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Dear Chump Lady, The OW gave me a brownie plate

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Dear Chump Lady,

I don’t think I’ve ever seen you cover this topic, and my fellow chumpy friends and I are mystified by this behavior…

Schmoopie (the one that my husband/partner of 23 years left me for last year) gives ME (the chumpy ex-wife) gifts! What the…..?

I have never met Schmoopie in person. She is almost a decade older than my ex, and divorced with two older children. My two younger children have the privilege of spending time with Schmoops at her house — and on special occasions (Christmas, Mother’s Day, my birthday, Groundhog Day) over the past year, she has given me gifts under the guise of them being “from” my children. Mind you, I am absolutely certain that my ex didn’t purchase or select these gifts, nor my children, so there is only one person who could have initiated the purchases and executed the elaborate wrapping, minus any cards or notes.

So far, the gifts have included: a plush robe, a pair of gray floral fuzzy pajamas, a set of bath gels, a chambray shirtdress (which is too big — because I lost 30 lbs on the divorce diet), a silver bracelet with a charm that says “I Love Mom”, a custom-framed portrait of my children, and handpainted pots with flowers. These gifts are sent home with the children, without any explanation or pleasantries. Like pretty little time bombs.

From anyone else, the gifts would be warmly appreciated. From her, it’s a complete mindfuck. How am I supposed to interpret the intent behind these goodies? As peace offerings? As consolation prizes? As “I feel sorry for imploding your marriage and family… have a nice bath”? I can’t wrap my brain around it.

Not only that — but she constantly goes out of her way to “one up” me, by being super crafty and thoughtful. She freaking made a fancy brownie platter for my Divorce Care support group meeting potluck (delivered by my 9-year-old daughter who attends the children’s group)!!! Let that one sink in — the mistress made dessert for the ex-wife’s divorce group, and they did NOT have medical marijuana or laxatives in them! And because of this, I have dubbed her the “Martha Stewart of mistresses.” I have always considered myself to be a top-notch gift-giver and hostess, and this chick is bound and determined to outshine me every chance she gets. She already won the “booby prize”, but apparently she wants honorable mention too.

And here’s the kicker — my divorce is not final yet, and my ex and I are currently spending thousands in legal fees — so what kind of logic goes into the opposition buying GIFTS for the other team?? My ex doesn’t even talk to me at all, so why is his gal going out of her way to play nice?

It’s one thing to lavish my children with bribes (oops, I meant gifts) — but why ME?? Here’s a shiny object to distract you from the absence of your husband! Apparently she missed the class at cheater school where they teach you etiquette: Rule #1: Don’t buy gifts for your co-cheater’s soon-to-be-ex-wife.

So, the thing I’m struggling with is that old saying “don’t look a gift whore (oops, I meant horse) in the mouth.” Does it make me seem bitter and ungrateful that I can’t just grit my teeth and happily accept the gifts? Or that I won’t reciprocate and buy her a gift, or at least send a handwritten thank you note? I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Is she trying to kill me with kindness and show she’s the bigger person?

Do I just file this under the category of “untangling the skein of fuckupedness”?

Thanks,

GagGifted

Dear GG,

It’s a trap, Gifted! It’s a TRAP!

There is absolutely no good way to respond to this platter of shit brownies. If you accept them with thanks, you’re buying into the “friends” narrative, that there’s absolutely nothing transgressive about this menopausal homewrecker fucking your husband. On the flip side, if you reject her gifts, if you catapult brownie bites at her head, or regift that fuzzy bathrobe to your nearest homeless person and photograph said person wearing said bathrobe, and upload the pix to OW’s social media (just a suggestion) — yes, then you’re “bitter and ungrateful.” Hell, if you fail to send a thank you note you’re probably bitter and ungrateful.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? To bombard you with bogus magnanimity and faux graciousness so you appear sullen and angry by contrast. Gosh, I’m such a Nice Person. Too bad Gifted can’t let go of her anger and accept! 

The gifts are pure impression management. They’re a beautifully wrapped fuck you presented by your children. Ouch. And the worst thing about these wackadoodle acts of performance art is that they’re meant to mindfuck your children too. See, OW comes in peace! Pay no attention to your parents divorce — here’s a shiny thing! And one for your mother too!

I think you’re being remarkably gracious by not responding. Because yes, while it’s totally comedic, this kind of mindfuck is also abhorrent. It’s not a new set of pajamas, it’s a blundering attempt to get you to normalize injustice.

Oprah Winfrey has famously told the story of being raped as a 9-year old child. Afterwards, her abuser took her out for ice cream.

It seems preposterous, but anyone who has ever suffered abuse knows that this incongruity is typical. Man beats his wife, then buys her new clothes. Enslave a people and promote a few as “good Negros” or “credits to their race.” Buy the narrative that what I did was okay, and you’re okay with it, and you will be rewarded. I will think well of you! You will think well of me! And say no more about the Bad Thing! That wasn’t really Bad but For The Best!

This mindfuck is as old as time. What you’re experiencing is violation with ice cream.

Your family is breaking up, your still-husband is putting you through an acrimonious divorce, and this horrible woman is trying to insinuate herself into your DivorceCare group for fuck’s sake!

So what do you do?

You have a couple choices here.

1.) You can continue your strategy of ignoring her. However, that exposes your children to the continual mindfuck of delivering you “gifts.” OW may eventually give up, but do speak to your children about how inappropriate these gifts are. Do it as unemotionally as you can.

2.) Tell your children that you only want gifts from them. Not the OW. You cherish the pipe cleaner bracelet and homemade cards, and you know they don’t have money to afford fancy pajama sets. Divorce means Dad doesn’t buy gifts for mom anymore. And his OW shouldn’t buy gifts either. We’re two separate families. It’s okay for you to enjoy gifts at their house, but it’s not appropriate here. (See above.)

3.) Confront the OW. Borrow from the Bill Eddy advice when dealing with Difficult People — be BIFF. Brief. Informative. Friendly. Firm. “Dear OW, I received your bathrobe. I am returning it, as it is not appropriate for me to be receiving gifts from the children, which they did not purchase themselves. Or which are proxy gifts from you or their father. Please respect my wishes. All the best, Gifted!”

And if these do not work, consider the Machiavellian.

1.) Do it to her. Turnabout is fair play. Regift that shit. Did you get pajamas for Mother’s Day? Rewrap it and send it via the children to her on Groundhog Day. Do it every. single. holiday for every. single. gift.

2.) Ridicule it. Create a blog where you upload pictures of these presents. Call it “Shit My Husband’s Mistress Gave Me.” Post links on every divorce support site. Invite people’s suggestions of what to do with these gifts. Make memes. Upload photos of feral pigs eating the brownie platter. Dogs wearing chambray shirt dresses.

And if it gets back to her? Impression management fail! Narcs hate to be ridiculed.

Hey, if you’re going to be bitter and ungrateful, you may as have fun. Good luck!

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  • Chump Lady’s Advice ~ I like it ~ #1 is my favorite but #2 isn’t bad either.

    Fucking people, where does it end.

    Unbelievable.

      • Holy shit. That’s all I kept thinking when I read the post and then to find out the picture is real?? Mind. Blown. You truly can’t make this shit up. I would do both #1 and #2 under the Machiavellian options. Do the blog, take the pictures, (with all my dogs I could have some real fun with that shirtwaist dress) and THEN return gifts on the next holiday.

      • Holy fucking shit.

        I discovered, during my Marriage Police phase, that the OW asked my husband what I (pregnant) was “craving” (you know, other than a solid marriage and trust in my spouse). He TOLD HER (coconut) whereupon she gifted me with 1) a huge box of chocolate covered coconut macaroons, 2) eggs from her “spiritual” chickens (I’m not even joking), and 3) a large jar of her homemade maple syrup, that she made a huge fucking deal of because apparently she and her husband make their living selling that stuff and every ounce is like, gold.

        I managed to feed one egg to my child, but everything else sickened me, and I ended up tossing it all and not touching maple syrup from any source for a good two years following. I still eat jam on my waffles.

        God, these people are delusional. She was trying to assuage a guilty conscience, as she and my husband were laboring under the delusion that their “innocent friendship” (which they mysteriously kept a complete secret from both their spouses, because hey, that’s what one does with “innocent friendships”) was A-OK because they weren’t fucking. Which is EXACTLY what to do every time you make a new friend, amirite? Not tell your spouse about your new friend, not offer to introduce them to the spouse or the spouses to each other, keep all your texts and emails (hundreds) under an alias folder, and lie about meeting each other? I mean, that’s the foundation of all real friendships.

      • It is hideous. It looks like small balls of hard poo in mini muffins liners and some unwashed, out of season strawberries thrown in a used tupperware container.

        The cheap peppermints as garnish are just silly.

        The Martha Stewart of gifts she ain’t. More like Hyacinth from Keeping Up Appearances.

        • Katie, I had to laugh when I saw the picture above. If you’re gonna buy someone off, at least have some style!

        • Katie, I was thinking dog turds after they sat in the yard for awhile. Hahahaha. There is no way I would touch one of those but I would totally take it to the divorce support group for a good laugh. And the peppermints! So random…

          • First I want to get this out of the way, she sucks, it’s a total mind fuck. Second, I thought the plate looked attractive and I can’t bake cakes to save my life. I guess it explains why the traitor had to cheat. The whore can’t cook or bake , she’s even worse than me but she can put together plates of sweets like today’s photo with mints and strawberries and pikelets. At least she tries. I could never be bothered… Poor traitor had to cheat. Whore even brought me sweets while I was in hospital, knowing I don’t like sweets, and traitor was available full time while I was laid up… Now I understand!

        • Not up to the standards of the Great British Bake-Off, that’s for sure.

          Seriously, brownies baked as cupcakes don’t look right. Brownies are little squishy things, while cupcakes ought to have more of a rise to them. If she’d presented a plate of brownies perfectly baked with a nice chocolate-raspberry grenache on them, I’d be impressed. That plate? Not so much.

          I truly like the #2 option. If this is the best that OW can do, then it deserves its own snarky blog entry. Take a picture, critique the bake, and then donate the food to the local food shelter.

          For non-consumables, I think regifting is fun. You could send them back saying that you thought the gifts were so thoughtful that you thought OW ought to have the exact same thing!

        • Oh, Chump Nation, you are all EN FUEGO today! I am just catching up on all this, and am literally LOL-ing!

          Hyacinth Bu-kay for the win!

          My thought about the brownies, treats, etc…test for arsenic!

          Hugs to you all–Cleo

        • I kept thinking about Minny’s Chocolate Pie. I don’t think I would be eating any chocolate baked goods from Schmoopie.

      • Oh ma gah. Well this shit deserves ridicule. She doesn’t even make an attempt at displaying the food in an attractive way. If you’re going to be a Martha Stewart-esque weirdo at least take some pride in your crazy work.

      • What the fuckity-fuck! That looks like a mean girls shit plate from Incredible Inedibles. Martha Stewart? More like something prepared by Baby Jane from the movie “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” Jaysus B. Christ.

        • “Mean girl shit plate prepared by Baby Jane. ” There is nothing I can read today that will outdo this, so I’m quickly exiting this paragraph and then the Internet so it doesn’t get spoiled.
          Bravo.

      • Gah!!! All I can think is “Minny’s Chocolate Pie,” though that would be a much more suitable gift TO the OW.

      • Well, that truly “takes the cake”… so, how many double entendres and bad puns can spawn from one letter, lol.
        Completely ignore her, immediately place non-edibles in a donation box in the garage and the edibles into the garbage, as matter-of-factly as possible. I’d definitely be tempted to keep my own little photo album of all the ‘gifts’ to share with my snarky bff’s though! Nothing that takes too much effort though. Fuck her!

    • Sitting here open mouthed. And not with hunger. Wasn’t gonna log in, because I have actual work to do at my actual desk while I actually retrain to get the better job with which to leave my husband by. With. For. Something.

      ANYWAY, GG you clearly retain the hostess award. Who puts the centerpiece in an ugly disposable plastic storage container? Who puts cheap mints next to brownies or strawberries for a sweet nuclear war nobody wins? Look past the happy happy joy joy platter to the truly bad presentation. Pretend sweet. Speaks for itself.

  • The problem here is that you think a gift is a gift. These are not gifts. These are image management tools. Passed via your kids , they are meant to convey to them look how nice she is….and mummy never gives returns the favour. Mean mummy.
    We have a saying in Barbados,where I am from, ” every skin teeth ain’t a smile”. It means that every act that appears to be an act of kindness is not necessarily so.
    She’s trying to make you look bad. She betting on the fact that you care how you look if you’re to tell her where to stuff her turd- looking brownies.
    Just last Thursday my stbx sent some pizza and … brownies via the kids for me! Imagine that. He won’t even speak to me and continues to be an ass. My son came in announcing Daddy’s gift and eying me to see my response.
    These manipulators know what they are doing…don’t ever fall for it. Call them out and keep moving.
    But they will call you names? So what!

    • BTW…I did not eat the pizza or the brownies! As if! Like I will make it that easy for him to kill me!

      I told the children mysteriously that it was strange that Daddy was sending the items for me. They asked why. I replied it just was. Let them mull. They can see and think.

      Garbage for those ‘gifts’.

      No spackle.

      BTW 2nd…CL…from a distance that platter of brownies look like turds. Is that intentional?

      • Mandie, how old are the kids? I get they have to come to their own conclusions about their father, but below a certain age, are they going to understand your comment?

        • Hi. They are 9 and 7. Very shrewd the pair of them. They know how he treats me and can see the incongruity in his ‘kind’ acts.
          I agree on you point re age appropriateness.

          • Ah, the confusion on their faces…my narc started to give them shit cuz I didn’t buy him Father’s Day, Birthday or Christmas gifts after I tossed his ass. Why would I ever buy that POS a gift after the shit he did to us??? OMG, the balls of these people. So, when my son, at 7, came home upset because his dad whined at him about no gift for fathers day, I had to be restrained from heading straight over to his house with a bat. Sorry, I digress. Instead, after that, I simply had the kids make him a card or something, until he got the fucking message. I hate when they use these poor kids who are confused and have already been through enough. Now, he has figured it out and doesn’t get me something “from the kids” and I don’t bother telling the kids what to do. They are 12 and 9 and have figured Mr. Wonderful out for themselves. But, for a while, I had to figure out a strategy to keep him from harassing my babes.

      • Mine has also been a total c**t, is rude when we have to have interaction, particularly in last couple of weeks, then when he comes around to pick up kids this weekend notices my tires are bald (true – I have the kids pretty well full time – their choice, work a hard job and have had to sort out the sale of our large property by myself so no time to get it done recently). He said to me that he would take the car and get new ones – I said to him (politely) “I don’t think that is appropriate as we are not together anymore” – and he has married OW 5 months after leaving. However, he sends me a text this morning telling me he has ordered new tires from tire place and they will be in on Weds (they were special ones). I don’t know if he has paid for them, but he may well have done (he is very well off so this wouldn’t be a big deal for him). Of course, a bit of me is pleased not to have to do this/pay for it myself but basically it just feels like horrible hovering/control and a fake gift. But – like CL says, I can’t win. If I say no, I’m ungrateful and bitter, if I say yes he thinks I’m indebted to him. He also gets to win by looking (and feeling) generous, when he is nothing of the sort, and you can bet he will have told a few people about it too. He does things like this every so often – moody and mean, then suddenly “generous”. His pattern throughout the relationships too, can’t escape!

        • This is predicament I understand, OutOfSparkles. My soon-to-be-ex has agreed to pay for the divorce. I suspect it is because he wants to look like the “good guy” to his lawyer (long time friend) and maybe to my lawyer and former student (legal secretary). I am taking it and I would take the tires too!!! These jerks are going to do whatever it takes to protect their “image” but rest assured, the people who matter know that they suck. However, I wouldn’t eat the brownies. Lol

          • Thanks, LettingGo. You’re right – it won’t make any difference and will save me a few hundred dollars! I also read this great book called “Rethinking Narcissism” which talks about how to get narcissists to behave better and that rewarding them for their generous behavior is a good strategy in encouraging them to do more. I am not far off mediation and thinking that making him feel good about himself being generous might be useful!

            • Oh, hell yes–play the civility game until the end of mediation. A simple ‘thank you’ for the tires will suffice, and now you can drive safely.

        • I would have no problem accepting the tires. Image control – who gives a shit? Bald tires are dangerous. I would consider this an acknowledgment of what he owes your children (and you) for the sake of their safety.

          • Yes, it is dangerous – which is another reason to accept. I don’t think he’d give a toss if I crashed in a ditch (would probably be pretty pleased!) but he wouldn’t want that for the kids. He has spent his life frantically image controlling but now more than ever so I do need to accept that isn’t going to change. I don’t give a shit mostly but we work in the same organisation and, I have to confess, it does irk me there. However, he has been so overt, there are a lot of people who I know can see through it. Anyway, still can’t do anything about it and just got to do my job – which I know I do do well.

            • It’s not a “gift”. He owes you and your kids this and much, much more for all the cruelty he has put you through. You owe him nothing in return because a set of new tires doesn’t even scratch the sur face of his debt. Eff these cheater’s and their image management. They will be forever in our debt for the compassion, empathy, commitment and everything else we have given them.

            • Ah yes, it is all a game that we are forced to play and it sucks because it is that game that the only way to win is not to play but you are forced to play….

              I am playing the game with 17 year old son’s car right now. It is in stbx’s name and has a safety recall. Cheater sends command email to son and me take care of this and let me know when it is done.

              I want to to say who the fuck do you think you are, you take care of this asshole. But Strategy says he is wanting custody so if I take care of this, I have evidence that he expects me to do everything and he is only about himself.

              I hate this game.

              • What is it with tires? Mine did not by me new tires but was greatly concerned. I also remember him feeling the same about his ex wife and her tires. Weird!

              • My STBX decided to get himself a brand new SUV last summer. He didn’t trade in the car so that son could have it. The only problem was that son was only 14 at the time. He then tells me that I need to clean out the other side of the garage so it can be parked there out of the weather (since below freezing temperatures wouldn’t be good for it). Then when son is old enough to drive, he will transfer it to my name and I can register and get insurance for it. So, for a year and a half I will have an extra car without plates that can’t be driven that I have to store and start every so often.

                I just bite my tongue and not say a word and remind myself that I won’t have to find or buy a used car when son turns 16.

              • Custody, the kid is 17 for gods sake he can choose for himself and he is almost and adult so who gives a shit about one year. Don’t let control you with that custody bullshit ur kid is WAY too old for that game Feeling it!!

        • If you need the tires then you should take them, say ‘thank you’ once and move on. However, if you do not want the tires, because of the whole f-up-ness of him doing this for his own image, just don’t ever take the car to the tire place. If they call you just tell them he ordered them without your consent and if he calls/contacts you regarding the appointment or why you haven’t taken the car in to get the tires replaced you can either not respond or tell him the same thing, ‘you ordered them without my consent’ which sets your boundaries and his hoovering doesn’t work. He will tell ‘people’ his own story anyway, no matter what you actually do so try not to stress about that.

        • Definitely take the tyres as a cynical move to A/ ensure your vehicular safety for free, hopefully (and that of your children of course) and B/ because I suspect you won’t get much for free going forward. It’s the least he can do. You need only note when you have had them fitted and say ”thank you for arranging this”. Nothing more. You don’t need to smile or be all grateful in any way. Honestly, it’s the least he can do and at least it’s practical. Yes he’s doing it for brownie points, but WGAF?

        • You got tires, too? That was apparently my “parting gift” from Shithead, a week before he abandoned. He had “special” tires put on my car and paid for them out of money he’d won in a drawing at a work meeting. Weird. But that’s how he thinks: cars are more important than people, he treats vehicles better than family.

        • tyres- wen we still shared the car I had to tell him what I was doing with it and it needed a new couple of tyres. About a month later I took some post round OWs at a time I thought he would be out, but he wasn’t. He got in my way so I couldn’t drive off or even get in the car, and peered into all the windows ‘to see what you’ve got in there’ and then looked at the new tyres and said that they desperately needed changing. Always was an awkward sod, would say black was white . Even tyres bring back unfortunate memories

    • Ah, the memories. I had forgotten that in the year after my marriage imploded, the kids would often come to the car when I picked them up with a plate of food my EX was sending to me.

      These “gifts” usually arrived after I had been sitting in the car in the driveway for 30-45 minutes because they weren’t finished with their dinner yet (he played lots of crappy games in regard to making me wait and ignoring pick up and drop off times); the meal he had prepared was “special” and making the kids leave at the appointed time before they could eat it made me a bitch and mean; the plate was a way to make him look so nice and generous to mom in the eyes of the kids.

      The kids would want to see me eat it when I got home, which was always uncomfortable no matter how I responded. Fortunately, that facade wore off after about a year (both the one where he cooked for the kids and the one where he pretended he gave a damn or not about whether I was eating).

      Yep, the gifts from the OW are impression management.

      If the gifts are nice enough to have a resale value, I suggest selling them and using the money to do something fun with your kids or to help pay the divorce lawyer’s bills! And on that principle, I might tell the OW thanks and suggest some expensive items you’d love to have her purchase for you!

  • Goes to show somebody always has it worse!!! So sorry! I am angry for you.

    Great advice. You must keep us posted on what you do and the result.

  • Send her a very large pair of granny undies you cut/ripped the crotch out of and enclose a note, “Found stuffed under the back seat of his vehicle. Must be your’s.”

  • Holy shit. I couldn’t have dreamed this up in a million years as an OW tactic. It’s actually pretty terrifying.

  • I love the blog idea! I would so read that blog.

    It’s not exactly “meh”, but creating such a blog might actually be a step towards that goal, if that makes sense. Plus, in the meantime, it could be really entertaining. I would have fun getting creative with it, but, OP, you do what feels right to you.

    I’m sorry this is a thing you have to deal with!

  • Dear GG… I fully support the Machiavellian option #2 for shits and giggles, but lets face it… you’ve got better things to do with your time like divorce this fuckwit and be the sane parent for your kids… cuz it is Jerry-Springer-Obvious that they are only getting the cra-cra with Poppa and Schmoopie.

    My thoughts: Explain to the kids what gifts are and what they mean to you. Ask them what they mean to them. Make it a dialogue. Then discuss how they would feel if someone that hurt them very badly gave them a present to make it seem like they didn’t hurt them. Let them draw their own conclusions. AND because kids are great at seeing through bullshit, when they acknowledge they would refuse them… tell them that is what is happening here and ask for their ideas… should we donate them to a shelter?… should we sit down with the fuckwit and schmoopie and explain why you feel it is inappropriate and set a healthy boundary (cuz if you’re being all adult and they go mental, you’ve flipped the narrative).

    I think it’s a good learning opportunity for everyone. Your kids learn boundaries are OK. You learn to stop giving up time to the jackasses who like brownie trays. And they get each other.

    You’ve got this. Hell, some days, they make it easy 🙂

    • I love this idea.

      People who are FRIENDS or family–people who LOVE each other and want to express love–sometimes give gifts to express love. Schmoopie and exhole are not friends, because friends don’t hurt each other on purpose.

      Sometimes people give gifts in business in order to purchase favor, or for good will, or as a “thank you.” You and schmoopie and exhole are not clients of one another.

      Sometimes people give gifts to embarrass someone or to try to appear to be “nice” to anyone who witnesses the gift-giving, and this is not appropriate behavior. I really love your idea to engage in this conversation.

      I suppose it’s possible that this abhorrent woman is really just very, very clueless and stupid? Just a big cow without a brain? Is that possible? That she really just somehow feels obligated? (I doubt it.)

        • >> this is not appropriate behavior. <<

          This is a great lesson. So far in my 60 yrs, I've learned that you should never trust a gift that is given without reason or motive. I learned it quickly by just two innocent-seeming people.

          First one was hubby's new assistant. We had just moved to a brand new custom home and he just began working out of his new office. She was impressibly experienced in his highly complicated markets, and, as it turned out, had worked in his old office. When he moved this 2 hrs away from the city to his new office, she actually followed him here – under the sly. When she came for the interview, he was very surprised, and she was a gift to him when she arrived because no locals had her experience.
          She started buying us all sorts of gifts; gifts, all beautifully wrapped, she was on a limited salary, but she said it was because she loved wrapping gifts and it was just plain innapropriate every single time. Not stupid me, figures there must be another motive.
          Yup – I was right. She began embezzling from the firm the minute she sat down and was working on our private accounts next. Sccccaarrryy.

          The second time was our friend + husband who we started to become close to as couples. She started bringing home made dog food for my special show dog. It was obvious this was a big job to do. Using her blender – there were vegetable mixes, beef mixtures, shrimp mixtures, chicken, etc etc. I couldn't believe anybody would go to that kind of work for my dog. (well, our dog). Then, she started bringing over all this fancy booze when they came to stay the night. Expensive bourbons (who drinks bourbon?) Fancy vodkas (hubby's drink) and Liquors for after dinner. (None of those I drink)
          Well, that sure paid off for her within a year!

          Always trust your gut.
          If the gift feels wrong, it IS wrong.

          Assholes

    • ICANSee

      Great ideas regarding it as a teachable moment. I imagine the children are young and a reaction was expected when the brownies came home.

      No doubt she’s involving the children in the process of baking them. Time to set a boundary on that one too by explaining to the children that the group only accepts baked items from the moms who attend the meetings and Martha isn’t their mom.

      Had to laugh at the picture. Seeing is believing the extent of the disordered.

      • Completely agree that this was a covert aggressive (thank you Dr. Simon) manipulation and involving the kids just makes it worse… particularly since they were for a Divorce Group she was meeting with – good Lord.

        Mr. Sparkles OW tried to bribe my kid at bdays and Xmas with Lego sets. I was like “BITCH SIT DOWN – I ALREADY BOUGHT HIM THE DEATH STAR.”

        She’s gone now. Miss her… hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  • Chump Lady you are amazing. Reading through that letter all I could think was “what a truly evil woman that OW is and how on earth do you counter something like that?” You actually came up with solutions that make sense. How do you do it?
    The worst I have had to deal with in that regard was STBX telling me that if I had trouble finding parking for Fireworks in her neighborhood I could park in her driveway. WTF? Why on earth would I do that? And no, she is not a kind person for being willing to let me park in her driveway. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would deal with the extreme mind fuck described in this letter. Unbelievable.
    Gifted, I hope you try Chump Lady’s suggestions and let us know how they work out. Also, know that we here at CN know that she is an evil bitch, not a kind and generous person.

    • I agree. As tempting as it is to react, the best action is to continue to ignore. Throw the food away, donate the junk, and call it a day. OW is trying to box you in. The best reaction is no reaction, because anything you do is going to be used against you. If the kids ask, tell them you are not friends with OW and you don’t accept presents from people who are not your friend.Then move on. Not reacting is going to drive OW bonkers because it takes the attention away from her. That will bother her more than anything else you can do.

  • Gray Rock. Do not acknowledge the gifts from her and keep a box by the door labeled Goodwill. Dispose of the food immediately. You can’t eat food from people you don’t trust.

    She cannot buy her Cheater Boyfriend’s way into a more amicable divorce settlement for their future life. Who knows what he’s telling her… that you’re being difficult and THAT’S why he won’t be able to marry her as soon as she’d like. You’re so BITTER, you know? She’s literally trying to sweeten you up. I’ll bet she sweets-bombed her ex too, to distract him from her real self… a homewrecking whore. “Pay no attention to the cum-encrusted, panty wad stuck to the side of the laundry basket! I’ve made strawberry shortcakes; your FAVORITE, MY LOVE!”

    Ain’t a brownie in the world that can sweeten that up.

    • This was my exact reaction — don’t take the bait, and for God’s sake don’t eat that food! I was leaning more toward keeping the donate box in the closet and tossing the food when they aren’t looking, it because I’m assuming the OW may have gotten them all pumped up about giving that stuff to you, but letting them see is probably OK too, as long as you don’t make it a big emotional thing. It would be easy to inadvertently come across as throwing their gifts to you out if they are all loaded with the OW’s and/or ex’s manipulations about how the gifts are really from them.

      In any case, my vote is, don’t give them anything that puts ammo into the “you’re insane and bad for the kids” argument. Just calmly let the gifts go and move on with your life, says me.

    • You can’t eat food from people you don’t trust. End of discussion there.

      I like regifting her the other stuff, wrapped all nice in some super fancy gift wrap, maybe the stuff with the flower seeds in it so she can self fertilize it with her own bullshit.

      Personally I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, I can wear the “bitter” label and totally rock it like a Coco Chanel bag and gifts like that would get dumped in the trash faster than you can say “fuck you”

  • I have to say, of all the weird stuff I’ve read on this site, that one might take the cake (err, brownies) as far as messed up AP behavior goes. I suppose it could be far, far worse; a lot of women on here get the “I won the husband, I’m the more attractive woman, so please go f*** yourself” letter.

    My own ex sends cookies and other little goodies for me. They’re not from “the kids,” they’re from her. Odd as that is, it’s far better than getting them from the OM. He has the good sense to never come into my field of view.

  • Wow, your last paragraph shows how you got chumped in the first place (no judgment) — questioning everything YOU could be doing wrong or how YOU could do it better. Bet he had you in a total mindfuck when you were together constantly second guessing yourself while he was mentally or physically out the door.

    I would deliver the gifts straight to the trash can or find someone else who could enjoy them and not think about it a minute more. Someday she won’t have the excuse to give you those gifts, when the kids grow up – keep your eye on the future.

  • Straight in the bin, then write a nice thank you note on pretty paper saying don’t give me anything again, done.
    Cheeky bitch.

  • I also think the OW is trying to appear like the bigger person to others and further “pick me dance” for your Stbx.
    OW inner dialogue:
    “Look how great and thoughtful I am, unlike her! Of course I am better than HER! See, see, I help (manipulate) her children to learn how to be polite by sending her gifts through them! I am not an entitled cheater/liar! I am a wonderful woman…more wonderful than her! And everyone sees it especially since I help (manipulate) her kids by buying her gifts but I get no thanks in return. I’m going to tell eveyone I know what a difficult and angry person she obviously is. My twu luv is SO right-it was pure hell for him with
    her! He finally found a wonderful and perfect woman in meeeeeeeeeee!”
    I am lucky-when my XH shows up at the house for pickups he makes his schmoopie wait at Dunkin’ Donuts, most likely because I am “so mean and angry” but I’ll take it?

    • Nejla, good guess on the inner dialogue.

      Inappropriate gift giving is a flapping red flag for identifying the disordered. They have no genuine empathy or gratitude, so they cannot give genuine gifts.

      • Oh yes, Ali Rose. EVERY disordered individual I have ever known gives weird/shitty gifts, and not just to me. It is definitely a red flag.

        • Lol. About 3 months after D-day, I drove to the OW’s house one day. A 6 hour round trip. I took … brownies and a kite for her son?!!! WTF???

          I was so determined that she see me as a person. With a good heart. (And I had thought pre-D-day, that we were friends.) I just didn’t fully get the sociopathy yet. This post has me pmsl. Because of can see right through this OW’s bullshit, and because it makes me cringe so much about my own naivety.

          (She slammed the door in my face, BTW. It was epic. Then I got a fake restraining order in the post. I finally ‘got it’ then. Yeah, I was delusional that she would want to talk to me calmly and I could tell her my love story, and she would finally understand, empathise, apologise profusely, and all would be right with the world. But she was a narcissistic bitch. Who then continued to harass us for another two years. I needed that bitch slapping moment. Hilarious now!)

  • “…to get you to normalize injustice.”

    So timely for me right now.

    This is what I love about Chump Lady, she takes stuff that is pinging my red flags but can’t put a finger on and sets it to words. Fantastic words. Words that I can use to make myself known instead of walking around with itchy sweater feelings.

    Thank you, Tracy

  • This is a mindfuck and a half. Chump Lady is spot on. It is of course not niceness, it is rubbing the affair/aftermath in your face. Ignore or show the OW you know what’s up, and definitely separate the children from all of this. Cheaters and those who participate knowingly are disordered to the nth degree. Our gift is that we no longer have to put up with it. And that includes seemingly innocuous brownie platters and dresses (seriously, WTF?)

  • “To bombard you with bogus magnanimity and faux graciousness so you appear sullen and angry by contrast. Gosh, I’m such a Nice Person. Too bad Gifted can’t let go of her anger and accept!”

    KK is a cheater who does this — or DID, for a while:

    — On Jan 26, not 5 minutes after I told her we were getting divorced and she could tell the world “the bar is now open for that golden pussy of yours,” she handed me tickets for a taping of Stephen Colbert’s new late night show, which she said she had been planning to give me for Valentine’s Day (to get me out of town . . .?). I threw them back at her and she seemed stunned that I would not accept them.

    — That Father’s Day, with her refusing to leave the house and in the midst of early divorce proceedings, she left an envelope with my name on it on her dresser. I snatched it up and threw it away, unopened.

    — That Christmas, she snuck in a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings in with my daughters’ present to me; they said, “Mum got that for you.” I said, “Oh, OK”, put it away, and donated it to a charity 6 months later.

    I have no doubt KK orchestrated these efforts to provide a point of comparison to my daughters (and, by extension, anyone else who buys her spin). I don’t care. I’m not playing that shit.

    • That Gal was hedging her bets- 100%. She knew you were a solid man and mate. She wanted to keep you on the back burner in case her casts of weirdo lovers did not pan out.

      Believe it!

    • Boom! My kinda person ux! I have an aunt like that. She doesn’t play games. I don’t think of her as bitter. I think of her as having standards.

    • My ddday was the day my ex came home from a trip (during which he got involved with the OW), and my ex came home to tell me he was leaving me and then the next morning, he gave me the gifts he had gotten me during his trip. I never did understand that. One gift might have been bought before things started up with the OW, but the other must have been after because of the timing of where he got it… I guess when he bought the gifts, he wasn’t sure he was going to leave me yet, but he decided before coming home that he would and since he already had the gifts, he decided to give them to me anyways? Who knows…

  • I have a bit of a twist on this type of thing. My girls went to FL to see their father and the OW now “wife” and my daughter needed to bring some things home – so my ex, being the “giving” guy that he is – took one of his gals bags and gave it to my daughter to bring her stuff home in. (She was not pleased that he chose that one, but didn’t say anything at that time). It is a beautiful canvas beach bag from SS Brighton – Nice big, colorful and I loved it. I looked up retail on line and it retails for $100. I took it from my daughter and changed the “Brighton” to FREEDOM. One “bag” for another I say. She got my “shitbag”, I got her pretty bag. ha ha ha I wear it with pride and take as many pictures I can with it and a big cheesy smile on my face.

    http://www.brighton.com/product/in-store/36956-91247/s-s-brighton-beach-tote.html

  • I think you should allow your children to help you rewrap the presents and take them to a nursing home. You would be surprised at the number of people who never have visitors. Be sure to tell the staff, or the recipient, that they are from your children. Do not say a single thing to your kids about it unless they ask. Then just say you don’t need them and someone else does. Just give the things away. They will tell her. If your jackass of a husband says anything gray rock him. Neither one is worth a minute of your time. Btw, you will be known as the gracious lady who brought nice gifts to others. This is one of those times when you really do make lemonade.

    • Btw, how does she know you are in a support group? Gray rock the hell out of those two. She is past creepy. This is a subtle form of torture. Your stbx is going to live with a sociopath. Good for him!

    • Let go,
      Hello Chump Sister,
      My first thought was the same as your’s, as long as the gift is “safe” residents in a nursing home would be so happy, just for one strawberry and one brownie. Lonely people are blown away by the kindness of strangers.❤️Many NEVER receive a gift, have seen this in past work experience.

      GG,
      This is fucking unbelievable,
      (See Calamity Jane, sometimes there is nothing like the “f” bomb to help express unbelievable emotion. I am certain God is ok with it this time!)

      GG,
      “This” is definitely a chapter in your book!

      I want to add though that I find this tactic of the bitch other woman, to be so unfair to innocent children, using them as a delivery service.

      Big trust that OW sucks.

      I am so sorry for this added burden on you, GG.

      Big chump hugs to you dear lady!
      Xxxx

    • Great suggestion, Let Go! No matter what Schmoopie’s intentions are, GG and her kids can then turn that into something positive for others that are truly in need.

    • What an well-considered and appropriate response! Take the power away and do something good at the same time. A twofer.

  • One of the reasons many people hate clowns is that the gobs of make up and merry accessories hide their true nature. Think John Wayne Gacy.

    That is why her shit brownies and lounge wear gifts are so creepy. You know she hates your fucking guts. But she sends gifts? That is gangster level mind fuckery.

    As I get older, I just don’t have the energy for other people’s sick bullshit. I imagine OW would get a note:

    You broke up my family. We are not friends. Stop sending me gifts.
    If you maintain you care about my well being, urge Husband to sign a fair settlement immediately.

  • This is semi off topic but somewhat related. STBX has been working hard lately to get people to recognize Schmoopie as a good person and to accept his relationship with her. He is parading her around to his family and they seem to be accepting her, although they are still trying to be there for me as well, but they can only sort of do that because I can’t talk to them about what jerks STBX and Schmoopie are. He hasn’t introduced her to our kids as his girlfriend yet (although daughter knows who she is), but he is setting the stage to do so as soon as he feels it is safe. Yesterday he took the kids to her neighborhood where they helped one of her friends build a fairy garden with Schmoopie’s two younger children. My daughter, who can’t stand Schmoopie, said the friend was really nice (although she did wonder why she would be friends with Schmoopie) and they all had a good time. This friend also went through some difficult times recently and it may be that Schmoopie helped he through that (so see what a kind person she is). So he isn’t making them hang around Schmoopie, but he is trying to get them to warm up to her friends, kids, and neighborhood. He is very clever. He figures if they like everything associated with her and have them hanging around people who think highly of her, they will eventually like her too, and he is probably right. If this nice woman likes her, then she can’t be all that bad. Again, there is no way I can counter this without looking like the bitter ex wife who just won’t let it go and move on. This set me off yesterday to the point where I was crying uncontrollably. Then I got bitter because STBX took away my shoulder to cry on. My daughter saw me crying and wanted to comfort me, but I didn’t want to talk to her about what was bothering me so I told her I loved her but needed to be alone. Finally I called my parents (who live thousands of miles away) and cried on their virtual shoulders while they listened to me rant and comforted me. I just need someone safe to whom I can say “he is an asshole and she is a bitch” and they won’t judge me for that.

    Meanwhile I was trying to figure out why I am so bothered by the thought of other people accepting STBX, Schmoopie and their relationship or even being happy for them. Why should anybody think anything positive about two people who would do something so terrible? They are not the hero’s in this story they are the villains. Why does it bother me so much that others might see it differently? Why Does it bother me that people think STBX is a great guy? Why does it bother me that there are people out there who think she is a good woman? Why does it bothers me that people even accept their relationship let alone think it is great. Why should I even care if I don’t want him back myself. Why can’t I just be happy for them and move on. I think I have figured out why that bothers me so much. These two people together have caused me more hurt and more pain than I have every experienced in my life. They have made me feel so small, insignificant, and unimportant. It hurts like hell that STBX cares so little about me and my feelings. I have accepted that he sucks and am slowly coming to grips that what he thinks doesn’t matter. But it still matters to me what the rest of the world thinks. Every time anybody thinks highly of either one of them and/or their relationship, they are basically saying that I don’t matter. If they can hurt me that badly and still be considered good people, then I must not be very important. I feel like the sacrificial lamb that has to be rejected and forgotten so that everyone else can be happy. I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t want to be the bitter ex wife, but how do I avoid that when others accepting the people who hurt me makes me feel discarded, not just by him but by others too. Of course her friends and family don’t know me so I really am nothing to them, but it is especially hard to take from the people who do know me and at some point, that might even be my own children and I will have to accept that and not make them feel bad for liking her. Every time I think I am making progress in getting over things, something new comes along to make me feel bad again. I was finally coming to grips with accepting that STBX doesn’t love me and that’s ok because he is an asshole and I am better off without him. But now, even though I don’t want him back, it still bothers me that others are accepting him and Schmoopie in spite of the harm they did to me. How do I get over this?

    • Chumpinrecovery, the thing that helps me a lot when dealing with other people is to remember that there are two aspects to each person: personality and character. There have been people who I like, based on their personality, even though they did not have great character. And let me tell you, every single one of those people fucked me over when the time came.

      That’s probably what’s happening in your case. The cheaters have shined up those personalities, helping little old ladies cross the street etc. But it won’t last and their true selves will come shining thru. Again.

      • “there are two aspects to each person: personality and character”

        ^^^^I love this!^^^^

        So simple, yet sums up such complicated feelings beautifully! I’m filing this one in my quotes folder!

        • Chumpinrecovery,
          I faced the breakup of my 29 year marriage when I discovered ex-H had been seeing his old GF regularly theough the years. They are now together, and have been since 2009 when I moved out after d-day, and after making some plans to move far away.

          Best thing I ever did, and the saddest. I left my two university age sons 3000 miles away, loved them dearly, but couldn’t face the humiliation of seeing them have to play happy family with OW. She took over my matrimonial home and uses my grandmother’s antique furniture and my wedding china. Her stupid friends visit and gush over her new-found wealth.

          Best part is, most of the time now my emotional health is fine because I never had to face the “switzerland friend” humiliation. I just never knew who took sides. Anyone who contacts me from the old days gets the truth straight out in a casual email.

          Worst part is, now OW has insinuated herself into my elder son’s life to the extent that she is taking my place as his “mother” at the wedding table in August. When I asked my son why he is allowing this to happen, his reply was that Dad is paying a lot toward the wedding so he had to do as Dad wanted. My silence in response to that sent a clear message to son, who clearly has inherited his father’s stupid arrogance. I will supposedly be seated at the bride’s uncles’ table.

          My plan? Stay cool. Life is short. I’ve been fantasizing about walking past Schmoopie and accidently spilling a drink down her back. Or putting some wedding cake in her face. Either way, he is my son, and she can never change that. I might be tempted to get up in the guise of making a speech and just say “for those of you who don’t realise it, I am the biological mother of the groom who raised him to age 21. We are still close and love each other very much. Too bad his moneybags father bought him off and insisted that his mistress be presented as the groom’s mother”. On my way back to the table I will toss a colourful coktail in OW’s direction. Sound good?

          • Marci,
            You will need a big table at that reception because we, your CN friends, will be right there beside, tied to YOU with heart strings.
            Fuck them.
            One day, your son will see the light and a Mother like you will allow him back in your heart, because he is already there. He just doesn’t see it. But he will Marci, he will.
            In the meantime hold us fellow Chumps close.
            We got your back.
            You are beyond mighty.
            Xxxxx

          • Marci–I would pay good money to see that video of your wedding speech! But, I suspect stealth is the way to go: as mother of the groom, it is your duty! to introduce yourself to all the guests, table by table. Finding a flip way to indicate the state of affairs (“My X’s mistress-turned-wife has his balls in her purse, hence her position as “Mother” (snigger here) at the wedding table”) will allow guests to whisper, but still grant you plausible deniability to your son.

            (and the offer for margaritas during or after the ceremony still stands)

            • What an image Tempest-a pair of balls snapped shut in her pocketbook ! This made me laugh the hardest today ! Thanks !

            • That’s a great suggestion Tempest.
              (((Marci))), the uncles don’t know it yet, but they will be seated at the best table, the table with the best guest, with the most integrity.

          • Marci, I just attended my eldest daughter’s wedding. Her father’s 2nd wife refuses to acknowledge me and she and my ex have forced our daughter to choose between them attending functions or myself. Needless to say, she finally stood up and told them to deal. The shebeast (as I refer to her) refused to look at me or say a word, so I spoke in the only language she would understand: I wore a very flattering dress to the rehearsal dinner. She is rather unfortunate looking and dresses like an old woman. Needless to say, without speaking, I said a lot. I was informed after the wedding that my ex’s mother and sister both pulled her aside and told her to straighten up her shit or they were done with her. People we never image have our backs. You hold you head up girl, do not stoop to their level. I didn’t and was rewarded in spades by being the sane parent. No one can ever take that from me. Peacekeeper told me I would have the entire chump nation with me, and I most certainly did!

            • Yes, Patience, I was there,CN was there.
              I remember looking out the window at a beautiful sun and I thought of you and your daughter on that very special day. It made me smile.
              ( I had had a tragic family loss a couple of days before, but I welcomed a very happy thought and wished happiness for a very deserving Mother of The Bride).
              I always send hugs to you Patience, you are a very special lady!

      • Anita,
        This is so true. My cheater husband has a great personality. He is outgoing and can talk to anyone where I am much more reserved bordering on shy. Other people think he is a great guy, but none of them have been married to him. Only my children and myself know his real character. He has done horrible things and I never told anyone (hit me, stolen from me, gambled us into oblivion, stolen from his kids, stolen from his job). It does cause me concern that once I finally find the balls to file for divorce that everyone will think I’m a fool for letting such a good guy go. But what you said is true, he can’t hid his true character for long.

        • I bet his mask has slipped in front of others, and you’re not the only one who sees that he’s just a sparkling dog turd.

          Oh my goodness, now I am so good at detecting manipulators. So I think others are too.

    • There is a big, big gap between accepting that you can’t control what others think about STBX and Schmoopie and “being happy for them.” Why would you ever be happy for them? They hurt you terribly! You aren’t required to eat another shit sandwich of “being happy for them.”

      Sadly, you get over the fact that others accept them as a couple by moving on, in this case, letting go of people who can’t see what they are. There’s a young couple I knew as undergrads. I knew both of them really well but especially the husband, who was thought of in my community as just a superstar on all levels. Until he cheated with a high school girl. He’s reached out to many people to get my phone number but no one will give it to him without asking me first and I just say, “Nope. Don’t want anything to do with him, ever again.” There are some things that I won’t condone. One of the toughest things (next to the horrific pain after D-Day) is realizing that many, many people you thought you knew and counted as friends are not really in your corner. Your friends would be on your side, period. None of my friends want anything to do with XH the substance abuser or Jackass. Let those people go. You’ve learned that they lack judgment, empathy, and standards. That’s good information to have. And remember–you do not have to be happy for anyone, especially Cheater and Schmoopie. All you have to do is get on with rebuilding your life.

      • This is important. NO ONE tells you that there is a second round of betrayal: that of people that you thought were friends. For me, this betrayal hit me even harder, I think because I had to see that not only was I worthless to the exhole but also to some people that I thought of as very close friends. People that I had grown up with and known years before the exhole. It brought me to the edge of suicide, I shit you not!

        Please keep reading “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” over and over. Find a counselor. If you have “friends” that are remaining neutral, they are not your friends. They are acquaintances of convenience!

        Acquaintances of Convenience are only “friends” as far as you can fit into their idea of fun and/or improve their image. These are not people you need in your life right now. You need to be surrounded by the friends that would kick his ass for what he did to you.

        My favorite quote that helped me learn to let these people go is:

        “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – D. Tutu

        That’s what these pretend friends are doing. They are choosing the side of the oppressor. And I don’t hang call people like that friends.

        • Amen!!! Awesome quote. I needed to read that today, because I just found out a lady whose bridal shower I hosted in 2007 had lunch the other day with her husband, my cheater STBX, and my 2 older kids. She ghosted on me in November. Good riddance, Switzerland.

    • ChumpinRecovery–Most people are cowards and will take the path of least resistance. Rejecting Schmoopie or showing their disapproval when your X is parading her around requires a kind of courage that only the highly-principled have, or those who have lived through it.

      It does hurt, and is the second round of betrayal that almost all chumps suffer; call it the aftershock of D-day & divorce–just when you thought it was safe to go back into your house/old life after an earthquake, the tremors start again when you’re still weak.

      YOU have courage; don’t be scared to use it. Make it very clear that people who accept Schmoopie as a legitimate partner to your X have dropped down a rung in the friendship scale (or off it completely). You don’t have to do this explicitly, but people will recognize fewer phone calls, a less-warm demeanor from you. Chumps are used to being kind & polite to everyone; if this experience teaches us anything, it’s how to pull up our boots and set emotional and behavioral boundaries.

      And I acknowledge that it hurts; I spent almost as long getting over being ghosted by almost every single one of the supposed-friends that I’d had for over a decade, as I did getting over Hannibal Lecher. But take back YOUR power; friendships on your terms (and don’t give the X power to upset you that much). E.g., one of the Switzerland couples who have stayed in touch with me, but who have jointly done insidious things that hurt me more than any other former friends, I send an ecard for their birthdays this week. And then accepted their offer to coffee. Why? Because I now feel stronger and control whether I want to be friends with them or not. For over a year after D-day, I felt weak because I needed their friendship/support more than they needed mine. No longer.

      As for your children, explain in as cut-and-dry terms why you are upset by people accepting Schmoopie. Then let their questions guide you; they may be content with that simple explanation or one of the children will want to know more. Children only ask the questions they are prepared to hear the answers for.

      Hugs!

    • “They are not the heros. They are the villains.” That is EXACTLY what I told Idiot cheater when he was on one of his high horse moments of “why this is all your fault” it knocked him down a peg. I know exactly how you feel and I’m sorry that you’re going through this. It is SOOOOOOOO wrong what they do to you and then they “get away with it”. It sucks and I’m sorry. I’m still struggling a lot with this concept.

      • One thing I want to say about the “friends/family” who accept the liars/narcisists/ or the new schmoopie…hey sometimes we have no choice.

        When my idiot brother left his wonderful wife, my sisters and I ALL told him he was a fool. I specifically said “this is the biggest mistake of your life/your ego is out of control” – though I did secretly think my sister in law would actually be better off without my selfish brother.
        To be clear, I love my brother. But dear God I’d never want to be married to him.

        My brother asked me then if I would “disown” him for divorcing her. Maybe I should have said yes. But instead, I said “no, but I think you’re ruining your life being an asshole”, which I felt was pretty clear. I swear to God He said “thank you” and I was dumbstruck. (WTF??)

        It took 4 years before gf #4 came along ^& married my brother. She is his age, b/c his delusions of all the younger women wanting him, was proved false. But by the time he remarried, we had already seen our former sister in law happily moving along (AND I had stayed in touch with her.)

        Still, my brother was/is my brother. I said at the time what I thought. I was very clear, and he knew not to ask me or my sisters again. But he did email our entire family that I was “utterly disloyal” to him, to advise my then sister in law to get a divorce lawyer of her own (and not let my brother the attorney, “draft a fair agreement.”)

        20 years later my brother is melancholic, but my former sister in law is remarried to a man who really gets her. They are far more well suited than my brother and she were. I feel sorry for my brother’s wife of 12 years. But I did warn her…

        POINT is, those who are too uncomfortable around you at this raw time are not necessarily choosing the idiot over you. Sometimes we have to wait until the dust settles and we can let the insane family member or bff realize on their own, that we were right to warn them against their selfish idiot path. (Not that he’d ever admit it, but I know what I know). What really matters to me is that my sister in law is – truly – better off than she would have been with him. I hope/believe you will be too.

        • I disagree that some people do not have a choice. Everyone always has a choice.

          The question is…what is valuable to an individual? They will prioritize what is important to them.

          If someone values their relationship with the exhole because they don’t want to cause waves in the family and be called unsupportive to the jerk, then they are prioritizing their need for their family to like them over a need to reject people that hurt others. It is what it is.

          If someone values their relationship with the exhole because they are just so DARNED CHARMING and that makes them fun to be around, then they are prioritizing their need to have a good time over a need to reject people that hurt others.

          If someone plays switzerland with the exhole because they don’t want to get in the middle of it, they are prioritizing their need to avoid conflict that might be uncomfortable to them over a need to support the person that was harmed.

          Those choices are up to each person to decide. You are kidding yourself if you think you cannot exercise control over whether you continue to hang out with someone that is a cheater.

          You might not be able to avoid seeing them but you get to decide, each and every time you come into contact with them, how you will choose to interact with them.

    • It’s because you know the truth about them, and it’s damn irritating when someone seems fabulous to the people you happen to care about when you know they ARE NOT AT ALL. But of course, to say anything makes you look pathetic and bitter.

      Play the long game. People of no character inevitably slip up. Ex will catch her cheating, or she’ll catch him. The wheel turns. Sometimes, if we’re very lucky, we get to see it happen… not often, but just now and then. They have not got away with it, because look at what they’ve ”got” away with… each other. Yay. Sure there are people who don’t know them very well who think – maybe – that they’re nice and fun and all that, so? So what? Decent and nice people do not wreck homes. They just don’t. The end. And the thing is, they cannot get away with it, because they have to live with themselves and each other. Time will reveal all, it always does.

    • ChumpInRecovery,

      I was where you are in regards to the pain of others seemingly being okay with what Turdd, my STBX, had done to me and my children. You ask, “why should you care” that others are okay with it, that your children will one day be okay with Schmoopie. I only can respond with a question too, why shouldn’t you care? Them caring isn’t what you need to come to terms with, but you will one day not care as much I promise, but understanding that you are only seeing how people react on the outside and not how they feel on the inside. You also need to try and understand why others are behaving as they do.

      Some wise person above broke people down into personality and character. It is very applicable to our situation.

      Your children may learn to “like” Schmoopie but it will only be her personality. They will never forget what her true character is. She will always be the one who helped destroy their parent’s marriage. More importantly, she will always be the one that greatly harmed you. That relationship will always be superficial without depth or great meaning no matter how it appears. Trust me on this and do not ever forget it.

      Most children, no matter the age, cannot disown the cheating parent. Children get stuck in between loving them and hating them for what they have done. They will yearn for them and then loathe them. Your children want to be with the father that they thought he was, not who he is. Again, the personality over the character. As they get older, get married and have children what he has done will take on new meaning to them. They will never forget that he tore their childhood apart, forced Schmoopie upon them and almost destroyed you no matter how it may look to you. Children are fiercely loyal to the parent that genuinely loves them. Trust me on this as well and never forget it.

      Your STBX’s family, I almost feel sorry for. What can they do? Disown a child, a brother, an uncle, a nephew? They have no choice but to swallow the shit sandwich and have to put Schmoopie in your place. I have a deep feeling they will always miss you and Schmoopie will never compare to you. Schmoopie will always know it and the woman of his family will never let her forget it. You can take this to the bank.

      The rest of the world? What we project and what we feel on the inside are often two different things. They will never forget his character. Not one of his friends will trust him with their wives. Not one of Schmoopie’s friends will trust her with their husbands. A dark cloud will hang over them for the rest of their lives around people who know what they have truly done. It is their gift to open every day.

      You must be very careful how you project your feelings to those around you, especially your children. You need to leave bitter behind, it is so beneath you. You need to practice self care and learn to refocus your energy when the overwhelming sadness hits you. It is okay to be sad, you need to be sad, but it is not okay to become sad.

      Happiness and goodness is in your future. You need to begin preparing for it. *hugs*

      • Thank you and everyone else who posted. It helps a lot, especially the part about others likely only “appearing” to like them and/or except their relationship.

        I am trying hard to hide my own feelings about it all, but sometimes I just need someone I can go to and say “they suck” without being judged for it. My parents helped me with that last night and you all are helping me with that today.

        It is just hard to see how cleverly they are manipulating all of this to make themselves look like decent people who maybe made a mistake in getting together without getting divorced first, but are generally good people. I am working on not letting it get to me but it is not easy, especially hiding my true feelings from the kids. Unfortunately, they can sense my distress. It is especially hard as my daughter hates Schmoopie and has the love/hate relationship described above towards her Dad. She has expressed to me that she thinks I should be bitter for what was done to me. It is so tempting to pick her up as an ally because of this, but I know that would be absolutely wrong of me so I resist. Instead I encourage her to have a relationship with her Dad as I still think it is good for her to have her Dad in her life and I have told her she may have no choice but to accept Schmoopie someday. It is tough though when the temptation is to do the opposite.

        Also, I certainly do understand his family’s predicament and I am not mad at them for doing what they have to do to keep their son/brother/nephew from walking out of their lives too, but it still makes me sad.

        You all have been a big help to me today and I do feel better.

        Meanwhile Gifted’s STBX Schmoopie is a real piece of work. I don’t know how she can stand it.

        • Chumpinrecovery, I do exactly the same with my kids and his family.

          I encourage the kids to spend time with their dad but I will not hide the truth or force them to stay with OW if they do not want that (my two oldest are 14&15). And I will maintain relationships with his family as long as it does not create stress and anxiety for me or kids.

          I get that STBX is their family and will support and love him, but if and when they start welcoming OW for things and just down play her role in the hurt my kids and I have suffered, I will probably start pulling back. Sad part is that they know if they want to spend time with the kids that their best chance is to keep a relationship with me. If left to STBX, they will be lucky to see them once a year.

      • Lots of good advice and emotional palliative, GraceinMotion. The only things I would say is that Bitter gets a bad name, and it needn’t. There is obviously the “bitter” that eats at you from the inside and is corrosive and obsessive; that is to be avoided. But there is a “bitter” that permits moral indignation, understanding that someone who deserved consequences for horrible actions may never receive them, and an assessment that justice has been violated. I personally think the last kind of bitter is a sign of character strength; it can be a huge motivating force to improve the life circumstances of one’s self and underdogs (I’d argue that Rosa Parks had the kind of “bitter” in my second definition). I personally embrace my Bitterness at cheaters, and it does not detract one iota from my ability to lead a positive life.

        There are also a number of Chump children who have elected to go NC with the cheater (including one of my daughters), and my personal observation is that those children are actually stronger for not having to navigate mindfuckery and pick-me-dances for the disordered. Children above a certain age should have a choice, and not have our outdated notions of “must have two parents” foisted upon them against their will. They feel helpless enough.

        • I agree with Tempest on this. I think “Bitter” gets a bad rap because refusing to pretend to be okay with something with which you’re not okay makes people uncomfortable. However, there’s a lot of room between being the kind of bitter in Tempest’s first definition and being “conciliatory” which I think is what people want to you to be because it makes it easier for THEM and makes them comfortable.

          My grandmother had a saying, “What you eat doesn’t make me fat.” It was a lesson to me not to care over much what other people thought about me. We give too much power to people who do little to nothing for us. People are going to think what they want to think. Why isn’t what you think and how you feel as important? We strengthen our children by strengthening ourselves. We teach our children resilience and how to stand up for themselves by example. Think about how you would like to see your children emerge from an experience like the one you’ve had – and do that for yourself.

          • I can’t believe I have never heard the “what you eat doesn’t make me fat” before Chump Princess, because I thought my grandmother used every “saying” there was .

            But seriously, why should we care what whores and whoremongers think anyway? And anyone who sympathizes with them??

        • Others have pointed out that it is mostly just about the path of least resistance. I think there are a few things at play:

          1) I think that for some, they want to avoid conflict. Think about how often people won’t say anything to people talking in the movie theater or say no to a simple request that is a trouble, but not a big deal. To take the Cheater to task for his choices (particularly when cheater is doing aggressive image management) takes willingness to have a difficult conversation that many people would rather avoid. They go along to get along

          2) I think that some people crave the drama. Some people feel like unless things are stirred up and dramatic, that means things are real. Probably a lot of these people are disordered. You and me calmly working with the lawyer, being the sane parent for the children, going to work every day and getting through the day. Well it’s boring… sneaking around, affairs, relationship drama… that’s fun and exciting. Listening to the Chump process their trauma and fret about paying the bills…ugggh… BORING. These are not people that you want as your friends.

          3) A lot of people also are not all that invested. REAL friends are of course. But your casual, acquaintance couple friend that you don’t really have a close relationship with, meh – people are fundamentally selfish and self-interested. ExH and I had a few “friends” that (in happier times) someone told me that Rene’ and Jeff were breaking up because apparently he cheated… well I would have said “yikes’, sounds complicated… hope they get through it OK.” Then I would have gone back to watching Law and Order. I would have said Rene was a friend… but not really. I would not reach out to her. I would not make a big production out of making sure everyone knew about what Jeff had done. If when it was all said and done if we ended up with Jeff as “our friend” well whatever.

          It also comes back to the whole “you can’t know until you have lived it” thing that we often talk about. It wasn’t that I condoned Jeff’s cheating… I just didn’t really think about it. It’s not a reflection you personally – it’s a consequence of our inherit selfishness as people.

      • “Your children may learn to “like” Schmoopie but it will only be her personality. They will never forget what her true character is. She will always be the one who helped destroy their parent’s marriage. More importantly, she will always be the one that greatly harmed you. That relationship will always be superficial without depth or great meaning no matter how it appears. Trust me on this and do not ever forget it.”

        So so true!! Know of one couple that got together after having an affair, busting up two marriages, etc. OWife bent over backwards for step kids, for years. They all appeared to have a decent relationship considering what had happened to their own mother. OWife’s own kid took a backseat. OWife got dumped (cheater hubby even had her arrested, definite set up) after 15 years and the step kids have absolutely no contact with her, as if she never existed.

    • It’s ok. I’m 3 years out of crazy and it still gets me in the gut when they are mentioned. Memories/flashbacks still make me sad but with time – 1 year recovery for every 5 married to a narc- it does get better. Bite your lip, take a big breath and do Sth nice for yourself. Even if you have to “fake it till you make it” get out there in that new life you’ve gained and someday will be Tuesday(meh).

      • loveandlost, please don’t tell me it’s one year of recovery for every 5 years married. I was married 35 years, & I am 57…I’m fast forwarding.

        No time for looking backwards, it’s not where I’m going.

        • “No time for looking backwards, it’s not where I’m going.”

          This. I’m right there with you, BSWM.

    • Chumpinrecovery, I could have written this post. If you’re ever in the San Francisco area, I will buy you a glass of wine and we can commiserate!

    • Chumpinrecovery,

      I know how you feel. This especially rang true for me:

      >>> I feel like the sacrificial lamb that has to be rejected and forgotten so that everyone else can be happy.<<<

      You have CN to vent to and we won't side with the cheaters! I know it's not the same as someone in person, but we're here for you! God bless!

    • He IS an asshole and she IS a bitch, Chumpinrecovery and I am judging you to be a good person who deserves big hugs. ((((Chumpinrecovery))))

  • It’s flat out how she is dealing with her guilt. She’s a POS and she knows it. This is her way to try and make it right. How fucked up is that. I tore up your family but these brownies, etc. will repay you for it. I say send a fuck you note to her. Great gift but FUCK YOU! Don’t think you’ll get many after that is delivered. For what you’ve already received, find a street corner guy and give it all to him. If it’s somewhere you know she frequents and will see him with him, extra points for you!

  • I normally agree with 100% of CL….. but on this occasion I am going to have to give a slightly different view (albeit with the same end result…).

    I normally give my kids presents to give to their mother from them. I ask them what they want too give her for her BD, Mother’s Day, etc. It’s normally cheap as I think I can get away with, but it’s not about me or the fuckwit I bred with…. it’s about the kids.

    I would not want them to feel bad for forgetting the fuckwits birthday or international fuckwit day or whatever is the occasion.

    She does the same…

    Do I cherish these gifts? No – I make a huge fuss over the children and thank them for being so kind and thoughtful. And then some end up in the bin (am not touching any food products she has had a hand in), the books are never read and I wonder what she was thinking with some of them.

    But that’s it.

    If her fuckbuddy did – well, that would be plane weird, but even then, would I worry about it ? Nope… cause I love the looks on their faces when they provide them and the quality time we have.

    Sorry, I know that’s not what CL is saying – just wanted to offer my “Meh”.

    • There is a difference between the children’s dad buying gifts for their mother and the children’s dad’s schmoopie doing it.

      • I agree with DancesWithMeh, these are not gifts that the OW has purchased *with* the children, that come with tags saying they are *from* the children; these are gifts clearly meant to be conciliatory from the OW.

        Honest conversation with the children (as LAJ advocates below); and my response would be to send the gifts back with a message along the lines of, “Are you fucking kidding? Surely you must know what I think of you (nod to Nomar’s sister for the last line)?”

  • Wow, that takes a lot of nerve, to trangulate (or quadripate) through your children. Frankly on a practical side you get to have an honest conversation with your children about the meaning of gift giving and appropriate responses. Depending on their ages, they will ‘get it’. I think it’s a great lesson to teach your children about the many faces of manipulation. As to the actual gifts, can you eBay them and create a ‘rainy day fund’ takes your kids out for a great dinner or to an amusement park? Another thought would be to re wrap them with pertinent notes and have your lawyer give them back the day you sign your JOD. Good luck!

  • I like #2 and #3, together. First, sit down with the kids and tell the truth. “Mom and Dad are getting a divorce because Dad made Schmoopie his girlfriend. That hurts me a lot. And when Schmoopie sends me presents, it hurt even more because she is not my friend.” And then do the separate households talk. Short, kind, and appropriate. Tell them it’s OK for Schmoopie to buy them gifts and make them brownies at her house. Then, confront the OW by email.

    But you are still in the divorce process. Forward the OW email to your STBX: “FYI. I don’t have a problem with Schmoopie baking brownies or buying gifts for the kids. But I draw the line at gifts from the woman who broke up my marriage. I’ve told the kids I won’t accept any gifts for me from the kids that aren’t from the kids themselves, out of their own money or from their own efforts. And it’s inappropriate and unkind for your girlfriend/mistress to be sending me gifts of any kind as these things are a constant reminder of your affair. She is obviously not my friend. The “gift” I want from her, and you, is to respect my boundaries and keep the kids out of the middle. And I will in return respect yours. That will ensure that you and I can co-parent without conflict or bad feeling, which is our goal. Thanking you in advance.”

    • Except maybe (and I’m only projecting KK’s likely reaction here), referring to OW as “the woman who broke up may marriage” will only trigger another argument/issue by the Cheater that GagGifted just doesn’t need.

      I know KK would respond to something like this with: “It has NOTHING to do with AP. Our marriage was over long before, we were only friends at the time…” blah blah blah.

      Maybe instead: “FYI. I don’t have a problem with Schmoopie baking brownies or buying gifts for the kids. But I’ve told the kids I won’t accept any gifts for me from the kids that aren’t from the kids themselves . . .”

      • I see your point, and you are living it. But who gives a flying f*ck what KK says? These hyena people always have a rejoinder, an excuse, a blame shift handy. Jackass would bleat, “How dare you? MOW is my best friend’s sister! I’m OUTRAGED!” My answer to KK would be: Of course you think Schmoopie has nothing to do with the end of our marriage. You’re a cheater. But every marriage that ends in an affair has a person or persons willing to be the third party.”

        I do agree that mine is not a gray rock response, and in this case the Cheater is already out of the house. It’s quite possible that someone like KK and the brazen brownie baker AP in today’s post will just double down–and that the Chump would be adding fuel to the triangle. But the point in telling the truth to to Cheater is to draw the line on the impression management effort. The point is “It doesn’t matter what Schmoopie does. I don’t like her. I never will. She was involved in the things you did that hurt me.” That’s an important truth. No one should have to tolerate this BS from an AP. The next stage for me would be to simply dispose of anything that the Schmoopie yakked up, including donating anything usable to a thrift or charity store. And as AllOutofKibble says above, you should never eat any food from a source you don’t trust. The boundary issue here is primary. There’s an old etiquette rule that has sadly gone by the boards, in which young girls were taught that there were certain gifts from young men that would be inappropriate to accept. Even businesses and government agencies have rules about gift giving because when someone tries to manipulate you (or those around you) with a gift, they can compromise your boundaries.

        And it’s not a “gift” when it’s intended to manipulate.

        • I agree with you again, LAJ. A chump can ignore this, or give the gifts to charity, or put them in the garage but it doesn’t stop the problem. The truth is every time one of these gifts shows up, it hurts the chump. Maybe not even on a conscious level but it brings the entire adultery shit back up, yet again.

          As far as what cheaters say, the marriage was dead, nothing to do with ap, blah, blah, blah. Like you say, who cares what they think? Fuck them. When dealing with people like this, i say what I have to say one time and I don’t vary what i think. We both know they are cheating assholes, denying it doesn’t change that reality. It just makes them look stupider than they already do.

    • I was sort of in this same place. I would probably skip going back to the Cheater because it’s just not worth it… but I would just ask my kids…

      “Well thank you Karen, this is a nice bathrobe, but did you really pick it out and spend allowance money on it for me?”

      of course the answer is “no”… which then you have opened up a whole nice conversation about gifts and honestly, and boundaries.

      “Oh I see Karen, so Schmoopie gave you this and told you tell me it’s from you? I realize that it seems like a nice thing, but it is still kind of a lie. I would rather you just tell me the truth, that schmoopie gave this to you to give to me. It’s not a big deal.”

      Then I would just quietly disappear the things. Give them to women’s shelter. Give them to the kids for the dress up box after a while, rip the bathrobe into rags and use it to clean the floor. These are just objects. They don’t have to have any power of you. The food I would discard, but I don’t accept any food from people unless I have personally seen how they keep their kitchen (I have a bacteriology degree). I would say thank you and quietly discard.

  • This is just another form of “shift the blame”

    Hey, let’s ignore the anger MY behavior provoked, let’s talk about your reaction to it. Here, I baked you these cup cakes … they are super delicious. Thank god your kids didn’t see me screwing your husband, but guess what they can see… my gifts! Yes, children and adults alike take things at face value (see no evil, hear no evil), and I’ll use that to my advantage!

    This is just another violation of your boundaries, wrapped in a pretty package. She seem to enjoy stepping all over your boundaries…

    “hey, I know you don’t like me because I screwed your husband (boundaries… what are those?), but “I” want to be friends! “Why?” you ask, because if we are friends, I get to justify this with “it all worked out”! I’m going to keep pushing, and pushing and pushing, because I do not respect you or your boundaries, but with this pretty little package, all everyone else sees is the wrapper (impressions are important!) What they don’t know is, all I’ve wrapped up is a pretty little box of manipulation! See kids, I’m so nice, your mean mommy is very unappreciative! I try to get along with her for your sake (hey, let’s forget I gave two shits about you when I was screwing your daddy), but your mean mommy just can’t move on. There must be something wrong with her if she can’t be friendly in return. See what a mean woman your daddy had to put up with! I’m the bigger person because even when she’s mean to me, I’ll continue to be nice (boundaries and respecting someone else’s wishes… What are those?)

    #eatthisshitsandwich
    #manipulationinaprettypackage
    #it’sallaboutmedisguisedasbeingaboutthekids
    #notmybehavioryourreactiontoit
    #boundaryjumper
    #gee-I’m-so-nice
    #getoveritmeanmommy

    • I should have added my STBX MIL was the master at giving unwanted gifts. 18 years of garage sale items… thank god that is over! Of course my repeated request to stop bringing me thoughtful gift (aka shit) fell on deaf ears!

      When she and my FIL moved to Florida they tried to pawn the contents of their house off on everyone else. They brought me an oak grandfather clock (my home has no oak, because I dislike that look). Anyway, they just showed up at my house with it. When I said “I don’t want it” they told me fuckwit said he wanted it (lie, he said he told him he didn’t want it). Anyway, I put it in the neighbors garage sale. My kids happened to mention it when they came over and asked where it was. I heard their snarky remarks about that clock for 10 years! I was the bad guy for selling it, their other son would have wanted it (lie), I’m so ungrateful, I throw everything away (this coming from boarderline hoarders).

      She also asked when they were moving if I wanted ALL of her kids homemade Christmas oraments. I said “no”, if fuckwit wants to keep the ones he made, I’ll take those. Never heard any more about it, but low and behold when I went to the storage room the next Christmas, what do you think I found? Yep, she dumped them off anyway, without my even knowing.

      These people do not know the meaning of “NO”, and when you finally blow-up at them, they get to be hurt and misunderstood, and you get to be the bad guy.

      Intention vs. action as a means of boundary violation.
      They get to use their intention (a wish or idea) as an excuse for their action (behavior that is carried out). “Hey, I was trying to be nice, so the fact that I went against your wishes is irrelevant. I did something nice, and you are just mean.. look, now I’m hurt!”

      • Got-a-brain,
        I went through the same with my in laws before they became the outlaws.
        Every piece of junk they wanted to get rid of…ended up on my doorstep. Even the kids made a joke of it. When we fianlly had enough in the garage, we put it all on the curb when the neighbours set up for a garage sale.

        Yes, MIL did come along the street (did I mention they lived one block away) when we had her narly old wicker furniture out for sale, and her old pots and pans, and birdcages (wtf?). I didn’t own a bird and she gifts me a used bird cage…She came into the house and looked genuinely shocked but didn’t say a word about the crap on the curb. I’m sure it gave her fodder for her gossipy visits with the SIL’s to show how “ungrateful” I was.

        I don’t care. She is dead now and I am long divorced from that gong show.

    • “This is just another violation of your boundaries, wrapped in a pretty package. She seem to enjoy stepping all over your boundaries…”
      100% agree with this. Some people give gifts that are little more than pissing on your territory, getting THEIR stuff into YOUR home.
      The Whore was always giving gifts, all sort of crap, recycled gifts, ridiculous stuff like an unwanted garden light, badly rewrapped into its original gift wrap, etc. Constantly trying to get her stuff into my home. I always hated it, long before I knew what she was up to. Her entire family are obsessive gift givers which is a way of constantly disrespecting people’s boundaries. Just like this OW is doing. Those gifts are poison. If I believed in witchcraft I would say getting their stuff into your home is their way of casting a spell over your home and your life.
      Bin the lot immediately, don’t even let it into your home.

  • Wow, what a way for her the OW to get her own kibbles- deliver shit sandwiches via the kids, knowing they’ll hit home no matter what. Talk about getting brownie points (literally)! My guess is that it’s more about manipulating STBX & your kids, so I’d cut this shit off pronto to get your kids out of her loop of crazy making. Stay classy and email STBX the BIFF statement above, completely ignoring the brown noser narcissistic witch from Hanzel and Gretel… she’s nothing to you & it’ll drive her to next level desperate to stay the center of attention here. Her mask will slip for all to see what she really is. We need psychic protection from these predators! God bless & stay strong.

  • This happens to me, too. So weird. Tbh the current OW (not the original OW) is a perfectly nice person (and a fellow chump from her first marriage! eeeeeesh), and I do appreciate her efforts to be on cordial terms with me. But she’s also the type of person who knows almost everything that XH has done, and has been cheated on by him too, and still lets him hang around while she works and pays bills for both of them. Ick. As much as I relate, having been that guy’s apologist and chump for way too long myself, it’s still not my circus, not my monkeys. So I respond to her occasional friendly texts simply and cordially, and that’s that. I never lose sight of the fact that she could be just trying to inject some niceness into the sea of vitriol that’s between our two, uh, “families,” OR she could be trying to get me to let my guard down, to learn things about me and use them to triangulate or whatever the heck. So cordiality and short-ish responses it is.

    When I get the occasional little gift from her or “from” my daughter (really also just from her), I’m like “Oh thanks.” And then I either throw it out, or put it up on our neighborhood swap group so that if someone wants to use it, they can. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Whatever. These little methods of assuaging guilt or doing impression management don’t work on me.

    I’m like “Hey can you just like, not let my shitty XH drive my toddler around drunk? That would be way more helpful tonight than a piece of pie or a box of greeting cards. Thanks.”

  • My bet is that she’s projecting what she wants onto you in the hopes that your ex and kids will do the same for her. “See How gift giving and thoughtfulness works? This is what you should do for me. I want gifts. I want to feel special. See? See?? Now where is mine?!” It makes her feel simultaneously superior and victimized.

    I say keep silently accepting the gifts, and donate them to the local women’s shelter, sell them on eBay, use them, whatever. I think the gifts are less about getting under your skin and more about demonstrating what she wants. The more she does it the angrier she’ll get that she doesn’t get the same from your ex and kids. Let her self destruct.

  • Can someone please tell me how to change the screen name for this site? I went to edit profile and it will not let me change the display name. Thank you.

    • Clear the cache and cookies from your browser and refresh this web page. You’ll get a blank reply comment box again and you can use a different name then. (These steps apply if you’re commenting to this public thread without logging into the CL site.)

  • GG, Schmoops certainly spends a lot of time thinking about you. This is what I call reverse scapegoating.

    I would flush food down the toilet because if it ends up in the city dump, it may kill the vultures and these birds are important for the ecossytem.

    I would SELL the better things on Market Plaza, eBay, OLX, or whatever system used in your country. That’s how I got rid of every scrap that came from XH and his family. His mother’s vintage sewing machine was the first to go, BTW, to a cheater and his miniskirted floosie who were decorating their new love nest. Didn’t bat an eye, just held out my hand for the money.

  • “Thanks for your husband!!! Here are some bath bombs and overcooked brownies (heart as dots above the i)! Hope this makes you feel better!!”

  • OMG I love the turn the table suggestion! Give her gifts, a shirt that is two sizes too small maybe? Or cookies baked with laxatives. And the blog, definitely the blog!
    She is projecting and painting herself as the wonderful woman, who is so thoughtful to give you gifts.
    Is there no end to people’s mindfuck?

  • and I personally like the regifting idea, with a note, “I re-gifted my husband to you, might as well give you back your bathrobe as well!”

    Or,

    “You got my husband as sloppy seconds, here’s the bathrobe (I wore that, too).”

      • No – not for me. I would not engage in any kind of dialogue with somebody like this. I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. Not even a card with FU very much. Especially not letting her think this man deserved another thought from you – let alone re-gifting him. Makes him sound too – ugh, special.

        Any reaction you give is just kibbles for her. I assume, since she’s also a cheater, she likes any kibbles she can get. Why not toy with the cat and she can be the mouse. She just wants the cat to strike back so she can duck and weave away, all innocent like.

        This woman is sinister to the core.
        I would definitely teach your kids a lesson learned about, not every gift is welcome OR appropriate. It makes me puke that she is using your children in her evil game. And, I don’t even have children, but I can see when innocents are played. They know – KNOW – in their little minds, if they are helping her ‘bake mommy something ‘special’. And, they know it is all uncomfortable because they know it’s wrong and they wonder if you’ll take their gift with happiness or sadness. (good for you doing what you had to). I find this burden placed on young children to be abhorrent and very selfish of the adult. She does NOT CARE about your children! She thinks she’s giving her new husband a glimpse into her skills. Good god, but those brownies look like they’re from Safeway and it’s obvious she’s been stealing all the cheap peppermints out of the hairdresser’s basket.

        This post blows me away. The nerve. The nerve to want recognition. She is NOBODY. When the children learn this lesson, they will get the job done on their own. I like kids. They are nobody’s fool.

        • SheChump,
          I always love your posts, they are always so wise and always are built on a base of reality.
          In my eyes you are MIGHTY!

          Yes, that brownie plate looks like a pile of shit, created by a pig in her mud puddle!
          Every time I see those free mints I will think of you and smile.

          • Hey Peacekeeper – thank you! I love you! 🙂
            I’m almost mighty. Still trying to get over the hump.
            Every day on this site, I am still stunned by how many cheaters think they have any agency or presence in OUR lives. A no-contest game and trying to include young children is about a sick as it gets.

            Peace to you~

  • When my ex married OW I considered a wedding gift of a vibrator with a note attached that would say “trust me, you are going to need this.”

    That, or maybe a bag of gummy dicks so they could eat a dick. Also considered a glitter bomb. (Which is not an actual bomb but rather a spring loaded tube of glitter when you go to open it it shoots glitter all over your house.)

    • I actually sent the OW a spring loaded glitter bomb to her work. Sad that I didn’t see it go off. No one mentioned to me that it happeend, but I saw in an email from my STBX to the OW that he apologized for MY behavior. The OW purposely got involved in a relationship with a guy who was married to a woman with cancer and a father to a 7 year old and he was apologizing for MY behavior?

      Anway, best $20 I ever spent 🙂

  • I wonder if it’s just 100% guilt assuagement? OW might be thinking, “I know I’m graying, sagging, menopausal AND stole your husband, but see? I’m not THAT bad!! I’ll inundate you with gifts to prove it.” But who in the world would ever offer peppermints with brownies and strawberries?? Ick.

    This demonstrates a serious problem with OW. Ignore her, GG. Peppermints+brownies=someone to be avoided at all costs.

  • This is such a classic example of how deluded AP’s can be.

    Unless…unless…STB-ex husband is characterising the OP as “wanting” these gifts. In other words, it is HIS orchestrated mindfuck, using the kids as messengers, to prompt OP to kick off a fight. It could possibly be that the mistress is actually convinced the OP will react positively to it all.

    Let’s not forget that the whole situation was initiated by OP’s ex husband getting into an affair. Who knows what lies he has told the mistress since the two women have never met? I can imagine the jerk sitting there gloating, with one woman doing his bidding, his kids delivering the ammo, and ex wife takong the hit. A strategy perhaps to put OP at a disadvantage so she accepts a settlement?

    • Deluded, indeed. This comes closest to my own experience with this sort of thing, not from XH’s Schmoopie (thank god) but from his father’s Schmoopie (now wife) twenty years ago. When his whole affair was revealed to the teenage & twenty-something kids, XH’s dad just went off radar, ignoring any question or accusation, just glossing right over all of it … and then he’d put Schmoopie on the phone. XH was furious, he wanted to talk to his dad, not the woman who broke it all up. But Dad & OW were just going to carry on as if everything was A-OK and normal. In their very first conversation, OW asked XH what he was doing with his life, was he going to college? why not? was he saving for the future? Insta-Mom (no kids of her own). And, honestly? I think she thought she was doing a good thing, helping “smooth things over.” Oblivious.

      Fast forward to twenty years later when XH dumps me for his own Schmoopie, and I reach out to my STBX-inlaws with a heartfelt letter thanking each of them for the memories I have of time spent in their family (because they cut ties immediately, as I knew they would), and ex-OW is the one who responds with sage advice about “moving on.” — Well, I let her have it with both barrels, “How dare you have the audacity, as a former other-woman yourself to counsel me on recovery from exactly the sort of …” blah blah blah.

      Overall, though, I think she thought she was doing a good thing, the whole time. Completely oblivious. They live in their own little worlds.

      • NWB–How satisfying to know that you let the former-OW stepmom have it with both barrels! Audacity of ignorance and arrogance rolled into one. The Chump Revolution advances one step at a time. Eventually, people may suppress their lacking-in-empathy advice (and eventually not consider such advice at all).

  • My first instinct was to take all that shit put it in a bonfire then take a picture of it and have it framed and returned to Schmoopie the whore. “Here’s what I think of you and your behavior. Go burn in the fires of Hell you bitch!” That’s what I imagine the picture conveys. What a joke. I’m really angry this morning. And the shit these people pull is beyond belief. If she wanted to give you a gift it was the gift of keeping her GD legs shut and staying the fuck away from another woman’s husband. Or now she can convince that dick head to give you 80% of everything if she wants to be “nice”. Then she can fuck off to Hell where she belongs.

    • Sad Shelby,

      I could not agree more!
      I ‘d even tie a ribbon on that one, with a gift tag, To Dick Head!
      SS, you would find emolgis for that.
      I am sorry you feel sad today.
      I am sending you love and a huge hug!

      • Sorry SS, that gift tag should read: to bitch whore (as my other words are greatly censored and I gotta keep some scruples!)
        I also am feeling angry today, but not as angry as yesterday.
        I hope our tomorrow is better!
        ❤️ToU SS

  • Shelby,
    My suspicion is that this whole gig is being orchestrated to get the OP to react crazily so that the affair couple has evidence of her behaviour to use against her. Imagine how much good a “f** off” email would do in court when a judge is trying to ascertain custody or settlement? This OP has to stay calm until after the settlement is final.

    You should see the sanctimonious emails I had from the OW when I caught my ex red-handed and threw him out. She emailed me to say how mean I was for rendering him homeless, and that since I likely knew she lived in a one room flat, that there would be no place for him to sleep at her home. It was clear she knew he was with me, but that it was convenient to have her lover in a domfortable home, so he could just visit her when she wanted! These APs are so tragically misled and misinformed in many cases — it is the cheater ex who needs to bear the responsibility first and foremost, and the AP’s can know that their shit sandwich is on order, it just hasn’t arrived yet.

  • No one let the DOGS eat brownies tho.. chocolate can KILL a dog, they can’t process it. No clue about pigs…just saying…please no dogs get chocolate!!!!

  • I had a somewhat similar experience with my now ex-husband’s secret affair partner.

    The OW revealed her extra-marital affair with my husband by sending me dozens and dozens and dozens of extremely sexually explicit “screen shots” of conversation and with my then husband, the man I had been with since we were teenagers.

    I was over 5 months pregnant with our 4th child (aged 5 and under).

    Despite the fact that my part-time job had recently been outsourced out of state, and I literally only had $9 to my name, I packed my then husband’s bags, and immediately filed for divorce.

    Throughout the remainder of my pregnancy and during the process of getting divorced, the secret affair partner contacted me many, many times. (And as a Family Law Attorney (divorce attorney) 14 years our senior, she really showed a lack of restraint and boundaries.)

    Once, I remember receiving a strange, garbled text message from her offering me $750 that she owed me then-husband for work he did on her house. (True story, at the time – before she revealed their affair to me, my spouse described the home owner as a difficult, old woman…a total bitch. His words, not mine).

    Anyway, although I was now an unemployed, single, pregnant mother, with 4 young children to support, and I only had $9 to my name….I still didn’t want nor accept the OW’s money.

    They both suck. Despite their best efforts, I REFUSE to participate in triangulation.

    • Wow, PalmettoChump, you are the personification of mighty. Please tell me you’ve received some help from other sources?

  • Let’s see… Gifts of sugary, fattening desserts and putatively frumpy attire one can only wear privately at home, but are by no means, um, sexually attractive? Hmmm… in addition to CL’s spot-on analysis, I’m also reading this as the OW doing some serious “Mate-guarding” of her boyfriend. She finds you threatening. Keep in mind she is basically trying to steal your money by utterly confusing you during the settlement negotiations.

    Ignore. Grey rock. Don’t put anything in writing to her or your husband about it. It will only be used against you.

    I agree with the advice to discuss the obvious mindfucking with the kids, because their future mental health is at stake. Your kids know deep down the woman hates their dear mother’s guts, and yet they are being made to play these roles of delivery people of her mean gifts to you? Oh hell no. Teach them about how to recognize passive aggressive, manipulative gift giving. What a sick OW. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this nonsense.

  • I’m going to go on a chumpy limb and suggest maybe she feels guilty and this is her way to assuage that? Maybe she’s trying to be respectful of your “alpha woman” position in conjugal hyerarchy? It would have a sister-wife-ish flavor to it, but maybe she leans that way? Maybe she’s trying to ease her way into befriending you, out of your children’s interest? I don’t know, I guess I just think there are worse things she could do, I’d just take the brownies and assertively enjoy them. No reply to her needed, though.
    I guess you can tell I’m still a chump!

    • Except I could personally never eat what my Cheater’s Skank would send. For some reason she just seems disgusting and gross to me— in an STD way—– I still remember how her perfume smelled— to cover up her sliminess.

  • My suggestion is to just sent all that shit back as you get it. No card, no explanation. No KIBBLES! Just let the kids know that you don’t want anything from that woman.

    • I have never once acknowledged Skanky and never will. She is garbage and will always be inconsequential to me.

      I would also recommend that GG email her husband (copy her lawyer) to inform him that it is inappropriate for his paramour to send gifts. And that any further overtures will be considered harassment.

  • This reminds of our first Christmas, the one my stbxh decided he would bless us with his presence at. I got a vanilla candle( no doubt picked by schmoopie since ex knows vanilla makes me gag). My daughter got a jar of olives ( really she did, and she hates olives). Can’t make this shit up really. She had told ex how unhappy she was about him moving in with schmoopie right away and that he had been abusive to me right before he moved out. Our son, on the other hand, who had not yet made a negative comment about schmoopie, got beautiful bed linens.
    the day did not go well and he left unannounced before dessert, sending me a text saying he knew when he wasn’t welcome–no shit sherlock.
    Just another big shit sandwich for his abandoned family to eat, not to be repeated…. EVER!

    • What is up with “I am not welcome” comments? They walk out and blow up their family and then we should feel sorry for them? Or we should shower them with affection when they come by?

  • Friendly sorry Bill Eddy …shove “friendly”screw that….”Stop sending me shit through my kids or I’ll come by and shove it up your ass” on the phone no text no records…..PERIOD !!

  • “The only gift I need from you is that you took the asshole off my hands and that you didn’t manage to give me an STD. Cheers”

    End Emily Post-esque thank you card. Bye Felicia

  • return the gifts. Send note: Your actions are offensive. Perhaps you believe that you can replace my once intact family unit by substituting brownies and strawberries. But do you believe “once a cheater, always a cheater?” Should that occur, I promise I will send you something. Let me know what you would like.

    • @danni smith, @rummblekitty ~~

      Right ON! I love your note suggestions ….. Make sure cheater xh or stbx is aware of the gift exchange. F’d up cheaters never cease to amaze me.

      • never, ever, will you have to lift a finger to ensure stbx or xh knows. He’ll likely be trying to contact you to tell you how he would never cheat on schmoopie. But he will. My now friend’s x did. How do I know? He did it with me and this dis-ordered person didn’t tell about the “Irene” he lived with until I found out on my own and then he said “I luvvv her and I am neverrrr leaving herrrr”. So I found the xw who her xh had cheated on her with the “Irene”, to give her a new lease on life, ease any residual pain and ha, the “if he cheats with you he’ll cheat on you.” We now stay in contact and know things in the “Irene” house, (that she bought for her ap) aren’t going well. Delicious!

  • Hey GG, I think you’re missing one thing about all this . . . you must be occupying some serious head space for the OW. Sure maybe she’s trying to fuck with you, or maybe she’s trying to ease her guilt, who knows. But you can be sure, she thinks about you a great deal. How flattering!

    You can either go grey rock, or send her a note that states clearly, “Thanks for all the goodies, but I don’t typically accept presents from people who fuck my husband.”

  • Cheater and OW planned some joint image management that involved both me and OWs fiancé… he was a high end jeweler and my H1 was going to use the fiance’s connections to buy me jewelry to throw me and the other chump off the trail of their affair. So glad it never went down.

    I have only ever once given a genuinely manipulative gift just to put the receiver in an awkward position and I really detested her (cheaters sister). This really is quite hostile. I love the idea of discussing it with the kids and letting them reach the logical conclusion.

    • sort of related – I decided I was done right before Xmas, but had a few months of getting ducks in a row ahead of me. It happened that we spent Xmas separately that year. I had just gotten back from my trip and he was off watching a football game. I was in the bedroom and I saw this watch that was very obviously from his Whore sitting on his dresser (I was staying in the guest room at this point). One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t just take it one day to watch him sweat. Like he couldn’t ask me about it, because it’s from his Whore, but I know he would freak the fuck out.

      By this point I was working from the playbook of my very-expensive-lawyer and her whole thing was let’s get you divorced as fast as possible with as little discussion as possible. Pragmatism won out… but man I wish I had taken that watch. LOL

  • I pick #2 of the first group. I know, not as much fun as the last two but why not just put it out for the kids to understand and the explanation is great.

    These cheaters and their AP’s are absolutely delusional! And society promotes it unfortunately, at least the part of society that hasn’t been cheated on.

  • I don’t have an OW giving me gifts, but I do have my STBX giving me his bonus and promising that I can have everything. He left me in the middle of cancer treatment. He donated his work bonus to “my” medical bills. He has also promised that I can have the house (his daughter’s house he calls it) and as much money as I need to afford the house and maintain it. I suspect that he is doing this so he can be a martyr and tell people that I took everything from him. He has already said this once to me when I would not let him take our daughter to a party she had no business being at–calling me evil and saying “You’ve already taken everything from me, what more do you want?”

    Eff it. If he wants to play the victim, fine. I’ll take everything he offers. The important people in my life know the truth. Heck, even his childhood friends (the ones that know the real story) have abandoned him.

    • Is that all in writing? My ex was pretty generous initially, even offering to buy back my house that I had sold weeks earlier. But when it came down to brass tacks, enough time had passed that he changed his tune and his generosity evaporated. By then he had schmoopie and their new infant to worry about, and I got the “things have changed” line.

      Strike while the iron is hot.

      • I have it in written form, but not a formal signed agreement. Now that my treatment is over, I am proceeding with finding lawyer.

        He has also made it know that he has no intention of filing or participating in the process at all except to give a signature. I’m still hesitant of some changes, but I do know that he is not offering any of that for me. He’s offering it for his daughter. At any rate, it’s better for me if I can get this things wrapped up quickly so I can be on better insurance by Jan 1.

  • I think it is either a manipulating move to try and fool the kids into thinking that she is wonderful and to goad you into behaving badly to get kids to think you are a bitter crazy woman.

    Or it is her guilt. If she can get you to like her and play nice then what she has done is not really all that bad.

    In my case I think it is the second. OW sent me an anonymous Christmas card with a Target gift card in it. I figured it out because it was bought at the grocery store near their apartment (and I do not have any friends that live near there). My STBX has also said numerous times that she had nothing to do with his leaving and I should not hate her…I would like her if I gave her a chance. Ummm…she was screwing him while I was pregnant. We will never be friends or even cordial. And a $50 gift card to Target is nothing compared to the gifts, trips, etc she has accepted from him while our money was still joint.

    I regifted it. And I am gray rock with STBX and have no desire to ever have a conversation with OW.

  • These situations as “teaching moments” for the kids are priceless. That is the true gift here. The opportunity to help the kids learn how to recognize inappropriate behavior, in this case gift-giving, and to be able to reject it, will be a powerful skill for life.

    Although I don’t have the mental energy for a decent rant, I will say that we as a culture are programmed to accept, and idealize, “free” things. As chumps, we may even be inherently prone to this mindset (ketchup packs in the fridge, anyone?).

    Do speak age appropriate truth to stupid, out loud, for children to hear your thoughts. Help them learn to recognize the bodily sensation of their soul being sucked out.

    (In other words, to see a mom peacefully dump chocolate!, strawberries!, and candy!!! in the garbage would be a powerful teaching image for children. Follow up with your thoughts behind the action. Ask them for theirs. Mighty!)

    PS (rant): Using the children as go-betweens here is as sick as a stranger asking them to help find a lost puppy. That’s a boundary that’s being insidiously side stepped. Please, somehow, hoist that fence up for them.

  • The ridicule blog idea sounds tasty, but it’s a really bad idea. You’re giving time and energy to someone who wronged you. Like any other revenge scheme and plot, the empowerment you might feel is fake and misdirected. And if a narc hates to be ridiculed, they love to be a victim. If they find the blog, you become a “hater” and they will blow it up and milk it for every drop of sympathy and attention they can get because drama fuels their fire and being a victim gets them support. You’ll become the bitter bunny boiler hate blogger. Do you really want the OW or ex to weaponize it and turn it back onto you by using it as a “teaching moment” with the kids about cyberbullying? Never, ever, hand a narc or sociopath a weapon to use against you.

  • Wow! I thought I was the only person who had to swallow this particular shit sandwich!! My ex’s OW sent gifts to my two boys the first Christmas after he left…he brought them with him after I had gone against my better judgement and allowed him to come over Christmas morning to open presents with our boys and eat the big feast of a breakfast I always prepared. I was chump-trying to make Christmas not as traumatic for our kids, but little did I know that the OW would insert herself in such an awful way. I didn’t even know her name until I saw the “Love Lxxx” notes she gave them with the gifts. Talk about a punch in the gut. Then, for about a year afterwards she would send “treats” back with the boys to give to me…cookies, brownies, etc. I just accepted them without a word and chucked them in the trash after everyone had gone to bed. She even offered, through my ex, to “give” me (at a great discount price) some of her old furniture when she and my ex were moving in together. As if I would want that contaminated stuff in my house!? As if I was so poor and desperate that I would take donations from the woman who was screwing my husband!?! (And I was poor…really struggling to pay the bills…but I would have sat on milk crates rather than accept her handouts). Thank goodness it stopped once she and the ex got married. By that point, I think it was clear that I was delighted to have that pitiful little narcissistic loser of a man out of my life. I am happily remarried now and it’s all just a dim, but still dark and painful, memory. I used to try and figure out in my mind how people could be so unbelievably cruel…but I know now I don’t want to understand how their minds work. To understand them would would bring me too close to their disorder for comfort. Ignorance of how their evil minds work is not only bliss, it’s a blessing!!

  • I hope that by not buying STBX a Father’s Day gift or even acknowledging the day to him, it has given him the hint that I don’t require gifts brought by him on behalf of my toddler. He wouldn’t say anything to me, but I’m sure he would use it as another reason that what he did was ok. It does make me angry that some people/friends seem ok with the narrative of giving gifts from kids still. When I got a present from STBX on behalf of DS for my birthday and then Mother’s Day which were both in the same month. They thought it was normal and showed STBX to be a great guy who was doing right by his kid. Never mind all the abusive things he did and said to me. He must be a great guy and father because he brought me a selfie stick and some flowers and chocolates,

  • Good god, WTF is she thinking? This has to be one of the most f’cked up letters ever. Using the children to send her crap gifts to the mom is beyond CRUEL !!! More proof that cheaters SUCK and deserve each other.

    My other thoughts were on the gifts themselves. Brownies = calories, Bathrobe = reminder you are alone and will need the warmth and cover-up. She is over rating her own importance. F*** her, and F*** the xh.

    I think I would nip this generous giving in the butt. Trust me there are no good intentions here, she knows exactly what shit pot she is stirring,

    This just makes me angry ~~~ Do any and ALL to make your point GG, NO THANK YOU, no need to reciprocate / Regiftprocate …. UGH

  • Oh god, the MINTS!!!!!!!!!!! I peed a bit laughing!!!

    I’m totally imagining these brownies being saved and ‘re-gifted’ in a year’s time….please, please do this! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh thank goodness for CN, turning pain into humour 🙂

  • I like the idea of sending a nice but firm note back that what OW is doing is inappropriate and you want her to stop. After that, total grey rock. This way you have documentation of what she’s doing, what you nicely asked for, and then if her behavior continues, document that too. More photos of the shit she sends you. This will give you proof in any court (if needed) that she is the one who is completely out-of-line.

  • To: Chump Nation
    From: GagGifted

    You are all rock stars! I feel like I just did a stagedive at a concert, and the crowd is full of supportive chumps who are lifting me up above it all! Your thoughtful & witty responses are exactly the validation that I needed, to confirm without a shadow of a doubt – that OW is indeed in a league of her own.

    I have read every one of your brilliant responses, and will go back and read them again. The support and encouragement (and even the trash talk) are very much appreciated!

    My approach up until now has been to take the high road (ignore), and it has served me pretty well. But even on the high road there are potholes…and it’s easy to get tripped up sometimes.

    The ‘gifts’ have gathered in a small pile in the corner of my bedroom, and remain in the original packaging. It took me months to open the birthday gift. I’m realizing now that simply by having those presents in my presence – I’m allowing them to occupy space in my life. I shouldn’t even give myself the chance to glance at them. They are absorbing valuable energy without me even knowing it. And hell – I didn’t thoroughly check them for spyware, so she could be recording my every move from a few feet away…

    Yes, I agree that it’s important to turn these events into teachable moments for my kids – and I did recently have an age-appropriate convo with my son about the gifting, and he seemed to understand where I was coming from. It’s somewhat tougher with my daughter bc OW takes her for main/pedis and tries to buy her affection. I’m convinced that OW is now behind the plot to force my pre-pubescent daughter to shave her legs/arms. Over. My. Dead. Body.

    I will continue to tread carefully until the legal mess is behind us – at which point the suggested Machiavellian approach will probably go into full effect!

    And I will gladly update you all when my blog “Shit My Husband’s Mistress Gave Me” launches – as a spinoff inspired by our fearless leader, ChumpLady!

    Just remember: “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHAMP AND CHUMP IS U!”

    And if life serves you a shit sandwich (or turdy brownies), you never, ever have to eat it…

    Thanks, you awesome army of champs!!
    GagGifted

    • Kudos to you GagGifted! I love the idea of the machiavellian blog suggested by CL. I (as many of the other CN members) can make contributions! I can talk about the slow cooker howorker (now wifey) got me for xmas last year, emblazoned with the logo of my favorite football team. So you fucked my husband for 2 years, called me during wreckonciliation to make sure that I knew additional painful details my coward x wouldn’t share, got knocked up and then aborted his child (allegedly – she was 48 at the time, and the abortion happened in Peru), but yeah, an appliance that helps me make a hearty winter stew makes everything right!

      Now, if it had contained his dick and balls to slowly simmer into a meal for the local coyotes… that would have been a true step towards making amends…

    • Gag, please get these evil gifts out of your bedroom and your house ASAP. Store them in the garage if you must, but better still throw them away. Having stuff from this slut in your bedroom??!!! No, no, no, no, no!
      (((GagGiftedd)))

  • Okay, I may be wrong and I may be right but I read the OW’s behavior as the behavior of someone who knows they did something shitty, now “gets” on some level how crappy it was, and has decided to try to “make it right”. Except that’s like giving you a QVC cubic zirconia ring in replacement for stealing your Hope Diamond. Not that your husband was such a catch but she helped break up a family that included children who are now being impacted. I think this is her “peace offering” to you, sad as it may be.

    If it was me, I’d send her a response on some pretty note card saying, “While I appreciate your attempts to use the children’s gift-giving moments as a way to do something “nice” for me, it really is just never going to make what you participated in into something that is “okay”. You helped end my marriage and you changed mine and my kids lives forever without giving us any choice or say in the matter. You participated in altering the course of my emotional health, my ability to trust, my belief in love. I’d like to move on and find someone who shares the values of fidelity, care and compassion. The best gift you could ever give me, is the gift of staying out of my life. You are not someone I want in it. Good luck to you”.

    End of.

  • It’s OK to be kind of uncertain as to what to do with these items that sort of just appeared in your life. It shows that you are thoughtful and kind and don’t want to hurt your kids. But just get rid of it. It’s really just TJMaxx junk that she thinks somehow makes it better. It doesn’t… but it doesn’t matter. Keep a box in the garage and maybe at some point you can get your kids to know that when they come in with a Schmoopie gift it gets vaguely admired (Oh look at that Santa Socks… those are cute. Wonder where she found those)… and then you say to the kids “well, I think someone needs that more than I do, could you take it out to the donation box.” And when the kids have toys they don’t want or clothes they have outgrown, those go in the box as well. It’s just what you do with things you don’t need or want.

    And just ignore her… she will stop eventually when she realizes that she’s not getting what she wants. Get divorced and move on.

  • CL is spot on when she states, “…it’s a blundering attempt to get you to normalize injustice.” GG, APs’ behavior is generally ALL kinds of fucked up. Ex’s AP got off on the chase (he wasn’t the first!) and the fact that he was married (as soon as she started fucking him she began to post pics of herself on his athletic profiles, smiling smugly for all the world to see…just eeewwwww); they were married very shortly after our divorce. Triangulation’s kibble to the disordered, so ex continues to post our kids’ accomplishments on FakeBook while AP thoughtfully sends them gifts (yeah this makes up for their father’s absence in their lives?). With all his money and time, ex still can’t carve out any time to spend with Them and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Too busy living the life. Even though Fucktard was head over heels for his slut it still took two years to get the divorce, he was too busy blowing up our finances on the way out, and padding his narrative. The best thing about all this shit was that I realized quickly that I no longer wanted/needed to have any kind of relationship with him (kids or not!). No contact is the only way to heal. I would no more stay involved with him than I would anybody who has abused me. Boundaries, right? I would also have that discussion with the kids (when someone harms you, a gift isn’t going to make it better) and then return/toss out/donate/sell anything that came my way. Firm boundaries are healthy and Chumps model sanity, so send that note to Fucktard cc both lawyers and let them know how unwelcome the harassment is. Hugs too!
    Even now though, I’m like, Who the fuck does this?!

  • Other than the obvious one upmanship, it is guilt. I was told by the “spade face” that my husband loved only my child and me, that we were all he talked about. Ugh. Really?
    (All the while I was reading their never dwindling declarations of love for each other and how they could not live without each other). Talk about a crap sandwich.

  • Dear OW:
    Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooo much for the remarkable brownie plate, but I’m saddened to inform you that the spider that crawled out reacted with a nasty bout of explosive diarrhea that made even me feel sorry for the creature. Imagine! Web shot willy nilly all over the rectory windows!

    Nobody wanted a paper weight but fortunately, we needed a door stop for the side entrance, (we just hate it when people just bang on the door, and you thoughtful gift helped many that afternoon.

    I highly recommend you measure out the “nunja” in the next batch. It is a strange business to be sending gifts to this group of friends – and I’m concerned you have confused the “nunja business” ratio.

  • These cheaters are absolutely amazing! This OW is a sick ticket. This is total impression management at it’s best! Look……I make treats, give fabulous gifts and even hand make gifts and she is still bitter!!! She is an impossible bitter soon to be ex who cannot forgive and forget! Fuck that noise! Give the gifts to charity or sell them and keep the money.

    I have a similar situation where the OW (now ex’s new wife) attempts to be my friend in front of other people. I am now engaged to OW’s ex chump husband! Yes….it is a bit odd but we started a relationship as friends that became so much more. We both understood the dynamics of this relationship and the awkwardness at family functions. I can tolerate being in the same room with them but OW insists on approaching me and exchanging pleasantries whenever there is a group of people around. I believe this is done to make me feel uncomfortable, petty/small and bitter if I do not respond in kind. I plan on confronting her the next time she does it. Her adult children see what she is doing and it makes them uncomfortable as well. They do not understand why on earth she does it. She wants me to respond in the same “all is well that ends well” attitude so everyone can see that “all is forgotten and forgiven” so everyone can again be her friend. I have no desire to help her with her image!

  • It could be guilt for breaking up the family (even if she at the same time loves the result and kibbles) and like this she will still feel in control of her feelings about it all. My mom was a schmoopie and was always the one to pick cards and gifts for the wife for my father (the cheater) to give to her. My mom always felt kinda guilty and emberessed, guess this gave her a sense of control. She is a very controlling person with narc tendencies, though not malignant.

    Hope this helps!!

    It’s all about contol, more than impression management.

  • CL could start a section devoted to “Gifts” or “Giphs”. Take a picture, post and let Chump Nation dissect away. Maybe keep scores and subcategorize such as:
    1) Regifting: STBX wedding, Not your typical Father’s Day present or DD anniversary
    2) Returning: how to return immediately without involving the children and remaining NC
    3) Safekeeping: include in STBX items boxed and awaiting final divorce
    4) Price is Right: guess the value to seek reimbursement for dissipation of funds

    As we are all chumps and have those days we feel knocked back down, Chump Nation is truly blessed with creative and intelligent individuals! Some of us are only days, weeks or months out from DD and reading how some handled STBX’s stuff, or the financial starvation games stage, etc helps tremendously as we struggle with the fog.

    Creating a game out of mindfucking gifts from OW is a gift in it of itself – no judging, release of anger, bitterness, free therapy and generally provides that laugh we all so much need!

  • she is a sadist or seriously delusional.

    Grifts are donated to Good Will, etc. Ask them to send them a thank you note with a reciept for tax purposes. If they will not, you send her a note informing her of the donation.

    Edibles, ask if the children made them itself or OW helped them. Unless they made it completely by themselves, calmly dispose them into the trash.

    Is your husband cluster B or BPD

  • That’s one fugly brownie plate. I wouldn’t touch it. She probably didn’t even wash her hands before baking. Nasty!

  • It’s a $2 bag of one bite brownies with some sad assed strawberries!?!? The peppermint swirl is to assuage the taste of pure shit brownie buffet – should you choose to eat one of those sad motherfuckers! Which you didn’t GG and I high five and HUG you for that.

    I would personally re-gift that platter – at Christmas. Long enough for mold to grow, rampantly and disgustingly. Similar to the union of the fuckwits who graciously exited your life – the platter will be re gifted to better reflect its true value. Moldy dripping chocolate turds of twu wuv! Throw some sparkles on though. It’ll be Christmas and all.

    Y’all here are so AWESOME! Piss myself a little every time I read. Which is every day. That’s a lot of piss.

  • “Confront the OW. Borrow from the Bill Eddy advice when dealing with Difficult People — be BIFF. Brief. Informative. Friendly. Firm. “Dear OW, I received your bathrobe. I am returning it, as it is not appropriate for me to be receiving gifts from the children, which they did not purchase themselves. Or which are proxy gifts from you or their father. Please respect my wishes. All the best, Gifted!””

    I would be happy with this message. It’s clear and non-drama. I would agree to it and quit doing that shit.

    Ten years after the fact I sometimes struggle with feeling guilt over this girl whose boyfriend I stole once. I know she’s still pissed at me, she sends me little nastygrams every few months – and each time she scolds me for being too much of a coward to reply to them. I have not contacted her in all these years but I am sometimes tempted to send her presents in some sort of bizarre attempt to show that I don’t actually despise her like she claims I did. So I can understand why the OW would want to make nice. Telling her clearly to stop should hopefully make life easier on both sides.

  • Of course! The moment you wrote you are a top notch hostess and gift giver, it became clear. Of course she’s trying to top you. Stay a bit with this thought. She won your husband and yest she’s still competing. Didn’t she get the memo she won the booby prize? Either she’s in the dark, either she’s just an overachiever, one thing is sure: she’s fucked up!
    The gifts you mentioned? that’s what my mom would buy me. Does she see herself as your mother? Wow.

    Don’t accept the gifts! You figured out, now send them back with the same kids. Instruct them that is really wrooong to use children as messengers between 2 grown ups that have nothing to share. Teach them not to accept to be used in this way. Teach them boundaries, please! Teach them to stand up for themselves. This is a spiral in which they are caught right now. Show them the way out, please.

    As for the gifts you have received already, load them in the car and drop them at her door. Don’t let her think for a minute that she can repeat this.

    And people, please learn to assert your boundaries! Don’t accept shit!

    • Wait a second, I just read the last ideas from Chump Lady. No!
      Please don’t use your children in this shit storm. Deliver the gifts yourself, don’t use the children. That’s what OW is doing and that is wrong.
      This is not about an abused wife anymore, this is about children who get to witness crazy. Tell them what is crazy and what’s normal. That’s what good parents do. Be the sane parent.

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