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Dear Chump Lady, What happens to couple friends after divorce?

forgivenesstrollDear Chump Lady,

I am 6 months post divorce after discovering my ex-wife’s infidelity in September 2013. This holiday season my children (12, 8) are with my ex-wife abroad with her affair partner on holiday with my ex in-laws. It sucks that my kids spend time with the man that helped break up my family and end my marriage, but that’s another topic.

My question today is what happens to couple friends after divorce? Can anyone remain impartial and be friends with both sides, or do things naturally drift one way or the other over time? Can I remain friends with someone who has seen me crushed, particularly those few that know the whole story of the infidelity, and who stay friends with the ex-wife? Even more challenging, are those, who as a couple, are friendly with ex-wife and her affair partner.

After a year, I’ve decided to start letting the latter category of friends wane, because it’s too hurtful, as I wouldn’t the same to a friend. Or am I wrong or unique in my view? Do you need to have been through infidelity to fully understand the hurt that this causes?

Appreciate your view and advice.

Carlos

Dear Carlos,

You don’t need to have gone through infidelity to understand that it hurts like a motherfucker. You just need to know that it’s unjust.

And there’s the rub, Carlos. We live in an age where people are loathe to judge injustice. Two sides to every story. No one knows what goes on in a marriage. They grew apart, blah, blah, blame shift, blah.

I can’t explain the fashion for being Above Judgment, because judgement is essential to living and especially to avoiding disaster. Should I invest my retirement savings in Beanie Babies? Should I befriend the neighborhood pedophile? Ride my bike down a flight of stairs?

If we didn’t judge people and situations, we’d be a bunch of jelly-brained imbeciles. Anyone could steal our lunch money. We’d be adrift. Good Samaritans would have to pin our addresses to our sweaters and walk us home.

Fact is, we judge every day. Worthy! Unworthy! Good risk! Bad risk!

The shit sandwich of dealing with the People Above Judgment is that they did judge, they just found you unworthy. But they don’t want to come out and say that. They’d rather pronounce the situation ambiguous and unknowing. We can all be friends, of course. Because that’s easier on them. Then they don’t have to make judgment calls or think of people differently, or rearrange their social calendars and seating charts. Let’s Pretend That Never Happened. Your grief isn’t nearly as important as their discomfort. So let’s make believe you aren’t grieving.

In fact, let’s pretend the problem is you and your bitterness and inability to confer forgiveness and move on. Then we never have to consider the injustice of this situation, the pain of you and your children, or our moral culpability at befriending someone who helped break up a marriage. If the problem is YOU and Something You Did (or did not do, like grant forgiveness), then infidelity isn’t so scary. Infidelity only happens to those who deserve it, who do the Wrong Sorts of Things. Unlike the smug People Above Judgment who are immune from chumpdom.

Cheaters have many narratives, but the favorite is happiness. Hey, we deserve to be happy. Really this is for the best. Carlos, in time, will be happier too! He’ll find someone who is a better fit, and hey, really he owes to all to this life change made possible by infidelity. No harm, no foul!

Dimmer people think… well, who can be against happiness! They don’t ask themselves at what cost? And who is paying that cost? They think… Carlos’s ex seems happy. Happy people are easier and more fun to be around than grief-stricken, angry people. Walking into Carlos’s pain is rather a bummer. So… let’s (judge!) go with the Happy People.

Don’t you like Happy People, Carlos? What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you forgive and be friends?

Well, that all makes a perverse sort of sense if you lack empathy and have no moral compass. (I’m sure stealing my bank card and buying 15 hamburgers confers happiness on someone.)

The fact is, Carlos, you don’t have anything in common with people who would be friends with your cheating ex. You don’t share the same values. You said yourself, you would not do this to a friend. Ergo — these people are not your friends. There is no reciprocity there. They would not behave in the manner you would behave. You don’t share the same moral world view.

One hard blessing of infidelity is that it shows you who your real friends are, and who is a waste of space. Who can stand with vulnerability and grief, and who runs away.

This is an opportunity, Carlos, to fix your picker in all aspects of life and cherish the people close to you, who really have your back, and dump the losers who don’t. And when you do that, you’ll discover that you’re a hell of a lot more “meh” about your ex. You ARE happier. You aren’t pick me dancing with the friendship circle over who gets the “friends.”  You really don’t give a shit any more.

Your new life will eclipse your old life Carlos, and into the darkness goes the smug assholes who don’t deserve you.

This column ran previously.

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  • The friend thing.

    Thing is, we didn’t have friends together. He had his and I had mine. And when we divorced, I disassociated myself from every single one of “his” friends and family.

    I haven’t regretted it at all. None of them gave a shit about me or our family.

    • Me too. No regrets at all. I’m filling my life with people who support me one hundred percent and no one else. It’s been a fantastic healthy decision

    • Absolutely Sunflower! I had mine – he didn’t have a single long term friend, I shared mine. The few couple friends we had were either my friends to begin with, or they were casual friends. As he discarded them too, there wasn’t an issue. And I gladly let go of his dysfunctional family, no regrets!

    • Hey, me too. He had his friends and I had mine. He never included me or introduced me to his friends as I did him. I thought it strange, but never said much about it.

      He did constantly belittle and bitch about my friends ~ now I know it was because he didn’t want them to know the real him and have to see the abandoning cheating asshole he was first hand.

      His family? What a joke. MIL said ~ everyone divorces Jodi, get over it. Yeah, right.

    • Ex had a friend form grade school who was in our wedding. A few years later he got married and we hit it off really well as couples. Then we both had three children more or less the same ages who also hit it off. We used to frequently travel with them. When our marriage blew up, they were shocked even before they knew about Schmoopie. I still remember visiting them with the kids on the way back from another event and confiding that we were in MC and I felt that it wasn’t going to end well and that ex was likely to leave me. That was early after DDay and I was still somewhat in blame myself mode. The wife looked me in the eye and told me “you were a good wife”. That validation meant so much to me. Later I gave ex the opportunity to reach out the husband of that couple who he had been friends with for so long so that he could have a confidant and provide his side of the story. He refused. The wife, who was concerned for my wellbeing contacted me and through probing questions got the whole truth. She has been solidly on my side ever since and has been very supportive when I needed it most. The husband is also quietly supportive from the sidelines. Ex has not been in contact with either of them for a very long time. For a while I felt guilty because I was commandeering mutual friends when the original friendship started with ex. I don’t feel guilty about that anymore.

      • Having this couple support and validate your feelings is what I wanted 30 years ago from a cousin who married my ex’s best friend. Instead, I received no validation or any conversation whatsoever from my cousin and her husband. I literally didn’t hear from her during our year long separation and after I got my divorce; ostracized pretty much; I assume because my marital status and quite possibly my financial status had changed. To this day my cousin’s husband is still friends with my ex – in fact, he stood in for him on his 4th marriage; my cousin on the other hand – I only see her at family reunions and funerals. I heard she thinks she hasn’t done anything wrong. smh – We were like sisters during jr. high and high school years. Oh well. Still in pain from this experience 34 years and counting. She puts the Z in Switzerland friend for sure. On the other hand, I must admit with reservation, her husband really knows a thing or two about loyalty even if it involves being loyal to evil personified.

    • I see from this thread that the cheaters of many others are like my narc X: very few friends of his own, but happy to latch onto yours or anyone else’s temporarily . Hmmmm…. wonder why that is?

      • My guess is that they mimic attachment bonds you have or create. I think they are incapable of forming authentic bonds on their own. I think they mirror the same in relationships with their spouses and even with OW/OM. All inauthentic. Like CL says: Shallow puddles.

        • So true. When I walked out of my 36 year relationship all but 2 of his close friends left with me. Even his family wished him happiness and walked away. I framed his whole life, I maintained his relationships with his old friends with organised social occasions. I simply shared my life with him. He doesn’t have a single photo of his 3 children, or me. He is apparently happier but completely alone in our little farm house. His life is a train wreck. His MOW has already broken up with him 4 times (isn’t that a great future to build on). What a great choice he made. Guess he must have really despised me!

    • I was open to Switzerland friends.
      Until they decided it was ok to go on holidays with stnex and his trashy gf for a week in our still family cabin. Who the fuck does that.
      That made it really easy for me to get some boundaries and tell them we have no shared values or morals and therefore nothing I’m common anymore. Bye bye. Switzerland doesn’t shine as brightly for me anymore. Truth is I asked myself what they brought to my life before this happened and astonishingly it was nothing.
      A few of at exes high school friends that 30 years later continue to tell the same old drunk stories and aren’t stuck in a time warp.
      Like the ex they offer me nothing.

      • Thos is absolutely my experience, wrecked. His sister, whom I was very close to for 20 years, but who tried to sue us and didn’t speak to us for 11 years – because of his choices, I just stayed heartbrokenly loyal to him – had him and Trinket to stay just weeks after I found out. And was still sharing a home with him. Another old friend has demonised ME! WTF? But, although I grieve the loss, I am very, very aware he is a boring, alcohol dependent man who relives past glories. Has nothing to add to my life anymore. Still hurts though x

    • I feel badly for Carlos, he was obviously into his marriage all the way with the couple friends, etc. His scenario hurts more and is less tell tale than those of us who had our own friends and lives aside from marriage. He was all in. He is losing it all. Stand strong Carlos, there are better people in your future! It hurts like hell but you will be better off on the other side. ((hugs))

  • Another dead-on article by Chumplady. It really is a great time to be a lying cheating marriage destroying selfish asshole, isn’t it? Nobody fucking judges it. What did you do to deserve it, chump? And the cheaters and spouse stealers get to ride off into the sunset with no consequences of any kind. Not only is it too goddam easy to get divorced, but you don’t even get condemned by your community, employers, etc. “Bob was unhappy. His wife was such a bitch. Aw, poor Bob. Let’s all shun the plague that is the bitter abandoned ex”. Such a fucked up world we’re living in

    • Really it should be easy to get a divorce. I once lived in Virginia — which requires physical separation of a year AND one day! before you can even FILE.

      Versus Texas — over in 60 days. That’s humane.

      • I yust filed in our court today. I will be over in one month.

        BTW. No common friends with my STBX. So there is no need to dump some friends. Her friends are the same kind like STBX. Same cheating, lying, blameshifting, gaslightning… ass holes.

        Thamk god it is ower now.

        Im leaving a cheater – gaining a life.

        • Well done Sunflower36.

          But we have three teenagers, therefore we need to go to the court to confirm our agreement about custody.

          • I have 2 kids ages 6 and 8 at the time. We agreed beforehand and entered into the record.
            It’s a loose agreement that needs tweaking, but neither one of us saw any reason to drag it out. At least we agreed on that.

            Pretty easy when you don’t have a pot to piss in and he wants to desperately present his whore as legitimate.

      • THIS, and the lack of biological children and shared property is why I agreed to a dissolution instead.

        At the time, the Sluterus’ pregnancy was kept from me, but it would not have changed my decision. I did not want to file taxes with Cold Cuts. If I had waited one year to file, he would have had a four month old Adultery Baby, a different live in girlfriend and wife simultaneously.

        As Eliza Hamilton would say, I removed myself from that narrative. Better than Eliza, I went No Contact and left the manwhore to clean up his own mess.

      • Tracy,
        That only applies when children are involved. VA is an at fault state. One of the few remaining ones. It’s also a Commonwealth.
        If adultery can be proven, the wronged spouse has grounds to file immediately. Of course Adultery charges are hardly ever made public record. Injustice indeed. You can steal a fireball from a store and be labeled for life but not get labeled for destroying another persons life.
        “Puritanical” is the description I read on a legal site I perused.
        When kids are involved the 1 year rule is enforced. More job security for “system workers”… there’s a lot of $ to be made.
        Meh!

        • Yeah. It should be a crime. But that’s just not the world we live in when cheating is “no fault”

          • Adultery Used to be actionable where I live, until legislators got tired of being criminalized for their adultery and threw out the law in the 70’s.

      • It should be harder to get married and easier to get divorced. Wouldn’t it be great if every marriage was happy, fulfilling and lasted forever? Yes it would, but life is not a Disney fairytale. I am of the opinion that there are too many people who stay that should have left long ago. This phenomena does not create more happy marriages, it creates more cheaters.

        • I think people are often unhappy in their marriages when they really don’t need to be. Many are really just miserable in their lives in general and end up blaming the spouse and the marriage when that really has nothing to do with it. Leaving your marriage rarely solves those problems and neither does swapping out one life partner for another (hence the higher divorce rate for second marriages). Marriage always takes work. Some people don’t get that. The grass is greener where you water it. Unless someone is being abused (and infidelity counts), MC should come before divorce. That allows couples a chance to work through issues when possible. If it really isn’t possible then that allows both parties to come to grips with that fact together and end the marriage in a respectful way. If one side refuses to engage in counseling, then the unhappy spouse has a right to divorce, but he/she has no right to go looking for a replacement first. People make vows when they get married and those vows should mean something. When you get married you are agreeing to be partners who will work together to make decisions that affect the family. You agree to take your partner in sickness and in health and for better or for worse. You are making a serious commitment and that should not be taken lightly. You are making a covenant and it should be treated with the same seriousness as any legal contract. It isn’t enough to just stay in the marriage, you have an obligation to make an effort to love, honor, and cherish your partner unless given a truly valid reason not to. Valid reasons do not include things like being busy with kids/jobs, aging, inconvenient health issues, etc. which are to be expected as life goes forward. You even get warned that it’s coming within the vows themselves. It also shouldn’t include things like how you load the dishwasher or what clothes you wear. Loving someone isn’t just an emotion, it really is a choice that you make every day. It should take something serious, painful and unexpected to make you chose to stop loving someone, not just a loss of sparkles.

      • I agree with chump lady faster is so much better—so you can get on to healing. It’s hard to heal when you’re going through the shit shoe of divorce. What needs to change is the ability for one spouse to steal from the other in the safety of marriage before the discard with no consequences and that they can just simply stop working( mine did that to the tune of 500k under the guise of “investing” in what was a failing business). Mine didn’t work full time for 4 years after the first dday. He only earned 8k the year we separated and I was paying for three properties. He could have legally sought spousal support from me. That’s just wrong, wrong wrong. No reason for it either he is very employable..

      • 1 year and a day to file here in Sydney as well. Hoping we can get court orders drawn up re: financials and care arrangements etc. before that, though.

        Really hoping she accepts what we’d verbally agreed to re: both. If it gets drawn out, it means less finances to both of us and our kids. Hopium in a way, I know.

    • I feel like I want to clarify here. It should be “easy” to divorce in abusive situations. It sure didn’t used to be. But the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Now anybody can say “well he didn’t make my coffee every morning. I really didn’t feel “fulfilled”. People don’t value committment in marriage anymore. It’s optional. I can drum up any dumbass excuse at any time and everybody will be fine with it. Why bother getting married at all?

      • we were typing at the same time Tracy! Lol. I knew as soon as I hit “post” that I didn’t want to say it should be hard to divorce. But you get my point. There isn’t much in society or the law anymore motivating people to be faithful and loyal. I’m not sure what the solution is, legally speaking. I want a magic wand here lol

        • In general, I agree, struggling. One step toward improvement I think are things like this blog. Most people are good. They do commit and are honest. They just don’t know anything about the traits, tactics or motives of the cheater minority. This lack of knowledge makes chumps what they are, and it is part of what makes non-judgemental friends what they are. You could spend just a single afternoon reading a dozen or so posts here and come away with a whole new level of awareness. Not acceptance necessarily, but awareness. Today’s post alone would be an eye-opener for many an ignorant friend in the middle.

          I don’t think they are committed to this belief system of judging non-judgement. They just entirely lack the tools to even begin to make an accurate judgment about cheating, it is so foreign to them as are the deep defects and cunning that go along with it. In short, these friends are just as chumpy towards the cheater as we once were, and they don’t have benefit of the cheater directly harming them into a clearer grasp of reality.

          I know, there’s more to it. I totally agree that this is an age where virtuousness is claimed by all who “don’t judge”. The only thing acceptable to judge is someone else who wasn’t afraid to judge. That’s you, the angry chump. IMO this is aided by our misguided churches.

          CL, if you write another book, a tremendous topic for our benefit and for changing the narrative outside of our choir might be exactly this. A tutorial for “friends”. Easing them into the actual truth about character disorder in cheating, what a real friend should do and why (and calling them out on every thing in today’s post…), introducing them to the laughably predictable playbook all cheaters use, the narrative all cheaters sell, and so on. “A Dummies Guide to Cheaters” or “So You’re Friends with a Cheater (You Have No Idea What You Don’t Know)”. Snark and humor, like you do so well, would make it entertaining, and no one spells out complex psychology and emotion as concisely and understandably. It would be an invaluable tool for us to refer others to, and to give as Christmas presents! And it would be a direct approach to getting the message out beyond our community.

          It’s not really new material, just directed at an audience in the middle so to speak.

          I know, like you have nothing else to do…

          • People really just have no idea that there are so many seemingly normal high functioning people who prey on others. Most people simply cannot fathom it. They want to believe predators are only killers and psychos. But cheaters are right there on the same spectrum as killers and psychos. It is chilling to believe you could be living with someone and not truly know them. Its much less scary to normalize bad behavior. It is almost something that we are hard wired to ignore. A bit like the reality of mortality. But i agree with cl, to ignore bad behavior is to ignore danger. And cheaters would like nothing more than for their behavior to be normalized or ultimately ignored altogether. I think this is why they want to “nice you up” after d-day. They are damn terrified of *us* really. And by not allowing that shit we can maintain a position of strength.

            • 100% correct ! If you think about what the mindset of the cheater has to be in order to do what they do you begin to realize that you are dealing with a very dangerous individual.

        • I see your points, and agree that society should value honor and responsibility more than we do.

          But no one should want to stay with someone who doesn’t want to be with them. The person who wants out of a relationship badly enough to file for divorce should be able to get out. And the other person should have enough self-respect not to want to hang onto the spouse who doesn’t want to be married to them.

          • You would hope that would be the case, but sadly isn’t always. A buddy of my brother in law told his wife years ago probably ten years ago now that he wanted a divorce….she threatened to kill herself..he stayed…a few years later he tried again…same result. He is still with her, but also has a girlfriend now for a couple of years..his social circle is well aware, and many have met his GF. He has a well paying job and his SAHW does not want to give up her “lifestyle”. Very sad….

            • A friend of mine just divorced after telling his then-wife he couldn’t take any more 15 years ago. She pulled the same drama (suicide threats) plus threatened to destroy him if he tried to divorce her (not sure how she thought she would accomplish that). Poor guy lost 15 years of his life in a marriage he didn’t want to be in. Even then, the X dragged out the divorce for 18 months–refused to engage in disclosure, refused to respond to financial offers, she even refused to sign the final paperwork after settlement (he had to go back to court & have the judge sign the papers for her).

              That’s why divorce needs to be relatively easy; people who need/want one are deterred from seeking a divorce because intransigent spouses can make one’s life a living hell.

              • This is exactly what I mean!! Some people can’t deal with the threats, the stigma, the guilt. So absolutely, they end up losing YEARS of their life. It is NOT a marriage, it is a prison. In this case, he was actually a gun collector, and she frequently would threaten to use one on herself while he was traveling for work. Humans are not perfect but should be allowed the ability to reclaim their lives after making an error in judgement in the most respectful way possible.

      • I agree that there’s a problem with some folks not taking marriage seriously enough, but I don’t think making it legally inconvenient to divorce is the answer. I never want someone to say with me because divorce is legally inconvenient. You want something else? Go. Now.

        I will give better than that, and I demand better than that.

        • Exactly, Nomar, if my partner WANTS to leave me, or I WANT to leave them, whether for good reasons or bad, it should be easy to get out of that legal entanglement. You LIGHTLY head for divorce? I want you OUT of my life.

          What’s the line? Don’t make anyone a priority for whom you are only an option.

    • Struggling I so agree. No one has called my ex out on his bad behavior. He lied, cheated and hid money but none of his family believes he cheatered. They were “just friends “ 🤨. I suspected some of our mutual friends knew what he was doing so I cut them off . All of his family abandoned me and my daughter from another marriage. I guess 23 years of marriage means nothing.

  • A really good friend(she cut our families hair for almost 20 years- in our home) decided she was going to dump her husband of 30 years and go with her high school sweetheart. She had actually made some moves on my husband several months before. We had both noticed.

    She had two young adult daughters and a twelve year old son. Left the twelve year old with the dad.

    She called me two weeks later to tell me why. He was her soulmate. I told her she needed to come home immediately and take care of her son. How could she do this to him?

    Of course I was judging her. You bet I was! She divorced her husband and married the other guy. She came into town and wanted to see me and have me meet him. I told her no way.

    I’ve never spoken to her since.

    • One little aside in your letter–that she had sniffed around your husband a while back–speaks volumes. She had previously revealed her true colors to you.

      • Yup a friend of ours introduced my ex to his final AP—the one he soiled my bed with( and my bed at our cottage and my bed at our house in Florida) good riddance to garbage…

  • This is my lesson these days. The friends of 25+ years. The “can’t pick sides” friends.

    I can. So I guess I will.

    The harder part is maintaining the relationships between the kids. So, I’m finding ways to make that happen. It’s like co-parenting w/ my X; least amount of contact & communication to make it happen.

    But D has taught me my worth. They are not worthy of me anymore, although it stings.

    • I have suspicions of those who “don’t want to judge”. No, thank you. One of my good friends turned out to be my cheater’s confidente, and I suspect she wanted more. Cheater wasn’t attracted to her, or it probably would have been more. Anyhow, she wound up having an affair, too.

      So I am cordial to her. And that is all. I want to surround myself with people who have the same values as I, and, sadly, she isn’t one of them.

      I like the folks HERE at CN, and wish we could have a few meetups. God knows we have traumatic experiences in common….

      • 👏👏👏Sometimes you just have to finally see people for they really are and slowly back away. Sucks though. It’s a whole other journey to find more people of character – not cowardice and delusion. I’m on that path right now too. There’s a spiritual process to go through to “discern” – the “evolved” way to judge 😉 – who you can really trust. You don’t have to be arrogant to the people you can’t, but you can acknowledge to yourself that because of their own weaknesses, fears, desperation, cowardice, lack of integrity, it will always be easy for them to supress empathy for you if they have something to gain for their ego – and that is definitely most humans.

        • The “it’s none of my business” people who go to help Dr. Clueless move to his fancier apartment when he says he can’t afford child support, and have beers with him because he’s sad that people won’t sit next to him in the cafeteria, totally ignore he intentionally blew up 4 innocent children and 2 innocent adults and cut child support in half after getting a $12K annual raise, etc., blah blah blah.

          I’m sorry, NO. Would I hang out with Hilter just because I’m not Jewish so “It’s none of my business?” Um, no. Grow a spine people. “No” and “Hell, no” are sometimes very appropriate responses.

          Then again, if you’re super cool with hanging out with Sir Lies A Lot, have at it. I don’t need you.

          National meet up? I’M IN. Email me at liarmagnet@mail.com if you’re serious. Let’s plan it for this summer! I’ve gathered some ideas from a few CN people lately and we can make it work. 🙂 Chump power!

    • I need to learn how to do this. One set of mutual friends have stood by STBX, which means I am done with them. Ds is close to their kids though and was asking this morning about seeing them. Ugghhh it’s enough having to deal with STBX.

      • It might be good for the kids to have friends of their own ages, even if their parents aren’t your friends. Why not let them get together?

  • “Cheaters have many narratives, but the favorite is happiness. Hey, we deserve to be happy. Really this is for the best. Carlos, in time, will be happier too! He’ll find someone who is a better fit, and hey, really he owes to all to this life change made possible by infidelity. No harm, no foul!”

    ^^^^ This. I cannot tell you how many times my STBX has said these words, almost verbatim. “Life is short —I deserve to be happy!” And “You’ll see — you’ll be happier too in time!” And “These things happen! You’ll see — it is all for the best!” And perhaps my favorite, “Our kids will be fine! Ultimately, kids just want their parents to be happy!”

    The selfishness, narcissism, and ability to rationalize everything — it’s beyond comprehension.

    • My ex said the exact same thing to me, word for word. Happiness at the expense of me and 5 innocent kids 🙁. I’m not saying I was “happy” or that I won’t be happier than with him, but I was in it and I was trying, he wasn’t.

      • Heard the same things. His happiness was more important than mine or… more importantly .. our 5 kids.

      • It’s so damned ridiculous isn’t it? These lines are all the same, it’s eye opening.

        STBXW was simply unhappy and wanted to be happy. Sure, my life wasn’t exactly rosy either, dealing with 2 toddlers whilst she “went out for coffee with her sister” 4 or more nights a week.

        Her happiness has destroyed the family life of us and our 2 kids (5 and 3), and will cost us our home (she likely won’t be able to buy me out). This means neither of us or our kids will likely ever be able to own property in this horrendously overpriced city.

        It also destroyed (what I thought was) our dreams and plans for the future – which may actually hurt the most.

        All for some arsehole dick and the thrill of sneaking around and getting attention from another man.

    • This is my favourite as well, the “happiness” narrative! His happiness seems to involve seeing his children once every three months and talking to them on the phone for 10 minutes once a week for 10 minutes for 3 children. It is painful to witness neither side changing anything about their life’s. They don’t want to Skype because they don’t want to see his “happy face”. It doesn’t acknowledge their pain which really pissed them off. Foreign holidays and meals in shopping malls seem to be the new “happy” for him. I get to have the children 24/7 but it isn’t much different from before d day. I am just afraid he will turn up again! The children don’t want to see him but are too scared of him to tell him 😢

      • Yeah, I was mildly reassured, a few months post Affair #2 and my kicking him out, by the idea that ex might actually manage to be happier (he was a miserable fucker most of the time, which of course impacted all of us, and had refused to do anything about it). Family life did not seem to suit him. Of course, single life and couple life (with me and his previous long-term girlfriend) hadn’t suited him either ….. But maybe!

        And I at least hoped he could have a better relationship with the kids. After all, he would only have them about 15% of the time (which he quickly agreed to, in our 50-50 jurisdiction). He wouldn’t have the real responsibilities of raising them, more like visits. He could perhaps then actually enjoy that time with them! He could be a Disney Dad, and a positive relationship with a Disney Dad would better than the kids’ relationship with the mediocre actual father he had always been.

        But of course….. the sparkle of his ‘new life’ wore off fast, he was sooooo unhappy, he couldn’t handle even the 15% of time with the kids without conflict and meanness and neglect. Then within less than a year, he CHOSE to move to where Shmoops lived, and to cut his time with the kids to a day and a half, twice a month. Their hearts were truly broken. That was the beginning of the end of their relationship with him.

        So, as I had predicted, those HUGE prices were paid by the kids and I, and he WASN’T EVEN HAPPIER!

        Moron. Any thinking person could have seen this coming. Just not him.

    • I got all of those as well as, “millions of people are divorced, and they make it work.” I especially love “These things happen.” Yeah… These things just “happen.” It had nothing to do with cheater’s selfish and intentional choices and actions….they just “happen,” out of nowhere….like earthquakes or thunderstorms. I heard a lot of stupid crap from ex during divorce (and marriage for that matter!!), but this one takes the cake.

      • I’m making my divorce “work” by continuing to have absolute contempt for my X as a human being, and minimizing my contact with him to absolutely-necessary texts about our minor child.

        “Works” for me! ‘Conscious uncoupling’ from a fuckwit who buried a saber in my back to the hilt, and invested in someone at the expense of his children, would be a betrayal of my self-respect and my moral compass.

        • I am in absolute agreement! He tells people we get along and are friends. What horseshit! I just don’t waste my time & energy communicating in any way. I wouldn’t call it “meh” yet but that’s the aim. Tempest you are mighty! Someday I’d love to meet you- I bet u are your children’s rock.

    • I hate betrayers smd Swotzerland friends telling you that ‘It’s for the best’ as if cheater/liar who is discarding faithful partner is being magnanimous and thoughtful, in a patronizing way, trying to do what’s best for you, a grown Chump who is being treated as a child with an intrllectual capacity of a three-year-old. They never bring up the elephant in the room–maybe, just maybe, cheater/liar is doing what he/she is doing out of just self-interest and is working on impression management because he/she doesn’t want to look like an a–hole nor feel like one but ‘wants what he/she wants’ with no negative consequences.
      And unfortunately, no, not all of us chumps who would like to have a decent partner will find somebody better or somebody (a partner) at all.

      • You need to stop selling yourself short. You have been put through the wringer by manipulative selfish and abusive people. You didn’t deserve it and there is no reason to believe that you would not be capable of attracting better partners. Don’t let those assholes determine your sense of self worth. You do need to fix your picker, but part of that is not settling for less because you think it is that or nothing. Even if it is nothing, you are better off and you may find that in the long run you are happier that way anyway. Then the only person you need to please or be concerned about is yourself (and your kids). But that will be because you choose that, not because you are not worthy of or incapable of attracting a decent partner. I have no doubt that you could, but you need to believe it. I know how hard that can be after discard (especially after the second one) but you need to understand that they are the ones who were messed up not you. Stick up for yourself and don’t settle for less. If you end up partnerless it will be because nobody out there is good enough for you, not the other way around. Never again will you let yourself be encumbered by someone who is unworthy of you.

    • What’s funny now 6+ years after Dday and the divorce is that I am extremely happy and the cheater is not.
      I guess the OM isn’t so fabulous and “light years better than me” anymore. So, when she whines at me (still have to deal with her for a few more years until youngest kiddo is 18), I play dumb and repeat back to her word for word her quotes from Dday and during the divorce:
      “You’ll see — you’ll be happier too in time!” and “These things happen! You’ll see — it is all for the best!”.

    • Cheaters can only be temporarily happy. They see their spouse as temporary and changeable. They lack any concept of dedication or loyalty. When they don’t get their “feels” sensation they are done.

  • Sunflower
    Must be a cheater thing as STBX had his own friends also and I really didn’t want to see them again. He lived a selfish single mans lifestyle where I was hardly included anyway..

  • In my case, he was a terrible friend to his lifelong friends. I was the one who maintained contact with them while we were married. During the discard, he started gathering new “friends”. Really they are more of drinking acquaintances. I doubt they would help him in a time of need.

    His long time friends, the ones who stood up in our wedding, have been drifting away from him for years. I still maintain contact with some of them, as I became good friends with one of the wives and our children are friends. They are disgusted with his behavior and agree he has done personality disorder.

    My X thinks he is still friends with these people, mostly because I don’t think he knows what a true friend is. He hasn’t even told any of them about the OW and the baby that will be here any day now.

    Most of his new “friends “ are business associates, just like the OW. I’m sure they are actually mostly her friends.

    I’m not sorry about losing his family. His brother and wife barely talked to us at holidays and never made an effort to spend time with us even though they live 5 miles away. I heard his brother skipped attending Easter this year because he had to do his taxes. Weird family. Oh and they never said anything to me about my cancer. After surgery his mom said she had been thinking about me all day, but no one ever offered help or asked how I was doing during chemo & radiation. So after the divorce I didn’t really lose anything.

    • ((((Cancer Chump)))
      As to ex MIL saying she thought about you all day, well actions speak louder than words, AND, NO actions, speak even louder.

      You were too good for all of them!
      ❤️

  • You don’t know what their relationships are really like. The cheater probably make sure they told their “story” first. I think the friends secretly may even blame the cheated on, especially women, women friends however friendly can be very bitchy. Incidentally if a cheater has friends that cheat the cheater is more likely to cheat.

    • My X spent months at least, if not years, priming friends and family for my discard behind my back. God only knows what he said about me.

    • “Incidentally if a cheater has friends that cheat the cheater is more likely to cheat.”

      Yes, Susan! I noticed that the friends who stuck with my cheater after he destroyed our marriage were all cheaters themselves. I called them “The Divorced Men’s Club.” The Divorced Men’s Club includes some married men as well, but now I’m positive they’re all cheaters.

      In my case, I retained the majority of the married-couple friends we had. Both husbands and wives. In some cases, I think the husbands might not have been judgmental, but the wives were, and they rule their husbands’ social lives. So, I was in and ex was out. I love them all!

      We had one couple we were particularly close to. We’d known each other for over 30 years. The husband is an alcoholic but made all the money. He traveled a lot for work. The wife confided in me that she thought he’d cheated on her but didn’t know for sure. She didn’t want to know. They tried to stay “impartial” and friends with both of us. I tolerated this for about a year, then “broke up” with them by email, explaining that I couldn’t be friends with anyone who thinks my ex is an OK guy. I miss them, but I’m very comfortable with my policy.

      When my marriage imploded, I told all my friends the full and entire story of cheating, lying, and secrecy. Anyone who stayed “impartial” after knowing those details was OUT. People who took my “side” will be my friends forever.

      • Totally agree with this too – my STBX’s only friends (if you could even call them that – really just drinking and whoring buddies) all cheated too. One is divorced a couple times already, the others have big reputations and wives that like the money too much so they stay.

        I always thought it was strange he never had any close friends either old or new, and I have a lots of them, from everywhere I’ve lived since high school. We had some mutual couple friends over the years, but he alienated most of them so we aren’t close enough for me to reconnect now. And anyone who knows me and is my friend has stayed my friend.

        I think narcs tire of people and discard them when they are not useful anymore – just like they did to us.

        I do think it is deeper than just choosing sides, though. Some friends just don’t want to hear about the pain and grief – for their own reasons. They shun you because they can’t or won’t be vulnerable, are afraid to be empathetic or that the divorce is contagious or something. Those friends are now just people I say hi to and walk away…

  • My friendly neighbour said the ow, is probably more interesting than you. Proven alcoholic, junkie, part time prostitute, mugs pensioners, dump her kids, tells terrible lies, actually gave my details to a porn site, they contacted me. I can see why my ex was attracted to her. She wasn’t allowed to argue with him. Wasn’t that great was he?

    • To be honest…that is a heck of a life life there! For sure she is more interesting…in a psychopathic way.
      I’m sure you’re not going for that.
      One thing these cheaters like is drama…soap opera style.
      Everyone in their lives are at extremes. Either really crazy, or really wonderful, or really mean or really awesome. They don’t understand the in between. But bless their hearts, they will swear they do ! And they will swear that they do so better than you…you really mean, really immature, really bad chump!

      Crazy is as crazy does.
      Don’t let them take you down the rabbit hole with them.

  • If you are unfortunate enough to be leaving a cheater, who launched a smear campaign to defend their “image”, people you thought were your friends drop like acid rain. It’s funny how cheaters were married and miserable for decades and their cheating suddenly makes them realize you are mentally unstable, lazy, a gold digger, (insert lie here), whatever happens to fit into their narrative that they are the victim of the chumps bad character. DARVO … deny, attack, reverse victim and offender.

    People aren’t smart enough to see past the charisma and lies and judge cheaters for their true character. Superficial charm is used to hide the real nature of their behavior….. and gee, who doesn’t believe someone who compliments your clothing choices is a great person. They have lots of Facebook friends and are good at impressions, so hey, must be a good person right? They use people as props and then more people line up to become the next prop. It’s like being inside the children’s story “The Emperors New Clothes” idiocy is contagious!

    Truth is, morality doesn’t mean a whole lot to a large group of the population. People judge others on how they make them feel, and that’s pretty easy to do when you are superficially charming. The “friends” that can’t handle real (grief, sadness, truth) aren’t interested in how you feel, they are interested in how you make them feel. They want to feel good, so better get good at fake because they don’t have the capacity to share pain! My favorite “friends” are the ones who stick around long enough to get the dirt, and then disappear with enough gossip to keep them interesting for a while.

    You eventually come to the conclusion that simple minds don’t have the capacity, desire, or … just don’t give a shit, to see past the fake. Sure, it would be nice not to be socially excluded because you won’t put on the fake “oh yeah, I want to be best friends with my ex and their smoopsie” for the benefit and comfort of others, but as we chumps know, finding your worth isn’t limited to leaving a cheater.

    Real empathetic people are rare, but they are out there. Though it is painful to lose “friends” the good thing is, they do the work of decluttering your life of their presence.

    • Exactly. charm and manipulation.

      I always think of Bill Cosby when this comes up. How many people over the years downplayed any weirdness or behavior that didn’t pass the sniff test??? Or just ignored things? How does a sociopath go years and years and years abusing and raping women without being caught until his 70s?

      He was charming, wealthy and spoke and sold goods frequently touting conservative family values.
      Yet So many who probably knew otherwise and did not speak up! Did not refuse to be part of his gimmick. The victims paid the price for lack of courage.

      As Elie Wiesel advocated, neutrality only helps the oppressor. And thank you CL for reminding and encouraging us to be brave and just everyday!

      My point – I would distance myself from these spineless sorts. They’re not your friends.

  • One of my closest friends took my ex’s side. She does the books for his farm because he’s so helpless. That was my job for 24 years. She has seen that I probably spent 10k at the casino the last year of marriage when my life spiraled out of control after Dday2. I needed something mindless but felt stupid later. She didn’t acknowledge the fact he had molested a nephew. She went with his excuse of “I was drunk” and that made it ok. After I divorced his sick ass, somehow the casino doesn’t call to me anymore. She was one of the few people I had confided in when I first discovered he liked men. I didn’t find out about my nephew for another year. Screw her!

    • I am so sorry for your pain. I truly am.

      Liking men and molesting children are not remotely the same thing. Could we kindly avoid spreading that impression? I know it’s hard when you’ve been betrayed, but coming out and pedophilia are not the same thing.

      • She’s not saying that. She mentions the two incidents in her recount but doesn’t make a correlation.he happens to be both a pedophile and a homosexual. One,in present times, being more socially acceptable than the other.

        • She says them in reference to one another. It’s especially painful to be lied to about same sex attraction, but it is a betrayal to the spouse and not a felony crime.

          “More socially acceptable” implies at some point we expect pedophilia to slide into acceptability, and that people who believe in gay equality will also find molesting children acceptable.

          This guy belongs in jail.

          • Hazel, you are a good woman and you deserve far better than a spouse that is living a double life and a friend that would defend a pedophile. None of this is your fault.

    • Hazel, how old was your nephew when this happened? Did your nephew believe it was consensual, or did he report the abuse as molestation? We should talk… (my ex’s last affair partner was my niece, and they are living together now — he just turned 50 and she’s 19).

      I have one flying monkey former “best friend” who is still friends with them and sent me her regrets that I had chosen to end our friendship when I told her there’s no such thing as Switzerland and I wanted nothing to do with anyone who chooses to condone ex’s relationship with my niece. Hey, I wasn’t the one who chose to end our friendship — she could have chosen me, right? But, I’m pretty sure she’s angling to be the hypotenuse of the new triangle. Does your accountant have her eye on your ex, perhaps?

  • My friends were not cool enough for X. But, chumpy me became friendly with most of his “friends” if you can call them that. There was one couple who were completely supportive of me and angry with him (behind his back of course) which I obviously had a problem with. Why won’t they confront him or tell him the things they told me? I spent a lot of energy right around DDay thinking about their lack of standing behind their words to me. One day my kiddo told her dad about a benign conversation that I had with the couple…X, who had no idea (as far as I know) that I was in contact with HIS friends, called and invited himself over to their house THAT day. He also brought the OW and kiddo. I got a few texts from the wife of the couple that she knows that I must be happy that kiddo is having fun at their house even though the OW and POS (which is what they call him behind his back…at least to me;) are there. I responded that if the tables were turned at it was her in my position I would never allow my kiddo to be around her husband. I never communicated with them again. I have no hard feelings at this point as I am creeping up on Meh.
    On a side note, I have realized that when I identified my boundaries and stuck to them, resentment and anger I felt kind of disappeared. X always used to call me judgemental when I would get angry with him about his behavior…it gave me serious grief when he would not come home and then school ME on being judgemental! It is almost comical now to think that it was that easy to manipulate me. Never again.
    Before I went no contact, X sent me a text that said simply, “You are the most judgemental person I ever met”. My response was, “I own my judgement of you and your behavior whole heartedly”.
    Happy Thursday CN!

    • X sent me a text that said simply, “You are the most judgemental person I ever met”. My response was, “I own my judgement of you and your behavior whole heartedly”.

      LOVE THIS. Ex criticized me for being vengeful, invalidating, critical, etc. etc. etc. when I got angry about his lies and betrayal. He got angry in return when I stuck up for myself and called him on his projection and blameshifting. Yes I am proud to say I own that!

  • I 💗 this 💯.
    Needed to read this today for sure. I have wondered the same thing, thank you Carlos for being able to put into words where I struggled to form. Thank you Tracy for your candid truth telling.
    It’s a fabulous day when beginning it with ChumpLady.
    So let’s all go forth and slay all the Unicorns, beat down the fuckwits, run all bullshit through the UBT, put on those sunglasses to hide the glare of the sparkling turds and do NOT, I repeat DO NOT engage in any pick me dancing. Walk through this day heads held high knowing we have sound morals, we are good people who are WORTHY.
    Have a super awesome day Chump Nation.

  • I lost my sister and my brother’s widow because they wanted to keep in touch with my cheating ex!!! Classic.
    My sister was divorced and a cancer survivor. Guess who her main support person was…..me. My brother died. Guess who moved states and their family of 5 to help raise my niece and nephew……me. Such a Chump! I stroked that match and burned the bridge so fast so I could never go back. One year later I have never felt better. Everyone made my divorce about them. Bye Felicia!

  • The question Carlos is asking seems to be an example of unresolved chumpdom. He’s afraid of doing the wrong thing and his behavior being seen as unacceptable.

    Like he’s afraid of focusing on doing the right thing for himself.

    I know it sounds like encouraging narcissistic behavior but let’s face it, there IS a healthy level of narcissism. And I don’t think you can truly fix your picker without achieving that first.

    I totally agree about the degradation of the institution of marriage these days. I live in a no fault state with an emerging default of 50/50 custody. So a spouse can text you and say your replacement is moving in and you have to leave your child with it half of the time and you better be okay with it because judges are slow to hear abuse allegations but lightning quick about parental alienation and lack of cooperation.

    That said it’s true that you gain a life and better yet YOU get to say who’s in it.

  • The way I see it, you’re either Team Tbone or Team Infidelity. Pretty cut & dried. I live in the South, I understand the whole desire to be “nice,” but I don’t have to be friends with anyone who is still friends with him.

    Also of note: I don’t think he has many close friends anymore. Or anyone close enough to call him out on his behavior. I think that he isolated himself from anyone who might have taken him to task while he was screwing around so that he wouldn’t have the accountability (obvs he didn’t tell any fellow pastors!).

    But I’ve heard that he asked a guy from his Monday night bar group to be his best man in June (not to an OW, none of them lasted). According to guy’s wife, BM was surprised bc Monday night bar trivia was the basis of their relationship and felt that he couldn’t really say no since he didn’t seem to have any other friends. Sad. Not my problem.

  • This brings back memories. I took care of my now dead POS for almost two years, after he was diagnosed as terminal. I did it for my adult children not him. I met all his needs but thanks to CL and CN I was gray rock. Yes, no, bummer or just a look. He was still mean, selfish, no remorse. He still went between pity, rage and charm, they never change, not even when dying. Since, I was gray rock, he needed kibbles. He started emailing my mother. They hated each other for 42 years. Narcs don’t like to share a chump. I hadn’t spoken to her in 10 years. She wrote a letter, telling him, how I had always been judgemental, unreasonable. I have MS she wrote the meds had affected my mind. At first it hurt that my own mother would make it my problem. But thanks to CL And CN, I know this is what they do. It’s not about their actions, it how you reacted to their behavior. Take out your trash, and don’t go dumpster diving. They aren’t worth it.

  • The smear campaign must have been top notch because he somehow got 15 of our friends to unfriend me on social media and every. single. person to refuse to speak to me or hang out with me. All at once.
    Do I have leprosy? What could he have told them🤷🏻? Some were my friends that he actually hated and talked shit about. I’m kind of curious what was my crime? Fleeing my house in fear and sleeping in my car… having all my bank accounts wiped out so I can’t even get home from work… rotating the same 3 outfits so I don’t get fired from my job while he lives comfortable in our nice big house??? Seriously wtf did I do? I didn’t get cheated on properly like all the other wives in the group… I guess I was supposed to pretend it didn’t happen so I don’t disrupt their stupid binge drinking and happy selfies.
    It’s unjust and there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no way to contact each person to defend myself. I’ll look like a crazy person telling them all the horrors that i endured. And honestly it’s none of their business. If they believe his lies then they were never my friends to begin with.

    • I’m sorry. I’ve actually used the same word “leprosy” to describe the shunning. People do treat you like you have leprocy.

      Before I started my divorce, there was a friend of a friend that was getting divorced. My friend an I went out with her on a couple of occasions, and both of our (now STBX) husbands were livid that we were hanging out with a divorced woman. As if her being single had an influence on who I chose to be.

      The funny thing is, after I filed for divorce because of fuckwits cheating, he blamed my choice to divorce on the influence of hanging out with a divorcee. Uh NO, the choice to divorce was based on his cheating, not the company I was keeping. That was a preview for me of what I could expect, and true to form, it’s played out. I’m the STB single woman with Leprocy!

        • “Eeeewwww ! Get away from me ! You have divorce cooties !”

          Nice way to treat a supposed friend (eye roll)

      • This happened to me too. STBX actually told me I’m not allowed to hang out with my best friend after she got divorced. Not because of a smear campaign, but because he was paranoid and controlling. He said she would encourage me to cheat on him. It was a struggle. He would pull in from work and i would say he’s here and we would hang up real quick. If he caught me on the phone with her the stare he would give me made me actually tremble. It was the stare of a murderer. I never saw anything like it.

    • Whatringofhellisthis,
      Our stories and X’s are so similar. Every time I read something of your I double-take and scroll back to see the author. I hope you are doing well/better. I find the PTSD the worst battle of this huge mess. I did try EMDR therapy which helped a lot. I admire how healthy you sound in your writing!

      • I know! I do the same thing when you post. I really find it comforting… eventhough we are writing terrible things… I feel like I’m not alone.
        I somehow manage to be professional and successful at work and come across perfectly fine while I’m totally not. My therapist said it’s a testament to how strong we all really are. I agree the PTSD is the worst part of all of this. I feel so sad for everyone that suffers from anything while looking completely healthy. Very few people understand. I feel like a bomb went off inside my body but my outsides are not damaged. Does hearing someone screaming cause you to panic? TV shows with angry men can cause me to have a panic attack if I don’t distract myself somehow. But overall I am better than I was last year.
        Thank you for telling me I sound healthy because maybe that is a sign that I’m making progress. I will have to look into the EMDR.
        I hope you are doing better and feeling better💜💜💜💜💜

    • When I was young, I wondered why “Bearing False Witness” was among the 10 commandments including murder, etc. Then my Ex did the same thing to me as your Ex did to you and then I understood why that sin is so great.
      When someone tells lies like that and destroys your reputation, there is almost no way to counter it or get it back. It’s horrible !! I had people who I thought were close friends of 20 years turn their backs on me and say terrible things about me all based on lies that they SHOULD have known were BS.
      Honestly besides my Ex purposely trying to ruin my relationship with my kids, that “changing the narrative and making her cheating ass the victim” was one of the worst things that I ever went through.

      • It is a terrible sin. It truly takes a rotten soul to do this to someone. Funny thing is my loyalty of keeping his horrible actions and cheating a secret behind closed doors has actually been his greatest tool in the smear campaign. Looks like I am nuts. Besides a select few that witnessed his shit… most people saw a happy wife and would have been jealous thinking we were perfect. No one knew he was driving 100mph drunk screaming on the top of his lungs threatening to kill me on the way home from just about everything we did together after we got married. No one knew i sat outside of my house once a week crying while he slept like a baby. Rage level 10 to sound asleep in minutes.
        I’m sorry you went through it too. It’s wrong on so many levels. It’s a violation by your spouse magnified by all the lost friends and family that join in. It should be a crime. Reputation murder. And faking the victim is one of the worst manipulations of them all.
        I admire your strength dealing with losing 20 year friends and fighting to keep relationship witj yoyr kids. It’s more than anyone should have to face.

  • Our couple friends sided with me. What really hurt was the total discard by his family, particularly one of Cheater’s brothers. He’s 10 years younger, and lived with us on college breaks, and when he was first starting out post-college. I was godmother to one of his children. After the news of the affair broke, his wife sent me an email from both of them wishing me well and letting me know that all communication would now have to go through Facebook. I don’t use Facebook. I was stunned, I didn’t expect them to take my side, but I also didn’t expect to be dropped like hot garbage.

  • Water seeks its own level. Anyone who was an enabler to the affair and cover-up – gone. Anyone who broke confidences – gone. Anyone who said they disapproved but went to their wedding reception – gone. Anyone who insists he is still a great guy – gone. Was it painful, yes. Was it necessary – yes. Am I happier and healing – yes. Dumping complicit ’friends’ is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.

    • Yes, I agree, but learning all of this is very painful. I had one “friend” (spent many years together as hockey moms, attended children’s wedding, exercise classes together, etc.) that I had lunch with four months into the divorce process. She failed to mention that she and her husband were meeting my soon to be ex and the whore for dinner THAT VERY NIGHT (yes, while we were still married)! Who needs friends like this?

  • I’ll admit, it was easy for me on this front. Mr. Sparkles had no friends when we met. He went out to shoot pool alone. He went to the gym alone. When we dated and then married, my friends accepted him (but they truly didn’t LIKE him). When we divorced, I almost heard a collective sigh of relief from them.

    I think, Carlos, in the bigger picture, you should be looking at the life you want to have going forward. And with that decision, the one that follows is ‘who will be there’… I think you will find by natural selection that the Switzerland friends will disappear (until they get cheated on)… and you will find a new tribe of authentic people like you… and I suspect that will be better for you and your kids versus staying in a modified version of your past life with cowards.

  • CL is right on target, as always. People don’t want to judge things that make them uncomfortable. They don’t understand, so how can they possibly judge!! He must have been so miserable!! Funny thing is that I’ve met people since who know the ex & they ALL say (with surprise) that I’m very nice, funny, etc. Well of course I am!! He, on the other hand, is a raging, abusive asshole. Which is a common statement among people that know him. Practically verbatim – “he’s an asshole that thinks he’s better than everyone else”. It’s like someone is handing out business cards with his name & that statement. I was mortified to hear that in the beginning … I knew he was an asshole at home, but to behave like that in public is horrifying!!!! 🙄 (inner voice says “as if there’s a difference??”)
    I lost several friends after the affair & subsequent divorce. One of my best adult friends said that she & her husband made a rule that they don’t pick sides. They wanted to remain neutral ground – while I was being assaulted, the ex shut off our utilities, stopped making the mortgage payment, reused to give me any $$ to feed the kids. But hey! Don’t pick sides, because you wouldn’t want to lose your friendship to THAT loser. I dumped her & her hubby almost immediately.
    Its sad, because you’re mourning the loss of your marriage (hahaha, using the word loss is so ambiguous. More like implosion) and then you mourn the loss of selfish assholes that you though cared for you and would be part of your support system. I had another very good friend who, after letting me sob on her shoulder for MONTHS and helping the boys & I through it devastation, went out and had an affair of her own. Then wanted to still be friends. Ummmm, Buy-bye!!!!
    I have ZERO qualms about judging people whose moral compass is dormant. That also makes people very uncomfortable. But I will not be a sheep in this herd of “whatever goes” society. People have to start standing up against things that are immoral, disgusting, offensive. Anyone who is friends with the ex or his OWhore got cut out of my life.
    You’ll get better at picking good people. I’ve made several good friends who sought me out after finding out what he did, because they were so disgusted. (We’re all in the same school system, so the overlap in acquaintances is pretty common, and finding me is pretty easy). Just keep your chin up, and try not to spend time thinking about “friends” that support the ex. You don’t need them, and once you cull them from your life you will be much much happier!!

    • Funny the ‘ not picking sides’. That doesn’t sound neutral . Sounds judgy to me. Says we think both of you did something wrong and we are far too superior to engage in any discourse since our relationship is so fragile if we discuss another failed relationship ours may go bust.
      Let’s hope they don’t need support for anything ever in life.

  • I don’t get mad at the mutual friends that didn’t know about the affair. Now the ones that she hung out with that knew about the affair the whole time – I absolutely want no part of. They’re all a bunch of losers as far as I’m concerned.

    But the ones that didn’t know, I can understand them not wanting to get involved in the drama. I hate drama myself.

    I also understand that nobody has any idea what it truly feels like to be on the receiving end of infidelity until you’ve actually gone through it. My good friend went through it before I did, and while I empathized with him, I really had no idea. And now unfortunately I absolutely do know what it feels like – and that friend has been invaluable.

    But as to blaming or casting off people who are friends of both my ex and me, I understand why and it’s not their fault they can’t fully understand the pain, so it’s no big deal to me.

  • When me and cheater separated I knew his family would support him no matter what. Blood is thicker than water. That hurt a lot. Only one of his brothers expressed their sympathy to me and that was in a text. His mother called me about 3 months after the situation to say she loved me always no matter what. That hurts when people who are your family for 21 years just basically dump you. It hurt a lot. I loved them all the same as I loved my blood relatives And i have no idea what the cheater told them. Who knows, im sure it was something off the wall! We really only had one couple who were joint friends that i was kind of dissapoinyed in. We met this couple through my work and I still work with the guy. He’s still friends with my X and schmoopie and they now do things as couples. He basically took the approach that it was really basically none of his business. That hurt. Im not as friendly with him and his wife anymore. I treat him now like just a co worker

    • I always just assumed that her family would side with her, so it doesn’t surprise me that I haven’t talked with them since DDay. I think that’s a pretty normal response, particularly since the cheater’s family never gets the whole story.

      My ex in-laws are across the Atlantic and don’t speak much English, so I will be amazed if I ever communicate with them again.
      In truth, her parents have the worst marriage I have ever seen, and her mother has been telling her for years that she should have divorced her father a decade ago, before he got too sick. Her sister’s ex-husband was legitimately horrible (in debt to the mafia, stealing from her, running real-estate scams and coerced into collecting payoffs from local businesses) so the sister was 100% better off when they divorced; though having an affair with her former brother-in-law wasn’t really an appropriate response IMO. Come to think of it, the BIL did have a second, secret family (and kids) in the next town over, so it’s not like she was ruining a stable marriage. Mind you, this is from an ostentatiously Catholic Italian family. At least I came out of the marriage with some jaw-dropping anecdotes about my ex-BIL. People chopped up and stuffed into garbage bags, cars run off the road at night, people “falling” off of balconies, mysterious phone calls in the middle of the night demanding payments for family debts, his parents bankrupted by a stream of people demanding they settle hundreds of thousands in undocumented debts their son supposedly owed… Like something out of a Mario Puzo novel, except with ‘Ndrangheta (Calabrian) instead of Cosa Nostra (Sicilian).

      My then-wife read emails from my family at the height of the turmoil, and told me how hurt she was that they were angry with her. Indeed my sister did call her a “frigid, cold-hearted bitch” – the nastiest thing anyone, including me, has ever said about my ex-wife … and also, judging by what I’ve read here, incredibly mild. Interestingly, my wife somehow read this as “whore” (something I guarantee no one in my family has ever said – we’re pretty buttoned-up) and absolutely flipped her lid. I hadn’t really believed all this Freudian / projection stuff until I started seeing it in person.

      • Georgian, what a family that is! You’re well away from all that drama!

        Loved your wife’s ‘outrage’ at being called frigid and cold-hearted! My ex was FURIOUS and still brings up my finally, 1 year and a half after kicking him out, calling him a ‘jackass’. Ooooooh, that’s SO mean and inappropriate and awful! I guess he doesn’t realize how lucky he is that I never told him what I REALLY think of him!

  • This is why I think marriage contracts should be as laborious to enter as they are to exit (essentially a mandatory pre-nup) AND that they should work like a lease option — say, a one-year or two-year term where both parties renegotiate the legal terms periodically, and if they can’t agree, it’s severed.

    Many would consider this radical. I consider it to be an insurance policy that forces a conversation periodically about how things are going. It removes the excuses — “We drifted apart” — “I never expected this to happen” — yeah, well, in the eyes of the court, you re-affirmed your promise of monogamy, so you violated the contract and caused damages to your partner and kids. Here’s your penalties and division of assets based in your contract terms. Case closed.

  • I made a choice to make sure that I am around people that make me feel good! After the hell this piece of garbage put me thru. He made me feel ugly and not good enough. I know now that no one should ever feel that way. My thinking was how could you cheat on me if you loved me? Is there something wrong with me? I will never allow another person to do that to me. I refuse to accept anything that I don’t want. I am 48 years old and I made it thru. I know this idiot was never good enough for me. When he cheated he made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for him. That will never happen to me again. His family reached out after 9 months and wants to talk. I told them no your brother ruined the lives of his children and myself and now you care . No thank you . As for friends who cares make new ones and make a new life for you and the children and show the world what your made of !!! We all deserve better!

  • This article might have run previously, but it is one of the best of CL’s articles on Switzerlanders… and doesn’t even mention the Switz-word. Love it.

  • On the friend topic… I think they do eventually pick a side, if not for any other reason than because while the chump is taking the high road, the cheater is managing his/her image by denigrating the chump, generally by lying.

    I don’t think you have to throw all your papers in the air and dramatically break up with everyone. I do think you should play your cards close to your chest with those people, and when you do, they will drift toward the cheater and out of your life. You can’t be friends with a cheater if you don’t gravitate towards drama. Chumps generally don’t provide much of that post-cheater. 🙂

    Also, if a person is friends with your cheater, there’s always a high risk that the person will pass your private details to the cheater, even if only by accident. That, in itself, can be a good reason to drift away from those folks.

    • Agreed.
      I have left alot of open doors. some of my friends may never reenter.that is okay.

      I’ve always cut cheaters and liars out of my life. Even persons who cheat on others I cut off as I know the level of deceit they are capable of. Never regretted it. Who regrets an existence without these people?

      • Totally, and I get that there are some people who it really is more important to shut down. Life is better when your inner circle is integrity-based, for sure. 🙂

    • You are correct. But there is the other side where the friends opens their eyes and dumps the cheater.

      Remember a lot of friends have no experience of cheating and don’t know how to handle it (think cultural narrative).

      Take my best mate for example. He helped me through the shit storm, supported me and it a pretty sound guy.

      Now, a while after dday was his kids birthday and my ExWhore turns up with a present for his kid (she was his friend as well before she and I got together).

      Then a few months later it’s my ExWhore’s affair baby’s birthday. And my best mate and his wife are invited.

      To be fair he did phone me to ask how I felt about him going to her place with The Virus(OM) being there.

      I hadn’t found CL by that point. My only stipulation to him was that if she asked how I was going I told him to say I wasn’t doing good. I was doing GREAT.

      Anyway long story short he came back from that party and immediately called me. He was done with her. Discusted by her. Han hasn’t spoken to her since.

      So yea. Friends need to work through their own paths first.

      Peace

  • Spot on CL. A week after the ex (of 20 years) ran off I received a text from one of my so called best friends. I’m even God mother to one of her sons. It went something like this. …… Oh isn’t it so nice to see Idiot happy and the schmoopie is so lovely. Im so glad he’s found someone who actually loves him so much. Here I was curled up in the foetal position, vomiting, not sleeping or eating. I never replied, blocked, deleted and have never spoken to her again. I dont need idiots in my life and the thing is I have not missed her one bit.

    • That’s a twisted thing for that person to do to you. Let alone by one of your friends. Let alone by one of your ‘best’ friends. I would physically vomit just from that action alone.

      I’m so sorry you had someone do that to you. I can only imagine that that person has issues to send a text like that to you, let alone only a week after your ex left. Well done on promptly getting rid of them.

    • Wow JABT, that is SUPER aggressive! This was some hateful woman, who must have taken a sadistic pleasure in sliding that knife in. Glad she’s was so quickly out of your life.

  • Cheater ex didn’t have any friends. I have a few and when the shit hit the fan, I really knew who my friends were. One day he said to me he wished he had people to talk to about what was going on like I did. I felt sorry for him so I called his sister and asked her to talk to him, he needed someone to “listen” to his side of the story … ha! Fast forward to today, his brother and sister and I are still friends. They barely speak to him. My family doesn’t speak to him and last week he tried to “follow” my 16 year old niece on Instagram. I guess he’s lonely… poor baby.

  • Cheater wasn’t able to maintain lifelong friendships. We had mutual friends mostly through church . Those people were not very impressed with him leaving his pregnant wife and 2 year old. I made sure I let them all know what he had done and as far as I know they don’t hear from him. There was one friend who met up with him and she said he made excuses and what he said sounded like lies. He tried to meet up with her again and she just ignored him. He did delete most people from facebook and refused to talk to anyone after d-day. He knew what he had done was bad and fortunately only his messed up family fell for the I wasn’t happy narrative.

  • My friends never liked him. Though some family and friends went overboard to appear ‘civil’ in my opinion.

    I give credit to my sister who makes no effort to hide her revulsion.

    Pressing on!

  • My ex in-laws and some of his friends (who I thought became mine) drank the cool-aid. I don’t need them in my life. Now they realize they were mislead. Oh well, too bad for you because I am a great friend! Thriving and living a great sociopath narcissistic free life!

  • Thank you for this article Tracy. It expresses so well how I feel about anybody accepting ex’s relationship to Schmoopie. How can anybody find that acceptable? Why aren’t they being shunned? They should both be wearing scarlet letters so people can throw rotten tomatoes at them but nobody does that anymore. Too bad. I guess in giving up shaming people for things that have been considered immoral in the past, but which do no real harm to others, means we have to give up shaming people who do things that actually are hurtful as well. People have a hard time making the distinction because that requires too much thought and thought takes effort and we live in a lazy entitled world.

    The worst part for me, and many others, is sending the kids off to be with their dad and Schmoopie. I do want them to have a relationship with their dad so that they can feel loved and cared for by both parents. Really, we are fortunate that he didn’t just drop out of their lives the way so many other wandering spouses do. Alas, being with their dad means being with Schmoopie too these days. I know it would be better for them to like her so that they can enjoy the time they spend with him. I love my children and I want them to be happy. That desire to see my kids happy is in direct conflict with “how could they possibly like the person who conspired with their dad to tear their family apart”. It is hard to reconcile these feelings. I don’t want to tell them they shouldn’t like her but if I am honest, I don’t really want them to like her either, and yet I want them to be happy. If it’s friends it is easy to drop them if they continue to fraternize with the enemy, but what do you do when it’s your kids? And what if they actually like her? I have chosen to just ignore Schmoopie’s existence as much as possible and let the kids have whatever relationship they want with her with no influence from me one way or another as long as I don’t have to think about it. She is a subject that is simply taboo in our house. They can like her and I will still love them, but just don’t tell me all about it please. There are some (ex in particular) who think ignoring her existence is petty and hurtful to the kids, that somehow I should be encouraging them to have a relationship with her and that I am harming the kids by not being openly cordial towards her. I am not and never will be capable of that, however. Ex is damn lucky I am still cordial to him and still encouraging the kids to have a relationship with him. I am being as cordial as I can by ignoring her. Personally I think he is the one who is harming the kids by putting them in the position of having to warm up to someone who participated in tearing their world apart.

    • Chumpinrecovery,
      YOU are dignity and grace.
      YOU have integrity!
      YOU are the present, sane, loving, parent!
      YOU put your children first.

      As for cheater and schmoopie, they have each other.
      Pales in comparison.
      YOU are Mighty!

    • Chumpinrecovery, yes I understand. Exact some situation here. You are doing great. I would never encourage a relationship between our kids and that homewrecking whore.

      They say she’s nice but that she will see what a liar their dad is, too. IMHO she deserves everything she gets because I told her in person we were married with kids since I figured x was lying her. She knew.

      I overheard the littlest one saying to her dad on the phone, “We keep telling you we don’t want to go to your house or see your new baby. Just because your new wife is nice to us does NOT mean we want to be a part of your new, fake life.”

      This is not what a good relationship with a parent sounds like. He did this. He has to deal with it. Why do cheaters think their relationship with the kids won’t change?

  • While my ex was cheating up a storm with ho-chick. He used to say “Life is short”. Fast forward 8 years and we are 1 year past divorce and I say “Life is short”….since I separated and divorced him I have made 3 trips to Vegas on vacay, St. Thomas, Turks and Caicos, a multiple of other Caribbean islands and planning a trip with the kids to St. Vincent this summer. He’s still with the OW, but they live in his parents basement, and take yearly family tripe’s to Atlantic City, lol.

    Yes, he got his parents on his side, but his father’s a cheater too…has another kid on the side. The friends he kept in the divorce…I learned over time, not worth it….you really learn who your friends are.

  • You can’t be friends with people playing both sides of the fence.

    Reasons
    – They tend to pass information
    – Tells you something about their own morals
    – They are only being friends with because you asked them. They really want to be friends with your former partner.

    Anyone with any moral standing will not be friends with the person who did the cheating and broke up the marriage with infidelity. Especially when they see that person gas lighting everything (and sometimes take it to the extreme and make complaints to get fake restraining orders etc…)

    So to answer your question with one word

    NO

    • My boyfriend and I had several friends/acquaintances/classmates in common as we met over 30 years ago and he had a very active social life (which probably helped him attain his executive position). (Still don’t know how best to tell friends. If I weee totally transparent, I would say that privately he emotionally abused me for years. But that would make people uncomfortable. The loss of some of our mutual has added to the pain I feel over his departure. Him telling me that he loved me as a friend while I was his girlfriend but him posting lots of photos of friends but never posting one of me added to the confusion and my distress over this relationship and its demise. He had the audacity to tell me who my friends, not our ‘mutual’ friends, I should keep and who I should discard! As if he were doing me a favor because I guess to him I didn’t have the intellectual capacity to make a sound decision! Controlling and arrogant much? Also tried to decide for me how little I should ask my parents to babysit my kids (if my parents want to do that I can sometimes see him, shouldn’t he be glad?), which drinks I carried on my rides, and whether or not I wore lipstick on my rides (which I did to prevent my lips from drying out and to make me feel like a champion athlete). Criticized how I arranged my car trunk. Some of these things he did repeatedly. I really shouldn’t miss this guy (more like his facade). God, why do I still miss him/the ‘good’ life I had with him and still feel guilty about being a burden to him, possibly ‘making’ him leave me? Interaction with my last boyfriend has made me twitch when I hear the words ‘friend’ and ‘love.’ Both now feel corrupted and sullied.

      • Rockstarwife, I always want to reach out to you to give you both a great big hug and a great big shake! Your ex-boyfriend was, is and (I’d be willing to put money on it) will always be a CREEP! He used you, whatsmore, he planned to use you – the fact he hid his relationship with you (no posted photos) proves it to me. Oh, I totally believe he played you with sweet-nothings and faux displays of emotional connection to you – but FOR FUCK’S SAKE – he chose to hide his relationship with you. I know you’ve said he came out with some utter drivel about not wanting to hurt his ex, but honestly, you were both part of the same social group – how was it supposed to NOT COME OUT you were together??? The thing that most disgusts me about him was HE DID THIS TO A LONG-STANDING FRIEND!! Sorry to keep shouting at you – but HE CHOSE TO DO THIS TO A VULNERABLE FRIEND! The man encourages Tourette’s in me – I’m swearing like a docker here!
        Of course, I’m not in his head, but as for you feeling guilty for being a burden to him (oh honey, if I can’t physically give you a hug I’m going to have to give you a 2 x 4) – it seems to me he created a role for you to play in his mind. You were recruited to be his irritating, incompetent, contemptuous dragonlady. It is of no matter that you are actually none of those things – you (actually YOU) didn’t figure at all in a relationship with him. You were merely the flesh and blood projection screen he used to enact some mad psycho-drama going on in his own head. Did you ever meet his parents? Did you ever hear him talk of his parents relationship? Did his dad/mum despise the other spouse? Some people need to create monsters in their life (The Great I Am, did this to me – I’d be utterly gob-smacked at some of the things he accused me of – of course, I didn’t know anything about projection in those days, but I’d often be thinking ‘wtf, why on earth would you think I’d say/do/think that thing you’re accusing me of – I know I’ve never shown you anything to make you think that’s who I am) and I’m sure it’s got to do with a subconscious drive to recreate the FOO environment. Well, I do honestly think your exbf was all about that, whatsmore, I think he’ll always be about that and every girlfriend he ever has will go through this. It’s not about you at all. You attracted him, but from that moment on, he was having a relationship with a nightmare figment of his own imagination – YOU, Rockstarwife, did not exist at all. He was fast asleep and dreaming – and no matter how SuperStar girlfriend you actually were in reality – that’s not who he was dreaming about, you could do nothing about that.
        Anyway, I really hope my ranting drivel gets across what I’m trying to tell you as I shake your shoulders. I’m really sorry you went through that crap with him (and are still beating yourself up for failings you imagine you must have). Honestly, please believe me, I truly think you were badly, badly treated by a fuckwit who does this to everyone who has the misfortune to be his ‘love target’.
        hugs and xxxx

        • Jayne,
          Thank you for being a ‘virtual’ REAL friend! You gave me the shake I needed! I have a tough tome not doubting my perception of even facts as my significant others were great at maintaining a sparkly image of upstanding, smart/talented, diligent men in public while being something most people could NEVER imagine them being in private. I NEED to start trusting myself in spite of what other (fooled) people say and believe.

          Perhaps my role in life is to state that the emperor is wearing no clothes, as incomfortable as doing so might make people.

          I need to remind myself, as painful as it is, that I was really foolish in choosing partners who did not seriously envision the same future I did (at least in terms of a romantic relationship) and that; in some ways, I’ve been played by my partners. Also want to remind myself that just because a person doesn’t 100% suck, even partial ‘suck’, say 50% to me; is still really ‘sucky’–and unacceptable!

          Fortunately, I am learning a lot and accomplishing novel things in my career, so maybe I will earn enough for long enough to adequately support my family over the long haul. Then at least my kids and I at least won’t financially suffer due to my lack of a partner. We won’t be nearly as financially comfortable as my former partners, but what can you do? (And although I miss nice dinners and four-star hotels and a (boyfriend’s) house to come home to, I am not so delicate and entitled that I can’t enjoy a night out in a tent as vacation.)

          • By the way, I did spend time with my boyfriend’s family (parents, sibling, nephews), all of whom made me feel welcome and loved. They seemed genuine. Not sure what happened to their son…who always seemed very polite on the surface and genuine but now I know underneath has some aggressive, undesirable traits.

  • One of life’s most important lessons (which we start learning in earnest around middle school) is that there is a huge chasm between “friends” and “acquaintances” in this life. Most of us will have a precious few of the former and a whole bunch of the latter. Being chumped is filled with reminders of the difference between the two. The biggest hurt comes from learning that your closest, most intimate friend in life was nothing of the sort. Learning that many other close confidants are indeed unworthy of your time is also a sad but apparently necessary additional hurt heaped on top of the first.

    At the end of this difficult chapter of life, we all will hopefully come away with renewed self respect and an appreciation of the cherished few true friends we are lucky enough to have in our lives.

  • Thank-you for this article. I’ve had a really hard time since my divorce with the fact that our “couple friends” took his side. Grant it, they were his friends first. I’ve decided that they had no desire to admit that he’s not a nice guy because it would make things tough. So, they go on pretending that he’s this super nice guy that didn’t cheat on his wife, kick his family to the curb and hook up with his OW. They’re just as shallow as my ex husband so I don’t need to be friends with them! Besides, he was probably badmouthing me to them in the months leading up to our separation. I know he was telling everyone how unhappy he was. So, now all his friends can say “Oh, how nice, he has finally kicked his awful wife to the curb and found happiness”. They all suck and I have better people than that to be friends with!

    • My life exactly. But, as the Sociopath that my ex is, he has/had no actual friends, they were all merely acquaintances.

  • After my divorce, most (if not all) of our couple friends (who were in shock) disassociated themselves with my ex. Mostly because the wives were absolutely in no way ever going to be friends with or want to hang out with the OW who helped destroy my family. I have some seriously loyal friends. There were a few of his friends that knew about the affair and who remain friends with him and I do not associate with them. No big loss.

    My ex actually met up with some of the husbands of our couple friends and came right out and asked if ex and his OW/now wife could meet up for dinners out or have BBQ’s and the husbands said it would NEVER happen. My ex no longer speaks to them. LOL

  • I concluded after separation that he doesn’t like ‘normal’ people who have their shit together as he thinks they’re boring. He is attracted to disordered types and the friends he did have, they never last and were drop kicks and in the last five years mainly females of varying ages. He liked the kibbles they dispensed and he was a bit girly anyways.

  • All of our mutual friends completely dropped my ex on her ass as the truth spoke for itself. She had to make new friends to create a narrative about me that was rather distasteful….some of those are my friends now too and dropped her ass. Looking back, she never had long-term friends bc people were dispensable just as me and my two boys were. Like every woman before and after me……simply discarded like yesterday’s trash.

    As far as in-laws……ha! I will not even acknowledge them in public. My nearly 60 year old ex-mil will make public posts on FB that are directed at me but I simply ignore her sophomoric behavior. My ex was not only a serial cheater but found pleasure in destroying marriages by “stealing” a husband’s wife. As CL said, think of the kibbles from the challenge of not only having an affair with a married person but even be so good that you can make a woman question their own sexuality. Thus to date, she is the cause of 6 divorces at the age of 36. She was legally married to 3 women in 23 months…..me being the ‘lucky’ number 1. Current wife’s divorce from husband was final and they married in less than 30 days……..all with support of ex in-laws. Ex-mil – “If you had a solid marriage, OW#1 couldn’t have gotten a foot in the door”. Really? Ex-mil – “You are not a good mother”. “Doesn’t look like you did a great job yourself…..look at what you raised”. Drops mic and walks away……to a woman with not words to utter just a mouth hanging open. #truthhurts

  • THIS: “The fact is, Carlos, you don’t have anything in common with people who would be friends with your cheating ex. You don’t share the same values. You said yourself, you would not do this to a friend. Ergo — these people are not your friends. There is no reciprocity there.”

    I decided early on after DDay and GTFO Day that I would do better at boundaries and treat myself like a dear recovering friend and insist that my circle would be limited to those who supported me and saw X for what he is— evil, horrid, despicable. To anyone else I say in my mind— FUCK YOU 🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻

  • Carlos, and so many of you who posted here, thank you for sharing because this was a very hard part for me. I think the injustice factor of this whole infidelity thing really got under my skin during my years of being still hooked by it. Also, I was stalwart (unrealistically stubborn?)in establishing that I would continue socializing in what ever way I wanted, it was not my fault my ex-wife had sprayed her stink on so much way back in 2012. My ex-wife is very charming flavor or narcissist.

    It has been six years after I uncovered the whole affair and I am incredibly grateful to be in a place I never expected to be. Loved, healthy, my children are doing well and am financially stable. Keeping my self at 95% meh despite running into my ex and her affair partner (they are still a thing) frequently in my small community.

    BUT, I only recently was able to let go of a group of couple friends who had gone completely Switzerland on me. The chump lives on people. I had been pretty chumpy with them, simply rationalizing that they could do anything they want in their social lives. Saw a social media post of these couple friends celebrating a birthday with my ex and boyfriend and it finally dawned no my how shitty they all are, they had chosen to exclude me and went with the cheaters and their happiness narrative. Fuck ’em. I needed to see a full color photo to finally disconnect with them. Only took six years.

  • We had several couple friends when we were married and they all dropped me like a hot rock. I sat and rocked in silence for months while the world ignored me. I’m back now and I know a few things. One, is that I owe no one anything. Should their spouses cheat and blow up their lives, I’ll be very busy that day.

  • We moved around so much, that we didn’t have couple friends. We worked different schedules for awhil (while the kids were young) and that did cut down on our social lives. Most people who knew us couldn’t figure out what was going on. After the second DDay, he just left, and moved into an apartment and started living a separate life. From that point on, no one, including our children, had any idea who he was seeing or what he was doing. He’s very good at compartmentalizing.

    I didn’t get much support from his family either. His mother asked me if there was someone else, (I had to tell her he had moved out, he wouldn’t do it.) and when I said that he said there wasn’t, she emphatically replied, “Well, if he says there is no one else, then there is no one else! He doesn’t lie.”

    No support from his family. My family all think he’s weird.

    What hurt the worst though, was my daughter. She’s a total daddy’s girl, and she had no sympathy for me, only concern for her dad. As far as she is concerned, her dad should be happy.

    As I didn’t want the kids to feel like they had to pick a side, I’ve not explained to her how much her lack of support or sympathy for my sorrow hurt. Although I’m sure that both she and her brother have figured out that he was unfaithful to me, I’ve never told them that.

    Where we all are now is that the kids have a pretty good relationship with both their dad and me. But those initial days and weeks, I really felt completely alone, with respect to people that I thought would be on my side.

    • Cardigirl, I hear you and you are not alone here! My in laws of 25 years literally never have spoken a single word to me or my children-their grandchildren in 3.5 years since X was caught in one of turns-out was a lifetime of serial cheating and conning me. My second daughter, daddy’s girl, initially tried to kill her self and almost succeeded when X devalued and abandoned me and the kids. But when she got out of rehab and went back to using and dealing narcotics I imposed boundaries and X, who was giving lip service to wanting custody in the divorce, told her she could live with him and schmopps de jur in his tiny downtown Studio. She was 16. At my attorney’s insistence, I let her go but kept acting like the sane parent I have always been. I called and texted and invited to family Sunday dinners. I kept topics to “weather”. I always included her friends and boyfriend as buffers. She came. We have a very superficial relationship but I’m her mother and always will be. She’s 18, living at university, calls or texts or stops by frequently. She saw OW de jur for what she is— a golddigging, selfish, shallow, child-like whore. DD3 feels “sorry” for her dad, whom she treats like an errant younger sibling. She uses him for money and frequently screams at him for his BS. She is respectful to me. She compliments me. It’s what it is and it’s not ideal but it’s ok.

      • I’m so very sorry to hear about your second daughter’s travails. How sad that his leaving pushed her to that extreme. It sounds like you did the best you could and gave them some security and stability.

        My ex also said to me that the kids would not be hurt by him leaving, that he would be a better parent if he left. It’s been awhile, and they did okay, but I like to think it’s more due to me yelling at him when he thought he could back off the parenting duties.

        I am happy that my children have two parents who love them. I am fortunate that he has been very willing to be fiscally responsible for them. I really hope someday my daughter will see that having a strong mom was as important as having an ‘interesting’ dad and that she will grow closer to me.

  • Not a problem for me as X never bought any friends to the marriage. Any friends we had were all mine from before or friends I made during the marriage.
    He didn’t seem to have any long term friends just people he met through work.
    He told me he has loads of friends now, they all came ‘out of the woodwork once he left me’ 😂
    No idea who these friends are and aren’t I the magic chump scaring off all these people I never met or had even heard of in 25 years!!

    • I often see red flags when someone tells me they have no friends. One of my friends married a guy who had ZERO friends. We all found this to be so weird. The guy grew up here, went to school here, it’s not like he moved from a foreign country when he was 20 yrs old and didn’t know anyone. It came out later that her husband had a personality disorder and could never really form deep bonds or strong friendships. He also treats his wife like crap, isn’t really bonded with her or the kids. I am always weary of people who have NO friends. If you can’t form solid connections with at least a few people in your lifetime, then something may be very wrong.

  • My cousin cheated with my wife and destroyed our family, ending in divorce.

    My cousin’s brother was always one of my best friends.

    I see now that my cousin’s brother has become friendly with my ex-wife and my cousin.

    I get that the two of them are brothers and that is a difficult bond to sever.

    However, because my cousin’s brother seems to be socially accepting these two cheaters, I have decided that I will have no contact with any of them.

    Of course, they all have the right to choose whatever they do and whoever they associate with. They just lose me for good in the process.

  • I don’t really believe in “couple friends,” although I do know a very happily married couple who do socialize a lot with other couples (travel, etc.). That situation works because the female I know is one sharp cookie (a psychologist) who can spot a liar and cheater a mile away and will have none of it. She is an expert in group dynamics, of all things, and any group she is involved with is better for it.

    But most “couple friends” are matters of legacy and convenience. Neighbors, parents of other kids in the soccer league, old friends from HS or college. work colleagues. They aren’t CHOSEN or tested out. They are just there. We picked those HS or college friends back when we were young and not fully mature morally or ethically. We know neighbors and work colleagues because of geography. When we socialize with these people, we are usually seeing their sparkly, social side. So we might clue in on too much drinking or flirting but we spackle that away because he or she is “nice” or we like the spouse or they are the neighbors or Little Joey is their kiddo’s best friend. And if someone has known one member of a couple or both from childhood, they get a kind of pass because of shared history. And quite often two people in the “couple friends” have an actual bond while their spouses may or may not get emotionally close.

    So it’s worthwhile to look at these situations with an eye toward what you really have invested. It may be that the whole group is just about shallow socializing. It may be that the group can’t tolerate a single (and therefore “dangerous” member and continues on with the Cheater and the new partner, while the Chump is home grieving and lining up ducks. It may be that the Cheater has a strong bond with his or her HS buddy or colleague and that relationship transcends events in their personal lives. It may be that the group is smart enough to see that Cheaters are trouble and they side with neither, but extend some warmth to the Chump.

    These people aren’t really “friends” in the sense of someone who would jump in the car and drive 100 miles to pick you if your car dies or hold your hand in chemo or help you pick a parent’s casket. Those are friends. Friends are the people you can count on, without fail, to help you not drown in the misery of infidelity or grief or unemployment. Friends may even judge YOU, in the sense of belting you with a 2×4 if you need it. Friends even love you when you pick-me dance and choose terrible partners and then cry over them for months. They see your worth when you can’t.

    • This is a great summary of the dynamics present with friends. Some are just there and the bond is very shallow, those people are friends of convenience. Close friends are different, in that the bond is real and these people would stick with you through thick and thin.

      • Thanks. I worry that Chumps mourn over people who aren’t worth the tears. Here’s one way to think about a friendship. I went to HS and college with a girl I liked a lot but didn’t see as a “best friend.” We didn’t talk about boys or our hopes, etc., or go on adventures together. She was just an ordinary friend. Fast forward to today (many years later). We are on FB together. She is an ardent conservative and voted for Trump (wouldn’t call her a Trump “Supporter,” just a tribal Republican. That is the opposite side of the spectrum for me. I muted her on FB during the last 3-4 months so she wouldn’t see my posts, and vice versa IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE FRIENDSHIP. No way did I want politics to erase years of friendly disagreement. We never agreed about politics! Why worry about that now? But I forgot to unmute so she asked me directly why. I explained my thinking and failure to remember to unmute and things are back to normal. We still don’t agree. But we both get it that our shared history is worth protecting. She’s a good person–she rescues dogs, works for veterans, does a lot of good in the world. Friendship in all its varieties is worth thinking about. It should be deliberate. something we choose. And when people show you that their values are no good, that’s important to act on.

  • I live in a city that in many ways is like a small town. Ex-cheater-asshole immediately moved in with his Schmoopie LESS THAN ONE MILE from my house. We are both active in the community, and have many friends/acquaintances in common. True friends have totally cut him off. But I ask ChumpNation, what happened with your mutual friends/acquaintances on Facebook? I am incredibly hurt by the number of friends who IRL are supportive, and talk about what a shit my ex is, but they are still friends with him on Facebook! Has this happened to anyone else? Do I call them on this bizarre contradiction? Or just say it’s Facebook, and does it really matter?

    • They are cowards–morally on your side, but refusing to take a stand publicly against your X. Most people are cowards, I suspect, and loathe to stand up for what is right because they don’t want to risk alienating others. I have one such friend, but now consider her a second tier friend and no longer confide in her the way I did. Too much risk for “friends” who remain in personal or social media contact with the cheater to convey information that you prefer they did not (which is what this friend did).

      • I would unfriend those people and let them know why–that you don’t want your X to have even indirect information about your life. Another way would be to delete your own Facebook, wait 6 months and then start a new page with a variation of your name. (Lots of my teacher friends use first and middle names, no last name. Then curate carefully whom you accept as friends. That is not a bad idea for lots of reason. Some friend of mine did that personality quiz and my info ended up with Cambridge Analytica.

        • This ^ is solid advice. State your boundaries, since you are still friends with X I cannot be in touch with you. I guarantee you will not miss this acquaintance a year from now. I’m off FB completely and couldn’t be happier. There is strong research about FB’s link to depression, which Chumps surely do not need in their lives.

  • I do really struggle with this situation in relation to my father’s cheating. I am in fact being a hypocrite for talking and spending time with my father but not wanting to be anywhere near my ex. It doesn’t help that my mother has a very friendly relationship with my father and the OW whom he married.

    • Infidelity is a gift that keeps on giving on one way or another.

      Your mother comes off sounding like the better person of the lot. I can’t imagine that either your father or the woman can hold their heads very high.

      If I hear one more time how the children will be fine! Or children are resilient!

    • What a family of origin you have: cheater dad and doormat mom. Me, too (roles reversed though). Thanks, FOOParentCheater for normalizing Dad’s entitlement and Mom’s self-abnegation so that we end up replicating that exact same dynamic in our adult relationships by choosing a covert narc. Dad, if you had actual character and integrity, I would have chosen a man with those qualities. But you didn’t, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to.

  • How rude. She better hope that cheating does not run in the family (usually does) and her husband doesn’t follows in his bro’s footsteps.

  • This is a fantastic column about judgement. CL, you’re fantastic! You just boil it down to the essentials.

    While I can forgive Switzerland family, and even friends, on the basis that I was fooled too, for a very long time and I was with the Traitor almost 24/7, the issue of judgement still remains. We always judge. If someone chooses to be Switzerland, they refuse to judge me as the wronged party, they judge that I may not be telling the truth. They’ve passed judgement on me, and they judged me untrustworthy, and they are wrong. I don’t have to hate them for it, but they’re wrong and I take note of their judgement. This in turn will influence MY judgement on them. I may judge them to be fools. Then decide how much I want to be involved with fools and a what a fool’s judgement is worth to me: not much.

    Also, we can change our judgement over time because we learn more about people, and ourselves, with changing circumstances. For example, my mother was an OW. My father was married with 2 small children when I was born. The past 3 years, I’ve been reflecting on this, my feelings about my deceased mother have been all over the place, and my judgement of her and the rest of my family has changed. I have less regard for her than I did, sadly. She was a good mother to me, aside from putting me in this shitty situation from birth. I’d never really thought much about the wife’s perspective, the legitimate children’s perspective. I felt sorry for them in a very abstract way. No more. I don’t know how to contact my half brothers, I would like to apologise to them for what my mother did to theirs, to their childhood. My father continued fathering bastards long after he was done with my mum, so most of this shit was on him. In a way my mother was one of his victims. But the wife and kids were still my mother’s victims too.
    But sentient beings make judgements all the time. Choosing to remain “neutral” is a judgement too.

  • The majority of our ‘couple friends’ were mainly drinking friends and friends of his from HS. I moved an hour south when we got married to his hometown. After DDay and letting everyone in on his secret (fucking right I’m gonna announce his indiscretions!), the few ‘friends’ I had tried to keep in contact with me, but it was my decision to let them go. My 2 best friends did think my Exhole was a POS for murdering my family, however – one of those friends was married to a man who was very good friends with asswipe and the other friend participated in a particular sport my exhole and I were very involved in. And because I didn’t want to KNOW ANYTHING about Dickhead, nor did I want him KNOWING ANYTHING about me – I slowly let go of those 2 best friends. I feel bad about it, but I still have a hard time with anyone mentioning asswipes name – my kids even know not to bring the asshole up in any conversation.
    The rest of the ‘couple friends’ just never talked to me again. My exhole is an alcoholic. The party boy. The rest of the so-called ‘friends’ were all heavy drinkers too, so I’m not as much fun as dickwad. That’s ok with me – they obviously weren’t worth keeping. Ya – it is kindof weird looking at my 40th birthday party pics and all the people who were there that just completely stopped talking to me when jackass and I separated, but can guarantee they still party it up with an asshole.
    Oh well – I have new friends now and I wouldn’t have them if it wasn’t for the discard. No switzerland friends for me. Either my friends hate the fuckwad for what he did, or they are not my friend. That’s all. Simple.

  • When ex married Ow, and i saw the posts ( because my kids were in the wedding and tagged) I did immediately unfriend a few people who gushed over their happiness. Petty perhaps, but i haven’t missed a single one of them.
    My friends stayed my friends. They may still be friends with him on fb, but i haven’t caught them gushing or we’d have words. 😉

  • Shallow, lazy people go with whatever is easier. Hang out with the happy couple with loads of spare time, or the unhappy single person who can’t find a sitter for the children? It doesn’t matter that the cheater’s happiness came at the expense of the chump’s happiness, and the cheater has all the spare time because of abandoning the children?

    I prefer not to maintain friendships with shallow, lazy people.

  • It’s really interesting to see what the definition of ‘friend’ is, and how it changes over your own lifespan.

    It took me years to work out that people who make me feel uncomfortable or on edge are actually not my friends.

    And that this is OK. They can be acquaintances, or colleagues, or people I have met a few times, or enemies.

    There are lots of words for relationship. ‘Friend’ is not one-size-fits-all, and I like to keep it for special occasions.

  • Hello Chump Lady,

    Thank you for saying EXACTLY how I actually feel and exactly how I would say it. Thank you for validating my viewpoint on this. I do not believe you can be friends with someone who wants to pretend like what happened to you does not exist and continues to be friends with your ex. These people are heinous. This one hit a real nerve with me and I have been waiting years to get this story of betrayal off my chest.

    I have a story about unknowingly playing the “pick me dance” with the large group of friends my ex and I shared. One female friend fully sided with me and stopped talking to him. We all worked at the same large, corporate company and on the same floor. We also all made a lot of money. (That thing about money will be very important later in this story). The “fuckwit” had been having an affair under my nose and kicked me out of our mutually owned home so she could move in all while denying with the Bible as his witness that there was no other woman! I had to find out from many people in this large group of friends that they met her the week he dumped me and that she claimed to be his fiancee. Say what?!!! Then there was the cervical cancer she passed along to me via cancerous HPV.

    Anyhow… there was one mutual female friend who bravely announced she would never talk to the fuckwit let alone look at the fuckwit because of the heinous thing he had done. (I have not told the whole story of what he did.. but she knew it). And she consoled me many nights. She was married, had a teen daughter, she and her husband made 6 figure incomes and they had several houses paid off. They were also flush with cash. (Again, this will be important later.)

    This friend kept her word for as long as I worked at that company and a little bit afterwards. My ex knew that she was on my side and he resented that because she was a very well-respected person in the company and had been a friend to both of us. He was angry she had sided with me because she had a beautiful beach house and would invite friends. I was also friends with some amazon millionaires and would get invites to their mansions with personal chefs. Those people sided with me too. And a whole lot more. Because what he did was BEYOND evil and reprehensible. But in his mind, he thought it should be overlooked because deep down he saw himself as a terrific guy and why should anyone care that he beat his fiancee (me) and did worse than that and that I ended up with cervical cancer because of the other woman. Well, gosh, golly gee that wasn’t his fault. He just fell in love with someone. That was all. Why was everyone siding with me when he just “loves” people. He felt it was just so UNFAIR to him. He is such an ass that he even asked my attorney for money to keep the other woman in my house. Yeah, that did not work and I gave no money.

    Anyhow, I kept having lunch with the friend who very ferociously sided with me and defended my reputation. The one who cut off my ex and made sure everyone knew what he did. I even drove a distance to introduce this friend to my baby.

    After that, for whatever reason she distanced herself and was busy.

    About three years later, she emailed me and wanted to have lunch and told me how much she missed me. Oh how I was such a good friend and oh we needed to catch up for lunch. She had done nothing except got busy for a period of time and that was life.

    So she and I, my oh so good and loyal friend, met for lunch. As soon as she sat down she did her weird eye blinking thing that she would do before saying something surprising or announcing bad news. She said, “Oh Sarah, you just won’t believe it. I spent some time with the “other woman” who broke up your relationship and oh Sarah she made me want to barf.” Then my friend mimicked herself hurling. I wanted to know more. She said, “Oh Sarah you will not believe how fake and two faced the other woman is and how sugary sweet she is and she holds on to his arm (my ex) wherever they go and she digs her finger nails in. I just hated spending time with her!” I asked my friend, “Why on earth did you spend time with my ex and the other woman? Did you meet them at a networking event?” And my friend did her blinky eye thing again and wouldn’t stop doing it. My friend said, “Well you know my husband and I are so blessed. We have all our houses paid off and you know how much I just love designing flower arrangements. I do them for my daughter’s piano recitals. Everyone loves my flower arrangements and everyone just keeps calling me. Can you believe it?” I said, “Well, that’s great. A nice hobby and some more money.” And she said, “Oh no we don’t need the money you know we are millionaires now. We are so blessed. But I just love doing flower arrangements for people and everyone says my flower arrangements are the best. They say I should win awards.” And I said, “that’s great, congratulations!” And she said, “Oh Sarah I just did not know what to do when your ex called and asked me to do the flowers for their wedding. Can you believe that I did flowers for a wedding for 200 people?” I said, “Did you just say he married the skank and you did flowers for their wedding?” And she blinked and blinked and blinked. She finally said, “Oh but Sarah she is SUCH an AWFUL woman. I just wanted to barf being around her. She is such a fake and two faced person. He got what he deserved. But you know flowers are so important to me, Sarah.”

    And I had to take in the idea that my friend who had been my champion and helped me through this terrible break up decided to do flowers for my ex’s wedding when he asked even though she did not need the money. And this was supposed to be okay with me because she really just loved it because people told her that her flowers could win awards.

    Now, I KNEW that my ex did this intentionally. More than intentionally. This was his power play to show me that he could bring some of my greatest defenders onto his side by flattering them and offering to pay them for something they believed themselves to be good at. This woman was NOT a florist and had never been a florist. She had not even taken classes in floral arrangement. It was a hobby. There were a gazillion florists in the area. Even more than that, since he chose to have his wedding in Hawaii he offered her a free vacation along with doing the flowers for his wedding.

    And that’s all it really takes for a fuckwit to bring your alleged friends over to their side. To this day I have no idea WHY she invited me to lunch to tell me this story. Why didn’t she leave it alone? We had lost contact after all. I will say she was not a vicious person and probably felt guilty. But she should have left it alone. Confessing to me just depressed me even more. It was a selfish act on her part, really. I have not had lunch with her since because that is no friend of mine.

    Friends do matter and no, your friends are not allowed to stay friends with the person who destroyed your life and be friends with you at the same time. Because if you do stay in contact, your life will look something like this: “Hey friend, you want to go out to dinner on Friday?” Friend says, “No I have dinner plans with Fuckwit and his slut on Friday night. We are going to this new restaurant with the most fabulous chef. Its the grand opening and Fuckwit wants me to join them. Fuckwit and slut say it wouldn’t be the same if I were not there to share the occasion. Isn’t that cool?”

    No, it’s not cool.

    The longer you keep mutual friends, the more they will forget what happened and they will refer to your ex and the other woman and nice people who made a mistake. And they will begin to tell you how funny the other woman is– and doesn’t she have the greatest jokes and the greatest shoes and you should see the china pattern they used for their wedding. In fact the other woman has such good taste she picked the very same china pattern you picked for your wedding. Can you believe it? You know, you and the other woman could be friends. That’s how the French do it after all. We can all be adult about this and have one enormous group hug right? You and the other woman are so alike that I think it’s time we all just got over this and you and the other woman become besties.

    No, you and the other woman are NOT so alike. Because you are not a home-wrecker while she is. That is like saying Jupiter and Earth are so alike and could be friends. No they couldn’t. They two planets would collide and Jupiter would swallow earth whole due to its size and crazy storms that don’t allow for a solid surface. The other woman is Jupiter. She is a giant bitch with a stormy surface with no solid ground to be found. She is a giant planet of chaos. And if earth gets pulled into that orbit, there will be no happy ending.

    I don’t care if the OW looks like you, dresses like you, shops at Pottery Barn and buys the same furniture and even prefers sex the same way you do. She will never be like you and you will never be like her.

    She is character disordered and lacks empathy and integrity. All the while you were minding your business being an excellent wife/mom/girlfriend and keeping promises you made to your husband and keeping a household together. Meanwhile, she was destroying your life lego brick by lego brick. One day, you look up and everything is gone.

    No, you and the other woman are nothing alike. Waste NO TIME on friends who dawdle back and forth between the two of you. They are not friends. Not even if you knew them for 50 years. Friends side with the person who was hurt and go NO CONTACT with the people who destroyed the life of the innocent person.

    In fact, I always look at people and wonder, “So your friend cheated on his wife and ruined her life. Why would you want someone like this as a friend? If they could do that to their wife, how could they use you and screw you over?”

    After all, people are not made up of boxes. They are WHOLE beings and what they do in one area affects all the others areas. You cannot screw your secretary over the desk and then be a worship leader at the church on Sunday. You are a piece of crap if you do that and should not be polluting a holy place with your sinful and life destroying and crappy behavior.

    Thank you so much for letting me vent. I am having a very bad day full of triggers. And triggers bring on anger. So thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me vent here because I am here as a betrayed spouse and not as an infidelity writer/coach.

    Blessings to all of you who have been betrayed. YOU DESERVE better.

    Sarah

    • Holy moley, Sarah— fantastic comment, and it’s clear you have a lot of hard-earned wisdom! As for AmateurFlorist just…. wow. What a screwed up story. Fucking Switzerland. What a shining example of how narcs triangulate constantly and mindfuck everyone. And how some people will sell a friend down the river for a free trip to Hawaii and some stupid, faux attention… wait a minute, it’s like she’s an OW, too there! She was FOR SALE. His winning bid was a trip to Hawaii and the contract to do his flowers. If only you had made her a higher bid than that, maybe you’d still be friends. (I kid.) You said you have no idea WHY she invited you to lunch to tell you this story — why didn’t she just leave it alone, you ask? Allow me to proffer an answer— she sucks, too. She’s a whore, who sells her friend intimacy to the highest bidder. How do I know she sucks? Because she rubbed her supposed floral arranging awesomeness in your face at lunch, and part of her enjoyed your pain. Bye, bitch! Nothing to work with there.

      • Hi Jo,

        Isn’t it sad that some friendships can be sold to the highest bidder? Yes, they suck.

        And, bye, bitch indeed.

    • Sarah,

      Sorry your faux friend turned out to be such a c*nt. I’m betting that she reported back to your ex and his new wife your reaction to her story.

      Trust that they suck !

      • Hi Sucker Punched,

        Yes I am sure she did. And I would guess since I am no longer speaking to her she is besties with them.

        Yes, I trust they suck. And they can exist many miles away and continue to suck and I will never talk to any of them again.

  • What I find even more upsetting than “who keeps the friends” is when those “friends” “forgive” the cheater and AP and then act sanctimonious because they’ve done this “big” thing in the eyes of God. My brother’s wife is taking great pleasure in telling my children that she’s reestablished and is “working on her relationship” with my ex because “she thinks it’s a good example to show the children what true forgiveness looks like”. The thing is, the ex isn’t sorry. He isn’t seeking forgiveness. He is just thrilled about “how kind” my SIL has been to him and that she wants him again in their family’s life. And what exactly is she forgiving? And why would she want such an abusive loser in her life? It is baffling to me. She was front row center to the pain and terror he caused. I’ve pretty much now cut her out too because I think that kind of behavior is toxic and I don’t want her sharing the news of my life with him over their coffee dates because honestly my life is really happy now and I don’t want to share that news with him because he’ll try to bust it up somehow. I’d rather he not know anything so he won’t have anything to work with. But it really sucks to have to see her now too because it feels less like forgiveness and more like some kind of sick power play of the “see how much better I am than you” variety. Meanwhile she’s also planning a renewal of vows with my brother to which I’m sure I won’t be invited but my ex probably will. ( It makes me wonder- Do vows expire? Like a license plate? ) It is hard enough to coparent with a fuckwit but then to deal with a mole in the family like her as she tries to make me feel “not good enough” and tells my children behind my back she’s doing this “healing action” for their sake – it just maddening! I’ve gone gray rock on her too, but I sure would like the karma buss to visit her disloyal ass. Please confirm that I’m thinking about this correctly?

    • Yes, your brother’s wife sucks and she is doing some kind of power play. Sounds like a disordered person. Very sad, indeed.

      • Your story is a jaw dropper with that terrible woman acting the way she did. I think I’d rather share a meal with a jackal that such a disingenuous vapid bitch. She sounds like a character from a Jane Austin novel with the blinking and the “humble” bragging all as she justified her connection to the noxious assholes while at the same time proving herself very much crafted from the same material. That creature obviously makes everything about her and you can’t enjoy the wonderfulness of her life and how extremely loyal she is if she doesn’t include you. Of course flowers are super important her – worms adore them.

  • Cheater Wife’s female friends are all pro-adultery and/or engaged in affairs themselves. I had actually watched over some of these women’s children who played with my daughter. One female in particular I’m pretty disgusted by now that I know what she’s all about. Her daughter and mine are good friends and i don’t want to ruin that for her. Especially since she had to give up a friend in 2011 because my cheater wife was caught trying to screw her father. That one mother though now looks at me with paranoid side eye because she’s scared about what I know about her. Sometimes keeping them wondering is a good form of revenge. Keep them paranoid.

  • Im over this one for sure! Especially difficult after a 3 decade marriage. No one knew what to do with me, he took off like a coward. A very wise friend gave me great advice. She said ‘take everyone of his ppl OFF your plate. I gave my family the ultimatum to pick him or pick me. There was NO sharing of this relationship any longer. It felt good to draw that line in the sand. He had a sister who tried and tried to keep in contact with me, but after I found out she was copying pics off my FB of grandkids, family etc. and sending them to him, I deleted her from my life as fast as I did him. If ANYONE wants him and me, I make it easy and tell them pick him if you can’t figure it out!

    I surround myself with loyal friends and family now. NONE of which expect me to include my X. Now my adult children need to reconcile for themselves what they do with lying, cheating, X.

  • I cut all mutual friends out of my life to be able to move on, knowing my real friends would understand and respect my decision.

    3 years later I’m moved on, in love again, and the real friends are back in my life. None of them are still friends with him.

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