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Dear Chump Lady, How do I stop being so angry with my ex?

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assholeDear Chump Lady,

How do I stop being so angry at my cheating ex?

I get flashes of it and it makes me tired. He’s off living his single life with affair partner and gets 50/50 shared custody of our child. (I’m happy with that, although I miss my child lots).

He’s just become so rude. I only contact him about child-related things and he ignores or answers in his own sweet time. I’ve had to chase him four times for childcare payments (which he does pay but always blames the bank).

Anyway, I’m so tired of feeling angry. Maybe it’s because he’s shown no remorse and now just treats me like a gnat. My self worth is in shreds. Most of his family has ditched me (after 11 years). I don’t want to see a psych because I’m sick of talking and thinking about it all. I want meh…

Jen

Dear Jen,

It’s very difficult to feel indifferent toward people who deliberately keep trying to piss you off. While I constantly encourage chumps to “gain a life,” it appears that cheating exes did not get the memo. Whatever Schmoopie they’re off with next, so many of them circle back to their chumps for kibbles. And because you no longer love this person, they’ll take their kibbles in the flavor of antagonism. Did they get a reaction? Hey! It’s still centrality and control! Whoopee!

When you breed with a fuckwit, they have you by the curly shorthairs until your child turns 18. You’re vulnerable because you love your child and are deeply invested with your child. So, if a disordered person is so inclined, they can fuck with that vulnerability a thousand different ways. Did you send your child off with new shoes and your kid gets returned barefoot? Is there a very important book report that needs finishing and Uncle Daddy took Junior to the dog track instead? Perhaps your kid didn’t get returned that day at all? Asshole infinitum.

Oh, and the real kicker? They’ll follow it up with a sad sausage narrative of how Mean and Awful you are. So unfair! So uncompromising! So trying to be the BOSS OF THEM. And the real sophisticated mindfuckers will pull out the dagger of “Don’t you care what’s best for the CHILDREN?”

Why don’t you eat the shit sandwich, Jen, and play nice? Why won’t you be his “friend”? Why must you insist on court schedules and child support? Why are you such a fucking hard ass? Oh, he knows why — you’re still hung up on him and Schmoopie, right? You’re just jealous of their awesomeness. He’s very sorry you can’t be awesome (you should work on that!)

My blood pressure spiked just typing that. And yet I know so many of you live with this crazy Every. Single. Day.

And the narrative out there is be Consciously Uncoupled, be friendly for the kids, go take a Carnival cruise together! The cognitive dissonance between what is expected of us and what IS, is enough to make any chump lose their shit. If you’re angry, Jen? You’re paying attention. It’s not fair.

But, as a veteran, I can tell you it is endurable. Here are a few pointers, and then I’m going to open the floor to Chump Nation for the next two days and I want you all to give each other your pointers on “co-parenting” and keeping your sanity. We need this — the holidays are TOUGH.

 

1.) DOCUMENT. Whenever a fuckwit fails to consider the Best Interests of the Child — whether that’s not paying support, or screwing up the schedule, or missing a child’s obligation, or demonstrating some kind of neglect — you DOCUMENT it. Is this tedious? Yes. When the violation occurs, you write an email and time stamp that shit.

Bob, It was very distressing when you returned Tiffany on Monday instead of the court-appointed time on Sunday at 5 p.m. She missed her school matterhorn concert. Missing concerts is not in Tiffany’s best interest.

The law is based on evidence. If you wind up back in court, be armed to the teeth with documentation — and the case you are building is WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR CHILD. (Yes, I mean that in all shouty caps. Internalize this.) Not what an outrageous asshole your ex is and how he or she personally antagonizes you, but WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR CHILD.

2.) Lower your expectations. No, lower. No, still not low enough. Your expectations should be below sea level, looking skyward at the underbelly of an ant. And even then, maybe down a few more inches.

Essentially, expect NOTHING of fuckwits. Be the sane parent, and as much as you can, foster independence and self-reliance in your children. It will serve them well later in life. The book reports are on them.

Is it unfair that they have a fuckwit for a parent? Yes. But that’s the reality — everyone needs to deal with the reality and not what you think it Should Be or Could Be. But! But! She’s capable of being a decent, functional person for other people! Don’t go there. It is what it is. One way this shit makes you miserable is you keep expecting this person to do the honorable thing. It’s not going to happen. If it does occasionally? Awesome. Let go of the rest.

3.) You don’t control them. Only YOU. So be the sane parent. I say this a LOT here, but don’t fall down on the job and don’t get mired in the injustice. Just get up and do your damn parenting job. Your children will thank you for it later. They’re not dummies. They know who has their back. You just need to take the long view.

4.) Don’t take the bait. They can’t engage you if you’re not there. Be gone or be mentally checked out. He’s rude? Whatever. Deny the beast kibbles.

5.) ALWAYS enforce support with the state. NEVER be the heavy. Let the heavy boot of government do that.

6.) Be mighty! Go out and gain that life. The more you fill in with your new life, the more irrelevant are the Misadventures of Schmoopie and Fuckwit. You’ve got better things to do than stayed tuned into that channel. Hug your kids, go bake some cookies, and happy chump holidays.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • I’m a person in a state of meh,

      I let the crazy roll off my back; here is the text I received from my ex, today (divorced 5 years)

      Her “please return all his clothes ….you have accumulated by Friday”;
      UBT-She NEVER returns my clothes
      Her “–My child shows disrespect to me ..Stop backing him up”
      UBT-I had my ex-wife’s back, unfortunately she can never say the same for me.
      Her”When I saw you at a traffic light with our son, you were laughing at me”
      UBT-Whatever

      I can’t be bothered arguing with her. I don’t try to defend myself. I explain once, then I let it go. My cousin offered my favorite statement, “stop arguing with the drunk at the end of the bar”.

      I know I am a responsible parent and I instruct my son to behave properly.

        • My ex loves any excuse for contact and makes every mild cough from our 6 year old or dentist appointment a reason to send an arm length text about what I’m doing wrong. I’ve learned through some stupid attempts at argument that he is indeed the “drunk at the end of the bar” and not worth it. I give myself at least an hour to respond to most texts so I can remain calm and keep my response brief, business-like and to the point. I ignore anything not kid related. The is my second set of holidays apart so I’m much stronger, but I will be glad when it’s over. Much love and healing to CN!

      • I don’t even explain anymore. If I have to have contact it’s very cut and dried and anything he does to try to create chaos I ignore. I had to call him recently and instead of discussing things with me, vis a vis our kid, he started shouting. No matter how many times I asked that he stop shouting and just talk he carried on. And then hung up. So I just got on with things and decided I won’t ask him about anything anymore and if he tries shady shit, such as pulling the kid out of school without telling me (which has happened several times) I just go to the source, such as the school, and say ‘Nope’. Because I have primary custody and he doesn’t get to make those decisions. Four years later and he’s still trying to yank my chain. And here I thought he was happy with his new life. Seems he can’t let go of the old one.

      • Dilbert’s Rule No. 10- Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience. Looks like you have mastered this.

    • I’ve found that the best reply to any of the xhole’s texts (we only text about the children) is to simply use these three responses — yes, no, or okay. That’s it! No other words are needed and this works on all levels.

  • Well I ended up leaving my ex when I found out he was fucking around with some skank he had at an other apartment . Mind you this was years ago but still applies to today’s post. The very next day after I gave him the boot, I went straight to a lawyer that specialized with women’s issues. I made sure to get 100% of child custody. He was court ordered to make payments which I never received! I was VERY Happy with this because he could make no claims to his son…we didn’t need him. I decided to go to university I got a Masters in Canadian Comparative Literature and i now teach in a college. My ex went nuts for about two years after break up. Like stalking me trying to break down the door to my house, I had to get a restraining order, he attacked my new boyfriend, and his ex girlfriend told me he was obsessed with me, she came home one day to find all my pictures strewn all over the livingroom foor. He also tried to make me look unfit to care for his son. Very weird since he never paid attention to me nor the baby when we were together. Absence makes the heart grow fonder ha ha!

    All this to say, you have your child which is number one. Move as I did to improve your situation like better job or studies. The child goes with the mother in such a situation. I could never have conceived to share my child with a fucktard. You can do it on your own. If he wants to visit let him drive the 600kms there and back as did my ex for 4 times a year visits.

    • It’s probably different in Canada, but in the US there is no tie between support and visitation. You can’t use lack of support as a reason to deny court ordered visitation. (Deadbeats don’t look good in court, but it doesn’t seem to matter that much. I was sued for custody by a guy who owed me tons of CS.)

      100% custody is not in the cards for most people. Glad it worked for you though!

    • The assumption that the child goes with mom… It’s great for you, but there’s chumped guys and plenty of crazy narc women who don’t deserve that default scenario. And some judges where I am from in canada recognize that. I don’t think people should take 100% custody for the mom as an assumption, both out of caution, and for those chumped dads -for hope. I have a friend he wasn’t chumped, but she is a meth head who keeps her kid home three days a week because she is lonely. CPS, the police, and her family are working with HiM to make sure he gets custody, because it’s well deserved and best for the kid.

      If ex is a good parent, don’t rob your kid of that. There’s lots of chumps who admit that the ex is a douche to grown ups but does well with the kids- if they are crazy, get away I get it. But if they make you crazy but are good parents… Don’t make it about you. Make it about the kids.

    • Eh, if you’re a cheater, you are automatically a bad parent (wasting time on AP’s rather than spending time with your children) – so the rules should be: if you cheat, you automatically relinquish all rights to said children visitiation-wise.
      Might make these fuckers think twice about doing it, then!

      • No way……cheating does not mean you are a bad parent!
        Why should the child pay the cost of a parents mistake…..that’s disgusting
        Child loves both parents and should be able to continue to do so
        Parents problems should not impact the child and parents can and do make this possible when they truly put the child FIRST

        • Completely disagree with you, Lynne. When you cheat on your spouse, you cheat on your children. When you cheat you pull away from your family, spend time, energy and money on the AP instead of on your children. Even your mental real estate is taken up by an outsider.

          Not to mention the way you treat your children’s other parent. That effects them very negatively. They see it all whether they know why or not.

          Cheaters think they can compartmentalize their lives and the fact that they are a lying, duplicitous spouse has nothing to do with their children. They are dead wrong. They just lie to themselves like they lie to everyone else so they can stomach being a horrible, selfish parent.

          If a cheater thinks they can be a good parent regardless of the fact that they are a shitty spouse (not to mention that they are a lying, self-serving, gutless human being) that just helps explain their narcissism. When you are married with children, you are part of a whole. You don’t get to have a secret, separate life. Sadly, cheaters don’t see it that way. When you make a choice to marry and have children, it is not all about you anymore. And when you behave like it is, your kids pay an awful price that will haunt them all their lives.

          • Totally agree. He emotionally left the family for years. We all felt it. They did not have a father. Heck he was too busy sitting on the couch texting his schmoopie to be engaged in any conversation with us. Now he doesn’t even try to have a relationship with them unless they accept the new girlfriend. If you don’t accept her you are out of his life. Its Fckd Up.

            • Totally agree Chumplisa. My ex degraded, discarded, lied, neglected and abused both myself and my children. My kids (who are now grown) have always said they did not have a father in their life when they were growing up. He was way too special to be involved and was too busy chatting up and flirting with the next female he could find as well as doing all his other activities. He would throw us a snippet of his special love every once in a while to keep us going… very kind of him.. NOT!! Then when he ran off with the final OW, I was expected as were the kids to just accept and become best buddies with this woman. Yeah I don’t think so.

              • “No way……cheating does not mean you are a bad parent!”

                My XW’s cheating:

                Deprived our children of their father for half their remaining childhood

                Deprived them of their mother for half their remaining childhood

                Took probably over 250k from their future via affair expenses, separate affair apartment, secret bank account into which she deposited money that was for our family, and of course legal fees

                Walked out on them (literally) to go to her AP as they begged her not to go

                Sent them spiraling into ongoing anxiety and depression

                Exacerbated their pre-existing neurological and behavioral disorders

                And on and on and on…

                Simply: Once upon a time they were the happiest children. Then their mother embarked on an affair. Now they are no longer happy.

              • My kids are over 18, and at first wanted nothing to do with the OW he was cheating with while we were married, but through time and my ex working his deceitful games, my children now are all good with the OW and. Their dads “new setup” They even had said to me that their Dad didn’t hurt them, he did what he did to me, so they have no reason to be mad at him! What?!Am I crazy, but where is the thought that maybe he so screwed our mom over that we are pissed that you did that to her. It’s like no sense of loyalty. I don’t expect my kids to not be around their dad but I also don’t expect them to be all good with the OW while barely even coming to see me! Someone help me with this?!!

            • Same story for me – X was too special to be involved in day to day life of the family. Between his time given to the OW and his own personally activities, such as playing pick up soccer with the graduate students and trying desperately to pretend he was still young his only family involvement was as a Disneyland dad on vacations. He seemed to think that once a year for a couple days was sufficient to be considered Father of the Year. He neglected his child but it also translated into he walked out the door and abandoned his kid when he left for the final affaire partner. The price for his love to our kid was our child had to accept the OW and our child refused. 3 years later our child has still never met the OW. Her married the OW last summer but didn’t tell our child or invite her to the wedding – not that she would have gone but it seems she should have had the choice. I just don’t get how the affaire partner can be more important to him that his kid and how he so easily threw his kid away. Amazingly he still considers himself to be a candidate for father of the year and naturally all his relationship problems with his daughter are my fault, I have poisoned and brainwashed our child against him.

              • Cheaters have proved to the world in the act of cheating that they don’t put their children first otherwise they wouldn’t be cheating.
                Shared parenting doesn’t work when you are co-parenting with a cheater.
                Cheaters use their children as objects to make themselves look good to outsiders and tools as another means to torment the Chump.
                They poison their children minds, create additional stress and heartache as if shattering their world wasn’t enough.
                Selfish, vindictive, heatless, people do not make good parents.

              • Mommy Chump… your story is very similar to mine… the ex left for the final OW, married her and never sees his kids but claims to be father of the year and it is all my fault that he doesn’t have any kind of relationship with his kids… I am apparently “holding something over the kids heads” because he doesn’t bother… go figure…

          • I agree. He lied, betrayed and deceived the family. There was no thought to being a parent when having the affair partner next door in the hotel while away with our son at a swim meet. There was no thought of being a parent when he lied to our daughter about flying out of the country, but really driving to some fancy resort. There was no thought to parenting his kids when he shacks up with affair partner a week after leaving and asks the counsellor if it’s ok that the kids see her clothes in the closet. I know when he broke the news of his three month affair saying to me, “I feel needed, but not wanted,” he wasn’t thinking about our children. He was thinking about how happy can I make my dick, what’s in it for me, and how fast can I get what I want. No thought process in a narcissistic brain. All about him. I count my blessings and show my gratitude daily for being the same, stable parent.

          • I hope none of you ever make a decision that upsets your kids if you can say all that about others! I’ve been on the receiving end……but even with that I made sure my kids were not affected…..I never sagged off their father whatever he did and they were never told of his wrong doings. ….as I didnt want them to suffer……….the failed relationship was mine and his…..not theirs……you all go on about protecting your kids but you do shit to protect them by making them deal with adult actions and mistakes instead of dealing with them yourselves……YOUR YOUNG KIDS DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING OR HEAR BAD THINGS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THEM….you damage them if you let this happen

            • Wrong again, L. You THINK you made sure it didn’t effect your kids. What you are in denial about is when children have two parents (in your case) who are busy chasing outside relationships they are not there for their kids. When you’re sitting on the couch sexting with your schmoopie, you have check out. When you take time away from your family to bang someone else (I assume you’re not a complete reprobate and do it in your home) you are checked out.

              It’s not about the sex – it’s about the lies, the stolen time, the self-involvement – and it’s not a MISTAKE. It’s about WHO YOU ARE. Your character.

              Your biggest mistake is trying to defend you position on Chump Lady. The men and women here have heard this shit a million times from their own asshole spouses. We don’t suffer fools easily.

              • Not sure where you are coming from but we are NOT talking about “interfering” with an X that simply “left a failed relationship”, there are dignified and honest ways to do that. My X shits all over my son and CHOOSES his own needs and self gratification over being a responsible parent and adult. He basically abandoned our 8 year old son (out of sight, out of mind) and I would sure appreciate some educated input that can help me see how that’s justifiable? And don’t even suggest that it’s due to any interference on my part, I do not keep my son from his dad.

                While I don’t practice telling my son the sordid details of the shitty shit x-hole has done I will NOT lie to my son. I will not teach him to LIE and I will NOT sacrifice his trust in me to make his dad “appear” to be better than he is. Kids figure shit out on their own, this includes being lied to by their parents. I tell him that grown ups make mistakes and bad choices sometimes and that grown up problems are for grown ups to deal with.

                Maybe your X is a good dad, lucky you….mine is a selfish asshole and a terrible dad. I wish he was a better man and a better dad…for my son.

            • I hope that your young children are protected from the adult machinations of their parents but please don’t ask a betrayed spouse to idly stand by while the cheater blithely says Mommy and Daddy split up because one of them was just not enough for the other. Let chumps be able to say in appropriate terminology cheater left his or her partner. (It does not matter if chump kicked the cheater to the curb or cheater left the house first; infidelity is in and of itself leaving a marriage)
              I agree slagging off the cheater is not great for the child but burying your head in the sand and not letting your kids know that some behaviours are just bad is wrong. “Don’t tell the kids” inertia just condones infidelity. If Mommy or Daddy strayed even a toddler can be told in simple terms that cheater did something that wasn’t nice and now Mommy and Daddy cannot be together.
              But where did you ever get the idea the cheater actually might be a good parent. Somebody who has made a marriage partner have to go through STD testing, paternity testing, misappropriation of marital funds and various other insults isn’t really going to be a stand-up guy or gal in any other venues.
              You cheat, you are not a nice person. If you are caught, too bad, everybody should be able to shed light on your sparkling wonderfulness. Cheating in a marriage is not cheating in a game of Rummoli. It’s betraying on a basic level and shows poor character and very poor judgement.
              Maybe some of these cheaters are half decent parents.But hiding their indiscretions may leave your children open to further lies on the cheater’s part.

              • You dont need to tell young kids who did what…..saying we gave split because we cannot get along anymore is all young ones need…..tell them when they’re older…..so they can decide for themselves…..and my grown up kids for your info are very happy and constantly tell me how easy the split was for them as they never heard bad words or fights or had to listen to hateful words against a parent they loved…..so bollocks it can be done if you put yourself aside

              • Don’t have to fight or use bad words. But we weren’t getting along is a sorry excuse even for adult kids. How about daddy or mommy made some bad decisions that will affect the family, mommy and daddy disagree about those decisions so we will get divorced and live apart. How about that at least its not lying to the kids. The cheater did quite enough of that!

              • You have the power to minimise down to practically zero or maximise due to your own pain…..you can keep your kids safe or use them as weapons…..they are powerless to stop you

              • Lying to children is never right but telling them to ignore or condone horrendous behavior is setting them up for a not so good life. It depends on the circumstances we do have to be careful with small children but washing over be is not the way. Enough said. I will not lie to my kids I never lie. Obviously you have your way and I mine.

            • And….I HAVE made bad decisions that have affected my life or my children’s negatively and guess WHAT???? I OWN THAT SHIT!! AND…. I apologized for it. I can admit to my mistakes and wrong doing.

              No one is perfect but these assholes sure pretend to be. There is a HUGE difference between a regrettable mistake or choice and consistently and deliberately fucking over your family and not being one bit fucking sorry for the pain you’ve caused. Especially to your children. Me? I’ll get over it… my son…not so much.

              • NCStevie,

                I have made bad decisions that affected my life or my children’s negatively and guess what? I OWN THAT SHIT! and I apologized for it.

                Words of bloody wisdom on being a person with integrity!

                And why the heck is anybody trying to talk sense to L. That ostrich is singing in her own choir in a church nobody else attends.

            • Lying to your kids about what happened is never ok. Kids aren’t dumb. They should not be your confidants, nor should they be kept in the dark about why the divorce occurred. I think everyone here wants the best for their children and we have frequently discussed how to talk to our kids in age appropriate ways. What is appropriate for a teenager is not what one would say to a 7 year old. Kind of like other important topics, like sex, birth control, etc.

            • Sorry, L, but I disagree. Children need to told in an age-appropriate way about what happened, and there are individual differences in the level of detail that they want.

              But children deserve (a) one honest parent they know will answer their questions and not lie to them (including lies of omission); and (b) to know that when people break moral boundaries, there are consequences.

              I will simply add that I believe this both as a chump, and as someone whose profession includes teaching parenting & child development.

            • I’ve had enough of this pussy-footing around shit, Lynne/L.
              I don’t personally have children – but if I did, I would be telling them that their father had cheated on me, and that is why we are no longer together.
              To do otherwise is to lie to their face – if you tell them one pissy reason as a child then change your story later, this is the end result: “Hey *child*, you know how I told you at age 7 that your father and I just weren’t right for each other? I lied. He cheated on me”. I can guaran-fucking-tee they will resent you.
              I heard one side of the phone call which destroyed my mum’s life in this fashion – and immediately after the phone call ended, my mum pulled us three kids together and gave us the facts of the situation. That my fuckwitted father wasn’t coming home because he had cheated on her. I was 21 at the time. If I were given a piss-arse excuse at that time, I would have thought that my intelligence was being disrespected.
              I’ve already reiterated other things in responses to you, re. wasting resources and so forth.

              In response to the “you all go on about protecting your kids but you do shit to protect them by making them deal with adult actions and mistakes instead of dealing with them yourselves……YOUR YOUNG KIDS DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING OR HEAR BAD THINGS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THEM….you damage them if you let this happen” diatribe shit you blather on about – so, you think that wrapping your child in cotton wool and sticking your head in the sand is going to prepare them for adult decisions further down the track? I don’t think so. Its the same mentality which breeds chumps, and you damn well know it. Open your bloody eyes – this is not a bloody game. We are talking about preparing ourselves against people who would stab us in the back if they could get away with it. And you want to play denial against that? You are deluded.

            • L
              When my daughter was 5 and her sister was three their FATHER was taking them to his whore(s) house(s) to play with their chikdren while they fucked in a bedroom. When my daughter pointed down a street and said that’s where daddy’s girlfriend lives when I was driving by I was furious. HE LIED and said my daughter made it up. As an adult she told me there were a few different ones and she could remember it vividly. The loser blamed PORN use in the computer on his son!
              Here we don’t PROTECT cheaters. We protect our children. Lying? Nope. My granddaughter was going to be exposed to a whore with an arrest record who didn’t care that he was married. She witnessed the abandonment as she was with us when he lied to BOTH of us. The whore taunted me saying SHE now had a granddaughter. Fuck that shit. Every famiky member got copies of her arrests which described her assault of an elderly man, breaking and entering, assault of her last boytoy, and a felony charge for drug posession. The times are changing L. I teach my granddaughter that there are classy and trasy women. She knows her grandfather led a double life. She fucking witnessed it! They teach children about ABUSE in schools. Fuck, I saw a parent in a store verbally and physically abusing a child while in a grocery store. It was blatantly obvious and no one said a word. I got on my soap box started yelling at the others I n line and asked why we were all just allowing this! I called the police.
              If we model unconditional love fir those who abuse US we are teaching out children abuse is alright. IT IS NOT!!!’
              I watched as my mother was abused by my father daily. That is what fucks up children. The silencing of the abused is over. Speak the truth. Be a warrior, not a victim.

              • Here HERE DONNA!!!!

                YOU TELL IT GIRL!!!!

                ROCK ON Chump Nation’s warriors ROCK ON!!!!

                Knowledge is POWER and exposure of the TRUTH of the INSIDIOUS soul shattering abuse perpetrated by cowardly, entitled, disordered cluster b’s and just shitty humans will EMPOWER everyone to make better choices in all areas of their lives! Once exposed for what and WHO they really are their choices will become very limited in ALL areas of their lives! Once held accountable for their ACTIONS their words will have to align with them.

                Enough of the blaming the abused for the abuse!

                I dream of a future where I can TRUST what I am told and what I behold.

                Peace on Earth and in the hearts of mankind!

              • Amen, Donna. Like you, I don’t “cover” for Whores, ever. I don’t care who they are. Evil shit always flourishes under the cover of darkness, literal and figurative. Bring that mess out into the light and squash it.

        • Not to mention the ones who will covertly talk shit about their other parent, plant seeds of doubt, and other crap like that.
          Do you really want your child to be influenced 50% (and often, more) by a shitty role model who says that lying, cheating, stealing resources, gaslighting and other psychological mindfucks – is not only OK, but actually encouraged?
          Children may be smarter than you given them credit for, but they are still learning about the world and the things in it. To have it coloured by a narcissistic worldview can very, very easily send them down the path of narcissism themselves. And, often can make it worse by them learning cruelty and further refining it through exposure.
          So yes, I do think it makes them a bad parent. And I think their parental rights should be completely taken away from them. You can poo-poo around and give disordered people concessions while they happily trample your boundaries – I don’t. And I shut that shit down within a nanosecond.

          • I should also mention that AN AFFAIR IS NOT A FUCKING MISTAKE. It is a series of THOUSANDS of choices. They certainly weren’t thinking of their child’s welfare when fucking around, were they? So why the hell should anyone consider their thoughts when a child’s mind and psychological welfare is at stake?
            Also, you’re assuming that both parents are acting in the best interests of the child. That would be fine in a regular divorce situation that didn’t involve cheating or abuse – but cheaters DO NOT ACT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR CHILDREN. Period.
            I find it cute you call me ‘disgusting’ though. Maybe you should reframe that view and call cheaters disgusting instead.

            • Don’t you know? When cheaters do something people don’t like, it’s a “mistake.” When someone who was cheated on does something people don’t like, they’re “disgusting.” I don’t understand why so many people get judgy when chumps are mad, but pat cheaters on the back and say “There there, the meanie drove you to it, didn’t she?”.

              • Not in my book.
                And anyone who pulls that ‘judgemental’ crap on me, I tell them to literally fuck off. I haven’t got time for that garbage.

              • Cheaters make the conscious decision to cheat fully aware of the consequences and risks they are taking. These risks involve their children directly and destroying the comfort and stability of their innocent children. I feel if these cheaters were fully involved in their children’s lives and had any genuine concern for them the last thing on their mind would be creating a relationship with another person other than their wives.
                It takes a lot of effort and time to meet and “date” the AP. Time away from their children.
                Clearly their children and being a family is the furthest thing from their minds.
                The only thing on their mind is themselves.
                Family and their children should be their priority.
                We know as adults what it feels like to have our lives explode in our faces. imagine as a child having your life shattered.
                Personally I think our kids are better off not having these dickheads in their lives. They aren’t role models I would want for any child let alone my own.

              • Free Vixen

                This time I got way ahead of the cheaters narrative. He has a business and it’s a small type of community. All I had to do was tell the sorted truth to a few key people here and there. I had one if his customers tell my daughter I was bitter. His customers are dropping him because he’s not returning calls. And after anyone I know has the unpleasant exoerience of meeting the ugly whore the come to me and say the same thing. What’s wrong with him? And she’s disgusting. No I’m nit bitter, I’m better.

          • And L for your information the serial cheater said horrible things to my chikdren about me for YEARS. This was his poor sausage covert narcissistic abuse. I never knew why his family disliked me until recently. So yes Lania coverts are so underhanded. My biggest fear was my children would abandon me because of his control. And this is a chumps worst nightmare as we know here. So a great big fuck off for adding more insult to that injury. No one here needs your shit sandwich ramblings of the gift you wrapped and tied with a cheater bow of self righteousness.
            In addition you forgot all about respect L. You think your children will respect you for WITHHOLDING which is also an abusive behavior.
            I also personally knew a chump who took his own life when his wife cheated and moved away with his daughter to live with a man who gave them unlimited use of a fucking credit card. Is this the shit you want to sweep under the rug? X wanted me to lose everything and kill myself over the discard. You want me to smile and pretend it didn’t happen! L if I didn’t know better I might think your comments are more about protecting the cheater not the children.

        • Wow, seriously? My ex left his child (and me) HOMELESS and you think that he’s still equally capable of being a good parent just because he is capable of biologic reproduction? You think that his deliberate affair was a MISTAKE??? It was absolutely, 100% intentional, premeditated, and he didn’t for a moment consider what was best for anyone or anything except his genitals. And no, it’s not fair for my son to pay the price for his dad’s asshole behavior, but that is on HIM, not on me. He has demonstrated time and time and time again that he’ll put his dick over his child’s best interests, so you’re damn right I’m going to minimize their time together when I have the legal opportunity to do so. And fuck anyone who says that he’s an equally capable parent, because I am the ONLY real parent. He is not equal to me and does not deserve to be treated as an equal parent.

          • Free Vixen, I totally agree. I stayed a long time after DDay because I didn’t trust cheater to take care of my son on visitations. The man was so freaking self-involved I was honestly afraid he’d leave my son somewhere or something even worse. I felt that way because my son told me when he was six-years-old (before the affair started) that my husband and some of his douchebag friends took the kids and went to a World Series game. One night, the douchebags all went down to the hotel bar and left the kids in the room! The oldest child there was 10-years-old. WTF!?!

          • PREACH Free Vixen!!

            “And no, it’s not fair for my son to pay the price for his dad’s asshole behavior, but that is on HIM, not on me. He has demonstrated time and time and time again that he’ll put his dick over his child’s best interests.”

            ^^^THAT….in a nutshell!!!

            When he walked out I TRIED everything to get assholio to “work out” options for the house we were renting. He stopped paying rent when he left, even though I was 30 days out from a double mastectomy. I OFFERED to let him have the house because I couldn’t afford it, he didn’t want it. I offered to move out he house…i got crickets. I offered again 2 months later, i got crickets. At the 5 month mark I offered that we sit down with our landlord, remove his name from the lease and my cousin was going to move in and share expenses so son could remain in his school….more crickets. Finally, in July, I told the landlord to serve notice and we were evicted.

            Who did he screw?? Our son. Lost living with Dad, lost his home, his friends, his school. But it’s “not his fault”. Whatever dickhead.

          • Amen All of you!

            My adult son took me to his lawyer and told her, ‘My Mom needs to get divorced like yesterday…’

            …even before MY divorce was final…like a year or more…my kids and grandkids had been subjected to satan’s sub human behavior…regardless of their presence.

            These disordered assholes model disordered lifestyles that NO child should be subjected to!!!! I shudder to think what my grandson’s take away from what they have witnessed! I am sure that their opinion of women has drastically changed…and their idea of how to have a ‘good time’. My youngest grandson told me he heard ‘Papa’ lying to ONE of his girlfriend’s (yes…they have seen him with several) about where a gift came from (it was from one of the other girlfriends…). …wow…just WOW!

            So…continuing to lie, cheat and GASLIGHT…oh yeah what a great role model!!!!

        • It SHOULD always be about the children, but it is not. Children SHOULD always come first, but for the disordered they do not. You can NOT force a selfish disordered asshole to put their child first!!! I have eaten so many shit sandwiches I feel as though I will never get the taste out of my mouth. My X operates from a constant stance of “you’re not the boss of me” and it’s all about him. Co-parenting with these assholes is virtually impossible, they only give a shit about APPEARING like a good parent, not actually BEING one.

          Children do love both parents, unconditionally and sometimes unfortunately. I can’t speak for every cheating x-hole but I can tell you that mine is a horribly selfish asshole and he continues to make decisions that affect his son negatively and he doesn’t give a shit. It makes me despise the sight of him and the sound of his voice.

          My heart BREAKS for my son, it hurts me deeper than ANY pain the asshole ever inflicted on me, but I can’t MAKE him be a better father any more than I could make him be a better man or better partner. He’s NOT redeemable. Period.

          • Bingo, NCStevie & Free Vixen! Children never come first for cheaters (or they wouldn’t have been cheaters).

            I would also add that when cheaters are fucking around, they are typically devaluing the parent who is actually doing all their work. I was a much worse parent when X was around because I was constantly stressed, or defensive about his criticism. The kids then got less positive attention.

            • Cheaters only and always, forever put themselves first, above and beyond everything and everyone else including their own children. Period.

              If they value anything, or anyone, it is short lived and only exists as long as it benefits them or makes them feel good.

              Funny, when this all blew up I was talking to X-holes previous wife about my concerns of the damage the split would do to my son. Her response? Your son will hurt, you will be there to love him through it, and in the end he will grow up to be a better man because he won’t be watching his father’s shitty and selfish example. She knows. Their son, now 18, was 8 when they split. He is a far better individual than the oldest son who is WAYYY too much like daddy.

              • Yes NCStevie!

                He will have had a much better role model and saner parent.

                …how can anyone justify such lowlife’s!

            • You are right, Tempest. Ex was spending time, money, effort, etc. on some whore and her brat that had no right to anything from him. Anything that went to a slut and her offspring is stolen from the rightful persons. The wife and children.

          • OH MY GOOD GOD NCStevie…

            You’re not the boss of me…

            Assholes are all the same…like 3 years old selfish brats!

              • I missed the troll shit!
                L
                My serial cheating spouse was never a good father to his children because he was always cheating and dropping them off places and taking them with him when he went on dates. What fond childhood memories. I stayed married to him to protect my children unfortunately. They were happy when I finally divorced him. They thank ME for protecting them after seeing the mentally ill whore he lives with. Not one of them respects him. The damage he caused them was due to his selfishness. I DO not recommend staying with a cheater.
                For your information children should be protected from alcoholic, drug addicted, serial cheating covert narcs who frequent child porn sites and madturbate in the basement. My children are aware of his deviance.

            • As we speak (type lol) X-hole is on yet ANOTHER trip, flew down to Tampa for some bodybuilding bullshit (I’m sure). Meanwhile he’s avoiding the law, child support, bill collectors and every other responsibilities he can. Christmas is 13 days away, he has 5 kids and 1 grandson and he’s, yet again, pissing money away on himself and won’t feel bad one bit slighting the kids on gifts. Fuckhead.

        • Lynne,
          When you suck it down for your kids …. All you teach them is people who love you can treat you badly… Because they are family. Shitty lesson.
          Children need to learn about boundaries. If one parent is treating the other parent like crap the kids learn to model this same kind of behavior. If one parent cheats on the other parent and lies, manipulates, takes family money and time…. the kid learns that you can be reall shitty , break promises, lie and steal …that is not anhealthy relationship …. Nor is covering up the other parents behavior to spare your children. You model to your children that you have worth. The family had worth. The had worth and the marriage had worth. Its not your fault that the other parent failed to honor that worth. So you cut the other parent loose and show your kids that you have boundaries and worth. You do not tolerate bullshit to spare your children. Its one of the biggest diservices you can do.
          Can a lying sack of cheating crap be a ‘ good enough’ parent …. Sure. The courts have maintained parental rights for people incarcerated for murder…are they good enough parents?
          The collateral damage of cheating is absorbed by the family unit. How the cheater choses to address the cheating with his/ her children will have an enormous impact on their development. Most will sweep it under the rug.

          • Keep telling yourself that, L. If you say it enough, it might magically come true. Highly doubtful though. Why don’t you go to your children and look them in the eye and ask them to rate your cheating ass as a parent? Tell them you want the complete truth. You’d be horrified at what they really think. And I’ll bet you’re too much of a pussy to want the truth. Keep on loving yourself more than your marriage, though. The world needs more self-involved idiots like you. Not.

            • I wasn’t the one that cheated so take that back…..I am however the only one on here with happy well adjusted self confident kids who are now adults and thank me for what I did. …that’s all that matters

              • Sorry – it sounded as if you both cheated. I do apologize for making that assumption from what you wrote. Glad your children are untouched by cheating. They are the exception to the rule.

              • “I am however the only one on here with happy well adjusted self confident kids who are now adults and thank me for what I did”….

                “L “…..Did you run out of Narc supply?? To sprout that you are the only one on here with happy kids… I have one word of advice for you and it is a big fuck you… get your facts straight before you start making more of an idiot of yourself.

                My kids are incredible people, happy, honest, kind and we are extremely close. They both have brilliant minds (excelling in all their academic studies). They don’t see their father (their choice) because they don’t want to be around the narcissist crazy. I told them every bit of the truth. They deserve to know the truth about their lives. Keeping secrets from them is NOT in their best interests. We have a very open relationship and can talk about everything. I think maybe you ought to sort out your own issues of why you need to keep secrets – a huge amount of counselling needed???… and in the meantime stop making judgements about other peoples lives.

            • “I am however the only one on here with happy well adjusted self confident kids who are now adults and thank me for what I did.”

              Yes L, you get a standing fucking ovation for lying to your kids about what a douchebag their father was. SMH.

              • Yes, L, it’s so much better to think that people just get tired of their family and bail for no apparent reason. Commitment means nothing.

                They say children always blame themselves for divorce, and your model certainly seems to ensure they will do just that.

              • Why don’t they then???? Why are they fantastic people now and why do I have an amazing relationship with them………..

              • Truthfully, L, I don’t know or care. Maybe your cheater ex is the sane parent in your former marriage. But, whatever, the case I’m done with you.

              • L –

                Why WOULDN’T you have amazing relationship with your children now if you are the FAITHFUL spouse??????? Think you just gave yourself away! Oops!

              • I told me kids the truth as to the divorce. They were 18 and 22 at the time. Sorry but I was done covering up his bad behavior. My 18 year thanked me and said he was glad I told them. He said they were not stupid and they would of figured it out. He also said at least we know we have one parent that will be honest with us!
                My daughter was also glad because she was devastated to the divorce and she wanted to make sure it was for a good reason. She told me NEVER trust him again

            • Spouses who cheat are not good parents. There is hard research that backs up the need for two engaged, committed and sacrificing parents, being role models for relationships based on love, trust, respect, empathy and commitment (none of which are emulated by the cheating/lying spouse).

              Here are a couple of great links:
              https://ttfuture.org/academy/introduction-james-w-prescott-phd

              My favourite line: “And what about fathers? It is the primary role of males to protect and support the women they love, so they can nurture all our children.” I would say that it is hard to protect and support the woman you (claim to) love while you are off with the AP or visiting prostitutes.

              By subjecting children to the trauma of divorce, you affect their health, happiness and longevity. http://divorcereform.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DR_talkingPoints1.pdf

              There are direct link between “adverse childhood experiences” (e.g., parental divorce) and the adult onset of chronic diseases. http://acestoohigh.com/aces-101/

              There are the “sleeper effects” of divorce (see Judith Wallerstein – “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce”); the moral confusion (see Elizabeth Marquardt – “Between Two Worlds – The Inner Lives of Children on Divorce”); and the possibility of creating (the next generation of) attachment disordered individuals (see Dr. Ken Magid and Carole A. McKelvey – “High Risk – Children without a Conscience”).

              For the men and women who find that cheating/lying is more important than the commitment they made to their spouse – and, by extension, to their children – they are kidding themselves (I believe the technical term would be “denial” – http://divorcereform.us/denial-the-price-of-our-childrens-best-interest-2/) that it has no effect on their children.

              The effects may not be immediate and they may not be visible from the outside, but they are there and they are real. Children will survive, but survival is a pretty low bar to set when it comes to raising children.

              And when the cheating/lying spouse talks about “the best interest of the children” – what a load of CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Blessing in Disguise…if I could scream ‘Thank God someone gets it!!’ at the top of my lungs right now, I would. Alas, my 2 and 4 year old babies are asleep in the next room.

                The damage to our two children is nothing according to my ex. He is in total denial, 100%. He, his new schmoopie, her family, her kids, his parents…they all tried to NORMALIZE what he did. I felt like I’d been run over by a train, with my guts in a pile beside the track, while all of them were shrugging shoulders and making remarks like ‘well, sometimes people just fall out of love I guess.’ The rage and crazy-making almost shattered my psyche. I have never felt that close to a nervous break. It felt like I was having the train run over me over and over and over, all while having to look at my (then) 1 and 2 year olds with a smile and change their diapers and make their meals and wake up with them endlessly in the night when I felt like I could collapse into death from the strain it put on my psyche and my heart. My ex’s betrayal and abandonment aged me 10 years in 10 months. Trauma is absolutely horrible for nervous system and the soul. He may as well have stuck a grenade in my chest cavity with a smile and pulled the pin. Felt the same.

                But his blindside (love you one day, leaving you to move 2,000 miles away to live with a stripper the next) was a tender kiss compared to the late-night imaginings of my children’s future scars. The last year was a cake walk when juxtaposed against what I see coming for them as a result of all this. I try not to live in fear, but the references you list, of which I have read many, are devastating. I never once thought this would be our lives. I would never have handed this to them, ever.

                So on the topic of anger, I will say this: THERAPY. Individual therapy, group therapy, and talking with sane people who would NEVER normalize something horrific. Get it out verbally no matter how sick of your own voice you are. And exercise every day. The cocktail of feel-good chemicals you get from cardio exercise washes the poison out.

                And on the topic of children, I will say: If you have faith, impart that into their little hearts. Let them know God is their ultimate father, one who will always be with them, always love them. A father who would never leave holds such appeal to them, because they have already known one that would. Sick. Sad. Heartbreaking. Horrifying. Yes, cheaters make bad parents for all of the reasons you listed, but courts don’t agree. The world is a backwards, unfair place at times. But the more I act joyful around them so that I can try to balance out what was done, the more I realize I actually FEEL joyful. Just gotta embrace your new normal instead of railing against it. It does no good anyway.

              • what a true, painful, and beautiful post. thank you. bless you! i will share with my children when appropriate. (i have used the same words about God being their ever loving and faithful father 🙂

            • L–did you REALLY mean to say “I am however the only one on here with happy well adjusted self confident kids”????

              You’re the only good parent in Chump Nation? The only one who raised well-adjusted children? Hmmm…..

            • And let me just put in a plug for sometimes talking shit about the other parent. My mother’s willingness to admit when my father was being an asshole helped give me the boundaries to call out my X on a number of things when we were married, and then to divorce him when I found out about his cheating. (Obviously I wish I’d had enough boundaries to ditch him long before that, but c’est la vie.)

              And when my now-X does something cruel or manipulative, or pulls his sad sausage, my daughters know I think he’s behaving like a jackass. They are both highly moral, confident young woman who are willing to set firm boundaries, in part because I refuse to spackle for other people’s bad behavior, including their sperm donor.

            • BlessinginDisguise (thread ran out): Thank you for providing those links, but you should know that Judith Wallerstein’s research was conducted when divorce was still fairly uncommon (and thus more of a social stigma for both parents & children), and she did not account for high- vs. low-strife situations. The “Divorce Reform” column is very one-sided at the expense of research.

              For example, the Divorce Reform columns states, “While the true “best interest of the child” is undeniably a single home with two parents, no fault unequivocally denied this, legally speaking, of course. The reasoning went like this. A child was better off growing up in separate homes of divorced parents than in a home of married parents characterized by contention and strife, even though no formal studies of the effect of divorce ever supported this conclusion.”

              –there is now ample evidence that a married home with contention & strife IS indeed worse for children than a divorce situation
              –if you consider parenthood with a disordered parent (as many of us experienced), a single parent life with a sane parent is preferable.

              My guess is that the Divorce Reform guy is coming from a very traditionally-based, probably religious background, and thus is staunchly opposed to divorce no matter what the circumstances.

          • I think that it’s important to understand that good people don’t cheat.

            Good parents don’t lie to their families to help execute an affair.

            Leading a double life through emotional, physical, and financial infidelity is NOT demonstrating to children how they should live their lives as a god person.

            It really is that simple.

            Personally, I have to spend WAY too much time worrying about what my STBXW’s actions – and inaction – are teaching our young daughter. So, when she is with me 50% of the time, we have two rules for our house:

            1) Always tell the truth (no lies)
            2) Do the right thing (take responsibility and act with integrity).

            Those two rules come DIRECTLY from having to counteract her mother’s secret double life (amassing a huge debt in secret, having at least one affair with a guy that my daughter is afraid of because he forced an altercation with me… at a fair… in front of a group of children…).

            The best thing that I can say about my STBXW’s parenting style is that it’s high on distractions that keep my daughter temporarily happy, and it’s effective at outward appearances, but that there is little-to-nothing in that style regarding the core precepts needed to navigate our complex world as a quality human being (hence those two rules above – we even have them in Chinese script framed in our kitchen, so they’re always easy to see and people ask about them, etc. – they get “air time”).

            Parents cannot make the mistake of assuming that compartmentalizing portions of our lives – as ALL cheaters who parent HAVE to do BY DEFINITION or they will almost certainly lose some percentage of custody in the U.S. – is ok or good for children; I don’t think there’s any reputable psychologist who’d agree with that. Keeping your kid fed, housed, clothed, and engaged in activity is only a small portion of parenting – in fact, so much so that most of that is mandated by law in the U.S. But those are not the only things that make or break a child’s future mental and emotional health; that stuff won’t make them productive members of a peaceful society.

            You do not **tell** children how to live; you **demonstrate** to children how to live. And they need it shown that the abuse of infidelity cannot and should not be tolerated, even in the face of well-meaning but misaligned social pressures (in age-appropriate ways, of course; a good IC can give you the details on how to do that for your child’s age group).

              • L, I thought that we were talking about parents here?

                Believe me, I am well aware that there are other potential influencers; e.g., my STBXW’s affair partner, who is not viewed too favorably in terms of his reputation in our area (and even with his own siblings).

                That scenario sucks for my kid.

              • Ok, L, you’ve officially lost me.

                Here’s what I discuss about my STBXW with my daughter:

                Nothing.

                Now, at some point, because my kid is very smart, she’ll ask what happened. I will NOT lie to her. If your point is that under no circumstances should you directly insult their other parent, then generally I agree with you. If your point is that under no circumstances should you tell your child that other their parent did something wrong (even in an age-appropriate way), even when they specifically ask about it, then I disagree with you completely.

              • My stbx fell in wuv with our babysitter who was living with us. My 13yr old daughter found his pants on the floor of her room and came to me holding his pants and asked what we’re doing in there? I tried to take the high road and told her she needed to ask her dad. She responded with “that’s disgusting”. I didn’t have to tell her anything. She figured it out herself and I wasn’t going to lie to her to protect him.

              • No you are the disgusting one here criticizing everyone else. The mom didn’t do anything wrong. She tried to shield the daughter but the kid figured it out. I wish I could ban your ass you are really getting on my nerves. If your ex beat the living shit out of you or your kids would you lie to them them. Do you know what a troll is. You act like one.

              • We all don’t have to agree to comment. And I don’t disagree because of my rules. Its the way I handle things. You have your own way fine but you drew first blood by calling the way some of us do things disgusting. We come here to vent, get comfort, give comfort, praise, curse, scream, whatever. This is a safe place for us thanks be to tracy for creating it. My children all grown want me away from their father so he can’t do more damage to me. They don’t want me to be “friends” with him for how badly he blew up the family. Their choice not mine. I wouldn’t do business with a company who screwed me over. Friends, real friends don’t screw each other over. You stated your way and you insulted and called others way disgusting. I encouraged my kids to stay close to their dad, they tried, boy did they try. He has mostly ignored them the past three years cause of his new family. They kept trying Now they are just disgusted. Now that they figured out the his children and grand babies are more important to him then them and their own children they have given up and that was their father’s doing not mine.

              • Sorry hers the whores children are more important than his own. Why, cause her and everyone in her family was coached to kiss his ass and hang on his every word while he and I raised ours to be free thinkers. Maybe something happens to some when they start feeling their mortality but you don’t throw away and blow up your own family least if all your own kids. He their father spouted recently to me, some really horrible thoughts, feelings, and resentments towards his own children that he never felt before, I was horrified, you see L, her the whores children are perfect and flawless and now after all these years he has decided his are dissapointments, and dysfunctional nie he is with his new woman. I will take all the bad things he said to my grave, but the type of man he is, one day he will let it slip out when he is in a mood, he says horrible, terrible things he can’t take back when angry. He has shown them in the end what an unemotional, uncaring father he really is. His actions not mine. How could any of us remain friends with someone who has pretty much abandoned his own children for another woman’s kids who have a father who adores them and is their for them? I can’t explain away or gloss over that behavior, he has really bad character flaws.

              • L
                Your sancti-mommy-ous post comes strait from a parenting magazine…
                not sure what you are trying to achieve going against the grain here. You wanna be chump mom of the year?
                Cause whatever you are pitching in your campaign is fabricated.
                Your opinion is out number by 20-1 and yet you continue to try to sell it. Unfortunately u really lack any empathy for other parents here and what they have had to go thru and are still going thru with some really disordered indiviuals calling themselves parents. You dont even validate that. Not everyone on this site is having parenting problems with there cheater… But the ones that are you are blasting them with some holier than thou BS and regurgitating strait from ‘ Parenting’ web site. Your blantant disregard for the fact that a lot of people who cheat are really entitled assholes who are not good people or parents. You come along with your sanctimonious brush painting thoses chumps as less than because they chose to tell their children the truth.
                That is a form of blame shifting and lacks empathy.
                Glad it work for you and yr kids… Your recipe doesnt work for everybody… Run along now

              • Wow, you must be perfect while the rest of us are not. Perfect parent too! How nice for you. Please go away and take your advice with you.

              • Agreed. I can’t take any more of this. L is some kind of troll getting a contact high off Chump grief and a huge amount of kibbles. It’s either a cheater, an affair partner, or a 16 year old whose bored of listening to her One Direction CDs over and over. Stop feeding the beast!

              • I vote Cheater, startofsomethinggood! Going to be the Kibble Nazi from now on – “No kibble for you, L!”

              • Well said, RK.
                Its always the same crap though from trolls: I will talk sanctimonious shit until someone finally calls me out on it, then I will cast aspirations on your parenting ability or mental state just because you call me a bad word.
                FUCK OFF, L.

              • L says “just like you treat your exes cuz they don’t toe your line…”

                Toe OUR line? Those things called marriage vows, and family responsibilities? Basic kindness to the person to whom one pledged one’s life? The other parent of your children

              • We all know there are no guarantees in anything….married or not…..humans are humans….I’m putting forward a different reaction to things instead of the mass this is how you should feel and do things…..one day one of your kids might be this cheater you so despise…..will you abandon them??? Maje them pay for their bad decisions for eternity??Cheating hurts but there are much worse things

              • Hey, Chump Nation, does “L” sound like any of your Ex’s? This troll is obviously NOT someone who has been cheated on, but rather the one who did the cheating. Trying very hard to convince themselves and others that their children suffered no ill effects of their bullshit.

                I think we should take bets on who “L” used to be married to! The syntax, the phrasing, the mangled spelling, THE DOTS! What do you think? Does “L” sound like your ex, or better yet, Schmoopie??

              • Hummmm…Uneffingbelievable…satan can’t spell…but…he can’t use a computer either. Unless his ho can!

              • No I wasn’t the cheater……it broke my heart actually…but only mine…..I moved on…immediately. …..he was a person who obviously loved himself more than me……no need for disgusting language from you on here….if he couldn’t rile me how can you…..and you’d abandon your kids….for cheating???? Says it all…..that’s as bad as being a cheater…..you don’t abandon kids because they do wrong unless it’s murder!!!!!! Cheating is common….so you stand a good chance of your kids doing it……grow up….smell the coffee…..humans find monogamy hard…..the statistics are out there

              • If a future child of mine cheats on their partner, then yes, I will abandon them.
                I don’t bring my children up to be scum, nor my sister’s children, L. I also don’t bring my children up to lie, steal and divert resources from an honest person.
                Hopefully that penetrates your thick skull.
                Once again, you can fuck off. You’re not wanted here. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re an OW, to be blunt.
                PS: I don’t “bully” you because I disagree with you. I call you out on your shit. There’s a vast difference between the two – one you should learn.

              • If one of my children grows up to be a “cheater” will I abandon them? The answer is no, I will still love my child, however I will NOT support, enable, or condone such selfish and assholioan behavior. I will not stand idly by and watch my grown child fuck over his family and children and I sure as fuck won’t cheer him on or hold his hand whilst he or she does so. If one of my children should EVER treat my grandchildren the way X has treated my son, my foot will be SO far up their ass they’ll need a jackhammer to remove it.

                I know how to tell my child “I LOVE you but you are being an asshole! Stop!” Enabling destroys lives and it is not “loving”, it’s shitty, selfish and disordered parenting. Period.

                When you raise your children enabling them, making excuses for them and their bad behavior, and never teach them about integrity and accountability you are CRIPPLING them. They grow up believing they never do anything WRONG so they have NO boundaries.

              • Ok I think it’s X’s piggy. My chikdren think she’s just one stretched out vagina. They each have a unique name for her and she blames ME for X’s shitty behavior as a father. Her middl initial is L

                L my children are not 1/2 their father. They know about his sickness which includes child porn. He disgusts every one of them. We’ve all bailed on fixing him. Your stuck with it. And be careful he’s still seeing someone on Wednesdays. Lol.
                And my children make mistakes and learn from them. Cheating isn’t a mistake it requires Lying, sliding the credit card for ho-tels for MulTiple stunts.

          • Who compared cheating to murder? What I said is less than stellar parents have acess and share custody.
            I am glad to hear your children are adjusted and have no long term affect of there parents behavior.
            My cheater brought our daughter on his dates… Under the guise of Daddy’s friend. Then he drained her bank account. And then she witnessed him beat the crap out of me and threaten to kill me several times. He told our daughter that she was the reason our marriage broke up… Because we were way to focus on her needs… She has some special needs. The list goes on. The man was the epitome of a great dad and husband until he was busted! Dr Jekell and Mr Hyde. He has cut ties with every family friend. The man that use to be a hero in my daughters eye is now a man that she is afraid of.
            Please dont stand on yr soap box and tell me how to cope with this bullshit. Glad it worked out for yr family and that you could buffer your children from any animosity or hostility… Sadly its a reality for my child and for a lot of families on this site. Try to wear those shoes for a day. Try it.
            People who,lie, manipulate, steal and use violence are not good people… And they certainly dont make good parents.

            • One last note… It aint about me… I can defend myself. My child can not. And i will not have here believe that any of the above behaviors are love for a child or for anybody. She will not grow up thinking that she will ever have to eat shit to make somebody happy or keep them in her life.
              Bad lesson.

              • And I’ve never taken shit from anyone…….and my kids already don’t…..what they witnessed was a mother who did not cat fight or tell them anything that was no concern of theirs……they witnessed a mother who could not be antagonized and who did not judge their father for his actions…..she just made sure hers were right…..she lived by her integrity and values only……and understood other people are not the same…..some people are weak and that’s that…….some people get lost sometimes….. Some people get things wrong…….none of that matters as long as your true to yourself…….no adult needs another adult to survive……..they learnt to be the better person …….my kids saw me become unstoppable…….. and streetwise…….they are too

              • Hey, L, I was never talking about talking shit about my cheater to my child. Never have. I was explaining how during the affair, which I was unaware of, cheater was absent mentally, emotionally, and physically for my child. Blamed it on work and he did have a high pressure job with a lot of responsibilities. During that time my child was very effected by the way the cheater treated him. And it fell on me to build his dad up in his eyes and to reassure him of his father’s love. Imagine my rage when I found out the truth.

                I highly doubt that any of the men and women on this blog sat around telling their children what pigs their other parent is. We are just disgusted that a parent can have so little consideration for the children “who are half of them”, like you said.

                You seem very defensive for cheaters. “Not judging their father by his actions” is very big of you. By what criteria did you judge his character? For someone who hasn’t cheated, you are very evolved.

              • Because as a child my father cheated and all the subsequent bickering and nastiness and being told he was vile and worthless made me think I was too……as he was in my genes…….no way come hell or high water was i going to let my kids feel like i did……..it was my marriage not theirs……everyone on here is slagging off cheaters…… if that cheater had ended the marriage b4 actually cheating…so say he or she met someone by accident and knew they didnt love their spoise enought to not cheat..so ended the marrange first…they would still say the same about them…..even though they say they wouldnt

              • L, if my cheater had had the gonads to say he wasn’t happy and wanted a divorce I could have lived with that happily. Yes, I’m “slagging off” cheaters because they are lying fuckfaces. They lay waste to their families. Obviously by some miracle your children are unscathed by your husband’s self-serving behavior. He must be a special breed of cheater that none of us are familiar with. Not fit nothing but me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

              • L I’ve yet to hear a chump who speaks up fir the cheater. So in essence your saying chumps are “slagging” cheaters? We should respect and forgive them for the children? Your logic is quite mimdfuckingly leaning toward the cheater. And to do this we need to lie to our children? And we won’t have to cripple a poor wittile unicorn. Thats what we call the UBT, a necessary evil to conquer all word salad. There’s no doubt you suffered within your life. The difference is in our actions. We want to gain a life. We have to detox and go no contact.
                Here’s what I know about the entitled and ther is indeed a wide spectrum. The affair is never about the OW it is about power and control. Let’s say you thought the married man was the soulmate and you won the special slunT banner. Well, the truth is he gets bored, quickly. While he was seeing you he was dating two other women. You win! Yet, now that you encouraged that poor misunderstood bed wetter alcoholic you have to drive around to move in with you there’s no thrill. Believe me when I tell you it’s always about the thrill of the chase. He told me you were not a dream girl and would dump you too. Yet since I no longer give him supply he can use you. And now he’s actually single. That other, other woman also thinks she’s special. He’s going for it as soon as she divorces her husband. She is a looker and is a better cultural fit. New supply with assets. It’s not about love or the children L. Those are a distraction to keep you busy while he’s doing the blonde. It’s about entitlement. And she gets the love bombing. Your days are numbered. Was it worth it?

              • So tell us who was the cheater, the father if yiur chikdren or you? Well you are half of him after all.

            • Please don’t stand on your soapbox and tell me either…..nowhere did I comment on violence……your all about we must tell the truth…..maybe he was…….so he has to lie but you don’t?? Hypocritical??

            • Your child is half that cheat and will think that every time you say horrible things about the cheat……keep it zipped for your child

              • I had to listen to my then 10 year old tell me all the lies his father said about me, ten year old believed him and threw all the lies in my face every chance he got. This went on for many years. I had to suck it up and not say a word and I wanted to die my son believed this shit. Horrible horrible things everything wrong in fathers life and problems my fault. Fuck fuck fuck. I had to suffer because his father was a complete and total asshole for fucking years. I tried to explain to son dad has a drinking problem and doesn’t remember everything the way it really was. Nope the two of them crucified me for years. Massive weight loss and drugs for me. Thank god I have no little ones this time around. Don’t have to go into details but I would handle it differently this time.

            • Tempest – Absolutely, Judith Wallerstein’s study is dated (and so is “High Risk – Children without a Conscience). My point was that regardless of the family circumstances (high conflict, low conflict, seemingly functional, overtly dysfunctional), children will be affected.

              The Coalition for Divorce Reform – one of the founders being a chump herself – is not based on religious beliefs, though there are religious references smattered throughout the postings (as they are here in CL). I think their premise is that there are too many unnecessary divorces because of trivial reasons (not abuse, addiction, adultery and serious fuckupedness).

              I totally agree with you. I lived with a serial cheater, pathological liar, adept manipulator – and now, sadly, my children have the pleasure of his company for half of their formative years. They don’t get a sane parent 100% of the time because serial cheating, pathological lying, porn-addicted, prostitute using, narcissist, misogynistic on-line dating junkies can still apparently be good parents. Go figure….

            • Well, in regards to “L’s” comment on the slurs directed at your father making you feel worthless as well…. I do remember my family talking negatively about my father and I remember it upsetting me. Kids don’t understand. With that said, I can tell you that for me my father’s neglect made me feel more UNWANTED and worthless than any shitty thing anyone ever said about him. He was far too busy getting drunk and chasing women every night to waste anyof his party time on visitation with me.

              I can remember VERY clearly crying myself to sleep when I was 7-8 years old because my daddy did not ever come see me? I internalized that bullshit, thought there HAD to be something wrong with ne that he did not want to see me?? &By the time I was in my early 20’s I figured out that he was a sick and broken man. I forgave him but the damage had already been done.

              I will never say anything to deliberately hurt my son but I will NOT allow my son to internalize his father’s negligence.

              I am not saying that I condone badmouthing the other parent, I’m not and I don’t. But I don’t pretend he is better than he is. I truly wish, for the sake of my son, that he could get his head out of his ass and be better…but it’s highly unlikely.

            • Thanks, BlessinginDisguise (love your name!)–you’re right, the kids are affected no matter what happens.

              Bad things were said about my father growing up, and it had the opposite effect on me–he was a controlling, critical, narcissist, and if people had NOT openly recognized his flaws, I would have thought they were addled. By 5 years old I knew he was a jerk too much of the time (even if he did occasionally rise to the parental challenge), and if people had papered over that, I would have felt invalidated and alone.

            • And….no shit….if you navigated the destruction of your life and don’t feel like a “chump” and your kids are grown and happy….you are ABOVE all of this and you’re not “like us”….WHY exactly are you even here L??

          • L, fuck off.
            By the sounds of the shit you are spewing – you are a fucking narcissist.
            And your kids seem to have picked up on that crap too.
            Just fuck off.

              • Wow L now there’s the slime dripping as you slither. And I see your lack of character loud and clear. Let’s see, bragging, demeaning those in pain with a smile, entitled, lack of empathy, repetitive drivel, not very bright, and going for the home run. I’m guessing covert narcissist. All narcs/trolls here are similar. Nothing new. We are used to the hook and it’s obvious from you first entitled post. We have the ability to accept others opinions even if they differ. We have a heightened awareness however, of a blatant lack of empathy. We’ve lived it. You can wear the mask but it’s your behavior that gave you away. Boring.

              • Oops, L, I forgot lying. You know like when you slither up to a barstool and pick up married men. Children? X said I never got to surf. The whore can have that child. Joanne, is the blonde he’s seeing when he says he’s going to the gym and the drums got moved lol , key word jamming. . Karina is the one from florida. He’s tried to contact Sharon and Cheryl. They let me know when he calls them. We keep in touch. Ask him what Sharin said about him. He tried calling her again she lives near the water. . STD testing L. Frequently. And washing the sheets? That’s what he does when he brings them home. Lololol your problem now

            • No. This is my reaction to someone who is spouting complete and utter bullshit.
              If you don’t like my ‘character’ I suggest you go crawl back under the rock from whence you came from.

  • Jen,
    Detaching emotionally was my hardest part of the healing process, but also the most useful. At 1 year & 7 months I felt total indifference, but that came from all kinds of personal growth; continued therapy (not just to talk about it, but to give me valuable insight from another perspective), molding a new life for myself, eliminating any & every trace of my ex that lingered in my life (aside from the necessary custody & communication), I began dating again and fell in love with someone new (it didn’t end up working out and ended at 15 months but it was nice to know that I could love again and that my ex wasn’t the only one living the “good life”), self love & personal growth (focusing in therapy & reading a ton about the childhood issues that helped attract me to this loser in the first place and how to never let that occur again…first step, dump the new boyfriend).

    I just eventually got tired of giving my shithead ex so much power. He’s no prize, he shouldn’t be placed on a pedestal for any reason. He’s a loser and I don’t waste my time worrying about what some disordered creep might do and might not do. Once I stopped communicating with him in the hopes of being friends and then out of frustration that he drops the ball on everything, he FINALLY did what I hoped he would do; he hung himself with his own rope. He ignores the custody order and only sees our daughter 1/2 of the time he’s supposed to, which I wanted & knew he wanted too….but he needed to feel like he wouldn’t be called out on his lack of interest in his child from me to make that move. And since I stopped letting him upset me, he felt comfortable to start slipping. Everyone wins; he wants less responsibility/I want more time with our daughter.

    I’m rambling….main point. If you have to be angry, use it constructively to benefit yourself. Reframe your situation and let his narcissism work in YOUR favor. You can probably predict his every move by this point and since they’re all so damn similar it wouldn’t be tough to do…I say give him his rope & let him hang himself with it. Don’t try to enforce anything, let the state do that, and once he finds you boring maybe he will find a new target for his torture. Fingers crossed that it’s Schmoopie.

    • This is great advice.

      I mistakenly believed my ex and I had an outside shot at “co-parenting” and I tried to be reasonable. However, it became very clear this wasn’t possible. My ex denied our daughter access to psychological care, introduced her to his AP in a hot second and was an all round jerk. Much as I had hoped to find common ground it only caused more anguish.

      Eventually I learned that the less I responded to him, the more rope I gave him to hang himself. He showed everyone his true colours. He even got a visit from Child Welfare. So yeah, let these losers hang a bit. Stop engaging with them to DO THE RIGHT THING!! They know what the right thing is and they simply don’t care to do it. It falls on us chumps to do the right thing and yeah, it can be a long road.

      I email or text and only about our daughter and money. We share custody and it works out quite well most of the time even though I do miss my daughter. I don’t sit with him at concerts or plays if I don’t have to and while I’m civil I never share my personal life or anything of consequence with him – those days are done.

      The less is more rule applies to these people. My ex loves the drama and the reaction. It was a steep learning curve to not give him that but it’s a much peaceful place to live.

      • My Asswipe gets pissed if I don’t tell him immediately who calls or visits me including the kids! He checks the cupboards, the booze and the way the gate to the property is shut and demands to know who was here! What an asshole. I deal with him now as little as possible. Soon hope to be moved and on my way to a better less drama life. Best way not to talk to them at all. My cousin is visiting me after new years for a few days he wants to be here to meet her, never met him before. Told him no way she doesn’t want to meet him she’s divorcing the asshole who cheated on her there times same as me. When I have friends or family over he wanders over and acts like nothing is wrong! What a fucking jerk! Can’t wait to go no contact forever!!!

        • Why is he in your house checking your cupboards or just dtopping by? Sounds like you need to put some boundaries in place.

          • My question exactly. How does he know so much about what is going on in your life? Don’t tell him. If he asks, don’t answer. Don’t open the door. Don’t give him any space. You need to take charge and shut him out.

            • Playing the yeah sweetheart we are still gonna be great friends game til I get the house sold. He can be very vindictive. He has three months to purchase home court order if not I can sell it. Playing the game so I get what I want and I hate doing it. I have boundaries in place but he does take advantage at times. Courts don’t seem to care about adultery. Few more months and goodbye to the creep forever.

  • Like CL said, document/document/document.

    I have my X on auto-bill pay. The bank sends her the child support and alimony each month on the same date. My X tried a few times to play the game of “I never received it” and I would send her a print out saying well here you go the bank sent it. Why would a multi billion dollar bank lie over what is considered pennies for them. Magically the check would show up the next day and she would deposit them.

    Suggestion, put as may layers between you and them as humanly possible. All communications through text or email (prefer email as its easier to archive). If there is child support or alimony (or both) put something in between like a bank or the state to garnish wages. In my case my X asked the state to garnish my wages and they denied her because I had no history of playing games with it and since I had her on Auto Bill Pay the bank itself was in the middle and can prove the day they mailed my X the check.

    When it comes to holidays just do what is best for the kids and leave any anger, hate or revenge out of it. When the kids get older they will love you for it.

    • Lothos, very good advice. I did something similar when I was on the receiving end of child support. Ex would give our teenage daughter a check to deliver to me. He purposely didn’t put it in a sealed envelope so she could see the amount and so he could make side comments to her about how he hoped that I was giving her that money and not using it for myself, as if it was general spending money and not used to cover her bills. I had to deliver that news to her. At that time, we didn’t have a legal agreement in place but once we did, I asked that he set up auto bill pay. I knew I had to justify this to a-hole so I told him that she shouldn’t be placed in the middle of our situation and be responsible for remembering to get the check from him and give it to me, especially since as a teenager, she had a lot going on and wasn’t always available to play that role at the beginning of the month. Fortunately he agreed and set it up through his bank. Not only was this in her best interest though, it was good for me too because it stopped his triangulation attempts (at least through this avenue).

      Interestingly, when she turned 18 and child support ended, she started making a list of things she needs or wants. She typically gives me first choice from the list and whatever I don’t cover, she asks her dad to buy. Although I’m pretty much no contact with him, I did have to see him when we were selling our house and he made the comment on several occasions about how much he’s spent on her. I just nodded but didn’t say anything – all I could think of was ‘welcome to the real world, where your daughter has needs and you have to give to her rather than dumping it all on me.’

      • BBC, my X pulled that shit on me, too. He would hand the child support check to one of our kids so he saw the amount. To a 14-year old, it was a big amount. To me, it barely helped cover the mortgage.

        He weirdly opened a personal account at my credit union. It took me about two months to realize it was because the bank mistakenly linked our accounts because of our last names and him not correcting the dimwit teller. He could see what I was spending.

        When he attempted to offer my own statement he fraudulently obtained as proof that I was misspending “his” money (It was Christmas time and I bought gifts of wine for relatives), even his own lawyer told him to cut the shit or he would face an even bigger problem with a federal judge for misrepresenting himself to the credit union. I wanted him arrested, but my lawyer advised that in that case, my kids would get nothing. And, I was down to my last penny with lawyer fees.

        Now he sends it late, in the mail (even though he could easily do a phone transfer to my account). And, just to fuck with me, misspells my name on the check so it is a hassle when I try to deposit it.

        Such an angry, hateful douchebag. My way of celebrating the holidays is to remember that I’m no longer chained to an asshole. That, wrapping gifts by the fire on Christmas Eve with my beagle helper, and a bit of Bailey’s Irish Creme while I await my sons’ return from Clusterfuckdale around 9:00 p.m., makes it merry.

  • I think that lowering your expectations is the biggest factor in all this. Never expect anything from the cheater. Then when they do the right thing it’s a pleasant surprise. If they don’t–well that’s what you expected.

    Also, Jen, it’s hard to get to Meh when the jerk is currently messing with you or your kid. You can be there about the marriage, but the new stuff will still make you angry. That’s normal. Doesn’t mean that you’re not getting better.

  • I dont coparent. Period. I ensure that there is absolutely nothing that he to manage or follow up with when she is with him. Its extra work for me, driving, homework assignments, and classes but it has preserved my sanity. I dont coparent. I am the parent.
    I dont have to engage with him much at all with this approach… Dont have to talk about dentist appts , school projects or schedules. Nada. I tried giving him the opportunity to be a parent and he used her schedule to manipulate. Refusing to take her to doctors appts, not completeing homework and not bringing her to her activities. So I do it. Its not forever and my kid does not have to have a panick attack because she knows she is missing a class or appt. I dont co parent.

    • Same here, TheClip,
      I do not consider what my ex and I do “co-parenting”, because it isn’t. I’m a full time single mother and he is the Saturday fun & games guy. He is in charge of nothing parental; no doctors, no dentists, no driving to or picking up from preschool, no providing necessities…I manage all of that and he doesn’t seem to mind. The responsibility is what he ran away from anyhow, so instead of pleading with him to be involved in her life like I did in the early days, I just let him be exactly what he wants – a minimal doiche who gets to call himself a Dad and likely tells his family & girlfriend that the reason he sees our daughter so little is because I keep her from him. And you know what? That’s just fine with me…he can spin it any way he wants so long as I get more time with my princess.

      • Hey TBJ, been wondering how you are, hadn’t seen you much. Hope you are well….

        X-hole is the exact same! He doesn’t even bother with any weekly visitation, not even one night or one hour. If he SAYS he wantsbto get him one night a week (which he has said several times) he never follows through. Just every other weekend and it’s the exact SAME production…. spends money that he doesn’t pay for child support doing fun and expensive activities. If the kids have SO much fun on their weekend visits they look forward to going and they also forget his absence and lack of involvement the other 26 days of the month. Yeah…you’re such a “fun” guy. Dick.

      • When my son was younger, this was my approach as well. Son was with me nearly 100% anyway…. ex would just pick him up for dinner a couple times per week, maybe they would see a movie or do something similar. Despite the fact that ex lived less than a mile away for two years after our separation, I handled all parenting obligations myself. Ex is simply too disordered, unreliable and manipulative to count on for anything (except trouble) and it was better for me and for my son that I basically counted ex out of the parenting picture.

        • Wow, I dn’t know my ex had all these other former spouses, LOL. ITA with the above – let the state handle wage garnishment (expect anger when you first implement it, but ignoreignoreignore.), and then handle all the logistics yourself. Cheater#1 is notoriously unreliable and I make all the arrangements for healthcare, school, activities, etc. It makes it easier on many levels: I know the kid is where he needs to be when. I don’t have to wait for “approval” to schedule or sign up Jr. for something. It gets the (*&^^ done, FGS!

          The only downside is I generally do not go back and “bill” C#1 for expenses. If it’s a big one, like half the cost for braces, yeah, I do tell him his half, but I let him pay the provider directly so I don’t get the “I give all this money to your muuutttthhhheerrr” BS. But if it’s something like an after school class or Boy Scout dues or something $100 or less (my line) I just don’t bother. Totally not worth the trouble.

          On another note: Cheater #1 has also been in and out of Jr.’s life, depending on whether he had a, ahem, love interest or not. He has disappeared for months at a time and currently, hasn’t had an over night with Jr. in over *three* years. He sees him for a few hours between school and Boy Scouts on Thursday nights — and this only started in September at the beginning of the school year. Now? C#1 is upset because Jr. didn’t call him or want to visit him for Thanksgiving, is showing no interest in seeing him over Christmas break, etc. I haven’t said anything outloud, but cha know whut, dumb ass? You are reaping what you sowed for the last 13 years. Shut up and put up.

        • My kids have been with nearly 100% except when the ex decides he had better put on his father face.. It has got less and less over the years to the point it has been about 4 hours this year. When he first ran off, I tried to do the right thing, tried to organise him to see the kids. I got abused anyway no matter how obliging I was both from her and him. A couple of years ago, I just stopped. Stopped all contact, stopped trying to make him a father, stopped trying to control his anger or prevent it, stopped trying to control anything to do with the situation. I offered him multiple times every second weekend or similar (because he is a shift worker), he was just never interested so I just stopped. It is not my responsibility to encourage his relationship with his own children, that is on him. I live my life with my kids. I still receive random text messages from the now OWife where apparently it is my fault that he is a crap father and I must be doing something because he isn’t stepping up to be a father. Not my problem, not my issue. I leave it totally up to the kids if they want their dad in their lives. My son chooses not to and hasn’t spoken or seen his father for 2 years, my daughter hasn’t seen her father since May which is totally her choice. I do not influence this decision either way. She is welcome to see him but I totally support her decision not to. It has nothing whatsoever to do with me and my life.

          Once you step back from the triangulation and the crazy, the anger just disappears. I do not take it on.

          • Yeah I get that one too. He makes no time for the kids but its somehow my fault his relationship with them is limited because I have “poisoned the kids with my kool aid.” His family and Switzerland friends and the OWhore have brought into that one. He also fails to take into account he is a narcissist and not that much fun to be with anyway.

            • That is so similar to me… apparently “I am holding something over the kids heads” because he is a crap dad and when he decides to play father once every 6 months, they don’t want anything to do with him…. I too have the Switzerland friends and his family who believe his BS. I also got told by the OW how I should be ashamed of myself by “making my kids a pawn in my childish games”. And that I need to move on… I find that really interesting because his name never even comes up in our house. 99% of the time now, I don’t even give him a second thought but apparently, I “need to move on” because he is the all encompassing specialness…

            • Mine pulled that “I am angry because Tempest poisoned DD14 against me” to his brother & sister in law. What he didn’t know was that I had seen sister-in-law just a month before with DD14, and DD herself was quite clear she didn’t want to see cheater-dad. I also predicted to sister-in-law that X would blame me for DD’s cold shoulder (so s-i-l had so suppress a grin when X said that).

              Heaven forfend they should admit responsibility for their children not liking them.

    • Excellent advice. I think the whole concept of co-parenting is a recipe for frustration. My kids were older when I divorced ( the youngest was 12), but one thing I immediately did was step away from their relationship with their dad. I knew that their relationship with him was a lifelong one, so I tried to give them the tools they needed to establish their boundaries with him. They aren’t dumb, they know his personality as well as anyone. What I didn’t do was try to somehow insulate them from being disappointed by him. One thing that irks me is when parents try to shield their children from life’s inevitable hard knocks. It sets them up for unhappiness later in life. So I made it clear to them that I was available if they needed me, but that I was no longer the cruise ship director when it came to arrangements with X.

      I know I had it easy compared to the horror stories I read here. X was never malicious and he never withheld financial assistance to the kids. Still, I was the one who took the college tours, paid the tuitions, showed up during parents’ weekend by myself. X would be present for the big things, like graduations, award ceremonies, etc., so he could bask in the reflected glory of the kids. I often felt lonely when I was the one moving kids in to the dorms alone, But I knew my kids appreciated my efforts. I have been rewarded for my efforts with a close relationship with them. They view X as an obligation; they view me as a parent and someone they can rely on. That is my reward for my hard work and sacrifice, and it is something X will never have the good fortune to experience. Now that my youngest is headed to college, some of the things that I used to resent having to do alone are the very things that I look forward to. I’ve already reserved the hotel for her August move in! Road trip!!!

      • Love this Violet. I feel the same. Initially it was a hard slog to be the only parent, the one who did the hard yards, who took the kids to everything but now that my kids are older, I love the fact that I have been there for it all, the celebrations, the graduations, the formals, the firsts – girlfriends/boyfriends/driving/cars. I have an amazing relationship with my kids and that is something my ex will never had. I am the lucky one… he missed out on it all.

      • I think the current trend of encouraging people to co-parent also needs to be addressed by CN. Its another bias in the legal system that works against us Chumps who married a NP Cheater. I too had to teach my kids about boundaries and how to establish them. You don’t think I worry every time my son goes off to spend time in that cesspool of DSM diagnoses? If messes me up to deal with them I can’t imagine the mind games played on my son. So I try to give him tools. Its not like he has a decent role model to base whats right and wrong.

        I remember vividly the month I started to see my STBX differently and began to deal with him differently. He was no longer human. I had to make a huge effort to see him that way and follow through and honestly it caused a lot of anxiety at first to stand up to him. I had to realize he is ill and thats just the way he is. He will not ever function like a normal human being and I can not EVER expect him to. You would think if the kids were involved he would at least try but sadly that was the biggest shock of all… it didn’t matter. He is a fucker to them or when he is nice its to get back at me. My daughter and I have come to accept this (after a lot of tears and anger) but my son still hangs on for what little morsels of love he can earn. My son is now in therapy for anxiety…. go figure.

        My anger used to eat me up. I hate them both. I still have days where i want to post their photos on the punching bag at my gym. I picture kicking their ass a few times and then the feeling goes away. I meditate and go to a support group and even found a nice man. But its hard to build a completely new life when yours was ripped from you. There are good and bad days. I have learned to be happy with small things but at least these things are real. Then he pulls some shit. Its like clockwork. Sigh…. I either deal with it (document or contact attorney) or ignore. Its just part of the deal. They lose interest after awhile when you refuse to play.

        I also think about how miserable I would be if I were still with him feeling like crap about myself because isn’t that what they do…make you feel like crap about yourself? It was like living in a prison. I escaped and although he tries he has no more power over me.

        • Chumplisa–put their photos on a punching bag. What does it hurt, and it might make you feel momentarily better. IMHO, suppressing righteous anger is more damaging than a little bit of catharsis (just don’t punch X himself!).

    • I truly enjoy it when the light bulb goes off and I learn something new. Thanks Clip!!!
      My kids have two activities, ones they have had for years, one is on my nights the other happens to fall on nights the kids are with Narkles the Clown. I was taking care of some responsibilities for their actives with doctor sign offs and appointments yesterday and I started to get mad about why I was doing all of this for them and he wasn’t, and you just made me realize that it’s a good thing. I’m taking them to doctors, doing the parent teacher conferences, attending the awards ceremonies, making sure they have their school projects done. I don’t want to leave anything to chance.

      New mantra: I DON’T CO-PARENT!

    • I don’t co-parent, either. There’s an assumption to coparenting that X would want to cooperate with me to do what’s best for our sons.

      Bwhahahaha!

      He’s never understood the concept of cooperation, which is why he is always unemployed and will only see his kids when it works for him. And why he’s going to die wondering why his kids could care less.

      Unless there’s something in it for himself, he won’t make an effort. At. Anything.

      • Argh. I am worried about what it will be like for my kids when they’re with their Dad. He’s lazy beyond belief and will make them look after him. I don’t really know how to prepare them for it or even if I should try.

  • Jen, the reason he is so angry and mean to you is that he knows you know what a prick he is. He can go out in the world and let everyone revel in his awesomeness and his personality disorder loves that! He can fool almost anyone but he can’t fool you. It makes him feel bad about himself to engage with you because he has to face the reality of what an asshole he is when you reflect his image back at him. Therefore he must blame and take it out on you.

    If you really look at it, you have tremendous power over him. Use that power wisely because of your child, but if you can slip it in judiciously, let him feel the disdain you have for him.

    He’ll never be kind to you so stop looking for it. I know it seems unfair because he caused all of this destruction but he’ll never blame himself. He blames you. You were the cause of his affair, you made him look bad to others because of his cheating (which, remember, was YOUR fault), blah, blah, fricking blah.

    That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. The only way for you to not be his victim anymore is to know, I mean really KNOW, that he is subhuman and you are far to good for him. Then it won’t matter to you how he treats you. You’ll just expect it and it will only be a tiny annoyance like a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Be mighty.

    • This is so true. It’s part of the psychology of infidelity. Everyone wants to be the hero of their own narrative, and cheaters have to make us look like the bad guy so they can still be their own hero. Ergo, they treat us even worse than they did when they were cheating because we know exactly who they are – the bad guy.

      This article explains it better than I can: http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/infidelity/p/infidelity2.htm

      • Calla2015 – that article nails it. It’s so shocking that someone can be so far from the truth, but we chumps need to learn to expect it then it doesn’t hurt as much. Thanks for the link!

        • Good article Calla. I wholeheartedly agree with the last three sections (and have seen it play out in my case), but I had to laugh where the author wrote:

          “Normally a spouse who FALLS PREY TO AN AFFAIR is a decent person that is aware of their behavior and how it is frowned upon by society. Even though they are aware of the immorality of their actions, they continue with the relationship, which means dealing with feelings of guilt.”

          I don’t think one of us here can say our spouse “fell into an affair.” Seems most of our cheaters were of the serial variety and showed dogged determination in seeking their side pieces.

          • That’s true. They fall to prey to their own character. Which is why they have little, if any, insight into their own actions.

              • “FELL into an affair” lol ! Some people excell at manufacturing excuses. Like you slipped and fell into some shady behavior. Hahaha

              • When my ex would use the passive “it just happened” excuse I would say “what, were you just walking along one day and you slipped and your penis fell into her vagina? Is that how it ” just happened?”

          • I notice that line too movin_on. No one falls prey to an affair….what like a gazelle to a lion? Too bad that was in there because the rest of the article was pretty good.

          • Whoops! I fell into a vagina!

            Darn it! That penis was right where I was doing squats!

            What a coinkeydink! My skank happened to be in the same bed at the same fleabag, hep C motel I mistakenly walked in to to get a nap!

            I don’t know how her emails and texts got on my computer or phone. It has to be Verizon’s fault!

          • I don’t think a “decent” person would have an affair.
            Guilt? how do you feel guilt when you do nothing wrong? Guilt is not what my X is feeling when he’s angry and lashing out at me, making up absurd stories about me
            to excuse himself and gain sympathy.
            I call his anger and lashing out resentment because he’s required to pay support.
            Support is inconvenience he’s not happy with.

        • I’m glad you like it. I’ve read it many times. It helps when you start questioning yourself and asking, was I really that bad? Did I drive him to it? Obviously not. The cheater cheated because there’s something wrong with him/her. As chump lady has reiterated many times.

      • Calla2015, thank you so much for that! That article is excellent, and really helped me out today! I think I may be reading it on a regular basis for a while, actually… Thanks again.

  • I can’t speak about parenting. Fortunately I didn’t have children with my ex-tard. However, getting acquainted with an old hobby has really helped. For me that’s mountain biking. It’s taken my mind off of her. And since I’m only 9 months out I’ve given myself permission to take this time for myself. Sure I still think about it but it’s less and less of a burden. Plus I really look forward to weekends when I can ride and spend much of my time preparing for it and it’s a great distraction. I’m not looking to date yet so it gives me something to do that’s fun.

    Not sure if most of you who are co-parenting have the time for but getting into something else really helps. I find that I’m the type that needs to be invested in something otherwise I feel like I’m twirling my thumbs. If it’s not one thing than it’s another. Might as well be something healthy mentally and physically.

    So what have you been wanting to get into but couldn’t may be until now?

    • Stbx hated my dogs. I adopted another not long after moving out. Because I wanted to and I wanted to get the dog out of a bad situation. New Dog is a great fit with the ones I already have.

      I doubt stbx has heard about New Dog, but if he has, it just adds an exclamation point to the fact I’m gone for good. If the divorce filing wasn’t enough.

    • I too do NOT co-parent. Communication was email only but ex was pretty disengaged and done with being any kind of parent when he left. I ignore ALL the crap and just do not respond. My kids know exactly what my boundaries are, and why I do not play the “happily Uncoupled” game. No BS, right!?!. Aside from dissipating assets for two years, and fucking me and his racquetball partner for two years, ah, true love! My ex took off with all our savings, the college funds, and then refused to pay our kids’ college costs. (He did however leave me with all the stuff we had acquired over twenty eight years together.) I guess children’s expenses get in the way of all those new vacations and the high cost of courting skank. We had a junior in college, one entering, and one due to graduate HS in another year. Sane parents do follow through on their promises. Two of our three graduated college although my son still struggles with the fallout. He feels his dad abandoned him. First year of college ex paid $350/$15,000 and told me “He’s your son, you figure it out,” when I asked him what his intentions were. Fucking LOSER. Ex walked out on our mortgage too, one he could easily afford, but he did expect half the payout-UH, NO-which the foreclosing bank negotiated kindly with me for so I was able to move. I was paying all the other household expenses at the time and cancelling those I couldn’t pay. Then Mr. Disordered two years after abandoning the marital home vandalized my home stripping it of fixtures cause that’s what peace officers do when they fuck over their families so I called the local cops on him. Why would ANY sane person want ANY kind of relationship with THAT!?!? Model boundaries, Chumps.
      The best thing I did right away, and I was pissed for THREE years! was focus on ME and my babies. We got into all kinds of new activities. Swimming, walking, art. My kids and I travel. Spent Christmas in DC and New York. We eat good food out and cook wonderful dinners together. We go to the beach. We plan vacations that celebrate family, even spending time with kooky relatives. My next resolution is to take dance lessons so I can spend time doing what I once loved. Michael, I love that you are very intentionally moving forward and taking care of yourself. I too like that you chose an activity that gets you outside and can be done alone or with others. I picture you pedaling down sunny country roads….

      • My tard pulled the same crap. Just checked out one day without looking back. Moved out and left all the crap she didn’t want for me to throw out. Your ex sounds super disordered, entitled and selfish. To diss his own children like that tells you what kind of scumbag he really is, not to mention dissing you.

        Thanks for the thumbs up! I’m pedaling into the sunset!

  • I can’t really add any advice. CL seems to have covered it. I love my child more than any other human being that has ever lived. So I am able to ignore ex’s shit for her sake.

  • Mine are grown up but they have many of his traits especially the boy. I will not put up with drama or bs from either one. While dad was a good provider and somewhat caring he was and is emotionally unavailable to anyone including our two kids. I was the opposite. Maybe at times I was too much to make up for his lack of interest but my kids love me for it, they knew I would listen to them and I was always available. Now since he has pretty much ignored them the past three years too busy with the hos family my daughter is giving it back to him in spades. Ignores him! Haha! Karma dance bus. Instead of trying to understand how she feels, now he’s mad and ignores her more. Affair not doing well st tthe moment. Entitled bastard when she needed him he ignored her for years. But now she does it to him. How dare she? Im her father she better do as I say forgetting who taught her to be this way. She has changed a lot, more open and compassionate and now she listens more. Huge hope for her hopefully with more of my influence. The boy he can’t wait to move in with dad so they can go bitch hunting together! He only calls to kiss dads ass for money, boy has a long way to go. Shudder! Dad is a shithead who thinks hes gonna teach the almost 30 year old how to be an unstsnding promise keeping, take care if your business and be rightous man. Where the fuck was he when the boy was young. I will keep trying with him, all I can do is try.

  • GREAT ADVICE! What would you do if the asshole undermines your parenting? By that I mean letting the kids stay up late and not do homework, giving them unsupervised internet access, being the “friend” instead of the parent, badmouthing the “uncool” parent and buying them expensive gifts you cant afford for no particular reason. This has happened to my brother! His ex even bought the 7 and 12 year old their own thongs so they could be like mommy! He threw those in the trash! Later she went on an aggressive slander campaign that nearly did him in. I want to beat her down.

    • The Disney parent is what I call those folks; can’t pay child support on time, but can buy the kids a motor bike, or something equally inappropriate. Set house rules early, enforce them, and make it clear to your kids that homework is their obligation. Yeah, I know it’s difficult when they are young, BUT it is their homework! Do not allow them to use her bad behavior as an excuse for their failure to meet their obligations. Even at a young age, kids have agency and should be expected to act responsibly. Too often, parents (divorced and not) look for reasons to excuse their children’s conduct. I had a saying with my kids, “In trouble at school, in trouble at home.” In the few times I had to intercede in a situation, my complaints were taken seriously because it was well known what I expected of my kids. I never permitted my kids to gloss over their own bad behavior by pointing to the bad behavior of others, including their dad.

  • Just as a general comment, the anger may be a symptom of PTSD. I’m pretty sure mine is.

    I am meh in regard to ex, except one issue. I just can’t even think of it without feeling complete rage. It’s beyond just anger. Anyway, apparently a favorite topic of conversation between ex and the whore was how LAZY I am. That burns my ass up. I’m not lazy, I was working a full time job and taking complete responsibility for a preschool child when I wasn’t at work. They are the lazy ones. Both are half ass excuses for parents. And half ass employees who fuck around on company time, to boot. Anyway, I don’t know how to get beyond this one issue, or if I ever will. I’m not even sure why it pisses me off so much, even more than the cheating.

    • Anita – Understandably, it burns you up. He left you holding the bag, doing the work. All while he lied and cheated and lived like peter pan. And then has the nerve to call you lazy. I’m mad with you!

      • Anita: It’s projection. I could give you a long list of things my spouse says about me that are actually true of him (I “lie,” I “suck him in by being nice and then I screw him over,” etc. Apparently I’m an evil genius). The truth is, these are all things he did to me throughout our marriage and they don’t work on me anymore. He’s projecting and so is your ex. In your case, he’s emboldened by the skank who’s cheering him on. The tables will turn on her someday, but by that time, you won’t care. Hang in there.

        • Oh my…scrolling through these to catch up and noticed I said “spouse.” Holy guacamole, that dude’s in the rearview mirror!! EX-spouse, blessedly.

    • Anita, he’s talking about himself, as movin_on says, Totally. The entire world is about them, even their non-conscious projection.

      What if you reframed the word LAZY to mean: Loyal (or Loveable) Attractive (or Awesome!) Zealous Youthful?

      Or better yet: Libidinous Adventuresome Zesty Yankee? (Sorry. Not too many adjectives starting with ‘Z’!!)

      Something to think about when you hear the word lazy, and he won’t get any kibbles by your amused non-reaction.

    • Anita

      The best answer to their narrative is to live better. It made me angry he had to use lies to get a slunT to shack up with him. And don’t ya know she is as toxic as he is and let her abuse me In public. I laugh because I know it’s untrue.
      For example, he had to support me.
      I live better supporting myself, son and granddaughter.
      She doesn’t pay the bills.
      My debt has dwindled to 1500 in a year and a half while supporting myself.
      She’s a bitch who gave me no attention.
      My children don’t respect him and make up lies so they don’t have to be near the narc and whore.
      I cheated because of her.
      She didn’t interrupt his cheating. He’s still cheating and hooking up with other victims complaining about her.

      I found that letting go of the “cheater logic” lessened my anger. They lie. I chose to live better and let the half brained whore who has no clue wonder how it is that I am surviving and living nicely without him. All she has to do is think about how deceitful he was with me and know he’s doing the same exact thing with her. Complaining to his other, other woman about her gambling, talking to men at the bar while he’s with her, her foofoo dog with bows and new granddaughter. He wants out. I’m laughing. Anger serves a purpose. However the grass is much greener from my seat.

  • Jen, we have very similar ex’s. Love CL’s advice on lowering the expectations, document and definitely NO CONTACT!!!

    What’s sad for me is I have a child who will not ever achieve independence so my nightmare will go on past her 18th year. My child doesn’t speak either so I have to do more contact with cheater than most would with “normal” kids.

    The statistics show that the majority of single mothers with special needs children end up in extreme poverty within two years of the divorce. I’m doing everything I can to prevent this. If anyone in CN has any advice, I’d gladly take it.

    As for my advice on co-parenting to keep my insanity:

    1. I only correspond through email.
    2. I take every offer of help I’m offered from everyone
    3. I try to stalk pile as much money as possible to allow for ex’s late payments etc.
    4. And I always have a back up plan if he doesn’t show.

    One last thing about lowering expectations. It may seem totally deranged but I think of my ex, dead. How would I go on if he were not here? If I received no money and no time off. Everything I get from him is bonus. But I try to plan as if it’s just me. My daughter has no one else. It’s not an option for me. She deserves the best I can give her. Hope this helps.

    • Jen,

      I get feeling anger (even rage) toward a cheating, responsibility-shirking ex. I doubt that I will ever get all the support (financial, physical, emotional) that I should from my STBX. Like StartofSomethingGood, one of my kids has special needs, which makes being a single parent even harder. I often feel expressed and repressed anger.

      I understand feeling tired of talking about the garbage (anger) in one’s life, too. I have found that meditation and guided imagery, not necessarily on the anger I feel toward my STBX, helps me feel better overall and less angry. If you haven’t tried these things, I recommend you try them. (You can get useful guidance free on YouTube. I recommend Tara Brach and Jon Kabat-Zinn, among other practitioners.)

      What I don’t understand is your statement, ‘…my self-worth is in shreds.’ You are mighty! You are a hero for refraining from causing bodily harm to the person who damaged you and your child, acting on behalf of your child, and ‘just’ getting out of bed! Are you letting your jerk of an ex or others (who you think might think less of you because you are divorced) determine YOUR self-worth? Only you get that privilege and responsibility. You might consider even writing down what determines your self-worth.

      In terms of getting to Meh, I’ve realized that re-discovering or discovering what I care about and enjoy doing that does not involve a partner (e.g., my STBX, who was never truly a partner to me) and my children helps give me something to feel happy about. The more happy things I have to think about the less inclined I am to think about how my STBX did me wrong (and he did me wrong in a lot of ways–trying to get a restraining order against me for crimes I never committed, dragging me through court for months/years, draining bank accounts to pay prostitutes, trying to start a family with one of his affair partners, hiding his scheduling of a vasectomy from me, abusing me in many ways).

      It may not feel as though you are anywhere as close to Meh as you would like, but I think that you are coping fairly well for a person who has been given a s–t sandwich and you are moving your desired direction.

    • StartofSomethingGood, I think you have a good plan in place. Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but do you have some sort of network for respite and back up care for your daughter? Maybe through her school or social services?

      My son is also special needs and what I notice about Cheater#1 is that he wants nothing to do with extra care related to Jr.’s mental health. He wants everything to be EZ and no effort expended on his part. He just wants a shiny, wonderful child to play show-and-tell with so he can prove to the outside world that he is father of the year. Pardon me while I roll my eyes here.

      • HB,

        Thanks for the response. Yes, I’m getting Respite. It’s still very hard to hold down a full time job on my own. My mother does basically all the daycare for free. Before and after school. X basically has a free ride. He’s the same as yours: didn’t turn out the way he wanted so baled and does the minimum. The kicker is he tries to get out of paying for extraordinary expenses pertaining to special needs. It’s a nightmare.

    • Huge hugs, Start. I like your plan for staying sane. Wish I had some practical suggestions, but at least I can offer my admiration.

  • Jen,

    I am in a similar boat: 50/50 custody with my cheating STBXW.

    The only advice I’d give beyond what has already been stated here:

    – Give yourself permission to be righteously pissed off at your cheating ex (if you were NOT incensed at the situation, I would seriously question your sanity).

    – Give yourself permission ***not to do anything about it***. You do NOT have to take any action whatsoever with regards to your anger. Just let it come, and let it happen.

    – If you’re concerned about the welfare of your child, as CL wrote document the living hell out of anything that seems odd; just the facts. Create a log of it in a document (I recommend a private file that you can have access to in the cloud via Google Docs or Dropbox) and keep that log running. Then, consult an attorney to advise if/when you can/should take any legal custody action with respect to what you have documented.

    – If you are concerned that your cheating ex is spreading falsehoods about you or the reasons for the demise of the marriage, document that as well; if you have proof that s/he is making those statements and they’re made without proof behind them, you possibly have the makings of a defamation case.

    • So true, Sephage. Give yourself permission to be angry, Jen. I don’t have to deal with X because my 14 yo won’t speak to him, but having internal conversations where I berate him for being a fuckwit allow me to release some of my rage (though I often do this while walking the dogs, and the neighbors may think I’ve gone off the deep end, so best to have those internal conversations behind the doors of your house).

      • Vehicles are GREAT for screaming, pounding the dashboard, stomping feet, screaming, crying, gagging, screaming. No witnesses.
        Don’t know much about it. Must have read it somewhere!

  • Anita–It’s probably projection. They can’t admit that they are slackers, so obviously you must be one!

    Got to hand it to the disordered. They know something is wrong, but it can’t be with them because they’re so awesome! 😛

  • Jen – Plan on your ex *never* coming to his senses. Plan on him always being a jerk.

    So he treats you like a gnat? Well, consider the source. He’s a narcissistic cheater.

    You need to mourn the loss of who you thought you were married to (a husband with a soul) and realize that he is a scorpion. Treat him like a scorpion, expect scorpion behavior, and you’ll free up a lot of mental real estate that you can use to start rebuilding your life.

  • X#1 loved nothing better than to try to screw up my schedule regarding D2’s visitation. So I set up an arrangement with her then-babysitter to leave her there so that X#1 could pick her up at the prearranged time. Up until then, he’d shown up hours late, knowing we had to wait around until he arrived. He loooooooved that. Once we dropped her off at the babysitter’s, the only time he was wasting was his own. His behavior promptly changed.

    Also, be careful of legally emancipating your minor child. I did that, and it was the best decision for me – once the asshattery over child support was over, all of the crazy stopped with X#1 and his then-wife. Since they didn’t have money to fight over anymore, she couldn’t Pick-Me-Dance to “get him to love her more” and I was out of that whole triangulation game. BUT… under U.S. law, if you emancipate your minor child, the state will no longer go after your ex for any back child support. X#1 owes thousands – by now, about what would have been needed for D2’s college costs. Sometimes I regret not having collected all that was owed, but at the time, the crazy had to stop. And I’m overall glad I did what I did. Except the whole breeding with a fucktard thing. That’s the three-ring shitshow of a gift that just keeps on giving.

  • PERRRRFECT timing on this post. X-holes 21 year old daughter just shared a story about a divorcing couple who have (evidently) finalized a friendly, it’s all for the kid, we’re still friends “divorce”.

    Are you FUCKING kidding me?? She KNOWS first hand that he’s a cheater, negligent father, shirks child support and is as selfish as humanly possible….

    Zero comparison of the “adults” in this story and their “amicable” and “respectful” parting of the ways to the devastation and shit pile that her father leaves in his wake….

    I’m not biting. Just stew quietly. Bunch of enabling assholes.

    • I am so sympathetic to all of you fellow chumps who have to co-parent with an ex when the children are under 18. These poor kids did nothing to create the situation they find themselves in! How can anyone – even a cheater – not put their kids first?
      I found out my husband was cheating in January 2015. My youngest turned 18 at the end of September, and I was very aware of the fact that it would be best for all if I took no action before then.
      I am still with the cheater – a mama bear protecting her kids from the knowledge of their dad’s shitty behavior – but I am getting closer to saving myself and getting out of the 29 year marriage.
      MC says you can not tell kids about affair – but I am now on solid enough ground to disagree and know that they would be better knowing dad had a girlfriend, without getting into the gory details. After all, he cheated on them as well. And once they hear she is late 20’s, he is mid-50s – they will be repulsed.
      We are on brink of separating, and my husband has agreed to tell children (18-23) that our separation is all about him – his unhappiness, his being lost, his inability to make our marriage work. He is sure they will hate him once they know – but he going to do the honorable thing (after the horribly dishonorable affair.)
      It is so challenging to want the kids to still have some relationship with him, and acknowledge what is good about him, after all he’s done, but I know that is what is best for them……………………..but sometimes I want to sow the seeds of hate in everyone that knows us …………..so he can feel just a bit of the pain he’s caused me..
      Also trying not to be angry,
      Tired Chump

      • That’s a super rough story, because it sounds like he is plain old shitty, but not so shitty that everyone will understand. That has its own pile of problems. Even if he says he will take the blame with the kids, even if your friends and family know he cheated he sounds boarder line bearable as a person, which means to the uneducated world he’s probably ‘the nicest guy’. I also have one of those. I think it would be easier with “he tried to set my house on fire and refuses to wear pants in public” crazy… But we get the guy who will sell the sob story instead- and as such… Protect yourself with the truth. He might already be sowing the ‘she never listens to me’ ‘I don’t feel loved I feel nagged’ crap to your friends and family so that when it does end, and you split, even if they know of the affair they’ll hold you and your ‘withholding emotionless heart’ account able to his dumbass cheating. I hope you find peace

      • Not telling them = lying, and we teach our children that lying is bad.
        Lead by example, by not enabling his bullshit. Your kids, regardless of their age, have the right to know why their parents are no longer together, and that said reasoning is NOT their fault.

        • Also, I should mention that I (and my sisters) were at a similar age when my fuckwit of a father ran off with his skank. We knew the moment it happened – and it was in that moment that all three of us vowed never to want to contact him again. Lying to your kids or offering a poo-poo reason as to why you’re not together anymore is disrespectful to your kids intelligence.
          Kinda funny, really – because in the court case, he would lie and say that we were ‘constantly calling him asking for money’. Right – because I had a job at the time, and I really needed his money on top, yeah? (PS: None of us ever did)

    • NCStevie, I got the same treatment by an adult daughter of the ex. Where he left off, she picked up on the manipulation. Had to go NC with her as well. Disorder does seem to have a genetic component.

      • It sucks! She actually contacted me right around DDay as he was spinning the “we aren’t getting along but I don’t know what to do because of youngest son” story. She knows he did the same to her Mom. I’ve been honest with her but don’t volunteer all of the details of the HELL he has put me and son through, hate it that she knows us both and makes decisions, or forms opinions, without finding the facts first. I can’t go NC with her, or the other 2, they are victims also and I remind myself of this repeatedly.

        Denial is strong in these families, it’s how they cope. I loved my own father in spite of what a disordered asshole he was…but I still told him he was an asshole. I don’t give free passes on dishonesty. Sorry not sorry…

  • My kids were 18 and up when we split. He started out as Disney Dad. But then without the kids knowing he introduced Ursula, the octopussy, at an outing. Kids went BALLISTIC. Each came to my house and vented for 3 hours about what a skank she was and how their father had them babysit one of her poor kids. My kids are compassionate. Tried to make the younger child feel okay, but clearly saw how uncomfortable the kids were with their sperm donor. Ex tried to hug one of Ursula kids and the kid shrank away from him My kids were like what did he expect?

    Well he expected to be honored and hugged back because he is so awesome…Not..

    He wanted them to accept spending time with Ursula and him. Both kids said emphatically no. He wouldn’t listen. I advised counseling. The counselor sided with the kids. They are adults and he needs to respect their opinions.

    So he had one more shot at it on his birthday. They all went including Ursula and she, being the stewpid idiot she is, ruined the day by her lack of planning and disorderedness.

    Kids were all yellling at her in the car. He just sat there like a boil on the butt of humanity.

    No coparenting for me. But given his asshat behavior he would be right up there undermining all my parenting attempts.

    I salute all you co-parenting warriors and cheer you from the sidelines. Please come back and share you Xmas stories so we can hail your mightiness. You will rock this holiday season.

  • Great timing. I’m almost five years out from divorce, but my ex has never stopped trying to use the kids as a pawn. I have had majority custody for the past two years, because ex joined a sexually-based commune and we agreed the children should not be exposed to his lifestyle. Now he’s back in court, claiming he should have 50% again because he’ll keep the kids in an apartment separated from his commune, but oh, he wants the commune people to visit, he wants the kids to learn about relationships from watching him with his revolving lineup of girlfriends, he wants the kids to visit the commune in the summer, etc. AND the judge seems to be on the verge of allowing all this! I’m beyond frustrated — I’m terrified.

    • Wow. I’ve heard it all. I’m so sorry. I don’t know how old your kids are, but I’d start teaching them about boundaries and sexual abuse and protecting their own physical space.

      I’m not saying those who live at “sexually based communes” are pedophiles — but if it were my kid? It would seriously creep me out. Are you talking about a nudist colony?

      • It’s not a nudist colony, though he proposed having the kids live in one with him a few years ago before the current lunacy. It’s people who masturbate with each other as a “meditative technique.” They spend money on “training sessions” to learn how to finger each other. The judge calls this “freedom of association.” She refused to order a psych eval.

    • Linden, I read your post hours ago and can’t stop thinking about it. I’d be terrified, too. I agree re CPS. My heart goes out to you and your children.

      I googled ‘sb commune,’ because I didn’t know what it was. I saw a lot of ‘free-love’ arty type stuff disguised as creative and non-judgemental, some used the word ‘spiritual’ in their description. Spiritual is tax free, isn’t it? No doubt you’ve covered everything trying to stop the madness, but just in case, are there any articles or media about this place? Lawsuits?

      I could see a judge allowing the apartment and his visiting swine, but summers at the commune? How does this happen???? Oh, I know it happens, rulings that hurt kids and strangle the parent. We’re supposed to protect our kids, it’s a hardwire thing. Ask any bear. So, how does an educated human being, whose sole job it is to make the best possible decision, consider sending kids to a sex commune? I don’t understand, not at all.

      PS. Some hillbillys were talking on a forum about the free-to-be-you-and-me life and it didn’t sound creative or arty at all. It sounded like they didn’t want to pay for sex anymore. I hope you kick ass, Linden.

    • Linden, as an attorney I want to make some suggestions to you. It would be ‘crazy’ for the judge to allow this type of contact. Can you do some research on the internet on the members? Your attorney should demand identification of all involved who would have contact with your children. I suspect they are a group that may be nothing more than a bunch of pedophiles using the sex based commune of adults as a front. I would want to run criminal histories on each of them doing what is called an FBI national search and check the sex offender registries. An apartment where the kids are sequestered could be a means of isolating them from watchful responsible adult eyes and slowly grooming the kids. Talk to your attorney about this. I would also consider filing a complaint with the State Judicial Conduct Commission. The argument I would make is that this sexually based commune group is organized to satisfy sexual desires first and foremost therefore the court should apply strict scrutiny to the ‘Freedom of Association’ argument where minor children are involved. Good luck and let us know the outcome. 🙁

  • I didn’t co-parent. I was in charge of their health, schooling, social life. I taught them how to drive, boundaries, grace and empathy for others. When they left for dates in the evenings, I would personally meet the young man and stay up until they were home safely. I saw them off on proms, dances, field trips and got the dresses, suits or play clothes needed for each occasion. I drove them to babysitting jobs and sport practices.

    I saw their sadness and happiness. Misery and joy. Took care of them in sickness and health. I got the angry yelling teenager when they thought life dealt them a shitty hand because their “daddio” was emotionally empty after giving all attention, time and energy to schmoopie. I got their shitty attitude when I laid down the law.

    Homework was the dining room table every night. They learned from me how to get up in the morning prepared for school and on time. I fixed their meals even if it was Cheerios because we didn’t have a dime to our name. They learned how to clean a room and do their laundry from me. I taught them about personal cleanliness and sex.

    Fifty/fifty? HA HA HA HA HA.

    You give up your anger when you realize it “is what it is” and their is nothing, NOTHING you can do to change the way another person conducts business (as long as it is within the law) or how they feel about you.

    I was mother/father. Not a role I ever wanted or thought I would have.

    Time moves forward. The children grow. You did the best you could do considering the circumstances of your disrupted family.

    Yeah, I was angry here and there. You bet. Anger has its purpose. But, when it makes you tired, it’s time to put it to bed.

    The only way I could deal with my anger was to give it to God. If you don’t have a belief in God, meditate.

    Guess who my now adult children have “bonded” with? Guess who taught them HOW to bond?

    Worth it.

  • My anger about my relationship with the EX has largely faded over time.

    My anger over the stupid shit he does in regard to our children remains highly flammable. I expect to struggle with this for a good long time–probably until he dies. Possibly longer, as I suspect his death will leave a mess for the kids to clean up.

    Here are some things I’ve learned over 4 years:

    1. You cannot lower your expectations enough. (Chumplady is not exaggerating.) Really. It is impossible. If you had the right kind of imagination to foresee the kinds of perfidy your EX is likely to get up to, you wouldn’t have reproduced with this person in the first place.

    2. Do not expect to co-parent. If you do have a shared custody situation, as much as possible, divvy up the parental duties. For example, make one parent in charge of annual pediatric visits and the other in charge of regular dental visits. This will help you document the slack. When month 13 rolls around and junior still has not been to the dentist, you can send the email reminding the EX that he/she agreed to do this. When month 15 rolls around, send the email that you have made the appointment because junior needs it. If you end up suing for a change of custody, the pattern will be apparent. Plan on having to take junior to all the things your partner is responsible for anyway (see #1).

    3. When you are angry and need to rant about the EX’s incomprehensibly horrible behavior, choose your audience wisely. I have a friend who hears every gory detail. I cannot complain about these problems to some of my family members, because they always want me to engage or to engage themselves with the EX. They cannot wrap their minds around the fact that telling him he is causing problems or hurting the kids is fodder for his ego, not a way to provoke change. They still think he can be shamed or persuaded to act differently. Writing a long post on Chumplady is a good place to find a sympathetic ear, too.

    4. Come to terms with the fact that your kids are gaining some important skills as a result of your EX’s irresponsibility and stupidity. It is the silver lining they get if you provide a stable base. I can see my older child is unexpectedly responsible and competent in a number of areas because my EX has failed again and again to do parenting basics, so my child has learned to do a number of tasks independently. (You’ll still be irate when the EX’s failures occur, but the kids will adapt and show their strengths as time goes on.)

    5. Keep building your own life. The less time you have to be angry, the more quickly each flare-up will burn out. The more you clear out his/her junk (physical and psychological) and fill your spaces with your own stuff (whether that is a new set of dishes or a new set of activities and friends), the less there will be to catch fire and smolder each time he throws matches (or grenades) in your direction.

    • #3 is so true. I can’t tell you the number of times I have vented to my mother or sister (especially right after DDay) that talking to ex is just pointless. Yes, I know he SHOULD do the right thing and, yes, WE all know what the right thing is but HE is not interested. I can not guilt him or shame him into doing what I ask when it comes to our son. I don’t ask for anything else. I want nothing from him.

      For example, even this year, my mother asked me if I had talked to ex about giving me money for Santa gifts for our son. I just looked at her. While he did the right thing last year, I was still in shock from DDay, he was not living with OW and it was all still so new. We didn’t even have a parenting agreement at the time. This year. I don’t even want to engage him. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Plus I am living rent-free with my sister right now. I have Santa money.

  • Jen, anger is a very normal part of our grieving process for the loss of what we thought we once had but never really did. Anger also helps propel us forward into a healing and healthy place eventually. I was like a bubbling cauldron of acid waiting to burn my ex husband to death and I am very serious about that. He destroyed all that was good about our marriage and family and he nearly destroyed me in the process with his betrayal. Truly, my anger has subsided and it has really only happened this past week. It has taken a few years but I saw a picture of him at a booze-up in his new home of Cambodia and just looking at what a shell of a person he is me feel so sorry for him but I know that he is happy and living how he now wants to. The anger just faded away because I know that the person I thought I knew and once loved never really existed. He is gone for good. There is no point in me being angry at a mirage. I still hold out hope for my 2 adult kids contacting me one day but there isn’t any anger regarding them. Just love which will remain until my dying day.

    • Maree, you have made huge progress! So happy you were able to see that picture of your ex and feel nothing but pity. I still avoid any pictures of my ex and his family like the plague. As long as I’m focused on my family and friends I do better. This Christmas will be challenging because I’m not sure anyone will be around, but I’m determined to volunteer or find something to do. I tell myself I’ll actually have two Christmases because one kid is coming before the holiday, and the other is coming after. I try very hard not to think of all my kids together at their Dad’s resort home and just be grateful for when I’m able to see them. Even though we might think the grass is greener on the other side, we can only focus on watering our own lawn and taking care of ourselves.

      • Thanks Lyn. Yes, I have come a very long way since D-Day. I understand you avoiding looking at pictures of your ex and his family. These things tend to take us back a few steps after having invested so many years of our lives with these disordered people. Christmas is always a challenge Lyn for all sorts of reasons but the more people I speak with the more I realise that many, many people do spend their Christmas alone and are quite happy with that because they cannot handle all that the day or season entails. I volunteer at a Salvation Army house and it is a very rewarding day. Then I go home and eat whatever I like and have a glass of ‘pink’ bubbles’, it has to be pink!! Have a wonderful Christmas Lyn and focus on you because you deserve it. xoxo

    • Maree – You are mighty! Your posts often brought tears to my eyes. I salute your resilience and progress as you build your next life chapter.

  • Childless not by choice here…
    Sorry I can not weigh in on how horrible it is to co parent.
    However, the anger, I get it. Luckily, my situation affords no contact forever, but the rage, it is horrible.
    At 2 1/2 years since discard, there are still many waves of anger sometimes multiple times a day, but what this Chump has learned is that one gets better and better at self counseling and the episodes are becoming shorter for the most part as time goes on.
    The old me thought love could last forever, the newly recovering chump thought the anger would kill me as surely as I thought the shock and sadness would put me in a grave. What I am noticing now is that the anger is there, but the intensity of the homicidal urges are abating. Maybe my synapses have had all the emotional surges they can handle and they are just burning out? Who knows, but it is improvement!
    No scientific back up here, but I honestly think there is only so much emotional intensity one can endure. I am sure my cortisol levels are burned out as a result of the stress. Whatever the reason, the anger is becoming more tolerable and a background noise instead of the main feature film.

    • “The intensity of the homicidal urges are abating”. Love this. You are the main feature Echo! Your getting there!! As we get better they self destruct. Now that’s a comedy in the making.

  • I beyond needed this post today! I am about 10 months since I kicked him out and the divorce was finalized about 5 months ago. I am living with my parents, not by choice as I am waiting on retirement money from the settlement but I believe it was divine intervention that the timing is having me with them through the first holidays after the divorce. Is it fucking January yet!?!?! I had it put in the divorce judgement that no significant others allowed around our 5 yr old until 2016, secretly praying his little 23yr old yoga bendy ex employee schmoopie would of got bored with his ass by now (he has the personality of a fucking rock) but no such luck. So that looming over my head and thinking of hearing my precious little boy coming home after play dates with his “dad” and the homewrecker is making me loose my shit! I know it is obsessing over what I can’t control. I know it is my job to just BE there. Keep being there doing all the heavy parent lifting myself like I have been doing since DDay a year and a half ago. I want to do it alone because it is just easier. I know I am the sane one and my son will see that eventually. I love hearing all the stories of how worth it is as they get older that you remained the stability in their life. I hate that I bred with such a fucktard. I am my sons safe place. I am his home and when he comes home saying how much fun he had on his little play date with douchebag daddy and the whore who shall not be named (because all his weekends are basiclally playdates) I will smile, nod and say how happy I am he had so much fun … walk away scream in a pillow and pour myself a glass of wine and return to ask him which movie he wants to snuggle to in bed tonight! It is the biggest shit sandwich I can imagine. I keep up the mantra this holiday season, since it is my first since the divorce, that this year is so much better than last year during the false wreckonciliation and this year is no where near as good as next year will be. This year I will smile and fake it till I make it for my son but again… is it fucking January yet?!?!?!

  • Jen,
    At only 7 months from D-day I may not have much advice here. My divorce is final, x has moved out and he still does things that make me mad. On Thanksgiving I found out he told the kids I spend all my free time at a bar in our neighborhood. I have been to that establishment twice in as many years, none since we split. I ignore him and only interact through email, unless it is absolutely necessary. Tonight will be one of those nights where he is choosing to be at a child’s event that he has skipped for the past three years. Why? I can only assume to triangulate using our child. I will grey rock and save my anger for after I go home. Like I said I’m not there yet.

    But I have made strides and truth be told what works for me is:
    1 – No Contact, No Contact, No Contact!
    2 – No free time, yup, fill that calendar with things to do and places to go, lots of the lighting ceremonies on my calendar these days
    3- Friends, who needs them? You do! Not to talk about all that has happened, Lord knows mine have been super supportive, but to do new things with and make new memories.
    4 – Acupuncture with an emphasis on cupping for the physical symptoms of the stress.
    5 – Trust that he sucks. We say it a lot here because its a lesson most of us have to learn.

    Hope that helps and that you are one step closer to meh today.

  • It took me a month or so after DDay to realize that we weren’t co-parenting. I had been emailing ex with TONS of information about our son….his response was crickets. So I stopped. I realized that I was spoon-feeding him information and it was work for me. If he ASKED me for information about our son, I would respond. Always in email too. And guess what? He never asks me anything! He will only ask me for information if our son mentions something to him and he is clueless about the situation.

    I also make a point to NOT cover for him with my son. It is KILLING me (for my son) right now that he has not solidified his plans to see his son during the Christmas holiday. We were emailing almost a month ago about it but he never confirmed his plans. And so I am letting it go! I tell my son that Daddy has not said when he is doing Christmas with him. What is scary is that our parenting agreement has this crazy stipulation in it for Christmas. If ex doesn’t see son for Christmas eve or Christmas day for 3 years in a row, he gets our son for both days. Something like that. Of course he’d have to be willing to take me to court. And don’t you know I am documenting all of it. All of his inaction. Lack of follow-through.

    I am so glad I don’t have to co-parent. My expectations are low. Even more so than before. I see who he is now. It’s really heartbreaking. I can’t look at him.

    One thing that I hate we didn’t cover in the state-enforced child support is our son’s orthodontic treatment. There is a lot of out-of-pocket expense and HE gets reimbursed for what *I* pay. He (the ex) had a check FOR me but he needs to cash it to give me the money. So far, nothing. If he doesn’t get it to me soon, I will threaten him with increasing the child support. That may wake him up. He likes to keep his money…and mine. I knew he already spent that money when he chased that check. A-hole.

  • CL, fantastic advice (and lowering your expectations to the point where you’re gazing up at an ant’s belly is absolutely hysterical). I would suggest modifying that email correspondence to make it absolutely clear that the ex’s crappy actions are affecting your child. So instead of:

    “Bob, It was very distressing when you returned Tiffany on Monday instead of the court-appointed time on Sunday at 5 p.m. She missed her school matterhorn concert. Missing concerts is not in Tiffany’s best interest.” I might have said:

    “Bob, moving forward, please return Tiffany at the court-appointed time. When you returned her to me Monday, rather than the appointed time of Sunday at 5, she missed her school matterhorn concert, which was very distressing to her. Participating in her scheduled school functions is in her best interest.”

    In my case, the ex really didn’t care who he was distressing because he never believed me when I said he was bumming out our son. But at least I made it as clear as I could that his crappy actions were affecting our son and leaving my feelings out of it. If he thought he was bothering me, he’d do it more.

    In my case, I would cc my attorney if it happened more than once. Infuriated ex, but he towed the line once he settled down.

    • In MC while he was still cheating, we had a really productive session where it became clear that to STBX, all needs were mine. The kids need for shoes, for parenting, for structure, for afterschool activities were all mine. Thus when I asked for my actual emotional needs to be met he said I needed too much, bottomless cup, etc. And meanwhile he wasn’t meeting the needs the kids had either. The online sex was more satisfying, he truly didn’t feel good being selfless.

      I worked very hard after that time to talk about the kid’s needs. What did he want to do about the kid needing afterschool activities? Will he talk to the kids about what they wanted to do? Would he be responsible for signing them up and putting it on the calendar and tracking when to sign them up again?

      The reason we moved to D is that his attitude was that either he could be a better parent (he was working on that, which was a start) OR he could address the harm done to be from his cheating and make that up to me.

      I chose the kids because I think without me to blame for his inaction, he might consistently step up and that would be good for the kids. Either way, 100/0 feels so much better than 90/10 when I expected 50/50 when we were married. I mean he refused to *vacuum* when he kids were toddlers and crawling all over the floor. Yeah, I didn’t ask for that or even care before then, but the KIDS needed a clean space. I couldn’t wrap my head around fear of failure and procrastination for … vacuuming.

      Your phrasing was very useful, thanks.

      • Hatch, I thought this too; ‘I think without me to blame for his inaction, he might consistently step up and that would be good for the kids’ I even thought; he says he was so miserable in our relationship, well, maybe he will actually be happier now, and that will help him be a better dad. And without me to step in and take up the slack, he’ll see his responsibilities to the kids more clearly. Plus he won’t have them much of the time (about 15%, by the kids’ suggestion and his agreement), so he can enjoy his kid-free life so much of the time, surely it’ll be easier for him and he’ll be less resentful of the kids’ needs when they are with him.

        Hahahahahahahaha! Oh god, I was such an innocent! You know the ‘lower your expectations’ part? And now lower it further?? My ex taught me how low those expectations should go. Unfortunately, he was also showing that to our kids.

        (And I did everything I could to encourage the kids to have a good relationship with him, including not revealing his cheating, not bad-mouthing him, and sending them off and receiving them back with smiles.)

        Final result, from about a year and a half after I kicked his cheating ass out? The kids see him for a few hours, once a month. And that only because I, and the family therapist I made him get for him and the kids after all hell broke loose, insisted on that.

        Fortunately he is VERY good, even generous, about providing for the kids financially. I super appreciate that he’s so responsible in this one area. Our lives would be much harder without that.

        So, for your kids’ sake, I very much hope that your ex DOES step up in his parenting. But don’t get your hopes too high. The same selfishness, entitlement, and any other bad qualities your ex has shown over the years, and that led to his cheating, will likely also lead him to be an amazingly bad parent. (And I agree that we MUST step back from that parent-child relationship and let the involved parties figure it out. Adults can do that, eh? We do our kids no favours (never mind ourselves!) when we continue to prop up their parenting, try to run interference for our kids, and try to make it easier for them.)

        • BTW, wanted to clarify that the kids see their dad so little by THEIR choice. They actually wanted to never see him again, ever, for anything. They were 12 and 13 at the time. But the therapist and I insisted on a tiny bit of time, as he was a neglectful, selfish asshole, not an abuser or anything, and we thought it was healthier for the kids. Of course he STILL shows them who he really is in other ways, but at least now he’s SUPER careful with them!

      • My STBX (who very recently moved out) accused me of being “ungrateful” because he “took care of the kids for me”
        When I had the stomach flu this week (for one day). Maybe he was expecting minimum wage as a babysitter? HE IS THEIR GODDAMNED FATHER. Sigh. Maybe he will never realize that and I’ll be better off.

  • In my case, most of the time I’m not thinking about my ex at all, or feeling any anger or any other emotion about him. But then he’ll pull some stunt, like the bizarrely sociopathic mind-fuck-via-text-message game he played with me while he was filing for a modification of his support orders, and my blood will start boiling all over again. It’ll take awhile for that anger to subside, but it will, and then I’ll be back to the mostly-meh state I usually feel. I think that’s probably pretty typical for those of us far out from our divorce…. it’s pretty much water under the bridge, but every once in awhile, the cheating ex pulls some stunt, or some sort of trigger happens to bring the emotions back to the surface.

    But time heals all wounds, they say, and I’ve found that to be true. When you go as NC as possible (I was stupid to not have my ex blocked on my phone, but he certainly is now) and focus on your own life, the anger eventually diminishes. And the more time goes by, the faster the periodic resurgences of anger subside. It’s very hard while you are co-parenting with a cheater, though, and probably you won’t be able to entirely reach meh until the kids are older. But it will happen eventually if you want it to.

    My son is 19 now, and back in contact with his dad, although for nearly a year he cut off contact with him. Ex and his sisters harassed son like crazy during that year, it was unbelievable. Son has very mixed feelings about his father, but chooses to remain in contact with him for now, even though he says his dad is crazy and a liar (unfortunately true on both counts.) I know my ex will eventually really hurt our son again, but I also know son will have to figure it out for himself. When ex pulls some sort of mind fuck or manipulation on our son, that does bring my anger roaring back to the surface, however.

    By the way, I thought about all of you and the mighty Chump Nation power while I waited my turn in court yesterday. You all would have loved it…. the judge came down on my ex like a hammer. She warned him repeatedly that he had better get a full time job and pay off his arrears or he could be held in contempt. She had no patience for his rambling nonsense and obviously saw right through his bullshit. He sounded like a blathering fool on the speakerphone — he was not physically there but used the phone-in court call service — and at several points, people in the crowded courtroom actually laughed at his stupid talk. He thought he was going to walk away free and easy, would have his ordered payments reduced to zero, but instead, he now has a HIGHER order to pay each month. Stupid fool shot himself in the foot because of his vindictive rage against me. Disordered people do that a lot.

    • Good post, Glad. The anger does subside, then rears its ugly head, and then subsides again usually faster than before.

      That court description is very, very similar to a situation I had as well. Judge interrupted proceedings to confirm that word salad shooter, rambling ex had been sworn in. Ex was also on phone and didn’t see the room laughing at his inane blathering. Feels good, don’t it? I’m chinking a glass of Champagne in your direction (figuratively, that is).

    • Yes! Glad the judge (and the rest of the courtroom!) saw through his antics.

      I see “contempt of court” in his future.

      • GIO

        What a glorious moment!! And the audience laughed at his ramblings! Sweet, sweet justice!! Not even a sad sausage, a wiener! Congrats!! You deserve this!!!

    • GIO – that’s great news (about Loonytunes losing his case in court and being ordered to pay more -ROFL). I’m so, so glad for you. 😀 xxxx

    • Great news, Glad. Isn’t it great when their entitlement makes them mess up that way? I tried in vain to get my ex to compromise on a change in child support (he moved out of state). I was willing to go just a few hundred dollars a month higher…. Nope, he wanted court. Yes sir, whatever you want sir…. And now he pays double to support his kids.

    • Great news GIO, so happy for you, and thanks for sharing, this restores a bit of my trust in the family law + “justice” system.

  • Listen to CL’s advice — so good.

    I don’t have kids, but we did share the dog because he was very old at the time. I can only offer what I have learned and it is about 1) boundaries 2) learning new behavior 3) there is nothing wrong with you.

    1) Boundaries – YOU are in charge of your life now. Y.O.U. Let this sink in. You now set and live by your rules (e.g. you give one warning letter if the support is late then you will have his wages garnished and then you do it.) This is tough at first but it works. YOU are doing what is best for your kids. You are not doing what is best for your EX.

    2) Learning New Behavior – You have likely had the same way of dealing with your EX forever so this is tough. It is like starting a new exercise or health regime and you need to be aware and keep make changes. CL says do not take the bait. Absolutely never take the bait. Do not engage unless necessary. Also repeat after me: he is a grown adult who can take care of himself. For me – what I found helpful was to stop and ask:”is this healthy? will this get me to a place that is healthy”. If no, then stop – re-adjust.

    3) There is nothing wrong with you. You are the normal one. Stop letting him make you feel bad. Accept that he is never going to the right thing – ever.

    Anger is normal. Anger is there because he is still in control. It will go with time. In the interim, do something healthy for yourself like running or boxing.

  • I too have such rage and have been told that the hate pours out of me when ever I have even think of my cheating ex. My kids are older so no coparenting except our son is in college and his father is paying since I have no way to do so. Holds that carrot over our son saying how he was there for him because I can not be. I told ex that doesn’t make you a good parent just a good bank.

    What burns my ass the most is the hypocrisy. Do as I say not as I do because I have justification for why I don’t follow any rules but how terrible others break them! My kids are starting to buy into it and it kills me! They are 22 and 25. I can hear his bull shit in what they say.

    FYI ex is living the high life because tramp has money. Huge house, they have been together 4+ years and living together for two. Son tells me how happy they are together and how it is all for the better. My daughter is not happy and has trust issues. My son has struggles much more than he will acknowledge.

    Sorry to vent but today is 4 years since I read the email titled “I am in love with the most gorgeous man alive!”
    So happy to be away from him but angry.., make sense?

    • Jenn, you can vent all you want here in Chump Nation. I am sorry that you are having to go through the sh*t storm particularly when it involves your kids. I maintain that it doesn’t matter how old our kids are and mine are 36 and 33, they are still affected by their parents divorce. The rage you feel is normal. I can tell you that a few years back I could have ended up in gaol because I was so devastated but more so for my kids but I wasted my energies because they have cut me off and I no longer have contact with them. Maybe that is for the best because I don’t have to hear about their sperm donor. I have heard, seen and learned enough in the past few years to be grateful that I am now on my own and eventually you will be grateful also. Don’t be envious of your ex living the high life because facades create an illusion that we chumps fall for and it adds to our grief. Don’t wish your ex any harm or bad luck. I am now at that place but I like to think that when justice is served, it will be swift. Your ex and his tart will have their day. It may not be tomorrow but it will happen, it always does. Be happy and have a great Christmas with your children. ((HUGS))

      • Thank you Maree!

        I am sorry to hear about your children. I so agree with the effects this has on children no matter the age. My father did the same thing to my mother when I was 22, trust me it leaves scars!! I think that is a fear of mine as well especially lately where I can hear his words coming out of my son’s mouth. I raised them better than to believe the bull he is preaching but when it comes from the parent then tend to believe it even as adults. I just don’t understand.

        Hope the you have a wonderful Chriistmas and hugs right back to you! This time of year us chumps need extra!

    • Jenn–Anger is a rational response to all you/we have suffered. Never be made to feel guilty about being angry that a person you trusted buried a machete in your back, upended your life, and put you at a severe disadvantage in what should have been an equitable relationship by having the marriage be 2-1 against you.

      Don’t let the anger prevent you from crafting your own life (and it doesn’t sound as if it does), but you earned that anger. It is a legitimate response to what you endured.

  • In this season of Thankfulness, I am thankful that Crapweasel exploded out family when my daughter was more or less grown up. He ignored her for years, of course. But I didn’t. And when it got brutal, I found her a lovely therapist who specialized in college-aged kids and the things they need. I cannot say enough good things about how she helped my daughter find her strength and values at a time when I was a blubbering mess of oobleck, nevertheless trying hard to be her mom.

    Crapweasel no longer even answers my emails about paying our daughter;s college loans (although he does pay his share.) I read recently on a Michael J.Fox site that he (crapweasel) said, ‘ Somehow’, Narcissa came into my life and her zest for living and enthusiasm for everything is so inspiring.” Barf barf.

    You know whose zest for everything is inspirational, Crapweasel? Your own DAUGHTER. Who is amazing, and loving, and has integrity, and does good in the world, and has a conscience, and is funny and creative, and hard working and all the wonderful things our kids are. NO THANKS to you.

    She won’t even talk to him….nothing to do with me, I keep out of it. But she’s an adult, she sees clearly, and for now, she’s made a choice to keep the tawdry poison away.

    What a loss. Of all the losses in the world, to intentionally throw away your own child…I cannot comprehend. For those who have, blessings, and for me, I think if I lost my child I would lose my mind (what little there is left). I just can’t even. Maybe it’s christmas.

    There is a lovely poem we read in my church by Sophia Lyon Fahs: Merry/ Happy/Blessed everything to you all–

    For So the Children Come

    Poem by Sophia Lyon Fahs

    For so the children come
    And so they have been coming.
    Always in the same way they come
    born of the seed of man and woman.

    No angels herald their beginnings.
    No prophets predict their future courses.
    No wisemen see a star to show where to find the babe
    that will save humankind.

    Yet each night a child is born is a holy night,
    Fathers and mothers —
    sitting beside their children’s cribs
    feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning.

    They ask, “Where and how will this new life end?
    Or will it ever end?”

    Each night a child is born is a holy night —
    A time for singing,
    A time for wondering,
    A time for worshipping.

  • My ex has the maturity of a 16 yr old, so there is no co parenting. The older my children grow mentally it is much more noticeable to myself and the children. I have been told many time’s to MOVE ON, it was so hurtful to hear these words until I used the UBT and it became clear that MOVE ON in his world meant, eat the shit sandwich, be nice and wear those rose colored glasses of years gone by…SPACKLE DAMMIT.
    The last time I read those word’s from him, I told him hes a fuckwit and delusional, I have moved on and my life no longer involves him, he is on his own with the relationship with his children. I signed off with good luck in your life ( the equivalent of fuck off in adult language).
    I went no communication with him on that day and never looked back,( MEH..really come’s quicker after no communication begins. ) It is amazing when you are no longer the event coordinator for dysfunctional people that visit’s become few and far in between.
    Am I angry? I am indifferent at this point, he is a pathetic middle aged man who will never truly be at peace trying to have a do over of his earlier years…constant state of should of, could of, would of.
    I am now a middle aged woman who finally feels good in my own skin, at peace and thankful everyday for the rebirth I now have. It took 2 years of a living hell to get here…

  • I wanted to just add a little more advice when it comes to custody of your children. Do not just accept 50/50 custody if you do not feel like that is what is best for the kids or if the kids express hesitation to be with the cheater parent. My lawyer told me most people do 50/50 these days and that’s just what is done in family court now. I KNEW in my heart that this is not what is best for my kids so I petitioned the court for a court appointed custody evaluator. The evaluator was a well trained counselor that interviewed all four of us and it was his conclusion that my stbx was an abuser and should be with the kids only a limited time. The evaluator suggested that my ex get the kids only every other Saturday for 8 hours and for him to take parenting classes and have intensive therapy. If he does these things and changes are made then he suggests dad gets them every other weekend and that’s it. The eval report said 50/50 should never be considered. I was told I would never get a ruling like this from a court appointed official but I did. My point- use some of that fire and fight for what is best for your kids. It will pay off in some way. Good luck and hugs to you Jen.

  • What about those of us chumps who had no kids with the loser (thankfully!) and no longer has their heart involved with the loser BUT can’t rid the HATE? And I do mean hate. I don’t think of idiot much anymore but when I do it is filled with lots of ill will, anger, hate, everything bad and negative.
    What do we folk do? 🙂

    • Naturally you would hate someone who treated you like crap. Too bad you cant kick him in his nards or shove him down a flight of stairs. But you can write a little short story in your head where you do just that. Imagine him in the ocean drowning. Instead of a floatie you throw him a dumbell. See? In REAL life you live the most fabulous life you can. Go out and live large. He will wonder if you suddenly came into some money. Let him wonder! Its none of his damn business!

    • IHaveHate … Like you, I never had kids with ‘The Great I Am’ either (thank goodness), and I too don’t think of him as much as I used to, but when I do I’m filled with loathing, rage, resentment, hatred etc, etc. I think I’m ok with that. I can’t imagine a time when I’ll not loathe him with every fibre of my being, but I trust eventually my mind will stop recalling all that shit. Eventually the ‘knock-on’ effect of ever having him in my life will stop (like I’m at last getting carpets fitted next week in the house I had to move into after shitface had our home repossessed – hurrah, so being miffed about broken tile flooring being a consequence of knowing him will stop next week, hurrah, hurrah, hurrah 🙂 ).

      Ultimately, he was loathsome and I loathe him – seems fair enough to me. I don’t feel I need to work on changing my feelings about that. 🙂

      • Well, Jayne, ‘The great I Am’ (love that!) must have worked very, very, very hard to acquire a reputation like this, so it’s entirely on him! He succeeded at one thing, eh?

        I do quite a lot of damage to MoFaux in my imagination and then I go and do something else! No kids here either (too old) . . . so very grateful.

        Blessings on you. You survived.

        • Thank you Virago, I gratefully accept your blessings and return those wishes to you 🙂 And yes, at last, I do realise – I SURVIVED!! Hurrah for me! 😀

          (MoFaux – lol and chuckle … 😀 ) x

    • I suggest therapy…to help you use that hate towards something that will help you. I am NO WAY one of those ” oh just love yourself, and hate is bad for you blah blah” types. I have a friend who was in the Navy for 8 years and I regularly make him blush!

      But hate is energy, and instead of wasting in the old bastid, use that energy, like the heat of the sun, to make something better…like go out and hate people who hurt animals, and thereby help the critters. Or hate batterers, and help at a women’s shelter. Heck, go hate weeds, and garden the shit out of your space.

      But your exhole is gone, and hating him gets you nowhere. Use the hate to get somewhere new. (My opinion, and I hope it doesn’t sound disrespectful of your feelings. I just got off the phone with Crapweasel for the first time in over a year–health insurance–and I was damned near hysterical. Jeeze I hate that bunghole! 😉 )

    • Oh, I so get that rage. I lived with it for a long, long time. The utter frustration of the unfairness of the whole situation. The fact I was utterly powerless over a horrible outcome despite how hard I tried. The fact that cheater ex was enabled by the court, by friends, by his family and then managed to escape justice. The fact that his family continued the abuse after cheater ex exited stage left. Yep… I get it.

      IHH, the biggest fuck you to a narcissistic jerk off is to remove them from centrality in your life. I had to consciously stop each obsessive thought about cheater ex when it popped into my head. I had to do this for a long time. When I found myself obsessing about him and the unfairness of it all, I had to say to myself….Stop. He can’t have anymore of my life, time, energy or mental real estate. Not.One.More. Second. …Not. One. More. Fucking. Second. …Fuck him. Then I would replace obsessive thoughts of him with thoughts of something that I loved or was meaningful to me. At first it was an every five minute cycle but as time went on the intervals got longer and longer.

      Eventually it worked. But it takes a while. It’s basically replacing negative conditioning with more positive conditioning and it is definitely a process.

      The other thing I had to do was to recognize that I could not carry that burden of unrelenting rage and not put my own mental health at risk. I was never going to get the outcome I wanted. He was never going to pay the piper in this life. It was time to turn the whole mess over to Spirit. That being said, there isn’t anything I ever turned over to Spirit that didn’t have plenty of claw marks on it. For me it meant turning it over again and again and again. Eventually it takes, and I gain a measure of peace of mind and serenity.

      Today I value my serenity above all else. It is my stable foundation when the going gets tough. IHH, you will also know when it is time to lay your burden down. Hang in there Sweetie, I’m rooting for you!

    • IHH, Jayne, and everyone else harboring hatred for your X (raising my hand here)–as with righteous anger, hatred is a perfectly natural response to the person who sabotaged your life, deceived you, and (frankly) emotionally raped you. I also know, IHH, that you carry the vestiges of your X’s cheating for the rest of your life. Seriously, what’s not to hate?

      Two caveats–the intensity or frequency of the hatred should decrease over time (perhaps a loooooonnnnnggg time), and it shouldn’t get in the way of forging ahead with your own life. Once you’ve met those conditions, hate away.

  • IHH, all of us understand and identify with you and how you feel. In due course you won’t feel anything towards your ex at all. We all get there in our own good time but we do eventually get there. I never, ever thought that I would say that but it will happen, trust me on that. I hung on for grim death and I had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from what was going to kill me if I didn’t make certain changes in my attitude and thought processes. I am happy to say that I have made those changes and I am looking forward and not back and I hope that you also feel like this sooner rather than later. xoxo

    • IHH

      I try to love myself more than I hate him. I make a mental list of all his shortcomings starting with his small crooked dick. He can’t hear, is an alcoholic, takes drugs, fucks slunT bar whores, can’t pay his taxes, lies to everyone, is selfish, is in debt, dreams big but never achieved a goal and basically is a serial cheating narcissist who uses everyone he comes in contact with. That just made me love myself much, much more. In the end they move in with THEMSELVES. And that’s a shitty fucking package.

  • “She’s capable of being a decent, functional person for other people!”
    Nope. Because she is a liar and disordered. On the extreme surface it might look like this – but beneath – people are tired of her bullshit crap that she spews. And its only a matter of time before people nope out of that situation.

  • Keep your head up high, and concentrate on you and your kids. Follow all of CL’s advice. It’s hard not to be angry, but being angry only hurts YOU not HIM. I know you said you don’t want to talk to a psych, but they can advise cognitive behavioural therapies that can help reframe and manage difficult emotions like anger. That has personally really helped me. Otherwise, journalling or selective venting with a trusted friend who will back you up and tell you he’s a fuckwit. Also, exercise + live the shit out of your life. I’m sorry this has happened to you and so many of us. It’s fucked. But we have to live our best lives. We owe that to ourselves. Because unlike our cheating lying exes, we are not fuckwits. Remember, you’ve got this. x

  • The level of rage I experienced as a result of my ex-husband stabbing me in the back was astonishing to me. It was physically painful. It was like trying to contain an exploding hand grenade inside my body every day. I never ever want to feel that level of anger again. But I know I’ll never be the person I was before all of this. I’m trying to find my ‘new normal’ as they say.

  • This post is timely since I saw my daughters fb post today while on lunch break. She lives with me, her Sperm Donor and his whore live in the marital house. We haven’t been allowed to take nothing out….not one thing…. last year his whore used my tree and decorations. Yea….so my daughter got pissed and cut the lights to the tree…. he pressed criminal charges against her. Nice guy…. he kicked her out, changed the locks, and has been a prick about her getting her belongings….saying they are marital assets. Her post today just reflected how anxiety ridden she is….how she just wants her stuff and be done with him.
    She is 20….so I had 4 months of Coparenting a 17 3/4 old….and it was a nightmare. I would have put a bullet in his head if I had to do it with small children. Plus his whore would leaver her vibrator out for my girls to see and tell me. Sick sick…. so glad it is almost finished.. supposedly a nice fat check.is being delivered by months end….then all that’s left is to argue over dishes and my grandma dresser. Yes….he is that fucking petty….oh and the rooster weathervane and cookie sheets. You guys who do this for 18 years…..I applaud you.
    I work for an attorney now….so you should hear the called we get about visitations. It’s crazy. Petty….mean…. follow the court order….Period.

    • This is why I believe that sometimes, the karma bus has to be given a bit of a prod by yourself. Or sometimes be driving by yourself.
      I don’t even know this whore, but reading what you said makes me want to drag the bitch out by her hair and throw her off a cliff.
      If you have any rights to that house, you have a right to get your belongings. Whatever that prick says is contrary to that. Pursue it, if you aren’t already (by the sounds of it, you are. If thats the case, petition to get your daughter’s belongings out at the same time)

  • OMG THIS IS MY LIFE! My oldest wants nothing to do with him so makes it easy but my son goes back and forth and of course there is alimony and child support and other issues as per the MSA that need to be enforced. In fact we return to court in February. I would love to not have to deal with him but I am not going to roll over. So instead of arguing I document and give it to the attorney. Best thing is that the motion to compel requires that he pays the attorneys fees.

    I get the exact same thing when I need to contact him…. its all my fault and how bad of a mother I am and how wonderful schmoopie is. Eye rolling and move on. Now I see his not contacting me is one way of trying to get to me… he loves to treat me like I am not worth communicating with… really isn’t that much different than our marriage.

    ONE THING I DO THAT REALLY SEEMS TO IRRITATE HIM IS THAT I OUTSOURCE MY COMMUNICATION WITH HIM THROUGH A COMPANY IN INDIA!!!!!!!!. It costs $10 a month (Habilss). I figure if my virtual assistant writes him he can not unload on the VA like he would me…. hahaha. It goes something like this…. Ms. W asks that you pay your alimony on time as per the MSA as it is in the interest of both of you to avoid court costs. Signed Johnson Madivanana VA/Habiliss or something like that. He HATES having our dirty laundry aired in public even though its India.

    • “ONE THING I DO THAT REALLY SEEMS TO IRRITATE HIM IS THAT I OUTSOURCE MY COMMUNICATION WITH HIM THROUGH A COMPANY IN INDIA!!!!!!!!. ”

      OMG Did not think of this, totally keeping this in the back pocket if things keep getting rougher!

      • Likewise! I LOVE that idea!

        The problem I have is that my STBXW seems to just copycat whatever I do in terms of communication. So if outsource, then she’ll outsource, which could make things a little too full of extra work for my liking.

        The oddest thing is that she sort of insists on providing extra details that I don’t want or need when we communicate about our daughter. E.g., where she is traveling and/or why on custody dates that we need to swap, etc.

        I never provide any detail at all, just the facts and using the fewest amount of words needed. IN some cases, I just respond with Y or N – literally one character. But she seems to feel some sort of compulsion to give me some details about her life, as if I will care about them. She’s a total stranger to me, so I don’t really care now; I wish she’d copycat me on *that* aspect! 🙂

  • I must say that as much as I was unhinged by X-holes behavior, his (basic) abandonment of our beautiful son has been a painful shock for me. In the beginning of the end he screamed and yelled that he would fight me for custody, or shared custody, of our son. He would NEVER get it and we both knew it but he at least feigned interest. The ONLY relationship he puts effort into is the one that keeps his dick happy. My poor baby LOVES his useless and disgustingly self-absorbed dad and he deserves better, MUCH better.

    We do not have any legal arrangements, (not yet) for visitation or child support, I let my son go with his dad every other weekend because it is what is BEST for him. Has nothing to do with any consideration for his father as he has no concern for anyone but himself and helps with ZERO support, emotionally or financially. NO support whatsoever….spends his money travelling with OWhore doing sparkly fun stuff for them because they DESERVE it dontcha know!! Paying bills, paying child support, filing taxes, paying fines….all falls on mere mortals and not the disordered because they’re special and above the law.

    When X-hole first left he was getting our son one night each week in addition to his weekends, but that was short lived. He has expressed to me that he wants “more time” with our son and I have said “show me that you’re serious, that you will be consistent and that he is a priority and we will arrange more time “. Guess what?? Not one more word about it. He doesn’t give a shit and/or has more important things to do. He PRETENDS to give a shit to hide the truth because the truth is painful and telling. My son went from snuggling up to his dad every night (he was 7) to seeing him every other weekend, and his time with dad is always shared with 2 of his siblings from his father’s previous marriage. Zero one-on-one time for him. I can’t imagine the damage this has done and will continue to do to my beautiful and loving child.

    I also tried being the responsible parent and keeping him notified of events and activities until I realized that he didn’t give a shit. Conferences…no show. Baseball games….no show. Now…if he cares I figure he will ask, I’m not holding my breath. Fuck him.

    Angry? You bet! Jealous? No fucking way! As I’ve said before…. many times… there is no forgiveness for hurting my son and having zero remorse for it. He is a piece of shit.

    • NCStevie, your son will learn in time that he cannot rely on his father for much at all.
      And then, he can make the choice to no longer see him, if he desires. Rather than being forced to go because court order says so.

    • I think this the worse thing out of all this. How the kids finally come to the realization that their dad doesn’t give a crap about them. To go from them being daddy’s little girl or son to I can’t make time for you because this younger insecure pyscho bitch OW is more important than you and does not allow me to see you unless she is there and you are not worth standing up to her because I am old and afraid of losing her kibbles. And if she doesn’t get kibbles from you then you gotta go. So fucking ill. How is a kids supposed to deal with that?

      • Actually can’t blame his shitty choices on his OWhore, she’s 4 hours away, not divorced yet and has 3 boys of her own. Their schmoopie woopie time is mostly on the phone and maybe one or two weekends a month. It’s not about her, it’s about him. What he gets from her….still about him. He has better things to do, besides her and son…like go to the gym and work out and act important and get his ego (and othervstuff) stroked. He is super f’d up and out of control. Sometimes I swear he’s going to come completely undone before this is all over. He is just a shitty dad, that’s on him.

    • Angry? You bet! Jealous? No fucking way! As I’ve said before…. many times… there is no forgiveness for hurting my son and having zero remorse for it. He is a piece of shit.

      This!!!!^^^^^^^

      Exactly, NCStevie, exactly!!!!

    • Did your son have contact with his dads other children before you split? Was his dad married when you met him then?

  • Thank you. I needed this post today. X managed to have son miss his first band concert and blamed me for not telling him…..um the school sent out no fewer than 3 emails concerning this event. And our child was in band today to hear the details……so no, not taking the responsibility for that one. Yeah, I was on the documentation train when I pulled up the site and read this.

  • Thanks for this post, CL,

    Kiddo (now 16) and I are now living half the globe away from the exhole, who was an extraordinary, nestshitting coward. His choices have set her up for a good few years of hard times and therapy. We both have C-PTSD.

    He really screwed her over. The OW was her ‘Auntie’, his bro’s ex, who lived down the street, mother Kiddo’s cousin, who was like a sister to my Kiddo. So yeah, nest-shitter. They were at school together, and a lot of the D-day fallout was between Kiddo and her Cousin. Made worse, of course by Mr Fab getting Kiddo an iphone-our policy had been she only use the desktop for web. But Disney Dad, what fucking else? So Cousin started an awful campaign against Kiddo. Poor kid, she was my neice, but can’t help her, she lives with her Mom (Downgrade) and her UncleDad (Mr Fab). It got REALLY bad for the kiddo. We tried moving school, it was still awful (she was cutting). Sick and dizzy yet?

    When we told her, I made him tell her why. There follwed two years of Hell on Toast: utter non-cooperation with schedule, insistence on ‘his’ time, forcing her to share a room with despicably behaved cousin.

    Once I stopped spackling, the Mr Fab scenery came crashing down pretty quick, and once Kiddo was of age to declare, she said she wanted to live with me in The USA (dual heritage). She is down to see her Dad and Auntie/Stepmom/Downgrade/”Dad’s Bint” and Cousin (who seems to have grown through it but still has serious anger issues) once per summer on the documents.

    I did what CL says

    1-record
    2-never mind a gnat’s belly, lower your expectations past chapter 9 of Dante’s Inferno
    3-embrace the new. tou were a single parent anyway
    4-They will hang themselves…example. Of course Mr Fab lied about the duration. We found out because of Facebook message being left open. That had a time and a date, so his confession matched the evidence. He did so because infidelity is materially relvant where we were. So last summer, he loans her Kiddo old phone. And she finds sexts, gojng back to when she was eight. Not twelve. So I am in a position to sue for a shitload. Which brings me to 5.

    5 -The Road to Meh is long, and winding, but the first step has to be in a direction directly opposite your cheater.

    Kiddo is doing FAB. Overcoming anxiety, rocking good grades, kind friends, acts with integrity. A realist about her Dad, working with a genuinely good, well-experienced with cptsd/narc abuse therapist, and is starting to really call her own shots.

    So, she blew him off for Christmas (which I only agreed to to get her out of the country) and is going to the mountains with me and my family. But she still smokes the hopium, sometimes. She is just a kid.

    And with me, she CAN be a kid. This year is better than the one before, but not as good as next will be. Every day has less pain and more hope.

    Mehphista’s been quiet lately, but that’s because I am into a new freelance career. Segued into a new line of work, and on a learning curve that is pretty steep, raising a one-teenager, one forty something, two cat family in a new, lovely place with good people in it.

    I have kept this Chump Lady Quote in my undies drawer, so I see it every day.

    “Tuesday is coming. Keep Walking.”

    love you all,
    x-Meh

    • Good to hear that you are doing well!

      I especially like your point about the fact that chumps were single parenting long before the divorce or separation. Recognizing this was a great help to me–once I realized I wouldn’t be doubling the number of soccer practice drop-offs or hours spent helping with homework, but that I would be in fact eliminating arguments, frustration, and cleaning-up after an adult slob, I realized that going it alone was often much easier than parenting with an abusive, narcissist had ever been.

      • Amen to that-single parenthood LOOKS harder, but actually, it is so much easier to run a healthy happy household without a 200 pound adolescent. Kiddo’s teenage bs is bad enough, but SHE has the right to act like that. He never did.

  • Why don’t you eat the shit sandwich, Jen, and play nice? Why won’t you be his “friend”? Why must you insist on court schedules and child support? Why are you such a fucking hard ass? Oh, he knows why — you’re still hung up on him and Schmoopie, right? You’re just jealous of their awesomeness. He’s very sorry you can’t be awesome (you should work on that!)

    OMG, THIS^^^^^^^^

    PREEEEEEEEACH, SISTER TRACY, PREEEEEACH!!!!!!

  • what if the pig & his trolls left you with so many diseases you couldn’t have a live child until you were 42. I know I’m lucky; but there were so many repercussions.

    • I don’t know how you stop being angry about that kind of repercussion. I think, instead, you pat your self on the back for not giving way to murderous impulses. Your super-power is apparently an ability to control that justified anger.

  • well my delightful ex has lied to my teenage sons about New Year. Told them they would all be at our joint holiday home with their godfather, flights booked and friends invited, and then tells them that his awful girlfriend and eldest daughter, and another family they do not even know, will be there. They have holidayed before with her and said “never again”. He is so manipulative , its sick.

    So I go with children for xmas, then leave and he and girlfriend fly in. No idea at all, or interest in, how that makes my children feel.
    This is a property that we renovated and have spent family xmas in for 15 years, full of family holiday photo’s etc.

    Other woman now thinks its “hers” even though it has to be sold, and split.She even pretended to be me to an official in the local town. A real bunny boiler. Ex refusing to put it on the market. Still trying to finalise paperwork with divorce. Vast legal fees already. He lies and lies, and lies some more. Company shares apparently worthless etc etc. I have found letters proving he is a serial cheat and our entire marriage was a farce. He sees kids for an hour a week on average for 1 meal. Totally un-reliable. Co-parenting? er no.

    He told kids “why are you asking me for money?” – because you are their father??? (he gave them £7 to divide by 2 travel money)

    I find their complete disinterest in the feelings of their kids just bizarre. Ex’s new woman already been divorced twice, 4 kids, and had to have DNA test to determine father of eldest child. They both treat their kids as toys to be taken down to play with if nothing else better available.

    Super nice she is…..Have failed not to feel completely livid. All this “take the high road” is making me ill! Angry is not the word. I think its human. If we completely stopped our feelings, we would become like them. Its just getting the balance right which is so hard.

    I find thinking of my ex as a reptile, not a human, helps.

  • This post touches on so many great suggestions. Knowing I can only control myself is something that helps me immensely. My XW is such a terrible person and mother, but I cannot worry about that. My kids will figure it out someday, and that will be karma. Until then, I will enjoy my children and support them when their mom acts like a selfish asshole.

  • Yes they really do not like to take responsibility do they? CL is right (and other chumps too) that they actually feel entitled to devalue/discard and violate. This is something that they enjoy. Yes it is hard to imagine but the narcs they really like hurting us and they just don’t stop. EVER! Meh.

    Seriously the OW involved can be so dumb at times concerning the family finances. She thinks that SHE is getting the money and the Christmas home etc.. Narcs lie about everything to everyone..it is just the sparkle game. When losing control Narcs will do the 3 channels and you (when going meh) can watch it in awe in slow motion and say to yourself “Is this really happening?” Yep. It is. Oh my gosh!

    Consciously disengage from the mindfuck. Take your own power back by doing that. This is the ONLY thing you can win here…control of your own life and your own direction. (which actually becomes awesome at meh).

    Yes, they do notice and if you happen to have children with them it can go on for a long time. They are also not very smart and even when the jig is up they fight. They do not like that you just disengaged and took the power back. You don’t have to explain to him at all the reasons you have to do this but like little worms they will try to figure it out to gain control. It is sad.

    Invest in you, Take up a new hobby or take a new class. Learn a new language or how to read music. These are activities that better you and give you the rewards you desire for all the effort put in. This is a healthy relationship starting with yourself. Look for great relationships with the people in your life, romantic, platonic, business or otherwise. They should FEEL great. If they are driving you absolutely to the pit of despair? Consciously disengage from that shit. That means on purpose with intent.

    Have Character! You will be happier and so will all those people you interact with on this planet. Enjoy the rewards of that. Live in your own meh town. It helps and can apply to many other areas of life.

  • My ex abandoned our children. He does not see them at all, does not ask about them. He would not recognize our youngest, who is now 16 years old but was 12 when his father left. He does not know if he is playing sports, his father does not know what his voice sounds like or how tall he is now. I begged ex for years following the divorce to see the children, to go to counseling with them if needed, to do whatever he needed to do to re-establish a relationship with them. My last words to ex as he left the house on D-Day was that he should tell me what kind of visitation schedule he wanted with our youngest, the only minor in the house at that time. Following D-Day, I would try to set up and facilitate meetings between ex and the children. I would give ex sports schedule, school schedules, band concert schedules. I would forward ex school reports and photos of the children.

    But ex never attended one event, NOT ONE, in two years. Then he moved away to marry one of his AP’s without a word to any of the children. Last year I actually emailed ex and offered to assist him and AP#1 (with whom he admitted having had an affair for over 15 years) in re-establishing a relationship with his children. His response? Crickets.

    So anger? Hell yes, it goes on and on because his abandonment of our children goes on and on. He led a secret second life for decades, and when caught our whole world imploded. My kids have anxiety, depression and lack of trust now. And I am their only parent.

    Jeez, just writing this puts me in a rage. So I don’t have any good advice for how to get rid of the anger but that time will help it recede. Also for me, trying to accept how disordered ex is, that he will never see the children for even one weekend, for even one night, or even one meal. That he did not attend their college/law school graduations, and he certainly will not be there when our youngest graduates high school in 2 1/2 years. That in the future he will not attend any of their weddings, or see see his grandchildren. I doubt he will know when any of those events even occur.

    And he is ok with that, in fact it is his choice. I am admiringly jealous of divorced families where both parents are relatively sane, each maintain relationships with their children, and are each able to support them healthily into the future despite the divorce. Acceptance of how shitty ex is compared to these “normal” divorcees, and CL’s advise about keeping expectations LOW, is the only thing that keeps the anger in check and keeps me alive.

    • Kelly, although having a disordered parent is bad no matter what, I do think that often, the best way for the kids is if that disordered parent is out of their lives completely. Your kids are absolutely damaged and cheated by their father’s disgusting actions, but he might be pulling continual harm on them if he was around to see them. At least now they can move on as if he was dead. My dearest wish is that my ex would be completely out of our son’s life. It would be far better that way. His continued presence in son’s life merely causes depression, anger and confusion.

    • Hi kelly you are right…..my divorce has been ok and my kids unscathed. …I refused to engage in battle and accepted my exes decisions as his instead of fighting for him to think like I did…..it worked

  • It’s a no-win situation. You can’t help but be angry at the server of shit sandwiches. And when you have kids, the shit sandwich chef gets to be part of their lives too and a major influence on them. And God forbid you try to protect your kids from being emotionally hurt by the asshole who donated their genetic material to make them. You just can’t win. All you can do is your best, and eventually accept your new “normal”. When a cheater has kids they’re not just cheating on their spouse, they’re cheating on their entire family. But we’re supposed to “play nice” for “the sake of the children”. It’s too bad cheater wasn’t thinking about the sake of the children when they CHOSE to destroy their family.

    I say be angry, but don’t give the snakes the satisfaction of showing any emotional at all around them. I told my 13 year old that her father left the family because he was dating other women and he didn’t want to live with us anymore. I told her it wasn’t her fault, or my fault, it was her father’s choice. I refuse to lie to her and try to make her think her dad is a great person when he is not. No one ever told me what a selfish asshole my own dad was and I had to figure it out on my own. Looking back I wish someone had warned me. It would have saved me a whole lot of heartache trying to figure out.

  • I think we’ve all seen a perfect example of a Cheater Troll. L isn’t even a woman. This is just some guy in his underwear sitting in his mother’s basement because his wife found out he fucked the wrong person (literally and figuratively)—and has lost everything.

    The bitterness drips off of L—How Dare You Chumps Stand Up For Yourselves!! How Dare You Make Me Responsible for My Actions!!

    I don’t have to resort to ad hominem attacks, L—I can use very proper and very accurate language to let you know that you don’t make one iota of difference in this world.

    First of all, get a spell checker. You communicate like an ignoramus. Only small children, who don’t know any better—and irresponsible, disrespectful people expect others to compensate for their ignorance and laziness. Learn to communicate effectively and someone may listen.

    Second of all, coming onto a board that is a support group for betrayed spouses—-yet again, shows you are still just an ignoramus. Ignorant and disrespectful of the pain and distress that these people have endured.

    Third….L….you doth protest too much, when it comes to the “my children and I have the most perfect and wonderful relationship EVER!! and it’s all because I am a wonderful parent! and so is my cheater ex!”

    LOL. Yeah. Right. ANYBODY WITH KIDS will tell you—they can be absolute little monsters….at all ages. There are days that parents want to give their kids to the first person that walks by on the street. This is utter and blatant BULLSHIT that your relationship with your imaginary children is PERFECT IN EVERY WAY and it’s all because you are just so wonderful.

    I, and no one here, owes YOU any type of explanation or engagement on the Why and What For and How that we handled our particular situations with our FuckWit Spouses and our Children.

    You are not an authority, you are a liar. The reason I know? Your arguments are circular. They make zero sense. Know who does this? LIARS. When anyone makes a valid point—YOU are the one circling back around to bring ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments and false equivalencies into the debate.

    Nothing progresses in the discussion, because you are not here to make a point. You are here to demean and disparage people who have dared to dump ignorant, disrespectful cheaters like yourself.

    This, folks, is what it looks like when the IRC Standard Party Line fails and they resort to guerrilla tactics—cowardly and back handed. This “L” persona isn’t a Chump. NO chump would speak this way, whether they were reconciling, left and had an “amicable” divorce—whatever.

    No normal person comes onto a support board and spends ALL DAY LONG responding with nasty barbs and circular “argument” to make no point whatsoever.

    This is a Cheater, he’s probably unemployed or about to be (since he’s a Malignant Narcissist at best and a Sociopath at worst. keeping a job isn’t their strong suit), Smoochie Pie dumped him, he’s probably about to lose his license and passport for unpaid child support, his kids despise him, and he’s got nothing.

    THIS is what anyone is arguing with? He’s worse than the “drunk at the end of the bar”. L is the bottom feeder of the troll world—he doesn’t have anything else to do with his time than to come here and make a fool of himself. What is it that you DO again, L? I mean…other than be the perfect parent for your imaginary children?

  • Oh. And know another reason I know you are a liar, cheater and narcissist, L?

    The Three Channels. Rage, Pity and Charm.

    Rage:

    “L says –

    Why WOULDN’T you have amazing relationship with your children now if you are the FAITHFUL spouse??????? Think you just gave yourself away! Oops!”

    “L says

    December 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Please don’t stand on your soapbox and tell me either…..nowhere did I comment on violence……your all about we must tell the truth…..maybe he was…….so he has to lie but you don’t?? Hypocritical??”

    “L says

    December 11, 2015 at 4:51 am

    I hope none of you ever make a decision that upsets your kids if you can say all that about others! I’ve been on the receiving end……but even with that I made sure my kids were not affected…..I never sagged off their father whatever he did and they were never told of his wrong doings. ….as I didnt want them to suffer……….the failed relationship was mine and his…..not theirs……you all go on about protecting your kids but you do shit to protect them by making them deal with adult actions and mistakes instead of dealing with them yourselves……YOUR YOUNG KIDS DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING OR HEAR BAD THINGS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THEM….you damage them if you let this happen”

    Pity:

    “L says

    December 11, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Because as a child my father cheated and all the subsequent bickering and nastiness and being told he was vile and worthless made me think I was too……as he was in my genes…….no way come hell or high water was i going to let my kids feel like i did……..it was my marriage not theirs……everyone on here is slagging off cheaters…… if that cheater had ended the marriage b4 actually cheating…so say he or she met someone by accident and knew they didnt love their spoise enought to not cheat..so ended the marrange first…they would still say the same about them…..even though they say they wouldnt”

    And last but not least….the sickening, sappy….”charm offensive”

    “L says

    December 12, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Hi kelly you are right…..my divorce has been ok and my kids unscathed. …I refused to engage in battle and accepted my exes decisions as his instead of fighting for him to think like I did…..it worked”

    “L says

    December 12, 2015 at 2:55 am

    We all know there are no guarantees in anything….married or not…..humans are humans….I’m putting forward a different reaction to things instead of the mass this is how you should feel and do things…..one day one of your kids might be this cheater you so despise…..will you abandon them??? Maje them pay for their bad decisions for eternity??Cheating hurts but there are much worse things”

    Nonsensical drivel from a Cheater or Cheater Apologist.

    Turn the channel, Chumps.

    • L – I think you’re under attack because you started out attacking others by telling them essentially they are bad parents. You are entitled to your opinion, but the people here, unlike you, have been through hell at the hands of their cheaters. Our children have been emotionally abused and neglected by the cheater. If you would read some of these posts, you will see that many of the cheaters completely abandoned their children. Some were left homeless.

      That is not due to the faithful spouse bringing the children into adult problems – that is due to the utter selfishness of the cheater. You say your experience is completely different – if so, you and your children are the lucky few. It’s amazing that you have no empathy for others who have had a different experience.

      Just so you don’t feel misunderstood, let’s review:

      1. Your children made it through unscathed;
      2. You are friends with your cheater and have forgiven him;
      3. Your children have a good relationship with both of you;
      4. You think children should not know about what their parent did.

      I think you’ve made your point. Others have not had your experience. You obviously don’t need a place like Chump Lady, but many of us do. People here help each other and what your doing isn’t helping anyone.

      • Uneffing, I didn’t call her out on her shit because of that. Its because of the fact that she peddles the “Cheaters are not bad people they made a mistake” crap, and the sanctiminious bullshit she’s pulling trying to control the narrative and spewing abuse when she doesn’t get her own way. Like saying “My kids are unscathed from their parent cheating because I am still amiciable with him.” I can guarantee they are not – I suggest she actually ASKS them, instead of providing their narrative for them. Either that, or they have been beaten into submission for not toeing the line.

        • I agree 100%, Lania. I still think this is one of our cheaters spinning a tall tale. L is about as camouflaged as a plate glass window! So obvious.

  • it is disappointing to see this post devolve into…?blameshifting ?trollishness. my job was so busy this week i couldn’t post earlier, so i will reclaim the thread to its intended helpful purpose.

    how to stop being so angry…

    i am coming up on 3 years post Dday, 2 years divorce. my anger at who i assumed was my beloved and trusted husband of 25 years comes and goes. as it should. he is still sick. anger is there to protect me. i just don’t stay angry because that makes ME feel bad. anger is fuel to act; angry is being stuck. for me, being angry also means my heart space cannot be filled with Love. so when anger comes, as a response to something awful XH (still) does, i use it to serve ME and protect ME while being respectful of myself and others.

    what i struggle with more than anger is fear. XH was and is cunning in ways i cannot fathom. teamed up with his MOW, they were/are a deadly duo. i see more clearly (now) how he still projects and blameshifts onto our adult children who are, by any objective measure, amazing (really). they were blown away by his deceit and marriage to his lying (also cheater) adulteress. but he blames THEM for not just “getting over it” and for being victims! i use my anger about this by speaking truth to this evil power. i say what’s real and what’s not real to whomever needs to hear in that moment, then i move on with my wonderful life.

    there is no effective strategy to protect from crazy (which a lot like terrorism, really…) except for no contact. when this isn’t possible, i reach for compassion. yes, you read right, compassion. the very same stuff my chumpy heart is still (thank God) made of.

    XH is mentally ill and has at least one personality disorder. he deceived, terrorized and mentally abused me. tho i didn’t know at the time due to his gaslighting, blameshifting, and STDing during his 4 year adulterous affair. i also see this as a form of evil. now that i realize all this, i can say “God please bless him” and really mean it – because he needs all the prayers he can get!

    bottom line: hating XH isn’t good for my heart. neither is contact. so i don’t ever plan to see him again. and i surely don’t like or love him. but i can “pray for my enemy”…for his sick mind and very lost soul – from far away. while gaining a new life, and sleeping very well at night.

  • my daughter is 15 about to turn 16. She lives with me for the moment. He lives temporarily with his mother, a long way from her school. Two months since dday and i am almost permanently distressed. He on the other hand comes across as reasonably and calm. They spend one evening a week together. He takes her to dinner and they have a lovely time. Then she comes home to me, where things are grim. I am losing her. I don’t talk to her about what he has done to me. I don’t know what is going on with the OW, he won’t tell me but I suspect they are fast tracking towards a relationship. I can’t tell my daughter what I don’t know. She knows he had “strong feelings” for someone else (his words to her). He also told her it was over. She believes that. I don’t.
    I have to rise above my shit if I want her to stay with me. SO hard.

    • Littlemozzie123, I can relate to the anger. In your situation it sounds as if it is REALLY hard because it is so fresh. Like you I have a daughter and she is 17. I filed for divorce back in 2012, we ended up wreckonciling only to have him really screw me over financially and purchase a condo in California. My daughter decided that she wanted to live with her Dad and transfer schools. I live in Washington State. It was just a complete PUNCH in the gut. I raised her and her brother, did all the homework supervision, cleaning and cooking chauffeuring only to have all this happen? He lured her down with a car of her own to drive and then when he grew displeased with her he sold it cheaply to her older brother who lives out of state and now he can control her because she can’t date very easily anymore. Well, all I can say is that she is figuring out her Dad. She is seeing him for who is is etc. When he gets mad at her she says he talks to her like he talked to me (Put downs, degrading all the way). Keep your head about you and be the rational adult. Your ex will have a girlfriend and your daughter is not likely to be too thrilled about it at all. She will be curious about OW because she is trying to figure her Dad out but she will see that Dad is really about the OW and not so interested in being a Dad…

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