will better in his eyes. He is trying to be super dad now, but will that last when has moved on with OW. Plus he has barely spent any time with them the last few years, so I don’t see him continuing to bend over backwards to do things with them.

    • i dont think you need to worry about him being a better father to someone elses kids. when i met exhole i had 3 kids already, ages 3 yr, 5 yrs and 8yrs. i remember watching him with my 3 and other children. he LOVED babies. i had never met a man who actually enjoyed holding and playing with babies under age 2. i was super impressed thinking he would be a good daddy. he was also relatively good with my other 3. he would play and make the 2 younger kids laugh, he had no problem talking to them and encouraging them to tell stories. he seemed to have issues with my eldest. but she was one of a kind. very mature and a little standoffish. i thought it was a power play with her because she had taken care of my littler ones and was used to being the other mommy to them. i thought maybe she did not like him talking to her younger siblings or playing with them because she considered it her job, so i made sure that she had her time with them too. plus she and i talked alot, we were very close and worked something out.

      but i was super super wrong!!! exhole is good with babies, not so good with older children. as my first 3 grew up, he got more and more distant with them. control issues and back talking drove him up the wall. you know how you tell a 15 year old to throw the trash and sometimes they throw a fit and might even tell you “NO”…..he couldnt handle that. i would come home and exhole would bitch how 15 yr old didnt listen to him. and didnt throw the trash like 15 yr was told. so i would go tell 15 yr old to throw trash, 15 yr old would try to tell me no and i would unplug the computer, turn off the tv, take the phone, game, ds, whatever the kid had and tell them they will not get it back until they throw the trash. and guess what….. trash was thrown rather quickly….. But for exhole he just super weak and spineless, all he would do was yell at them, threaten to take away wahtever, threaten to spank, ground or whatever but he NEVER followed thru. by the time the kids were older, they had him pegged. and wouldnt listen. and instead of MAKING them listen, he would either just give up talking to them and/or just do it himself.

      i wonder if that was also some of the reason he did what he did. because his own children are now getting older. they no longer think daddy is superman or really cool. his oldest just turned 13 and is so much fun. that one likes to argue. you say pick up your backpack, he automatically says no. of course i have no problem getting him to pick up his backpack, almost all the time i have to force him by turning it off or taking it, but exhole couldnt get him to do it. the child would just say no and ignore him. (he pegged daddy when he was 2 yr) of course if i went in there and said. “do what your dad said”, the child would do it. exhole HATED that his own kid wouldnt listen to him. i guess all those years he just thought it was MY kids that were disrespectful. honestly, i do not think he understands that ALL children get to that age where they test their parents limits and even get disrespectful. in order for a teenager to respect you, YOU MUST be worthy of respect. now his own children were doing it, i am sure it is ALL my fault. since he blames everything on me…

      what i am trying to say is he might be super step daddy for a little while but as soon as the step children get older and develop independence and possibly an attitude, he will stop being super step daddy. they just cant handle it when they cant control the kids AND when the hero worship that little kids have goes away and actually has to be earned. they do not want to do the hard work to earn that hero worship, they just want it to be easy, like with little babies.

      • Yup, my Ex LOVES babies. I also thought that was a good thing. Not so good now that our kids are hitting adolescence. But no worries, one 2 yr old with OWife, and just in time, next baby is on the way.

        • Uh oh – I sense a kibble dispenser drying up. With a second on the way, that OWhore as to be a “Mom” full time at this point. Kibble whores only seek kibble and sparkles. Her Karma Bus is about to “deliver.” LOL!!!

          • Yep, pregnancy brings out the cheater whores like few other things. Plus, they KNOW you will be home with a baby. Hate it for the OWhore…

  • I just really can’t understand people who don’t give a shit about their kid/kids. I think that’s just as disordered as you can get.

    Luckily, the ex treats our daughter very well. It wasn’t always like that, though. When she was younger, he acted like she was a damn imposition on his valuable time. There was always something better to do with his time, like pursue Whores or blab on the phone/internet with his boozing immature high school friends. He either didn’t show up for birthdays, Christmas, awards/programs, trick or treat, etc. or acted like some visiting dignitary .And spent the entire time on the damn phone. Business, ya know.. That changed when she was about six. I threw him out and he saw how things could be for him without continuous access to his child. Total turnaround, thank God. If i hadn’t done that, he probably would have continued acting in the same dickish way.

    • Not Juliet–I seem to be seeing some of the same. X has been largely absent for my kids lives, 8hours late for vacations etc…however, he does seem to be making more of an effort now. Not withstanding, his mother has been in the hospital and rehab for over a month now and he has been largely absent….so who knows where it all ends…

  • Hello, I am the recently divorced survivor of marriage for 25 years, and four children with a FUCKTARD. i borrowed the money, close to 50,000 from my parents, (my inheritance) to divorce this asshold of a man. I am moving into my own apartment. I have my autonomy now. I went cold turkey when I found out that he in fact had a whole nother life for most of our marriage. I won’t bore with the sordid details of fucking in the church parking lot with the sunday school teacher. Or that I am in foreclosure, or that me and my three daughters were driving around without car insurance for six months, or that he has broken into the house or threatened me, blah blah blah, same old shit, different story.
    I am victorious, and growing more victorious everday I am away from that lying piece of shit.
    Mind Fucks be Done.
    No Contact for 2.5 years now.
    He never thought I would divorce him, I rubbed his damn feet for pete’s sake, and stroked his ego on fucking purpose, becaucause I knew he came from abuse, and I was going to show him what true love was all about. So… I had a sexless marriage, believing I was being noble. how about that. Rock on, Chmp Sista’s. we got this!!!

  • Your son is gorgeous, CL.

    One thing really ironic is that Cheater spent a lot of time babbling to the Whore what wonderful parents they were. He also spent a lot of time advising her on her Jr. Hood Rat. Even offered to pay for a Boot Camp for wayward teens. She was a bratty hell beast. Remedial school, psychotherapy, staying out all night, probably drugs as well. And this is what he was going to expose my five year old daughter to so he could bang a fresh piece of ass. Makes my blood boil to think of it.

    • Ugh. He has a hero complex, except has no business thinking of himself that way. I think that’s the theme here. They want to be adored and respected, so they walk out on their kids and spouses.

      WINNERS!

      As I told The Coward: she makes you feel like a hero, and I remind you of what you REALLY are.

      • That’s the truth Miss Sunshine! My ex was her knight in shining armor protecting her from her mean old husband who supposedly hit her! Yeah! I call BS. Mine hasn’t spoken to our four kids in months! He just slithered off to save his whore!

    • oh, i totally agree with that bullshit!!! the oompa loomp hood rat that the exhole is living with now has 4 children SHE bailled on. but she tells exhole how “children are resilent” and “the boys will be better off without having parents that fight” or “the boys will be better off not living like this, this keeps happening” so he tries to tell that to me and i was like WTF are you talking about. we dont fight. and WTF keeps happening. of course he HAD to tell me that shit because SHE told him to tell me that shit–off some kind of shit HE told her!!! that i still have NO clue what kind of bullshit poor me lie he told her.

      her oldest is the same age as my #2 child. 21. her son has already been in jail multiple times, stabbed and shot at (like i said hood rats) her second child is on his way following his brothers footsteps, already kicked out school numerous times, changed schools like 3 X this last school year. her last 2 are ironically the same ages as my last 2 (my last 2 are his) but they also do not live with their mom. she just stops by to visit them every 4-5 months a year. WTF!!! she doesnt do the mother thing, she doesnt make it to their birthdays much less make them a cake and throw them a party, she doesnt help them with homework, or cook them dinner, make sure they have baths, clothes, get up for school.

      but she thinks she needs to TELL MY HUSBAND how to raise kids and what is BETTER for them? and of course my wasband BELIEVED her over me because you know HE KNEW HER A WHOLE 4 MONTHS ALREADY. plus he let her interfere with his visitations. she had exhole 24/7 days a week, and had to share him every OTHER sunday for 3 hours? and she couldnt even let him do that. she had to be there, she had to make sure he was not allowed to talk to me, she had to make sure he was not allowed to talk to his own children, she had to make sure she threw herself physically on top of him every chance she got plus make sure she was physically in between him and his flesh and blood (desperate much?) AND THEN they wonder WHY i dont want her near my kids.

      and now she interfere with any of visitations i try to schedule. he didnt see his boys for almost a year but when i tried to schedule a visit SHE THREW A FIT….i gave up. never again. if he is going to LET HER control his life then i will stay the fuck out of it. i already told him that I REFUSE TO GO THRU HER to get him to see his kids. i will NOT call HER phone to ask to speak to him. seriously?!?!?!?

      BTW i love that and it is true for poor little sausage exhole. until she gets tired of him.
      “As I told The Coward: she makes you feel like a hero, and I remind you of what you REALLY are.”

      • My sympathies to your (only your) sons. I hope they can find a father figure to attach to, because their own father has zero loyalty, and that hurts! I know that feeling, from my own childhood, and hopefully they can rise above it to make their own great life!
        Your X found a clingy, child-ignoring, exclusive, Kibble Dispenser. Score! That’s obviously what he was looking for. I predict a life of drama and agony.
        Let them have each other, Blech! You get your sons, so you have the future to look forward to.

  • The father of my oldest I divorced him was a alcoholic drug addict. Didn’t start out that way but that’s how it ended up. He is currently on his fifth wife. I shut the door on him when I divorced him never looked back. Used to hate him now I feel nothing. At my sons wedding son was smart enough to put dad on the other side of the room. Dear old dad comes over to give me a big hug like old friends ha! With new wife no. 5. I just turned and walked the other way. Dear old dad kept trying to engage me wasnt gonna happen. His brother decided to intervene and help me avoid him he can’t stand him either love his brother a recovered her I on addict but so good now. The first ex did lots of bad things including beating the shit out of me. But my son from that marriage despite severe learning disabilities overcame them and if a smart strong loving caring human being. He gets a little antsy sometimes impatient leftover from servers add and ADHD when he was diagnosed at 5 they was no name for it. Fast forward to cheater number two. His two kids they are mine now had them since 5 and one have inherited their fathers impatience, anger, closedupedness especially the boy. Her dad loves to say she’s exactly like him but without a penis she loved it when he said that but not anymore. He was always closed up unemotional no patience for them and most of the time distance. Dad knows there’s are things wrong with him and refuses to seek counseling. My daughter is now afraid she will be as stoic (I hate that word) and unfeeling as him. She’s made a complete 180 and is finishing college and has developed into a beautiful loving young lady. She’sggot his number big time since he left me she has spoken to him four times in two years she starts the conversation and he will text her back one line. She’s over it totally. I told her she will not be like him she doesn’t have a penis. The boy right now lost cause but I’m hopeful. These cheaters never realize what damage they do and what they are losing.

    • They don’t realize the damage. My self-centered X is big on reminding DD14 what she is missing by having NC with him (no big Christmas presents, he won’t contribute to her college fund, she can’t see her cousins from his side of the family), but pays only lip service to the fact that she has separation anxiety that is so severe, I can’t even use the restroom during her volleyball games because then she can’t see me.

      • All my kids live out of state and when they visit he’s up their asses showing them off and being heap big daddy. They go home they get crickets from him. I don’t care if the kids are five or thirty five they need their parents. My daughter has tried so hard with him and he says he loves her but just doesn’t seem to care but all up in the new woman’s kids and ggrand babies. I was told they reboot their lives these cheaters. Reboot out with old in with the new must be true. He’sa total fucktard to do this to his family. Hope the rest of his life is miserable just like he is.

        • oompa loompa actually said those words to me “Out with the old and in with the new” and silly mrs vain was like WTF does that mean. but i get it now. she is so far up his ass he cant move without her knowing it. i still cant believe THAT is what he wanted. (i actually dont think he wanted it, he wanted me to “fight for him” like i did the last hood rat. i dont think he believed that i would “Just give up” even thou i told him like 50 times in 2013 that i was close to it and i was tired and i am just going to give up if he kept doing that shit. shrugs, stupidass)

          now he has the bitch he cheated on me with. and he is STILL choicing her OVER HIS OWN KIDS. i hate hate hate her. and he is just a dumbass for letting her manipulate and control him.

          i wonder what he will try to tell the boys when they get older. he tried to throw it in MY face that when the boys get older they will blame me (yes, he said those very words) until i told her, no they wont, they know everything. he was super shocked (and unprepared because his hood rat has been apparently telling him that when the boys get older they will blame it on me also, which he believed so much he had to tell me, and of course she did not TELL him what to tell me when i said differently) when i told him that my boys know EVERY time i tried to call him, EVERY time i texted him, EVERY time they talked shit to me, EVERY time he/she faught with me and what was said, and EVERY time he turned me down for visitations. he apparently did not think that i was telling the boys everything that he said and did.

          i am sure he will have some fucked up version of what happened and how it is all my fault. exhole apparently DID NOT LEARN anything from the other baby daddies that came crawling and wanting me back. and how ALL 3 of my older children do not want to have anything to do with their daddies when they remembered them and tried to reconnect. how ALL 3 of my kids, flat out told dear old dad “you were not interested in my when i was little, so why do you want me now?”…well honesty it was my oldest that started that and the other 2 just followed her example. no prompted from me. i loved it. now the last 2 will hopefully continue that.

      • Yes tempest they sure suck how can he do that to his own daughter?! Fucker hope he rots in hell along with mine.

      • Hugs to you and your 14 yr old DD. my ex is the same way. Says our 14 yr old daughter is wishy washy and just cuts and runs when things get difficult. No, dude, she is clinically depressed.

  • Wow. Did this post ever hit home. It hurts everyday knowing my stbx does not care about his own daughter. We were both abandoned with no warning in the cruelest way imaginable. My daughter is 7 with autism and epilepsy. She is non verbal so she can’t even express how she feels about what’s going on. He basically told me he couldn’t handle it and the OW and a life with her was his escape. I just finished court proceedings to get proper child support. I can’t for the life of me understand how people can be so cruel. What’s worse, I don’t think anyone believes I’ll find someone else because of my daughter. I regret her Dad everyday. But my daughter is beautiful and amazing. I live my life for her.

    • Start, hugs to you and your daughter. My s16 in on spectrum. Abandoned, too. My tax guy used to do charity work for a special school in New York for kids with autism. He would tell me how many heartbroken moms he met and hardly any dads. Heartbroken not because of the diagnosis, but heartbroken because dad chose to abandon. He said he was changed by it and still volunteers his time for struggling single moms. A hero in his own way.

      • Wow. That’s great he’s doing that. I tell myself God is her Father. He’s the Father to the fatherless. The Husband to the “widows.”

        • Start – we talk about that too – “your daddy in heaven” and all the blessings He gives, and how He protects us. Hugs to you.

  • Chump Lady, I have recently had the same fears as you. Sometimes, my 15 year old acts Narc’y. The thought immediately occurs to me that he’s got his old man’s blood in him. I worry. I’ve seen him gaslight too, although not often. But I think, anyway, that this is not unusual behavior for this age. … But I still worry about it.

    Like your X, my X let his health insurance policy for my son terminate-without-payment. I actually had my son under my policy, and, was supposed to get a separate check for the premium from the X. For some fucktard reason, my X decided to get HIS OWN policy for my son this past January, and therefore stopped giving me the premium – then, he never paid for the new policy!. Shit-out-of-luck for our son! I called up the Obamacare folks and they got him on my policy for next to nothing.

    I should go after my X for the premiums, but frankly, I’ve got bigger fish to fry with him and this convoluted situation with the health insurance isn’t worth the fight for the little amount it cost me to add my son to mine.

    Like you say, trust they suck!! And YES it hurts and amazes that they’ll pull this shit.

  • When you see how wonderful your kids are and that your X chose to abandon/spend less time with them, that just reinforces the fact that your X leaving you had nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

  • This is another post that drives daggers into my heart. Where would I start? When Idiot left the first time, he packed a bag and was gone for 3 months. From that point on his daughter became second in line to his new life and Tweeny. I would have sworn on the head of my child that he would always be there for her…. He proved me wrong.
    The only thing I can say is he doesnt lose a wink of sleep worry about her. And i mean that in the best way. He knows I live for her and would walk on broken glass to get her what she needs. Even in his darkest ugliest moments he has never once said I was a bad mother. And as much as he has ever threatened to not return her home… He does. He cant do what I do. He cant. He knows that and it scares him. Because if he had to do it. If I fell off the planet… He would be fucked.
    He tries to punish me… By threatening. Keeping me afraid. But little by little he is seeing that despite it all i am still standing. And I am starting to believe that scares him too.

    • TheClip

      I’m still standing!! This is our strength. Cheaters justify their behavior and when they see us thrive it throws them off balance for a change. I am past proving the sadist wrong yet I DO take great satisfaction standing tall as I stepped over the path of distruction he left behind. My children are working on their degrees and getting good grades. I have been the rock in their lives as always. For those of you with young children, this is what is important. Stability in the midst of chaos. When my son was 12 and I lost my home and had no choice but to follow the cheating whore man to Florida X was on the repeat cycle. I packed my clothes and we left him there. We were homeless but I assured my son we would be ok. We were and three months later I accepted asshole back into my life. Nothing changed. X never wanted us until he wanted us. I will never give him that power again. We CAN stand tall and mighty without them.
      I finally blocked X’s phone number. That was a necessary step I finally took when he triggered me with a threatening message a few weeks ago.

      • Donna, ahhh yes the threats… know them well. Last week I was texted ” you better hope you never cross my path again. I wont show u any mercy’ that text was due to a forty dollar tax he had to pay on a car a signed over to him. I actually signed it over a year ago… But he never switched the title… So of course the registration came up and he pretended to lose the title. So i had to reapply for a title… Otherwise he would be faced with hundreds of dollars in fines. Did i mention he had been driving it still registered in my name…for a year.
        So to avoid any further hassle i applied for a new title and signed the car over to him again… For one dollar. As the old title stated the same… As agreed in our divorce.
        When he finds out he has to pay $42 in taxes he goes ballistic. He texts ‘ you selfish fucking bitch. You couldnt do me a favor and say it was a gift. You better hope u never cross my path again. i wont show u any mercy’
        It was pointless to point out that it was his fault. He intentionally drove the car around in my name… And then allowed the registration to expire… Then lies about losing the title. I actually throw him a bone by applying for a new title… And put last weeks date on it. Just. To. Get. Rid. Of. Him.
        I wont show fear. I refuse to let him see it. He scares the fuck outa me… But now he is starting to doubt it. I am hopeful he wont up his game and i guess thats the gamble i have to take.

        • He’s full of shit. And he fucking knows it.
          Thats when you show no fear and be like “Do your worst, fuckhead.”
          I can nearly guarantee he’ll crawl back under the rock he came from.

        • I decided to take a leave of absence from my job next year to get away from all the shit. I really need space and time get to know myself again.

  • The best example I know of this nature versus nurture her argument is Scott Peterson. He was such a beloved son that his mother called him her golden child. Dr. Phil says overindulged children suffer from a form of neglect. A neglect that does not hold them accountable for their actions. Scott Peterson did not abandon his child, he murdered him. He had to kill the mother to kill the child but he did not want to be responsible for another person for 18 years. I assume there is some genetic component to this but there has to be a trigger. A good parent teaches right from wrong and as the child grows they absorb that moral value. My brother and his children were abandoned. Literally. He had no idea where she was. He was such a loving father that his children are doing fine. They will always have some residual effects but they are loving, caring people.

    • Overindulged children absolutely are neglected. They are SPOILED (a verb). It is done to them. They exist to fulfil the narcissistic needs of the parent, not loved for their real selves, and this hurts them enormously. There is a lot of writing on the damage being a ‘golden child’ does, if not greater than a truly neglected one.

      • I think this was my husband. His mom still talks about his soccer days from high school and college. He’s 39 years old. He can do no wrong. Even still. After abandoning his wife and child. He gets a pass from his parents. He doesn’t have to talk about it and they don’t push it.

        I try to pray for them all. It’s hard.

        • my ex MIL said to me when she heard about the divorce “I could have divorced (insert x FIL name) three times over”. End. of. subject.

          • When my XBIL separated from his partner of 12 Years the mother of his two children. She pulled the plug on the relationship as XBIL was self medicating for manic depression with alcohol and weed. My know all XMIL requested that his partner think twice about her actions stating it was not his fault he struggled, did she not realise how hard it was for him to get up and go to work 5 days a week to support all of them.
            She never tried any of that shit with me. As my XH is her fav and she hated the time he would spend with me when were dating. I wonder how she is coping now with My XH’s new Gf who’s thumb he is under and only comes home now to “sleep”.

  • Weird. I was just thinking about parent’s who abandon kids this morning. My dad just stopped showing up for visitation and that was the last of him. I will give him marginal credit for continuing to pay child support. As a kid, I just accepted it, but as an adult, I think, “Who does that kind of thing?”

    I agree with the psychologist’s rationale– To a point. People who were abandoned as kids are more likely to abandon their kids and I’m sure that is backed up by statistics. But that does not make it acceptable. If you know better, you do better. I do not completely buy that they do it because they feel it “does not carry the same stigma and shame”. To the contrary, it seems they carry a lot of shame and that is in their actions.

    I’m fine. The kids will be fine. Nobody has a perfect childhood.

    • My dad left my mom when I was six months old. He never paid a penny in child support and I have never met him. He has never tried to contact me. I would never run off and leave my kids and never contact them again. My STBX’s parents are still married, not happily but they have always been in their children’s lives and my STBX has no trouble leaving me and his children for the OW. I agree nobody has a perfect child hood. At some point you have to grow up, learn right from wrong and make the right choices, which include not abandoning your children!

    • Your father abandoned you. Are you going to abandon your children? No. My dad abandoned me and my siblings when we were young teens. I have 3 children and because of my experience with my sperm donor (I wouldn’t call him a father) I would never in a million years abandon my children. In fact, I overcompensate and get kind of anxious about never wanting my children to feel like I am not there for them. I truly think that when we have abusive childhoods, we know the pain of that and do better as parents than people who had normal childhoods, because those people have no idea of the pain that can be caused and thus aren’t as there for their children than those who had horrible childhoods. I know that this has been my experience. I am a wonderful mother.

  • CL, You’re always giving me new things I need to think about and prepare for. (Much love to all of CN for being here and showing support) Just over a month after DDay and the STBX is smothering the children. The kids whose birthdays he was missing for “work” (with schmoopie of course) are now the most important thing. He is not working this summer “so we don’t have to pay for camp.” He is with them all day and all night, takes them swimming, out on the boat, out for lunch, whatever they want.
    Has anyone else experienced this? Do they go back to not caring after the divorce is final? Is it all about making a good impression in case we wind up in court? Or to make a good impression on everyone else? The guy could never get away from home fast enough and now he’s playing the doting dad. What gives?

    • He is trying hard to make you lower your guard. Because he has interests in this. It could be lubricant for further bad news, or a fear of your anger when things will have to be split between you.
      In his mind, if you are happy with his new attitude, you are going to accept more easily, or you will want to spare him as much as possible.
      But this has precisely the opposite effect: he demonstrates that he CHOSE not to behave right up to this point ! It invalidates the spackle (he is too busy, he doesn’t know how to do it, he is oblivious, …). He knew all along what was expected of him and he chose not to do it. He did not care that his faithful spouse had to carry the heavy load.
      Cheaters are so self-centered, they can’t even understand that they don’t make sense.

    • he might also jsut be trying to bribe the children to like him better. he does all the fun stuff that he never did before because now he feels like he has to one up you to be the better, cooler, funner parent.

      i am not sure if you are still going thru custody, but he might be trying to win the children by tricking them that he is so much funner then you are. disney dad for sure.

      exhole has always done that. if he missed a soccer game, he would come with a gift. now he just comes with gifts. and keeps giving them things the whole time he is with them. HE just feels GUILTY. he even took the ring off his finger and gave to youngest. then took the shoes out of his truck for the oldest. he gave them 5 dollars each as soon as he walked in the door (along with the shit he brought from walmart) by the time he left each kid had 35 dollars. i guess he just kept handing out money to them. crazy fucker.

      he has NO clue what they like. he has NO clue what to talk to them about. he has NO clue who his own children are. apparently it NEVER occurred to him that the only reason they respected him and talked to him was because i was coaching them from the side when he wasnt home. i also made sure he was included in all the decisions, and discussions regarding the children. if he missed a school meeting, i explained. if he came home late, i would tell him what the kids did and said. now of course he gets nothing at all. i still doubt it has even dawned on his yet. dumbass

  • Congratulations to you and your son, CL.

    I began to think just now about my daughter’s father, my first husband, whom I married because I was pregnant just two weeks after turning 18. The marriage never had a chance, we were highly incompatible and I’m sorry to say I just found him dull. We divorced when she was only 18 months old. He saw her regularly and he paid every penny of child support (although it was ridiculously low) until she was 18. But why was he an okay dad and a responsible one? Because he wasn’t a disordered fuck like so many of our cheaters were.

    While I had the misfortune to be raked over the coals by one (an overt narcissist) later in life, I didn’t breed with him. I feel so, so sorry for you and all the other chumps who had to continue to try to have a relationship with their disordered cheater ex’s for the sake of their kids.

    • not me. i learned my lesson. i am no longer trying to have any kind of relationship, nor am i trying to make sure he has any kind of relationship with his children. at first i really was trying only to have everything i said or did twisted and purposely misunderstood, to have things thrown in my face just for the sake to hurt me and had nothing to do with the children (SHE loved to tell me that HE IS HERS NOW!!! and HE DOESNT WANT TO SEE YOU JUST THE BOYS)

      fuck them both. i have sole custody and zero visitations. until the courts tell me otherwise, i am just going to keep to myself. i dont think he will ever call all by himself (in his case, he is a man only as good as the woman behind him and she doesnt give a damn) but if he does i still havent made up my mind on how to handle that. i am seriously thinking of changing my cell number (although i have had it for over 10 years now unlike them who change their cells every couple of months) or i might just come up with excuses like kids are sick, kids are at a friends house, kids have games etc. we shall see.

  • Your son is a lucky kid. I believe it is mostly nurture over nature. My siblings and I were abandoned by our father, left with an undiagnosed mentally ill mother. She did her best with us, and we all have successful lives today. Two of us married cheaters, but I think that is a crap shoot anyway. Might have been FOO issues, might have been the narcs’ ability to camouflage as normal folks.

    My daughter is tortured by her father’s abandonment and has been hospitalized 2x the past year; she is only 14. It breaks my heart to hear her say she doesn’t think about him anymore, that he does not matter in her life (yet she gets upset when he emails her.. So she does care). She went no contact with him last autumn.
    And now I worry that my son is starting to feel the abandonment. Ex was supposed to visit a couple of weeks ago, but could not because “he could not afford it.” Liar makes more than I do, and has free lodging and utilities. Baby #2 is on the way with the OWife….hence the money concerns.
    Ex had been emailing daughter 1-2x per week, then stopped for 3 weeks…just contacted her again saying sorry, he was told to not contact her often but he wanted to say hi.

    Again, liar. Professionals told him to keep regularly contact, keep it light, to demonstrate that he cares and will be the for her when she is ready to make contact again. I am sure it is simply out of sight, out of mind.

    Personally, I am torn…I do not want the kids to have the pain of the abandonment, but sometimes really wish ex would just sail off into the sunset with OWife and 2nd family, and leave my kids alone.

    • The inconsistency is the worst. IMO, I think it’s almost better when they just go total NC. It’s the yo-yo thing, and the constant set up and disappointment. Yet courts think it’s best to Have Both Parents Involved no matter how awful the other parent. I really don’t know the answer to that one. I know for my son, he’s really blossomed since he doesn’t do the back and forth any more. But you have to abide the court orders best you can. It sucks. ((Hugs))

      • I asked an attorney one time if those that practice family law in our state had to take any classes in psychology, particularly those concerning personality disorders and other mental issues. The answer was no. How is it possible for someone to sit on the bench and make decisions about something as fragile as a child’s sense of self and not have a clue what the case is about?

      • Yes, CL, it’s the inconsistency. Ex has now moved overseas, so the visitation is not regularly scheduled, and video chats frequently get rescheduled given work and life issues.

    • zyx321 – hugs to you. Your daughter will find her way back from this – it is like a knife in the heart as a mommy though, isn’t it?

      ExH left when our little ones were 5 and 2 – and the kids have not seen him in over 7 years. Our daughter was starting kindergarten that week, and loved her daddy so very much. He was home (“working”) so very little, that he was the Disney daddy when he was – he’d never punished her or even raised his voice. He called her “princess” – and then he was gone – to another continent to live with primary OW and hide from legal consequences. And he never called, or sent gifts, which wasnt too surprising to me, because I’d always done that stuff for him. She simply didn’t exist to him. She decided she didn’t want to talk to him anymore when she was 7, because “he just lies about everything anyhow”. She is now almost 13, and a great kid, but I know it’s still there – a scar – and that she must still wonder how a daddy can do that to his princess. I have forgiven him for me, but still struggle with hating him for what he’s done to her and her brother.

      My son was adopted at a year (so I’m a big believer of nurture over nature – I think maybe most adoptive parents must be?), and exH had only about five days of real contact with him before leaving. My son does not remember his dad, nor have a bio bond with him, but has a HUGE hole in his life where a man should be. We do sports with good coaches; Boy’s Club at church – but he would love a dad. His questions and issues are different – but still – that sense of a big hole, blown in thier hearts, by someone who was supposed to care.

      ExH has never really paid child support, and has only asked to see the twice since returned to the US three years ago. Once was to “say Hi” and the other to take pictures to show off. It never occured to him that it might be damaging to the kids to see a “dad” they hadn’t seen in over 5 years for a photo op. I’ve had the blessing to have sole legal custody with no visitation and a protection order; but was given the advice by a court therapist that if he ever seriously wanted to see them, I should (and have) define a one year period where exH would get counseling, pay C/S, and tell the truth. When I shared that “boundary” with exH in court, he actually laughed. So no, he will not have access to his children any time soon.

      They truly have a big, sucking black hole where their hearts should be. The reason why doesn’t matter anymore to me. I’m just so very grateful that we are truly no contact so we can heal.

  • I procreated with the wrong man! But in doing so I have two beautiful, intelligent, sensitive daughters that I thank God for every single day! Quite honestly, life without him around is so much easier. However, I worry about my daughters and their relationships with men in the future. I hope they realize that not every man out there is selfish like their dad and there are men who cherish their partner and know how to treat woman!!!!

  • As my little girl is only 2 1/2 I know these things are in my future. Everyone involved, my friends and family and our therapist have already called him bailing on her at some point. He certainly has the ‘right’ emotional & mental deficiencies to walk and never look back. As for right now, though she is cute and agreeable and fun and at his mercy. When she gets her voice, her own opinions and her own life….we shall see. And she’s got a BIG personality….I can see a very strong, opinionated and independent little woman in the making, just like her mommy. Once he starts having to explain himself or deal with any pushback I’m imagine he will go rogue.

  • My ex husband also abandoned his son when he was 15 to take off with the OW (now his wife) whom he met 3 weeks prior to leaving on the internet. My son and I came home one day and he was just gone. There was no warning what-so-ever and I believed I was in a happy 25 yr marriage. Left with his car and the clothes on his back and never came back for his stuff….which is now in the landfill.

    I also had to do the driver training which wasn’t very easy but he did pass on the first try. I had to help my son learn how to bow hunt (never hunted in my life) and figure out how to change the oil in his car. It’s been a struggle being a single mom but it’s amazing what I learned I could do on my own. I can even cut down a tree at Christmas and put it up in our living room.

    His dad has missed out on my son getting his driver’s license, getting his first buck, Prom, sporting events, and moving into a college dorm….so many highlights of growning up. Another woman is worth this??

    I always told my Ex when he was living with me that he was the most selfish person in the world. It’s been 5 years and I’m still not at “meh”. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’ll ever be because the pain he has inflicted on us has been so great. But the relationship I have with my son is my greatest treasure in life !

      • I will also add that my son has told me that he does not remember his father ever living with us. He told me that he has blocked him from his mind. So not only has my Ex missed the last 5 years of my son’s life, he’s no longer part of the first 15 either.

        • ElleB…….my 20 year old daughter says the exact same thing!!!! She does not remember the years of our family prior to the beginning of the affair. She was very aware of the affair from the start of it. She says she never really had a good relationship with her father and really cannot remember anything good about him in our lives.

          I wonder (from a therapists POV) if the trauma of the affair and the fall out of it is affecting her memory?? Does anyone have any insight?

  • My STBX has turned into super dad since I found out about the OW and we have started divorce proceedings. The last few years he has barely done anything with them, my oldest daughter’s soccer team got new uniforms two seasons ago and he just now noticed (they went from black and neon green to black and red). My other daughter cheered for two years and he went to one of her football games (because she asked) and none of her competitions. Now he is in the running for dad of the year. I question his reasons, is he trying to show his girlfriend what a great dad he is? Is he trying to appease his guilt? I can’t help but feel like this won’t last and my kids will be devastated.

    • Exactly! tossed away. I’m worried about my kids in the aftermath of the sentiment changing so quickly.

    • My STBX does this as well. I don’t get it. My daughter has 7-8 gymnastics meets each season. STBX missed ALL of them the past two seasons. Before that, he went to a couple, one of which he got up in the middle of and stomped out because it was “taking too long”. This year, he showed up for all but the meet that was two states away. I totally don’t get it. He sits there and reads the newspaper. For the first meet this season that he showed up, my daughter looked at me and said “what is dad doing here?”

  • Yeah. In the end, the worst part of being married to crapweasel for 25 years was that he was able to decide (his words): “I just didn’t want to be a suburban dad anymore”. This when my lovely daughter was just starting high school.

    So never mind his Craigslist adventures, Facebook affairs, and whatever. Meh.

    But emotional abandonment of his only child? Unforgivable. I had a student colleague in grad school many years ago, whose baby-daddy bailed on her. She said she told him, “If you don’t step up on being a parent to our son, it really does not matter what you do in you life. You’re a failure.” I agree.

    So, I have been there for my kid, day in, day out for going on 10 years now. From even before I knew what crapweasel was up to, when I was a frustrated, confused de facto single mom.

    And my reward is a lovely, mature, kind, moral, mature young adult daughter, with integrity by the bucket. We are close–appropriately so (I don’t lean on her, for example, or over-share, nor have I ever told her that her father has stated many times that he decided he wasn’t interested any more..that would be devastating!).

    But kids know who is stable for them, and who isn’t. Crapweasel has spun himself a fable that I have poisoned her mind, but really I have not. She’s a smart cookie, and can figure things out herself.

    So I say just keep on being that reliable, decent parent. Do the best you can by your kids in the absence of the other non-parent.

    • the exhole started saying that too before he even left!! that i was poisoning the kids against him. i was not and have not. i have not had to since he has alienated himself. which he was doing BEFORE he left. he never wanted to do anything with us or even just the kids. he would go to work at 4 in the morning and somethings not come home until after 8 or 9 (or not at all, which i would lie and tell the boys he came home after they were in bed….thinking we could work this out and did not want the boys to hold it against him. i was wrong). on the days he was home and did not have to work, he would stay in his garage. when he started staying out all night every weekend, either on a friday night or a saturday night. he worked on saturdays so he wasnt home anyways, but he would make sure to come home late or not at all. on sundays if he was out all night, he wouldnt come home until 7 at night. then stay out in his garage until midnight or 2 in the morning.

      he never did figure out that it was HIS own actions that made the kids mad at him. it was always because i was saying bad things about him and turning the kids against him. even when i tried to explain that i wasnt saying anything….that is his story and he is sticking to it.

      i love my boys. i do everything i can for them and they know it. for mothers day i got a card from the 9 year old saying he was glad for his mom because __________…..he filled it out saying because i always work and make sure they have things.

      they really do know who is doing for them and who is not. personally i dont understand how ANY parent, male or female can CHOICE NOT to be in their kids lives. to miss the everyday little things, to miss their school stories and them telling you their dreams and wishes and hopes. to watch them grow up and congratulate them on their accomplishments. this is HIS choice. this is what HE wants. i only gave him what he wanted.

      • I think they have to tell themselves that. They need to blame someone. It’s along the same lines as…”Oh, no! you can’t mean that you TOLD anyone I cheated?!?” As if that were worse than the original cheating..ho ho. Idiots.

  • There is often the sense that I came in at the middle of the movie…like there is a whole story I missed, that came before. I know it falls under the heading of unraveling the skein, if you put too much into it, but I can’t help trying to understand all that crashed on top of me. I’m willing to bet money that my STBX’s dad was into trouble when he was about the age he acts like. Many of the behaviors we all describe seem adolescent to me-selfishness, poor choices, tolerance breaks, avoiding, lying, etc. screwing around on your “gf,” wanting to be popular, “hot.”

    When I close my eyes, usually baffled, and ask, “how old is this person?” what I get is a teenager, and a young one at that. It doesn’t fix it, but it helps me dig through my toolbox to figure out what utensil is appropriate. All I can do with my son is try to tell the truth without over sharing, not do denial or spackle that makes for crazy, and pray a lot.

  • My STBXH abandoned us. He will tell people that he left ME to find happiness. He didn’t leave his son you know. My son will be 8 next month, dad sees him regularly each weekend butt here are no phone calls during the week. I really don’t understand him. He will help me when I ask him to (I am selling the house we lived in. The house he built), he added vision and dental to the health insurance coverage for our son because he knows it’s important. (he’s going to need braces and other stuff). He is interested in what I will purchase for my son and I. But he never wanted to reconcile. Hell, he never even told me he was unhappy. Just left. He lives close to OW and her son and wants to introduce our son to her because “it will be beneficial”. Whatever. And then this past weekend, he takes our son to swim with his business partner who is also a cheater and living with his idiot OW and her kids. He picks the wrong people to have in his life and so my son is around them too. Ugh. He does not care. Our next door neighbor,who is a cheater and is still married, used to say gross and inappropriate things to me and I would tell my husband and he would just look at me like, “What?”. Dude! You were supposed to defend my honor you Ass!

    As for my son, I do worry that he will be like his Dad. I am putting him in therapy next month. But I have my good character and a great family to support us. I hope we are the biggest influences in his life. And I hope one day that I will meet a man who treats me with respect and love…and my son will see that.

  • My D-day was 3 1/2 years ago. At that time, our children were 22, 18 and 12. Ex has seen the older two a handful of times since– and I mean a handful, maybe 3-4 times each, for dinner, at my encouragement. The youngest, a son soon to turn 16, ex has NOT SEEN ONE TIME in those years.

    CL discussed an achingly beautiful article another author had written called “This Is What You Missed,” and I think of it often with my ex. Because we are absolutely no contact, and because I would never want the sociopath to believe he has won, I have not expressed these things to him (plus he simply would not care, which would only hurt me and the children again).

    The worst part is that our children are so beautiful, successful, kind, earnest, and true. There is no reason to want to abandon them like trash. We know that ex does not care and they know that he does not love them. Somehow, the children have been able to come to an acceptance of that, although I never will. It is, to me, perpetually astonishing, and I am sure I will go to my grave stunned by his abandonment of them (how un-meh, but it is true).

    My oldest son worried incessantly for a while after D-Day that he would end up like his father, that he was genetically destined to be a sociopath. But it is so very clear that this is not the case, no one could be further removed from such a monster than my children.

    I re-married last year, and my children now see their step-father, who grew up in the worst circumstances including poverty, neglect and abandonment by his mother when he was not even a teen. He overcame all of that to be a lovely, steady human being, husband and father. He is a calm and reliable influence, and able to step into the father role for my children; and he is a living testament that we are not controlled by our genes or by the bad things that have happened to us. I take heart in that every single day.

  • Abandonment of a child is plainly devastating, even when the abandonment is by a cheating fucktard. But my experience is that the alternative–the cheating fucktard remaining prominent in the child’s life–is equally harmful. What price will my child pay for having such a prominent role model of dishonesty, disloyalty, and dysfunction?

    Truth is, there is no good outcome when you breed with one of these monsters, just different flavors of pain and adversity. I pray that my boys will have the strength and wisdom to see their mother objectively and make better choices than she made.

    • Agreed. My college-age daughter has opened up to me much more since separation/divorce; the tension of living with a narc father in the house made her exit as often as she could. Youngest (14) has also improved her behavior and communication since Hannibal Lecher left (but now has serious separation anxiety from the divorce).

      A house without a cluster-B parent is a healthier place.

      • I agree nomar and Tempest. The alternative to abandonment by these disordered types is not good. When my boys are at home they seem really good and like Tempest’s daughter our communication is so much better now. But when they have to spend time with dad, they seem to go back to a dark place.

        • Yep, I have also observed this-DD is currently visiting Mr Fab and the Downgrade over 6,000 miles away. Her mood in the week prior to going was very very dark….other (sane) adults in her life tell me -and I didn’t ask- that she intends to let him have it for destroying her life as she knew it.

          I know what is likely to happen-coz it happened to me with my own narc Dad. As soon as I stood up to him and cut off the kibbles, I was kicked out. Age 17. Didn’t speak to him for seven years after that, put myself through college, and when he was dying, I called, and when I offered to visit, he said he didn’t need to excitiement. He died alone….

          But….DD DID vote with her feet, and that is huge. I may have to deal with some narkles when she gets back, but thank goodness it is jo longer week by week, more like year by year. And perhaps next summer she won’t go at all.

      • OH YES!!! very well said tempest!!! and i completely agree. after exhole left and told the boys he was never coming back, i did have hell with them for about 6 months. they were in counseling and then went off to visit my parents. when they came back they were so much better (even better then i was). they were happier, the 13 year old is doing better at school then he ever was before. getting all A’s and one d (in math, which he usually fails). the 9 year old is doing much better also in school and out of school. and started sleeping in his own bed (he was sleeping with mommy because he was worried that he would wake up and mommy will be gone, poor boy). they both laugh more now and joke around in the house. my house is peaceful if a little bit loud.

        i was the stupidhead thinking they need daddy to visit, but even before they were handling it very well. nothing for christmas, no gifts, no call, no visit….i think that was the deciding factor for both boys, i wish i had left well enough alone, but noOOOooo i had to ask him to come in may. another trainwreck, more drama, fights, and daddy not wanting to come to our house which the boys specifically asked for. they know everything that happened. of course after he left they were both 35 dollars richer, had some cool shit and promises that he would take them to a lake house, and on a boat and even buy them new shoes next weekend. (never asked me and never showed up the following weekend). so at first the boys were happy to see dad. 13 year old even said as long as he gives me money and buys me shoes i will see him. of course it didnt happen, but the boys handled that very well also.

        i am expecting some bullshit drama on fathers day. since he went thru so much trouble to set it up on mothers day (when he came to visit, actually that Saturday) but regardless, my boys are going to be at my parents for that weekend. he can call, he can bitch, he can cry….if he does i plan on telling him that he is welcome to go visit or even call the boys at my parents. crapweasel will damn sure not have the balls to go or call. i plan on NEVER calling him again.

        my kids honestly DO NOT need that kind of crazy in their lives. the oompa loompa hood rat does not want to share him with anyone, including his own boys. so be it. i will “let” her “win” again.

        NOT. MY. PROBLEM. i have my boys

    • Thanks for adding this in nomar. My kids are doing well in many respects, but their father is a regular source of bad role modeling–whether he is telling them that a teacher is a “Nazi” for not accepting late homework or telling them that I “don’t know how to love unconditionally, so the divorce is 100% my fault” or claiming that he has “out run the cops when they tried to get me on a speeding ticket.” I think negotiating this kind of emotional terrorism is unimaginably difficult for them. When they agree with him or tell him his bullshit stories are amazing, I think they know it doesn’t feel right, but when they confide in me or echo my values (especially around him), they feel like they are betraying him. It has to just suck to be them.

      Like you, nomar, I just keep hoping that by doing the right thing with them most of the time, the visits they spend with him will be neutralized. The choice between being abandoned and being abhorrently parented is just no choice at all.

      • ((((Eilonwy))))) I hear you and feel your pain. I want my kids to have a relationship with their mom, but that’s not possible without exposing them to the crazy, entitled, grifting world she lives in. I soooooo hope that working hard and playing by the rules–along with modeling a healthy relationship in my second (and final!) marriage–present a reasonable alternative they might one day adopt.

      • i get this. i totally get this. when i was trying so hard to get him to spend time with his boys, and of course his crazy hood rat had to be there. the boys would come home telling me some off the wall shit. i made sure NOT to tell them what i thought. but i would ask them WHAT DID THEY Think? most of the time they called bullshit and echoed by values. i also think they felt like they were betraying dear old daddy especially when exhole would tell them “dont tell your mom” and they did, or “what your mother doesnt know wont hurt her” which it did and we would talk about it.

        i would then use it as an example of WHAT NOT TO DO. you know so chewbacca will not let your dad talk and is always interrupting him before he says anything. how does that make you feel? well, at least you can see why it is a bad idea to interrupt people and to let other people talk. you dont want to make anyone feel bad like she makes you feel bad. maybe she was just excited or wanted to be included in the conversation. (YA RIGHT in my head) but now you can see that is not a good way to be included in someones conversation. you need to use your head, figure out if what you have to say is important enough to interrupt someone else talking or just wait until they finished.

        things like that so the boys know and develop some morals. they know dear old dad drinks, we talk about that all the time. how anything can be over used, and bad for you. how alcohol interferes and how it affects your whole life and the lives of those who love you.

        i never wanted to tell my kids some of these things. but i try to use them as lessons as well as answer their questions. of course i have been doing that since they were born but now i use dear old daddy’s bad decisions and choices as lessons too. never thought i would have to but it is still good for the children to know it is not acceptable or right.

  • Any time Chump Lady talks about the kids, I want to read every word from her and CN. I worry about my boys so much but I always find a lot of hope in CL’s story and others here. My STBXH was completely abandoned by his dad but his mom is a narcissist who abandoned her husband. I can now see that he abandoned because he did not have the strength to deal with the narc wife and I think that is why my husband became a narc too. He saw his mom as the one who has power so he decided to be just like her.

    My stbx says he wants 50% custody of our boys but he is verbally and emotionally abusive to them and they don’t want him to have any custody of them. They want to have dinner with him once in a while and be done with it. The court appointed family evaluator found him unfit to have 50% custody.Weirdly, I envy those of you who have a spouse who completely abandoned the children because then the crazy is completely out of their lives.

    I think the best way we can break the cycle of abandonment is to talk about it honestly to your kids and not just once but many many times and differently at different ages. The more I talk to my kids about it, the more peaceful they become. Prayers to all of us chump parents. We can do this!

    • Nicole S–I’m in the mental health field and after lots of talking with my own therapist let my children know the truth. My DD15 already put the pieces together a year ago and has negotiated carefully between the two. My son, younger, is more confused and still loves his dad who has never had much interest in him. It has been telling as my x MIL has been sick for a while and my x is not taking very good care of her, even though she was not my favorite, I would have taken much better care of her…I am honest with my kids…about how sorry I am about it all, how they need to judge their dad (and me) by how we are as parents, not husband and wife, I talk about FOO issues…all age appropriate, but I think in the long run, a good thing. My daughter’s friends like to come to our house because as she says “mom, you really love us”. You are right, the more we talk, the more peace we find….

  • I am not sure how much each of you can ask of a court, but if you can possibly get a court order for an in-depth psychological evaluation it goes a long way to help the judge make decisions about what the court will and will not allow a disordeded person to do. There is nothing more damning than a psychological evaluation that says someone is suffering from narcissism on sociopathy or some of the other cluster b disorders. If the psychologist can be called as a witness to explain, in depth, why these disorders are not fixable it might help the judge make the right decision. The problem is these evaluations are not cheap. If it is an issue of damage to your children then it is well worth the money.

    • I have no idea why Siri cannot understand me. I try to proofread but I missed things. I hope you get the gist of what I just wrote

  • Oh Chump Lady, he is beautiful. What a great photo!
    You’ve provided so much comfort on this and so many other aspects of navigating this crazy shit. My S6 and I are doing much better on our own now that the worst of the storm has passed, but I still have fears that he will turn out like his sparkly shithead father who’s trying to act like super dad. I believe OW dumped him, but he’s already found a new chump and doesn’t give a second thought to tossing my kid in with hers during his limited visitation. Thanks for your reminder to focus forward and on ME. It always feels better and it’s the best I can do for my sweet kiddo.

  • Oh how I wish my ex would disappear from our son’s life. Son did go a year refusing to communicate with his dad — a year filled with endless abusive text messages, Facebook messages, emails and phone calls not only from ex, but also from his sisters. Son did not reply to any of his dad’s messages, and didn’t answer most of the sister’s messages either. Unfortunately, son is back in contact with his dad, although thankfully, ex will be moving 2000 miles away next week. Ex plays it all like he is dad of the year… it gets him a lot of “likes” on Facebook which is really all that matters to him.

    Contact with his dad means my son is exposed to completely delusional thinking, pathological lying, manipulation and guilt tripping, mind fuckery, narcissism and general lack of good life choices or even common sense thinking. Occasionally there have been stunts that can only be described as emotional abuse. Having a crazy parent is not good for a teen… at any rate, not a parent crazy in the way my ex is crazy.

    The only bright side is that my son often tells me the nutty things his dad is doing, and we both laugh our heads off. Believe me, there is a lot more than the stuff I’ve written about here, but it’s all nuts.

    • i agree with the “just wish he would disappear”… NOW… at first it was super hard for me to accept that exhole would walk away from his own children. i cant make sense of that in my own head, so it was hard for me to think he really would do something that damaging to his own kids. i read everything i could and was super worried my boys would have abandonment issues. i tried over and over to get him involved. then he went no contact on us for a year……it damn near killed me. my mind was scattered and my heart was shattered. not just for me but for my boys. WHO WOULD DO THAT TO THEIR OWN KIDS?!?!?!

      but now i know. i know what kind of crazy he will always bring to the kids. i know he will lie, hide, and sneak shit with the kids watching him. i know he use gifts and money to buy my children’s affections. i know he will say spiteful and hateful stuff about me just so he will look good to our boys.

      that is NOT how i want to raise my children. that is NOT the environment i want to raise them in. that is damn sure NOT the example or the influence i want around my boys.

      so this time, i will stay no contact. this time i will let him turn his back and walk away. this time i will not encourage any kind of contact or visits from him. my mom tried to tell me back when exhole first disappeared but i was too hardheaded and stubborn. but i know now it REALLY is better for my boys not to have him around.

  • When my kids were little, I would explain that different people are good at different things. Some people are good at basketball and some aren’t. Their dad just wasn’t good at being a dad. I didn’t want them to think 8t was about them.

  • Just attended my daughter’s HS graduation last night, which her father (not a cheater, but still a fucktard Ex) couldn’t attend because it would take “too many days” (one day!) of vacation.
    But this morning I found out that he has planned a two week vacation next month which he expects daughter to go on (along with his new GF)…he planned it to conflict with my 50th b-day weekend that daughter and I will be spending with my terminally ill dad!
    And he won’t change the dates because he and GF already put in the request for vacation days. Yes, the vacation days he ” didn’t have enough of”.

    • kind of reminds me of the conversation i tried to have with the fucktard. i had been telling him since day 1 of our divorce well, no day 1 of our separation….that all he needed to do was to call me to see the boys. when that wasnt working out i told him over and over that we need to sit down with a calendar and actually schedule visitations that would be convenient to him since he did not agree with the visitations that i was scheduling for him. he never did

      last may, when he came down and started arguing again about the visitation i scheduled. (his hood rat is REALLY against him coming to MY house to see the boys) i reminded him yet again that we needed to sit down and schedule these visitations. his response was “i dont have time to do that”. i guess my shock was showing on my face because then he started scrambling and stuttering “well YOU dont have time to do that either, mrs vain. when do YOU have time to do that?”. i said absolutely nothing at all. i mean seriously, you cant find TIME to sit down and make a schedule?!?!?! FOR YOUR OWN KIDS!?!?! but he has time to go to the bar, he has time to go drinking at his cousins, he has time to go shopping for new shoes and clothes. he has time to take hood rat to see her kids (which apparently is whenever and however she decides she wants to see them). he has the BALLS to argue with my scheduling just because i was the one who made it but he cant even suggest a better time???

      i understand just where seeing his boys are on HIS priority list. fucker!!! not my problem anymore. i have my boys, i see them everyday, i get hugs and kisses and long talks and jokes. i am not missing a damn thing with my boys.

  • Great post CL, even though I’m now sitting at work with a huge lump in my throat trying not to sob. I couldn’t figure out how mine went from being such a good, involved, caring dad to such an indifferent lump of nothing. It finally dawned on me that as soon as the kids hit adolescence and things got tough just like they always do with kids that age, he checked out. No more “daddy is my hero and can do no wrong” kibbles? No more daddy. Our daughter goes to a very expensive, extremely academically challenging private college. Dday was TWO WEEKS before she left for her freshman year. Did that rock her world? Absolutely. The fucktard tried to get out of paying any of her tuition by questioning whether she shouldn’t be forced to go to a community college because she struggled so much academically that first year. Strike One. Our son is trying to find his niche in the world without a college education wanted to get his commercial driver’s license and found a training program that he wanted to take that would help him get it. My STBX emailed me and asked if I thought our son was “worthy” of a $5000 “investment” in that training program. Strike Two. In the first round of divorce settlement talks I asked that my STBX continue to carry the kids on his employer provided health insurance until they had their own or until they aged out whichever happened first. He has a GREAT plan and it’s incredibly inexpensive for him. He said no. He said when I had full time employment at the University where I’m employed part time (no benefits) I could cover them because my plan was so much better and cheaper. Since I don’t know what the benefit package will cost me, there is no way HE could know that either. Strike Three. Game over. Since my kids are adults I feel absolutely no need to keep information such as this from them since it affects their future. Both of my kids have no cut off all contact with their dad. My mom has generously agreed to pay my daughter’s tuition, my son found a way to get the training he needed for free, and my attorney has been advised that I will find a way come Hell or high water to make sure my kids have health insurance without having to rely on him.

    They are great kids. Imperfect of course, but I couldn’t love them more or be more proud of them for the way they have handled this mess. In weaker moments I feel pity for him that he threw away the chance to have relationships with them. As my reward for getting through all the teenager shit now I get to relax (a little) and just enjoy them as people. We have fun together, we laugh a lot and we are always there for each other. He’s got his porn collection and the lucky girlfriend who got Christmas gifts from Hustler Hollywood and Victorias Secret. Most of the time, I’m just grateful that I don’t have to pretend that he’s a nice guy who cares about them because he isn’t and he doesn’t. It hurts them though. And it makes me really, really angry when something hurts my kids. I don’t have much anger on my own behalf but beware enraging the mama bear. I hang on to the image of him alone in a nursing home with no one to visit him. Except for all his stripper friends. I’m SURE they will all come to visit him when he’s old and alone and on Medicaid. 🙂

  • Thank you for this post, CL, especially the part about the Evil Fairy curse. I needed the reminder today.

    The interesting thing I’ve been observing lately is that the ex has a lot of the same behaviors as my DD13. That’s right: my ex is on the same level as my hormonal child whose brain is not yet even fully developed.

    Big, huge hugs to all the parents out there who are their kids’ One Sane Parent, and kudos to you, CL for the hell you’ve walked through for your son. You’ve done well, Mama.

  • I firmly believe that the Coward left when our children were adolescents because their lives were no longer about him–and he didn’t feel like facilitating their happiness. He didn’t want to do it any more–he struggled with feeling like he had only two options: live for them, or live for himself. He wanted freedom and spontaneity–in short, HE wanted to be the teenager. Oh, for a while, in his fantasy, I would be the mother figure to our children and to him–the secretary, if you will. And he would have his angelic blonde lover, who reminded him of his own mother. (Yes! That IS creepy!) She would see to his sexual/emotional needs, and I would see to his practical needs: laundry, auto repair, yard work, calendar-keeping, babysitting, investing, being his philosophical soundboard, etc. She would be pretty (I’m no slouch, and I’m younger than she is, but I’m not blonde, and I’m not ideal and “innocent”, as she is.) She would hang on every word of his brilliance, being intellectually inferior to him, thus making him feel invincible, and I would eventually come around to his genius and be happy for him. In this way, he COULD have it all.

    I guess I popped that bubble when I told him to fuck off and let the dimwit alcoholic twat be his everything.

    He didn’t want to be the suburban dad any more–same as so many mentioned here. He quit going to their games, pretended to work all the time, was an ass if we all went on a trip anywhere. It seems as though begrudged our children just as he’d begrudged me all these years.

    So, yes–he missed a lot: homecomings and proms, getting to know his sons’ girlfriends, field trips, driving lessons, bonding with his sons’ friends and their parents, homework projects, SAT tests, move-in days, move-out days, banquets, laughs, volunteering, long car rides, favorite songs, cool outfits, inside jokes, senior portraits, meeting their teachers, heartbreaks and triumphs, doctors’ visits, confidential little big talks, arguments and discipline, building trust and respect, and soooo much more. And wasn’t that the point? He didn’t WANT any of that gold. He left to grab his own. He felt entitled to big pieces of his children’s happiness, peddled for his own–except his own turned out to be fool’s gold, not real happiness. And so he is a capable weekend sailor, instead, with a calculating mistress who would dump him in a heartbeat for a better opportunity. WELL done. He had three children and a bright future. Now he has two chihuahuas and a hell of a lot of uncertainty. He traded gold for mediocrity. He’s not important. He knows he’s a coward. I have my boys’ respect, and a life made rich by TRUE love. He has failed at the one thing only HE could do.

    I’m more fortunate than many abandoned wives, in that the ex pays for half of the kids’ school tuition, and I pay the other half. He spends an average of a couple hours a month with them and texts them, but he is free to do whatever he pleases, whenever. Where my first priority is my kids, 24/7/365 no matter WHAT (and I work full time, just as he does), his first priority is any whim of the moment, currently his boat and his booby prize. Of course, he’s still lying to the kids about how busy he is, and that this is why he can’t be there to help them with anything that takes any effort I am the one who moves them from home to dorm to apartment to the next apartment, etc., for example. I sign paperwork, I deliver things they need, and badger them to take care of themselves. I take night calls from them. I reassure them, and offer sound advice. I SHOW them how to do things. I AM THEIR ROCK. He says it’s because of his job that he can’t make it, though he lets them know when his vacations will take him out of telephone contact with them (not that they count on him for anything) but then tells them he can’t visit or help because work is sooooooo demanding–just like when he lived at home.

    I am grateful to the Facebook Twat for taking this awkward loser out of my life, but I will never forgive either of them for breaking my sons’ hearts. My kids deny any pain, but I know their realities are forever altered. They are now children of divorced parents. They now know that giving up is an option if things get hard. They must know what a loser their father is, though they wish to believe he is their hero. They see the efforts of happily married fathers in their lives–and they must wonder why their own father couldn’t be there. They know the sting of disappointment and rejection from a so-called parent–that cut runs deep. They ping-pong over the holidays. They have to be confused but resigned. All of this just breaks my heart, which seethes with bitter hatred for their “father”. I’d had so much faith in him–that’s gone. I actually loved him–no more. I have reassured my sons that they are very different from their father, who has abandonment issues of his own, the likes of which they will NOT know. I think it’s important for them to distinguish themselves from him in this way. I draw more similarities between them and my father, who, for all his irritating faults, is a very good man who has been by my mother’s side for nearly 50 years.

    Children always pay the steepest price for adults’ failings.

    Jesus. Reading this again–I almost feel sorry for the jerk.

    • But not quite….sorry that is.

      Where there is a will, there are always two ways. Cheater parents are fucktards by choice, and if they want sympathy for their kids not wanting to be near them, then they can consult a dictionary, and find it between ‘shit’ and ‘syphilis’.

        • Thanks, Miss Sunshine…but sometimes I really resent how this whole shitshow has made me into a hardass. Skeptical is good, but cynical is draining…..

          Thanks, Cl, for this post…long and short, it sucks to watch them eat the shit sandwich. And spit it out. And realize what they’ve willingly eaten. But it is their life. Ultimately, your kid learns to drive, gets a job, gets a life, and does something ballsy like hanging out in just-post-apartheid south Africa. Like you did, and I did. And hopefully neither of out kids gets Chumped, like we did. But to helicopter over them, to fret and worry, I think disservices the kid in the end.

          Their Cheaterpants Parent was/is a douche. End of. My dad was, and it took a while, but I processed that, like DD will process this. Last thing my therapist said was, “You have a habit of overstimating Mr Fab, and underestimating DD. Like I had a habit of overestimating my Dad, and underestimating myself…

          The kiddos will grow through it. Nothing anyone can do. They either smoke hopium, or they don’t. But their world got wrecked, and a proper parent does what a proper parent does. I don’t want to be genderist, but, being in Mama Bear mode for so long truly is a test of character I never wanted. But needs must.

          To all protective parents-love and strength. DD is with Mr Fab for six weeks. All my weeekends at once. Cap’n Crunch and OITNB. Rock-n-frickin-roll. Get it while you can.

          x-Meh

    • Oh Miss Sunshine, I don’t feel sorry for your idiot asshole ex, not at all. You rock.

      So much of what you said is our experience with my ex, except my ex is a complete abandoner (no pesky visitation or sharing time or even periodic phone calls with dad to worry about). But the pulling away as they reached their teens, the AP who hangs on his every word and pretends to adore him and be less than so he can feel superior, the large and small things he has missed, yes, we have experienced all that and sadly our children will continue to do so for the rest of their lives.

    • Miss Sunshine, you are channeling my life to a large degree. Scary. And it’s our kids who suffer…

  • Had an honest discussion with my, very upset, 11 y.o. daughter the other night about the fact that she misses her travel-addicted mother terribly. Her Mum always returns with presents and the promise of some exciting activity that they’ll do together. Rarely, if ever, does she keep these promises. She treats her daughter like she treated me – strings her along with the promise of something better to come.

    My daughter is with me for another extended visit (on paper her mother and I are 50/50, but the reality is more like 70% with me, 30% with Mum). I love having her here so it’s no big deal to me, but it upsets her because she expects to see her Mum half the time. She misses her.

    Any given year, her Mum will tell her that “this year” she won’t be travelling much, but I can demonstrate (via our shared calendar) that the travel has increased since we split. So I told our daughter that her Mum only says this to make her feel better, but the truth is that she will always be travelling just as much as she is now. I told her to believe what she is seeing, instead of what she’s hearing. She was terribly upset and cried for a long time.

    I am glad we had this conversation, though, because opportunities to be so honest about her mother are very rare. The poor kid was going nuts because she was hearing one thing and seeing another. I told her that her Mum did the same thing to me the whole time we were together and that it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t try and “fix” things after we split.

    I know my situation is nowhere near as bad as some of the scenarios I’ve read above, but I just wanted to point out that, sometimes, abandonment can be subtle and gradual.

    I appreciate this blog so much because reading others’ stories have helped me to realise that I’m not going crazy.

    • It is a bad situation to watch your child deal with heartbreak. It is quite painful.

      I like that you are trying to help her navigate all of this with her eyes open. If she can trust the people she can trust, and hold the others at arms’ length, she’ll be ok. Remind her that it is important to keep one’s word–show her that you are the first person she can count on. Demonstrate integrity. Her mother has disappointed her. One day she will not get her hopes up–she will take her mother’s WORD for what it is worth. She will enjoy the time they DO spend together.

      I love that you are there for your daughter. Nothing in the whole wide world is more important. Nothing.

    • ken-doll,

      It really sucks for the kids, especially, 11years old, soon to ne teenager-hellish,,and it is really tricky to distinuish what is manipulative teenage normal b.s. and what is a serious reaction to the headfuck.

      What helped me a lot was understanding what cofnitive dissonance is, and the part it played in Mr Fab’s abuse of me….and our kid.

      All these schmucks, all the same, but equally so unique in their fuckuppedness.

      hugs, and kudos for being there, and being wise for your daughter.

  • These are some heart breaking comments here about fathers that abandon their children. I didn’t have any children thank dog with Cheaterpants but I had a child at 17 and that fucktard totally abandoned us and never paid a dime in child support. He beat me and put me in the hospital when I was three months pregnant and tried to kill us. We could have starved to death and he wouldn’t have cared less. He denied paternity and called me filthy names. The real killer? My daughter has sought him out and now they are friends on Facebook. She even told her children to call him ‘Grandpa.’ It makes me sad but at some point I just have to let it go. She couldn’t have slapped me in the face any harder. Kids. Sometimes a joy and sometimes a heartache. That’s the way life goes sometimes.

  • This one got me today. My 18 y.o. son graduated high school last month, My 16 y.o. son just started driving and got his first car. My ex-wife has been gone for the past three years, She sees them maybe, twice a month, when it fits her schedule. She comes and goes as she pleases. She pays me no child support and has done very little if any parenting over the past three years, It is heartbreaking to see the woman she has become as her children grow into men,.

  • If someone can’t love & want to be in the lives of their own children then they are truly incapable of loving anyone else. That love starts with pure instinct before our kids are even born and once we meet our kids it’s beyond strong. Perhaps the strongest love we’ll ever have.
    The OW/OM who sees nothing wrong with this and is happy that their new “love” only wants to spend time with them & not want to be in the lives of their kids is delusional or just as evil.
    I thank God every day that I married that monster because of my two sons being born. Single parenthood is a dream without a partner who doesn’t care. Life goes on 🙂

  • Tracy, such a sweet, handsome boy. I’m sure he’s destined for greatness despite having a less than spectacular father.

    This thread made me cry for the memories it brought back, and for the crap that Junior is still suffering at the hands of his moron of a father. From disappearing for months at a time, the lack of overnight visits for years, that he only shows up for the drunken luau at the yacht club after summer sailing, he can’t be called a father at all. His world stops at the end of his penis. (Cue It’s a Small World chorus!) Cheater #1 (Junior’s dad) wanted to have a baby “before it was too late”. Little known to me he was already ass deep in affairs, especially one with an OW who wanted another baby “before it was too late”. Some contest to “win”. My rather observant middle sister, who has ridden the infidelity and stepparent roller coasters, opined that this was Cheater #1’s last ditch effort to exert control for another eighteen years while having a series of exit affairs. Maybe, but he doesn’t have the stick-to-it-tive-ness to see anything through to the end. Hence the inconsistency of involvement in Junior’s life.

    Junior doesn’t mention it much these days, but it does needle me (inside, don’t let it show) that he still goes bat shit crazy on the rare occasion that C#1 does deign to call. A piece of me wonders if Junior is being shown that selective kibble distribution can be a strong incentive. How many of us have talked about how we’d get the occasional small kibble from our narc and we would get all excited and blow it out of proportion and we’d just beg for another one? Scares the bejesus out of me that not only is the kid being groomed, but he is a fast learner and has the leanings to be like his dad. I already see signs of his father’s “you can’t tell me” or I’ll-have-the-last-word in him. On bad days, when he’s at his adolescent, ADHD worst, I just want to shake him hard and shout, “DO YOU WANT TO TURN OUT LIKE YOUR POS FATHER?” Nope, I go into the other room and punch a pillow or two. Then I talk to him about anger management. I just pray that I get to the other end of adolescence with a decent, empathetic, conscientious son.

  • I don’t mean to be snide, but wish X had fully abandoned his kids instead of the busy body, shit stirrer, “I’ll rescue you from the parenting of your evil mother” role he’s taken on.

    These days, I’m living in hell with the devil’s spawn.

    Two of my teens are acting out and getting themselves into some dangerous waters that are filled with drug-pushing sharks. This weekend, I had to call 911 when my Asperger’s oldest son, high and off his mood stabilizers, assaulted his mouthy younger brother in our living room.

    I refuse to endure DV in my home; emotional abuse was enough when their father resided here.

    So, my oldest went out in cuffs and then called me in tears six hours later to bail him out. When I told him I couldn’t, he called his father. Dear old dad “rescued” our son from jail and then promptly dropped him off at my doorstep. Seems dad had plans the next day and couldn’t get out of them to take his son to his arraignment. I’m guessing his skank wouldn’t go for our son spending the night.

    Consequently, the next morning, losing a day’s pay, I brought my surly son to court, where we both waited and waited for nine hours for his arraignment. When he sniped at me, “This is all your fault; you made the call to the police,” I replied, “You gave up all your power when you lost your temper and decided to attack your own brother. I wont ever put up with that in my own home.”

    He later apologized and said that his father told him I did it to get him out of my life.

    HATE is such a strong word, but it is apt in this case. He fucks with my kids’ minds every chance he can.

  • I’m so sorry these stories are about parents not just fathers that abandon their kids. Please excuse that comment.

    • Syringa, we know what you meant…. 🙂 It is heartbreaking to see our kids struggle, not only our own but others’. In addition to my own beautiful three, I teach and my heart breaks for the crap legacy many of our youth strive to overcome. I have seen it all. It’s hard enough to grow up in this world without the challenges of an abusive checked out parent. Families aren’t meant to be broken and all our children deserve the best… I do know we are resilient and we can teach and model great strategies. I do believe it takes a world to raise a child well and every moment counts.

  • I could not believe that anyone would walk away from his wife of 16 years, beautiful 3-year-old “Daddy’s Girl” and newborn son WITHOUT BATTING AN EYE. El Jefe said, “Being divorced from you will make me a Better Father.” Like the countless times he promised his daughter he would leave work early (which for him, meant 5 or 6 p.m.) to come help her ride her bike without training wheels. She would rush to change into her jeans and long sleeve shirt, elbow and knee pads, and wait for him for HOURS on the back steps. “Mommy,” she would sob to me. “Where is Daddy? Call him. Make him come like he promised.” Day after day after day this would go on. And I could not protect her. I couldn’t help her myself, in fact I could barely walk, as I was trying to recover from birthing a 10-lb baby boy. After the third or fourth no-show, I asked my dad and brother to assist. It wasn’t long before we witnessed her first wobbly turns on her bike and soon she was whizzing around the driveway. When X didn’t show up for her art exhibition at school, despite receiving written and verbal notice from me, I had to answer “I don’t know” everytime she asked, “Where’s Daddy?” When father-daughter reading day came up the next week, I arranged for a male friend from church to be on stand-by so she wouldn’t be the only little girl without a male guest. He got a little better as the divorce wore on — I think mainly to put on a good show for the judge and get as much visitation as he could in there so as to reduce child support payments to me. But as the years wore on , he quit paying child support even as he saw the kids less and less . . . down to one afternoon every week or two for a couple of hours. Years later, he would promise our son to pick him up and take him to the park to play catch. I had a Boy at the Window. Watching. Waiting. Straining to see every car that drove down our street. Tears. “Mommy. Daddy’s not here yet. Call him.(sobs) Fix it. Make him come.” I would call. Inevitably, X would mumble some excuse. I sat my kids down one of those “no show” days and said, “I can’t control your dad. I know he made this promise. But I can’t make him keep it. If he keeps his promise to you, great. But if he breaks it, what can YOU do to not let that ruin your day? You can come up with Plan B, that’s what. Always have a Plan B.” So the kids started coming up with back up plan B, plan C, plan D, plan E. One time they even tried to go all the way to Z! They would make these elaborate back-up plans a day or two before their scheduled “visit” with their dad. It got to the point where they had more fun making up their alternative plans than spending time with him. When he didn’t show up, they would shout, “Yea! Plan B! Time for snowcones or bowling or watching the Indy 500 with Stepdad” or whatever other ideas they had dreamed up and planned for ahead of the most recent no show. Their lives went on without him. And were better for it.
    As a side note, as Father’s Day approaches, this will be a very special one for our family. It will be the first Father’s Day we will celebrate where my husband (the good one!!!!) will be our kids’ legal father, not the Stepdad. He legally adopted them last August. Tonight my now teenage daughter made him a home-made card. She drew a picture of the “The Giving Tree” and had a quote from the book, then inside she wrote: “Papi, you are my Giving Tree.”

    • That wasn’t a side note Miss Delta, that was the fabulous epilogue!! What a great mom you are. I love your honesty with your kids and your plan idea. It was very creative and obviously got them through a very tough time with optimism and humor. An excellent life lesson.

  • Amazing. Three weeks DDay today, I read this this morning and thought, well, that’s one thing I probably don’t have to worry about. He would never abandon his kids. Never never never, no matter what he thinks of me…and then during the day I thought about the time he has spent with him since he left. Not more than an hour a day, usually, totally missed 2 days completely, and then today he came early to the house across the road he’s slumming at, with a friend behind him. When our 10 year old DD ran to greet him he hugged her but told her he had to talk with his friend and would be over in a bit. She came home, waited awhile, then started playing a video game on her tablet. He comes over after awhile and sits next to her. I left the room but could hear. Then he says “I come over to spend time with you and you play your game?” Like he’s a visiting dignitary or something, and she should drop everything for him. He left after 8 minutes. Met 17 year old DS in the yard, talked to him for a couple minutes, then left. He’s not coming back tonight (here or across the street), and I realize, holy shit, he already HAS abandoned them!
    Wow. It’s not like I had any respect for him left, but it’s going to be a rough road for these kids. They deserve so much better than him for a dad.

  • Read all these stories with an ache for the kids and their parents who have tried to negotiate for them and protect them; with admiration for the strategies and successes; empathy for those who wish things had gone differently.

    The one thing I didn’t see mentioned here was what was in the picture with the beautiful boy with the heap of blond curls and the big blue eyes: the old dog whose demeanor says, “Yeah, fuck you, world, I’m not going ANYWHERE.”

    One of my DD24’s FB listings that still brings tears to my eyes is a picture of her, her brother, myself, and our long-haired GSD, at our feet. When that picture was taken, DD was graduating from HS, brother was three years younger, and the dog was about 12, going white around the muzzle and blue in the eyes and still the most beautiful dog in the world. I semi-joked that she helped me raise the kids. She clearly knew that she was second in command; would do anything I asked, but when the kids told her to do something, she’d look at me first and laugh. She lived and breathed for them–as a matter of record, all kids were her responsibility.

    We were at a soccer game once when a great big daddy was throwing his little baby up in the air and catching him. She stopped watching the game, sat up, looked at him and told him politely but firmly, “WOOF!” He looked around at her, and she looked at him, and he said, “Stop throwing the baby. Got it.” I was so embarrassed! I told him it was fine, but he just shook his head and turned back to the game, and so did she. Under the FB picture was the caption, “The biggest heart I’ve ever known stopped beating last night.”

    I’d just like to take a minute to salute those four-legged partners who stepped up and helped fill the holes and bring the laughter back and keep the boogie-men out from closets and underbeds. The ones who with licks and wags and purrs and open ears and huge hearts listened to secrets, gave unconditional love, and dried the tears of our children, and ours, too, after they were in bed. How I would have made it through without our old girl I will never, thank goodness, have to know. Here’s my salute to all those four-legged co-parents waiting for us on the front porch of heaven.

    Bless the beasts and the children . . .

    • Of course, EnoughAlready. No one mentioned the dog, but when we read “Parents who abandon” the first thought is for the poor four-legged companions who are full of trust, love, and fidelity, and too often pay the price for a situation they did not contribute to cause.
      How many people who divorce simply bring their dogs to a shelter, without any scruple, where they will be locked in an empty concrete cell at best, killed at worst. How many guys who have problems in their lives, choose to beat the dogs because they are there and cannot comprehend what is going on. Worse even, how many who are forced to leave the marital home, leave the innocent pets inside to starve. People can be so cruel.
      I keep both dogs and will never abandon them. Ever. When I come home in the evening, they do their little dance of joy, and all negative thoughts evaporate. I know I am the most important person to them, if I was not important to fucktard, then be it, at least they love me for real, there is no way I could even think of abandoning them.

      • When his high shitness left he couldn’t take his dog (news flash that dog would never leave my side) because new hottie lived with her two daughters and four grand babies and four dogs no room at the in and the dog is a pit bull mix. When he and the whore moved to a place of their own tiny teeny yard and no fence he wanted to take him. I said no over my dead body. My gentle giant has five fenced acres here to run and play and wander. He’s a very happy healthy ten year old. About a year ago
        asswipe talked me into two more two more loves of my life. All are my babies. He pays for everything. Spay shots and the male pup needed major hip surgery at seven months old.when the house sells he wants one of the dogs. No effing way I told him they have all bonded you bastard you broke up one family you will not break up another. Shithead has no idea what to do about the new me now he gets away with nothing. And for me to look him in the face and say no! Feels really damn good!

    • EA, yours was the first post I read this morning and it brought tears. Thank you in a good way. The mediator and my attorney told me that I might have to get rid of my animals. Over. My. Dead. Body. They said judge might see it as a luxury. No, lawyers at $250 an hour to fight narc ex are a luxury. That said, this is the second year we will celebrate father’s day with the only father in our house. Our male dog and father to our youngest dog. He may get sick over the father’s day dog food cake my D6 constructs, but it will be well worth it.

    • That dog is Joey. He once belonged to my ex. When we were dating, he moved that dog in (no dog care when you’re leading a double life! bonus!) and my son fell in love. It was his dog for years, and when we moved, we took the dog with us. The cheating ex demanded the dog back. We sadly obliged, but my lawyer got Joey back. (She was awesome.)

      We used to call Joey Dog of Insight. One time when separated, the ex came back, and that friendly dog would NOT greet him. Would not move from his spot. He had his number.

      In that picture, Joey is lounging in our backyard (in the house I bought after I left the ex). He loved that yard and the freedom (ex used to keep him locked up inside or on a porch). I used to work at home one day a week and walk to my son’s school with Joey and all the kids would ooh and ah and pet Joey. And then my son would run home with him. Best buds.

      Joey came to Texas and loved the road trip. He peed in every state. When he got here, he discovered how my husband spoils dogs ROTTEN. Bacon grease on the kibble. Texas Barbecue. Hamburger birthday cakes for their birthdays. He lived long enough to see my son settled into his new life, and me in mine, and then he died quietly on the stairs one night. Heart attack, probably. He was an old dog (a rescue so we don’t know how old).

      I like to think Joey also left a cheater and gained a life. He got a boy who adored him and all the meat he could eat in Texas. We loved him very much. Thanks for your kind words about Joey, he really was a wonderful animal.

  • A child learns from the people that are active in their lives, not from the ones that aren’t there. Your son learned by example when your husband took him for the driving test, how to be a good father. How to be there for someone you care about. I would guess the numbers are higher for repeat for people that don’t have a positive role model to counter the negative one.

    I’m no scientist, just speaking from experience. My father never played with us. I had an uncle that loved to come outside and play with us. I learned from him how to toss a ball with my kids.

  • Chump Lady, can I ask you something?
    When you met Nomar, how was it different? And how long before you truly understood (in the marrow of your bones put to bed way it was different?
    I marvel at how lucky you got, as I just cannot imagine trusting anyone or feeling that I am worth loving, ever again.

  • My Ex shows up for his birthday and Father’s Day, so that our four children (20-somethings) can make a fuss over him. No one else matters but him. His loss.
    And CL- your adorable son looks just like you!

  • There is another sad scenario: When the disordered ex takes the kids and molds them into his or her own image. A friend told me that after a certain age, the kids will “follow the money.” Or the parent with fewer rules. Has anyone here experienced that?

  • I have experienced triple abandonment – a biological father who left before I was born, a step father who committed suicide when I was 8, and most recently, a husband who made me a chump after 17 years. I tried so hard to pick a man who would never leave me, and more importantly my kids, as I so wanted them to have the intact family that I never had. I have to wonder if I sub-consciously chose someone who felt comfortable to me (ie. disconnected, selfish and absent).

    The point of me writing, however, is to say that although I have experienced abandonment in my own life, I will never repeat the same mistake and abandon my own children. I have been their constant through this all. I hope they will not do this to the people they love someday. I also hope by not putting up with this behavior, I am teaching my boys that their actions matter. And there are significant consequences if you treat the people you love poorly. Eventually people wise up and leave…

  • What a beautiful child. CL, you are a very lucky woman to have such person in your life. I have two such beautiful children, a son who is a cardiologist and medical researcher, and a gorgeous daughter, who is a brilliant contributor to the world, a former Watson Fellow, and an amazing mom of three. I did it by myself. While I was raising the kids, STBX was off fucking his secretary. He occasionally showed up at a soccer game for which he congratulates himself mightily. He is gone now and we are all doing just fine. His latest girlfriend/whore dumped him so he is lonely in his grim little life, plus he has no driver’s license (DUI’s) so dating is a problem. Cosmic Karma is alive and well in the universe.

  • a lot of people don’t give a shit that they produced offspring. To them, it’s just something that happened. Rumour has it around the village now (remember, my ex is living in Belize, partaking of the pussy buffet that is made of local girls trying to make their way to the US. or at least get a cell phone) that my ex has gotten one of these little girls knocked up. I warned him of that when we met last time (back in May, after a mutual friend’s wedding) for business reasons. He was like “oh, it doesnt cost much to raise a kid here, it’s not like I have to live with the girl or anything”. Collateral damage of fucking is all the offspring is to men like my ex and to a lot of other men too, collateral damage.

  • I too have a 17 year old son, my wife left four years ago when he was 12-1/2 while he was at summer camp, my daughter was 18 at the time. My X virtually vanished from my life for an OM and left me to look after everything, there has been no custody or verbal battles, she just removed herself entirely from my life like the last 24 years never happened…Since that time she’s only seen our Son about one a month, just long enough to take him to lunch or dinner, he’s spent about six weekends with her over all this time. She’s never once asked me how he was doing in school or wanted to see his report card…Like many here I don’t get how they can not miss their kids and not getting to see them grow up. I can see how all of this has bothered him and I’ve done my best to try and minimize the damage, but I know it will hinder his ability to develop relationships in the future.

  • The pic of your son is so sweet. I felt a little teary-eyed thinking about him waiting for a dad who’s not going to come that day. I brightened considerably upon reading he charged interest on the loan. I don’t care who you are, that shit is funny. DMV PTSD. So funny.

    Congratulations on the driver’s license, son of CL! Back in the day, I too failed the test. It was all my mother’s fault (insert blameshift here) as she insisted on driving my STBH’s tricked-out, full size, attention grabbing, cherry red truck to the DMV at 15 mph with the steering wheel all the way up. You know, like a bus driver. I thought I’d die. A line of cars behind us, horns blaring and really dirty looks when they passed. Thank God, this was during the Lady Diana years, and I had taken to wearing hats. I pulled it down low, adjusted my sunglasses, slumped low in the seat and prayed for it to be over. By the time we arrived, I was a wreck – so pissed at my mom. I think I bolted from the truck before the agonizing reverse, forward, reverse, forward attempts at the narrow parking spots, and why I didn’t notice she had set the parking brake (of course she did, this was So. California – the nearest hill was 1.5 hrs. away, but safety first).

    I drove with the parking brake on through to the test’s end. Here’s the thing: the agent told me I’d failed, but he’d recognized my mother from the small Catholic high school they’d both attended, and he let me slide. After all that, I ended up having to thank my mom. So, CL and son, you have a good story to tell your children and grandchildren, about the time their “dad” got his driver’s license. *Shout out to the ‘chill’ lawyer who helped make it happen.

  • Love this, Tracy. One of the things I fear most about all of this fuckery is that question: will my boys do this, too? I have tried so hard to raise them knowing how important it is to respect women and God knows they have seen firsthand what happens to families when men leave. But will they do it because that’s all they know?

    I like to think of it this way: I grew up in a house full of smoke and violence. I hated it. It made me the parent and person I am today, though. I hate cigarettes and I don’t abuse my kids.

    So there’s that.

    Oy that picture!

  • My fucktard story starts with me quitting work to be a stay at home mom for our 8 year old autistic son. I pick the son up from the babysitter on my last day of work and BAM, there’s the “I’m a man of few words….” note. So, after failing to get him to go to counseling for his various issues, I hack into his “secret” email account and there are the Craigslist ads. He pretty much wanted to screw everything but large farm animals and probably the only reason that didn’t happen is they can’t read. Thankfully, my STD tests came back negative and considering the content of his hookups, that is a miracle. One year later, he neither calls, contacts or even sends a card to our son. At last Thanksgiving, my son stood at the front door for an hour, hoping to see his dads vehicle pull up for dinner.

    I am finally divorced and worked very, very hard at the only task that would set me free from such a indescribable idiot and that’s to forgive him. And move on. My son is happy now and never asks about his father (his fucktard father considered him “damaged” due to his condition) and I am happier because I don’t have my ex’s emotional weight on my shoulders. If your spouse is a serial cheater and you catch them, get away, move on and don’t look back.

    Much love to all of you all.

  • “I knew my son was destined for a career in business when he started charging his father interest. He was 11.”

    Hahahaha. Yes! That is one smart kid. He is going to be a fine adult that the world is lucky to have.

  • >