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Dear Chump Lady, He got a ring tattoo for the OW

Dear Chump Lady,

Its been two years since D-Day. Mr. Twatwaffles and I were divorced in March of 2017 but we are presently engaged in a custody battle of our two children, so the shit sandwiches are being served up like a continuous buffet. Wounds are still raw and I am not healing as quickly as I would like because of this.

Anyway, our kids had an end of summer gathering with their swim team last night and my ex was there. Fortunately, NOT with his new wife appliance, Mrs. Alp-Ho Twatwaffles, but I noticed he was sporting a ring tattoo….like HE GOT HIS RING FINGER TATTOOED.

When he was married to me, he said he didn’t want to wear his wedding ring because it was a “signal” to women who were okay with having affairs with married men because “they know a married man is not available for anything more than just sex.” So, out of his love for me, he wasn’t wearing it.

I bought that shit ….stupid.

But he gets a tattoo now? As if their twu wuv is eternal and everlasting and not the subpar pile of crap of me that trusted him for 12 years???

And so now….I’m in a bit of a tailspin. I KNOW he displayed it to mindfuck me…and I pretended to not notice…but my God….does the fucking gut punching EVER end??? I KNOW its about image, I KNOW he gets off on hurting me…but it hurts me…and I’d like it to STOP hurting me. I’d like to stop caring. I’d like to stop crying because it was only a fuckwit who never loved me and he is not worth the literal GALLONS of tears I’ve wept and MONTHS of despair I’ve suffered. But I still fucking care….and it fucking pisses me off.

I want to start repairing my cracks with the gold that I know I’m worth. I am so sick of still being shattered by him. I want to STOP CARING.


Dear Kintsugi,

I’m sorry. I have to stop you at “didn’t want to wear his wedding ring because it was a ‘signal’ to women who were okay having affairs with married men.”

You know what signals if a woman is okay having an affair with a married man? She’s having an affair with a married man.

But Kintsugi, let’s just take him at his word — wedding bands drive the ladies wild! The mark of the married is just an invitation for extracurricular fucking. So NOW WHAT? Now he wears it proudly? BEHOLD! I HAVE A TATTOO! Oh no. I hope he doesn’t go outdoors. The mobs of sex-starved, loose women will tear him to shreds.

Pity the OW here. Can’t you imagine how this conversation went?

Him: I don’t believe in wearing wedding rings… the ladies..

Her (interrupting): You’re. Wearing. It.

Him: But I was only thinking of you, Sweetums!

Her: We’re tattooing it. Permanently.

Oh the joys of marriage policing and pick me dancing. She really won a prize.

Kintsugi, please don’t let this fuckwit’s ring finger upset you. He’s a loser. That ink is more permanent than any of his commitments.

The really upsetting thing here — why the wounds are raw and not healing — is that you’re in a custody battle. That would make anyone insane, and it compounds the injustice of betrayal. Really, on top of everything else, you have to fight for your kids? You’re never going to stop caring about your kids — him, I promise you will stop caring about him — but this fight is hurting you where shit is PRIMAL. Do. Not. Fuck. With. My. Babies.

To have him anywhere near you right now will feel like a threat. How could it not? You can do your sane solo parent gig every day, but then he shows up at a swim meet dinner with the Wifetress? It takes a lot of composure with a divorce decree and parenting court orders. Right now, your parenting plan is in limbo, sounds like. There are no defining boundaries of where and when and with whom. No WONDER you feel off-balance!

And you’re interpreting this grief as missing him? I don’t think you miss him. You miss the dream. Of an intact family, of a loving partner, of presenting at public events as Normal Family, not Jerry-Springer-dueling-bitches-pulling-off-each-other’s-wigs. (Okay, not that that happened… just that it feels that way.)

Single parenting is HARD. It’s important work, but it’s HARD. And it feels damn near impossible when you’re under assault with a custody trial. THAT feels like punishment. You have to be strong for your kids, and you have to get up each day and do that sane parent job. Only to be cross-examined about it later in court.

What you miss is PEACE. And SAFETY. And not feeling weary all the goddamn day.

That freak you were married to? He SUCKS. He cheated and lied. He didn’t cherish you — he rejected his wedding ring with the mindfuck that it was best for you. He blows up his family and instead of conveying his regrets about that, and bowing out with a fair settlement and not traumatizing anyone any further — he fights you in court. I don’t know the particulars, but I did hear an interesting statistic from a divorce lawyer recently, that only about TWO PERCENT of family court matters go to court. That means 98 percent SETTLE. Which means the people who push this shit in front of a judge are the outliers.

I can think of reasons that would endanger children that would need a day in court — the parent is an addict, dangerously mentally ill, negligent. From what you’ve written (I don’t know) neither of you are these things. He’s someone who presents as Normal Guy At Summer Picnic. I hope the lawyers can hammer out a settlement, and the healing can begin.

Kintsugi — he sucks. He really, really sucks. His ring finger sucks. His toes suck. That creepy little tuft of back hair on his shoulders sucks. That dodgy looking mole, his dandruff, his droopy balls — they all SUCK. Make a list. Check off each suck item. SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!

Stop caring for him, and start caring for you.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • If I could imprint one thing on the minds of every chump visiting this site, it would be BE PATIENT!

    I read over and over again that Chumps think they are “almost at meh” or don’t understand why they are still in pain (yesterday’s post). I totally understand why we all want thing to be fine ASAP. It doesn’t work that way!

    While you’re still in the legal process, while the other person is still in the house, while you are still answering their phone calls or emails, while you are new to co-parenting, while they are still part of your day to day life…don’t expect NOT to go into a tailspin over every hurtful, crappy experience.

    Recognize that new discoveries HURT and roll with that. Be kind to yourself and drop those expectations that you should be “over it”.

    Do not put unrealistic expectations on yourself.

    • Chumps cannot get to a state of indifference if they are embroiled in *any* legal battle with a fuckwit–divorce, custody, etc. It’s like trying to heal from surgery with the scalpel still in the wound.

      • Like my therapist says, it’s not a wound… I’m bleeding profusely. Ya, he moved out but we still have to finish prepping the house for sale, negotiate a separation agreement, have our day in court for the joint filing and then sell the house.

        Any contact is going to be triggering.

    • And prep the emotional first aid kit!! If you have a self-care plan for the tailspin (parachute) you will be ever so much better off when you get pushed unexpectedly out the plane door. My kit is a list of phone numbers of fellow chumps, a
      12 Step meeting list (any “A” will do….the rooms are full of people trying to better themselves and the perspective relief is immediate….guests are welcome at many meetings), Kleenex, a foam bat, a cozy blanket, quotes from Chump Lady’s blog gathered on a iPhone note, etc. Now that I know he has the capacity to hurt me like he did, I have to have a plan for when the sucker punch comes. I was surprised but in readiness mode last weekend when I was assaulted by flashbacks taking my daughter on a trip….hotels trigger me! Airports trigger me. Asian women trigger me, for Pete’s sake! (My apologies to any Asian chumps here; the cheating partner was Asian…I am Causasian…it’s an automatic PTSD response….)
      I also rehearse high road responses and have a great CD on breathing by Dr Andrew Weil…meditation CD’s…get that kit in readiness mode. What you are feeling is normal and self-care is the key. ❤️

      • And my magic spell… can borrow….wave your magic wand at him and say “Dean MeDermottus!” Tori Spelling had her name tattooed above his dick and see how well that went affair-proofing the dual cheater shit show marriage……
        The FIRST THING your former spouse says to the cheating partner is, “Hi, my name is ______, and I am not trustworthy.”

        • PPS…I was a housekeeper for many years. A couple I worked for had been in an affair with each for TWENTY YEARS. They finally left their spouses and moved in together. She told me it was like The Bridges of Madison County. I had a front row fly on the wall seat to that relationship. NOT HEALTHY AT ALL.
          Reality set in immediately. He had a major drinking problem and was routinely fired from jobs (telling her he quit). I will never forget the argument about the deer repellent! How romantic, exciting, sexy, and fun! Their bedroom furniture was 1/2 the ensemble of his marital bedroom furniture (?!!!). They had lots of money and could easily buy new furniture; I see that one move as evidence of disordered tbinking. Long term relationships are a LEARNED SKILL that people who have affairs do not possess. Rest assured your former husband’s new marriage is not going to be exempt from real life problems that neither partner will be expert at handling. They’ve both already gotten an “F” on the test.

          • VH— I love everything you write! Thank you for your service in posting.
            Btw, what’s your sobriety date? My 30 years is coming up- I’m a dual winner and go to meetings daily. That’s also in my sanity toolkit. ????????????

          • “Long term relationships are a LEARNED SKILL that people who have affairs do not possess” Damn that is pretty deep. You are so right. They believe “twu wove” is what makes commitment. They think their “love” will make their marriage last by magic. It’s naive, childlike thinking.

          • “She told me it was like The Bridges of Madison County.”

            Holy crap – I remember being given that book as a gift and hating it. I would read a page or two and think, “It has to get better than this – “A” can’t possibly be so stupid as to think this is a good book. Or one I would enjoy. I don’t understand why “A” is giving cheating a pass. Why would “A” think I would enjoy this book?” I have since found out that the in-law was a cheat and gave the non-cheating spouse a lifelong STD.

            I remember wondering at the time why the hell this person thought it was a good book. Now I know why!

            I also found out that this same individual wanted my FuckedUp Unicorn to cheat on me. He didn’t and that is why he’s still on the scene. Since then, that particular in-law has found religion and is even more tiresome. My FUU cringes whenever an email is received (rare) and rolls his eyes if this person calls (even more rare). At least we agree on that much.

          • When the cheater wants half of sets of things owned jointly with their chump, and then wants their AP to live with them, that is a red flag in and of itself. It’s a constant reminder to the new appliance of the old discarded one who rated enough to not have to live with another’s stuff in their face.

      • I would like to really advocate 12 steps groups to help find serenity.

        I go to the co-dependent groups, wherever the word ‘alcoholic’ I mentally substituted ‘narcissist’ because the issues are the same. [alcoholism and narcissism go hand in hand by the way].

        It was a really helpful way to think about my reactivity and de-escalate the hurtful interactions.

        12 steps groups are free therapy. A true spiritual gift.

        • I joined Adult Children of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families (ACA/ACOA) when I was one step from suicide and therapy wasn’t helping. I found an amazing group of people who encouraged me and accepted my pace on the journey to serenity. With their support I saw the futility of therapy for “sex addiction” and recognized my lying, abusive husband for what he truly is. I kicked him out and never looked back.

          I’ve done more self care, self love, identifying and addressing my FOO issues since 2016 than years of therapy. I’ve made great friends and acquaintances. And I have a framework for living a better life. All for just $2 per week.

      • I made my last of triggers. It’s long. I don’t even think my therapist could comprehend it.

        I just wish my self care kit was longer than my trigger list.

      • My X and OWife BOTH got tattooed wedding rings. Their marriage blew up spectacularly years later due to neither being willing to “adult” (earn money and pay bills).

    • So true. I was doing so much better. Felt I had come such a long way in the last eight months. Then, I felt ready to start the divorce process this past month and started spinning again. Didn’t help that I learned some more information that the relationship with the OW actually extends back anothet summer. Suddenly, I had another portion of my marriage’s timeline to re-evaluate and deak with him continuing to dish out lies. Because he is being reasibably amicable so far with the legal separation agreement process, I don’t want to rock the boat, but I really need to go NC with him. I will when the papers are signed. Forget co-parenting; I will parallel parent for as long as I feel I need to.

      The good news is that I have been bouncing back faster. It lost about a week of lost sleep and appetite. Within two weeks, I felt I had a better grasp on myself. I still feel a bit fragile but I’m not obsessing and I sleep and eat. That’s why these things take time. It’s not about achieving an on/off switch but about gradually developing better and more effective coping mechanisms.

  • Wow. 98% settle. Well, I guess I am part of that 98%.

    Advice from my attorney when I wanted the divorce papers to say the truth ~ adultery and abandonment ~ settle. No one cares. Not the judges, not the attorneys, they hear it every day ~ he said.

    I replied, Well ~ I care. His advice ~ how much is that caring worth to you? Years of fighting in court, money that you don’t have?

    Finally, I settled. Yeah ~ no one cares? Well I do.

    • The divorce decree is not a statement of truth and finality on the marriage. It is a property settlement.

      I know you want it to reflect the truth, but it doesn’t. No divorce decree ever has. None ever will.

      The justice system – be it criminal or civil – is not about finding truth. It’s not even about justice. It’s about law and order and the efficient running of the state. Even in the best Anglo-American style courtrooms, that is still true.

      It’s not just that no one cares because they see this every day, it’s also that this isn’t what the system is designed to do.

      The point of divorce court is to untangle the legal and financial ties between parties. It’s not about the marriage.

      I think divorce lawyers should ALWAYS start with explaining that to their clients. Divorce court isn’t about the marriage. It’s about the financial and legal arrangements.

      This is why when people tell me they don’t need to get married, I think they fail to understand what being legally married means in most countries. Great if you want to waive the right to certain remedies, but that doesn’t make you any less connected. It merely means you are less protected.

      • PS – CL – A suggestion for a Friday post from me would be to have your legal readers drop some helpful things they tell clients and for your posters to tell the things that their lawyers said that helped them.

        • I worked for the Australian Family Court for a few years a long time ago. It was an eye opener! firstly – similar stat in Australia – only 4 – 6 % of cases actually get a court judgment. There are soooo many steps in the process, it is really hard to end up in front of judge.
          And then I learnt the difference between the ‘law’ and ‘justice’. So many people wanted the Judge to rule that the other party was an asshat – they wanted their day in court to be acknowledged and heard and have the judge say “you’re right – that person SUCKS” but …. no. That’s not in the legislation. It’s all business all the time. Points of law. that’s all they are allowed to cover. As Aveline says – not about the relationship or the marriage. It’s about untangling financial arrangements and ensuring responsibilities for children are established.
          Sometimes there is no justice. You have to make peace for yourself. eerrgghh can’t believe I just wrote that (she says whilst eating the shit sandwich)

          • I too settled rather than go full on court battle.
            During my first court appearance the judge brought me, my lawyers and ex’s lawyers into her chambers. The judge explained to me that my ex was a sociopath and how the legal process would only give me financial protection; that I couldn’t look to the courts to punish him for his horrible and sick behavior.
            I will never forget the compassion the judge showed me. Ex and AP were both lawyers and she saw that I looked terrified. I had been hospitalized at a psychiatric facility for suicidality. She wanted to explain the process and what I could expect ahead.
            I am very lucky to have been shown that level of truth and kindness. I’m sure it is very rare but I am grateful.

            • Rebecca,
              I applaud the perceptiveness and the kindness of your Judge.
              That must have meant the world to you at such a difficult time.
              You certainly deserved her!
              You are Mighty!

            • In my case, we went through a mediation service which included one lawyer who didn’t represent us but was just there to help us figure out the legal documentation etc, an accountant to help us figure out the split of assets and a man who was a marriage counselor by trade whose job it was to make sure nobody was taking advantage of anybody else. They were supposed to be completely neutral. The women (lawyer and accountant) had to follow the “law” but I could tell they felt for me and were doing some creative accounting that would nudge the settlement in my favor in terms of child support and split of assets when they could easily have interpreted it in a way which would have had me paying him maintenance or giving up part of my IRA. The counselor, on the other hand, seemed to buy into ex’s charms. He was the one telling me that “for the sake of the children” I should be encouraging them to have a relationship with Schmoopie. This was when things were still very raw and he was saying things like “You should tell the kids ‘isn’t it nice that dad has found someone to make him happy’” puke. The lawyer finally got him to shut up by suggesting that she only cared about the wording of or agreement and we needed to move on. Legally, the courts might not be able to weigh things in your favor directly, but if the people making the call (or helping you put together your documents) are sympathetic to your cause, they can be open to interpretation in your favor where the law is squishy. In my case ex didn’t have an actual lawyer representing him so that made it a bit easier to get him to agree to things.

              Sometimes I even wonder if the counselor was actually on my side too and was throwing ex a bone (that obviously mattered to him) in order to distract him from what was actually going into the agreement. In all fairness to ex, I think he knew what was going on at the time but didn’t really care because he just wanted to be able to run off with Schmoopie with a good conscious “see I was generous with the financials so that makes it all ok right?”

          • Had a lawyer friend explain justice “as only a word in the dictionary between jerk and juxtaposition “.

        • I would love to see something like this as well. Yes the courts are not for the emotional crap. That’s what your therapist, priest, friend, bartender is. The lawyers and court is just the for legally splitting assets and determining child custody. If he’s going for sole custody he most likely won’t win unless you are felon or worse. But if you don’t have joint custody now it may go in his favor for joint custody. There has to be a lot going on with one parent not to allow joint custody. Joint custody is hard with a fuckwit. Courts don’t care. You have to be thick skinned. And guess what? Your kids will be ok despite the fuckwits influence in them. So you have to decide. Do you want to fight in principle or move on with your life?

          My state just went no fault. You could divorce for cause. You still can but it will cost you. Yes question is how much to you want to pay because freedom isn’t free.

          Fuck him and his stupid pathetic tattoo. He’s a loser and now he’s a saggy balled loser with a loser tattoo For the whole world to see! Rejoice that he did that loser marking all on his little own.

        • Aveline — great idea! I’m a 24-year litigator (primarily employment now) and I was in the 2% that had to go to trial when X refused anything approaching 50/50 split (he’s a 7-figure earning M&A attorney at BigLaw). I was awarded 70% and got full custody.

          • Thats just the best! I sometimes feel taking their cash hurts them the most. Good on you MotherChumper. I would have loved to see his face ????

            • His smarmy face. Chumps care about the kids the marriage the pets and such. The cheaters care about their money.

      • I think that explanation does help. “Law and order” and moving on too. I guess you have to get on with it and disentangle yourself. It’s a good way of looking at it

        • Kintsugi, I think you should have your ex’s name (temporary) tattooed on your MIDDLE finger. Flash it as often as necessary.

        • Regarding going to court for divorce and child custody, I went through 16 hearings (initiated by my abusive, lawbreaking, adulterous ex-husband) who filed for divorce, falsely claiming that I, not he, broke the law in various heinous ways. After three years in court and $100k poorer (the last judge, a female who seemed enamored with my ex), I can tell you that I should have just written my ex-husband a check for $100k, even though I was an unemplyed middle-aged mother of young children, and told him to stay the h–l out of my life. Don’t expect justice in the justice system! If you get it, great, but never expect it, no matter how honest and honorable you may be.

      • The alternate side is that not-marrying (esp. if there are children) may leave the spouse who sacrifices most, unprotected. I gave up tenure and a lot of money for my X to move across the country for a better job. Thankfully, we moved to a community property state so that I made up for lost earnings by being able to take half his 401K during the divorce. Had we not been married, I’d have been screwed by the sacrifices I made.

      • Justice is that I get out of a substandard relationship. His lies kept me hostage to a FAKE marriage! The truth of who he really is sets me free….AND I still have to process the pain and journey through fiery napalm. But I think of The Shawshank Redemption often…Tim Robbin’s character is wrongfully imprisoned and has to crawl through the sewage pipe and finally makes it to freedom on the beach with a true friend at his side….

          • I’ve seen it so many times…injustice and restitution really grabs me by the heart. I am totally Andy Dufresne right now, crawling through the dark sewage pipe and throwing up all the way….I’ve got my eye on the beach….

    • Emails from my ex were so toxic that my lawyer wanted to file and order for a ban on electronic communication from him. Stupidly I would not allow him to. Because of the kids. Who sided with him anyway. Life is unpredictable.

  • Kintsugi

    One piece of shiny here for you: were this asshole in my courtroom, our judge would take one look at that tattoo and know instantly just what level of selfish d-bag he was dealing with. My judge has this look that we call “internal eye-roll” because there’s a very subtle, faint flicker across his face that most people miss. That means he’s already decided the person he’s dealing with is an ass and int he wrong.

    I’m sure others who know of your marital history will see this for what it is.

    In fact, riddle me this: When has anyone uber-cool or normal and adjusted gotten a tattoo around a ring finger? Anyone?

    There’s your answer. This is the action of a loser. A desperate loser.

    Try to contextualize this and remember that he’s broadcasting his douchebaggery to the entire world.

    Heck, google “ring finger tattoo” and look at the images. What do you see? A bunch of mediocre white people. In fact, quite a few of the men are either young white dudes who want to be cool, but aren’t or slightly puffy middle age dudes.

    I have friends, colleagues, and clients with tattoos. None of them would every do something like this. Too desperate and lame.

    • Googled it and you’re right; they are hideous. Betting the house that his skank MADE HIM get it. After all, she knows EXACTLY who she is dealing with. Hope she has one, too. 🙂

    • “When has anyone uber-cool or normal and adjusted gotten a tattoo around a ring finger? Anyone?”

      I was thinking this too. What a bizarre, desperate, pathetic thing to do.

      • What’s really creepy? When I typed “images ring tattoo” into the Google search, one of the suggestions was images ringworm. Eww.

    • I goggled it and I saw David Duchovny And Tea Leoni had ring finger tattoos. Rumor mill on him shows this didn’t help a bit. (he cheated on her constantly)

    • I don’t see how adding “white” to the description was necessary… “mediocre people” would have been enough.

      Ring finger tattoos are not my cup of tea either but I do know couples with such tattoos that are very loyal to each other. To many people permanently marking their bodies is the ultimate declaration of commitment just like getting married is to many others.

      • Dude

        Do you go and google the terms? I doubt it. If you did, you’d see that the first thirty or so results have zero nonwhite persons. Zero.

        It’s an accurate description.

        Please don’t derail because you don’t like it being pointed out that something is apparently a white American cultural practice.

      • Hah, I know several people who have had to cover up the name of their “loyal” spouse once the marriage blows up. I am considering having Golden D##k get a tattoo of my name on his lower belly before I cut him loose. It will be his first tattoo, and yes I am that petty. Should make for an interesting conversation with his next skank.

    • I know exactly 1 guy with a ring finger tattoo who isn’t an idiot. He’s a machinery operator. He never did wear his wedding ring because of the risk if it got snagged in the various machines, so he got a tattoo instead. And with each of his kids’ births he added on a tattoo “birthstone” to the ring. He’s been married only once and is coming up on his 50th anniversary. He is his wife’s second husband. First husband was a total cheating asshole. This guy, in contrast, is the real deal.

      • Ring avulsions are horrid injuries and I could totally see someone who works with mechanical components opting for a tat.

        But my ex isn’t a guy who works around machinery. No need other than to show his twu wuv his commitment….to the ink!

    • I call it the head flip. Watch a person’s reaction and you will see a subtle head flip when faced with either a lie or revulsion.

  • Completely understand what you’re coming from. My ex married a woman who had never met my son 4 months after the ink was dry on our divorce papers. I met her, chatted nicely, put on a good front, and then came home to bawl my friggin’ eyes out for hours. I didn’t want him back, but that didn’t mean it hurt. It’s going to hurt, but it doesn’t mean you miss him, it’s just another way you’re subconscious fucks with you. It took awhile, it took a mound of tissues and several vodkas, but it got better. And you know what? Less than 3 months later he had cheated on her too……

  • your ex, he’s no prize, neither is she, but she won’t trust him, that is what the tattoo is about, I wouldn’t be surprised, if your ex, tries to come back, its the intro to the p.m. Dance. Expect fake depression, fake suicide attempts, expecting you to feel sorry for ow. I just communicate about the kids, kids aren’t stupid they will know what he’s really like. If he tries to upset you he’s playing mind games

  • That tattoo is a cover-up waiting to happen. I know. I’ve been a professional tattoo artist for 31 years.

  • Kintsugi, you are right, he made the tatoo to hurt you.
    Bravo for not noticing it.
    I would like you to stop feeling victimized anymore. It is not about you. In his script, it’s all about him! He didn’t get a character transplant for OW. Just remember he is the same freak that plays on her weaknesses. She just has others than you. Which brings me back to CL’s mantra: trust that he sucks!


    LOVE to CL and CN!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you Tracy!!

  • A ring tattoo?


    Now THAT’s trust, right there. She should just make him wear a chastity belt. Get down to brass tacks, ya know?

    Losers. Both of them.

  • He wouldn’t wear a ring on his finger, but now it’s tattooed. Well, he may be pierced in a few interesting & delicate areas now too. She doesn’t trust him and we all know she shouldn’t trust him.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t wearing another interesting male accessory. She really shouldn’t trust him and there is at least one way to ensure he isn’t sticking his DICK into anyone else.

    There. With visuals like that in your mind I hope you got a good laugh.

    Good luck with the custody battle. Remember, he doesn’t want the kids (they interfere with their wrinkly new life). He wants to pay less money because it affects his wrinkly new life.

    He’s a liar and a creep.

  • “What you miss is PEACE. And SAFETY. And not feeling weary all the goddamn day.”

    Thank you CL. Sometimes I swear you are telepathic. Also: “Do. Not. Fuck. With. My. Babies.”

    Kintsugi, I am WITH you. It’s so hard to feel mighty when you are exhausted from being the sane functional parent, and in the case of many of us, that’s the majority of the time, (meals, laundry, school projects, Book Week parade costumes, permission notes, packed lunches, nits, navigating tricky emotional and psychological ground etc etc). On top of that, having to witness your children’s pain as they realise with horror just what kind of bizarro creature their other parent is.

    In my case, a few days after DDay (18 months ago) our dog died. For my kids and I, the one sunbeam of joy has been the puppy we got a few months later. And then she died last Friday. Came across some rat bait apparently.

    Meantime Mr Cheater-Gay-Clubs-and-Hookers-Pants, who managed to convince a once dear trusted widowed friend of mine that he was just Tragically Misunderstood and she’s infinitely more sexually and intellectually evolved than Wife-of-22-years, and was in her bed 8 months after DDay, is having the time of his life. Endless weekends away, theatre, concerts. Film festivals, even a week in Vietnam. So excellent to have that on-tap Chump childcare service to palm off tedious parenting responsibiiies onto! Except – refuses to commit to a parenting plan because “flexibility is suiting us well”. Because when he and The Perfect Woman (she’s not even the OW – his cheating was with hundreds of random anonymous men plus female prostitutes for over a decade, and she knows about it) are not flitting off somewhere, he’s The Perfect Dad who adores his kids, ( hasn’t noticed/refuses to acknowledge that they barely speak to him).

    I did have a little hopeless cry this afternoon in the car after leaving work. Buying fish for dinner, the guy behind the counter said “Have you hurt yourself?” I realised with a start that a) clearly I looked like I’d been crying and b) my face was full of pain. Excellent. Not.

    Kintsugi, I think what hurts is that it’s so fucking UNFAIR!!! Bring on Tuesday PLEASE …

    • MamaMeh,
      Sending love and hugs,
      to you and your children,
      on the sad loss of your beloved pets.
      I am so sorry.
      You sound like a very loving Mom.
      I hope that your Tuesday comes soon.

  • I had to giggle with the ring tattoo. In no way about the son to you. I think it would bother me too although I think I’m at meh. But because it screams trouble in paradise to me. Two cheaters having to up the ante to appease each other. As if that will stop either of them from cheating.

    When we look at this act through the chump lens, we place our morals and values on it to mean forever, permanent, and deep committed love.

    Not so much with cheaters. He had to not only wear a ring, but he can’t slip it off now. Lucky Alp-Ho playing pick me dance marriage police.

  • Maybe wearing a wedding ring is a signal to women who like to fuck married men, but not wearing a wedding ring is damned annoying to single women who don’t want to fuck married men. Just one more hurdle to get through in determining whether or not a guy is actually available.

    Schmoopie knows he is a cheater since he cheated with her so she didn’t buy the “I am not wearing my wedding ring to protect you” bullshit. Hence the tattoo. She knows it’s the only way to keep it on his finger which will at least reduce the number of potential fuck mates even if it doesn’t eliminate them.

    And yes, anything that reminds you that he discarded you in favor of some stupid slut is going to hurt for a very long time. Most days I don’t see, hear, hear about or think about Schmoopie and those are the days I am almost at meh. Every time I am reminded of her existence in his life in whatever way, however, it still throws me off and makes me hurt. This usually happens just when I think I am finally getting over it. I don’t really know what to do about that except to hope that time will eventually make that pain fade too but it sure is taking a long time.

  • And Kelsey Grammer’s current (4th?) wife made him tattoo her name on his groin so that he won’t cheat. Let’s see how that works out, hmmm…

  • Rings don’t have magical powers. Rings are jewelry. Tattoo rings- inked jewelry. If the person wearing a wedding ring lacks commitment and fidelity then the ring symbolizes nothing. It’s just a thing no more important than any other adornment. The only thing good about him wearing a tattoo ring is that maybe he won’t be able to scam single women into believing he’s not married when he hits on them.

  • LOL! I can hear his voice groaning his victimization to his next affair partner…

    “Yeah, that crazy bitch is so controlling she made me get a ring tattoo! Isn’t she awful? I was powerless to do anything. She dragged me into the tattoo parlor and MADE me do it!”

    A fuckwits sense of agency shifts with the moon cycles. In other words, he’ll be the victim when it suits him.

    That shit is no longer your problem!

  • Needless to say, the wearing of a wedding ring (tattooed or otherwise) means different things to different people.

    I proudly wore my wedding ring because it represented my husband’s bow of love and fidelity. He was the husband who went to work every day and contributed important income to our family… who came home every single night and shared dinner with me and our 3 kids… who slept right next to me in our bed… who spent his free time coaching our triplets’ soccer team… who mowed the lawn and did repairs so we’d have a safe and problem-free home to live in… who was a good neighbor, a generous friend, and someone who cared deeply for others.

    And then, 6 months after I blindsided by the textbook “I need space / ILYBINILWY / We have nothing in common” speech, the truth came out… that he’d begun cheating just 3 months after we began dating and NEVER STOPPED until he got to AP #14, a married coworker who was not only deemed acceptable enough to fuck in the janitor’s closet, but someone who had real wife appliance potential; their “relationship” started 6 months before he moved out of our marital home with no explanation and it kept right on going through months of fruitless and expensive wreckonciliation counseling, 3 long years of separation, and right up until the moment we stood in front of the judge. And yup, the wedding ring I gave him 40 years before never left his finger the entire time. When someone asked him why he continued to wear it, he said, “Well I’m still legally married, aren’t I? It wouldn’t be ‘right’ to take it off until I’m single.”

    How comical! Wearing his wedding ring was NEVER about “doing what was right” — it was ALWAYS about impression management; it provided him with the perfect cover for his extracurricular activities and it gave me an entirely false sense of security as to my position and purpose in his life. In the end, the ring meant nothing at all.

    Well, #14 dumped her unsuspecting husband the way that my XH dumped me, and now these 2 cheaters are almost a year into wedded bliss. Since I’m Zero Contact, I have no idea if he’s wearing a wedding ring this time around, but I’d bet anything that he is… and that it’s providing the same kind of military-grade camouflage for his latest sexual escapades. After all, there’s still a janitor’s closet in the basement of his building that needs to be put to good use. Auditions open today at 4 pm!

      • Man am I thankful for you! I had that same amazing husband that others wanted and I believe he’s been fucking around the whole 27 years we’ve been together. That’s where I get tripped up….reconciling the phony Nice Guy/amazing husband with the reality of liar/cheater who picked the biggest sharpest knife in the drawer and stuck it in my back repeatedly….I have to tell myself all the time that truly kind people don’t do that…it’s the biggest mindfuck I’ve ever had to reconcile…

        • My second cheater never gave a single red flag. Seriously. GREAT guy. Until the universe contrived (through utterly unexplainbale sequence of events)to show me the evidence that he liked very expensive fetish prostitutes that he had to fly across the country to see. This guy was Mr. home by 5:30, volunteer Little League umpire, donate blood twice monthly, lay communion minister, run out at 3AM to buy you cold medicine Great Guy. Except that that entire life was nothing but a completely fabricated facade to cover the stinking moral truth of him. The evidence I was shown let me see that he had been cheating on me almost literally since DAY 1. Some of them are very good. At what they do that is.

          • Jojobee,

            Oh my, you just reminded me about a plethora of other blue ribbon activities my XH participated in… So many blood donations that he was in the 20-gallon club! Acting as a premarital counselor for engaged couples at our church! Driving all over town to find me a gallon (literally) of chicken matzoh ball soup to help me get over the flu! Orchestrating a surprise 50th birthday party for me at which he got down on one knee, produced an eye-popping engagement ring, proposed to me in front of our kids and a room of friends, and promised to renew our wedding vows on our 30th anniversary! I only wish I’d kept a log of all of these things… It truly boggles the mind how different the real guy and the fake guy were.

        • Velvet Hammer,

          It does feel like a sharp knife in the back, doesn’t it? They slice and dice us until our heart and self-confidence are in shreds.

          • Here’s the WORST anecdote of my “marriage” to Phony Nice Guy….he had lots of criticism for a long ago live-in boyfriend who cheated on me. With that boyfriend, it hurt but it was no surprise because he was outwardly not a nice guy. A lot of my trauma is related to my husband presenting as Mr. Nice Guy and actually being #1 Worst Ever by light years compared to that boyfriend….there is an extra layer of evil when they present as the Nice Guy and are cheaters…..

            • Velvet Hammer, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

              My kids dad = asshole from day one. No one liked him and he does NOT improve with knowing him. He doesn’t apologize for it and doesn’t care how it affects people or who he hurts.

              My ex narcohole, presented as Mr. Nice Family guy. He kept that mask on for a couple months and then a few slips here and there. Then it came off all together and he was a MONSTER but when you add in the gaslighting and blameshifting and general mindfuckery, and he had a talent for crying big, sad tears with dramatic “BUT, I LOVE YOU!’s”, I had never seen anything like him before in my life. And once I did my detective work and knew, for real, what he was doing behind my back? He has been the most devastating person to ever touch my life. I cannot comprehend the betrayal and I believe that he enjoyed my pain. He is absolutely evil. And the worst part is that he thinks he is a really nice guy.

              • Velvet and Canada,
                I feel your pain–sorry that you have gone through this ‘one two punch,’ too!

    • Sounds like me and you shared the same Ex. It is so hard to explain to people that the man cutting our grass and home everyday like clock work, did not like to go to the hardware store without me and told anyone who would listen how proud he was of his Boys!!! Meanwhile he was sleeping around all 20 years of marriage starting the first year when I was pregnant with my oldest, and was not as hard working as I believed at work (all hanky panky took place work hours or travel trips).

      Well this man is gone and married to his hearts desire (yeah right), and has disappeared from mine and both sons lives. Was only proud when it made his image look good. He also waited until the divorce was filed before removing his ring. Once he learned I filed, well he could tell people I was cheating and filed for a divorce and removing the ring made him a victim.

      I was a mess trying to put the two images together and making a picture of the “true” man I married. It was a long and painful process. I will no longer view his fake image, I know too much.

      • The BestMe,

        I, too, found it almost impossible to reconcile the two very different halves of my XH. Actually, he faked it for so long, I’m not sure even he knew who he was!

    • I think my ex and your ex might be related. How they can give zero fucks and roll out of town waving on a parade float without so much as a backward glance at the devastation is beyond me.

      I’m starting to believe karma only happens to people with a conscience.

      The infuriating reality is that this type of behavior is passively condoned while you are expected to suppress your pain and anger lest you be labeled as a jilted, bitter bitch.

      I’m pretty sure a cheating narc coined the phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. It’s gaslighting 101. Ummm, nopity, nope, nope, nope. Here’s a thought: if you weren’t such a selfish asshat that smugly minimized all the pain that you’ve caused because you can’t be bothered to think unshiny thoughts at this time, (no fun…ick!), you might pull your head out of your ass long enough to understand our burning desire to turn apeshit and wring your fucking neck.

      Yeah, you were the one drilling holes in the boat whilst we were all rowing to shore…then you took the last lifejacket, left everyone behind to drown, hopped on a passing yacht full of hookers and sailed off into the sunset. Stop acting so fragile and shocked that we’re pissed AF, you deserve the hellfire and fury for being such a callous bastard.

      • I LOVE the boat metaphor. Copied and pasted. ❤️ to you.
        We are all on the Hero’s Journey…(Joseph Campbell)….watch “Finding Joe”….I play and replay while I am at home working….it is part of my emotional first aid kit….

      • The Chump struggle is real,

        Yeppity yep yep… that’s the picture! Drilling holes in the boat, grabbing the last life preserver and then bailing.

      • I thought of the Titanic when my ex-boyfriend left the last time–he just didn’t care if kids and I were stuck in the middle of the Atlantic boatless on an icy night–he got his spot in the last lifeboat, which could have also held my kids (who really liked him) and me, the H–l with my kids and me–we were just an impediment to his burgeoning relationship with his work subordinate and whoever else caught his eye.

        I am trying to ‘get over’ this relationsh-t. Instead of thinking about how mad and sad I am, I am trying to remind myself that this experience will force me to develop my swimming strength and stamina as I attempt to swim to shore with my kids on my back, and that strength and stamina will serve me, my kids, and deserving others well.

  • Trust me, any guy with a Ring tattoo doesn’t have to worry about me bothering him. Married, single, last man on earth… Ughhhh, no, just no.

  • My son got married back in 2011. Both him and his wife had tattoos with each others names on their ring fingers. They were divorced a year later. Now my son’s girlfriend gets to look at my son’s x-wifes name every single day. Idiots.

    My boyfriends x-wife tattooed “Property of Sarah” on his groin. (Says he was drunk when she did it because I asked him how he could allow her to do that! I don’t believe him). He’s had a couple girlfriends between his divorce and me. I can tell you that I don’t care to see her name on his groin and I’m certain the x-girlfriends didn’t care for it either. I’ve told him he needs to get that taken care of…. idiot.

      • Yes….see my magic spell (Dean McDermottus!) above. It’s for reminding us that they suck…

      • To be blunt and crude: It probably gives these assholes an exciting, vulgar THRILL when they plunge their dicks and fingers into a woman with another woman’s name on them. They DELIGHT in relieving their resentment.

        • So if he got TORI on his dick when he wasn’t erect, then when he’s excited, wouldn’t it be really hard to read? Or vice versa … Either way, I don’t think it would be legible.

          Oh! Maybe it’s written across, not lengthwise … yeah, that’s it. Then it would just lengthen a bit and still be readable … unless you’re doing a 69. Then it would be IROT. Well, that’s appropriate. His dick probably is rotting with all that use.

          Imagine if she had insisted on “Victoria” … I don’t think that would even fit.

  • I woke up this morning and continued to unpack mine and my children’s stuff. It’s tough to fit everything into this two bedroom apartment.
    Finally though, I can begin to start over. Never see her fugly, botoxed face at my table again. My kids, they’re sleeping in their beds. I take the couch when they are here, which I think will be more than the 50% agreed to. She keeps trying to exeet control, dropping by unannounced, text messages, calls etc, but I am one step closer to out everyday. Thnak G-d.

    • DunChumpin,

      I sleep on the sofa in my living room as my kids and I share a two bedroom apartment with another family. It’s crowded, and privacy is lacking, but this is better than living with my ex-husband.

  • When he shows you his ring finger, you show him your middle finger. Then it’s all nice and even-Stephen.

    • Bingo!

      I would try hard to turn that hurt into anger and get the custody over and done with. Then you can check that off the list and work on healing. It will take time, some take longer than others. You’ll get there.

    • This has made me laugh ever since you posted it….I have barely laughed since October 2017.
      Thank you again ever so much. I keep coming back to re-read it….❤️

  • My ex also didn’t wear her ring much of the time. She worked odd hours, so I didn’t know she slipped out without it on, until I noticed it was sitting on the counter each day. She kept saying she forgot it. And though she changed her name when we got married, she didn’t change it on her work by-line. She said she was afraid “her readers wouldn’t know who she was.” First, it was a weekly newspaper, a free one at that; I doubt anyone knew who she was to begin with, or cared. Second, her picture was up, so they could see it was her. Yet, I bought that argument for months…don’t feel bad Kintsugi, we all bought whoppers.

    • My STBX wore his ring the whole time. He told the cheating partner that his family was his priority….(WTeverlovingF?!!!)
      Relationship School flunky for sure….I want to be married to the Valedictorian!

    • Mine said his ring was slightly too big. In the winter it would fall off and he didn’t want to lose it so he didn’t wear it, but then that turned into never wearing it.

      I actually had a Facebook memory pop up the other day that said he forgot to wear his ring to our first big event together as a married couple. A mere 2 months after we were married and we were going to my cousins wedding. Who doesn’t wear their ring to that kind of event?

      • ….and AFTER announcing his departure from the marriage, he told me he was wearing his wedding ring on a chain around his neck “to honor our marriage”…..he’s been doing this….more proof of WTF??!!….YOU HONOR THE MARRIAGE BY CONDUCTING YOURSELF HONORABLY…..

        • My asshole never wore his ring because “have to go to surgery “

          Funny, after I learned about his affairs, the ring suddenly appeared and he wanted to wear it “for me “

          Fuck off

          Ring games

  • My ex-wife is sporting a ring finger tattoo from wife #2 (married less than a year) and a large piece on her left arm representing true everlasting love for wife #3. She and wife #3 are in the middle of a divorce after 7 months of marriage. Please keep in mind that I was wife #1 and we have only been divorced for 2.5 years after 5 years of marriage which included 1 year of pick me dancing like you ain’t neva seen! Like breakdancing in a dance off competition! Ha!! Nothin like making your parents proud! lol

    Kicker: she came to me to help figure out who the OW her wife was cheating with bc she knows I got skills (that would rival the FBI) due to my marriage policing I performed when I would take a break from the dance offs!! 20 Minutes later….I sent her a pic of the woman. That gal Karma…….

  • Sometimes I dont respond when the topic doesnt resonate with me, but fuckity fuck does this one ever resonate with me.

    Early in our eventual 26 year and 9 day thing legally known as a marriage but in reality much more sinister….he told me the same exact thing…”I don’t like rings”he says…”I get hit on more by attached women when I wear a ring, so I wont do it to help our marriage” he says.

    And I believed him (facepalm)

    But I still appreciate wedding rings so I encouraged him to get a tattoo and renew our vows of which he would do neither.

    and he did all sorts of stuff for Susan of Seattle that he would never do for me.

    3 years of courtship, 18 years difficult marriage, 2 year monster phase, 5 yr wreckonciliation and he dropped dead. Before I found his stash of hotel receipts and news of his serial cheating,

    Lord have mercy.

    Any man who does what they did isnt worth our tears and your stbx’s ink shows only that OW is leading him around with a fish hook in his scrotum and they are fucked up. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

    This morning, while packing for the trip to take my stepdaughter to college, I pulled out a suitcase I hardly ever use. It had ephemera rolling around in the bottom of it which I pulled out and looked at. OMG. A program from an outing we went to a month after Dday when I was physically ill from the fallout of his abuse and cheating. It was actually during the horrid “hysterical bonding” phase which now seems pathetic beyond all words.

    Now results will vary and I cant promise you the same outcome I got but after my marriage was over …even as the safety of my new situation allowed my soul to admit that my marriage was really abusive, I built a new life that is SO much better than the old one, it sometimes blows my mind. Newhusband is a fellow I met in childhood and dated in very young adulthood then lost for a long time. He proposed on a trip to Asia where we got on a yacht and sailed the Aegean Sea (with 3 other couples and a cook). Newhub isnt perfect but we talk and work stuff out. He does laundry and pays the bills…overall a stellar partner. I only with I had divorced Cheaterboy way before he died so he could have met new hub.

    Get through this…it is a toxic suckfest, but in the future, you too will run across something from this era and it will still make you shudder, but you will have the luxury of looking around and seeing how much better your life is.

    • Thanks for a dose of real genuine hope!!
      “We talk and work things out”….lottery winner!
      I am so happy for you….hoping I get paid back double what I suffered…I hear lots of stories like yours about the other side and hope one day I can share my own. I am crawling toward you through the fiery pit of flaming napalm. Save me a stay on your next yachting trip…❤️????

      • Oh VH, keep crawling…soon you will wobble to your feet and thump ahead then walk and later run. I remember emotional pain so bad, it manifested in physical pain that I could feel roll up and down my extremities.

        There were days I could not lift food to my lips…I had hives and my hair fell out. He had insulted me in every way imaginable and I had a sudden fear that he would tell me I smelled bad and my soul couldn’t bear one more assault, so I showered twice a day just to save myself insult. Flaming napalm indeed…my soul has the scars but you wouldn’t know it looking at me.

    • I wouldnt normally do this, but as soon as I signed off and checked my facebook, a FB memory popped up …4 years ago I posted about the trip we were planning (I didnt know then that new hub would propose on the trip, but I hoped – realizing if he didnt it likely wasnt coming ever as no dude actually considering a proposal would let this chance pass).

      I dont risk my anonymity here to share that this is the boat I started my new life on. I hope every chump has kick ass moments of personal bliss…they may be a cold beer around a firepit in the back yard or the day you got a comforter in colors your X hates…have them, savor them

      • “my soul has the scars but you wouldn’t know it looking at me.” – yup.

        I have a good life. So much better than the depression and anxiety of being around him. I was so lonely and upset and now I am at peace.

        It can’t be seen by people but in my secret heart of hearts is grief and sorrow.

      • I will put this yacht on my vision board. We have a Beneteau 36’ that I have not set foot on since DDay….of course he contaminated it with her. I was thinking I would never sail again….NOT TRUE. I will never sail
        WITH HIM again. I remove myself as much as possible from the lives of those who treat me like shit. I dream of total NC….

        • April and May are my favorite months of the year. Plants and flower bloon anew, and the birds are beginning their annual spring migration (I’m a birder and a gardener). This year, my favorite times were sullied with divorce, D-Day, images and thoughts of a monster that used to be my husband. I told my therapist that I was afraid those months would be about bad memories and bad days. She looked at me and smiled, “they will be your rebirth”.

          • April 17, 2005 was the day I got the “I don’t love you, you are a terrible wife” speech.

            April 16 2013 was the day my relationship with my new hub was ignited.

            April 2017 we cruised a river in Europe and drank tea at a palace in Prague.

            Miss Bailey… yes, they will be your rebirth.

          • Two days before Thanksgiving 2017, Golden D##k told me about his 10-year affair with the neighbor. I don’t remember anything about that Thanksgiving Day with our family. I don’t even have photos, as I was basically a zombie. Two days before Christmas 2017 the OW told me via a text from a spoofed phone number that they “married” each other, complete with rings and vows of eternal love. I don’t remember anything about that Christmas Day with our family. I do remember wrapping gifts and baking while hysterically crying and “accidentally” cutting myself with a pair of scissors. As those were likely the last holidays I will ever have with everyone all together, that loss of memory and ruining the holidays forever for me is almost more devastating than than what he did and how he treated me during our 40+ years together.

            • I’m so sorry. I wish I was there to offer a hug and a cup of strong whiskey-laced tea. It’s not going to be easy but we will do it. And we will come out on the other side into 2019. One day and one step at a time.

      • unicornomore,
        Thank you for sharing.
        Such a beautiful sailing yacht, and an even more beautiful love story.
        A fairy tale come true!
        I am so happy for you!

    • “”I get hit on more by attached women when I wear a ring, so I wont do it to help our marriage” he says.”

      UNM, it helps me tremendously to know other smart, savvy people bought bullshit equivalent to the nonsense I bought. For example, when Hannibal Lecher stayed at graduate student parties until 5 a.m., because he was “talking philosophy.” How did I not know “talking philosophy” = providing cunnilingus to nubile 20-somethings (when Hannibal was in his 50s)? I’m far enough out from D-day/divorce to not have a gut-punch when I realize how gullible I was, but it’s still a SMH moment.

          • Sign me on that list…
            Educated charming persona… “ helping students” whilehis wife was taking care of 3 kids under age of 6… and his smart ass, since the poor thing was “ working so hard to provide for the family”
            Conferences? Trips… oh yeah… wife appliance was there to keep everything in check while professor was fucking whoever he was able to find on bp or CL… or just hooking up in the bar….

      • I’m SUCH an optimistic chump, soon after he left for a 6 month deployment to Japan, I found his wedding ring in the ashtray of his SUV and I was unconcerned…. the idea of him cheating was simply unthinkable.

      • There is alot of that Sh*t going on Tempest. So glad you left him. Hugs to you. Unlike unicornnomore (hugs) at least you got the chance to kick that rat-bastard into the dust. It’s all just so disgusting we couldn’t even imagine it.

  • Kintsugi, so sorry you are going through this crap. While all cheaters are scum, they do come in different varieties. I have my own labels. There is the “rule breaker” cheater. They are fine with playing by the rules till they’re not…but God forbid someone breaks the rules on them. They are basically run of the mill selfish jerks and while they may make excuses for their bad behavior or try to turn the tables on you, deliberately inflicting pain is not their thing. There is the cheater sociopath….they will dump you and then never think about you again. So they could care less about hurting you as they just move on as if you never existed. Unfortunately you are dealing with the scummiest cheater of all. While narcissistic for sure they are the worse than the worst. They get off on your misery. They delight in making others feel insignificant or unworthy. Will his new marriage last? Nope. These special cheaters will do this to every spouse/partner, every time.

    • Also, the worst thing you can do to the scummiest cheater is to look at him with slight amusement as if he is not to be taken seriously. They absolutely hate not being taken seriously. Responses such as “if you say so”, “well then….”, etc. while looking completely distracted will irritate the hell out of him. At other times barely acknowledge his presence as you would a stranger passing you by. Fake the indifference until you are indifferent. Oh and as for the custody issue…..scumbag move 101….he does not want the kids he just doesn’t want to pay for them and he knows you’ll agree to little or nothing to make this go away. Call his bluff.

  • trust they suck! trust they suck! trust they suck!
    this is what i am tattooing in my mind!

    when i found out my spouse cheated, i asked her if she was wearing her ring. she says “of course, i love this ring!” my heart stuttered.
    too bad she didn’t love the heart it represented!

    now that we have parted, i noticed she is wearing it on the other hand. WTF?
    is this a reminder that she cheated or does she really love that ring?!

    during the separation, i noticed my ring was missing, so I asked her about it. she was carrying it in a pouch on her key chain because she didn’t want it to end up in the garbage. LOL in my mind, i thought “well that would actually be a lot better than where yours has been”

  • some critical thinking here:
    1. the tattooed ring can always be explained to the next ap, “It’s from a former relationship.”
    2. the tattoo does keep anyone away nor does it keep him from having character.
    3. the cheater never stop cheating, not until they are dead, dead, deado. Unfortunately, they pass it on to their progeny.

  • The fact that he willingly submitted to a permanent mark like that is akin to me putting the last of the cheesecake in the bag of used kitty litter so I really, really, REALLY won’t eat any more of it. Oh, but hey, isn’t that little edge untouched and possibly still edible? No one is looking, I could retrieve just that little bit with the cherry sauce and graham cracker crust… mmmmmmm…… gag.

    May I suggest that when you look at that tattoo, you don’t see it as a sign of permanence and devotion. See it as the OW having branded him. As in, glowing-hot-iron-on-the-cow’s-ass marking her turf. It won’t keep the cow home but it will make it clear who owns it. Now THAT is exciting and naughty sex of the the most exuberantly defiant sort. How much fun he will have with that. Game on for the ho’s to see who can ride that branded bull.

  • They can make a ring, ink or jewelry, mean whatever they want. Shortly after dday he proudly told me he kept his ring on when he was fucking OW as a sign that he was only available for sex. I said, it’s suppose to mean you are not available for sex. He said he didn’t want to deceive her into thinking he was available for a relationship. I said, you didn’t think twice about deceiving me. He asked, would you have preferred that I took it off? I said, I would prefer that you not fuck another woman. He seemed shocked that I wasn’t pleased.

    • My cheaterpants put his wedding ring in his ashtray every day went he got to work so he could show the ho worker that he wasn’t ‘really married.’ Nothing says ‘not married’ like a wedding ring in your car ash tray.
      He was also an atheist so I was gobsmacked when he showed up one day with a crucifix around his neck that slut puppet bought him to keep him ‘safe.’ Nothing says ‘Christian’ like fucking another woman’s husband and committing adultery. Cheaters are the most despicable and hypocritical scum of the earth.

      • My STBX idiot can’t stop liking the “spiritual” nonsense and hymns that his also married f*ckmate posts on her Facebook page. It is unreal.

  • You know they guy’s a dickdouche, but you still feel some weird jealousy around the tattoo ring. I get it, and I guess this is totally normal. I feel strange jealousy too in areas where I’VE NEVER FELT JEALOUS IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I mean, she’s 5’4”, 2 inches shorter than me, so somehow that makes her better? WTF. Howard Halpern who wrote, “How to break your addiction to a person,” that jealous feelings can get triggered by someone you can’t even stand. Jealousy can even make you start thinking the other person is some dynamo. These feelings come from 2 false beliefs 1) If someone else wants him, he must be better than I think and 2) If he wants someone else, the other person must be better than I, and I am being dismissed because I am undesirable. These are FALSE beliefs and leads you to overvalue them EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW THEY ARE TWATWAFFLES!

    Hope this helps. Hang in there m’dear. You are mighty.

    • I get unreasonably jealous of Schmoopie too except she’s taller than me (ex is also tall so a better aesthetic). She also has better fashion sense, is better at doing laundry, keeping house, and knows enough grammar to correct other people (all things ex admires about her). I think these only bother me because ex always gave me a hard time about my lack of fashion sense, inability to do laundry correctly, and copious text typos. He also admired her for being a SAHM with draconian rules and five kids who always do what she says (or else). In that case I am happy to be a career woman with only three kids and a laid back approach to parenting (my kids seem to be thriving and making good choices anyway) so I am not exactly jealous, but rather pissed that those things were evidently deal breakers for ex but he married me anyway even though he knew I was career oriented and had mentioned that two kids seemed like a good number. He waited until after the first child was born to tell me he wanted four kids and thought I should be a SAHM. It is really only because she lacks “faults” that ex complained about in me that I get jealous and feel personally inadequate and start thinking “maybe he really did find somebody better”. Even if that were true, however, he had no right to go looking for “better” while we were married and she had no right to fuck somebody else’s husband. I certainly don’t want to be her anyway, because, when I look at it all logically, she is really rather pathetic even if she is better at laundry, bullying her kids into compliance and buying expensive clothes.

      • I wouldn’t be too quick to buy into his nonsense that OW has better fashion sense, perfect grammar and is a whiz at laundry (?!!). If those are things he made cracks to you about during your marriage, I think he is just giving digs to of course make you feel inferior. Its what they do. He’s a cheating scumbag and OW is well a skanky whore. I don’t give a rat’s behind if she correctly uses past participles vs gerunds. She’s still an ignorant pig. Oh and unless she’s independently wealthy she’s has a lot of nerve having 5 kids and not working in this day and age. Let your ex worry about college tuition for the 5 young uns though, not your problem.

      • An educated person doesn’t correct another person’s grammar. Anyone who admires that kind of crass oneupmanship is also a pretentious loser.

        • Quite right: etiquette was made to make others feel *comfortable,* not humiliated. It’s about overlooking faux pas graciously. People who use it for the latter not only lack class, they are clueless about a very fundamental principle of life. Thanks goodness it makes them easy to spot. 🙂

      • Ah, chumpinrecovery, we come from the same school of parenting I see. Was informed by ex, after pointing out that his GF had bullied our middle schooler into shaving her armpits, that he disagreed with my parenting style that resulted in feral children. WTF? I’m worried about body-shaming and teaching a lack of boundaries around her own body – I had already offered to show her how, but left it up to her and she said no – and he’s worried that she’s feral. Gah!

        You are fine. Draconian says it all. He likes that the kids are out of the way. What mother of 5 children has time to be well-dressed and have an affair? One who isn’t present for her kids, that’s who.

      • Exactly chumpinrecovery. AND, I figured out I want someone who’s looking for ME, not someone “better.” (Even though logically, I know she ain’t even better.) The ones who are always looking for someone better are like the Gastons in Beauty and the Beast. They nasty.

    • I was never jealous before I found out about the affair. I loved him, I was happy with him and then my world was absolutely shattered.

      I used to think he was a good dad and loved our kids. He doesn’t. He loves the image of people thinking he’s a good dad. He loves the fact that our kids adore him and uses that as a benchmark of how wonderful he is. The truth is he manipulates our kids the way he manipulated me, and now he’s using a custody suit to not only strike me to my core, but to project more image management to as many people as he can, that’s he’s a loving dad….willing to put the horrid ex-wife and mother of his children, in her place, and prove his eternal love to his 3rd hand wife appliance (she has at least 2 baby daddies….ex would like to believe he’s the 3rd, but I seriously doubt he is.) along with ink on the finger. He believes his delusional narrative and desperately wants everyone else to as well.

      Except here I am, poking holes in it every chance I get. The best way for him to stop it, is to take my kids away.

  • Not to mention….tattoo’d wedding ring? Bwahahaha. I’ve always thought those were the most ridiculous of tattoo’s. I know so many people who get divorced with those stupid marks and guess what? They don’t come off !! Ever. ‘Nuff said.

  • My ex told me the exact same “I dont like rings, they bother my fingers”. So loving stupid chump me told him not to wear it if it bothered him. Funny that one time he was wearing his college ring but not the wedding ring, and i did ask him WTF? He made some lame excuse i gobbled up. (oh, the spackle)

    Now he wears a ring for the side ho. She keeps him on a short leash as well she should. It annoys me, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. And it took a whole lot longer than 2 years for me to get to meh. Be gentle with yourself, it will come.

  • Totally can relate. It’s an addiction. We get addicted to the hurt. In time you won’t give a shit what he does. Don’t fret! You will get there. Every time the knife stabs remember who he truly is and not what you may have thought originally. I’m sure that tattoo looks hideous. LOL!!! One day he will want it off. Just a reminder of what a true asshole he is.Good luck and know you are perfectly normal for feeling the way you do. Takes a lot of time and inner strength to rid ourselves of the pain inflicted. Keep moving forward and step over the shit that gets in your way. Him!! You will win in the end!! Believe it!

  • Ah yes. The wedding ring thing. My ex never wore his except for sometimes when we’d go out on dates or for special occasions. Now? He wears a wedding ring ALL THE TIME (even though they’re not married yet, just engaged). Yep. It hurt.

    Now? I don’t even care. I’m at meh. I trust that he sucks.

    When all of this crap dies down and you have your babies with you, you will get there, too.

  • After my divorce I would start to get really anxious for the whole day when I knew my ex was coming to pick up my 1-year-old daughter for visitation, and that I would have to see him and speak to him (briefly). I would also start to get really anxious, sweaty, and have trouble breathing when I was out and about and ran into his jerkface complicit friends somewhere.

    My therapist suggested have a few things in my back pocket for when this happened:
    (1) having a mantra or two that I could repeat to myself to be calm (people use things like “I am loved” or “This will pass” or whatever. I feel like “I am mighty” would work!)
    (2) doing deep breathing exercises
    (3) getting up and doing something, anything to change what I’m doing. Going for a walk, running an errand, making some tea, etc. Just entering into some other basic change of scenery will often jerk you out of the funk pretty quickly.

    Good luck!

  • It is hard for me to relate to these instances where Chumps get good settlements. My ex husband cleaned out the bank accounts, was openly having an affair and I had just had a baby (plus we have two other children.) I got the kids but he still got to keep almost everything. I got a few hundred of the thousands he stole. We were married over a decade. It is now hard for me to believe marriage protects women. I just hope I am a very rare exception. I would have done just as well, if not better, if I was not married to him, bc he still would have had to pay child support, and I couldve kept our resources seperate, and I would not have stayed home with children! I am now financially struggling at almost 40.

  • I don’t generally speak to custody issues because my kids are grown. I understand the pain, frustration and humiliation genetic material donors can cause by playing chess with children and custody. They already have abandonment issues installed by infancy survival common to homo-sapiens.

    IMHO, it shouldn’t be modeled before any child, yet they do it anyway. I gave my biological daughter, my (court appointed guardianship) daughter and my (step) son a few life tools (and still do) to navigate the bumps in the road they may consider mountains. All three are balancing school with work, marriage and families (aka kids). One tidbit of advice came from a Skynyrd song…”Don’t you backtalk the Police, It’s his job to put you in the jail”. I hope you laughed. I was serious and wanted them to have respect for law enforcement because….CONSEQUENCES.

    I Thank CN for the insights into ‘the legal system’…Spot on. Keep the $ machine (society/commerce) running at all costs. It’s a billion dollar industry. Can you say RIC? My 1st divorce attorney had a picture of George Washington behind his large lawyer desk. He asked me did I know who that was. Of course. He asked me, Did you know he never won a battle? I did not know this. He won the war. I didn’t research the winning of battles remark for validity but got the message clearly. Document everything, send it to me. I won the war over custody with my biological daughter. Her mother was a practicing alcoholic and the disease killed her. It was painful for my daughter and to this day she harbors anger. She misses her too. I miss her mother and we’d probably be friends today if she had found sobriety. Divorce#1 cost me 16K$ and I gladly signed over the house (lots of mortgage payments left).

    Enter serial cheater wife2.0. Divorce #2 cost me around $4200 with 3K being for a property survey and an additional lawyer to change the deed on 4 of our 16 acres I settled for. I negotiated with x and she gave me what I asked for. She keeps the other 12 acres. Taxes, Upkeep, You get the idea. I haven’t checked but feel pretty certain the the RED tax bills will flow in UNPAID. I’ve got the popcorn ready for this show.

    Tattoos. Don’t have any. My daughter and I were going to get matching tats this past April during a visit however we got side-tracked cramming to much into too little time together. Next visit for sure but we’ve not decided on what image to have done either. That’ll be another Daddy-Daughter quality time thing we do. I wanted a tattoo on my right ass cheek- just right above plumbers crack level- that reads, “BURY THIS SIDE UP”.

    Your Mission Kintsugi is to be the sane parent AT ALL COSTS. Let the assaults fall to open air. To Thine Own Self (your kids) Be True. The tattooed ring finger skin will rot away as his soul already has.

  • Kintsugi, I have read some of your posts before, and while my STBX is a major jerk, the douchebaggery and abusiveness of your STBX appear to know no bounds. No wonder you can’t get to a stable point when there is more abuse around every corner. I wonder if you might even be experiencing some CPTSD there. Maybe when you have to encounter him, you first ready yourself by picturing Chump Nation all around you enveloping you with protection like a soft blanket so that he cannot reach you, cannot hurt you, no matter how hard he tries to use abusive words and flaunt his stupid tattoo. We have your back! And we are rooting for you to get through this custody battle so you can start to heal.

  • Let’s see if anyone tops this story: we were in Maui summer 2017. As most people do for safety, she didn’t have her wedding band or engagement ring while swimming in the beach. My daughter happens to notice she has a tattoo….on her wedding finger. Upon closer look, my child asks: “who’s Martin?”

    We are (hopefully), close to divorce, but who does stuff like that, tattoo the OM’s name on their ring finger? Sine she started the affair as early as fall 2016, I never found out how long ago she had the tat. I can only imagine she had it for awhile, going to parties, events, CHURCH, w/a tat of her lover underneath our wedding ring. #sheesh #idiot #ohwell

      • Agreed – that is really messed up. She’s got some balls if she thought she could continue to hide that forever. She’s an idiot.

    • Some people are just sick. She’s the kind you look at and ask “what the fuck is wrong is you, you really are pathetic.”

    • That’s awful. I know a guy once whose cheating (now ex) wife had rings made for her trysts with her OM. They would take off their wedding rings and wear their cheater rings. He discovered the bill for it — she paid for the OM’s with marital monies. Of course.

      Just didn’t want you to feel too alone. We’ve all felt like freak of the week.

    • It’s not a tattoo…it’s an Idiot Sticker. Would that they all had such identifying markers.

  • One of the first things my stbx did when he moved out was get a tattoo. A cross in fire no less. if that doesn’t represent a Jesus cheater I don’t know what does ????????‍♀️.

    I was expecting a motorcycle, but my guess is his smoopsie maybe isn’t into them. He’ll wait till they are married and then get one… cause “screw whatever your spouse says!”

    Haha, he’s someone else’s “you can’t control me” project now. Not my circus, not my monkeys
    ???? ????
    ???? ???? he’s someone else’s steaming pile of shit!

    • I did, actually.

      I sent a text, mocking him over it. Last night I saw him at the cop shop, most likely filing a complaint over the fact that I “harassed” him. I expect a cop to show up at my door with either a citation or a summons. It’s his modus operandi. I send him a scathing text, he shows it (triangulates) to Alp-Ho, (under the guise of transparency and “honesty’) she cries at how mean I am, (and is compelled to pick-me dance) he can show off his ‘knight in shining armor’ persona (which I never, ever saw him show me…because I take care of my own damn crap) by acting like a school yard sissy, running to the cops to demand they issue me a citation/summons and “put me in my place.”

      He had the audacity once to tell me to not “make me hate you…” and I guess I saw it as a very easily attainable goal.

      Feeling’s mutual, Twatsy.

  • Yes, the attorney at the Second Saturday seminar (I’ve done 2) quoted the same statistic – 98% settle out of court because it’s just way too expensive to have a day in court. Which is why both my consulting attorney for my joint petition and the Second Saturday attorney both strongly urged me to settle with a petition since he had offered more than we expected. However, he reneged on that, which made me want to have him served – everyone here highly recommends just having them served. But in discussing it with two attorneys, they both discouraged me from doing that unless I absolutely have to if he doesn’t want to give me anything.

    They were also very clear in explaining that if you can get more than 50-50 on the equity of the house to snag it. Because even if you file fault with infidelity, a judge would never give you more than 50% equity in the house unless that was the only asset and the spouse dissipated marital money which is my case. So for me I’m going for 70/30. He had originally offered me 60/40 but has since reneged to 55/45. That just doesn’t cut it for me when you count what he spent on gambling and ho-workers.

  • My XH and Miss 1999 have ” always and forever” in Elvish as matching tattoos in bands around their arms. He has been playing RPGs since he was 14. He hates Elves, loudly , and will hang endless amounts of shit on anyone who plays them- until now.
    I considered getting ” Elves suck” in Orcish, but eventually decided on the Goblin Wardriver from MTG, which we used to play. He used to get annoyed that my scrappy Goblin deck would win against his carefully constructed strategy decks. Well, this scrappy Goblin is going to win again.
    Oh, he never wore his wedding ring either, because it annoyed him. I took mine to Cash Converters- I didn’t get much for it but it was better than nothing.

  • Oh my God! I hope my fuck wit does this!

    Then I’ll get to look at him, laugh hysterically, and say, “please tell the silly bitch that I said the only way to keep your penis out of skanks like her is to cut it off!”

    Then I would thank him for the best laugh I’d had in decades!

  • D-Day May 2017, but by about this time last year, whore had moved in with moron unbeknownst to me (I thought she was living by herself – facepalm). She would still stop by the house occasionally to see D20 and D22 and take items she wanted. I was too busy pick-me dancing to mind. One thing I DID mind was realizing she had taken my wedding band, which I had been keeping in a little dish by my bed.

    I pressed her about her reason several times over the course of weeks. She finally said she planned to have our rings melted down together and fashioned into pendants or something to give to Ds. It seemed weird to me but I said ok.

    A couple months later (the divorce proceedings were underway by then) I shared the story with Ds. They were perplexed and grossed out, and both said they would never wear such an item. A reminder of our parents’ failed marriage? No. Just no.

  • I can only think about how some of these tattoos work out when the love affairs are over. One story comes to mind. Had a cousin who was a little “loose” as a young girl. She had her abusive boyfriends name placed up on her thigh close to her genitalia apparently. A couple years later she ends up married to another guy. That’s bad enough that HE has to see this every time they are together, but the she gets pregnant with kid #1. I just know someone looked at him and assumed he was “Brandon” when the hospital staff congratulated him on the baby’s birth. Wonder if he had to tell them, “no, my name is Paul”! Really, what are these idiots thinking?

  • Tramp’s Stamp! (Sorry to offend any tattoo aficionados, but my sarcastic mind couldn’t help it…)

    I agree, AP MADE him do this. He was probably telling her he didn’t wear a wedding band because he considered his marriage dead… Pretty soon, he’ll hate all of her DEMANDS. And, he’ll move on to another. Cheaters hate to be “controlled.”

    Getting a tattoo for a girlfriend/affair partner is just … immature. I get it if he was a mechanic and this was to save his finger and he was married to the person for a long time. Or, tattoos with special meaning. Like a friend who was a Vietnam refugee, has a special tattoo of rice fields and hills to remember her country. Of another who has a tattoo of her kids faces. But, this is just silly.

    As far as divorce, it is just an untangling of the money and property / contract of marriage. I live in a No Fault state. Courts don’t want to hear that shit. You win a new life when you get divorced. My state is almost a 50/50 child sharing too. They tried to put it in the written law, as a presumptive! You can use some of the cheater’s bullshit in the parenting plan, but it’s super hard to strip all parenting rights. It was explained that the courts are like life’s janitors, but you were free to get into the mess. The law can put you somewhat back together financially with what you are due, and on a path to do a new life . . A shit sandwich, I guess. I remember that God hears and sees all, even what’s in our hearts. A judge or jury doesn’t know, and it can end up with the justice system working for who can hire the most expensive lawyer and hold out the legal system the longest . . . which also wouldn’t be fair. So, get your settlement and protect the kids as best you can, and let God or Karma handle the rest.

  • Nothing says class, fidelity, maturity and commitment like a tattooed wedding ring.

    I love tattoos – but seriously, this is super-crass.

    Do they think ink rings have magical infidelity-repelling powers? The gold one didn’t.

    At least you can sell a gold ring later on, or get it melted down for earrings or something.

    You can’t do anything with a tattooed ring, except have weeks of PAINFUL LASER REMOVAL and probably a permanent scar when the thing goes belly-up.

    As it will. Don’t worry about that, Kintsugi. Thank God you got away.

  • Ha. XH lost his wedding ring twice. The first time I was able to retrieve it from the campus lost-and-found. The second time it was gone for good.

    He then spent years telling people that my severely autistic brother “stole” his ring. I repeatedly protested that my autistic brother has never shown any interest in jewelry and would have no reason to steal his ring, but he just kept on loudly smearing my disabled brother every chance he got.

    Now I’m wondering whether I shouldn’t be putting “lost” in quotation marks when I talk about him losing his ring.

  • Dear Kintsgui… Mr. Sparkles went through FOUR RINGS during the course of my legal internment as his chump.

    Ring 1: We exchanged rings on a beach as our “marriage” before we began trying to have a baby. He lost it six months later.

    Ring 2: The replacement ring I bought for above – he wore it intermittently – mindfucking 101.

    Ring 3: His wedding ring. He wore it until he lost 20lbs and suddenly it was slipping off his finger all the time and he was afraid he would lose it.

    Ring 4: His replacement wedding ring to fit the 20lb thinner finger (WTF).

    He would leave all THREE RINGS displayed on his nightstand (he didn’t like to wear jewelry when he was sleeping)… and then he would forget to put one on before leaving for work.

    Bottomline – if they know it means something to you… they use it against you to hurt you on purpose. That is how sick and twisted these losers are… it is all just a carnival game to them.

    Don’t get distracted by this latest game of tattoo ring that he is playing… my bet is he did it more to mindfuck you than to show his love for the twat ho he married.

    Keep the focus on you and the kids. You will get through this… and when you do, I hope you sell your wedding jewelry and take a fabulous trip somewhere with them… that is what I did 🙂

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