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Dear Chump Lady, I have no Seasons Greetings

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merryfuckoffDear Chump Lady,

WTF do we chumps do about X-mas greetings from fuckwit ex when they drop kids/collect kids and wish us a “Merry Christmas”? The thought of saying “you too” sticks in my craw and I want to say “Fuck you very much.”

What if it’s a “Season’s Greetings” text or email? Does not responding or giving a hostile response convey the impression that you’re a bitter bitch who hasn’t moved on?

The fact is, I do not wish him a happy X-mas. However, I do not want him to think I am still emotionally stuck where I was for so long after D-day. The pain and anger has subsided, but not so much that I wish him well.

The fact is, I couldn’t give a flying fuck what kind of X-mas he has. Your thoughts would be helpful at this fraught time of year.

Deedee

Dear Deedee,

Ah, the Scrooge trap.

Deedee, I doubt you’re a naturally churlish person who refuses to exchange pleasantries. Your objection isn’t with well wishes for the holiday season. Your objection is him. You object to the discordance of someone who grievously hurt you phonily wishing you a happy holiday.

Having to hand your children over for half the holiday — especially if you’re the person who raises them and does the adult-ing the other 350+ days of the year — feels galling and unjust. If he sucker punched you and smiled “Merry Christmas” would it feel any less unsettling?

I understand why the situation gives you pause.

Here’s the trap — he is the Magnanimous Greeter of Holiday Wishes, letting bygones by bygones! For The Children! and you are the Bitter Ex Who Can’t Get Over Him. Yes, you’re still so consumed with hatred for him that you cannot even extend a holiday greeting. Really, it’s exactly this kind of emotional withholding and inappropriate anger that drove him into the arms of Schmoopie. (Who abounds with good will and never fails to wish anyone — even church mice and lepers — a Merry Christmas!) I’m sorry you can’t be the adult here and respond to a simple kind wish.

TRAP! Your refusal is kibbles! He’s still so central, he has the power to piss you off!

Or, you don’t ignore him. You match phoniness with phoniness, eat the holiday gingerbread shit sandwich and wish him a Merry Christmas back. Now you feel inauthentic and angry at yourself.

TRAP! Kibbles! You wished him happiness DESPITE yourself! It’s a little holiday cake to your ex. He offers a small kibble, you offer one in return, pretty soon we’re on the road to Friendship and Greater Impression Management! (For The Children, of course. But maybe the occasional booty call….)

What’s a chump to do?

Southerners, who have elevated passive-aggression to an art form, have the perfect response for exactly this kind of situation:

Bless your heart.”

When some idiot is babbling foolishness, a polite Southerner just cocks an eyebrow, looks down at the poor afflicted soul with “Bless your heart.”

Merry Christmas!

Bless your heart.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Bless your heart. 

Seasons Greetings!

Bless your heart.

If you can’t say anything, say “Fuck off” in Southern politesse.

Merry Christmas, CN!

This one ran previously, but the newbies might need a primer.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • You could try in response to a Merry Christmas etc wishfrom your despised annoying spouse with a “thank you, I will”

    • And there is the old Southern joke about the two ladies who were at lunch, one bragging about what her husband bought her cause he loved her so much the other nodding politely and saying “thats nice” because she went to finishing school to learn how to say “thats nice” instead of “fuck you”!

      Of course this must be said with your best Steel Magnolia’s Southern drawl laced with honey and sugar and maple syrup.

    • Yes! And if this is happening while exchanging the kids and you want to seem extra pleasant:

      “Oh thank you, I hope the kid(s) have/had a great visit with you”

      And then focus on the kids.

    • You could also try my favorite. When we were young adults, my sister and I would joke about unwelcome comments from our mother, such as “your hair looked better yesterday”. We’d say “Thank you for caring”, omitting what we knew was the entire comment – “Thank you for caring, and fuck you for sharing”.

      So your X says “Merry Christmas” and you say “thank you for caring”. You can just keep the “Fuck you for sharing” to yourself.

  • When my stbxh wishes me anything… like hope you have a good day at work, hope you have a good evening. My response is always “thank you, may you have the day/evening you deserve” said in a very nice tone and with a smile. Always makes him pause wondering if I am being snarky or sincere..

  • I am southern! This so true. Sometimes we add WELL to the phrase. Well bless your heart and then mutter under our breath to ourselves this little prayer, Help him/her Lord.

  • I can’t wait to read all the CN responses! The cheater texted me “Happy Birthday! 😃” on my birthday this year. At 7am. WTF?! Did he get out of somebody’s bed to do that? Did he say to someone, “excuse me…”, pull out, go to another room, and text me? What the hell? No, this is the worst birthday of my entire life thanks to you, duckface. I can only conclude the guilt was on his mind when he woke up and his feeble attempt to neutralize it was to text me Super Duper Extra Strength Happy Birthday Wishes With A Side Of Smiley Face Emoji To Make Sure It Sticks. I didn’t respond. But what to do when issued greetings in person? I wish Miss Manners would write a book on how to interact with cheating ex-spouses. In a pinch, silence always works.

    • PS….communicated with the disordered, logic and reason challenged cheater is always flummoxfest. Just yesterday, in conversation about daughter’s homework with Relationship Genius, I didn’t understand what he was telling me and it went like this:

      Me: “Hold on, I’m confused…”
      Him: “Don’t do that to me.”

      WTJiminy Crack Christmas F?!!!!!

    • Sorry VH, I doubt it was out of guilt. I’m sure it’s an attempt to engage you in conversation and break grey rock or NC rule.

    • block, block, block. I do believe that Text is the cheaters biggest stick to beat us with. If they can only email, if there are kids involved, then we decided when and IF we read them. Mine is block in every way imaginable because my kids are over 18.

      • My lawyer advised NOT to block texts as she is a covert narcissist/Borderline Personity Disordered person. The lawyer said it could cause me legal problems down the road. She could say I was refusing to communicate and thus causing harm to the children. Plus it would piss her off and that would cause legal problems. When I tried to block her texts she started causing major problems in the court system. So I eat the s… sandwiches and text her. We use TalkingParents for major stuff.

        • It isn’t blocking communication if there is a viable means to communicate. It is perfectly acceptable to say please email me regarding the kids. Even better: All our communication about child will be on Our Family Wizard (parenting software designed for high conflict divorce. My lawyer told me not to give him more than one way to contact me and that way should leave a solid paper trail like email or parenting software. Having bred with someone does not mean that they should henceforth be able to blow up your phone at 2 am with whatever non essential tripe they are sending. 98% of most text communication from a fuckwit is non essential and often meant to merely harass.

          • Jojobee – Do you have to tell them that they are blocked? We have told my husband’s ex-wife that we will only communicate on OurFamilyWizard, and then have her blocked on text (although we do unblock right before a transition). I can’t tell you how many dinners/weekends, etc have been ruined due to her ability to blow up our phones at any time. Neither of us wants to tell her that she’s blocked, though because… well, she is a scary covert narcissist and we try not to set her off…

            • Have your lawyer send one letter that she may contact you only via email or parenting software (whichever you prefer, and that you will no longer recieve other forms of communication. Stop explaining, stop trying to get their permission, stop engaging all together. they need one way to reach you. Unless your court order dictates that they must be able to phone and text, don’t do it. Do not ever turn her back on not even for transitions. That phone she is texting from can send an email. Stop trying to appease her. It will not work, she senses your fear and wish to avoid conflict. The best way to avoid conflict is to avoid contact. One letter. That’s it. DO NOT ENGAGE. They will ramp up behavior for a while, but eventually if you hold strong they will adjust. you have to kibble starve them out. If they show up at your door raging, call the police. Video the tantrum. Use it to get a protective/harassment order. Roll up that court order like a metaphorical newspaper and just keep whacking them with it. You need to kibble starve them out. You cannot “nice” them into being reasonable. That didn’t work when you were married to them, why would it work now? You guys are still playing the scapegoat in her dysfunctional family drama walking on eggshells to make sure she isn’t upset. Who gives a shit if he is upset? Send the message LOUD and SILENT that you do not negotiate with her.

              • Jojobee, blocking mine cost me thousands of dollars. She would say she never received the emails. One example, I took the kids to Canada last summer (had notarized letter from XW). The TalkingParents app was NOT working in Canada. So I sent her two emails about where we were staying at. My XW told the court that I tried to kidnap the kids because she never received an email of our accommodations . Also she told the court since I blocked her texts that I was alienating or possibly causing harm to them if she couldn’t reach them or me in an emergency. So I was advise by my lawyer to leave that communication line open, plus it was against Colorado law. Tracy has to be careful in her advise if someone is TRULY dealing with a narcissist/BPD person. I was warned even by my XW’s aunt to be very careful in how I am dealing with her. The problem I DO have is when we have to TALK by phone by some divorce things she uses that to abuse me. I have to learn to just hang up.

    • Velvet my ex sent me a selfie of himself on the wrong day wishing me a happy birthday. I nearly puked. I have been no contact for several months now. So consumed with himself after 45 years of marriage he still does not know my birthdate!

      • CoFox
        I’m so sorry you had to go thru that! I know what that’s like 🙁
        What an asshole. So much better without the narcissists in our life. ((Hugs)) ❤️

          • Indomitable
            No he didn’t send me selfie.. I meant I was married 34 years, long time like CoFox. He paraded Owhore in my face. I think it’s worse when it’s in person. Good luck to you ❤️

        • Comic and Kathleen- I am a 30 yr marriage survivor. What is the deal with fuckwits leaving long term marriages? Hugs to you both. I’m “lucky” that we are totally NC.

          • Thrive
            I question that all the time. He destroyed our family, son, home, etc for a down graded whore. She knew he was married but didn’t care. The affair lasted for 2 years until I discovered them together. Karma hit last year.. whore died & he quickly moved into an 82 year old woman’s home. Evil narcissist psychopath 😈. NC since I threw him out.
            Hope your doing well 👌🏼

      • Omg a selfie of him for your bday – ugh! Of course he couldn’t make it about you and send you a picture of something you love (flowers, cats, or whatever). It had to be all about him. Loser!

        Yep about them not remembering dates that aren’t 100% focused on them. My xh still can’t remember when our 2 kids bdays are, or even how old they are or what grade they’re in. He’s usually a few years behind. Self absorbed much?! Makes me nausious.

      • COFox,
        I am very sorry that you experienced this! I empathize. My last boyfriend, the guy who I thought was my friend for 30 years and had the memory of an elephant kept ‘forgetting’ my birthday for the last couple years of our intimate relationship. For the last few years, I have tried to forget my birthday, which is this week, as I had a really bad experience with my last boyfriend on my fiftieth birthday. (This time he remembered my birthday.) During what I thought was an tender intimate moment in the dark, for the first time in a dozen years (as the year before my abusive ex-husband finally decided to leave and I felt ready to be vulnerable), I said, ‘I love you.’ After a pregnant pause, my boyfriend said, ‘Happy birthday.’ I should have immediately turned on the lights, got up, and gone home, never to return. Instead, foolishly, as I thought, ‘This relationship is way better than the abusive marriage I was in, and who else will accept a middle-aged mother of young kids?’ I hung around for much worse treatment over the next couple of years. Now my dignity has left with my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend), who left me for a much younger, childless, brilliant work subordinate. Ironically, my ex-boyfriend told me, ‘I love you,’ half an hour after telling me, ‘I don’t see you in my future.’ I need some time to myself (fake ‘I want to be a monk’ persona). I am quite certain that for months he was out ‘shopping’ for a new partner, in spite of him stating otherwise. A few weeks later, he was routinely sleeping with his work subordinate, who I think is now his wife. I should be glad he’s gone as he was insulting, critical, controlling with a predisposition to pathologically lie but has managed to maintain his Mr. Nice Guy mask for half a century. I am going to try to replace bad birthday memories with the memory of something new–a memory of doing something for others each year.

    • Velvet Hammer

      Indeed Miss Manners has addressed this subject – perhaps not with unfaithful f**kwit ex-husbands specifically but her all-purpose response to an unwelcome comment or remark from anyone in a face to face encounter is to look at the person, blink and then fix your vision on something else with a middle distance gaze as if you are trying to remember where you put your phone down. Resist the urge to say anything at all. If they say it again, just walk away…gazing into the middle distance. Works in courtrooms, at parties, at school concerts and at the front door while your child is putting his boots on. Watch Downton Abbey re-runs – the Dowager Countess uses this frequently. As for how to address it by text and email – just delete it and leave them wondering if you ever got it. Nothing says “you mean nothing to me” more than a wall of silence.

      • I adore the Dowager! I’ll have to watch my Downton DVD’s to polish the art of the veiled and polite astute razor sharp witty observation (aka insult).

    • Well, at least it wasn’t a photo of his dick. I mean, he IS a dick but you didn’t need a glimpse of his one-eyed snake at this point.

  • I feel her pain. My situation is that my children dearly want to have the “whole family” – meaning them, me and my ex-wife – together for Chritmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I have been very successful in gray-rocking it for quite a while now, but I’m pessimistic about how long I could hold out when in her company that much. (I have custody for the Christmas week, but the divorce deal says we share custody on the High Holies).

    I don’t want to hurt the kids, but that seems crazy. What to do?

    • the best thing you can do for your kids is be clear about what the situation is now. it’s not in their best interest to let them think that because they wish the family was like it was before that it can be. the change has happened so they’re going to have to handle it, and they can.

      the resentment and hurt you would feel in that situation would be worse overall for the kids.

      • Pecan, I completely agree. The exact reason why I believe in informing the kids of what really happened to end the marriage. Age appropriate of course. If the CHUMP is pushing back on spending time with cheater for a unexplained or obscure reason? Kids will find it more confusing, ask even more Qs. I think that kids do understand that kind of betrayal more n more as they get older. Not that I would recommend telling this to a 3 or 4 year old. Kids tell tales to get out of trouble and avoid consequences. So they can start to wrap their head around the amount of work and lies that cheating takes. If they do see that other parent in a different light? So be it. Cheaters don’t just cheat on their spouse. They cheat on their kids. All the betrayal, lies, lost security and sense of self is also their loss. We cannot protect our kids from a betraying spouses hard work to ruin all that.

      • Jean – what Pecan said…exactly. Your kids will handle and each year will be better than the last. It is ok to let your children be aware that you deserve respect, set boundaries and are an example of how to behave when mistreated.

    • Please, please, please remember; we don’t always give kids what they want. Sometimes we have to give them what they need.

      So what do they need? (Asuming you’re either already living separately, or the kids at least know there is a divorce going on.)

      – they need to be adapting to the family’s new reality, which is that the marriage is over, and they will have separate, but wonderful, celebrations, from now on.

      – they need to be allowed to grieve their intact family, and to miss the other parent, on those celebratory days, especially in the first year or two. They need your support and empathy for that.

      – they need to see extended family and friends, if they normally would, for the celebratory period. But arranging this is on the parent most closely related to the family and friends. The other parent should be reasonably flexible about those arrangements, but not a door mat.

      – they need low-conflict celebrations. And this means, not just no outright arguing in front of them, but no simmering or cold shoulders or fake friendliness responded to awkwardly.

      – they need one sane parent. And we all know that will be you. So whatever reasonable accommodation helps keep you as low stress as possible is good for your kids.

      So do NOT do this, ‘for the kids’. Don’t encourage denial of the changes happening in their loves. Deal, instead, w/their sadness and anger about those changes. So they, too, can head towards moving on.

    • Jean Valchump ( I love this screen name!)… as a parent, we all have “teachable moments” with our children. This really is no different than teaching them they don’t have to be friends with a bully. For the chump, the X is the “bully” and in order to respect yourself and your needs, you have a right to set a boundary with regard to being (or not being) in contact (or in the same room). A child should learn this… they have a right to be safe (as do you). Sucking it up for the “sake of the children” is not good modeling for future behavior as they grow up.

      Just my two cents.

    • I know how you feel. But you were not the one that hurt the kids, your wife did when she blew up the family.

      It is understandable that the kids want everyone to get along especially on Christmas. But you need to stick to your guns and custody plan.

      When the children ask if momma can eat Christmas dinner with us. You tell them no baby, I am so sorry but we have to do what the court ordered. Depending on how old your kids are, just tell them the truth. If they ask why, say mommy did not want to stay married to daddy and this is unfortunate what happens. If they are older, you explain that this is what happens when 2 people divorce.

      You are under no obligation to act like nothing happened just for the sake of the holidays. Hold you ground. Apologize to your kids, tell this THIS is not what you wanted either and yes it does suck. But you and the kids will have a good time. Maybe come up with a new tradition or activity you can do with them. It will never fail that in the middle of fun, there will be one kid that stops and says “I wish min was here”. And you just say “oh ya?” And move on to something else. Or they say “this is so fun, wish mom was here. Or wish mom would do it” and you say ” it is fun!”.. .. of course they wish mom was here. But that doesn’t concern you. You don’t make a big deal out if it. Just tell them his much fun you have with them. .. .

      Good luck and merry Christmas .

      • Oh and if it you ex saying that you need to come to dinner for the sake of the kids, you still grey rock the shit out of that. A simple no thank you. Will work. If you like, you can say you already have plans.

        If she gets angry then say you prefer to stick to the court ordered plan. And if she is unhappy she can talk to your lawyer about changing it.

    • I agree with Pecan too. Kids need to see and learn that there are consequences to betrayal & broken promises. Them realizing that will reinforce to them why keeping promises and vows are so important.

      It seems to be the norm in our society now to gloss over affairs & almost pretend like they didn’t happen “for the kids sakes”. The same goes for the reason for “be friends for the kids sakes”. Think about what that’s really teaching kids. It’s teaching them that the one who doesn’t keep their promises gets away with it. So uh, why would kids then feel they need to keep their promises? Our kids will be in relationships & marriages themselves one day. Do we really want them to think broken promises & vows will just be swept under the rug, hushed up, & glossed over?

      Please teach your kids that there are consequences to broken vows. Teach them that it’s not ok for someone to hurt you like that. Teach them that it is ok to set boundaries and to protect yourself from further pain. These are the real lessons you will be teaching your kids by not having a shared holiday with your ex anymore. It’s better for you & it’s better for your kids in the long run. Sure, they’ll of course be disappointed the first year. That’s all on your ex/stbx. Don’t take any responsibility for that.

      • Amen!

        I read on divorce forums about “FORGIVING your ex and OW for the kids sake”. I call bullshit. Why would you set that example for your kids? So your kids can witness you eat that shit sandwich over and over again and watch you be fake AF with your heart broken and shattered and no consequences for betrayal and deceit? NO.
        My DS is learning that lying and keeping secrets means that daddy doesn’t get to stay part of our family and doesn’t deserve to hang out with us…you know, because that’s how life is.

        Ummm, no thank you, I’m not hungry, you can shove that shit sandwich down someone else’s throat. I’ll just be over here respecting myself and being mighty.

    • This is such a tough one, Jean Valchump. What a nightmare for you to pretend that you are a unit when one parent has chosen not to be a part of it for everyday but might come and play happy families at Christmas. No! It probably suits the cheater but why should you put yourself or your kids through such a tortured and cruel fantasy. The new family is you and your children, and it falls to us always to explain this as honestly and straightforwardly as we age-appropriately can to the kids. But don’t pretend for Christmas … that is not fair on you or the kids and prolongs the agony. The time of spackling and pretending is over. A new reality is setting in and you can help them navigate it with honesty and patience and love. The best of good wishes to you during a difficult time.

    • Love your screen name!
      I know you want to make.your kids happy, but I agree with everyone else. Decidely no. I’m sorry.
      I had to do this with my sons and exh1 the first Christmas we were divorced. It was hard telling them no, but I managed and had a good holiday with them making new traditions

  • I’m like Polly, only a tad less polite. I leave out the thank you.
    The response is along the lines of
    – of course I will (the you’re not here is silent)
    – these days, every day is happy (the since you left is silent)
    – my Christmas will be merry and bright (the because I have my kid here and not you is silent)
    You can’t win. Everything you do will be twisted into the worst possible light, so don’t play the game. Give a response that doesn’t say a lot or just pivot the subject with
    – I hope it snows (the so I can picture you being rammed by a snow low is silent)
    – I cant wait for holiday dinner (the without you is silent)
    – we’re going to have such an adventure (again, the without you is silent)
    Then smile like today is the best day of your life, of course it is, the holidays are fuckwit free, and walk away.

  • Yup. I always hated my ex’s pretenses. So i am looking forward to hearing some good responses. Im from brooklyn. So “bless your heart” never sounds quite right. Maybe a “thank you, u 2” is another option. Shows your not wasting effort into typing out the actual letters in the greeting of “Happy Holidays” but its not ignoring him.

    My ex actually gave me a great gift. In our decree, i get son until 10 in the morning. So i get to be there for the fun early morning opening of gifts. He takes him from 10 to 2. Which gives me time to help prepare for christmas party. And then son celebrates a 6 hour party with my family.

    See, my ex wasnt too concerned with frivolties like custody or spending time with son. He only cared about making sure we got the bare minimum in financial support so he could travel to bad neighborhoods and withdraw 800 dollars a week to spend on god knows what.
    Ill take time with my son anyway.

    • My answer to all have a nice day – happy birthday – merry Christmas type sentiments is ” I will.” In a pleasant tone And with a bland smile as I shut the door.

    • The answer to that cash $800 mystery is either drugs or hookers. Assholes. My hooker loving ex has tried some image managing greeting a few times. To all the Happy birthdays, Merry Christmases, and such I smile and say “Of course!” He didn’t really know what to say because he wasn’t sure how to take it. It doesn’t wish HIM anything, but it is delivered with a smile and friendly tone. I don’t merely say “thank you” because I am never thanking that cheating, lying, marital funds dissipating asshole for anything. He doesn’t deserve it. I can smile when I say it because of course is accurate. I do have merry holidays now that asshole is gone, so it has the added virtue of being true and sincere.

  • I am opting for a simple “thank you”
    That way I´m not being hideously rude, nor am I wishing him a Merry Christmas (actually I would like to wish him a merry fuck off)
    It´ll be a cold day in hell before I respond to any of his “I hope you had/have a good (whatever)” in like, as frankly, they´ve all sucked a bit since he did what he did.

    • This is a great way to respond. There’s no where they can really take it – saying “thank you” is virtually the definition of polite, so there’s no way to pick an argument out of it that isn’t blatantly petty. At the same time, it’s unambiguously not the “correct” response, making the hint quite clear. That makes it the response most likely to get them to leave you alone, I think.

    • Yes, “thank you” is just-right. I’m from NJ, but have been living in L. A. (Lower Alabama) for some years now, and have never adapted to “bless your heart” .

  • Geat. I’m collecting multi-purpose comebacks so that I have something for every occassion ready for rapid fire.

  • Mine wished me a Happy Birthday via email (only way I allow her to contact me). Best response I could come up with was “Awww, you’re so pretty” followed by a See You Next Tuesday.

  • I read this before and it still made me LOL! But I’ve taken a liking to using “Likewise” a la Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith.

  • One awesome facet on the jewel of “Meh” is the one where it simply doesn’t matter what the asshole cheating ex thinks.

    My asshole cheating ex is my ex, and that takes his opinion out of the pool of things about which I give a damn. He person has terrible character. I don’t have to care about what a person with terrible character thinks of me.

    The day that light went off in my head, I became truly free.

    People with terrible character do not need or deserve our responses.

    People with terrible character do not deserve our good wishes, praise, or free time.

    People with terrible character do not define who we are, how much value we have in the world, or who will care about us.

    There is no need to respond. At most, “Thanks” is more than enough.

    Every time you are cordial to a person with terrible character, that is a gift, whether that person sees it that way or not.

    If the asshole cheating ex thinks you’re bitter because he didn’t get the response he wanted, too f’ing bad. We think he’s an asshole, so I guess we’re all even. 😊

    • I must be partway to Meh. I don’t actually care any more what my ex thinks of me, what his opinion is. I do care, however, when he attempts to enlist me in legitimating his bullshit story that we just “grew apart” and so like two adults who made a mutually satisfactory and satisfying decision to end the marriage we can now engage each other from positions in which we stand on equal footing. My own red line is that I will do nothing if it furthers this bullshit false narrative. I get annoyed at having to spend my time figuring out how to counter these moves of his, or that he imposes that necessity on me. If it comes on its own in an email or text, I just ignore it. If it comes in an email or text along with some business to do with splitting our things, I answer only that part of it. I work in the same building as my ex, and must encounter him daily, so my rule of thumb now is to treat him as I would any other colleague (but not one I’m friends with).

      • What about always correcting him shortly (also known as calling him out) with – divorce is happening/ happened because you cheated; and – you grew apart without telling me.

        • Adelante, my ex re-writes how we split too. Apart from the ubiquitous “when we decided to separate”, he now claims that he moved in with the skank after we decided to separate. I told him he was either a liar or delusional because he just stopped coming home for 6 weeks having moved in with the skank and then dragged our kids into it by introducing them to her (a teen and early 20s) and telling them to keep it quiet. That was unforgivable. He then claims he “doesn’t remember” my version. I know it’s cheater handbook stuff but sometimes I do wonder if he really doesn’t remember – or he really has convinced himself of his own narrative. He’s pretty convincing if so. In the end though, not my problem any more!

  • I’d say silence. Just ignore it – like you do with everything else he does at this point. Texts don’t have to be responded to, and if he says it in person, pretend he didn’t say it and continue talking about pickup or whatever.

  • Oh how about:

    ditto
    backatcha
    yep
    you too

    Very BIFF without true sentiment, just like their marriage vows to you 😛

  • Actual conversation between me and Ex the first Christmas after D-Day (2 months after D-day and 2 weeks after he sued me for full custody of the kids)

    Ex: “Merry Christmas!”

    Me: crickets 🦗

    Ex:”Well, aren’t you going to say it back?”

    Me: “No. Goodbye.” Shuts door.

    Nope, no kibbles from me!

  • You say the same thing you would to any other sort of manipulative nonsense: “Thank you.” Nice and flat and short.

    “You were just the best wife and mother I could have ever wished for and I messed it up and you’re just so amazing to do all you do and STILL are nice to me at drop off/pick up!”

    Thank you. ::shuts door::

    Cheater: “(insert 2-page letter of his lackluster-Christmas season SADZ because you were the one who made the magic happen and he was such a fool for taking you for granted and if given the chance, he would NEVER do that again!) Merry Christmas!”

    Thank you. ::moves email to LiarCheaterWhore folder::

    • That 2-page letter might contain some actual STUFF, you know. Like, “sure you can have the kids Christmas Eve and morning… it’s the LEAST I can do after being such an asshole! I hope you all have a beautiful time together even though I won’t be there. Maybe you can take some pictures for me?? 🙁 ” Your response?

      “Thank you. I’ll have the children ready for you to pick them up at 2pm, for dinner at your mother’s.”

      Stone cold, baby.

    • “::moves email to LiarCheaterWhore folder::” lol 🙂

      I wonder how many of us have email folders like this?

      I have two gmail accounts, because I went back to my maiden name. One folder for the cheater is called “Sociopath” and the other account it’s “Adulterer”. They used to be called worse, but I tamed them down a bit. lol.

      • HA! Shortly after now xh left, his contact name on my cell became “CHEATING SOB” (this was way before I found CN). Then it became “Ass” (with a pic of a donkey of course) and lastly it was “Sperm Donor”. Now, he has no contact name on my cell because he’s blocked. 😷

        • My caller ID pics was originally a pic of a flaming middle finger up, and his name on my phone was of course The Evil One. He saw it during wreckonciliation and asked me about it, I just shrugged with “I was angry at the time…”
          I later changed it to a.pic.of a hot body dude with unicorn saying “It’s sparkles McGee bitches!” and his ID was Sparkles McGee, but changed.phones, so I went back to the original, then DD saw it and read it and I just decide to change it to Exh2 and a black dot for his ID pics. Three.five years later, he’s not worth bothering to ID him

  • I haven’t posted for a very long time but I am actually the writer of that letter…two, possibly three years ago.
    The reason I post today is to give hope to the newbies.
    I can see from this vantage point how much progress I’ve made since I wrote that letter.I was still somewhat under his toxic spell and definitely not at meh.
    I’m happy to report that I am utterly indifferent to him now and couldn’t care less what he’s doing or who he’s doing.
    If he turned up dressed as the Christmas elf with a choir of angels I’d still be meh.
    I honestly never thought I’d get to a place where the man I’d loved for so long, with all my heart and soul would have absolutely zero power to affect me.
    It was a long struggle to get here and to the newbies…you WILL get there.
    Also happy to report that karma bit him on the arse somewhat.
    He was having an affair while with exit Shmoopie…surprise surprise….left her for the new one…who dumped him when she caught him…cheating.
    Last I heard he was alone and looking after his very elderly mother.

    So, to those who are still in a lot of pain, there are better days ahead.

    • Oh yay, I love a positive follow up post!! Glad you’ve found your way to Meh. Life is grand here, isn’t it?
      “I honestly never thought I’d get to a place where the man I’d loved for so long, with all my heart and soul would have absolutely zero power to affect me.” It’s a strange feeling when you realize that this is true but the weight that is lifted off your life when that unrequited love is truly gone is amazing. You don’t realize how much it weighs you down until it’s gone.

      *high five*

    • Hi Deedee! So great to read your update!

      I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful holiday season.

      😘😘😘😘. (Chump Class of Christmas ‘15 here)

    • Thank you for your words of hope. My Dday was three months ago, the ex moved out 2 months ago and I’ve been no contact for 1 month. My life has been getting better every day. NC really is magic!

    • DD, Thanks for the follow up. I am just about there myself. Divorce final in Dec. 2014. I think I may actually be there but haven’t heard any trumpets. LOL. Ex wife also had the KARMA bus pay several visits. Not my worry. 6 more chissup payments and her life of living off me will drastically change. She cheated, ran to court and presented the SILVER BULLET but failed. Sold the house 2 years later and lost 16k in equity and late fees. AP could not stay sober or stop getting arrested. Affair ended. New guy from same hillbilly HS she went to turned out worse. Drugged her nasal spray (don’t know why she already had a solid opioid habit) live streamed them in bed together unbeknownst to her and then commenced with a old fashioned hillbilly beat down. Now I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. BUT KARMA!! Last night I had a very nice moment laying in bed praying. It finally occurred to me that I should be thankful. Thankful that I don’t have to carry around that shit for the rest of my life. That I did not completely FUCK UP mine or anyone else’s life. That I don’t have that ugliness festering inside me. That I never got the chance at Wreckonciliation. I’m happy now. I feel free. It took almost 2 1/2 years to start dating. She’s on her 3rd or 4th RELATIONSHIP since. Met a awesome lady. And I may be at complete MEH? I just don’t know. BTW all this craziness comes to me I don’t go looking for it. Don’t even try to verify if its true. But I’m quite certain it is!!

    • Great update! Hopefully one day I’ll get there. My STBXW is about to give me the greatest Christmas present. 24 years together, 18 years married, & 4 kids. Should have kept her legs closed but now she will be paying me child support and maintenance since she makes 3 1/2 times more than I do for at least 12 years. The FIL tried to persuade me not to file and even told his daughter to stop fucking around. Oops sorry! Happy to make the cunt pay!

    • Deedee,

      So glad that your life is looking up!

      My abusive, adulterous husband left four years ago. My last boyfriend, who I considered a friend of 30 years, left one and a half years ago for a much younger woman. All my exes seem to be doing great, but I am still really struggling (financially, professionally, emotionally, etc.)–every day seems like something to just endure until the end as I feel as though I am dragging around a 100-pound bowling ball. I try to make others’ lives better but don’t feel as though I am doing anything worthwhile for the world. I worry about my young kids (I had kids very late), for whom I stay alive. What was the key to improving your life over the last few years?

      • Not Deedee, but I am always sorry to hear things are rough for you.

        You are so kind and insightful on here. Those jerks are not the measure of your worth. You cannot help it if a liar and cheater deceives you. You are a good and kind person who regularly helps others with your comments. Big hugs to you, if you want them. ((((RockStarWife)))).

      • You see the facade of them having a “great” life. In reality, beneath the surface is utter rot.

        Attention whores have the most to lose if anyone sees beneath the facade.

        The reason you feel so “heavy” is because you give a shit about others, and that is a gift. That, in itself, is ample for “doing stuff worthwhile”. Ignore what those narcissistic fuckwits claim is their warped idea of “doing stuff worthwhile” – it is trash.

      • Rock Star Wife…only just saw your question now.Hope you get to read this or someone gives you the heads up that it’s here.
        The keys to my healing were
        No contact/ grey rock if that’s not possible
        Exercise…walking and yoga worked for me in the early days when grief exhausted me.
        Meditation
        A new hobby…started oil painting.
        Reading all I could about personality disorders especially narcissistic sociopaths e.g Narcsite
        Watching YouTube videos about same e.g.Mark Smith Family Tree Counselling
        A good counsellor who understood narcissistic abuse
        Good friends
        Journaling to express all the hurt, anger and trauma.
        Sounds like a lot of work….and it is but I was determined to get past what that fucker did to me.
        And time of course does help you to eventually heal.
        Best of luck RSW.

    • Yay!!!
      So good to hear from you!!!
      I feel the same way about my exh2/The Evil One. I don’t care if he shows up with tiny Tim on his shoulder spouting, “God bless us, everyone!”, He sucks and I don’t.
      Merry Christmas, DeeDee!!!

  • I don’t have to worry about any holiday greetings. Heck, Mother’s Day was only 2 weeks after filing and before the doomed D-day, and I didn’t get a text, card or call from Dickhead or stepkids. He had already poisoned that well. In prior years, he always got me a card and stuff for the yard.

    • MissB,

      On Mother’s Day, which was only mere weeks after DDay, he handed me some gross, lame-ass, wilted, gas station flowers as he dropped off DD. I graciously took them (instead of smashing them in his face), set them on the counter, and loved up on my daughter until he left and never glanced back once at them. As soon as he left, I threw them in the trash as I exclaimed “EW” (Jimmy Fallon reference). He hasn’t bothered to image-manage gift me since then…Until last week. He texted and politely asked me what my DD could buy me for Christmas (she’s 3). I told him so kindly that she could pay for Dec daycare as my Christmas present because I didn’t really need anything. He squawked about it via text for a second and I responded back politely. He sent me half. Merry Christmas to me, I’ll buy my own shit, thank you very much. I’m sure that’s the last time he’ll ask me what DD would like to buy me for Christmas. I’m proud of myself for fucking up his stupid image-management gifting plan.

  • Holidays can be awkward, especially if you have kids. Easter and Xmas are the only days we have together, as kids like him, and they love his pets, cat and a terrier. You have to let the snidely comments go over your head. It helps to treat him as a parent, not an ex. It helps to remember he’s your ex for a reason.

  • Yep. I’d just say yep. I wouldn’t want to thank him for his false desire for my merriment and I don’t wish him a second of merriment. So merry Christmas? Yep.

  • If sent by email or text, I do not respond. If he says it in person, I tend to simply snicker and say thanks. Even though I am three years down this path I still do not feel the need to fake it and wish him well back. Maybe someday…

  • Nothing like rubbing my hands together, smiling and replying ‘it’s the best so far!’ Sometimes you gotta fake it til you can make it. And make sure you have plans for as soon as the kids are on their way.

  • I don’t even acknowledge things like that if they’re in a text or email. If he says it to me in person in front of the kids, I just say thank you. If he says it in person and the kids aren’t around, I pretend like I didn’t even hear it.

    I barely look at him anyway and apparently when I do, I look right through him, according to him. Well, yeah, I probably do since I honestly wish I never had to see him again and I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the kids.

    This insistence from cheaters that we all be BFFs is so pathetic, just like everything else they do. Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could all simply move on and pretend like nothing bad ever happened?! Ugh. Go take that shit to your 5,000 girlfriends. Why do you have to involve me with it, too? Aren’t they enough for you?

  • It’s highly unlikely that my ex husband will wish me anything for Christmas. But if he did, as a Midwesterner living in the South for the past decade, my response will definitely be “bless your heart”. Nothing says a charming “fuck off dick dribble” better!

  • The only communication I have with ex is when he sends me his annual calculation of how much spousal support he paid as required by our divorce decree. At the end of the email he puts “I trust you are well.” At the end of my email acknowledging receipt of his email, I write “I trust you are the same”. I’m sure he reads that as “I trust you are also well” but what I mean is “I trust you are the same lying, cheating, stealing, emotionally abusive fuckwit you were when I divorced you”. You say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-toe. 😀

    • I love that! “I trust you are the same”

      I’m using “thank you”. No well wishes to him but also I’m not sending off a bitter vibe.

      I’ve been doing grey rock as best I can. I pray that some day I’ll get to a solid MEH.

      Happy holidays CN! This has been my daily therapy for two years and I’m forever thankful for it. Thank you CL!

  • The year I divorced ex cheater and he promptly moved the OW into the place I called home, he sent me a Happy Birthday text.

    By that time I had officially cut off the kibble supply much to his chagrin and Id been exposed to the raging asshole channel. I was all set. I ignored the text completely and deleted it without replying. It bugged me for the whole day because I kept trying to untangle the skein. A few days later I blocked him on my iphone. That was 4.5 years ago.

    If he’s sent me holiday wishes I am blissfully unaware. And at this point, all the fucks I had to give have simply vanished. I love it on this side!

  • Chump Lady is absolutely right–silence, or Bless Your Heart, are perfect.

    I would say another may be to wish it back to Cheater and OW/OM, but substituting a slightly different wrong name for OW/OM.

    Example: Fuckface’s new wife (and the OW to my marriage) is named Jean. Here’s the exchange:

    Fuckface: Ok, that’s everything. Have a Merry Christmas!

    Liz C: Merry Christmas to you and Jane, too! (Big smile)

    Props if you can do this frequently with different versions of wrong names. Think Endora doing Dagwood, Derwood, Danby, etc.

    Merry Christmas, all you fellow chumps. 🙂

    • Hahahahahahaha.

      Liz C:

      Merry Christmas Jane!

      And say Happy New Years to your lovely wife June!

      And wish Jenny a Happy Mother’s Day too!

      I hope you guys have a great time for Jan’s birthday!

      Tell Julie Happy Halloween!

  • When X came to take the kids away on Christmas the first time he wished me a merry christmas and I shut the door in his face.

  • They want to feel good about themselves for the image management. Asswipe apparently still feels he did nothing wrong. Whats the big deal hes happy sorta all that matters.

    I received this thanks giving moring.

    It…..happy thanksgiving sweetie!!! Hope you have the best day!!

    I have an audio of crickets i sent that.

    It….i just texted the kids to be sure to call you!

    That pissed me off if they cant call me that one thing sure as hell dont need him deciding to be the moral guy now.

    So i texted never contact me again do not order our children to contact me ever again. Have a nice day.

    Im sure he did it in front of the newest 10th love of his life. What an asshole!

  • I had this question on Thanksgiving and I posted it…I received a Happy Thanksgiving text. This is the first holiday season we are not together.
    I decided to just wait 10 hours to respond and then I just said “thanks”. There is NO FUCKING WAY I am EVER going to say “you too” even when I get to Meh. LOL.

  • My reality is that no matter what I do, I am perceived as the “bitter and angry X who can’t let go”… because that is Mr. Sparkles “pity narrative” that he uses to get women. There ain’t nothing I can do or say that will change that.

    However, I KNOW that is not who I am. Mr. Sparkles occupied 11 years in my life… I’m 52. In the larger scope, his part in my life is rather insignificant. There are many people I have known for longer that I have no contact with today. He is part of a past chapter of my life that I choose not to revisit. The fact that we co-parent is incidental in the grand scheme of my life.

    My only obligation is to make sure my son’s needs are met. If he wants to buy his Dad a xmas present, I’ll take him to the $5 Below store to do so… same goes for his GF. Other than that, I feel no need to acknowledge the holiday to them “from me”.

  • The other day I asked a coworker acquaintance of mine “Hey, how’s it goin’?” and he, clearly jokingly, responded, “That’s none of your damn business.”

    I chuckled out loud every time I thought of it for the next few hours. Classic!

    I don’t know if I’d advocate it as a serious answer to a wish for a happy holiday from a cheater, but the thought of it might give you a chuckle when you need one. Still, then you might laugh instead of answering…

    Cheater: Merry Christmas!

    You: Hahahahaha!

    Then again… I suppose there are times that such a response might work just fine. 😁

  • first xmas after D-day when ex still had contact with his only child…

    Ex: Happy Christmas
    Me: Thanks
    Ex: Aren’t you going to wish me happy xmas
    Me: Sure, if it’s that important to you…happy xmas

    He did not like that, spluttering it’s not important to me…. I just gave a confused expression

  • DDay 12/27/14 so Christmas is a triggering time. Divorce was final 1/2017. I’ve been NC (even with 4 kids- one still a teen) for 2 years now. He’s blocked on text and all social media. On kid emails, I respond with No, yes, I will consider it. BIFF if absolutely necessary: brief, informative, factual, firm (Bill Eddy’s work is great if you haven’t read it).

    I make sure X never sees me. My teen child goes out to the curb the few times a month she sees him for a meal. I stay inside. He lost the right to be in my orbit at all.

    • I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough not to need me to greet at the door. Probably another two years, they’ll be 10 and 12, they’ll be able to carry their things through the door and shout out a “Bye, Dad” on their own. Then, I’ll greet my beautiful babies and carry on.

  • I wish all of Chump Nation a happy holiday season. You deserve it!

    I am trying to decide how to handle an on-going holiday situation in which my relatives (e.g., my sibling and sibling’s spouse, parents) invite my extremely abusive, law-breaking adulterous now ex-husband) to their homes for Christmas Eve celebrations and other holiday events. I think that they are doing it to allow the kids of my ex-husband and me to spend time with both my ex-husband and me (as well as my relatives). My family is well aware of the abuse perpetrated by my husband (now ex-husband) took me to court the day he filed for divorce on false felony allegations of the most disgusting kind, requesting the Court give a restraining order in which I could not get within 100 feet of our kids, although he abused our young kids and me. (In the 15 years since we met, he has abused me in various ways up to several hours a day.) My brother-in-law said that he would hold a get-together with my ex-husband ‘if we could all act like adults,’ implying that some people in my family of origin might not act like adults. My family has bent over backwards over many years being kind to my ex-husband, who frequently breaks the law and threatens to sue innocent people. I am sure that I am going to hear more of ‘do it for the kids.’ I think that ‘doing it for the kids’ is refusing to spend more time than required with chronic abusers so that my kids don’t follow my multi-decade habit of being a doormat. (Well over a year since last discard by my last lying, frequently insulting boyfriend, guy I thought was my friend of 30 years, wearer of Mr. Nice Guy mask, for his much younger work subordinate, I am sick of being a doormat. As a fifty-something mother of pre-teens, it is quite likely too late for me to find a good permanent partner and maybe even a job that pays all the bills (my current full-time job doesn’t), but it’s not too late for me to raise kids who don’t accept s–t sandwiches.) My relatives are free to interact with whomever they want and do whatever they want with their homes, but I want to honor and protect myself for a change.

    Suggestions on how to deal with the arrangement are welcome.

    • How about something like “saying ‘if we can all act like adults’ implies that I’m childish to not want to be around a man that abused me for X years. I don’t consider that childish, I consider it necessary for my own well being, as well as modeling proper self-respect for my children. Should they ever be unfortunate enough to have an abusive partner in the future, I wouldn’t want them to feel they should put up with it or make nice over it, because that’s what they saw me do. You are free to plan your holidays as you see fit, and I am free to decline to attend if X is there. But implying that what X did to me (and my feelings about it) is some childish spat is deeply insulting. [feel free to remind him of a few highlights if you see fit]”.

    • As chumps, we so often feel obligated to eat the shit sandwiches and not ruffle any feathers. As your relatives are not protecting you, I suggest this year you say ‘no’ to their get-together and instead do something meaningful with your kids. Create a new tradition. Go for a drive, bake, play a game, volunteer, go caroling, paint or refurbish something. Whatever delights you and your kids. Maybe it’s something new and different or maybe there’s something from your past that you haven’t done in a long time. Maybe have a mantra of “peace and joy” for this holiday season and try your best to stay true to it. Accept to do those things that bring you peace and joy. Deflect those things that do not. Let your kids see you be emotionally strong and standing up for yourself. Resilience is a great quality to teach your kids. They will be able to use it time and time again in many facets of life. In this time of healing, focus on your needs and the needs of your kids. In declining a relative’s invite, maybe just a simple “not this year” or “I’ve always wanted to do ____ with the kids, so I can’t make it this year”. Don’t mention your Ex when declining the invite. And don’t take on any guilt over declining. It may be their image management to have everyone there. That’s not on you.

    • Be honest with them about how you feel. It’s not up to them to determine what’s good or best for you. That’s your decision and yours alone.

      Your ex and I can come up with a schedule to see the kids around the holidays, and your family can visit with him another if they really want to see him.

      Years and years ago, my aunt and grandmother invited my mother to Christmas Eve. My parents divorced when I was 12. As far as I know, there was no cheating but my father has shades of narcissism and anti-social personality. My dad was not told and was furious. As a young lady, I didn’t understand his frustration and hurt. As an adult, I do understand. They were wrong to do it, and my mother should have said no.

      Your family’s loyalty should be be you. Please tell them that it really makes you uncomfortable, and that you and the ex can make your own holiday arrangements. If your teens ask, just tell them that you and Dad are making different plans.

    • Umm, tell your family in no uncertain terms that entertaining your abuser, is abusive to you and degrades and dehumanizes you because it effectively minimizes that abuse. Also, it sets a terrible example to your children that sets them up for future abusive relationships by modeling that no matter what somebody does to them everyone around them will act like it is okay and therefore, they should too. Tell your family in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that if they persist in this you will be severing all ties with them and they will be free to entertain your ex all they want–but they will not be entertaining you or your children. Have you asked yourself WHY your family has been so very kind to your abuser for years and years? Is it possible that you are from a family teeming with some covert narcissism yourself and you got involved with this asshole because you were used to their poor treatment (which can seem normal if you grow up with it). Frankly, if you have explained to them how much this hurts you and they persist, then they are ALSO PARTICIPATING in the continued abuse of you and your children. Get away from them.

    • Sometimes family/friends are attempting to do the right thing. All most people hear is, “….FOR THE KID’S SAKES”. Many truly think they are doing what’s best. I’m not sure I would of known how to handle the situation if another family member went through this before I did. Maybe you need to let them know exactly why this is a bad idea for you & for your kids.

      Tell the host what you’ve told us here. If he still doesn’t change the plans & invites your xh, don’t attend. Yes, that will also suck for you but, your boundaries will be noted & clear from that point on.

    • Inviting your cruel, abusive ex-husband (who has attacked you in many ways) to any holiday family event is an epic, insensitive, ignorant fail on behalf of your sister, brother-in-law and your parents. My heart goes out to you, because you shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of betrayal from your own flesh and blood relatives.

      Only you know how much dysfunction is in your family of origin. But it seems that, at the very least, they are disrespecting you and showing you how much they don’t believe or care (or both) about the abuse that you have suffered at your ex’s hands. Where is their compassion for you? Where is their loyalty?

      I have some extended relatives who acted like this on my mother’s side, regarding my extremely abusive father. My dad was a horror show, but they didn’t know a lot because my mom kept quiet mostly. After the divorce, they welcomed him over to their homes many times with his new wife. They went out to dinner too. Etc. It was sick, but I fault my dad most of all because he was a big BS’er and manipulator, and my mother’s relatives were/are unassertive and clueless. However, one in-law was callous and self-centered, loved the extra drama and that person did most of the arranging with my dad to socialize.

      So, maybe consider that your brother-in-law is not your friend, and he is doing a lot of the promoting of your ex-husband to your relatives, and they are too weak to say no. Or, perhaps your whole family needs to be set straight.

      You are in a difficult spot. You can’t change them or convince them, but you can share the facts again about your ex’s abuse. You can let them know that it’s not acceptable or kind to you to have him at your family events. And you can tell them (calmly and sincerely) that you and your children will not be attending any of their holiday events where he is present. The children’s time with their father is to be worked out between you and him, they should not be interfering with that. That’s all you can do, and let the chips fall where they may.

      They may wake up to their creepy insensitivity….or…. they may reveal themselves to be more like your ex-husband than you were previously aware. You need to be prepared to cut your parents and sister/BIL loose for the holidays this year if that’s the case. Either way, you have taken a principled stand for yourself, and put them on notice you will not be socializing with your ex during the holidays. They can if they want to, but you and your children won’t be there.

      I wish you success and peace. If you have never read the book “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud/Dr. John Townsend, I highly recommend it. It helped my mom and I a great deal.

    • Rockstar Wife
      Why are you going to this event? You won’t enjoy yourself. You will likely come away feeling quite worse. Simply decline. “I’m not able to come. Have a wonderful time”. No explanation required. Curl up with a book or some such thing.

      “Where is their loyalty?” . Don’t try and untangle that skein…just accept that your feelings are not important to them period. Who cares why. Look after yourself. It is miserable having family members who are so selfish.

      • First time comment. Really felt to weight in on this.

        Don’t go. Plan your own small and humble Xmas. Do not continue to play into family dramas, especially when your ex is about & trying to continue image manager modecatch up individually with those you care for. Take control of your life!
        Make a stand. Ive read your comments the years, please stop torturing yourself and step out from this crazy train.

        You can enjoy Xmas how you desire it to be. These people who do not care for you mean nothing, they’re worthless and do not deserve your care. Stand up. Show him that you’re done and you mean business. Stop giving them any power. You’ve got this. Do it. CN is behind you all the way!

    • How about bowing out of the “event”. Not sure why your family would even consider trying to have a Christmas with your ex. Especially since he abused not only you but your kids. If he had been “Father of the Year” I might get it but this is a really bad message to the kids. I’m not saying your family is bad but some people secretly enjoy the chaos/dysfunction of others. Makes them feel good about themselves. I’d tell your family they’ll just have to find other entertainment for the holidays.

      • To all who responded to my post, post of RockStarWife,
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts and support. I decided to, as diplomatically as possible, ‘draw a line in the sand.’ I explained to relatives that, although I appreciate them trying to be generally kind (and not hold grudges), I would not try to influence their decisions regarding who they spend time with and invite into their homes, but I would not spend time with my abusive ex-husband.

    • Personally myself, I’d cut all the fuckers out of my life.

      If they are willing to accept an abusive cunt over their own family, they are persona-non-grata to me. I’ve done this once before to an immediate family member, and I have no qualms about doing it again.

      I have no time for Switzerlanding arseholes. If you “don’t choose sides” – you are choosing his side via passive resistance. Fuck that shit.

  • I hadn’t heard from my ex since he tried to con me into closing the child support case over a year ago, but recently received a text from him. It was the obituary for a local veterinarian we had taken our cats to a couple of times over 20 years ago. All ex had written was, “Sad.” Very weird…. I mean, it WAS sad, as she died young, but why send it to me? Heck, he didn’t send me the obituary for his own father who died earlier this year.

    Anyway, I did not reply to his text, and my advice to all of you is not to reply to their strange hoovers/image management/mind-fuckery emails or texts, either. There’s no need. If they wish you happy holidays or whatever in person, just say thank you or same to you in a politely detached voice. Snarky replies or angry tone of voice, while satisfying for the moment, actually give them the upper hand because anger shows you are still emotionally involved. Far better to show them that you are calm, detached, and moving on (even if that is not true.) Believe me, it bothers them WAY more when their chumps move on and ignore them than it does when their chumps continue to engage in emotional struggles with them.

  • #1 “Thanks, you too” said with the same detachment as a checkout clerk at Wal-mart
    #2 “And I hope you get the Christmas you deserve” with a polite smile
    #3 “Oh, it is going to be GREAT! Really looking forward to it!” With a secret giggle.
    #4 “Well. Bless your heart.” ‘Nuff said.
    #5 Dead air. Very appropriate if it was a text.

  • You know whats a great feeling? Not caring.

    NEW CHUMPS: You. do. NOT. have. to. care.

    “Merry Christmas” can have the same power as “I think I need a new toaster.”
    My xw wished me a happy birthday. I replied “thanks” as if she was a cashier at the grocery.

    You do not have to care.
    You can DO NOT have to care.
    Repeat with me, “I do NOT have to care”

    Or this one I say to myself often, “Not. My. Problem.”

    Its the best.

      • My now EH brought Schmoopie to Thanksgiving dinner at his aunt’s house with our children before the ink was even dry on the divorce papers. I can’t even imagine being Schmoopie. “Here I am! The Homewrecker who broke up the family!” WTAF

        Anyway I digress, I guess I’m still upset that i was so easily replaced as just last year I was there.

        Should my EH say “Merry Christmas,” my response will be, “Yes it is!”

        • My STBXW pulled this shit this year. Took McFuckface to Thanksgiving at her moms side of the family before she was even served her papers. My son informed me how disgusted her family was with her.

          • Your STBXW sounds like a real POS! I’m so happy that u will soon be rid of her! WTF was she thinking? Who does that???!

            • Right? That’s just a sliver of the shit she has done in front of our kids and in front of me over the past few months. My older 2 understand but my 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter are so confused. I’m trying to do everything I can to protect them from their douchebitch mother. The finalization cannot come quick enough.

  • I feel kind of sorry for my ex. If he does say Merry Christmas I will know he is being a fake and assume he is messing with me. If he doesn’t say it I will see it as a personal slight. He can’t win, but that’s only fair after all of the years of me not being able to win no matter what I tried to do to please him.

    • Of course if he does say it, I will say “you too” or some such, because that is the response I would give any other acquaintance and I would mean it as much as he does.

  • I don’t know if this would help but I was told this by a friend. If they say “Have a Merry Christmas”, you say “What did you say?”, they repeat it, and you repeat the question, and they repeat it, and you repeat the question until they leave. Absolutely no response from you because you have told them you don’t know what they’re saying. I was told the best way to respond to anger, manipulation, narcissists is to keep asking the same question. You might get screamed at but then you ask the very same question again. They have a hard time getting a handle on things because you don’t give them an opening. Don’t do this if they are dangerous.

  • I keep it simple with “Thanks” usually followed with a closing of the front door. Closing that door is a holiday blessing !

  • I don’t owe Douchebag any sort of kind response or a “thank you” or a “bless your heart,” which smacks too much of positivity for me. I was such a loyal dumbshit for over a decade as the red flags were paraded in front of me shamelessly. Now, acting like the dumbshit suits me, like that emoji with the drool coming out of the side of its mouth. When I have to tell DB that I am going out of town, his response is “safe travels.” This after I found e-mails between him and Schmoopie from several years ago speculating that maybe (I guess they hoped) I would die of cancer when I was diagnosed. Guess again DB. Still here. So now, “Safe travels”? Nope, any written well wishes are completely ignored. When in person I combine the blank stare with “Huh? OK!” Or “Huh? Yeah!” Just “Huh?” and one other word that maybe doesn’t even make sense. Always said super cheerily.

  • Mr. Fantastic sends the kids home to me with a bottle of wine every year for Christmas. Because he doesn’t send it to me directly I can’t decline it. It’s very important to my daughter that I accept it, too, one year she forgot it and was a bit distressed about that. I always say I’m going to regift it, but I always end up drinking it, because hey, it’s wine, and I don’t buy wine very often anymore. But I’d like to shut that down.

    Also, his parents send me birthday and Christmas gifts, which I hate receiving too. They were perfectly ok with us splitting up (I don’t know if they know about his extracurricular activities) and I haven’t done much to continue a relationship with them. For a long time I couldn’t bring myself to even acknowledge them, so I don’t know why they continued sending me anything. I feel like a wicked person for minimizing contact with them as well as their son, but honestly, I’m so disgusted with who he is and they seem to think he’s the bees knees, so why would I want to keep in touch?

    • My former FIL continued to send me restaurant gift cards even after I divorced his cheating son. FIL would usually write that the gift card was for me and son (FIL’s grandson, whom he loved very much) to enjoy a nice dinner out. FIL knew what a cheater and con artist ex was and is, and came down on him pretty hard, but to no avail.

      FIL died suddenly the beginning of this year. Ex refused to help our son buy plane ticket to travel across the country to the funeral, but angrily berated son for not being sure if he could make it. I ended up buying the ticket for son, both for son’s sake and in honor of former FIL. Ex then angrily messaged me that he didn’t like the time son’s plane would land in ex’s city. Oh well.

      Son returned from the trip with his suitcase stuffed full of used, crumpled, dirty disposable grocery bags. There were at least 20 bags. He said cheater ex insisted he take them and give them to me, so I could “use them to grocery shop.” Fuckin’ weirdo.

      • GladIt’sOver old bags to one side, was there a will? Did FIL leave anything to his grandson? or even yourself. Just asking because often these things are well conveniently not mentioned or forgotten about. FIL sounds like a good man. Recycle those bags wont you! Merry Christmas!

        • Glad, I remember your story from a few years ago where the dancing blue idiot (don’t want to be too specific here in order to respect your privacy) story allowed a few of us to look your evil idiot up. I have never seen such a phony fake person in all my life. Checked out a couple of his coaching videos – good Lord. He really did take the biscuit didn’t he. I’m so glad you’re away from him and now only have to put up with the occasional shit sandwich.

    • The wine thing has been happening to a friend of mine……… she has started to send the empty wine bottle back as a gift!

  • Where I grew up (S. India), people sometimes say “okay” to end a conversation. Sometimes, I find myself saying “okay” at funny times. For e.g. Merry Xmas – reply “Okay”.

  • I just look at him and say nothing. Energy saving and non polluting response.
    FYI…3 years later, he writes…he misses his family. Of course he’s still fucking around and shirking on responsibility.
    In my head I said” of course you miss us! We are awesome! And we don’t miss your miserable ass.”

  • Hi…I’m Mandie101 and sometimes when I have a bad day, (like today) I come here and cuss a cheater! Such a stress release. Who knew cheaters could come in handy?
    Thank you.

  • I like the ‘Thanks’ optio, but Thanks in a “wait-did-you-just-say-something-oh-wait-yeah-sure-I-was-actually-thinking-of something-interesting-but-now-I’m-thinking-you-may-have-said-something-but-don’t-give-a-shit-enough-to-ask-you-to-repeat-it” kind of way.

  • I have the narc/cheater blocked now, but early on I didn’t block her. However, whenever she would send me happy birthday, happy easter, etc. I would respond with one of her stupid responses when I confronted her.

    When confronted I got “we are just friends” and “I am not in a relationship with him”. I responded to her that she could just go and continue to fuck her friends that she was not in a relationship with because she had fucked me over for the last time.

    So I would respond with “we are NOT friends, and I am NOT in a relationship with you!”

    She really didn’t like that response, and after a couple of times receiving it, stopped with the crap.

  • I remember the first Christmas post divorce. Our divorce was final Sept 2015, and in November 2015 he married OWhore. I knew they married, but didn’t say anything to him.
    Anyway, he’s not entitled to Autistic DD until 6:00 Christmas night. I was nice and allowed her to go ahead and meet up at noon that year. First thing out of his mouth was”Merry christmS” (I just looked at him like, “seriously?! Fuck you!”) Followed by, “got a minute?” He wanted to talk about me and my “attitude” about OWife, the Mrs Dumbass.
    He had texted me Christmas Eve asking for DD for a few hours to see Santa (his BIL). I refused.
    His take was that I was a bitter, jealous, jaded bunny (my paraphrase) about her and her family. I replied as nonchalantly as I could that our divorce decree spells out the visitation schedule, and that I am under no obligation to make DD available except for otherwise decreed.
    He got pissy of course but knew he had no argument
    Try to ruin my holiday, will you? Nope.
    Drats! Foiled again!

    Previous to this conversation a week before Christmas, he asked me what were the plans for Christmas. I quoted the divorce decree visitation schedule. He responded he had no one to take care of my Autistic DD and he had to work. I responded with, “Not my problem”. Thank you, CL for this btw!!!! He blew up my phone cussing and fussing at me, then ended his barrage with “since you want to be a bitch, I’m going to be an asshole” … The next day, he called.my employer and made false allegations against my character and professional conduct. I didn’t find out about it until January, but I did tell my boss the next day and showed him the texts, so when his supervisor notified him, he was able to explain the circumstances. In the end it went nowhere and TEO had to suck.it up and face consequences for being a lying cheating dick

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