Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, I discovered a Switzerland Sister

Dear Chump Lady,

I’ve recently discovered my sister is back in touch with my ex husband – following each other on Social Media and WhatsApp messaging and birthday cards have been exchanged.  I have had this information for a while, but it came to a head and I couldn’t bottle in anymore that this really bothers me.

She saw first hand the disgusting way in which he emotionally abused me for months while I pick me danced, he lied to all of us and behaved in the most appalling way that showed him to have zero empathy.  She was who I phoned in the middle of the night, in tears of anxiety when I had to run out of a supermarket because I had a panic attack, was there to bolster me when I finally left and now, is back in touch with this man.

I told her that her being back in touch with him has really hurt me and I consider it to be disloyal. She said she was doing it for my daughters — they have indicated that they’d like him and I to be friends one day and I have explained to them that that won’t happen; we won’t be friends, but will be civil when I have to come across him.

They are teenagers and need to understand, I think, that it’s okay to not be friends with someone anymore who treats you so badly — there are consequences. So I don’t get the excuse. We ended up having an argument about it and she basically told me to fuck off. I haven’t spoken to her since, I don’t have the inclination to at the moment.

Am I being over-the-top here?  I hate the thought of not having her in my life, but I just can’t get over the fact that she is actively back in contact with this horrible man. Any advice would be appreciated Chump Lady and Chump Nation.


Dear FeelingSad,

Here’s my first cynical Chump Lady thought — she’s sleeping with him, or would like to. Because really, who spends that much time, even WITHOUT infidelity, investing in their brother-in-law? Messaging and birthday cards? Like many people, I only have the vaguest notion of who my brother-in-law is. (Are? There might be more than one…) Larry?

That’s some above-average engagement there for someone you used to know. Let alone someone who brutally used and discarded your sister. I think you may be gaslighted here. Oh sure! It’s totally NORMAL to volley messenger texts back and forth and craft hand-written birthday missives in a casual “just thinking of ya!” kinda way! 

Uh, no it isn’t. I’m thinking of the tiny subset of people I actually message with, which splinters down to the sub-subset of snail mail birthday cards. My parents? I grant you validation that this is weird.

Weird is actually my nicest interpretation. What this really says about your sister is that she’s A-Okay stepping over your vanquished and sobbing body for kibbles. She’s high on some male attention, and your heartbreak doesn’t factor into it. Hell, WHO HE IS doesn’t factor into it — the guy is a cheater and an emotional abuser.

She’s either okay with that ( = she has crap values) or she doesn’t believe it ( = she thinks you are making the abuse up), or she thinks you deserve his abuse ( = she is a monster). None of these positions are “neutral” — all of these positions are either all about her (crap values) or a conspiracy against you (you’re making it up, or you suck).

Of course you’re upset!

What this is NOT is In The Best Interests of the Children. Since when did teenagers need an emissary? What is she, Jimmy Carter? “For the Children” is the refuge of scoundrels everywhere. It’s the best way to slap “virtue” over shittiness.

Why are you burning those books? For The Children!

Why are you eating all the cookies?  I was saving The Children from high-fructose corn syrup!

Your sister isn’t nobly inserting herself into your children’s relationship with their father to save them. Teenagers are quite capable of having (or not having) relationships all on their own. Nor is she Setting Forth a Better Example of How One Should Interact With a Miscreant. Will shall show him tender mercy and understand his brokenness! We shall send him a Hallmark Shoebox greeting card! And welcome him into the loving folds of our family!

She’s doing this for HER and no one else.

You can untangle it, or you can avoid it. I’d suggest a lot of distance. Let her discover the wonderful dysfunction of your ex for herself, if she’s so keen. You go work on that new life and leave her to WhatsApp shitheels.

She’s showing you who she is. That’s sad, but useful information. If it were my sister, I’d demote her to casual acquaintance. Larry?

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Reminds me of my SIL who NEVER contacted me during the divorce or my lung cancer surgery to see if I was even still alive. She was well aware of how my life had been up ended. Then when he had his surgery after his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer she engaged in phone calls and texts with this odious OW that were all giggly and friendly! I was appalled! She has always been flaky though and always the “weak link” in the family. What else could I expect? I agree with CL, give her a wide berth. Her boundaries are quite weak.

    • Feeling Sad, Roberta, I know your pain. But caused by your own sister must hurt more! Most people are just so damn mediocre.

      For 38 year I had helped all of my in-laws and their children in many ways, cared for my MIL better than for my own parents (from money to changing her diapers and getting her shit under my finger nails), put up with pettiness, laziness, etc.

      One of my BILs cheated on me about the price of a painting I bought from him to help his chronic debts and on repaying a loan I made to him using my great-grandfather’s inheritance. I even helped pay for one of my BIL’s MIL’s funeral. These are but a few examples of my seven BILs’ abuse of my good will.

      My BILs’ wives, whom I thought were my friends, never contacted me after I told them what was going on. Almost a year later one of my SIL`s mother dies and she messages me, calls me several times. I did not reply.

      A few months later I go to our shared weekend retreat to collect my belongings and I run into this SIL and my BIL. It is evident that a crowd will be arriving for the weekend. We are good natured to each other, my SIL gives me a tight hug and we talk about the books we are reading, best air conditioner for my niece’s house, etc.

      Then SIL gets on the phone IN FRONT of me and calls up people telling them that the weekend is called off because “things are disagreeable around here with ‘the visitor’”. I couldn’t believe my ears.

      Then my BIL starts yelling at me “why did you come?”. I answered “To collect my belongings”. He yells back “Well, get them and never come back. You never helped anyone, you never did anything for the family, you never paid for anything”. They left and I called up a van and donated everything I ever put in the house to the municipal social service, from the washing machine to the pressure cooker. I felt like ripping the upholstery but didn’t.

      I feel so chumpy and it hurts so damn much when I remember these things. I think this is even worse than being cheated on by EX.

      • Clearwaters, I can totally relate to your post. I also took care of his aging parents while he was out chasing his Schmoopie. I had to drive five and a half hours to get to their house and get this, they had a son who lived in the same area and a daughter who was 2 hours away not to mention grown grandchildren! It was appalling. I did a lot of my visits shortly after my lung surgery and I still had an open wound and a drain out of my left side while caring for them!! I was married to my Ex for a bit over 40 years and I hear crickets from these folks now! Comes under the heading, “no good deed goes unpunished” apparently! Let’s not forget about the care I gave their dying brother and the very nice funeral I gave him and paid for!

          • Roberta, I am so sorry to hear your story. You were so badly taken advantage of, used, abused and then discarded in the most cruel of ways. I wish you peace, happiness and so much love!

            I also paid for exhole’s father’s funeral. There is no gratitude or care for us. They just suck.

            • Thank you all for your support. I don’t think I would be here today without CL and CN. Frankly, my misery is over. The karma bus arrived in record time after our divorce and parked right on top of him and Schmoopie. She fell out of special snowflake love with him once she had to live with him and then his dire diagnosis. She tried hard to suck me and my kids into the ensuing drama, but we stood our ground. She wanted him soooo bad and now it was her problem. Turns out she just wanted good times and this didn’t fit her vision. She didn’t consider he would get terminally ill.
              I stay at CN because I feel maybe the newbies need to know that there is life after a cheater. You just MUST let them go! True, I got sucked back in, but I also calculated the gain I would derive from his horrible situation. I know, I know. I lot of people would think I am some greedy old bitch, but I had to consider my future and the state of my health too (something I had put on the back burner all during my married life). He sure didn’t mind leaving me behind for Schmoopie and while two wrongs do NOT make a right I certainly had concerns about my survival. If that sounds cold, so be it. Part of divorce is making sure you are able to financially survive for yourself and children if you have young ones.
              I urge all of CN to listen to CL! Leave a cheater, gain a life. Life is precious and short, too short to waste on untangling the skein. Face it, they cheated because they could. Doesn’t matter why, just that they did. Kick them to the curb, get the best settlement that you can and GO LIVE YOUR LIFE ON YOUR TERMS! Why he/she left is not going to change your reality. They are gone so it’s time for you to start living your own life. Don’t believe the BS a cheater or Schmoopie tells about you. They are full of crap. YOU know who you are and you are worthy and entitled to a good life. Go grab it with all the joy you can because it goes by very fast and who wants to spend it sick or sad. Hell, i’m Terminal, but on my good days I get out and have a ball! Neither my cheater and his Schmoopie or cancer will rob me of that! My motto is, “it’s none of my business what other people think of me!” They will always believe what they want, but I know I am NOT the greedy, sexless, bitchy witch the cheaters believed I was. That was just justification for their shitty behavior. Carpe Diem!

        • ClearWaters, HOLY SMOKE…Are you kidding? You helped for all these people’s funeral’s, changed your Mother-in-laws diapers etc., etc. Wow! These people are just SHIT. You are a really GOOD person. Save your money. Rebuild and Go On a Cruise or something because your deserve it. Take really good care of yourself. Start exercising if you don’t and get yourself healthy and feeling great. When they come (again) to you in the future looking for handouts, don’t answer the phone- or the door. NOPE! Your reward will be Meh, about any of the ex family inlaw arses. Just enjoy that vacation cruise, sip that cocktail and be glad that they and the shitty relatives are all in the PAST!

      • Wow, how can people be so two-faced?! And to your FACE! Do you think she was trying to goad you into a reaction, a confrontation with that phonecall? Either way, it’s exceptionally passive-aggressive.

        I can understand why this episode hurts you so much. None of it makes sense. Not just that they were family, but the crazy way they’ve treated you. But that says everything about the dysfunctional people you’ve left behind, and nothing about you. Just keep being you and stay as far away from them as you can.

      • Clearwaters,
        What horrible treatment! You are well rid of the whole stinking lot of them. Fuckwits tend to cluster and yours is a perfect example. Smiling faces backstabbing you in front of you. Wow. Many shades of disorder. You rose above them and are now fee of them. I can’t understand how people can so completely dismiss what they know to be true. However, I do know that people who we help sometimes cannot bear the imbalance and come to blame or resent the helper rather than simply acknowledge & appreciate the help. Takers take. You can rest assured that you did what was right because it was right and generous and kind. I don’t know how they sleep at night, but I truly don’t care, either.
        You are mighty!

      • ClearWaters
        I’m so sorry those fuckers abused you so cruelly. Absolute no contact with any of them will save you further pain.

      • I am so very sorry you had this experience on top of others.
        I guess the one truth is you know who they really are, and you can live a proud life of integrity, with the remarkable person you’ve persisted in being.
        And.. LOVE the van load up .
        You take good care.

    • My (now ex) BIL had been good to me, I have to say. He did FAR MORE for my local job search than all 5 of my brothers combined. Wrote a glowing (and accurate, I might add) reference letter and sent it to the right people. BIL was smart and witty as hell and we often laughed our butts off. I felt close to him, though never attracted – btw – just fyi.

      I actually got a great job offer, thanks to him. (Alas, I was too stupid to take it and leave my own narc husband then).

      Anyway, BIL left my sister to be on his own (OW#2 as far as I know). He broke my sister’s heart and to this day she’s among the most loving women I’ve ever known.

      Two weeks later he called me and we chatted a few minutes before I realized, he wanted us to be “friends” like before. I said ” BIL, you were good to me and I’ll be forever grateful for that. But you broke my sister’s heart and I can’t be friends with you now. Sorry.”

      And that was that.

      I’ll never understand his choice, to leave, other than a constant sense of inner turmoil he blamed on external factors. Then later he married a THIN high income earner who is a cold woman. That “wife” (not the OW, thank God) could barely get through my nephew’s college graduation b/c she cannot stand being near my sister, who has been gracious forever. She’s unkind to my sister AND ex bil’s kids and that’s even worse than leaving my sister.

      But he did the almost UNICORN thing in one respect.

      He called my sister when she had gotten engaged (and he had already re-married). Said he just wanted her to know he had “fucked up. Made a huge mistake” and that he wanted her to know he “got it now”.

      I know a big part of that^^ is the focus on what HE LOST, not what he had done. But still, how many of us ever get to hear this?
      I told her she’s one of the 5% and to savor it. She said it was bittersweet and I guess it’s b/c in some ways neither is much happier and both could have been. And he left when the kids entered the teen (HARD) years which he stuck her with.

      Now, the 2 who are successful adults, see him yearly. That means they are “close” and he’s a good dad…the “wayward” daughter who was the oldest high schooler, and got pregnant as soon as daddy left, doesn’t see him much. She gets to be the target of blame for why he HAD to leave. I told him not to play the blame game near me b/c he’d lose…

      Every night when he returns from work, my sister greeted him WARMLY… The new wife doesn’t get off her pricey couch, too busy doing spread sheets or some shit. I figure that’s about 10,000 fewer words of affirmation and physical touches, per month.

      But hey, ENJOY the new wife’s salary! I mean, if she lets you.

  • Oh, that’s such a shame. I’m wondering if it’s him that’s pursuing her. That old divide and rule thing.

    I’ve seen a lot of casual flirting going on at the school between my ex and other married mums, he can’t be sleeping with them all! But I’ve watched him and he sort of ambushes people with a fake “hi, how’re you doing?” Cheesy smiles all over the place. Even people who’s body language is saying “don’t talk to me” and they turn away, he will walk into their line of sight to talk to them.

    I’ve even seen this also with friends who have left scumbag abusive partners, they will be snivelling around people at family functions and I don’t even know what they are doing there! I can see that these fuckwit idiot nasty people make ALOT of effort to hang around the old family.

    • I agree with MidlifeBlast ~ its probably him that began pursuing her for whatever reasons. She’s not doing it for your kids, she is in it for HER.

      Fuck them both ~ you don’t need them.

      • He could be pursuing the sister to further harm FeelingSad. It happened to me. I don’t think my sister fell for it, but Fuckwit X certainly tried.

    • The sister should be extra-appalled if this is the case. Because it would be someone (someone she knows is a crappy, hurtful person) trying to fuck with her relationship with her sister (his ex) and exposing his willingness to continue hurting her sister.

      Like Jodi said, “Fuck them both”!

    • Poor you. That’s a double blow of betrayal for you to deal with. I remember when my sister separated from her first husband (not for cheating that we know of). I was a really young single mum then and he probably thought I was vulnerable. He sent letters, cards and flowers to me saying he’d always thought he’d married the wrong sister!! He even turned up at my house. I was horrified and told him so. I was worried about adding to her pain but showed her everything. She hugged me and we both laughed, knowing how right she was to end her marriage to someone like that.

      Hopefully your sister will come to her senses, but if not you really are better off without her.

      Much love and blessings ????

    • Yes I do think that’s part of it, he maybe thinks that if he’s public ally “friends” with her, he can’t be that bad really can he, he didn’t behave so badly. But it’s interesting what chump lady said about sleeping together or her wanting to sleep with him – not the first time I’ve heard that.

      • FeelingSad, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I think Chump Lady’s advice is spot on, and gives you a great spectrum of possibilities. I would also suggest lots of distance.

        Sending you love, support and lots of hugs!

  • I don’t like your sister. Snake in the grass comes to mind. Yep, Tracy nailed it. Something stinks to high heaven. At some point you are going to get a teary phone call that he is treating her like dirt.
    Someone recently commented that two self-centered people might find each other because neither has the capacity to care. You need to be present for your children and let those two drive each other crazy. You got off that train.

    • There is a HUGE difference between stories about sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws and ones own siblings.

      Anyone’s siblings may not like us and that’s fine, but there is something very off about the situation the letter presents.

      I might even be able to understand some contact if the sister’s own children had a significant relationship with their uncle. And if those children were too young to have the relationship independently of adults. Like needing a ride to visit him or meet up when the ex had their cousins.

      To cloak the sister’s contact with her ex-brother-in-law for the sake of her sister’s kids is bullshit.
      Especially if the sister’s response was to say “fuck off”!

      I suggest that the sister’s advice be followed.

      Stay away from her and enforce your boundaries. Show her that what you say has consequences.
      If she values your relationship, she will realize that her ex-brother-in-law isn’t worth losing her relationship with her sister. If she doesn’t realize that? Who needs her?

      Siblings go thru many different phases as life goes on. Perhaps this is one. Or perhaps she finds your ex ‘exciting’????. Either way, you’ve made your point, and see how this plays out.

      Turn to Chump Nation for support and not someone whose motivations are questionable at best.

  • I adore my SiL. My brother’s wife is good to my brother, a great wife and mother and very sweet. I even talk to her sometimes and text. She’s like a sister to me in a lot of ways. She has this role in my life because she is my brother’s wife. That’s it. If her role ever changed there would be no more communication. When another sibling got a divorce I called her STBX when Stbx’s father died to express condolences. On the rare occasion I see the X or X’s family, im polite but not friendly.
    Your sister is lying to you. There’s something else there.

  • Definitely agree with CL, if your sister hasn’t already crossed the line, she is playing with fire. Even if he did open the door, she should not have stepped through. The “for the children” argument appears to be a judgement against you. It doesn’t sound like you have denied him visitation or any other contact with the teenage children, what more ‘for the kids’ does there need to be? How does the two of them exchanging private messages and birthday cards help the kids? It would seem that would confuse the kids more than anything else – Why are auntie and dad getting so close?” would be the question and a cause of anxiety, not joy and relief.

    Her telling you the equivalent of ‘f*uck off’ kind of lends credence to – yeah, they are sleeping together or are pretty close to it. Him being emotionally abusive – this would be his ultimate revenge against you. by taking away the ‘rock’ they you had and sleeping with her too – the last way in which to hurt you.

    It might be time to go ‘no contact’ with sister so you don’t have to watch the drama unfold or give audience to his last great scheme of trying to mess with your head. So sad to hear about this and hopefully you have found another friend and confidant in the meantime.

    • I fear you may be right. I’ve never denied access to him for the children – they see him regularly. I’m also still in touch with his mum and dad and they see them regularly too, so I too think it’s bullshit.

      • FeelingSad – when I was in my early 20s, I had a sweet co-worker lady in her mid-40s (who had endured a horrible cheating-based divorce) tell me something I never forget: the older you get, you realize more and more that family becomes a choice.

        Her bio family was a massive group of screw-ups. Her father was an alcoholic and a verbal and emotional abuser. He called her at work and committed suicide over the phone. Literally. Her mother was emotionally abusive to her all her life. Even so, she was the kindest, and most loving woman.

        When she told me about “choosing our family,” it was after she had shared those things with me about her bio-family over some years. But something about her honesty in that statement stuck with me. Now, 16 years later, I’ve had to do exactly as she said. I choose emotionally healthy and loyal people to be around me and my children ONLY.

        You’re in the position now to choose the family you will allow into your life. Unfortunately, it might not include your bio-sibling who chooses to emotionallly abuse you through high-volume contact with that x-dbag. (((Hugs, girl.)))

      • I know this is a late post.
        I would feel how betrayed you feel.
        And I’d be so sad.

        But they show who they are. And we get to learn and move on.

  • May I point out the high-handed ness of the sister declaring with her actions and words that she can make a better decision about friendship with the ex than FeelingSad? Allegedly. If that really is the reason. Which I doubt.

  • Soon after STBX left, my sister was friendly with him at my daughter’s baptism (he left when I was 6 months pregnant). She said that she wanted to make sure that if anything happened to me that she wouldn’t want him to completely remove my family from the kids’ lives. This did NOT extend to friendliness outside of this type of family gathering…just if she saw him. At the time it made sense logically but bothered me.

    At this point, so much more has been discovered of the things he did and continues to do. Now, I’m not sure that she would leave him alive if she saw him. Family sometimes does not want to burn bridges so that they would not lose their relationship with the kids if something were to happen to you. Not sure how much of that is for themselves and how much is for your kids (since they will be left solely to the cheater).

    • Additional note. I always knew my fuckwit didn’t like my family. Funny how he turned it around to them not liking him. When we made our wills, (before cheating) I made sure to put it in there that my family would continue to have access to the children. My parents have since passed but I have made a new will in which my sister has a role. He could contest the will but at least my wishes are all on record should the bus hit.

      • On the topic of wills, if any chump has property or retirement accounts, etc. that will go to minor children, consider a Trust instead of a usual Will. I had sole custody of my 13 year old daughter at time of the divorce, and I got the house + retirement accounts in the settlement. I knew that if something happened to me and half of my assets were left to DD13, when Hannibal Lecher assumed custody of her,, any remaining assets would end up in his coffers.

        With a trust, I was able to set up my sister as Trustee (upon my death) and told her to keep hold of all funds until DD turned 18.

        • THIS ^^^ I did the same thing too, with a friend as my Trustee (so he can’t slam “the family”)… now he’ll have to deal with a retired Homicide Detective should I go first 🙂

          • What’s the difference between a will, leaving my sister as beneficiary, so she can make sure my kids are alright, and a trust? Why is a trust better?

            • I don’t know all the ends and outs but I think the things in trusts are exempt from creditors and taxes are different. I costs to set up but it is not hard and definitely worth looking into if there are assets of any significance.

            • Late to answer. A will is more like wishes. A trust can’t be contested like a will and HAS to be followed. The assets that are in the trust are not disclosed to people not getting the trust (and if you are named you only find out what YOU get not what other people get).

        • This is in my things to do as soon as divorce is finalized. Right now temporary restraining order prevents any changes.

          I also plan to set up a special needs trust for my youngest. My older two will age out of child support in a few years and when support is modified, I plan to have child support and anything else where she would be a beneficiary (retirement, HSA, life insurance, etc). That way, future eligibility for disability or Medicaid won’t be affected by these funds. And cheater can’t touch it.

          • If your STBX is paying child support, get it entered into the decree that he (or she) must carry a life insurance policy, with you as beneficiary, for the amount of any remaining child support until the children turn 18. Annual proof of such insurance should be shown to you.

            • I thought if anything happened to the Ex who is paying child support the money for alimony and or child support would come out of the estate?

              • Depends on the state. Not true in my state. Only thing that comes out of the estate is arrears. Otherwise, the obligation ends with death.

            • alternatively, you take out the policy and it is decreed that he must pay it so that it won’t ‘accidentally’ lapse by him just deciding not to pay it
              If he remarries then he could leave everything to her and while you can contest a will it is expensive and timeconsuming. He could always of course have spent it all

        • Excellent advice. I was told to do the same instead of a Will. There are added benefits to a trust also. I second your advice to CN. Luckily I had a very savvy financial friend who made me aware of a trust. I talked it over with my financial advisor and some other friends who were more informed and decided this is the way to go.

          • Not to be glib, but in the states, I think it is important to have a will even if you set up a trust. The will is what states your wishes for that trust and everything else. It is usually a nightmare if the state has to get involved. And in the case of a cheater, I think we all want our wishes as clearly stated as possible.

            • most countries you need a will as well, unless the children are your sole surviving relatives someone else may be due a share just based on consanguinuity

  • Love CL’s insight as usual.

    Dysfunction in families coming out of the woodwork when the shit hits the fan. This probably is not new for her. She wants to triangulate. Not surprised that exists in a chump’s family. She is looking for a dose of drama. You are right in your explanations to your daughters why you won’t be friends with ex. Also extend an explanation that Auntie’s behavior is hurtful and inappropriate. Explain triangulation and that she creating a triangle (maybe a couple) Reiterate that the daughter’s relationship with their father should be just that and Auntie inserting herself is inappropriate and they shouldn’t ask her to get involved either.

    Couldn’t agree more that the family has boundary problems and hopefully the buck stops with you!

  • Absolutely certain my sister would castrate my ex if she had the opportunity, But he is living with wife number one’s sister, who adequately appreciates his splendidness.

    • Me too! Amazing sisters are worth their weight in gold!

      Given that our family sucks, my sister and I are they only two with any authentic loving connection. When the shit hit the fan, she became my rock in a second flat.

      It felt SO DAMN GOOD to have someone tell me “I hate that you ever have to see him again” (because we share a minor child).

    • Gracelyn, please explain. He had a first wife? Then you? Then went to live with the first wife’s sister?

  • It took my sister two years to finally call to see why I stopped inviting family over for Thanksgiving. I stopped all contact after she decided they would continue to use his service business. I was floored. She said they basically never liked him but saw no problem in using his services.

    After I told her how I felt I have been invited to all family events on her side including birthdays and Christmas Eve. Everyone came to my house for Thanksgiving this year. They no longer use his services.

    I’m not sure your sister is Switzerland; she sounds more like an accomplice to the disorder.

  • My parents and sister are civil to the ex-cheater and his fucked up family because they say they’re afraid that if something should happen to me, he won’t let them see my kids. I want them to not act out of that fear. I’m not going anywhere and he sure as hell isnt going to win custody from me, because I am smarter and better than him. I think mostly my family and friends are civil because he acts like he didn’t destroy our lives, and its awkward to be rude to someone who is so friendly to you. Lastly, they believe they are protecting my kids from grown-up problems by taking his cue in feigning a friendly divorce. It’s been 14 months since the final dday and everyone has settled into a slick facade of no-harm, no-foul coparenting. Sometimes I want to remind him that he’s not fooling anybody, but I don’t because I follow the grey rock rules: don’t give him the satisfaction of telling him how I feel or that I even think about him. Projecting meh, though, when your ex is a charming sociopath, seems to only be helping him with his image management. A year ago when I told her he had lied to me about wanting a real marriage, she spackled for him. Today my 9 yr old daughter referred to her father admiringly as a “good looking lawyer.” Wtf? I’m torn between wanting to make the divorce smooth for her by not interfering in their relationship, and wanting to make sure every goddamn person in my life, including her, is reminded daily that he’s a lying son-of-a-bitch who cannot be trusted.

    • Gorilla, one approach I found super helpful in getting my kids to see reality, and learn to protect themselves from assholes, was to focus my ‘teaching’ on people OTHER than their father. When a friend acted in a truly kind and caring way, I pointed that out, emphasizing that it is by their BEHAVIOUR that we know people. When another person we know said all the right things, but DID nothing, I pointed that out too. I showed them the difference between ‘nice’ and ‘kind’ by talking about TV and movie characters. I taught them about narcs and sociopaths the same way (thank you, ‘Suits’!). We discussed character when talking about the divorces of their friends parents, referring to how things impacted the kids, and what their parents did or didn’t do that was actually in the best interests of the children. We had many brief conversations about honesty and about loyalty, about dealing with difficult situations and difficult people. I taught them about boundaries by discussing situations in which I had to set them, at work, with family, with service people, and by coaching them to do the same. And of course, when they, or I, acted in ways that were not honest, considerate and caring, we talked about that, and why it was a problem and harmful to our relationships.

      Then in time, of course, they applied all this knowledge to their father.

      Many advantages to doing things this way; I couldn’t be accused of alienation, because I hadn’t bad-mouthed their father (although I had discussed his problem behaviours with me and with them, as they occurred after the separation). Well, not with any basis in reality (he did accuse me of this, of course, but his behaviour w/the kids had been so obviously uncaring that it didn’t stick). Because the kids were figuring things out on their own, I knew it was a fair process; they wouldn’t have reached the conclusions they did, if he had acted in an honest, considerate and caring way with them. Plus, I have equipped them pretty well to deal with other problem people they will surely encounter in their lives.

      I have to say, it was damned satisfying to see the kids, seeing him for who he is.

      • That’s a really good idea to use others as examples. I plan on telling my kids the truth but I don’t plan on bad mouthing her. It will be more of a “this is what happened in our marriage” and then explain to them “this is what is expected in a healthy marriage”.

    • I can totally relate to you frustration. You know the best way to protect kids from adult problems is not to cause them in the first place. How about him not being a lying cheater in the first place. Then the kids wouldn’t have a “problem” they need protection from.

      At least you are one person who has their head screwed on straight. The kids will have him all figured out eventually whether you tell them or not.

      It’s been 15 months since my d-day and STBXW’S family has just moved on like everything is rainbows and unicorns. Gross! The damage this has done will be felt for years.

      I plan on telling my kids the truth after divorce is final (don’t want to poke the bear). It’s important for their future that they know why their lives have been blown apart. I don’t want them blaming themselves. I don’t want them thinking it’s OK to be treated like garbage. I don’t want them thinking they can treat others this way without consequence. They need to know.

      I don’t need two little boys growing up thinking cheating is acceptable and I don’t need them growing up to be Chumps either.

      • Best of luck to you, OCchump. Is your ex cooperating with the settlement? On the positive side, my ex’s pathological need to consider himself to be a great guy means I was able to negotiate a decent settlement instead of hiring a private eye and fighting him in court.

  • My aunt thinks she is so sexy. She’s sixty something and with all of that “work,” she looks like Joan Rivers. She’s a wanna be model, a desperate housewife, and I pity her fool of a husband. She is breathlessly ambitious for her shy daughter to become a Hollywood star.

    Then she meets James Bond (my X-hole) and immediately launches into seduction mode: “Must Have Sexy Man, I don’t care if he is my niece’s husband.” (Youck.)

    Even James Bond, cheater extraordinaire, was shocked at her depravity. He couldn’t believe a blood relative would stoop so low. He told me to tell her to stop trying to seduce him. (Yah. Can you believe it? He was trying to halt kibble flow.)

    Here is her comment to me, “I’m sorry I embarrassed you.” I don’t know what she meant. Do you, Chump friends?

      • Or was she saying, “I beat you. I distracted your husband’s attention from you. I am Fabulouser, than you. little girl. Step aside Sex Queen coming through.” (There’s more to James Bond’s story. His comment was only a cover-up for his words to Old Ugly Hag Aunt, I don’t know if action followed.)

    • At first I thought she actually meant… sorry I embarrassed you like a mom or aunt would say to a child. Like sorry I embarrassed you at the mall in front of you friends.
      But now I’m thinking it meant… sorry I embarrassed you as a woman. Sorry I proved to you that i could have your husband if I wanted him and that should embarrassed you.

    • I think it’s just one of those not-apology apologies – it’s supposed to technically be an apology because the word “sorry” appeared in it, but she’s really putting you down and misdirecting by misidentifying the actual problem. She thinks by reframing it as you being the issue she doesn’t have to acknowledge her own crappy character.

    • James Bond was only horrified that she was old and unattractive to him. Had she been your young hot niece I have the feeling his scruples about family would have been abated.

  • My mother did this with my ex husband. Narcissistic drama is what it is. No contact is the only way to survive it without going crazy. Run as fast as you can from both of them and save yourself years of therapy.

  • Yeah – my brother in law has been in my life for over 20 years.

    I have never once texted, phoned or sent him a card ( electronically or otherwise ).
    I don’t remember what day is his birthday…..

    I care about him and will do small chat if seated across from him at a family meal.

    My first thought was the same as CL – she wants to or is sleeping with him.
    And triangulation!!!! And the kids!!!!!
    So many kibbles – Hurray!!!!

    She is a drama queen at best and possible Narc. Step silently away.

  • I had the same thing happen–but with my “best friend”. She “confronted me” at a restaurant in front of other friends and told me shed been talking to him and gas learned that *I* was exaggerating things he was doing to me long after the divorce. Unfortunately I had five figure attorney bills yearly for 4 years after the divorvevwas final to prove he was in fact taking me to court repeatedly, even years after the divorce was final, for things like “I want to go through the house again, I believe you still have things of mine”. He couldnt name a single thing I had of his–he just enjoyed forcing me back to court years after everything was finalized. He lost EVERY TIME. And we did not have kids, so there was no need for any contact whatsoever.

    He’d lived a double life for ten years of our marriage, spent all of our alleged savings, double mortgaged our home, and was sleeping with dozens of other women and men…he especially liked sleeping with neighbors and people I’d run into. He even arranged to have our mortgage notarized by one of his affair partners. He tried to arrange dinner with another affair parter and her chump husband. He was a demented ghoul.

    Despite knowing all of this, my friend believed *him* when he told her his version of Why He Kept Taking Me Back to Court five years later. She confronted me in a restaurant in front of our mutual friends. So I divorced her, too. Went no contact and never spoke to her again except to be cooly polite in social settings.

    It’s sad, but I feel like losing disloyal people from your life is a gift.

    • I feel for you Anna, I was devastated when I found out that my alleged best friend went on holiday with my husband.
      I was totally blown away. Furthermore it was so hush hush that they had to know it was wrong and big time wrong.
      Yep I dropped her,she came round several times but I would not see her I could not be bothered with her excuses

    • Holy Crap, Anna … that is so much to endure. I am so sorry you had to go through that. On the other hand, just WOW!! to how mighty you are for coming out on the other side! Serious testimonial to your strength and resilience.

      When the serial-cheating asshole flipped out and I had to get a restraining order at the insistence of the police officer and mental health officials, my dad (who lives just minutes from me and my kids) acted like I was being melodramatic. I was desperately seeking “safe haven” arrangements for me and my kids and he ignored us completely.

      But, I really shouldn’t have been surprised (damn hopium applies to family too) … my dad is a narc and a serial cheater. When I married, I thought he was the opposite of my dad. I consciously wanted to marry someone NOT like my dad. But, no! Turns out they have the exact same disordered lack of character.

      So, “divorcing” my dad when all of this happened was more like … Wow! It’s about time stood up and said “No More” to the crappy treatment I’ve been dealing with my whole life. It’s a lot in one fell swoop, but sometimes it’s just better to yank the band-aid. 😉

        • Thank you, Doubtless. (((Hugs)))

          I’ve had so many revelations since the marital avalanche started (about my cheater, myself, my childhood) …. as hard as it’s been, I’m glad for it. Not seeing it kept me from escaping it. Knowing makes all the difference!

  • Divorce from a cheater is a lot like death; you really learn about the character of your family members.

    I have five sisters who have absolutely NO CLUE what my life is like now. Four of them are divorced and remarried and one is still with her original husband.

    My financial situation makes them uncomfortable, but not so uncomfortable that they don’t offer unsolicited advice on what I should do.

    “You need to sell your house and save yourself.”

    This gem came from my (very wealthy) sister who thinks relocating will solve the financial disaster I was given when I divorced a man who stole from me and our kids.

    “Your sons need to step up.”

    My sons are also victims. They help where they can, but it’s MY JOB as the sane parent to make sure they are focusing on their futures and not worrying about how Mom is going to pay bills. I have three jobs to make sure they get what they need.

    “You need to date.”

    This gem came from my sister who has never been without a man in her life. When her husband cheated on her, she lined up a rich boyfriend before she divorced him.

    “Here’s a ($25) gift card to Target/Vera Bradley/Kohls. Maybe you could buy some new clothes for yourself.”

    A shopping spree isn’t going to make it all better. But I’ll take the card and buy food and laundry detergent and maybe replace some towels with it. Thanks.

    “You need to cut ties with [addicted son]. He’s gone now.”

    Yeah, that’s easy for you to say as someone who has NEVER struggled with a mentally ill spouse or child. I’ll just throw that kid on the trash heap and move on. This one hurt the most.

    What I needed from them, they didn’t know how to give. There were days I just needed someone to show up.

    Lucky for me, I have two friends who did just that. And they are the family I got to choose.

    • $25 to target? She has rich boyfriend but wants you to buy ‘Clothes’ with 25? do you mean half a shirt? Hahhha oh wow. She’s trying to give you smile lines or something because I laughed my ass off at that.

    • Chutes, you are mighty! I am on the same path, and needed to hear your strength this morning, thank you! And lotsa (((hugs))). Keep being mighty!

    • “Divorce from a cheater is a lot like death; you really learn about the character of your family members. ” Yes, what happens in both the ex family and your family can be unimaginable and devastatingly painful. From a mother that tells me to “get over it” to an ex ML that tells my adult son about the OW “yes, it does take some getting used to”. I had my brother witness my ex go through the house post divorce, and he related that my ex had said “oh, it’s a shame that things had to turn out this way”. THIS WAY? WHAT THE HELL? You meant to say it’s a shame that I cheated on your sister for the past six years? That I stole from her and your nephews? That I lied to everyone?

      Needless to say that my brother did not respond. In other words, I could not even depend on him to stick up for me. In reality, the only person that you can rely on/control is yourself.

    • Thank you for this post. “Divorce from a cheater is a lot like death”.

      People who haven’t dealt with this have no clue. For me it has I think made my two best friends (who are married) uncomfortable- they have ‘fatigued’ from hearing about. My sister was supportive and angry initially but she NEVER asks how I’m doing or the status of my situation now. My brother never cares about anyone or anything so I kind of expected nothing different from him. My mother is a cheater herself (found that out 24 hours after Dday- gave me a double Dday). My father died recently, but damn I wish he was around so I could discuss this stuff with him, especially after finding out what my mother did to him.

  • I can see my sister ending up all turned around in narcness. She would get lost in it, and want everyone to be happy and take the two daughters as people who need champions, whether they need them or not since she just knows best…. She gets very empathic and ‘lets all be chummy’ but it ends up being very very very ‘let’s sweep everything under the carpet’ and the wrong people get hurt. In fact her husbands sister is getting divorced and this Christmas she ended up organizing a little dinner with the sisters ex and a bunch of other relatives because otherwise ‘he wouldn’t get to see them’ (news flash: that’s the point….) and I remember thinking ‘you’re going to hurt hubbys actual sister for the man she’s divorcings sake. I don’t get it.’ But I have also been through the wringer and she hasn’t. There but for the grace of rampant infidelity go I. I get that this is something which will bring trouble and hurt to her current actual sister in law. She is naive and wants the rainbow story. So I won’t say this sister is sleeping with the ex, but I very much think the writers sister is sleeping around. I think she is under the hypnotic spell of a douche weasel, it doesn’t have to be sexual . The hypnotic spell was also the downfall of this writer, until the mask fell. He’s using the sister and it’s working.

    • Except that you fell ‘under his spell’ because you didn’t know who he really was. This sister DOES know, and is favouring him anyway, KNOWING it would hurt her own sister. That’s a whole ‘nother story …

  • “For the Children” is the refuge of scoundrels everywhere. It’s the best way to slap “virtue” over shittiness.

    I needed this reminder today, CL. THANK YOU!!!

    I agree with Ohana; it sounds to me like your sister is getting off on being a better person than you are. “You can be a shallow, bitter, unforgiving bunny. I am a bigger person than that.” Okay, toots. What-the-fuck-ever.

    I hope you can find another source of support who will actually put your needs before their own, Feeling Sad. In the meantime, know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of CN. Hugs to you!

  • Oops I meant to delete ‘very much think the writers sister is sleeping around’ but apparently didn’t, it makes me sound completely contradictory

  • Sounds like your sister enjoys the attention and perhaps the drama of it all.”Look at me. See how important I am! I am in the middle of something that is none of my business, and all the attention is on me!” I don’t know if more is going on, but at minimum, she likes being in the center of the skein of fuckedupness. She certainly is not engaging X for your daughters’ benefit.

    It is difficult to cut ties with family members and it definitely creates feelings of guilt. Sadly, it is sometimes necessary. I do not have a relationship with certain family members out of self-preservation. It is sad and I am portrayed in a negative light because of it. At my age, I no longer give a damn. When I needed support, I was criticized, When I set boundaries, I was the bad guy.

    I decided that life is just too short to silently accept mistreatment by anyone, family members included. I am beyond fortunate to have wonderful kids, who love, support and respect me. That’s more than enough for me. I do not miss the drama caused by certain folks pretending to be important.

  • Wow what a betrayal! Your own sister? Nah, that can’t be! I was flabbergasted. Your own sister interacting with the enemy?? Your sister isn’t nice at all. Who does that, interact with a person who totally screwed you over, and yet here she is, giving him her time and attention, acting like it’s ok what he did. Does your sister have a personality disorder? people who are disordered usually side with the abuser. I’m sure this isn’t the first instance your sister has stabbed you in the back. What a betrayal and I’m so sorry she has done this to you. Sisters are supposed to protect you from the enemy, not side with them by spending time and energy with the enemy. It blows my mind how family does so much more damage than anyone else. Hugs to you.

    • If my brother ever bumps into my narc he better run real fast. Even my Mum who is a very kind person said she would like to thump him and my Dad would flatten him if he wasn’t so weak. He would tell him to ‘fark off’. Don’t mess with Liverpudlians.
      What a punch in the guts, she’s a piece of work and no doubt would be slap talking you with him. NC leave her to it, she’s an idiot with no loyalties.

  • Not taking sides IS TAKING SIDES. She chose and it wasn’t you.

    No Contact her. You told her your boundaries and she ignored and violated them. So f her very much.

  • I am still friendly and attend family gatherings with my sisters in law, but they understand that I will never be friends with my first husBand nod their brother no matter how sober he is 20 years later, because he put his hands around my neck and tried to choke the life out of me.

    I had no children with Cold Slab O’Meat and hence MY Sister went so far as attending my dissolution hearing with me. On the way out, he tried to hold an elevator for the both of us. She looked at him with his eager, feckless face and said icily, “We’ll wait.” and sent the elevator down. That’s what a sister does.

  • Feeling Sad,

    I would argue that your sister isn’t Switzerland, she’s fully enemy territory. She was intimately acquainted with the details of what happened to you, which she heard directly from YOU, her SISTER and she chose to amp up the contact with your abuser. That’s not neutral. That’s full on announcing she is your enemy, blood relative or not. Just like a cheater, she has agency and this is how she chose to exercise hers. I’m sure it is very painful for you but I hope that eventually you will recognize what a gift it is that she has shown you so clearly exactly who she is so you can avoid her.

    Also, Tracy is right. She is either banging him or wants to.

    Further, she used your kids as an excuse for her bad behavior? Nope. I would be done with her for that alone. You don’t get to play with my kids emotions ever.

    • Beth, totally agree with you. The sister is not an impressionable youngster. By contacting the x she is basically saying that she is ok with how feeling sad was treated and is giving the x a free pass.

    • Good call, Beth. That sister is Enemy territory, indeed. I can relate w my own disordered sister. What a shitty turn she took, knowing full well.
      Distance and gray rock. Some people just thrive off others’ pain. Ugh

  • Sounds like more mindfuckery to this chump’s ears, from both.
    My one-year younger sister has a loooong history of chasing boys and men I’ve been interested in. At age 13 she had a pregnancy scare from an encounter with an older teenage boy I had had a crush on for months. Up until a few years ago when she took in a homeless sociopath who had been a football player in high school who I had also had a crush on. She stayed with him far longer than was normal, phtsically fighting to the point of biting (WTAF?) and fearing for her life. [Guess I’ve had some dysfunction all around me for life.]
    Point being, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn my sister would continue, if not ramp up, her communication w Cheaterpants in an attempt to seduce him. Like THAT would be a challenge…! Ha. I’m so happy to be divorcing his disorder! If only I could divorce hers.

    FeelingSad, I’m so sorry you are experiencing this. It sucks, all around. I hope you can find some trustworthy friends to fill the sister vacuum for yourself. You deserve better.
    God, they suck! I’m so glad everyone else doesn’t.

  • The sister is trying to act like “the adult in the room.” Her misguided sense of moral superiority is unhelpful to the chump and the chumps teenagers. The sister is demonstrating a form of betrayal. Something teens should never be “taught.” Fence sitters, wishy washy “get along go along” types are almost as worthless as cheaters.

    It’s best to excise any un-supportive, unhelpful people from your life. They were never your friends to begin with. That includes family members!

  • “She said she was doing it for my daughters…”
    The best thing she as your sister could show you is how sisters should behave. The pact (I don’t care who or what they did, I got a shovel and some snacks for the road trip.) is what siblings are really all about.

    I mean, who could lift 200 lbs deadweight by themselves anyway?

    THAT is what she should be showing your daughters. Explain to your gals, over lattes, that you expect them to be sisters first and foremost to each other.

    It’s the sweetest scene in The Crown, a show on the telly, when King Albert explains to his very young daughters that they will first and forever be sisters, royalty second. It wound up conflicting the future Queen, but it added a depth and dynamic to the story that was not known previously.

    You sister is labeling her actions incorrectly. What she is doing is not noble, it is #sistahcodetreachery. She flunked the sister test on this one. Give her lots of space and rope, but don’t completely fry your relationship.
    Your part of the code is to accept he back, in the future if she realizes her gaffe. That’s what sisters do.

  • Fence sitters, wishy washy “get-along-go- along” types that won’t take a stand- are essentially enablers. The try to invalidate the pain and suffering the chump went through.

    I wouldn’t wish it on a dog…..but maybe the sister will be lied to, deceived, and cheated on!

    • “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” — J.S. Mill

    • Agreed. If she’s not sleeping with him now, she did (prior to the divorce) or wants to now.

      For certain, she is an asshole.

    1 – I am very close to my sister – camp, vacation, visit often. Talk to my BIL, but with my sister there. Have never sent a card, etc. And he is a good guy that I see a lot! Even if we are talking and she leaves the room, I am aware. Not that anything has ever happened, but because of what has happened in my life, I always do this for any woman. Hope that makes sense.

    2 – my narcopath, sociopath, abusive ex reached out to my sister on Facebook. To connect, and to tell her that I was ‘out of control’. Lol – out of his control. She ignored and blocked him. And immediately called me and read me his message.

    • This is how I imagine my family would react should CheaterX ever contact them. I’d get a phone call from the family member to let me know that CheaterX had called and that they shut him off.

      My youngest niece was 10 at the time, and when my sister tried to explain the situation in age-appropriate fashion, using more neutral terms, the niece wasn’t having any part of it. She denounced Uncle Dick, and told my sister that I should divorce him. My middle niece was a freshman in high school and offered to beat him up for me, especially since for some reason he’d forgotten to block her on Facebook and she was able to read his feed. She was not impressed with the Downgrade that was Schmoopie.

      FeelingSad–I can’t speak to what’s going on with your sister. If you want to be more neutral about the situation, let her know that you have no objections to your children having a good relationship with their father. They are teens and are perfectly capable of working that relationship out.

      You, though, can’t be friends with him. Friends don’t betray friends. That’s what enemies do.

      Then maybe keep that sister at arm’s length. Clearly there’s something going on there–exactly what, it’s hard to say. Be civil at family gatherings but otherwise keep your distance. She’s clearly wrapped up in his Sad Sausage for whatever reason (did she always have a soft spot for damaged people? Did she have a history of pursuing men who liked you?). Wait until her head is on straight before you engage in more contact.

      Best of luck.

  • I’m just going to weigh in here to suggest you think carefully before going into a no contact situation with your sister. I’m saying this because I am myself no contact with my own sister. Going no contact with a family member can create as many problems as it solves and has impacts on your wider family that can be really difficult to manage. You are probably always going to be connected to this person. I dread every Christmas and holiday period and cannot even imagine how I will cope with deaths in the family, funerals etc. My other sister’s wedding 2 years ago was a complete nightmare.

    In some cases there may be no choice but to go no contact. In fact, I don’t think I had any choice in my case. Also, I’m not saying that what your sister is doing here is ok at all – it’s disloyal and harmful. You may need to have some greater distance from her as a result – no longer confiding in her or expecting support from her. However, in my experience you’ll be saving yourself a lot of future hassle if you can keep things cordial and neutral.

    • I agree, to an extent. I think she should be bit grey-rock with her sister. Polite and cordial at family gatherings, or in response to messages etc. But not proactively make contact.

      If she went totally no contact, it could turn into a family drama… the kind of person it sounds like her sister is, she might try to bad mouth her behind her back… Maybe not, but if the sister knows what she is doing is wrong (certainly, it seems that way, given the aggressively defensive ‘fuck off’), then the chances are she’ll go all-in for impression management.

      I think she’d be better off cooling the relationship down, creating distance.

      I also think she should tell her parents what’s going on, though!

    • I find that going no contact with my sister was absolutely no problem. I think what causes a problem in wider family relations is ANNOUNCING you are going no contact. Then everyone is talking about it and trying to “fix” it and the narc gets off on the attention and triangulating. I just never call my sister. I never invite her anywhere. She is a narcissist who never makes an effort with anyone, so would only do so if she noticed or someone told her I wouldn’t have anything to do with her. At family events I am “no contact” even when she is in the same room. If she is on one side of the room I am on the other. It works amazingly well. Other people don’t seem to notice.

    • I agree with you, and also with Jojobee below.
      My strategy, which has worked very well in my entire clusterfuck Family of Origin — is to keep my friends close, and my enemies even closer. Those siblings of mine who have gone full-on no contact and announced it, etc., have created a whirlwind of hell for themselves as the disordered tornado then bore down on them trying to suck them back in. I, on the other hand, never announced anything. I ran little “tester” comments with each family member to see what got back to whom. Lo and behold, I couldn’t even trust the “good” siblings because they might accidentally say something to one of the “not so good ones” or my dad or my stepmonster and then it would get back to cheater STBX (now X of 12 years). So I realized I had the evil relations, and I had the dumb ones. The good ones were “dumb” so it didn’t matter that they were well-intended, their gullibility and stupidity made them just as dangerous as the evil ones. It was a defining moment for me. I also instinctively sensed that if I completely cut my invasive father and conniving stepmother out of my life, they would just team up with X and access my children through him plus talk bad about m1 e to the kids behind my back. I learned that they cared so little for me and my kids that if I let them think nothing was wrong, and if I gritted my teeth, showed up and checked the box on the big 4: Xmas, Easter, Halloween and Dad’s Birthday, plus included them on the kids’ birthdays and extra curricular performances, that they would pretty much leave us alone the other 345 days of the year, save the occassional funeral, wedding or retirement party. I did the math, and decided it was a small price to pay for relative peace, calm and obscurity the vast majority of the year. It really has paid off for me. I’ve watched them attack every one of my siblings, and two of them they have sided with their abusive exes. Right now, they are testifying against one of my siblings to try to help her abusive ex gain full custody of the children. They view it as protecting their rightful position as grandparents and their access to the children. They have positioned themselves to their friends, the court, everyone as victims. And they are partnering with the abusive Ex to paint my loving, nurturing wonderful mother of a sister as mentally ill, unfit to tend her own children. They are LYING, but they believe their lies. Her ex can now go to the judge and say, “look, Your Honor, her own PARENTs think she is unfit to care for the children!” Fair or not, that statement carries a lot of traction. People, Family Court is not like Criminal Court. They can get in there and anything they want to say. Anything. Now my sister is spending thousands trying to defend herself. Even if she wins this time, they will be back. Even if she wins every time, she will likely be in debt until the day she dies. Tread carefully, my friends, on this No Contact issue. Remember the old saying, you can never fight a disordered person and win. They are always ten steps ahead of us chumps in the manipulation and strategizing departments. No low is too low for them. They have no shame and will stop and nothing to destroy you. I love the toughness and the empowerment of most of the advice here at Chump Nation, but I have to warn you: consider your specific situation. Don’t underestimate your opponent(s).

  • I grew up with 3 siblings….2 older. We fought with each other, bullied each other, and “hated” each other growing up, but if anyone fucked with one of us….you fucked with all of us.

    We all live in different parts of the country and rarely see each other. 40 years later, it’s still the same….you fuck with one of us and you’ll think the Earp Family has arrived.

    I thought that’s the way all families were.

    • Same here, SDC!!! Growing up, this was the case in my family. I had their unwavering support and I know I could not have gotten past my weak moments (or months) without them. And as I remember, they helped me find my anger and rage to fuel me to get the divorce started. I will forever be thankful for that. Every step of the way, even being 4 years out…they are there.

      In my book, anything short of my sisters helping me plan my life without cheater (or where to hide the body…you know, whichever) is time to reconsider their status as a sister!!!! Nothing wrong with that.

  • Your sister is totally out of line.

    Not her kids
    Not her marriage
    Not her divorce
    Not her custody arrangement
    Not hers to decide


    Now if she thought you were legitimately abusing your kids, like locking them in the basement and not feeding them or burning them with cigarettes or giving them E or something, then it would make sense to intervene. Otherwise, she’s out of line.

    You are her family. She should address you alone if she has concerns. Not your ex, not your kids.

    I do agree with the legions of folks here who smell a rotten fish, but really it doesn’t matter why she’s in touch with him. Triangulating is BS no matter how you slice it.

    I know it’s hard to let family members go. I have had to do a significant amount of it, including with my only sister. But when someone brings a basketball to a baseball game and tries to bounce it in the grass and find a hoop, it doesn’t work. My sister and I aren’t operating in the same reality. I’m on the baseball field playing baseball. She thinks that’s ridiculous and wants everyone to change the field to accommodate her basketball. It can’t work.

    I can love her more from a distance than I can close up because I can stand the right of loving her when she’s not active harming me. So, minimal contact, family events only, nothing personal, and if shenanigans start I am out the door like I have explosive diarrhea. 🙂

  • This is really sad. It’s a double betrayal that she’s behaving this way. In fact, call it a triple betrayal, for the way she got angry and told you to fuck off when you confronted her. This is not normal, empathetic behaviour. It’s really not ok.

    I really hope that your thoughts and feelings have been validated by Chump Lady and the replies here today. Your sister’s behaviour – both with your ex and with you, when raising this topic, are not acceptable. You are not being over the top. Trust your gut feeling on this one. Don’t let yourself be gaslighted.

    I understand that she’s your sister, and she was previously your ‘rock’. But what behaviour is she showing now? The way she reacted when you confronted her… that demonstrates that she doesn’t deserve the same place in your life that she had before.

    My advice would be to not make a drama or give her the cold shoulder…. but edge away quietly. And replace the gap with people you can count on (even if that takes time to build). It’s a head-mess to have a sister behave like that – you need to surround yourself with people that make you feel good, not people that make you feel betrayed, or hurt, or confused, or let down. You deserve better.

    • Thank you so much everyone for your wonderful replies, I can’t tell you how much your support and words of encouragement mean.

  • Feelingsad sounds like your sister is “competing “ with you. If you look back over your relationship you might see a pattern. My sister was like this and it took me a long time to see it. You have a right to be hurt, her behavior is a betrayal.

  • This sounds much more than a ‘Switzerland’ sister. Was she this close to your ex before the divorce and continues the same level of communication with him now? Or is this level of communication new?

    My dad was a narcissist and my mom codependent. This played out differently with my siblings and I. I’m the youngest, the empath, trying to keep everyone happy and no discord between family members. I married someone just like my father. My sister is a control freak and unyeilding. My brother, lordy has a lot of issues.

    It sounds like your sister is competing with you. I’m not sure if she’s sleeping with him, yet. He is certainly a master manipulator and she’s either really week and buying his bullshit or really shallow and kibble seeking. Just my opinion, I’m not a therapist but a chump.

    I agree with everyone else as far as no contact/gray rock her too. He’s either using her to get to you or she’s kibble seeking and #betterthanyou #cankeephiminline. The treatment for both of these cancers is to not give them oxygen (centrality and kibbles).

  • Good grief, your sister is an asshole. If’s she’s not trolling/pining for attention from your ex she’s got serious damage to any fucked up personality filters.
    Nobody ever gets chummy with their preferred sex in-laws. I’m hetero and was very friendly with two of my SIL’s but I would never even want to reach out to my BIL’s for any reason other than an extreme circumstance (spouse/kids in accident or severely ill or death of family member) I’ve chatted at family gatherings but would have absolutely no clue what their birthdays were and certainly not doing social media with them.
    I’ve had really close relationships in the past with gay men and while married always felt very uncomfortable getting chummy with hetero men (I honestly don’t feel people are capable of having extremely intimate platonic friendships) Yes, people can have relationships with preferred sex friends but the depth of friendship is curtailed by that frisson of potential things.
    Either your sister is an asshole or she is monumentally stupid about what is or isn’t appropriate behaviour. Telling you that’s she’s doing it for the kids. Friendship ends when you lie, steal or cheat. My brother and my mother would sooner paintball x on the front lawn in front of my kids (no real guns because hey they both don’t think orange is a good colour for them to wear in the future)
    My brother was extremely angry at me for not taking x to court and doing mediation instead. He wanted me to file for cause. But he’s simmered down since and realizes I was looking at cost of changing lawyers and court proceedings.
    My SIL had to leave her home when POS was scheduled to drop off one of my sons. She was afraid she would be screaming and throwing shit at his car. If she and my bro ever got divorced for non betrayal reasons I would maintain a relationship with her based on her being a good person to me, my mom and my kids. My view is keep a relationship if the person is innately good for you and yours but if that person has harmed one of you that relationship has been permanently garbaged.

  • CL is right. She is sleeping with him or wants to. So Sorry, people, even siblings, suck. Go no contact and move on. The only thing you are going to get out of these two is pain.

  • I wonder if the sister is mad about something or as others say competing. So she is sort of doing a ‘you’re not the boss of me’ by being friends with this guy. It may not be about the guy but rather she is acting out in the worst way. And that doesn’t say much about how trustworthy she is if that’s her preferred mode of resolving her feelings.
    I don’t even stay friends with the non cheating ex bfs of friends – if I think someone was mean to my friend I don’t want to engage with that person (especially as most times I’m friends with the woman and the guy is not my direct friend).

    I do text my BIL but it is rare and usually my sister knows. As in I’ll ask her some advice and she might say to ask him instead. I almost always text him for something very task related and the same from him. I can count on one hand the number of times he and I have been out for lunch or coffee in 20 years and it’s not because of distrust or anything. Just who has the time. But yeah, cards? Constant messaging? Ridiculous.

  • It’s kind of mind-fucking when close friends and relatives make comments and empty threats concerning the ex, like, wanting to tell him off, defend my honor, or say they’re going to kick his ass when they see him next; then they’re all super friendly and cordial when they see him-and even exchange invites. I don’t expect them to abide by any physical threats; because we’re adults, there’s children involved, violence will only make the situation worse, and I don’t want them to. But it’s kind of annoying when people pretend to have your back and want to stand up for you and then don’t follow through.
    I know it’s my own fight, my own emotional warfare, and that my ex’s sins directly affect me more intensely than anyone else; so I feel it would be rather codependent of me to expect them to take on my position against ex…but it still feels like betrayal. This is an irksome habit that people have-it’s easy to say what you would want to do, in the heat of the moment; but instead of talking a good game, like they’re going to follow through- how about our shut up and listen or don’t listen at all or be honest that you’re not taking sides; but don’t make comments that make it seem like you’re extra loyal and badass, or because it’s what you think I want to hear Doesn’t make me feel better.

    • Weaklings. My good friend says she doesn’t want to come to my kids’ birthday parties because she’ll have to interact with my ex. Poor baby. It must be so hard for her. I can’t imagine how awkward and painful that must be. (Sarcasm)

  • FeelingSad,

    One of the issues here is sorting out just who she is. To you, this seems like a ‘one-off’ incident because it is so egregious. But if you sit back, take some time to examine the arc of her life, her actions, not just with you, you will see the same patterns. It will give you the confidence to do what you decide to do. They don’t change. They can’t change. That is what is so hard for us Chumps, we learn from things both good and bad. They don’t. BUT this is a good opportunity to teach your kids about what loyalty is. You don’t have to point out your sister’s sins, rather point out what loyalty looks like and teach them that they are good people and deserve to have loyal friends, lovers, and family members. This is my small contribution to the future of my family, is teaching them no kind of abuse is acceptable. They are worth so much more than that. I teach them to get rid of abusive people and that it is ok, in fact really important to do that. To call shit for what it is. And when they get rid of abusive people, the people who are left are the wonderful ones. That is where I am, left with the really sweet and wonderful people.

  • Dear Feeling Sad –

    CL is spot on (shocking, right?)! You need to go No Contact with your sister. You may share blood, but you obviously don’t share values like loyalty and integrity.

    As for your teen children, let me offer you this example: when Mr. Sparkles announced he was leaving the marriage for the OW, he took with him two teenage children (from his first marriage) that lived with us. That was four years ago. This past holiday season ALL of my “x” stepchildren came for dinner to spend time with ME… they know what’s what. They accept their Dad is a shit. They don’t try to tell me to accept him and forgive him. In fact, the first year after our separation when he tried to invite himself over for the holiday dinner, they told him to stay home… he wasn’t invited. KIDS GET IT.

    You do not need to accept abuse on behalf of the children. You do need to model resiliency and consequences.

    One less holiday card to send to ‘ole sista who’s with your mista.

  • In my situation I have gone pretty much no contact with my STBXW’s family. They did nothing wrong in my situation, and I miss them quite a bit, but I am not putting them in the middle of what has happened to my STBXW and me. I have known these people for almost thirty years, and it hurts a lot to have them out of my life, but their relationship to me was through my wife, as is the relationship that she had with my family. I can and will be civil with them when I do need to see them because they weren’t responsible for her shitty behaviour. My STBXW’s relationship with our kids is her responsibility, not my family’s or her family’s. I worry about my MIL having a relationship with my kids because my wife isn’t too friendly with her mom, but again, not really my problem.

    My own wife didn’t really understand why anyone on either side would be uncomfortable or unhappy with the divorce. She wondered how my family could throw away a nearly thirty year relationship to her. I was, to say the least, gobsmacked. That is exactly what she was willing to do! Also, everyone who knew us as a couple would take about 5 minutes to figure out that I wouldn’t have wanted this, and she would have been the one to initiate the separation. Everyone knew how devoted I was to her and the family.

    My family has been very supportive, and haven’t run her down to me. All they want is for me to be able to get my self back together, and they think about the long-term happiness of my kids. They are on my team, as it should be. I think a lot of cheaters have this problem because they can’t see what they are doing as bad. They have made it necessary in their own minds, and so everybody should be able to see that they simply had to break their marriage vows.

    • Hi Canada dad.

      Similar except for my older ex SIL. She effectively became an enabler for my ExWhore. So that was shitty.

      Although my ExWhore knew my family would cut ties (not fully but that’s another matter) she did say once in a text a while ago that she missed my family. I explained that was because of her choices, and I missed her family but I didn’t get a choice in the matter. I think that stung just a little.

  • Thank you for this post CL – it couldn’t be more timely. My situation is not the same but still hurt. I thought I was getting closer to meh but sadly no. I recently discovered my former BIL, SIL & their daughter were all friends with the OW on social media. Our divorce just became final at the end of December. I was with him & his family 25+ years. After the initial ‘we love both of you BS’, I have not heard from them. It’s good to know the OW, having broken up TWO marriages in my community, at the same time, is the kind of person you chose to be friends vs the former wife and friend of your cheating brother.

  • There is no middle ground in this kind of crap. Anyone that knows about the abuse and mistreatment that tries to play both sides needs to be held accountable. The sister in the OP is totally in the wrong.

    Of course, in the VERY rare instances where my family has to be around my X, everyone is polite, but my X has been put in his place every single time he tries to contact any of them to triangulate.

    My XH didn’t cheat, but he is a classic narcissist. About 2 years ago, there was an incident in his home and his wife quite literally dragged our then 12 year old DD out of her bed during an incident. Wife was arrested (X had called to police during a non-violent argument with his wife to teach her a lesson, and she decided to show HIM — so she grabbed my DD with the police standing feet away). By the next day, my X realized that he had created a shitstorm and went into full “make it go away” mode, and I was NOT playing. So, he went full destructive narc on me and DD. He tried to get me fired from my job, among other things. It cost me thousands of dollars and we spent over a year in court dealing with it.

    Up until that time, a few family members had stayed FB friends with him, and I really didn’t care. I kept my aggravation to myself for the most part. HOWEVER, when he started his campaign to try and destroy me for standing up for OUR CHILD, my mother emailed every single relative that showed up in his friend list and told them, without getting into details, that remaining friends with him was a direct betrayal of me, and of her. Those who asked why were given enough info to make an informed choice. Most just deleted him, as my mom is not one to stir the pot.

    Same thing with my friends. It’s pretty simple. Choose. Or I will.

  • Dear Feeling Sad,

    You are right to be angry and my advice is to do as Chump Lady says and dump her; if she’s true to you, she’ll come back with a sincere apology, if not, you’re better off without her.

    Here’s my pathetic story. My sister, a radical lesbian, was my confidante throughout the two years that I was trying to save my marriage to a narcissist and pathological liar; she knew about the emotional torture and gaslighting I was going through. I even shared important documents with her as my insurance policy in case the bad people tried to hurt me.

    One day, not long before I made the decision to divorce, I was talking to my wife and she remarked on something that I’d told no one but my sister. It was as though I’d been hit in the head with a two-by-four. It took few weeks but I eventually realized that my sister, my trusted sister, had been betraying me all along. Was she repaying me for some childhood injury? Did she have a crush on my wife? Her man-hating nature couldn’t be suppressed? I don’t know, but in a way it was worse than my wife’s cheating and lies…

    As far as I’m concerned, I no longer have a sister.

  • My comment is going to be unpopular.

    I experienced a lot of Switzerland friends, neighbors, colleagues and family. XH was very convincing at impression management and had been working on these people forever. Unless you’ve been a chump — and/or dealt with a disordered person — people just don’t get it. This is why the Chump Nation is so important. CL and CN gets it.

    FeelingSad, you’ve told your sister how you feel and my advice is to let it go. Connecting on social media and messaging is not necessarily anything. Yes, it is disappointing and infuriating but let it go. In time, she will understand how much of a turd he is.

    I’ll give your sister a pass this time because I think she is being naive. She’s drunk the collective cool-aid that ‘playing nice’ is in the best interest of everyone. So many of us were conditioned to do that – be nice – be supportive – be forgiving — it’s “the enlightened thing to do”. But it isn’t. What’s enlightened is enforcing tough love and healthy boundaries.

    • Thank you – I’m just not sure what to do next so am just going to give it time but I feel better for getting it off my chest.

  • yeah my sister follows my cheater wife on Facebook and instagram- she “likes” pictures that have my daughter in them. She doesn’t communicate with her though. I’ve been contemplating having the conversation with her to please stop. I can sender her freaking photographs.

  • Here’s an example of fuckwit betrayal. My good friend filed for divorce from her cheating alcoholic gambling-addict husband with whom she had two children. By the time she filed, he had gambled away all the equity they had so she faced losing her home. He had also been frequenting strip joints as per the receipts that fell out of his briefcase. He was charged with assaulting the wife when she filed.

    Because she was well employed and he got fired from his sales job for too many DUI’s, she faced being ordered to pat HIM spousal support. She wanted full custody for good reason.

    Her own blue haired mother, embarrassed by her divorcing daughter, showed up at the custody hearing to witness to the cheater’s good character. She said she hoped they would reconcile. She told the judge her daughter was too intolerant and should be a more obedient wife.

    My friend has never turned her back on her mother for this. She has continued to be obliged to pay the ex a stipend each month for almost 30 years because he is “disabled” and has done prison time for DUI.

  • This is off topic but may give other citizens of CN a good laugh. I just caught a preview last night for a show that will premier on CBS next month – “Living Biblically”, which is an adaptation of A. J. Jacob’s non-fiction book, “A Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible” published in 2007.

    Jacob’s television alter ego “Chip Curry”, played by Jay Ferguson (most well known as Stan Rizzo on “Mad Men”), has a spiritual awakening following the death of a friend, and after learning that his wife his pregnant with their first child. Wanting to be a better person and needing direction, he decides to live according to the laws and teachings of the Bible as closely as possible.

    In one of the scenes in the preview, Chip is leaving a restaurant when he sees a married co-worker out on a dinner date with another woman. Wanting to behave according to his new Old Testament values, he picks up a rock he finds in a potted plant and somewhat half-heartedly throws it at his co-worker. It was HILARIOUS! Maybe I only appreciated it because I’m a chump, and maybe the show is going to suck and be canceled after four episodes (I can’t tell yet), but I found the scene wonderfully refreshing even if I don’t want to go back to the days of stoning adulterers. Or maybe I do. Maybe. In my head, at least, it’s fun to throw rocks at Snakeface ex and the Spiritual Slut.

  • One thing my experience made me more aware of was that I had healthy boundaries..and that in order to have a better life I had better enforce them. Coming from a dysfunctional family it has always been a challenge but Cheating (and all those other jaw dropping indiscretions) was my dealbreaker, and anyone who was “on the fence” about my ex and his actions was immediately dropped from my life. Even family. Often those people were Narcs, or cheaters, (none of those people “got it”), or into drama, or just really screwed up anyway (I can not fix people), so I just really concentrated on things I could control. Like who to value in my life. And people who reciprocated. I really have no more time to waste on crap people.

  • I have one sibling a sister 13 months younger than I. Growing up and as young adults we followed a few rules about who we had relationships with and who we didn’t. We never dated anyone either of us had dated before with one exception. That being a fellow I had dated and after several years had passed he asked my sister out. She came to me and asked me if I had any problem with it at all before she accepted. Of course that was when we were teenagers. As adults, she was married for 14 years to a man that we all thought was a swell guy. Turns out he wasn’t. He came home from work one day and announced that he had been fired from his job for being caught cheating on her in a company vehicle. She through him out and divorced him. I was really sad for my sister but have never had any desire to be in contact with him outside of my fist jacking his jaw for what he did to her and since I am normally a non violent person I held back on that too! When my marriage fell apart because my husband turned out to be a complete cheating asshole too, Sis was there for me with a place to stay and compassion and love. She not only doesn’t want to have any contact with my asshole but doesn’t want me to either. Our Mother would just as soon shoot either one of our assholes dead as let them hurt us again and she has said as much. To Quote her ” I don’t care if I would go to jail for the rest of my life for taking either one of them out. There isn’t that much of it left and the world would be a better place” Of course she would never actually act on that unless they were threatening our lives or safety. It would never occur to me to send any type of greeting card to my sister’s ex nor her to mine. We are only civil if per chance we were to run into them.
    However I kinda think maybe the sister deserves a little slack After all you fell for your ex’s crap and bought it so even though she may know of his crap it is easy to spackle and delude ourselves which is what she is doing. That kind of thing, spackling and being a chump runs in families. Could I forgive my sister if she were to start seeing my ex? I would actually be afraid for her and more concerned that she is setting her self up to be hurt as I was. The fact that she told you to fuck off pretty much says that deep down she knows that she shouldn’t be doing it. You are divorced and so ill advised as it is for her to be involved with him you don’t have anything to say about who either of them see. You know where that road ends for her. Maybe she will dummy up before it goes anywhere but CL is right at best she is attracted to him and probably would sleep with him is the opportunity arose. I’m just sayin maybe the best course of action is to just back off and let her make the mistake because you know it will fall apart and be there when she needs to pick up the pieces. She should know better but those narcs are so sparkley!~

  • Luckily, my family is awesome and has disowned her. My BIL and sister now just refer to her as “slutface” (they at first called her “whoreface,” but then concluded that prostitutes as least have a job). She is an only child with a deceased father and an elderly mother. She never liked the rest of her family (or maybe they didn’t like her), so the loss of my family means that once her mother passes away, she will really have no close family for support. In retrospect, the fact that she was so estranged from her family should have been a clue. I know she has been trying to re-establish ties with her family, but that might be too late. Not my problem.

    I, on the other hand, have firmly re-established contact with my huge and loving family. I am so embarrassed that I allowed her to isolate me from my family because I wanted to protect her from the uncomfortableness post DDay. She even accused me of turning my family against her. I replied that I didn’t, I simply told them the truth about her behavior, and that it was her actions and their independent judgment, and they have concluded that she was indeed a “slutface.”

      • Thanks! My funny-as-hell BIL gets credit for the name. Everyone here seems to have nickname for their ex so, henceforth, my ex shall receive the well-earned title of “slutface!”

        • I haven’t really used this out loud or even on Chump Lady as I usually stick with Schmoopie, but in my head I often think of the woman who conspired with my ex to tear my family apart as “Slutface”. It makes sense. I am sure the face is involved.

  • FeelingSad,

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I absolutely believe CL hit the nail squarely and your sister is enjoying your ex’s attentions for her own ego boost. You need to back away from her.

    My STBX’s Schmoopie was a family member, so I know the pain of the type of secondary betrayal your sister is inflicting on you. I know the pain of having to cut away long-standing and important relationships because you realize that you were never as important to someone as they were to you. It’s a lot like cutting off a limb to save yourself from dying of gangrene. It’s traumatic, but necessary.

    The fear that we’re being unreasonable, that our feelings are somehow “incorrect”, is what keeps us stuck in these relationships, and we’ll tear ourselves up replaying conversations in our heads or planning the next conversation.

    Here’s the only thing that’s worked for me to quiet those thoughts:

    Take a deep breath and repeat to yourself, “I am done explaining why my feelings are important to people who are supposed to love me.”

    People who love you care when you’re upset. They care that you’re hurt. They may not understand exactly why, but they don’t try to tell you that your hurt is wrong or unimportant or not their problem. People who do those things are not acting from a place of love, and it’s not your job to try and logic them into respecting you.

    It’s time to step away from your sister. You don’t have to say that it’s forever, or that you hate her guts. You just have to shut down conversations that make you question yourself with, “I am done explaining why my feelings are important to people who are supposed to love me.”

    Big internet hugs to you. This is traumatic, but you are mighty and you will make it through this.

  • The prospect of the sister potentially wanting to sleep with him never crossed my mind. I think many people out there (relatives, friends, acquaintances) really don’t know how devastating it is to have your spouse cheat on you and or leave you for another. Additionally, I think they have the same mentally of those who say “move on”. C’mon, it’s been months and you’re still not over him/her?? Maybe their intentions are good (wanting to help the kids) but they are oblivious of the wound we carry in us.

    I’ve been betrayed by my STBX and again, by my two SILS and brother. I don’t see anything wrong with being polite and civil if your paths cross (addressing the ex-spouse with a hello (but let him/her say hello first), and then that’s it. No conversation. No small talk. Because if it was reversed and this happened to my brother, there is no way in hell I would engage in any conversation unless absolutely necessary. The idea is to let the betrayer know, you messed up. I’m not on your side. Am I too loyal? I should think not!

    • I’d agree with you, but this is her sister, and the person who went through the post D-Day trauma with. She of all people should know how badly the entire experience (she mentions emotional abuse too) has affected her sister. This isn’t your distant Great Auntie Dot, who you see once every three years.

      Also – think about this – the sister **knows** what kind of man he is. What on earth is she playing at, getting all friendly with him?

      I would agree with the majority of people here – the sister is in it for the attention and importance it gives her (AKA kibbles). She’s triangulating. The ex is scoring a massive impression management win, and the sister is letting him use her.

  • If my sister did this, I would cut her off. No “friending” or “following” on social media, no birthday cards, no Christmas presents. I wouldn’t block her or ignore occasional phone calls or not say hello at the family reunion, but that’s it.

    It’s just not acceptable for your blood family to continue to be “friends” with your ex after the abuse of infidelity.

    • I don’t think it’s just what the sister did. I think it’s also how she reacted when FeelingSad spoke to her about it. I think it’s very revealing.

      You’d hope that, after FeelingSad told her how hurtful her actions were, the sister would empathise and apologise. That she’d understand. That nothing was worth hurting her sister for.

      But no, she came up with a ridiculous excuse and it escalated into an argument. She was obviously on the defensive. This suggests she knows all too well that what she is doing is wrong and disloyal.

      Defending her actions – even to the point of an argument – was more important to her than her already betrayed sister’s feelings. I don’t like that much.

    • Completely agree with Rarity. Both your sister’s behavior and justification are unforgivable and lacking in any compassion for Feeling Sad.

  • Yep. My first thought is – she wants to fuck him, or is already.

    Don’t trust her.

    You shouldn’t have to question her own blood sister’s loyalty to you. Why would even want to give the time of day to your ex after what they did to you? Sounds suss.

    Also the reasons she gave you? Lies. It’s not for her nieces. Sorry. Liar.

  • Anyone who truely loves and supports you WOULD NOT want to be friendly with your abuser.

    My friends and family would kill my ex with their glares if they saw him again. They hate him for what he did to me. He’s a POS to them. No question about it. I know where their loyalty lies.

  • I personally would NEVER want to be friendly to someone who hurt my brother.

    End of story.

  • “Here’s my first cynical Chump Lady thought-she’s sleeping with him” BINGO !

    Is your sister one of your children’s parents ? Does she get to instruct them about values, respect and what determines good character ? Nope ! Tell her to stfu

  • That’s so sad, but your sister is definitely banging this guy.

    I know from living a very similar situation.

    Now you have to lose your sister as well. It really does suck.

    These cheaters get away with so much, until they don’t.

  • She fucked him.

    So sorry, FeelingSad. Cheating shows the real side of people even when they don’t mean to.

    Take care of yourself and your kids.

  • No doubt your sister is more than mediating. All 3 of my sisters, knowing what a monster my ex is, sided with him. Two of them slept with him. Nothing shocks me anymore. You’ll hopefully learn if you haven’t already that you can have a family of friends & ditch the blood who are self-serving & equally narcissistic. Healing is a process as is discovery & acceptance. Stick around here with us & know you’re not alone.

  • FeelingSad, I could have written your letter verbatim.

    My sister and I had been best friends my whole life. We never went a day without talking. Inseparable. We raised our children to be as close as siblings and our families were close.

    Once my marriage imploded though, things began to change between us. She became really cold and insensitive and seemed almost disgusted at how devastated I was at being chumped by my ex.

    Well SPOILER ALERT: A year after my divorce, I found out that she and my ex had an affair 3 years earlier while she was working for our company. I don’t know to what extent they were carrying on or for how long. The details don’t interest me.

    In a million years I would have never thought she would EVER do something like that to me. I had no warning or indication that she’d ever betray me like that. She has a husband and what would seem to be a very nice family life herself.

    Once I found out, I told my family because it wasn’t the kind of thing I could hold in. But the thought of a sister sleeping with another sister’s husband was just too crazy a concept for them to believe. Completely unfathomable. My family still acts perplexed why we’re not as close as we used to be. It’s all I can do to not repeatedly remind my elderly parents that I don’t want to interact with her….. because…um…she f^&(ed my husband.

    To this day, every one thinks I’m a little “crazy” to say such a thing – a sentiment she’s all too happy to perpetuate.

    But once I found out about the affair, her treatment of me during my divorce (and even now) makes sense.

    Needless to say, we have no relationship. She’s never offered an explanation nor an apology. When I do have to see her at family events, she’s a stone cold bitch who acts like I’m the one who should be ashamed of myself.

    FeelingSad, I’m sorry this is happening to you. At the very least, your sister is covetous of you in some way that’s for sure. There’s no other explanation for a sister not having her sister’s back.

  • Hi, FeelingSad:

    My sister did a similar thing right after I left my cheating fucktard ex-husband. On top of years of infidelity and prostitutes, he came home and physically assaulted me three days after I kicked him out. After all of this, my sister invited him out to dinner with her, her husband, and two young daughters. I was devastated. It went on for a few weeks until I asked my sister if we could meet and talk. I held back no emotion and let her see how much pain her actions were causing me. Her response was that she didn’t want to believe what he had done was true and she really thought we would get back together. She is quite a bit younger than I am and was only eight when my ex-husband and I got together. She couldn’t remember our family without him. Fortunately, once she saw and heard how painful her actions were for me, she cut off contact. I can’t imagine having to choose to have no relationship with her if she had continued contact with him. I hope your sister comes to her senses (and that she doesn’t have something going on with him). Best to you!

  • “Here’s my first cynical Chump Lady thought — she’s sleeping with him, or would like to.”

    That’s what I thought. She got pretty angry when you challenged her about it. Plus the birthday cards, concern for the kids…

    Hope you’re OK.

  • A Switzerland sister is another betrayal. Yet, I found that that kind of cracking pain propels you forward. People like this are those who need to go from your life. They are actually miserable because they have no values. Don’t bother keeping these superficial connections, because they will use your continued contact with them to downplay what happened to you. Dispense with the “no drama” (no values) crowd. You will feel like you have been washed clean in a pure, crisp rain.

    Very timelypost. Three Christmases ago, my adult stepchildren – whom I helped raise, educate and introduced to foreign travel – asked to stay in my life. It was D-Day for them, a few months after my own, though they had suspected. They came to the house on Xmas; I had to tell them their father was with OW. (Who had a couple of kids of her own). I said to them at the time, prepare for it, this person will be foisted on you. They replied, no, we are disgusted. We will only ever have one stepmother.

    18 months later, the oldest (FSD) had married a man with no income. I had no place at the wedding, of course. Yet soon thereafter, FSD and her siblings showered me with contact in an effort to obtain my second car. I said they could have it if their father paid it off. He had run up debt on it, it was his responsibility. They quickly dropped out of my life, apart from superficial connection on social media. No values.

    In the last few months, FSD and her sister accepted the bribe of trips overseas with their father and OW. While X is $70K in arrears in payments to me, pursuant to our property agreement. FSD put her travel with X and OW in my face on Xmas day, I called her on it and she lectured me that I needed to forgive. (She likes to announce on social media that she is very Christian.). I’ll consider forgiveness if the abuse stops, X shows remorse and asks for forgiveness. Not when Switzerlander relatives try to force forgiveness on me – or you – so they don’t have to feel awkward. (Hey, your X or Daddy gives kibbles. FSD doesn’t want to know that my need to keep a roof over my head conflicts with her need for plane tickets for her house husband. Your sis doesn’t want to know that her preoccupation with her former brother in law is NOT good for her nieces).

    I was in pain for a few days but ultimately felt so much better because I stood up for myself and did not enable the multi-generational abuse of women that takes place in this family. They are immature now and may still view Daddy or X as a prize. But at least I’m on record that “Swiss” behavior is abusive. For you, any sister that would tell you to F off over this is not one you need at this unevolved stage of her life. If she sees the light, you can consider welcoming her back. But anyone who saw what happened, yet prioritizes kibbles from abusers, can go.

  • The trouble is, people just do not ‘get’ how abusive they are, and how much the micro-abuse (hidden, covert) gets you.

    So all they see is a bitter person making a fuss and they despise you for your reactivity and lack of virtue.

  • My first husband slept with my sister. I didn’t know it until after the divorce, and both of them blamed it on me…..I was devastated. I never had proof, but by their behavior I suspect he slept with my other sister also. The one sister passed away a few years ago, after years of treating me horribly. The other sister I have cut out of my life completely. She has to be on the Cluster B scale. After divorcing my 2nd husband (a diagnosed Bi-Polar, Cluster B, high on the scale) she stepped between me and my children, helping to turn them completely against me.

    Her lies turned my entire family against me, and I have essentially been abandoned by everyone I ever loved. Even friends that have known me my entire life have cut me off, and I’ve been thrown out of my children’s lives, and have never seen my grandchild.

    The ‘family’ and ‘friend’ story is that I’m ‘mean’, ‘unforgiving’, ‘selfish’, and ‘make up lies that are so huge that they are unbelievable’. I’ve tried to educate them on Cluster B, triangulation, the years of garbage my sister has done in the whole family, not just to me, but what I get in return is a combination of: Forgive; Let it Go; Be friends with your ex (married to the latest adultery partner who fuels my children’s hatred of me); suck it up…she’s your SISTER….WTF? Stay alone for the rest of your life, no one cares. You can’t make this stuff up.

    I’m spent my life being a kind, loving person and helping other people. I’ve taught my kids respect and how to be a kind person and how to treat others well. They do with everyone but me. It’s unbelievable what Cluster B’s can do, and when they have your own sister helping them, you can’t win.

    I live utterly alone, condemned on all sides for my pain, anger, and the length of time since the divorce and I’m still not ‘ok’. It’s just painful and crazy beyond explanation.

    Cutting my sister completely off was a hard choice, as both our parents and other sister are gone, but it was the only thing i could do. I realized that not once in our life has she ever shown me love, appreciation, friendship, kindness, or support. She has physically assaulted me many times in our youth, and would now if she could get away with it. She is mean, hateful, and abusive on so many levels. My ex and she would play off of each other in a strange triangulation that they exalted in when they could hurt or humiliate me. She does it now with my daughter. I have no idea if my children will ever see the truth. They’ve rejected me and all the truth I’ve tried to tell them.

    It’s a harsh realization that being a loving, kind person just gets you gutted when your family and husband are sharks.

  • >