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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Dad’s day to all the chump men! Hope you’re out celebrating today and being celebrated.

If you’re going through the infidelity and divorce crucible right now, and the Hallmark bonhomie of Intact Family Celebrations turns you off, please know it gets better. Like I tell all the moms on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is your chance to celebrate YOUR way and make this day about YOU. (Yes, my chumpy friend, your needs don’t have to be microscopic on this or any other holiday.)

Thanks for all you do to be the Sane Parent. Thanks for setting a good example. Thanks for giving every straight woman and gay guy here hope that Good Men Exist. We love you and we wouldn’t be Chump Nation without you.

And a special shout out to my husband who is a wonderful father. To his corny jokes, to making Everything A Teaching Moment, to his love of baseball, popcorn, and BBQ, to his spoiling dogs to a ridiculous degree (he bakes them DOG CAKES for their birthdays!) to his being the sane guy who Shows Up — thank you. My own son’s father ghosted him (here’s to the healing powers of step fathers!) and today my son is proud to call my husband his parent.

Let’s share our Good Guy stories and show our appreciation for the awesome dads out there.

Happy Dad’s Day!

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  • I will join in on wishing all the male chump dads out there a wonderful Father’s Day. Having had a malignant narcissist cheater for a male parent, and then I went on to marry two more cheating narcs, I didn’t think there were many good guys left. Thank goodness for this site. It, and all you wonderful male chumps have changed that outlook considerably.

    Rock on all you mighty guys. I hope your special day is filled with love and laughter, and please know you are all appreciated here at chump nation!

    • Just wanted to pipe in, a little late, a nice guy comment.

      I attend a Divorce Care group (& ours is excellent. But the first one I attended was too “evangelical/condemning” for me, so if there’s one in your area, give a few a try before you bag it).

      ANYHOW, there are some men in the class who bemoan not seeing their kids. And it’s NOT because of money they complain. It’s about TIME with their KIDS.

      They were sad about not having their kids for Father’s Day.

      I’d give anything to be married to a man who felt that time with his kids was EMOTIONALLY FULFILLING and FUN< and NOT an "expense" to be minimized or measured or weighed against more work/accolades. That is what I was married to, and what I'm now freed of him & his warped values.

      Sorry for my kids, but glad to have seen GOOD MEN who care about being a dad.

      Happy (belated) Father's Day to you good guys who keep on showing up b/c that's what parents do.

  • A huge thanks to all the male chumps for showing everyone what real men look like. Happy Fathers Day!

  • Being a father and also a chump to a cheating wife often results in male chumps suffering huge blows to our parental roles. In my case, I had to paternity test a child, pay child support that my ex used to move one of my children child 2,000 miles away with one of her AP’s, and as a result I went from being around my kids full time to 50-50 to seeing them for only a few days every few months. I lost in this more than I once thought I could endure.

    Through it all, I did my best to remain reliable, connected, and optimistic. Now nearly a decade down the road, I am in a good place with my adult bio kids, remarried to a wonderful fellow Chump, and step dad to an amazing step son. To feel appreciated on this day—by my family IRL, and also by CL—gives me a sense that a journey is complete: I made it to where I was meant to be. Thank you.

    • Plus, Nomar, you kept (or grew?) a brilliant sense of humour. You always make me smile if not lol.

      I’m gonna add reliable, connected and optimistic to the words I write on my mirror. Alongside dignity and grace, calm and firm.

      (Yes I know they are not grammatically related but small matter eh?)

      Love hearing your back story and thanks for the hope for a good man in my future.

    • I know exactly how you feel it’s awful going through this hell and your made out to be the BAD guy while the chump plays the victim such a pathetic joke and the court system is useless

    • I am so glad you are in a good place Nomar, you deserve it! Happy Father’s Day!

      • The woman that cheated on nomar and stole his children is one of the great reasons for this site. How this can happen today is crazy, but it does. I’m so glad to hear you are in a good place as you very much deserve to be. And, your lucky chump-wife!

  • Happy Father’s Day to all the chump dads out there! The fatherly love and devotion I have witnessed in the ones I know is beautiful to see. You are awesome! Know how important you are to your children and to everyone as a shining example of fatherhood. Celebrate you! You are loved!

  • To all of you dads who are still being there for your kids despite whatever level of personal crazy you are going thru please know that you are nothing short of a hero!
    I always thought my x husband was a lot like my dad who *is* a hero.
    When my husband totally lost his mind my dad stepped in to help.
    Being a father doesn’t end when kids turn 18. Real men have lasting character. That is truly what makes them heros.

  • My Ex has done everything that she can to cut me off from my kids and make the OM (now their stepfather) their “Dad”. Yet my kids and I still love each other and we persevere.
    My Ex doesn’t realized in her disordered mind that the kids deeply resent her doing this. My oldest who is now away in college talks to her as little as he can but talks to me regularly now that he is out from under her thumb. It will be the same for the younger two.

    My Father’s Day message is to those who are struggling— take the high road, be the sane parent and the kids will know reality and it will usually work out OK in the end.

    • LaughingGator,
      Your story clicks with me.
      Growing up under the sneering glare of my narcissistic mom, I was always demonized for keeping up a relationship with my dad.
      Mom and dad had a tumultuous relationship to say the least, divorcing when I was 5 or 6. The verbal, emotional, physical abuse went both ways, they both did shit to each other.
      It wasn’t until I was in college, far away from my mother, that I was able to finally have a relationship with my dad.
      Have a great Father’s Day!!!

    • Your story makes me so mad. It is bad enough to cheat on your spouse but to then alienate them from the faithful parent is just that much worse. I still encourage my kids to have a relationship with my ex even though he blew up our family in such a terrible way. For a woman to be the one to blow up her marriage and then not encourage the kids relationship with their dad is just as low as you can go. I am so glad that you are now close to your oldest and hope for the same from your younger children.

      • Is their logic that the other partner is toxic or something? Not a good enough parent? Sounds like double gaslighting to screw with a kid’s mind that the other parent should be avoided. Very selfish of them and it will certainly (hopefully) backfire when the kids catch on.

        • SheChump – My stbx moved in with 22 y.o. coworker – he’s 25 years older than her. She’s 10 years older than our daughter. Stbx whined and played the pity card – I was so mean! (Behind closed doors – that’s why our daughter never saw me be ‘mean’). OW helped save him from me! OW took our daughter shopping, nails, clothes shopping – good buddies – while our daughter was thinking it was all my fault. It was horrible. And then she started to see what her dad was really like. She told him she didn’t like what he did to the family. He did not like her confronting him and he gave her the gas lighting treatment – which she did not appreciate. He cried about how she ‘hurt his feelings’ and brought her home in the middle of the night from a camping trip without her clothes and retainer. Poor baby got his feel bads hurt. He doesn’t see that he hurt anyone, though, because he was unhappy and he’s entitled to destroy a family, don’t you know. He was telling our daughter at first that it was my fault she was going to lose her home because I was so greedy wanting spousal support he couldn’t afford, he was going to make the judge sell her home! She was 12! They are idiots. So he could afford to buy big new toys left and right to impress OW, but wasn’t interested in making sure his daughter could stay in her home with her dogs. I was able to finally buy him out, though. His mom said he can’t buya house now – his debt to loan ratio is too high. Yesterday was Father’s Day. She said, “I don’t have a father.” So we went shopping.

  • So happy for Tracy and others here with some wonderful examples of fatherhood in their close spheres. Today is hard for me. Really hard. You give hope that it won’t always feel this way.

    My ex moved to the other side of the country, and my stepdad kicked me out his life a year ago when I outed his cheating to my mom. So I lost the only father figure I had left in my life, as my dad died over 20 years ago. Everyone else in my life was busy today with their own families, and I decided there’s no way I could sit through church alone YET AGAIN (kids go into the kid center, adults go to main building) to listen to a sermon about fatherhood. Can’t. Do. It.

    So a friend of mine offered to let my kids come over and make breakfast and some handmade cards for her husband. So thankful, but it’s so sad that these kids are in this position due to the selfishness of cheaters. They deserve 1,000,000 times better.

    • Honey – Sounds like you are better off without that cheating, adulterous son of a bitch who lied to your mom and kicked you out. Why would you want him in your life? I lost my parents years ago and I just don’t think about M.Day or FDay anymore. It’s a Hallmark occasion. Groan – cards are almost $5/a piece now. It’s time to start a new tradition for your kids if their father wants no involvement. How about a, ‘Lets take a shelter puppy for a walk today.’ Helping others always seems to make us feel better.

      • My father was barely a parent even during the few spells when he wasn’t drinking. My mother dumped him when I was 13. I finally cut ties with him in my early 20s and he died alone 10 years later. I no longer regret the relationship we never had. So on Sunday, I did my monthly prayer service at the nursing home and then picked up my mother for lunch. We hung out the whole day, making redecorating dreams, planning our upcoming vacation like we did when the kids were little, coloring my hair, comparing our spiritual lives, talking openly about the poor choices in men we’d made, sharing a bottle of wine. When she left I told her “Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for always being the mother you are.” It was the best father’s dsy ever.

  • Well I’m down on the coast staying with youngest son (because there was a baby shower for my daughter’s best friend growing up). He works for his uncle (ex/his father’s brother) who is teaching him his business of marine surveying. My two older children live overseas and have pretty much cut off all contact with their father, for him they have no respect. Youngest is a real “people pleaser” and got bullied into going to a party his father and the latest affair partner to celebrate their recent marriage. In our old house (purchased by my parents, as was the business and another “flip house” he’s still holding onto). Youngest was completely stressed out by the ordeal, and said the neighbors and friends attending seemed a little befuddled. I think it was a typical narcissist exhibition – hey, pat us on the back for fucking over 2 families – see how happy we are?

    Anyway, I digress. Was just asked to stop by the brother in law’s house before we head out of town. All 3 kids say it’s not fair that their cousins got the decent, grounded “dad” and they got a weirdo. He’s been more of a father to the youngest, and I owe him a debt of gratitude, so we’ll go by to say thanks for that. Grateful that there are good men out there for whom family is something you work at and support.

    Cheers to all the Chump Dads out there – know that your children appreciate you.

  • Hugs to all the Chump Fathers out there.
    Life has not been fair, but you are doing the best that you can. Stay strong for your kids.

  • Happy Father’s Day to all the good guy chumps! I was searching for an inspirational quote as a gift for those who may not get much time with their kids or the disordered has made you out to be the bad guy for now. Knowing that you keep on keeping on even when life has served you a shit sandwich. I think of it as doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Thank you for being the sane parent. Thank you for giving us gal chumps hope there are good folks out there. Thank you for being you.

    “Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction. Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity.”

    • Thank you for the quotation. Words to live by. I think that in the end we must do the right thing, not because it’s fair, or because we owe it to someone, because it’s necessary to be the person we want to be, our best self. Though in the end I believe living with integrity usually, ***eventually***, gets us to a place where we’re okay with everything that’s happened to us along the way. #AreWeThereYet

      • Honey – Sounds like you are better off without that cheating, adulterous son of a bitch who lied to your mom and kicked you out. Why would you want him in your life? I lost my parents years ago and I just don’t think about M.Day or FDay anymore. It’s a Hallmark occasion. Groan – cards are almost $5/a piece now. It’s time to start a new tradition for your kids if their father wants no involvement. How about a, ‘Lets take a shelter puppy for a walk today.’ Helping others always seems to make us feel better.

      • nomar – truer words couldn’t be said. We have to live with ourselves and I’ve been a little too close to seeing the other side a few times, that I realized I’m proud of myself (is that a sin?). I don’t regret anything I’ve done in my life, other than some silly adolescent things…like marrying too young.. I think I’d be proud of any funeral my pals and family would put on for me.

        Twice-a-chump – integrity is something we are born with.
        You either have it by nature or you don’t.
        I was with a fool for 35 yrs before I realized he had none.
        Or…I guess I was the fool.

  • I was up early and first in line for leaving a comment…my phone died just before I posted it.
    Waaah! Today is my first Father’s Day post DDay. My husband (who is wearing his wedding ring on a chain around his neck?!!) is on our sailboat with our daughter….which is where we would all be had it not been for discovering his affair (I am calling them “Lower Companions” rather than “affair partners” from now on…). Feeling so much pain…what can I do today in terms of self-care? I do have a list of ideas for things I might enjoy doing, things that I love.
    In the meantime, do I wish him a happy Father’s Day? He has moved out, is giving me anything I ask for (time with our daughter, money, assets). I am grateful for that because I know it could easily be otherwise, CN who have not been given those
    things. Before the affair, I would have said he was an incredible dad…now I choke on saying that because character is so high on my list of qualifications for that title. He wished me a happy Mother’s Day (also first one post DDay) and I honestly answered that it was not happy except for being happy that I was with our daughter. What I want is for the affair to have never happened, for the local legend of My Husband The Nice Guy to be true, for him to be the person I thought he was….all impossible.
    Yesterday I made a book…50 copies of a picture of him…and wrote a line FACT /TRUTH on each page (ie “I am OK lying to you”…”I put you in danger”…“Sex outside a committed relationship is OK with me”…”You can’t trust what I say” etc.). It is to help me reconcile and internalize who he IS and lay to rest the mindf**k of who he portrayed himself to be. One Father’s Day gift to me…

    • Oh that is a brilliant idea, Velvet. I k ow at times during the early part of the long and tortuous divorce period very occasionally stbx would do something not that bad, and is waver a bit, it got easier as time went on but it was thinking a raindrop of being nice, in an ocean of nastiness did not mean much, got me through. Doing a book like that would have saved a lot of thinking about how he behaved before and after D-day. Towards the end when I was heartily sick of his time and money warring prevarication a accepting a settlement I decided enough was enough and I wa Ted to go to court if that was what it took. Even my great solicitor was dubious, he seems very anxious apparently. I said not too anxious to threaten to kill me. While dwelling unnecessarily on past trauma is not good you need to remember for your own good, and then not forget. Memory of bad things happening is a safeguard against repeating mistakes

      • BF Skinner…system of INTERMITTENT REWARD is the most powerful form of operant conditioning….the mice are rooted to the spot if they don’t know when a piece of cheese is coming….breaking the spell requires believing WE SHOULD HAVE LOTS OF CHEESE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES!!! I have to do a cheese inventory of my marriage!!! If I tell my spouse we are out of cheese, how does he respond?!! So I have to have my reminders of TRUTH and FACTS right now to stay in my right perspective…hence my book. He is a local legend of nice-guy-ness…which is SUCH a torturous mindf**k. NICE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE AFFAIRS!!!!

        • I also struggle with the public perception of Mr Wonderful v my reality of the abusive serial cheater. Even my lawyer at divorce court said “you have had a very different experience of him from the rest of the world” which sent me into a tailspin of doubt. Last week I went on an evidence gathering mission, I hope for the last time looking at his texts, emails and social media posts which have since been proven to be untrue, and I copied just three to keep handy to reassure myself when I start to wonder again “was it me?”.

          • It’s such a horrible feeling. Our therapist said to me, “nice people are up front and tell you what’s going on with them.” I clung to that sentence like a life preserver. I married him because all I heard from everyone who knew him was what a nice guy he was. Literally. He likes to tell anecdotes about what a nice guy other people think he is. (Future red flag). I went through the same thing with Oprah when I was on her show. Who the heck is going to believe me, right? Abused by a beloved public figure Who Is A Saint. Well, move over Bill Cosby. My husband isn’t in Bill Cosby’s league in terms of the actual crime, but there is a special category of Messed Up when people brag about how nice they are while having an affair. My daughter’s school had a “Do Good Be Kind” campaign. I ordered t-shirts that said the same. The day they came in the mail, he arrived home as I was opening the package. He asked if I had ordered him one. I hadn’t.
            I later found out HE HAD BEEN AT HER HOUSE THAT SAME DAY JUST BEFORE HE CAME HOME!!!!! WTF??!!!!!!! Yeah, here’s your “Do Good Be Kind” t-shirt. I got one for your Lower Companion too…

              • VelvetHammer – “Do Good Be Kind” t-shirt.

                Wow – that’s perfect.
                Put that on the front.
                And, on the back side put – ‘Sorry, I am NOT nice’.

              • Yes…years ago in her Jerry Springer-ish days where you lie to the guests, antagonize them to get them to react. I didn’t bite and called her on it via fax. Show aired 4/15/92.

  • My Father’s Day card, if truthful, would say
    “In many ways you are a great dad, except in the most important one: integrity”. Can’t find that one at the Hallmark store, so I just texted him I hope he has a nice day with our daughter. I do truly feel that way because of her, not him so much. I do know she is deeply traumatized and angry and is setting that aside to be with him
    today (she is 11…it is heartbreaking and sickening for her to be in that position). ????

    • Velvet Hammer well said! My older kids are going through the same thing as your daughter. We are strong and they will get strength (and wisdom) from us!

      • Thank you so much. There is so much gold in knowing I have company at the s**tshow.
        (When my appetite returns maybe I will get popcorn).

    • I gave my nowdeadcheater a Catholic book for fathers day just before the worst of the storm and he didnt read it – telling me “Why would you buy me that, Im sire I already do everything in it.

      After his affair-abuse, he decided to try to be a decent human for about 3 minutes and opened the book…it was all about how MOST of fathering consists in being a good husband.

      • “The most important thing a father can do for his children is love their mother”
        (Forgot who said that).

        • Said by Father Theodore Hesburgh, president of the University of Notre Dame.

          • Yes…it was not on the tip of my tongue when I posted…too lazy to Google…thank goodness for you!
            (Coffee mugs with this are available on Amazon….I thought I’d get my husband one for Father’s Day….instead it will be my advice to my daughter when she picks a husband).

        • How a father could have their children watch him be cruel and betray their mom ….. how do you make your child watch that….. After stbx moved out with his gf, he took our camper to take our daughter camping. Well, he took his gf, too.
          “Mom is mean, let’s take the camper to go camping – we’ll bring my girlfriend, too!”
          And then he brought the camper back to my backyard when done.
          But then, he had people in our home messing around. So what’s the difference.

    • Velvet Hammer:
      ——-My Father’s Day card, if truthful, would say
      “In many ways you are a great dad, except in the most important one: integrity”. Can’t find that one at the Hallmark store——

      Very well said!!!

      We are such suckers for the little nice things us chumps. The big horrible things just disappear for the moment. I also hear the stories of the worse Cheaters and think mine is so much nicer. But isn’t it like wondering which murderer or embezzler is worse than another? — the fact remains— they are still a lying, betraying, damage inflicting, abusive cheater.

      • Amen. If you willingly set off a nuclear bomb in the living room of your home while your family is there, from the safety of your hotel room, with your Lower Companion underneath you, it kind of wipes out all the other good stuff on your resume…because maybe the good stuff wasn’t genuine?….or was it?…..mindf**k, mindf**k…..

  • Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation for the good wishes. Like so many other chump dads out there, my ex does everything she can to try to marginalize my role in my kids’ lives. For all the chump dads in the middle of their divorce, it gets so much better. I’m in a great relationship with a fellow chump who has helped me heal from years of abuse from my narc ex. She’s also helping me help my kids. So I’m having a better Father’s Day than I ever did before. You will too. Take heart.

    • Per the new relationships, I think the best thing I’ve done since my divorce is to remarry to a good woman and together give our kids (mine and hers from previous bad marriages) provide role models, showing them what it means to be a good father, a good mother, and what a good marriage looks like (thoughtful, reciprocal, playful, reliable, affectionate, patient, encouraging, grateful). #TryAgain

      • I agree. I think its great that they see us function well as a couple. At her moms house, she watches her mom terrorize her step dad. The poor guy, I feel bad for him

  • Happy Father’s Day to all the chump dads. Thank you for being examples of mighty men and fathers. Not for show, not for kibbles, but because your inner compass points to True Motherfucking North. May you know in your big, fierce hearts that even if you aren’t where you hoped to be yet, you’ll get there in time. Today, this chump celebrates you with a deep bow of respect, well earned.

  • Both my real father and my step-dad have passed away, but the gratitude I feel for the latter in my life cannot be expressed. My Dad married my mom when all three of us were either teenagers or on the cusp, and did a pretty good job showing up. While he wasn’t fault-free (whom among us is?), he did his best, and that was all we could ask.

    Thanks, Dad!

  • Happy Father’s Day to all the Chumped dad’s out here in ChumpNation!
    Happy Father’s Day to all the stepped-up step-dads out here in ChumpNation!
    I hope the dad-chumps going through the beginning stages of D-Day/separating/divorcing, it does get better!!!
    Most importantly, the Chump-Moms that are completely doing it all on their own with little to no help from your kid(s) dad— keep your head up. Keep fighting the good fight!????

  • Happy Father’s Day to the good guys at Chump Nation! We know you exist, unlike unicorns.You’re mighty!
    Happy Chump Mum’s Day to the ladies, those who comfort the kids with shitty cheater dads. You’re mighty!

  • Happy Father’s Day, chumped dads. Hang in there and keep being there for your kids. They may seem right now like they are taken in by your cheater, but give it time– from what I’ve read over the years, the kids figure out who the sane parent is almost without exception.

    A special shout out to my dad who has been more of a dad to my kids than their own father. Case in point, eldest son is now old enough to shave, and my dad taught him to shave. Eldest didn’t even think about asking his dad for pointers.

    Happy Father’s Day to you moms who are also the dads due to abandonment or estrangement. That’s who I am for my younger son now. I happily took myself out for a nice cup of coffee this morning. 🙂

    Also, a shout out to those of you who are stepfathers and make your stepkids feel loved without forcing them to accept you as a replacement dad when they still have a dad. The Owife and the ex-cheater have pushed her as a mother figure (that my kids are, apparently, supposed to pledge some sort of allegiance to) to the point that my eldest is slowly but surely becoming disenchanted with them, and my younger son hasn’t visited them in six months. If I ever find a guy that I want to share my life with, I hope I’m lucky enough to find one who is willing to be in my kids’ lives without forcing the situation.

  • Happy Fathers Day to all the male Chumps. Every time you doubt yourself or have to tolerate your toxic cheater devaluation and abuse know you and your children deserve better.

    You win the moment you decide to divorce the cheater, fight for yourself, take care of your needs and be the sane parent. Sure it’s a tall order, however you know the truth.

    I’d prefer a good man over the lug nut of a fantabulous fantasy of a fake future any day of the week. Stand tall today and every day forward.

    And thanks for the the sane input from the loyal chump men I’ve come to admire. For those male Chumps who lurk, find your voice and post. Mightiness is the gift of life. Become a Patron. Love you Tracy.

  • Happy Father’s Day! I hope you are were able to be with your kids today and that you continue to stay Mighty!

  • Happy Father’s Day to all the vocal and lurking male chumps out there. You are great examples of how good men really act. I know in a lot of cases the courts are not fair to you and losing time with your children is heartbreaking but you all continue to do the right thing; to be the sane parent. It gives me hope. It gives a lot of us female chumps hope that the ex cheaters we left to gain a life, won’t be the last people we love.

    It is my sincere wish that you all had a chance to spend Father’s Day with your children and that the day was awesome!

  • A special Shout-Out to the Dad Chumps who had to make an awful decision….divorcing a cheater knowing that your cheater will get custody of your children….and you will become a father by appointment.

    This has to be the most emotionally horrible, self sabatoging hatchet to bury.

    I wholeheartedly SALUTE YOU.

  • My brother is a chump! He left his cheating wife about 9 years ago, but then turned down Fortune 500 VP jobs to stay near his boys. He shows up for everything they do—And then some! He shows up for his girlfriend’s kids. He is the world’s best uncle and son to my parents on top of everything else.

    My other two brothers and him and my dad are the only reason I believe that yeah, there are decent men out there.

  • Happy fathers day to the chumped dads who sacrifice to stay in their kids lives. It sucks right now, and it seems like the kids have to be all about mom and her AP…but it gets better. The kids realize who the sane parent is in the end. My cheater kept saying “the kids will be ok with this”.Well after repeated reminders from me that today was fathers day my oldest asked his father( just today )what he wanted. When his father replied ‘NOTHING”(asking to be begged for a answer..kibbles!),thats exactly what he got. My youngest refused to go with me to shop for a gift, then I had to almost force him to give it to his father. They are not ok with this.

  • I hope you all had a splendid Fathers Day!
    Thank you for all you do!

  • Thanks CN-All, For your love and support. The best reward is the encouragement I get from knowing I’m Not Alone and You understand me.

    3 of my kids (one of which is my ex’s son) locked onto the “do the Next Right thing” behavior I tried to instill in them and demonstrate in my life. I do not worry not one Iota for their well-being or futures. They are working- No Striving, to build futures for themselves and their families. With their own bare hands and the talents they all possess. No man is prouder.

    My Ex’s daughter never really liked me. I didn’t try to be her dad. I told her I could not replace her father. I never forced her to look at me as ‘replacement dad’. It was sad really. I tried showing her affection and my hugs would turn her to ice. Apparently her father did not teach her that affection is normal. Her mother doted on her and de-valued mine, and her own son. Her daughter chose Mom and her kids are part of the deal. Playing chess with children in a political game of Who’s got the biggest dick is about the lowest form of human resentment that I am ashamed to acknowledge exists in our race.

    So for any lurking men too macho or too hurt to post. This is how you ‘get over it’. Join a Mighty Force to be reckoned with. It’s healing AF!!

    But most importantly…drum roll Please… to the lonely dads with kids gone/grown/estranged , wife gone, career gone, a little wear and tear but no worse for use, Find the Badass YOU. I’m 58, Re-training in a martial art I loved in my late teens (Galz he noticin’ the old bird), playing music again. It’s getting BETTER. So put your boots back on cupcake, we gotta lotta road ahead to happily trudge.

  • I needed this.

    I got a couple shitty cards with a few starburst-candies inside. All for … what…. the almighty kick in the….

    Last year, Father’s Day, was the last time we were all together as a big family unit.
    And even though I’m already 1000% better than 365 days ago, it still hurts.

    For me, I was so focused on why she and I weren’t working (for years) that it hurt my fathering. Today I reap the benefits. Fucking benefits of lame starburst fucking candies. If these beautiful children only knew what a fuck-up their mom is…

    My dear friend said, “its not a pissing-match”. Somedays I can’t help but feel it is.

    Thank you for this post. I need this.

    • I don’t know how old your kids are but if you like starburst or they like starburst, it was done with warm feelings.

      I’m sorry Tall One that it just feels so half-assed. Maybe next year they will have seen the light.

      “If these beautiful children only knew what a fuck-up their mom is…”

      Yeah. I get that, but remember it took you years to figure it out too. They’re still working their way through it.

      You have another year to become the Sane Parent if you haven’t been one already. Chumps sometimes have to work their way to Sane, even when they are saner!

    • At least you got something. My oldest who is away at college called me (which was great and he’s a broke college student and didn’t need to get me anything). My daughters though who live with Ex had their phones confiscated the other day so they couldn’t call or text me (she does this every year) while she has a big party for their StepDad (the OM) and puts it all over Facebook.

      That phone call was the first thing I got for Father’s Day in 6 years since Dday and the divorce. It’s therefore a sad holiday for me BUT I know that my kids love me and when they are away from my Ex it’s evident. Remember that your kids are virtual prisoners under the Ex’s thumb right now if they are living with her, so at least you got some candy and they thought of you. It will get better when they get away from her.

  • Yes, happy Fathers Day to the Chump dads.

    My husband was abandoned 17 years ago and has been the best long distance dad his daughter could have ever hoped for (he was military so being far away was a constant). He recently walked her singlehandedly through the whole college choosing process and is ready to hand over his GI BILL education to her (plus whatever other money she needs).

    So my SD is a nice kid, but for her dad no actual card (she sent an e-card) no gift, no call (he called her) after telling about all the stuff she does for her mom on mothers day. Im not going to give her shit, but it hurt him.

  • Happy Father’s Day to the chumpy dads! Really I couldn’t have said it better than CL did, and everyone here, but I wanted to show my sincere support and admiration.

  • Is there something wrong with me for feeling a bit sorry for my ex today? Two out of three kids begged out of the pool party he wanted to take them to. Of course the party was at a pool right next to Schmoopie’s house and Schmoopie was going to be there. My daughter flat out said she didn’t want to go because she didn’t like the people who were going to be there and the older son claimed he was too tired. I guess this is karma and it should make me happy, but I actually feel sad. He had what I am sure he felt was a fun event planned for his kids for Father’s day and they blew him off. I know the kids do love him in spite of his faults but he probably doesn’t feel very loved by them right now. I know it might be his own darn fault, but it still makes me sad. Maybe I am really just concerned that he will ultimately reject the older two because he perceives them as rejecting him. That’s what happened to me after all. The youngest will be ok, however. He know’s how to protect himself by doing what will make his father happy. He is good at not letting emotions get in the way of his interactions with people. He isn’t bothered by Schmoopie because he considers her irrelevant. As such, he can enjoy time with his dad with or without her presence. For their sakes, I sometimes wish the other two could do that, but I am not going to be the one to encourage it direct.y.

    • So – if your situations were reversed, do you think he would feel sorry for you?

    • “Is there something wrong with me for feeling a bit sorry for my ex today?”

      No. It’s kind of you. Do you want to be more like him and not feel a little bit sad about the outcome? No matter how deserved!

      “Maybe I am really just concerned that he will ultimately reject the older two because he perceives them as rejecting him.”

      It could happen, but how much support and approval would you (or they) want from someone who is such a hot mess? Maybe by next Father’s Day he will be a better adult and parent and the kids will want to spend a little goofing-around time with him on Father’s Day. He has to work to regain their respect – as it should be.

      I hope you did something fun yesterday too!

  • As a male chump “Thank You!” @cheaterssuck @SuperDuperChump and many others!

    It certainly doesn’t diminish the pain/heartache/anger/etc. of all the ladies here in CN but there are differences for us men. Just this morning I’m reading an ‘article’ in the UK gutter press about all the many men having a midlife crisis and cheating on their wives with a younger schmoopie. Thankfully it was full of comments about “why no mention too of the wives having a mid-life crisis and abandoning their families for a younger bad-boy type?” as that’s where I am.

    And yes even though here in EU the base divorce law is 50/50 custody you know the courts and people’s opinion in general is that the children ‘should’ be with their mother. Even my cheating stbx W says that. The same woman that preferred to be the other side of the planet chasing her Neanderthal than spend Xmas with her daughters.

    She is also fabricating her future divorce & custody case by going to women’s charity groups for ‘help’ (I suppose she was ‘battered’ with too much kindness). Having meetings with government officials to blame me for all our debts while conveniently neglecting to explain all the thousands she’s spent on (or even sent directly to) her Neanderthal. And who knows what else.

    I’ve been documenting a lot as I’m determined to ask for full custody of our daughters who have largely been raised by me (her ‘parenting’ extends to switching on the TV and sleeping on the sofa). I imagine this will be a battle as there’s money involved. Here in EU we get over 300 Euros a month tax-free from the government for 2 children and I’m sure she won’t want to give that up. It’s also clear from what I see that Neanderthal has “anger issues” amongst goodness knows what else and that means he needs to be kept away from my 6 & 9 year old girls (obviously stbx just thinks he’s “misunderstood”). However if she agrees to my terms (full custody) she can have her quick divorce as I believe right now I’d like to be rid of her.

    Ok enough post Father’s Day whinging from me! Our EU one was actually the previous weekend and my daughters gave me some lovely gifts they made in their schools, which I much prefer than something bought. Stbx as predicted didn’t even mention the day but I don’t care as I feel the “Meh” getting much closer.

  • Last year was the worst Fathers Day of my life. At that time I just moved out of the house after discovering my wife cheated on me again. Her infidelities were numerous through out our marriage. The pain was unbearable. But I made it through with some great friends, business partners, and church members. I grew more in the past year then any any other time in my life combined. Since last Father’s Day. I got my house back, custody of the kids, and a great new career. Just when I thought my life was over, it really opened up to a beautiful new chapter. Thanks Chump Lady for keeping real “Hope” alive for your readers.

    • Congratulations on a life well deserved. I wish all chump stories had a great outcome like yours!! Thank you for posting this so others can know it’s really just beginning when you leave a cheater, you gain a life.

  • My ex was a violent bastard but I always thought he loved his kids. Didn’t stop him from moving back to the States and abandoning them completely. He occasionally calls and “wonders why he isn’t supporting the youngest in school”. Hey, I wonder too but F you you asshole if you loved your kids maybe you would stay in touch. His moving away just showed me that he really isn’t dad material. From what I gather from the kids they speak maybe twice a year, but don’t put your hand in your pocket there buddy! After the ex left I dated a lovely Dutch man who has 7 kids. He moved out (no cheating) but wanted to remain in his kids life forever. They are first and foremost in his life and I respect that. So happy Father’s day Clem. Sorry my kids got the short end of the stick.

  • This is a hard day for many of us. My own father died 10 years ago, only months after I had learned that my husband of then 30 years was having his first affair. I still regret not spending enough time with my dad as his health was failing as I was such a wreck. To make matters worse, I didn’t at the time appreciate that my dad had raised 4 daughters as a single parent after my mother had an affair and left. Not easy at any time but especially hard in the 1960-80 time period. Anyway, this day always reminds me of how I didn’t appreciate my dad enough for what he did and now that I know firsthand the pain he endured and the work he did to raise us, it is too late to tell him how much I respect him. This day also makes me see just how shallow and self-centered my Cheater (yes, he is currently in affair #? but this time she is the love of his life–lol) is and what a crappy father he has been to our daughter. Reluctantly, I need to also admit that my decision to reconcile after the first affair probably caused my daughter more hurt and definitely resulted in a significant financial hit to her as Dad/Cheater spent the money that was supposed to go to her on girlfriends and lost his job 3x because of his affairs with co-workers so…I my decision to give him another chance hurt my daughter in many ways. Damn these Hallmark holidays that make those of us struggling to hold our family together feel more damaged. Thanks to everyone offering support on this site and a big thank you to CL for starting the site. No one really understands who hasn’t “been there” and this site is a wealth of support and advice. Thanks

  • Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in CN! You are mighty! Although my own dad passed away a few years ago, I can honestly say that I miss him every day and often ask him for help & guidance when I need it. I know what LOVE is because I know he loved me.

  • Happy (belated) Father’s Day to chump nation dads.

    Also to CN men who aren’t dads or step-dads, but who have ever had a hand in keeping a parent sane, or a kid from doing something stupid, or catching them doing something stupid and stopping it or yelling at them about it or marching them home by the scruff of their neck to report what they had done to their parent(s) – sometimes all three. Thank you for saving kids from themselves or backing up a Sane Parent when they needed it. Regardless of your parental status.

    Chump men are mighty.

  • The cheater ex made us leave the beach early because he said he wanted our son for the weekend. They didn’t do a damn thing. My son called me about 4 times on Sunday because he was bored and watching youtube videos. We could have been on the beach and having fun. I guess having his son for Father’s Day sounded like the right thing to do. I have feelings about that. And someone needs to have words with Jennifer Garner. Check out her Instagram post yesterday. Gawd.

    I did turn the day into a positive. I texted the few good men in our small town who have taken my son to do the outdoor things he loves to do. They have taken an interest in him and I appreciate it so much. They aren’t Dads themselves, just good men. I also thanked my brother-in-law for all he does for me and my son. We are living with him and my sister right now. Our burned down in February. We live with him, he is my general contractor as we rebuild and he cooks every night. It’s hysterical on the rare occasion he doesn’t cook….me and my sister just kind of stare at each other. LOL

    There ARE good men out there. And some of them are here. I hope y’all had a great day yesterday.

  • Wish I would have read this yesterday. Thank you to all who offered Happy Father’s Day to chumps like me. My STBXW didn’t offer me one this first holiday not together, nor did she help our boys with anything. If my mom wasn’t visiting I think the day would have been mostly ignored. I’m not big on recognition for being a good dad. Where I come from you don’t get rewarded for doing the right thing. But I’m glad my mom was here to help them make cards, buy a pie, etc.

    On Mother’s Day (also first not together) I helped boys put together some nice stuff (framed pics they drew for her new place, flowers, a new painting – all color coordinated in her favorite color – and the treat I knew she’d like, instead of what they wanted do get). I did it knowing she probably wouldn’t do the same. Not to “win” or seem like the better person. I did it to help show the boys how to appreciate their mom. I worry about what their relationship will become, but they’ll have future women (or men) in their lives and they need to be taught how to show appreciation for them. I did also wish her Happy Mother’s Day last month, and meant it, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed to not get that from her. Despite everything, she says I’m a great dad (and not a bad husband, a great guy). When everything was spinning out of control the last few months – causing me to doubt me as a dad – she said she needed me to know that. Not sure what that meant …

    Anyway, Happy (belated) Father’s Day to all the dads. Chump or not, male or not. Keep being awesome and showing up.

    • Yesshesucks , if you soon-to-be-ex will not “allow” you to see your own kids on Father’s Day when it falls on her custody weekend, get it put into your custody agreement (that goes for moms on Mother’s Day, too).

      And I’m sure you know this, but you shouldn’t have any hope that your ex will help your kids get you any kind of gift. My mom will sometimes take them out to get me something.
      As much as I hate to do it, and even though I know she doesn’t do this for me, I will take my kids to get their mom a $20 gift card and a card for Christmas, birthday, and mother’s day. I won’t do anything more than that, though. Anything more and I risk being even “chumpier” than I already am!

      • I don’t know how you do it. Maybe this makes me a jerk, but I can’t do it. I can’t celebrate him. I know he’s their father, and he spends significant time with them (30% custody, it’s all he wanted), but nothing makes me want to weep more than the fact that this…person…is the only bio-dad they’ll ever have. That’s a very special place in a child’s life, and I picked *that* and as a result my kids are stuck with it. I’m very good about staying positive-neutral about everything related to the boys’ father or AP, and encourage them to enjoy their time with him, but celebrating him as a father…I…just…can’t. If you think I’m being short-sighted and short-changing my boys in some way, please talk some sense into me, because in this particular situation I am utterly stuck.

        • I don’t think this makes you a jerk. I know what it’s like to not have the chance to be with a parent. So, as long as she wants to stick around – and the kids are safe – I’ll do my best to support them until they’re 18. They’ll make their own decisions along the way. I do believe that just because she is a poor partner it doesn’t mean she’s a poor parent. I’m going to try and give her a chance with this co-parent thing. And, again, let our kids decide. I can get through a day or three (bday, Christmas) at this point. Can I forever? Idk. Can you? That’s your circus and your monkeys. Good luck, and no judgment here.

        • SomethingNew , you don’t have to celebrate *him* (the ex). I look at it this way: my kids (not old enough to drive, nor have enough money) will be unable to buy their mom anything for a birthday/Mother’s day/whatever unless I make some effort. Nobody else is available to help them out. It sucks, it sucks big time, but I deal with it the same way I just button up my mouth, grit my teeth, and endure my daughter’s dance recitals with Miss Cheaterpants sitting a few feet away: I do it for them, and only for them.
          Now, that doesn’t mean I have to put in any real effort. So, I don’t help them make any homemade cards or presents, nor do I put in any amount of money. If they want to make something, I provide art supplies and a space in my home for them to make it. If they want to buy something, I take them to the store to buy a card and $20 gift card to Target. That’s it.

          • Thanks for the thoughtful replies , Yesshesucks and Traveling. My boys are 3 and almost-6, they definitely would need my help now and for many years to do anything for their father. I guess it’s never been an issue because they’ve never asked to, but is it my responsibility to remind them that they “should”? They do wonderful projects for Father’s Day in the daycare and school/after school, so as long as he cares about handmade gifts (who really knows?), that feels covered. As for their father’s birthday or Christmas, I’m sure his AP is on it. She wanted the job? She’s got it. His mother could also help out. That being said, if the boys ever said they wanted to make/buy something, I would absolutely help them. Yeah, I guess in the end it comes down to figuring out what you’re willing and able to do, running checks that it doesn’t hurt or disadvantage your loved ones and then finding peace with the imperfect situation. Thanks guys.

  • Happy Belated Father’s Day to all the dads of CN! (Sorry, I never read CL on the weekends.) Your strength and tenacity are an inspiration to us all, and a reminder that good men do exist (you guys, my long-distance brother and a few friends are all I’ve got in the “good men” category, keep it coming!). Keep on being the sane parent, and my sincere best wishes that you each get a little further on your road to Meh and a family situation you can be content with. None of it is fair, and none of it is right, but you do the best you can regardless, and that is Mighty.

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