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Dear Chump Lady, I’m 9 months pregnant and he’s introducing his girlfriend

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cantevenDear Chump Lady,

I sit here writing to you 9 months pregnant with my sixth child, and 4.5 months into a separation, (3 months since it became a legal separation).

I discovered my husband of 10 years was having an affair last October when he drove three states away to meet up with his online affair partner in a hotel. He was supposed to be going “fishing” for the weekend, but being the suspicious (then 10 weeks pregnant) wife that I was, I quickly uncovered the affair. It went down like a cheesy TV drama movie. I checked the phone records, saw a number of calls to this other state, one of which was to a unique number. Called the number, it was a hotel. ($250/night!) After a pause, I said that I forgot my husband’s room number and could they connect me. She answered of course and I calmly asked to be connected to my husband.

The next day he drove back — “nothing happened” — and begged me to reconcile. Scared and sad, I went through two months of false reconciliation only to discover they were still engaged in the affair on Christmas Day. And really, of course they were! I kicked him out (YES! On Christmas! With our five children napping and playing with their toys after Christmas dinner!) and saw a lawyer.

Of course from there, things escalated. It’s been a rocky 4.5 months with him doing everything to prove he’s truly a narcissistic asshole. He got a two-door sports car, a two-bedroom apartment, and goes out of state every other weekend to be with his child-hating (self-proclaimed) tramp. The creepy part is that she looks a lot like me. Eerily like me. She just hates children and loves alcohol and sleeping. I’m a stay-at-home soccer/PTA mom. He claimed that as the cause of the marriage falling apart actually — I spent too much time focused on raising the kids and not enough on him. (Welcome to being a parent?)

He claims he will “fight” me for custody, yet basically ignores the kids except for his current every-other-weekend parenting time. There is so much more drama involved on his end, but I’m doing everything in my power to stay controlled and aloof.

The latest in a string of super awesome choices: he decided it was time to tell our very young (9 and under) kids about the special snowflake. My middle child just came up to me and told me how fun it is to talk/text Daddy’s girlfriend. I’m livid. I know all the crap about how I can’t control what other people do, but I am so furious about the lack of respect. I am sitting here about to birth his sixth child — our divorce isn’t even close to being final — the children have only known about the separation for four months — and here he has been introducing our kids to her (albeit long-distance introductions).

I guess my question is this: What do I do? Can I do anything? We don’t talk except about the children’s schedule or him dropping alimony off.

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Why yes, I can think of several things you can do: document, document, and oh, DOCUMENT.

I’m trying to imagine how his full custody is going to go in that two-bedroom apartment. What? Him in one room, six 9-and-under (one a newborn?!) kids in another?

Oh, and how much room for carseats in the back of that sports car?

These are the kinds of details family court just loves. Cheating on a pregnant mother of five is not exactly a ringing character endorsement either.  And while I wish courts cared about the egregiousness of introducing small children to affair partners, from what I read here, they do not. Some do, I hope you get that judge — but this guy is such a flaming fuckwit, you’ll never run out of material demonstrating his unwillingness to parent.

And that’s where you really need to focus your legal battle — on the best interest of the kids. He SAYS X, and he DOES Y. And then you document every. single. thing. you do as a parent. How much time it takes, how much it costs, every hour you have them, and every hour he does not. You make charts and PowerPoint presentations. You get highlighter pens and binders with plastic sleeves and you stuff down the injustice and you DOCUMENT.

Because documentation is the ammunition of legal warfare.

He’s going to go into battle armed with his colossal sense of entitlement, and he will underestimate his chumpy little chump. You might have to go to court, boobs leaking from that 6th kid, but drop documentation bombs on his head like it was Dresden. Investigate his finances (how does he afford this crap?), what he’s spent on his affairs, how he communicates with Schmoopie, how little he communicates with his children. Amortize the cost of 6 children over the next 18 years. Hit him HARD.

And when he threatens you? Like that going after you for full custody? (Which… huh? Didn’t he cheat because you spend too much time with the kids… so he’d like more time with the kids?) Don’t respond. Leave it to your lawyer. Your pit bull, high-conflict divorce lawyer. (If you don’t have one of these, get one.) If he can afford a sports car, he can afford your legal bills — money you’re going to ask for.

The next thing you’re going to do, Elizabeth, is start making a long-term plan to free yourself from this fuckwit financially. He drops off the alimony?

No he does not. This is not alms for the poor. You get that shit enforced by the state and docked from his paycheck. Get away from this dynamic of him ever having to “do” for you. He is checked out, fucking around. He’s not going to do for you and the kids unless the heavy boot of the law is pressed firmly upon his neck. Make sure you put it there.

After the divorce is final (because you don’t want the income now as the court will be determining child support and alimony), you go back to work, or to school to train for a new profession. I know six kids is a full-time job of its own, and this is going to take a huge degree of mightiness, but I don’t want you to rely on this guy for money. Focus on your independence. He could lose his job, blow all his money on bimbos, hide his assets, and do any number of things to screw you over for the next 18 years. Create big buffers of financial independence so it does not matter.

I know that none of this advice helps in the short-term, while you’re about to have a baby in the middle of a divorce. While he’s introducing Schmoopie-flavor-of-the-month to the kids. I know all of this is terribly painful. Please take the long view and surround yourself with the very best support right now, between loving family and friends — and a kickass attorney.

I’m proud of you for not taking his crap and throwing him out on Christmas day. He’s introducing his girlfriend? You have some introductions of your own to make — consequences.

 

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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.
  • “He SAYS X, and he DOES Y. And then you document every. single. thing. you do as a parent. ”

    I think the writing is out on the wall, and Tracy says it best.

    If he talks anymore to the children about his whore, please be kind enough to let the children know in a very polite sense that Daddy has hurt you. Believe me, children do sense that things are wrong.

    You are due anyday now. Please take care of YOU. Have a plan for the hospital and back, and just focus your energy into becoming self-reliant.

    I am very sorry for the tremendous heartbreak, and the way he has treated you and his children.

    • I agree David. I am livid for her. It’s heartbreaking stories like this that make me sick. And I know how the courts are.. .4 years I’ve been battling my psycho ex….and we don’t have a custody issue. I can’t imagine that nightmare. Times like this I wish we had a Chump Nation Flash mob that showed up at the Cheaters door and beat the snot out of them then leave….let them wonder wtf was that. Thank God for this site and Tracy. Saving Chumps one affair at a time.

    • Omg! What a flaming piece of shit he is! I’m in the pissed as hell for you group too. Unfuckingbelievable- except those of us been round the block know it’s really SADLY not so unfuckingbelievable. I’m so sorry and plead do take care of yourself. You can do this and from the sound of it, the aloof calm is a detachment that can work for you. Really and truly. Hang onto that for as long as you can. My God you are off to a MIGHTY start and new beginning. Many super hugs and blessings wished for you!

      • Well said, Chumpedupchik!

        Elizabeth, I am in awe of your strength, you are so mighty, and doing incredibly well given the disgusting individual you are dealing with.

        Keep going, this is a rough road. And pleas keep posting here and in the forums, we have your back!

  • Elizabeth,
    I am sorry you have to endure this at all.with small children, let alone pregnant. Listen to every word Tracy has said. DO NOT WAIVER. GO FOR THE JUGGULAR…his WALLET. Marriage is not 50 50…but Divorce is…or in my case 60 40 … I got 60 % of everything and 4 years of Alimony and my children were 18 and 19….so you with the right lawyer should slay him. That flavor whore won’t stick around. And when she is gone…he will come crawling back….DO NOT LET HIM. Stay mighty.
    Prayers and hugs being sent your way. Find that kick ass lawyer. But my advice….because I work for an attorney now….KNOW you case. DOCUMENT the shit out of it. Know your finances…because Divorce is all about MONEY. And you need money…not that douche bag of a husband.

  • Omg!!! Stay mighty and do everything CL tells you. Thoughts and prayers going your way. I hope your family is near by for support. If not, tell your lawyer you need to move. Get the biggest and badass attorney. Hugs!!!

  • Remember to take care of yourself FIRST. I’m not talking about your emotional and physical health right now. I’m talking about your financial health.
    As a parent we get laser focused on the kids and making sure they remain somewhat whole. In this case of ugliness you need to be whole first and THEN address the financial issues of the kids.

    • ANC has it dead right. You can’t take care of six kids if you’re broken. Be good to yourself so you can be the supermom mother they need (and probably the father, too, as unfair as that is).

      And if your kids think it’s fun to text schmoopie, mention this to your family, and suggest that each of them start texting one of your kids. Replace texts from the child hating OW with ones from your loving family, and your kids aunts and uncles. Long term, it’s not healthy for your kids to text the skank who helped your STBX on his narcissistic journey.

  • I too discovered my husband cheating when I was pregnant. It was our third child, and I was 7 months pregnant. That baby is now 7 and just lost both of her front teeth this past month and I, we, are doing great!!!!!!!!! He and schmoopie of course didn’t make it. I just got remarried in Feb of this year. I had to work two jobs for a long time and I had to trade a room in my house to a college kid so I could work that second job at 3 am so the kids would have someone there while they were sleeping but the point is, I made it~~~~ We kept the house and I’ve slowly promoted at work and got to drop that second job and met a fellow chump and well.. I’m happy. So hang in there. It’s going to be hard but you can do this!

  • Hey Y’all! This is just the post I needed this morning. Elizabeth, I understand your pain. I am the mother of three and right after our third was born I found out he was involved in a long term affair. We’ve been separated for a year finally and the ball is starting to roll on all the legalities, but he’s suing for custody too… It’s so insulting because I have been a wonderful mom and, like you, one of his complaints (because his affair was obviously my fault) is that I gave my attention to the children. He hasn’t even been dedicated to the two-week model; he just sees them when he wants, which is usually once a month.
    I’m irritated this morning because he always has a scheme going and last night he texted me that he would be in town for something and wanted to have lunch. After I told him I didn’t feel safe, he said “I guess we both don’t feel safe around each other.” Dude, didn’t you just ask me to lunch?!
    Then he said he was “planning to see the boys.” Really? I’m supposed to drop everything?!
    I don’t even know what to do but it just seems easier to be nice even though he told me yesterday that things are about to get nasty because my behaviors have been nasty in the remote and recent past. These cheaters play the victim role so well. What did I do that was nasty? I left a cheater.
    I just hope the judge sees this cheater for who he really is. Bless you Elizabeth and Thank you CL for posting what I needed this morning!

    • JX- mine does same. If I reject or refuse some stupid notion of his (like getting together for lunch), because I don’t feel safe or because ____, he turns it immediately back onto ME saying “I guess WE won’t feel safe with each other for awhile.” It’s infuriating! It’s not WE or US who made this big fucking mess—it’s HIM! The bare balled nerve it takes for him to keep doing this is overwhelming me and it pisses me off royally and in the past I’ve played right into it. He KNOWS I’m going to feel outrage by him pretending or complaining that HE doesn’t feel safe or ____? Just wtfh? Are people really going to BELIEVE him after they hear the whole deal?! Are they going to believe he’s scared of ME, because I called him some choice names? Because when hurt BY HIM in the most profound ways, I had the gall to let it show? I had the gall to be angry and SAY so?

      I can’t show any emotion and have NEVER be “allowed” to TALK about any of the reasons I don’t feel safe or wanted or loved or important….then obviously I realized he never have two shots about any of that so of course he doesn’t want to hear it. He got and still gets pissed talking about MY emotions/feelings because for him NONE of this chit chat is “safe.” Oh but he can go in and on about how my dad angry feelings actually hurt HIS feelings. WTF?Totally pisses me off and I can’t seem to get a grip on this particular kind of mindfuck Bc it is SO ridiculous and outlandish for him to COMPARE and it does make me so angry. What is it really? It’s his supremely entitled assholiness. It makes me feel like I might just go insane at times. NC isn’t possible Bc he’s still in house and I’m getting my ducks in a row. He hasn’t made any of it easy and I’m having to work and dig for every scrap of documentation I can find. I’m only going to get one shot at him w/this divorce and it will have to be better than good.

      • Arghhhh! The “I don’t feel safe” thing makes me furious! Yep, The Entitled One pulled that bullshit too.

        The first time was after he’d left and we had a parents’ session with the kids’ therapist. She wanted to do this exercise where one of us shares our feelings and then the other one validates that. So I went first, shared, he validated. Then when it was his turn to share, I was all ready to hear what he had to say and remain connected, and he said, “Sorry, I can’t do that. I don’t feel emotionally safe with her.”

        I was so humiliated and hurt. I mean he was all teary-eyed and sincere, and since this was at the beginning when I still begging for him to come back, I internalized what a horrible emotionally stunted monster I must be. I was so far gone, it didn’t even occur to me that he’d just set me up.

        And then he did it again a few months later when we got into that argument where he accused me of “not fighting for us.” Followed that up by saying all teary-eyed, “I don’t feel emotionally safe with you.” By then, I’d finally gotten angry and I was like WHAT??? After your sex ads and hiring a hooker and your other women and the fights where you put your fist through the wall and the fight where you verbally ripped every part of me and my life to shreds — not to mention DUMPING me for a “life of spontaneity” and so you could “see what else is out there.” YOU don’t feel safe with ME???

        It’s all projection. Whenever some insane bullshit comes of our their mouths, it’s about them, not us. And this is why No Contact has been such a relief — no more gaslighting.

        • Thank you everyone for posting about the “I don’t feel safe” phenomenon! I couldn’t believe it when my ex H used this line out of the blue. This must be from the cheaters playbook. I though that one of the OW’s had taught him this because of course they are so emotionally safe, just like their vagina is a safe place to store your valuables. This new way of blaming the victim just infuriated me.

          • “I though that one of the OW’s had taught him this because of course they are so emotionally safe, just like their vagina is a safe place to store your valuables.”

            LOL!!! Exactly!

            I too wondered where he got that crap because he certainly never spoke in psychobabble before the final D-Day. Sometimes I imagine these cheaters have secret meetings in a secret clubhouse where they pass around the cheater manual and that’s why they all use the same language.

          • I got the “clearly, I can’t trust you” variation said in a huffy voice when Cheater found out I had opened a separate bank account. I got a good laugh over that one!!

            • I got: “I have to protect my self from you.”
              Uhhh – but he’s the one lying, cheating, taking out thousands of dollars from savings for hotel and love nest house in expensive neighborhood, says he’s going to come take my car and sell it, lies on court papers saying he has our daughter 50/50 when it’s more like 10 to my 90, takes his girlfriend and our daughter in our camper on a trip…..
              They are so detached from reality….

              My thoughts and prayers go out to every person and their kids on here.

            • Good for you! I opened separate bank accounts too. Both checking and savings. I also got a new credit card while under a two-person income. When, I stopped the wreckonciliation, I was able to immediately transfer half our life savings into my personal savings via online banking. I also called and canceled the joint credit card. Then, I changed my online banking password. Within a few days, I opened up another new savings and checking account at a different bank and transferred a bunch of money from my accounts at one bank to my new accounts at a different bank. This way ex didn’t even know where my half of the money was.

              It is unrealistic of them to expect us to leave ourselves vulnerable when they give us every reason to need to protect ourselves. The “I need to protect myself from you” bs is an attempt to throw us off their trail. If we feel bad, maybe we’ll stop doing the things we need to do to protect ourselves from known liars. Then, they’ll be able to keep taking advantage of us.

              • My g/f’s must have detected something earlier than I did. They told me to open up a new bank acct w/o hubby having access to it. Yanno – running away money – I thought they’d lost their minds! I had a bunch of checks I had cashed for cash and got it started. I don’t know why I didn’t tell him but he took over my entire Dad’s inheritance to put into ‘marital funds’. (DON’T DO THIS – IT is YOUR money!) I applied and got a separate CC so he didn’t need to see all my purchases. I like to give gifts, for instance, and he doesn’t like that. Got a lot of freedom right then after 30 yrs. I can’t believe how stupid I was because he was about to steal that money from me too. You can’t start this financial part soon enough, even if you’re too emotional to think. At least making copies of everything (which made me sob all day) will keep you distracted. When I was making copies, I found the hotel room he’d taken his slut to Savannah (flew across the country 1st Class) and it was $580/night. We sure never stayed in anything like that. Yep, he coughed up everything he spent on her…..that i know of. It was considerable.
                This is all tough stuff.
                And, yes, he finally folded and gave me my Dad’s inheritance back, so it was good to get that retainer for a lawyer.

                My point – listen to your smart girlfriends.
                Especially if they are older.
                They’ve been around the block a few times and they probably saw the collision long before I did.

          • I got the ‘I don’t feel safe around you’ line, too. According to the Request for Restraining Order he filed in court the day he (1) had his attorney serve me with divorce papers in court and (2) tried to wrest 100% of physical custody of our children from me by accusing me of molesting one of our children and attempting to rape him, STBX, he didn’t feel safe around me. I guess that that made two of us who didn’t feel safe. For some weeks, I had been sleeping in our children’s room with boxes piled up against the door and my cell phone and scissors or screwdrivers (for protection) under my pillow. (I’ve told virtually nobody this story as most people would believe that I, not he, was crazy and dangerous.) That night, under advisement from my legal team, I took our children to a safe house that a friend had arranged for me.

        • Better Days, ““not fighting for us.”” LOL… my Ex said, that HE was the one who was “loyal to US.” Because, see, he felt so emotionally abandoned by me which led him to cheat on me for several months. Only that didn’t explain the prior affair five years earlier with a different woman, that I only later discovered. And the “ex” GF who claimed he continued to see her for the first 9 years he lived with me and my kids. Poor wittle sausage!! See, HE was the loyal one! Not Muse! Fricking word salad gaslighting Bull Shit.

          • “Fricking word salad gaslighting Bull Shit.”

            Yep. Their view of the world is truly astounding.

            Where’s Esther Perel to tell us how sexy cheating on your pregnant wife is? And how all this blameshifting bullshit ignites the erotic energy in your marriage?

            Barf.

            • Maybe Perel needs to write that story. She should include all the cold, hard consequences of cheating on your pregnant wife, like losing half your possessions and paying child support and alimony. Or, possibly, losing your mistress AND your wife. Then again, only Perel would find that story erotic.

      • This all sounds oh, so familiar. They deflect and reflect everything back straight at you, whether it’s true or not. It does two things for them;
        1) it takes the attention away from them, and their behaviour
        2) it gets a reaction from you, even if it’s increduality in the face of lies, rather than rage. It’s still a reaction and it’s still successfully deflected attention away from him and what he’s done. I have experienced this over and over and over. Pre and post D-Day.

        Then, the may be a bonus #3). If their gaslighting, lies, deflection and stonewalling get to the point you become frustrated or really angry, they get to point the finger at you, because suddenly, guess what – you’re the bad guy!

        It sounds like your ex is emotionally stunted. Perhaps he was never held to account for his own behaviour or made to face consequences when he was growing up. You get through this divorce and the mindfuck will finally be over. Keep going girl, there are brighter, mindfuck-free days ahead for you!

        • Thanks for putting this into words, Off The Crazy Train. I didn’t know back then that others were experiencing the same mindfuckery I was. I eventually came up with a name for his response to everything. I called it “Deflect and distract.” You are spot on and absolutely correct about the bonus round of #3–when the gas lighting, blame shifting, and deflection gets any sort of reaction from you–jaw agape, gasp of shock, slight rise in your tone of voice–then they can point a finger and say, “You are such an angry person!!” Or my favorite, when I asked a question to clarify–“Stop shouting at me!!” Which of course, I wasn’t, but when I would protest, the argument at hand would then turn into an argument about whether or not I was shouting at him. Yes, it takes all of the attention off of them, what they did. They are disordered, emotionally stunted pieces of shit. I was fortunate to have been directed to this site within a week of DDay #2. I only wish I could have found all of you much earlier in life–like 30 years ago (don’t we all).

      • My Ex said something similar… about three months after me kicking him out on D-Day, he was LIVING with OW… I was scraping myself up off the floor daily and dragging myself to work, lost 25 lbs, the usual traumatized Chump, and at one point he texted me: “I am hurting too!” and I texted back, “from WHAT? YOU are one who DID this!!!!” And another time, said he would “only meet with [me] in a safe place.” After sixteen years of me tolerating his narcissistic rages, verbal abuse and silent treatments. WTF.
        Unbelievable.

      • Pre and post Dday; I don’t feel safe. His undiagnosed mental illness that I was triggering; no doubt I was at times, absolutely fair- wonder how we got to that though: with all the BS that I’d been through with him that would not have occurred if he had chosen to be honest with me instead of lying, hiding, deceiving, stealing. So so sad for both of us: wasted time and wasted love.

        I was always so frus rated and hurt by this comment and I can’t believe that I am reading it here tonight in the experience of other chumps.

        It’s not safe/you’re not safe/I don’t feel safe

      • Okay, Chumps, practice up. When cheater says “I don’t feel safe with you,” give them the look (below) and say, “You shouldn’t.” Good way to maintain NC after that. [Notice we’re gender neutral about the look.]

        death stare female

        death stare male

    • Ha…yes! Mine actually told our friends he was afraid I would shoot him in his sleep because I his all of the gun safe keys the day I confronted him. I kicked him out shortly after so told them it was a moot point. I told him if he was concerned I would turn in all of his guns to the police department. Its no longer an issue 😉

    • I’ve started saying “no, that doesn’t work for me” when I’m asked for something by someone that may pull a stunt like this if I give the specific reason that it doesn’t work for me. So far it’s worked because it leaves them with nothing to argue back.

    • JX, Chumpedup, Better,

      My Ex was a “I know I am but what are you” psycho. I spent so much time during the divorce saying no and attempting to explain the no. No matter what I said it got turned around into something about him or how what I was accusing him of was what I was doing. This stuff is a zero sum game for them. Learn to say no or no thank you without providing any type of follow up. The only time no should be followed up with anything is if it concerns something that will have an adverse effect in the divorce proceedings. For example, “No, I’m sorry, you will not be able to have the children on Saturday, as you did not ask to see them until Friday night at 8:00 pm and we already have plans for Saturday.” And those explanations should be in writing.

      As Chumps, we are the type of people who feel that when we refuse a request from someone, we need to follow it up with an explanation. You can do that with normal people. Not these things disguised as people. Your STBX asks to have lunch? No thank you. That’s it. If he asks why not, dead air. If he asks again, calmly explain that the question was previously asked and answered. If he again repeats the request for an explanation, i.e, “why not?” whine, whine, dead air. If he starts to give you a hard time, change the subject or get off the phone. Once you realize so much of this is manipulation on their part and not a real desire to see you except to manipulate or hurt you further, it will get easier.

      I can give this advice from hindsight, as I didn’t begin employing it until the very end. It is very effective and reduces your frustration level tremendously. It is difficult at first because you want to be heard, but trust me, they don’t care.

      (((HUGS)))

      • Excellent suggestions, CP! It took me a long time to get into the habit of simply saying no or stating a fact regarding a scheduling issue without explanation or apology. It really did throw X off his game and took away one of his main tools for deflecting everything back onto me (I can totally identify with all of the comments above).

      • >>>Once you realize so much of this is manipulation on their part and not a real desire to see you except to manipulate or hurt you further, it will get easier.

        Spot on, CP, that’s exactly it. We also have to work hard to get over our chumpy desire to be seenand heard by these freaks. No contact/grey rock is the ticket to retraining our brains on this.

    • Yeh… When he asks for anything you should not answer. When he suddenly wants to see the kids you should suddenly have a really well planned camping trip. You don’t have to change your entire life around so he can make you feel like shit and try to mock your feelings (don’t tell him your feelings. He’s a monster). You don’t have to make your kids available without good notice. You have them most of the time? Then set up times he is able to come get them or see them. Stop playing his game.

  • Dear Elizabeth, I cannot begin to imagine what you’re feeling right now. Please take care of yourself and your children, and let a lawyer handle that piece of shit formerly known as your husband. What gall to produce 6 children with you and then complain that you spend too much time caring for them. Please take CL’s advice. I know it will be really hard – you’re busy with the kids! , But remember, you are protecting them for the future. They need money money money and MUCH less time with their idiot father. Your feelings have to be so raw and fresh. I’m so sorry. Let the lawyers handle everything else. Do your documentation and then do what you’ve been doing: being a great parent. And be great to yourself. It will be better.

    • If he spent his energy on the kids, she might have had more time to spend with him. If he spent his energy on the kids, he wouldn’t have had so much time to bitch about not being given enough attention. It seems like there is a great solution to this problem and it all starts with him spending time with the kiddos.

  • Elizabeth, if you are reading these comments, I am sending you love, light, strength, and peace. You will get through this. It will SUCK but you will get through it and bring your children with you. know that YOU ARE MIGHTY!

  • Elizabeth,
    I can only imagine the pain you are feeling .Please follow CL’s advice.
    As for his relationship with Schmoopie,that will crash and burn.A self proclaimed hater of children and a father of 6 kids.How is that going to work?
    He may very well circle round your way again.Please do not allow him to do that.

  • Elizabeth, my serial cheater ex also had affairs while I was pregnant and while we had a newborn. Bravo to you for kicking him out. I wasn’t able to work up the courage to do that until my ex said he was jealous of my infant. Upon hearing that, I began seeing an individual therapist and seeking out a divorce attorney.

    You are a strong woman and mother, and you will get through this. Definitely lawyer up, you need somebody who knows the court system and the judges like the back of their hand and who can make the factual arguments on your behalf.

  • This jackass has 6 kids in ten years with you, and he thinks you focus too much on the kids and not him. Huh. It’s not a surprise, then, that his new kibble-dispenser looks like you but hates kids. He can’t stand the competition for attention. So far, no one has said to go “no contact”; with 5 kids and one imminent (if not already with us), that probably seems crazy. You say you only “talk” when he drops off alimony or to talk about the kids’ schedules. I say you can handle all that by email. Use one of those scheduling calendars. Sen him a once-a-week email. Have someone there, if possible, when he picks us the kids for visitation to do the handoff. The less you hear out of his cheater pie hole, the better off you will be.

    If you truly got alimony prior to divorce and (I hope) rehabilitative alimony, get yourself ready to re-enter the workforce. Do you need to go back to school? Start thinking about your new life. He’s not positioning himself to be a full-time dad. He just wants to avoid child support. Alimony after divorce is intended to help you get back on your feet in terms of making a living that, along with child support, will support 6 kids.

    You’re experiencing terrible, painful things at a time when you are very vulnerable. Right now, introducing the kids to the AP is indeed showing a huge lack of respect, but that’s a nothing burger next to cheating on the mother of your five kids, who is pregnant with #6. He showed you what he was when he cheated. And I’d bet my paycheck that there have been years of subtle disrespect and devaluation that will become more apparent to you as the crisis mode wears off and you begin to rebuild. But any mother with 5 kids who can kick a cheaterpants to the curb on Christmas day is mighty. He’s shown he isn’t worthy of that mightiness. And document all of those texts between your young, young kids and the cheater’s AP. Not going to make him look like father of the year.

    • By the way, you mention your middle child is talking and texting with the AP. If he’s 6? 7? 8?, maybe he doesn’t need a phone yet. You can take control of the phone while the kids are at home and just let them use it when they are with their dad. If the AP is using her own number, block it. And don’t let Cheaterpants bait you into an argument about it. You do not need to explain the rules in your own home. If Cheatin’ Dad wants to talk to the kids, set up an agreed-on time for that to happen on your phone so you have control of that. These are young kids who do not need to be in the middle of his drama.

        • Be sure to have your attorney subpoena his phone records and keep a written log, made at the time of the event, of each time he has the children. Document school events, teacher conferences, etc., and whether or not he attended. One of the things that nailed Woody Allen was his inability to name his childrens’ pediatrician, despite his claim about how involved he was in their lives. It’s the little things that count. Most judges see the obvious shared custody scam for what it is – an attempt to avoid financial obligations. It is the oldest trick in the book! Also, in many states, joint custody does NOT eliminate child support payments, contrary to what many scammers think. Your job now is to get the most money you possibly can to care for yourself and your children. He is now just someone you used to know and deserves nothing from you.

          • On the Woody Allen note my friend’s attorney went through the list of people the kids are in contact everyday. Her cheater could not name a single teacher, principal, doctor (and with a special needs child there were a lot of those) or leader of after school activities. The attorney asked the judge if she could bring in some of those people to see if they could identify the child’s father. The judge said no because the point had been made.

        • Elizabeth–explain to the kids who that slutty lady really is and how much it hurts you for them to get close to her. No reason you need to swallow all the anger and contempt he is throwing your way.

          And look into your delivery with the 6th child now–there are law cases that support you do NOT have to have him in the delivery room, and that he can see the child after he/she is whisked away to the nursery (so you don’t have to see him). I can look up those court cases again if you think you’ll need them for your arguments.

          • I absolutely do not want to compare my furry family to your wonderful family of 6 children in 10 years. My gosh, Lady Mighty Elizabeth, that’s what my mom did too….all by herself while my father travelled 5 days a week. (ya, uh huh) I wished she would have left him earlier and tried to talk her into it. I was the youngest and overheard a convo at 16 yrs old between my dad and another woman. He heard me hang up on the call (I was just stunned) and he never treated me as ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ the rest of his life. He knew I knew something.

            Regarding the furry ones…I was flabbergasted to be left with four super huge dogs and he never looked back.
            I know it’s not the same as having children, I wouldn’t let the dogs see him during the divorce because 1) He gave up all custody w/o any dog support payments..(doesn’t work the same for pets I guess)…I was just FINE with that…and 2) The dogs would have suffered terribly – not understanding. One of the old boys – His dog! – sat by the door for weeks. Saddest thing ever, waiting for him to come home.

            I HATE what these assholes do to families, of any type.

            Blessings and strength, Elizabeth.

          • I appreciate I’m in a different country to you, and I don’t know the law in the US, but…

            I doubt there’s a doctor or midwife in the land that would make you have him in the delivery room. As the mum, it’s 100% up to you who you have with you.

            As for seeing the baby soon after it is born, again, same applies. As you’ve just given birth, it’s important for mother and baby to have skin-to-skin contact as much as is possible. This is especially the case if you want to breastfeed.

            Don’t even entertain the idea of the midwives taking your baby away from you to show him, unless you want that. Birth and the hours after birth are all about mum & baby. No-one can take your baby away from you without your permission. Those early hours and days are so, so crucial to bonding and feeding. Baby and mum’s needs are paramount and total. The father doesn’t have a ‘need’ so to speak that is any way comparable. He can wait to meet baby.

            Apologies if I’ve been a bit repetitive. It’s just important that you do what is right for you & baby and not stress yourself about what the cheated wants or expects.

            • Sorry, I mean cheater, cheatER. Not cheated. I cannot make a post without at least one typo! Argh!

    • Insightful as always, LAJ.

      Took me a long time to understand, but this is the number one thing that is carrying me through: “The less you hear out of his cheater pie hole, the better off you will be.”

      Not having to listen to more lies and blame-shifting and spin helps more than you’d ever expect.

      • Yes!! Litanies of “we have both done ungodly behaviors” because I’m divorcing him and “God hates divorce.” I so tired of being thrown under the bus because he doesn’t want to take full responsibility for his Trashball activities which destroyed our marriage…and now he and Jesus and Paul are besties….smh! NO CONTACT!

        • Yep….negative attention is attention none the less. Drama is kibble. I fell into this trap. I engaged so many times to the point of screaming on the other end of the phone trying to get him to realize how he hurt us….what he did…..I’m sure all that gave him a boner.
          Now he tries to talk and I say NOTHING, my kids say NOTHING. Its to the point where now my ex monster in law that loves the other woman is writing me to endorse her sweet son and take up for him. I should “be mature and discuss things like an adult”
          I am an adult…..talk to my atty.

  • Hey all! Thank you for the support! I am feeling pretty mighty and trying my best to get to Meh. I spent the first month or so of the separation reading all those stupid reconciliation websites. Then our oldest had a medical emergency and I just snapped out of it. The mama bear took over and I’m just.so.done.

    I’d like to clarify that my anger about the whole introducing the whore bit isn’t out of jealousy or feeling sorry for myself. I’m so so so furious that he is teaching our children this is ok. He told our oldest (9 year old boy) that it’s not cheating because we “broke up.” And our 6 & 7 year old girls don’t even understand the concept of a “girlfriend” or why you aren’t supposed to have one when you’re married. But someday when they are older it will click. And they will remember Daddy showing them pictures of his girlfriend while Mommy was pregnant with little brother. And how the hell does that not mess up a girl? What are they supposed to think about how men should treat them? I’m going to dedicate the rest of my life to showing them that you respond by kicking them out on Christmas.

    I do have a wonderful support system, including his family (minus his cheater-pants mother). So many of my friends have come out of the woodwork in support its crazy. My midwife has been great too and is more of a friend now.

    And I do have a sharky lawyer! I describe him to people as “a cocky asshole.” He was able to size up my stbx pretty much instantly during our first hearing. His take was “He just doesn’t value you as a SAHM or see what you brought to the marriage by raising the kids.” Basically the ex doesn’t think I deserve “his” money.

    The money thing is the biggest issue. I’ve gone around and around between wanting to just get this over with quickly and finally deciding to go for everything. I felt a sort of pity for him because of how big of a loser/idiot he is (my parents were shocked when I said that) but I’m not letting that affect getting a fair deal.

    And really, he is an idiot. He had this whole vision of us getting a lawyer-less mediated divorce and being “friends.” He said he wanted the kids a week on/off and I just stared at him. There is no world in which I would want to give up spending half my children’s life with them. But I ruined his plans by getting a lawyer right away so now he’s been mad at me.

    Anyway, thanks for the support again and I do feel mighty! Sorry this is so long!

    • Elizabeth – I’m so happy that you have a great support system. Let them help you in every way. You’ve set a great example for your girls (and boys) of how NOT to treat your spouse.

      This may be a touch harsh, but your STBX and that whore he rode in on should both die of slow stomach cancer. People like at should not be allowed to roam free with the rest of us.

      Keep being mighty!

    • Your 6 & 7 year old girls will not be messed up. They will see that their mom did not tolerate a cheating scumbag defect and even though there will be tough times ahead (financially) they will see you did not settle.

        • Elizabeth, we all know that you don’t your kids to interact with the troll because of jealousy. It’s cause she’s a troll. It’s horrifying. I’ve spent so much of my time sacrificing myself, to try to raise my daughters correctly, and to have my stbx waltz in and teach them sh*t like this is beyond comprehension. I wouldn’t let people like this ordinarily anywhere NEAR my kids but you have to when it’s their father (not the troll of course). Unless you can get a court order against it. I’m just so sorry. This sux beyond belief. This site is a good one. There’s a lot of wisdom and understanding. If it’s happened to you, it’s happened to someone here. But I wish you didn’t need it. Praying for you to have effortless strength and wisdom and comfort and peace.

          • “I wouldn’t let people like this ordinarily anywhere NEAR my kids but you have to when it’s their father…”

            Kay, I was thinking about this yesterday when I had to drop the kids off with him. Every week, I have to leave them with someone I hate, someone I don’t trust, someone who has no morals. It’s sickening.

    • I’m so glad to hear you have legal representation. You’re a great role model for your children.

    • Elizabeth, you are so mighty it brings tears to my eyes. I’m SO SORRY you’re having to deal with this and that your partner in life turned out to be an arrogant, entitled, self-centered asshole. But you’ve got great instincts and you will be okay!

      Hang around here for awhile and you’ll see that all these cheaters are the same: flaming narcissists who can’t stand it when the spotlight is turned away from them. Kids, aging parents, job stress, life…all of it causes their mask to slip and let out the self-centered ugly underneath. And that bit about him hoping for mediation and for the two of you to be friends? Straight out of the cheater handbook. Mine was no different. Who wants to be friends with someone who betrayed them, destroyed their life, and devastated their kids?

      CL has given you great advice and I’m so happy to hear you’ve got a great in-person support network. One step, one breath at a time. Don’t be afraid to fight him!!!

    • Elizabeth, you are amazing. I wanted to comment on your point about choosing between getting the divorce over and going after everything. It sounds like you are on the attack now, but please be prepared to stick with that plan even as your confidence waivers (and with some judgments and delays, waivering or backing off might again look tempting).

      I just cannot imagine how costly six kids are going to be over the next 20 years, and you need to take every cent the courts will give you no matter how long it takes. His interest in paying alimony and child support will wane with every month that passes after the divorce. He is going to walk out on every responsibility he can, and you need to have financial repercussions in place.

      Unfortunately, he’ll probably get some custody, and if it is enough that his child support payments are reduced, I’d ask your lawyer to put a plan or penalty in place that would increase his payments automatically every time he skips his custody. (And skipping custody means taking the healthy kids but refusing to take the one who is has a snotty cold or taking the older ones but leaving the ones who need diapers changed. Or taking the ones who don’t have plans but leaving you the ones who have soccer practice.) I know some parents who do decent jobs with their limited custody when they have one or two kids, but all my friends with groups of kids (and EX spouses) are rarely ever without one kid or more. The irresponsible parent only takes the “easy” kids. There is no way that a person who bought a 2-seater car and 2-bedroom home will ever live up to even every-other-weekend custodial responsibilities. And taking only some of his many off spring means you’ll always have costs–costs for a babysitter if you are supposed to be working while he “has the kids” or costs for a sitter while you have your carefully scheduled dental appointment, etc.

      Make your lawyer see that you don’t have the time, as a mother of 6, to go back to court to prove (again) he’s a jerk. Demand all the alimony you can get and child support as a full-custody parent. Agree you’ll renegotiate in two years if he’s lived up to his custody agreement (whether it is dinner once a week or every other weekend or the hilariously-impossible-every-other-week-bullshit). But hell will freeze over before he takes all six kids for any length of time–really selfless people have trouble being such devoted parents to a crew of this size. Selfish cheaters cannot even pretend.

      You deserve a medal already for holding up so well.

      • Eilonwy – Great point on automatic increase of child support when missing his parenting time or when not taking all the kids during visitation.

        If that is a possibility in my state, I’ll work on this for my next hearing. Thank you!

    • I think you are amazing. One dday, kicking him out on Christmas day, lawyering up, no pick me dancing and all while pregnant with #6. Frankly you’re inspirational.
      I agree that your daughters will get it – and you are modelling self respect for them. Your son/s will be tougher as this is the same sex parent but you are doing all the right things, just keep explanations age appropriate.

    • Elizabeth, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you ready yourself to birth another treasure. I was a SAHM too, and homeschooled my kids all the way through high school. But I am in awe of your ability to stay strong with pregnancy hormones and 5 little ones needing you. I’m so glad to hear you have an extensive network of support.

      “He had this whole vision of us getting a lawyer-less mediated divorce and being “friends.”

      –So many of them do. They seem to have a running fantasy created in their own minds for how all their behavior will work out in the end with absolutely no consequences to them. I pray your “sharky” lawyer leaves him pummeled and weeping and with deep gouges in his wallet. God, I hate cheaters.

    • Elizabeth,

      I am in awe of you, your fight and your resilience. I just wanted to comment on your concerns about your children and how they may ultimately perceive this situation, although there is no way to truly predict these things.

      You are and have been the primary caregiver. They love their Dad but a lot of how they see the world is being shaped by you. I did not leave the Cheater when my kids were young, much to my disgust, so they grew up (in a child’s way) thinking their Dad was a little too involved with other women, but not saying anything to me. He was the Uncle Daddy type who was fun when he was involved, but indifferent when they were inconvenient to his self-absorption. We worked opposing schedules when the kids were little so that I could be home with them during the day. To make a long story short, he and I diverged on many of our values (obviously).

      He recently attempted his spin (which he and the OW now OWife tell people who don’t know what happened – and is an out and out lie) to our daughter about why the marriage broke up and she cut him off saying, “You’re a cheater. Anything else is irrelevant. You can say what you want, but you’re a cheater so nothing else matters. You’re my Dad, I love you, but you’re a cheater so as far as this situation is concerned, I’m totally with my mother.”

      What your kids will most remember is that you fought for yourself, you fought for them at a time when you were most vulnerable. It will really resonate with them when they have families of their own because the girls, in particular, will understand how truly vulnerable you were and what it took for you to do what you did in standing up to their Dad.

      You’ve got this Elizabeth and your children will do well and will grow up to take no shit – because you’re their mother. You rock.

      • Chump Princess

        Oh my god, my daughter just had this same convo with her dad!!! He took them to dinner, had the discussion about how he’s ‘trying’ to be a good father, blah blah blah, and my oldest D17 said something along the same lines as your daughter. After she said what she had to say, she grabbed her sister, D12, and walked out of the restaurant. He was left to pay the $100+ bill AND had to walk his ass home because she drove them all there! To have been a fly on the wall…

        • TodoVa,

          Now that needs to be in a movie – and your daughter can play herself!!! No one could have written that better. Kiss your daughter for me.

          • Thanks CP & Chumptitude! Some kids don’t take the bullshit they’re fed anymore, especially when you model that NO ONE can make them feel less than.

            D17 caught him cheating and alerted me…she was 11 years old then. She has modeled the best behavior for her sisters, D12 and D9. She can see right through his lies…if not better than I can. That and coupled with the typical teenage attitude and PMS…I don’t know why he even tries.

            Although it took many, many tears and sleepless nights, crying and cuddling in my full size bed with 3 baby girls and myself, it has turned into the best time planning our future without him.

            There is hope Chumps, lots of hope, to lead wonderful lives without these nuts. Ask me how I know? ?

    • Your attorney sounds very much like mine, Elizabeth–a cocky son-of-a-bitch who is always the biggest alpha-male in the room. Scared the bejeezus out of X, which served me quite well when it came to negotiating the settlement.

      As others have said, you are truly Mighty–I am in awe! You’re starting out well ahead of the game, I think your biggest challenge will be maintaining your resolve. Much easier than starting the divorce process with shaky resolve, which was certainly the case for me. Keep kicking ass and taking names!

    • Why do they all say no lawyers? I mean, I know why, but even the dumb ones like my ex have brains enough to try that. I actually went along with it and filed the paperwork myself. Of course, he was pissed at me for filing for the divorce that he said he wanted… Then, he accused me of actually having a lawyer because of how well my documents were completed (Huh? I just filled in the blanks.), and got himself some help from a paralegal. Lol, the paralegal’s documents were laughable.

      We ended up doing mediation, which I know everybody here advises against, but it worked out for me. We both sat down with an impartial attorney and I got everything I wanted (because I only wanted a fair division), Ex tried to stick me with his credit card bills and the mediator/attorney told him that wouldn’t fly in front of the judge. Then ex tried to negotiate lower child support ($1200/month at the time), mediator told him that he was getting a good deal for four kids, and he sulkily backed down. Since the divorce he has brought me back like 4 times, rearranging custody/visitation agreement and getting CS lowered to a ridiculous $330/month, so that part has not been ideal, but divorce terms are pretty solid and have worked well for me.

    • Elizabeth He wants week on week off custody??? Hahahahajah cannot remember when I laughed this hard… Let me think… The last time was when my crazy ex wanted the same, would have been reasonable but we live on two different continents!!!!

    • ” He told our oldest (9 year old boy) that it’s not cheating because we “broke up.” And our 6 & 7 year old girls don’t even understand the concept of a “girlfriend” or why you aren’t supposed to have one when you’re
      married”

      O goodness. You narc sounds like a friend’s ex narc. He told his sons, the same thing. You can have girlfriends while married. They (kids) had to “vote” for his new girlfriend (his affair partner).

      These narcs operate on the same shitscale… by the looks of it.

    • Don’t apologize that your follow up was long. It was awesome to hear the positive steps you have made. Keep up the good work, and write more as it develops.

      My ex and I raised two kids. That was a lot of work. Triple that, and do it alone? Your picture is in the dictionary, as the definition of the word ‘mighty’.

      Hugs.

  • There is a story that is legendary around chumper blogs…. A mother of five, who’s stbxh was not paying support on time and his girlfriend and he were threatening to “keep the kids” or go for 50% custody – so they didn’t have to spend any $$$ on kids…witch was strange because he never took all 5 kids at a time, paid late- if ever, and threatened chump mama constantly.

    On stbxh Spring Break week long holiday- ( that was his to parent) she drove all 5 kids and the dog with enough clothing for a week, (minus the baby diapers she could not afford) and left the entire shebang on his front stoop. (The older kids had keys and were there to supervise everyone.). Deep down she knew this situation was not going to last but was prepared to leave them the entire 10 days the parenting agreement stipulated…. It was the hardest thing she had ever done.

    She shut off her phone and drove home. She stopped to have a quiet dinner alone. When she pulled into the driveway she turned on and found her phone blowing up. From everyone involved. It went from incredulous, to angry to happy to sad … to desperate in one text string….
    Not only did she go back to pick up the kids, she got a check to cover the late payments AND enough money for new tires she desperately needed.

    STBXH never threatened to take the kids away again. He learned to watch what you wish for.

    • LOVE that story! I wish more parents would call the bluffs of the insane parents and their affair partners. It’s all about image, these threats of taking custody. They do NOT want the children.

      • “They do NOT want the children” – No, they don’t. Because parenting is work and takes the focus off them. We’ve been divorced for 5 years and once all the dust settled, the kids decided they preferred staying with me. XH’s been virtually kid-free for the last 18 months, and it’s clear he likes it that way. He rarely talks to them. He’ll just pop in every few months and take them to a movie or out to dinner, which is fine with me. The less influence he has on them, the better, IMO…

        • Sorry about typos. Which Witch – ah. I only felt sorry for the older kids – imagine them having to try to hold everything together… No. I’m sorry. As much as many dads protest that they WANT all this parenting time, I don’t see it played out (except in rare circumstances) in real life.

    • The best text she got (I remember in “live time” this unfolding), she was accused of being a cruel, selfish person and bad mother by “dumping” the kids off while stbxh was as work. Even though he signed the parenting agreement, indeed FOUGHT her for that week vacation….

      He just thought he was going to swap kids in and out, while she picked up the slack – for 10 days.

  • I hate this guy for you, what an asshole.
    Elizabeth, I can’t even begin to imagine your pain and our stories are only similar that we are all dealing with disordered, selfish, self absorbed, entitled, incurable assholes. What I want you to know is that 17 months ago I was so devestated I could barely work….my kids were practically dressing me in the morning, just leveled. Then I found CL and my life changed. I’m in such a good place now. Is it meh? No, but pretty damn close. Please trust those that have walked this road before you that if you fight hard, stay mighty, and go NC your life will get better…..a little everyday.
    All good energy being sent to you.

  • He wants custody of SIX children…and a gf who says she hates kids.

    I should not be laughing, because those poor kids, but seriously how delusional is he?

  • To Elizabeth and JX: These fuckers use custody as a threat and a way for you to accept less money. Remember: they’re COWARDS. When they talk about custody, you say to them, “Bring it on, Saddam! I know I’m a good mom and I’m going to prove it.” THEN, as CL says, DOCUMENT everything!!! Does Cheater know the name of their pediatrician? Every one of their teacher’s names? Their daycare provider’s name? No? It’s THAT shit that counts in court, NOT the time you yelled at them when you discovered the cheating. I brought a HUGE list of all of their teachers, coaches, doctors, dentists, etc. Cheater only brought his AP as his witness.

    Then, financially document all of the money he spent on the affair. All money that’s been taken out of your kid’s mouths. Also, have they stolen money from their employers?

    Document the fact that Cheater has introduced the kids to AP PRIOR to divorce being final. Again, judges hate that shit.

    Be willing to get therapists for kids. Judges love it when you take that step. Find one who’ll be willing to write up their notes for the judge. Those will be very influential and they’ll probably be the results of interviews with your kids where the kids tell the therapist “Mom is around all the time. She’s who I can count on. Dad is never home”

    My Cheater actually tried to use the ploy to say his AP would be a better mom than me, and tried to go down the path of custody of ME vs HER. The judge saw what he was doing and said, “Cheater, custody is between YOU and your WIFE, NOT some 3rd party. Would YOU be the better full time parent to these boys, versus your wife? NOT, would your AP be better than your wife.”

    Be STRONG! My Cheater was a coward and a bully. He still threatens now – 1.5 years POST Divorce that he “re-do” our entire divorce and NOW take my house, my retirement, etc. I just laugh at him and he worms his way back under the rock whence he came. These Cheaters LOVE the drama! Don’t feed into it!!

    All the best, Chumps! Elizabeth and JX – good luck and peace and you GOT this!!!!

  • Elizabeth – I just thought of something. Maybe you can somehow get documentation of the side piece saying she hates kids. That might help the courts to bar her from ever being around your children. I know I wouldn’t want my children any where near someone who has made a statement like that.

      • I had the same thought. Even if you can’t get direct documentation of that statement, you can make a note of the date that this information was reported to you and by whom. Even if it’s second-hand, enter it into the record and, if need be, make her have to answer questions about it during deposition (hoping it doesn’t come to that, but documenting along the way, as others have said, will protect you if it does).

    • Of course, Elizabeth’s coward probably formed a relationship with OW by whining about how mistreated and ignored (SUCH a sad sausage) he is with 5 kids and one on the way, and one of the rainbows that came out of OW’s butt (she’s brilliant!) is how much SHE would NEVER have children and ignore HIM, why, she HATES children!
      And he threw that in Elizabeth’s face as if it was some sort of virtue. I hope the idiot gets a vasectomy, because OW knows which side her bread is buttered on, and she’s fixin’ to get herself pregnant right quick.

      GO for the jugular, Elizabeth. You really ARE mighty–I can read it in your tone.

  • He doesn’t want custody. He wants to “win”. He wants to punish Elizabeth for setting boundaries, avoid giving her money down the road, appear like the one and only person who is good and right and positive, and exert control for the pure sake of dominance.

    The kids, like all other people, are objects to him, little game pieces in a horrifying game of mental illness.

    Yay for the cocky lawyer, well done!

    • And image control, don’t forget image control, and image damage limitation. Society isn’t too keen on people who walk away from their children. Quite right too. Put on a big show of wanting them, willing to fight for them may be a way to influence how he is seen and judged by others.

      • My friend’s ex-narc threatened to fight for kids etc. But he is not interested in having them really. Just a big show for all. Like my friend said, he doesn’t even buy them toys/stuff/money for sweets , slips away when they are in the house to go out with buddies.

        Narc love to punch where it hurts (the kids).. so the threats give them a kik.

  • My XH had his GF lined up before 2nd child was conceived. I take pride in the fact that I filed for divorce, had my c section on my own, divorced him and have carried on. It has been hard at times, but my friends and family are great. My biggest regret is trying to hold on and keep our marriage together for 5 years of gas lighting hell.

    Get the clock started on the process and document, document, document!

  • Elizabeth – that was my mother’s name… and she was a MIGHTY WARRIOR… just like you! I cannot imagine anything scarier than what you are living with – but look at your strength – throwing him out on Christmas… that’s the best present you could have given yourself and your kids.

    You are not alone. Ever. Chump Nation is here and everything you are feeling and will feel we each have experienced to varying degrees. Keep coming back here for whatever you need.

    CL is spot on – as always… channel all that sleep-deprivation and DOCUMENT the hell out of this guy. I went with the binder system. I have tabs for the original divorce complaint; custody; pre-nup; adultery; child support; legal expenses. Go to Staples and get started on your own now.

    I called Verizon and got phone records going back two years. I called Adult Friend Finder and my lawyer will be subpoenaing his records. I have copies of emails and personal ads. Good Lords, the poor trees that have died for this fuckwit.

    There is power in action. You don’t have the luxury of being a victim. Show your kids what a strong Mommy looks like and cry all want in the shower. Get a support network in place for breaks from the kids, you’ll need them (and deserve them).

    I share this quote with you from a meme I keep on my divorce binder: “Want to know a secret? Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, and my kindness for weakness.”

    Be strong Warrior Elizabeth. Learn to love the battle and you will be fierce.

  • Great freakin’ advice, CL!!! Show no mercy, Elizabeth!!

    Elizabeth, I know this is the furthest from your mind right now but in regards to careers, think about house cleaning business. This is what I did to become financially independent. You don’t need a lot of training, the start up cost is low, you can build the business as big as you want, you make your own hours that work for your kids schedule. And it’s one of the few careers that survive well in a recession.

    I’m in Canada and we’re heavily taxed. I’m not sure what State you are in but there are always people and houses. I have a child with special needs who will never achieve independence. Trust me, you CAN make it! And thrive! Take that asshole for EVERYTHING!!!

  • I went through a 14 month divorce and custody battle with ex hubs and I would say documentation is key! My ex was requesting 50/50 placement along with a nesting agreement. Nesting agreement is where each parent spends 1 week at a time with the kids in your home and each are required to pay half of expenses. This was to prevent me from selling our home and this would radically decrease any child support he would have to pay. While he was requesting this he was living out of state with his married girlfriend and had little or no contact with his children. I documented everything which played a large part in the outcome of custody. We had a guardian ad item representing the kids who reviewed all of my documentation and the kids are with me 80% of the time. Cheater ex hubs has already tried getting out of his every other weekend with the kids because having kids for the weekend cuts into his fun. He never wanted 50/50 just did not want to pay child support. Keep reading here and listen to the advice of chumplady. I am sending hugs your way

  • Elizabeth~
    I HATE this piece of shit you’re dealing with! What a colossal fuckstick he is! Please listen to every bit of what CL says and fight this bastard. He is showing you who he is and if he is treating you this way 9 months pregnant with 5 of his kids in toe…….things will never get better. You will not shame him into doing the right thing EVER. He has no shame!

    He is trying to scare you into thinking he wants custody of the children so you back off regarding money. HE.DOES.NOT.WANT.THE.RESPONSIBILITY of children! His special snowflake is a self professed kid hater! She will NOT encourage this.

    The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is focus on the family and your new baby on the way. I am sure it is a daunting thought but you are mighty! Lean on your friends and family for help and support as you get through this rough time and focus ahead on gaining a life away from this idiot. The very best revenge is living a good/happy life.

    I am hoping for Karma to hit your cheater before it hits mine!

    Love and Hugs to you!!!!

  • Technology can be used in this. They have watches that can act like emergency phones, but also GPS locations. If the child is wearing them, there will be 100% documentation of whereabouts.
    A friend got one because she could call it and listen in… (about $150 for device)

    It shows late pick ups, early returns, later returns and by proxy – child not picked up at all. besides handwritten documentation, this is a stellar back up.

  • Elizabeth, you are so mighty. I found out about the affair after the birth of my third. But he kept going on trips up until a few weeks before my due date, and immediately after baby came home. Actually had his sister come from 600 miles away to stay with me in case I went into labor. On the way out the door said your not going to call me to come home if you go into labor are you? ?

    • What an asshole! I hope you had no expectations of him being a support during labor. I know from my experience, I had 4 children with my ex and a month ago gave birth to my nephew (I was a surrogate for my sister) after being divorced for 3 years, and for all of my children’s births my ex was there and it was not a relief. He really made my whole pregnancy and labor an opportunity for him to get attention from friends and family. I felt very alone. This time, having my nephew, there was no drama and no disappointment from unmet expectations. What a difference!

      Elizabeth, you got this! He probably won’t show up, but if he does you should NC him even when he’s in the same room with you. You are strong, your body knows what it is doing, and you will feel so mighty giving your baby life without his dumbass supporting you!

    • That remark (from him) is the most digusting thing Ive read in a long time! I hope you and you baby were doing well!!

  • I hope you have a huge support network of friends and family to count on, I am rooting for you!

  • Elizabeth, you did the right thing by having children while you are young and strong. The time will pass by so quickly. They will be grown and away so fast. When things get very difficult, remember to never apologize to anyone for having kids. It is the continuation of our species, and you can finish the journey without that negative asshole. He is a shit.
    Also, after you destroy him in court and get all control of legal custody (no mercy for that shit), let go of control of everything that happens at his house. It will give you sanity. Too much anger might hurt you. Try to practice some non-charged phrases, “Stay safe and brush your teeth.”
    They will never replace you in their hearts. Share the kids with confidence (like baby Moses in the basket), because one day you will have to let go, and the narcissist-detection skills they develop should come from their independent observations, not just your protective influence.
    Tell them the truth, but trust their instincts. To soften their split loyalties you can say, “What is good for you is good for me.”
    They will grow up balanced and wiser and with some solid footing. You will demonstrate some trust in them and model adult behavior.
    You have been hurt very deeply and promoted to “The Only Sane Parent”. Don’t ever trust that shit, but don’t let his stupid behavior flare your emotions because that might be kibble to him.

    • Puleeeeze, he is not going to get custody of the 6 children including one newborn he sees a couple days a month, the children he feels their mom spends “too much time” on….while he resides with schmoopie who hates children (while his wife is about to give birth no less).

      Ahhhh yes, go for it Elizabeth, get a pit bull family law attorney, the best in your area, and let him or her handle everything. File for divorce on the grounds of adultery, file for full custody, file for court-ordered child support and alimony. And then just LET IT GO (sort of like that song from Frozen), let the process and the consequences unwind…let the laws of sowing and reaping commence for you and your fuckwit STBX. These disordered freaks cannot maintain anything, let alone the attention, presence, patience and love necessary to care for and raise (6) children. If your ex really pretends he wants primary custody, let the home studies, psychological evaluations, and custody proceedings begin.

      Elizabeth, you will win in the end, in fact you already have.

      (((HUGS)))

      • Yes, Elizabeth, I can’t put it better than Kelly just did. Just adding my big HUGS and my admiration for you. CL’s advice is heaven-sent; use it as your playbook. Stay mighty my dear.

  • Dear Elizabeth,

    I was one of the lucky ones, the judge in my divorce issued an order against the OW to have no contact with my children almost immediately. My children had met her before I ever knew anything about the affair, in fact they were the ones who told me who she was, at church, on Christmas Day. No kidding. “Oh that’s daddy’s friend from the train!”
    I am so sorry, I totally understand your fury, and I can not imagine being pregnant during all of this. Please take care of yourself and I am certain many of the people here will be keeping you and your little ones in their thoughts and prayers.
    CL is right, get a kickass lawyer. You are a stay at home mom? He’ll have to pay for that lawyer. My lawyer was our judge’s former law clerk, which is probably why I was able to get that order against the disgusting OW. That order lasted almost two years. I also allowed joint custody, knowing he wanted it for appearances only and would never actually follow through with taking the kids. But because I’d been a SAHM, I still got child support. These things can, and do really happen, it’s not impossible.
    And yes, document everything! And never, NEVER get rid of that documentation. You have many years of nonsense ahead, make sure you are armed!
    Wishing you and your kids all the love, hope, and strength in the world!

  • Elizabeth – You have every right to be livid. I did not find out that my (then) wife made my 5 and 8 year old children sit down in a room and wait for her AP to come in and sit and meet with him until 10 years after the fact – and I was livid then! I can only imagine how you must feel.

    I found out about her multiple affairs in 2014, and divorced in 2015. My kids were 16 and 19 at that point. The discovery that she had betrayed me for most of our marriage was devastating enough, but the fact those two low-lifes would involve my children made me furious.

    Your husband is worse than you have imagined, for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Take care of yourself and your children, and listen to CL’s advice. I hope you have lots of support to help you manage everything during what has to be an incredibly physically and emotionally difficult time. You will be in my prayers.

    • “Drop documentation bombs on his head like it was Dresden.” OMG, I love this, just when I think CL can’t top herself! With any luck, he and Schmoopie will be transported to Tralfamadore . . .

    • Jk. My XH dumped our kids then told his MOW kids he was their new family now. With the child support of her husband of course. His friends applauded him for being such a nice guy. These people suck

  • Elizabeth–

    I am so furious on your behalf! 10 years of marriage, 5 children under the age of 10 and a 6th on the way and he accuses you of spending too much time with the children????

    And that makes it okay to cheat???!!

    Of course right now you need to take care of you. Labor is in the very near future for you, and newborns aren’t conducive to getting sleep, plus those other children won’t mind themselves. I hope you have a great support system lined up.

    I think you’ve had a lot of great advice. CL tells it to you straight, and I think that you should definitely go for the jugular, aka his wallet. Spending $250 per night on a hotel room to be with The Skank means $250 that he didn’t spend on his kids–or on a babysitter so that the two of you could have some time together!!!

    For what it’s worth, my parents had 5 children. Granted, things were different back then, but both were educators and money was scarce. Even so, they paid a good chunk of my mom’s part-time teaching salary on child care and on home help so that my mom didn’t have to make laundry her full-time job and so they could go out together as a couple.

    Real husbands and fathers reach out to their wives, the mother of their children, and find ways to take the burden of raising children (sheesh! The laundry alone is a full-time job!) They take time to change diapers, watch the infant, etc. They know that those kids take a lot of time, and they do what they can to help out. They know their wives would LOVE to go out to a restaurant or a show, and they pay the money for a babysitter so they can take their wives out for a night on the town.

    Here’s hoping that your lawyer takes him to the cleaners!

  • Elizabeth, I can pretty much guarantee you that as soon as your ex’s OW whore cuts things off — which is going to happen I assure you — he is going to be back, all teary eyed and sniffly nosed, begging you to take him back because “now he realizes” that you and the kids are “the only things making his life meaningful.” DO NOT TAKE HIM BACK!!! This guy is going to wake up to the shock of ice-cold reality big-time when he hears how much $$$$$$$$ child support for six — one a newborn — is going to cost him. At that point, he’s going to figure that it’s much easier to snare you back while continuing to cheat. It probably won’t be the current child-hater, but it will be someone, I promise you.
    DON’T TAKE HIM BACK WHEN HE COMES SNIFFING AT YOUR DOOR. And he’s going to, oh yes he is.

    • This! Pay close attention to this! These fuckwits are entirely predictable, and this is most definitely on the agenda. Steel yourself for it, it’s coming, and you’ll need to shut it down instantly.

      • Exactly! My XH did the same thing. Tried to come back and keep the gf on the side. Huge con job by them. I could see his phone records at the time and in between calls to me were the strategy calls to her. Stay as strong as you are now.

    • +1
      Don’t do it. Leave him at the curb where he belongs.
      As a matter of fact just keep that shit from happening by maintaining the highest standard of No Contact that is possible. I can imagine it’s a hard sell with the kids and being pregnant but honestly, what is there that couldn’t be said in an email or a text?

    • Yup Glad you can practically write the script on this one. He will try and worm his way back in when he gets hit with child support and alimony.

  • Elizabeth,

    I know I’ve commented above, but I have to say you rock and CL’s advice rocks. I also have to say when all of this is over, blessings are going to be rained down upon you in such abundance you may not able to handle it all. It has already begun with all the support you are currently receiving. Six children in 10 years? Find out your husband is cheating and throw him out – on Christmas with no pick me dance? There is nothing that you will not be able to handle.

    Give no quarter to the waste of human skin currently calling himself your husband. Have your attorney get everything he possibly can; have him even take your husband’s dreams if he has any. Leave him bare-assed, broke and angry if you can. To cheat on a woman who is pregnant with his sixth child and to use the existence of those same children as an excuse to cheat . . . He has taken assholery to the cape, leotard, A on his chest level. He is one of the Super Assholes.

    This guy and his scheming, low-life OW are digging the hole into which they both will fall. Let them. You just stand back and out of the way. Your anger at him electronically introducing your minor child to his OW is perfectly understandable. I admire your restraint. Their love ballad must be “How low can you go.”

    Elizabeth, you are one strong and admirable Chump.

  • Excellent advice, CL. Can’t add to perfection.

    Elizabeth, you have strength and courage of biblical proportion. A superhero for chumps. Bloody well done.

  • Any male who cheats on his pregnant wife and the whore who cheats with him deserve each other, make no mistake. And there is no cheater/whore combo alive who want full custody of six children. He wants to mess with you and simultaneously avoid child support. Take his nasty ass to the cleaners.

  • For the strong woman who is in this mess and those who hear your own story in hers: research divorcing a Narcissist. Its not a ‘normal’ divorce, not that any divorce is a great life event we all look forward to happening sometime in our lives. Its not the same as a normal even highly contested divorce. They will stall, lie and don’t care if they are caught in the lie, bring in ridiculous ‘facts’ and people to support them, drag the proceeding on and on and on and on just to keep the attention on them and blow any funds you have on court proceedings and make you unable to defend future court based attacks. This can go on for years if you don’t get the right lawyer. They are referred to as “frequent filers” constantly filing claims to keep you off balance and fighting for your money, the money for the kids and their visitation. The money he will have to pay you is the last thing he has to control you and he will use it as much as he can to make your life miserable in the future.

    My advice is educate yourself on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD. Research how to pick a lawyer who gets what the narcissist will do in court and knows how to defend against it. DO NOT think for a second that since your acting like a decent person with your kids best interest in mind that your husband will too. He is counting on having you right where he wants you and take full advantage of your honesty and what he sees as a weakness he can use against you, your kids. No, do not lie but yes, do not fall for his acts and games. You know the truth about him behind the closed door. Don’t be reactive in court. He wins again. Learn to be calm in the face of his drama. Use the facts. Get the facts. Like CL says: DOCUMENT! Every thing. Write it down if it just bugs you. It gets it out and who knows, may be the final bit that helps you out in the long run.

    Get yourself into therapy, my dear. Find one who knows about NPD. You will heal faster and be better able to control your rage in court and at the idiot smoopie female if you do. You will need it to deal with his nonsense for the foreseeable future and will need all the help you can get to remain calm and not cut him up it little pieces and serve him to the idiot female hes cheating with in a stew. Know this, you could not have been a better person, you could not have loved him more or enough to stop him from doing this to his family, and ITS NOT YOUR FAULT. Don’t let him make you think it was or is. There is not enough love in this world to love him into doing the right thing. The defect is in him. Its not a disease, there are no drugs for it. Its a behavior and he has to want to get better. Most don’t ever want that since all they have to do is find a new cheating partner and walk away from the mess they created. Research gaslighting while your at it.

    And don’t bother trying to warn the smoopie about your soon to be ex. She won’t listen. Remember, you are not the one she has to worry about, its the one hes cheating on her with that is going to be her downfall. Karma is the best teacher.

    Best of luck and you can do it. Hugs.

  • There has *GOT* to be a special, particularly painful place in hell for Elizabeth’s cheater.

    Elizabeth – you are MIGHTY!

  • I think cheaters are especially active on holidays and family events days. My cheater barely spent time with the family on Christmas. Instead, she was upstairs texting how she longed to be with her AP on xmas.

    On my son’s birthday, she opted not to go camping with the family and instead drove to the AP’s city.

  • “. . .did the lady refuse birth control while her husband got scared of never being able to enjoy life? Please do not think that I am excusing him, he is a terrible person, he could have insisted, negociated, threatened to divorce, cheating is never a proper solution.”

    So you’re implying he cheated on her because they have a lot of kids. That’s crystal clear. You’ve prefaced that by saying that’s a bad thing but gee whiz Elizabeth, what did you expect?!

    Frankly nobody here gives a damn. This is about a cheating fuck, abandoning his wife while she’s pregnant. What don’t you get? I don’t think it’s helpful to suggest had Elizabeth kept her legs closed, he’d still be with the family and faithful.

    Next you’ll blame a woman getting raped for wearing a short skirt.

    • Rumblekitty, was the original post you were responding to deleted? I’m trying to find it so I can also respond.

      Cheater ex cheated on me while I was pregnant and confessed when our son was 6 weeks old. My being pregnant had nothing to do with him being a total asshole.

      • I would guess so. Usually chump lady chimes in and lets us know when she’s deleted a troll or bumps the replies to the bottom of the page. Word press can be a finicky bitch sometimes though.

      • She must have because it was there and then poof. Which is good, because that poster was an asshole.

  • Oh My Jesus God. This is probably one of the worst situations I’ve ever read on this site and I’ve been here 3years. For the life of me, I cannot fathom anybody being put in this situation by a cheater. And, the damage it is doing to his precious children, not to mention YOU. What is wrong with him? I assume he wanted these children? He sounds like the biggest colostopy-bag (I can’t seem to find the worst word in the world) for this alien of a human to do this to you. You have already had some excellent advice and I just can’t even add to it because, I just can’t fathom the pressure you are under. You’ve been super mighty up to this point. You deserve a C/L cape for getting through this as far as you have…alone. {{HUGS}} We have your back, Mighty Woman!

  • I had a friend once that left every one her SIX children to go with a boyfriend who was childless (they got married). I am stunned that any child, let alone 6 that you chose to bring into the world would abandon them. And, that’s exactly what your Mammoth-brained POS did! What a !)(#)#)(*#%^

  • I too had a fuckwit husband of 10 years who I discovered was having an affair when I was 10 weeks pregnant and after months of “reconciliation” found out he was still having the affair. I only wish I had discovered CL sooner. Her words are wise and the support of CN will help give you the strength to get through this. As CL said, you are already very mighty and you can do this. Get your ducks in a row and your support system lined up. And fuck that fuckwit and his whore. Sending you a million hugs.

  • I echo the You are Mighty Elizabeth chorus, there is some great advice here. The reality is your ex is unlikely to do anything that a “normal” person would, early introductions is just part of the script and there is very little that you can do about it. Just keep modelling that kickass mightiness and your kids will thrive, just because you are there for them. Let your lawyer be indignant on your behalf and take that loser sperm doner out. It’s all about the money for these clowns and zero about what’s actually best for the kids, don’t let him off the hook. Good luck for the impending birth, what an amazing woman & mother you are, he doesn’t deserve to be breathing the same air as you.

  • Wow. Just … wow. I am in awe that Elizabeth is not curled up in the fetal position and instead is trying to problem-solve AND take care of her other children, all the while about to give birth. This guy is f*cked in the head that he could do this to another human being. How does he sleep at night?

    I know you’re going to make it through this, Elizabeth. Follow CL’s advice. Be smart, be calculated, and be bold. And forgive yourself if you feel hopeless or depressed/anxious during your navigation of these turbulent waters. You’re human, and your children will see what a healthy response to this irresponsible, reprehensible, immoral behavior is like. They’ll see that you’re upset but that you have boundaries, that you’re sad but you do what it takes to care for your family, etc. etc. They’ll learn the most important lessons of their lives as they watch you double-down on your own mightiness.

    You’ve got this. <3

  • I am in a very similar situation. My ex partner of 13 yrs, who had cheated on me in the past, but we reconciled over 4 yrs ago, decided just after Christmas that he wasn’t sure what he wanted anymore between us. He said he was depressed and had been showing signs of depression for a while.

    We agreed to him moving out for a while for him to ‘discover’ what he wanted. He moved to his mum’s. At this point I was 12 weeks pregnant.

    He was calling around every day after work to see our son and in the school holidays as he’s a teacher. Then in February, when we’d been spending a lot of time together again and getting on really well and me thinking that his ‘depression’ was getting better, I discovered that he was seeing someone else.

    So, from mid February to April 1st, they move in together, but he is insisting that he has ‘unrestricted’ access to his son, meaning he wanted to call around to the house when he wanted with very little notice as his work commitments meant he couldn’t commit to certain days to seeing his son. What a load of bull.

    He also made every attempt not to move his stuff out of the house, so I got the energy to move all of his stuff to the garage. On the day he moved his stuff, I made myself scarce and went to a friends house. Once he collected his stuff, he called me to tell me it was safe to go back to the house. Then he called me back shouting down the phone ‘Is that it then? Are we done?’. To which my reply was ‘well, I’m assuming moving in with your new girlfriend means we are very much DONE’.

    I insist that we need to make arrangements and he reluctantly after months agrees to Thursdays and Saturday’s. I insist that my son not be introduced to the OW until after the baby is born so that it does not mess with my son’s head anymore than it already has.

    About 6 weeks ago, he asks me to be on talking terms with him, to which I refuse. He then tells me has no other option to make arrangements to introduce the OW to my son. I tell him that I can’t stop him, but to consider our son’s feelings.

    The meeting happens without my knowledge. He introduces his OW as a friend. My son comes home and I’m getting him ready for bed and then he tells me he met daddy’s friend and then tells me she gave him a new xbox game and asked if this was daddy’s girlfriend. I couldn’t lie, so I told him she was.

    He was crying and was sick and was saying ‘Daddy lied to me, he said he’d never leave and he did’.

    Since then I’ve been trying to protect my son from the introduction of the OW until the baby is born and it’s worked so far.

    He moved in with the new girlfriend around the corner from my sister and both of them are teachers at a school that my nephew attends. It’s cringeworthy.

    Today, he’s taken my son to the school performance of ‘The Lion King’ that the OW has organised. It kills me to see him flaunting my son around the school as if everything is ok. It is not ok.

    I hate him for what he’s done! I can’t even look at him when he collect our son from home. He asked me how I was today. I couldn’t even make any words come out of my mouth and I really tried for my son.

    He has been so abusive with the messages he sends. He’s told me that he is going to call social services and tell them I’m not fit to look after our kids. He said he would drag my family history out and make it sound as bad as he could. He has also said that he is going to court to gain full custody of our child(ren).

    After numerous threats, I sought legal advice and they sent him a letter. He now tells me what a low life I am for slandering his name and making him out to be an unfit father!!! He made all the threats. I was sick of his behaviour and did what I had to do.

    Baby is due on 2nd August and has barely acknowledged the pregnancy apart from to ask me if I’m going to screw him over after the baby is born.

    He’s cut all ties with his mother, who called him out on his behaviour and most of his extended family no longer want anything to do with him. He no longer hangs out with any of his friends, apart from one and spends all his time with the OW and her friends.

    He regularly turns up late to pick up his son or doesn’t pick him up at all, blaming my hostility for the reason why he hasn’t turned up.

    I need advice on how to be more ‘happy’ when he collects our son. I hate the fact that I show I’m angry. I don’t speak with him, but it shows how much I dislike him.

    I could write so much more, but I don’t want to bore you all.

    • LilLis,

      The end of your letter is wrong. You don’t need advice on how to be more happy when he picks up your son. You need advice on how to not show your anger. I think everyone here calls it ‘grey rock’, being totally intellectual and non-emotional during contact. I’ll leave it for others to explain. Short, polite sentences. Matter of fact, minimal exchange of information, and that’s it.

      But you need your anger. It will keep you on the path to the life you deserve, and stop you from the pick-me dance, spackling, getting gaslighted (gaslit?), and all the other nastiness that caused your relationship with your ex to fall apart.

      One other thing. If he parades his son around at school events during his time, that’s his business. You can’t, and shouldn’t, worry about what that means. That’s his time, and as long as your son is safe and being watched by adults, it’s not your problem. Trust that your son will know what really went down as he gets older. He already does – the whole ‘Daddy lied to me’ talk proves that. And he’ll remember it forever – he may eventually need therapy to help him work through those issues. When it comes to other people, well, so what. As Richard Feynman (physicist) famously said, “What do you care what other people think?” Those who know what went down will understand that he cheated on you multiple times. If he wants to put on his Sunday best and strut around like a peacock with his son in tow, well, so what?

      One other point, and some might argue with me on this. If ex’s family (especially his mom) are distancing themselves from him, I think it’s okay to have a good relationship with them. After all, your son and new baby are part of their family, even if the ex isn’t. And if they are doing the right thing, calling your ex out on his cheating, and cutting ties with him, they can be in your life and your kids’s lives.

      However, I’d be careful here – if any of them are narcissists, it might be that they want a relationship with you and with your ex, and might lie to you to keep you around (I guess it’s like cheating without the sex part if they do something like that). But if your kids’ paternal grandmother really is on your side, there’s no reason to deny your kids their grandma, let her help out with them, etc.

      Finally, the fact that he teaches at the same school as your sister seems to be a sore spot. If this bothers you, you should have a heart to heart with your sister. She may not know it’s an issue for you. She may have heard his side of the story (likely, let’s say, falsehoods) either from your ex or through the grapevine. You need to determine if she’s your ally, neutral, or has gone over to his side, and moderate your relationship with her and your expectations of her accordingly. You and she need to either connect, or disconnect. And if she’s on your side, she could do you a world of good in letting her co-workers know exactly what the score is. Or maybe when she hears how your ex put you through the wringer, she may not want to work with him, and might try to transfer to another school, or take other steps that make you less uncomfortable with the situation.

      From the timing of this reply, it’s likely that you’ve had the baby. Hopefully everything went well, and you now have another wonderful child that you can show what being a strong, loving woman and mother is all about. Hugs.

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