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Dear Chump Lady, How do I stop comparing myself to the OW?

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Dear Chump Lady,

I am five months out from the last Dday. I did not do the pick me dance, I drew boundaries and protected myself by kicking his ass to the curb. The OW was older than me (11 years older than me and X) and had actually helped me with the relationship, until she was single and exploited her minimal knowledge of the relationship instead. It really was a double betrayal. But I didn’t try to compete with her for him.

Now however, I compare myself to her. She is successful, teaches CPR classes, leads her daughter’s girl scout troop, volunteers all over the place, is a coupon queen, etc. I feel like a fat homebody loser who just volunteers at the food bank sometimes. She knows how to make herself valuable to people. I’m nice enough, people like me, but I’m not really valuable to anyone but my son. I keep feeling like I should do things like she does and then I would be more impressive. She sparkles, I don’t. How do I stop comparing myself to her?

Sincerely,

Rumorhasit

Dear Rumorhasit,

Well, you can begin by realizing you’re not exploiting anyone’s relationship troubles to make a move on their husband. You’re not screwing up small children’s home lives. Oh, and you’re not inappropriately “dating” someone over a decade younger than you. I think this makes you the classy person here.

The OW? Coupon clipping, cookie sales, and no soul. Why compare yourself with someone who has nothing in common with you?  And I’m not talking about extracurricular activities — I’m talking about values. You could no more be the OW than Kermit the Frog (not to malign muppets or anything). You’re a different species.

Yeah, because she’s one of the sparkly people and you’re a dorky “homebody.” I know you see it that way, but you need to reframe this. It isn’t that she knows how to make herself valuable to people. No. She knows how to manipulate people. She’s artful at presenting a front — community organizer, do-gooder, friend. Her actions tell a very different story. She’s not a friend, or a force for good. There’s no THERE there. No core. The image is a useful construct to get the things she wants — kibbles, other people’s partners, accolades. The mask throws people off her trail, it disarms them into believing this is someone they can trust.

Sadly, these sorts of fraudulent people are quite common. The priest who’s really a pedophile. The crusading politician who’s taking bribes. The Wall Street investor with a pyramid scheme. They all act with a sense of authority — your OW was giving you relationship advice. They present as competent and all giving — but if you scratch the surface, you’ll find these people either react with a sparkle offensive (charm! charm! charm!) or when that fails — rage (HOW DARE YOU CHALLENGE THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ!)

They don’t react with substance or self reflection. They don’t react with shame or humility. At the core of all aberrant behavior, IMO, is entitlement. Your former “friend” felt entitled to exploit you and conduct an affair with your husband. (Your ex-husband, of course, also felt entitled.)

Wishing to be more sparkly, by way of comparison, is another way of blaming yourself for your ex’s affair. If I was of More Value, if I was Impressive — This Would Not Have Happened to Me.

No. This wasn’t your fault. Your husband’s failure to value you has nothing to do with your worthiness as a person. It has everything to do with his lack of character. And for what it’s worth “impressive” people get cheated on every day. Super models, Hollywood stars, successful business people, those with zero body fat, genius IQs. We chumps are legion. Being “impressive” does not control your spouse’s character, or lack thereof.

The only reason to strive to be impressive, to be a better you, is for YOU. Not because you’re in some stupid contest with a sparkly dog turd. If you think Rumorhasit could use some more kickass — get out there and go for it. Take a class, join the gym, volunteer, adopt an orphan. Also consider that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. Not everyone wants dazzling hyperactivity. Many people prefer the company of a fellow homebody. Find your tribe.

Every time you compare, you’re giving these idiots your energy. Save it for yourself, save it for the people who deserve you, like your son. Congratulate yourself for navigating this shit so well. You didn’t do the pick me dance and you threw the bum out. That’s VERY impressive.

Leave the OW to the Girl Scouts and sewing badges. Maybe there’s one for home wrecking.

This one ran before. Early morning!

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  • I absolutely agree with CL (of course) not least because if you tried to do the “sparkly” like OW you would probably fail in that if that was your thing you would be doing it already. You have other talents -don’t worry – but one of them isn’t stealing someone else’s husband! The Twat’s second OW is attractive, slimmer than me and when my first son got married 2 years ago I was dreading the wedding. I felt like a sweet potato stuffed into a condom – and it was so bloody hot! But OW left early (probably because my ex at that point was already falling down drunk) and a couple of weeks later I commented to my youngest that it had been a perfect wedding. Or at least if not I don’t know what wasn’t perfect. So he just said “yeah, all except for OW! What a nag and a crashing bore”! Say what – do tell mommy here!!!! Ha, ha. Apparently she keeps him on a very short leash and hated not being the centre of attention. My youngest had them over to dinner in their small apartment before they went back to the States and OW complained about everything. Anyway, my youngest is getting married in July and I asked both my sons if they would be having their father and OW over for dinner and they both roared laughing! So there’s my answer. So you see, yes she’s younger, slimmer and prettier than me but I’m mom and I’m FUN! And you know what, my ex knows it – that’s why he keeps hoovering! Yeah keep on hoovering, honey, ya missed a bit!

    • COMPARE AND DESPAIR.

      Especially YOUR INSIDES to HER OUTSIDES.

      John Wayne Gacy was a pillar of the community who dressed as a clown and entertained at children’s parties.

      Bernie Madoff put on a very good show for decades while ripping off his friends.

      It’s what’s INSIDE that counts, and her insides are rotting dreck.

      My STBXH told the lower companion that she was his “sole mate”. I have to agree. They are both heels with a gaping black hole where a soul should be. AND he has cheated on her too.

      It’s NOT about YOU at all. It is faulty programming on their INSIDES.

      • A metaphor I like is about science fiction pod people, who look normal on the outside but are not who them see to be.

  • My ex’s twatopotamus uses Instagram to make herself look wonderful. Now she uses her baby’s cerebral palsy to show the world how wonderful she is and legitimize her new family, which includes my two kids, her two kids and the “miracle baby that binds them all together” with my ex husband. Gag. That poor kid has an IMPOSSIBLE task.

    She too does Girl Scouts and dance and posts sweetness and light because MIRACLES, goddammit.

    There is no comparison between her and I. She fucks married men and busts up families. I don’t. It’s that simple.

    • Oh goodness-poor baby. That baby is good for kibbles for those attention whores until a little older and requires effort and the cute is gone. I can’t imagine either of those cheaters living the life free of fun and responsibilities with a bunch of little ones around and a child with special needs.

      As for you, I’d invest in some Orville redenbacher as there will be many years of sitting back with your popcorn 🍿 watching the show.

      • She totally gets off on the idea that they have this wonderful rather large, family. She calls my kids her “bonus daughters“ she thinks that since she stole my husband, she can have my kids to. And them combined with her two children and the baby, who apparently is my ex-husband’s but who knows, she now has this wonderful shiny blended family, that she stole from me, and that she is more worthy of than I am. Because sweetness and light and sparkles.

        • OMG….the happy, oh so superior family bit is not going to end well. I feel for the poor infant. Right now care for the infant will be a cake walk compared to the near future. Not sure how old your daughters are but if they are younger than 12…..oh brother the teenage years can be brutal. They will direct their anger somewhere and what better target than the woman that broke up their family. This woman hasn’t a clue what is about to hit her…….

            • They’ll only direct their teenage anger at the right party if you tell them age appropriate truth. I kept everything hidden from my kids until I was getting hurt both their anger and lack of sympathy for the repeateded legal harassing their father was giving me. I learned that he had been lying to them about me for years while I just kept my mouth shut like he expected. So I told them the truth and also that I wouldn’t tolerate any talk that the problems were 50/50. I offered to show them the court history and emails confirming what I said. It’s made a huge difference in their appreciation and respect for me.

          • You know it’s widely recognized that having a child with a disability often results in higher divorce rates because of the strain it puts on the marriage. Saddening, but true.

            I have a child with autism, combined with my career, extended family responsibilities, a fixer upper home and my STBXH ran for the hills because life with me was nothing but business and responsibilities. He wanted to have more fun in his life with someone less serious and less strong.

            I imagine Rumorhasit that your husband also ran claiming that life with you was no fun. So, how is he going to manage the “fun” that will come from managing a household with five children, with the youngest having a major disability. He’s suddenly going to step up with managing all the dynamics, plus the appointments and therapies that his youngest child requires.

            The reality is that he’s now so stuck that he’ll soon be saying “Oh shit” every morning he wakes up and goes to bed (if he isn’t already). He’s so stuck. He knows that now with this child binding them, he won’t be able to just leave. He won’t be able to afford the fallout of leaving a partner in which he shares a child with a disability. She’ll take him to the cleaners and he’ll be paying you and her for all the kids (minus hers). Then, he’ll face a life in which he has to care for your shared children during his allotted time and then caring for his other child all by himself. Wonder how well he’ll meet her challenges by his lonesome. No way, he’ll stay and grin and bear it, as will she, which will give them all the more reason to keep throwing sparkles in the air. Pride will keep them from admitting that they’re F%*&% up for as long as they hang in there.

            I’ve determined that the more a couple advertises their “great life” to the world the more messed up the relationship is. If I was in a wonderfully committed relationship with a great guy, I would simply be too busy living my fabulous life to be bothered with regularly posting about that fabulous life. Sure, the occasional photo or posting about something sweet or amazing, but really my relationship is a private matter. People don’t need to know that much about my personal business.

        • Cerebral palsy is not sweetness and light condition. It takes a lot of patience and empathy and fortitude to parent other kids well when there is a baby with a major medical issue. You know that isn’t happening with cheaters.

          • The baby is simply of use in her quest to vindicate a life that she imposed herself upon and legitimize the forcing together of kids who had no say or choice in the matter. She further uses the poor child to tug on the heartstrings of my own daughters to further attach them to a dysfunctional relationship that she and my ex husband have created. My ex husband will eventually check out…. and then she will claim victim status of being an abandoned wife with a disabled child.

          • And yes, that is exactly right. She will not have time to parent MY children if she wants her child to thrive. The task of doing what needs to be done to help that child thrive, will naturally supersede the needs of my girls. They will be at the bottom of priorities as that baby grows…. if her fuckwit parents intend at all to do whatever it takes to get that child what she REQUIRES…. my kids were easy… a mom and dad together and dad couldn’t deal.

            I give it 2 years at best.

            • That sounds about right. Or your X will not want to pay two women child support so he will cheat and go his own way while enjoying her pick-me dancing.

          • Yep. I did it, but I’m a chump. I did it while working two jobs and without much help from a lazy husband, and it was no big deal to me. It was just life. By nature, we chumps have the intestinal fortitude for that sort of thing. Cheaters don’t. They’re too selfish and weak. I predict a ton of drama when the baby is older and needs physical therapy, surgeries, etc. The cheaters won’t be able to deal. Damn, that poor kid.😞

        • Ugh disgusting. My bonus daughter. Thank god I can’t see OW’s instagram cause I betcha it’s full of that shite, she’s been liking pics of my daughter for the whole year they were having an affair. Inappropriate? Boundaries? Who needs ’em apparently. But my daughter and her have a wonderful relationship apparently. Yes, cause she’s 9 and she is too young to vaguely understand what is actually going on which is grooming. Feel your pain Kitsungi. Someone posted in his insta, what a beautiful family you have. Bet they loved that.

          • I have her blocked on Instagram and Facebook, but I have my sister check once in awhile to make sure the Bonus Imposter isn’t posting photos of my kids and making statements she shouldn’t. I’m not crazy about that and I’m keeping records to use the next time we go to court, which I’ve been told will be filed for in December, so I’m documenting the hell out of everything.

    • My daughter is Autistic, and I can only imagine the sparkly “blended family” image OWife tries to put out combined with her two kids.
      They (OWife and exh2) only see her every other weekend, and have nothing to do with DD any other minute.
      I have them blocked on social media, everyone in my circle sees through their horseshit fake ass image anyway

    • @Kintsugi, a good friend of mine had a situation like yours. After 20 years of marriage, her ex cheated with an airline gate agent (he had to travel a lot for work), abandoned her for the OW, and screwed her over financially. She lost her house, and after years as a SAHM had to find work in her 50s. She endured years of poverty while she pulled herself up out of that mess.

      The cheaters got married and the new family tried to take over her daughter. For years, the OW (now Owife) wooed my friend’s daughter. They had family photos taken with cheater, OWife, and blended family. My friend would be extremely hurt by the OWife’s sparkly Facebook postings of the happy family, even though she knew her daughter’s relationship with the cheater was extremely problematical.

      After eight years of this family faking, the OWife suddenly (or so it seemed to observers such as myself) kicked out the cheater and filed for divorce. Cheater, now 60, had nowhere to go, so he went to his PARENTS’ house. A few weeks later he shot himself through the heart.

      My friend comforted her daughter, and went to the Social Security office to file for death benefits.

      The moral of this story is, don’t fall for the family faking. It’s based on lies, and can blow up in their smug, cheating faces at any minute.

    • Now that really pisses me off. I have a daughter with cerebral palsy who really was a miracle baby, since my husband was told by his doctor he was sterile. Somehow, she was conceived not long after he got that news. Never once did it occur to me to use my child’s CP to self-aggrandize. What a horrible person that woman must be.
      That same girl now despises her cheating father and would also be horrified by that woman. It’s highly offensive to disabled people to be turned into something akin to a circus freak show so the parents can brag about the sacrifices they have to make and how wonderful they are for putting up with a “flawed” child. That bitch can fuck off and die!

      • That’s what these fuckwits do though – everything is grounds for them to use as kibbles for their attention whoring. If it can’t be used as attention whoring kibbles (or otherwise to make the fuckwit look great in front of others) it gets discarded.

  • CL taught me that disordered people devote a lot of time to crafting the narrative around who they are. Well, you know who the OW is: lying, manipulative, and selfish.

    The important question you’re now free (yay!!!) to explore is, who are you? What interests do you want to explore? Pursue what adds value to your life-it’s one of the best gifts of divorce.

    • And even if people don’t see through the facade, you are STIL the better person.

      My ex has done a great job with his facade (had me fooled for 25 years!) and I have to accept that many people still think he’s a “good guy.” But how “good” can someone be who lies, cheats, rages, gaslights, stonewalls, blameshifts, etc. with no real remorse or empathy?

      Know and trust the content of your own character.

    • Some of these POS are incredibly good at manipulating people into believing they are “good” people. My exhole has kept most people completely believing that he is such a great guy, he just made a mistake.

      Bullshit

      He didn’t make a mistake. He did NOT accidentally fall into her vagina. He didn’t accidentally buy a burner phone to use to call her. He didn’t accidentally meet her in parks to sneak in sex in the great outdoors. Not an accident.

      Those actions took planning. They took lies. They took effort to accomplish.

      Therefore, this is premeditated, first degree, assault on our marriage. To hide something and lie about it is to know that it is wrong.

      There is a core issue with a human being that can do that to the ONE PERSON they vowed to love and honor and be faithful to until death. That is some shady shit.

  • Please stop comparing yourself to this POS women. There is no comparison. I used to compare myself to my cousin. What did she have that I did not have? What did I do wrong or not do? She haunted me for a very long time. I finally realized that my cousin had nothing special. She is nothing but a Skank that cheated with her cousin’s spouse. What she did was use the weakness in our marriage for her own benefit. There is no comparison between Skankella and I. She choose to screw her cousin’s husband and implodes families. I would never even entertain screwing a married man.

  • In my case, I did compare myself with the OW (the one of Dday, the one I know about) but not to put myself down. She was 25 years younger than me, different languages, not even from the same continent as me (or him), different background than mine, different aspirations…
    And yet, I only saw similarities between her and me as to who the genius picked to replace me. Someone young, in a foreign country, sometimes struggling with the language, with no family, no friends, needing help and support to navigate a new culture. He basically picked the exact same model, but younger. Someone he could lie to, abuse, take advantage of, show off to his friends, someone to pretend to be a knight in shiny armor, fake impress, help him feel better than he really is, to assuage his insecurities…
    And for all I know he lied to her from the beginning just like he did with me.
    I’ve always said, she’s not my problem, he is.

    • “someone to pretend to be a knight in shiny armor,”

      I noticed this in my ex too. I recently found out that the OWife was facing eviction from her apartment and that is why there was such a hurry to kick me out of our home. Schmoopie was about to be homeless! Dr Fickle-dick has to rush in and save her!

      And I had been laid off my job when he suggested that we get a house together. He is deliberately choosing women who are a financial disadvantage to him.

    • Same here. Fucktard X chose a “younger, thinner, prettier” version of me. He even told me she looked better in my clothes (ewwww). And he too thought the new model should step right in and assume my responsibilities while enduring his bad behavior. It didn’t end well.

      • Mine chose a woman the same age as me except she has no children still at home AND has a drug problem AND is on disability. Out of all his wives and fiancées (8 we know of for sure) this one might actually stick.

  • I think it’s natural, but unnecessary. Its a Pick-me-dance of sorts, but for an audience of one.

    I compared myself to the OM hard. I even do a little comparing now of boyfriend since OM is out. Which is very stupid- I haven’t even met the guy, who I’m told by my daughter is “old”.

    So I think I’m still healing at a slower pace than I’d like. At least on this front.

    • I’m right there with ya, Tall One. It’s been 13 months since XW gave me the ILYBINILWY speech and vacated her life of 17 years for Sugardick. He’s an ex-Marine (in title only; embodies none of the qualities), a superior officer, “hardcore masculinity” (according to XW), etc., but ultimately he’s just an egotistical, immature tool…and a married one to boot! I’ve done a lot of healing over the past 13 months; I’m in a much better place, stronger, more confident, and yet I still find myself making comparisons to Sgt Sugardick. Like you said, it’s natural, but it is fading with time.

      • I compared myself to the OM for around 3 months. STBXW would always tell me how great he was, how great she was, that I was going to miss the “status” from her being a community organizer. But I found this site and realized I’m 10 times the man he is. Now I just struggle with things like when we separated he moved right in with 4 of his kids(all boys 15, 13, 9, & 2) and now I watch my daughter(7 years old) sit on his lap and ride on his shoulders when it’s the exes days. It’s pretty fucking disgusting what these predators do. I’m just sitting back and waiting for the day when my kids realize what these 2 fuckwits have done. It does take time to heal. I’m 10 months out and healing fairly well.

        • Do you find any comfort in how messed YOU are and apply that logic to your (STB)XW’s relationships?

          Like, I know I’m messed up*; those cartoon knock-out-birds are still slightly swirling around my head even coming up on 2yrs post DD. But I find comfort in thinking how -honestly- great is her new relationship if she has ANY emotional wherewithal. Its gotta be a lame at best.

          Its TOTALLY another way of comparing and total waste of time that allows her to be in my head more than she should be, but that thought has settled me through harder moments.

          *its totally fading,,, but still

        • Oh my goodness, ChumpTight, that’s a quintuple shit sandwich for sure. Your ex is vile and clueless. Prayers for your daughter’s safety and emotional well-being.

          You’ll miss her status? They are all raging narcs.

        • Sugardick…LOL. Reminds me of the M&M commercials….”melts in your mouth not in your hands.”

          • He he, naughty naughty … And that “community status” from ChumpTight reminds me of a desperate loser in British comedy Citizen Khan who’s going on and on about being a “community leader”.

            And I wouldn’t brag around about “hardcore masculinity”., sounds like super dodgy porn addict.

    • Just natural event. I compared myself on and off to 26 year old boy toy and Mr. Muscles. I was in my late 40s and not fat but not fit. Turns out boy toy was 5’6” and pudgy. Mr. M was steroid freak on drugs. I will say I am better than those choices. I guess trash relates to trash!

  • I agree with CL. When I was comparing I realized that I come out on top every time—a loyal faithful wife who never stopped working to support her family even when he decided he was too special to work( actually his successful effort at screwing me out of any spousal support). She is a woman who failed at several relationships who f#cks a married man. She definitely pales in comparison.. WE are the truly sparkley ones—good people who love their families and could NEVER behave the way the exes and their pond scum Affair Partners do.

    • New lady I was you. I always came out on top and yet could not figure out what f*ckwit sees in her. She has two failed marriages, cheated on her second husband. She left him and became the affair partner with another man for 4 yrs before he went back to his family. Then she met my husband. She lies, my ex lies. They deserve each other.

  • Do not compare yourself to her. She could be a supermodel for all that matters, but YOU DID NOT knowingly seek out a married man and be the hypotenuse. Her actions alone make her ugly and not worth your thoughts.

    Their relationship started off with lies and will eventually unravel.

    Find your tribe of people, that is where you will gather your strength.

  • I’ll try not to take offense to the inappropriately dating someone who is over a decade older, because I starting dating a much younger man after my divorce lol. The catch, I guess, is that we are both single.
    Of course my ex ran off with a multimillionaire widow who was over a decade older than himself while we were married. I didn’t even know how to compare myself to a Gazillionaire. 🤷‍♀️

      • True. Age is definitely a trigger issue for some of us for a variety of valid reasons, and that often comes out as vitriol, but if a healthy mature adult chooses to date another healthy mature adult and there happens to be an age gap that isn’t dysfunctional, that’s a very different situation.

    • I do take exception to that line myself “Oh, and you’re not inappropriately “dating” someone over a decade younger than you.” Ridiculous and so wrong, I know many men who date and marry women a decade younger and it’s ass backwards given the statistics on how women and men age. My mother married a man 11 years her junior. So yes, that bothered me too.

  • I’m of the opinion that comparing oneself to the OW/OM/OWhatevs, even favorably, is engagement in the mental pick me dance.

    She/he/it is IMMATERIAL.

    Didn’t make a vow to you, doesn’t owe you fidelity, loyalty, the sisterhood/world peace/compassion. Didn’t steal anything but rather picked up the turd who was out there for the taking. She (temporarily) fills a void in the shallow, hollow, ever-exploiting life of the narcissist.

    If it weren’t this one, it would be another.

    Focussing on the OWhatevs takes your focus off the Cheater (just the way he wants it…) and distracts you from the key point: he sucks.

    Until you really truly understand, accept, believe, and internalize that he sucks, you will engage in comparisons and self-blame. Once you realize he really does suck, the OWhatevs? you will pity them. You certainly won’t be jealous. Because you have internalized that he is excrement. She was merely the garbage collector.

    • “She was merely the garbage collector. ”

      I’m going to use that one and credit you Chumpella de Ville

    • SO true, Chumpella – in fact, my Cheater wrote exactly this to the AP. (I have a dump of texts between them, lasting several weeks.)

      “I need you to hear that you are not the cause of the problems in my marriage. If it wasn’t you, it would be someone else. I want and genuinely need more than I can have with LezChump. I choose happiness. I deserve it, and I have it with you.” UBT: You’re fresh kibbles. If I weren’t getting them from you, I’d get them from someone else. You think you’re Special, and that this is Twoo Wuv, but you’re not, and it’s not.

      Not surprisingly, the AP did NOT like to hear that if it weren’t her, it would have been someone else. 😉 Even though reading the text dump is like wading through poison, it can be worth it sometimes to see all the dysfunction on full display.

  • You always have to remember that the VERY best actors are the disordered. Because they are sociopaths, they cannot feel anything for anyone but themselves. So like in the show Dexter where he closely watched other people and their reactions and practiced doing them in a mirror, they can ACT like they have feelings but they really don’t !!

    On the surface, their image management shows the World how great they are but peek under the mask and all you can see is ugliness and despair. As most of us have found, they hate anyone who has “seen under the mask” and don’t bother with the image management after the divorce. For example my Ex is a fabulous soccer mom who is just a sweety pie to the World but under her mask, her true self is a devious, plotting ugly person.

  • I agree that the comparing, even when the Chump ‘wins’ that comparison, isn’t helpful. That’s because it assumes that there was some kind of competition, and the Cheater got to pick. There never should have been a competition at all. YOU were already in a committed relationship w/the Cheater, they had theoretically already chosen. If they changed their minds about their committment to you, they had to FIRST honestly and officially step out of that, put themselves back on the singles market, and then do what they wanted and choose who they liked.

    Comparing VALIDATES that there was some kind of competition. It VALIDATES that cheating is about whether we are ‘good enough’ (and it’s SO NOT!). And it VALIDATES that our value should be measured against that of other people. Even when we ‘win’, it’s not healthy.

    Your value is about who YOU are. Your Cheater’s betrayal is about who THEY are, and about YOUR relationship with them. The AP is pretty irrelevant. (Some relevance in that doubly awful situation where you also had some kind of relationship of our own w/the AP, but that’s about their betrayal of YOU, not about their value otherwise, or yours.)

    So here’s a strategy that can help; everytime you compare yourself to someone else, you have to do two things;

    – compare on all sorts of things, not just the ones you ‘lose’ on or even the ones you ‘win’ on. For every comparison w/the AP you make, you have to find 5 other thngs about that person to compare on. Irrelevant? Boring? Yup, that’s the point.

    – compare to all sorts of people, not just the object of your envy. Every time you compare to the AP on whatever aspects, you have to look around and find 5 other random people to compare yourself to, on those aspects. Irrelevant? Boring? Yup, that’s the point.

    You’d really like to stop comparing and the suffering the comparing brings? Do those exercises when you find yourself comparing.

  • The Chump/AP comparison is rooted in the misconception that the cheater was choosing between two alternatives. This notion seems true on the surface, and the way cheaters talk about Schmoopies (“you aren’t as nice to me as he is,” “I love you but I’m in love with Schmoops”) makes it seem to be true. See? Cheater is choosing and I lost. That is what we call the pick-me dance, which begins by imagining love as a competition between two people that centers on the cheater.

    As my therapist would say, that’s not helpful to understanding what’s actually going on. It’s not that the Cheater is rejecting you because the AP is “better,” somehow; it’s that the Cheater has used up your relationship. You aren’t new kibbles any more. Maybe you’ve seen behind the mask and that’s intolerable. Maybe the black hole where a soul should be requires change. You could, theoretically, change lots of things about you and about the relationship, but you can’t make it “new.” You can’t make it full of love-bombing, new relationship kibbles. And you can’t change a spouse who can’t go the distance into a mature, evolving, intimate partnership.

    There’s an old song by Brooklyn Bridge called “Blessed is the Rain,” in which the lyrics talks about leaving a wonderful woman before “the image falls apart.” It’s less painful for them to rip up a whole family and break all their promises because they can manufacture a situation in which they are leaving for something better. The “better” argument is their cover for “can”t do the distance.”

    Never compare. If you don’t like who you are and how you are living–change that. But change it in the direction of more authenticity, more joy for yourself, more becoming the best you. And as CL says, “find your tribe.” You don’t need people who can’t go the distance.

    • OMG. “It’s not that the Cheater is rejecting you because the AP is “better,” somehow; it’s that the Cheater has used up your relationship”. My cheater actually wrote this to a friend of his. I was good for him, until I wasn’t, then he found the OW. Presumably she is now good for him. Until she won’t be.

      I know my worth. I have held the same job for 18 years, my co-workers love me, my family loves me. I am one heckuva musician, I look good for my age. I get hit on a LOT, but no, thank you.

      Schmoopie introduced him to wine (I can’t drink it), jazz, bolstered his ego by taking him to her lab and letting him do science experiments. She is a PhD, he is a community college dropout. Oh, and she likes to bludgeon people with her degrees. “I’m SMART!” Except that she is stupid when it comes to fucking married men. Apparently.

      At any rate, comparing myself to her is really a waste of time. We are NOTHING alike, and I don’t aspire one jot to be like her. She battles depression, has low self-esteem, and is (according to cheater) in a marriage of convenience. Whatever.

    • “It’s less painful for them to rip up a whole family and break all their promises, because they can manufacture a situation in which they are leaving for something better. The “better” argument is their cover for “can’t do the distance.” ”

      This viewpoint on cheaters speaks volumes.

    • Novelty seekers seek novelty. Existing partners will never be new again. It’s not about your value. It’s about their lack of character and ethics — staying with you while deceiving you even though they know they don’t want to keep their agreements with you because only new is interesting.

    • My ex actually said, “not better, just different” as if that made it okay to discard his wife & family!

  • If it makes anyone feel better… I may not be a super model or a Hollywood star, but I’m in good shape, very successful in an intellectually-challenging profession, make good money, took her on exotic vacations from the get-go, still play competitive sports, very attentive husband, and my ex… had at least 3 OM. From what I know of the fairer gender, in no way would a woman say these losers are more attractive than me. When she finally got caught, I got to hear how a guy THREE times my age, a guy being set out to pasture at work as he was over the hill, was “a perfectly good man,” better/more attractive than me. Ditto that for the fat, bald, drunk that was OM #3. Why? Let’s see.
    A few of these guys were cops, which is a much more exciting job than what I did. (Never mind that she could never have afforded to live like she did on a cop’s salary).
    Two were tall, whereas I am average height.
    One never talked to her about “mundane things,” whereas as her husband, I would bring up things about the yard, the kids, etc.

    It made me feel worthless. What could I do better? Keep growing? Quit what I do, and start doing something more dangerous?
    No, there is nothing you can do to win this game.

    Everyone I’ve dated since she split has been prettier, younger, and had a more successful career than my ex. Yes, I’m one of those ones guilty of dating people younger than him, so sue me 🙂 .

    • There are plenty of good women out there who would prefer what you have to offer over a Hollywood star.

    • Just curious: why don’t you date women your own age? While age isn’t everything, an age imbalance can also imply a power imbalance in a relationship.

    • Oh yes that one, daring to talk about mundane things. You evil man. :0. Great one that one. Oh my god I must not remind him that the bins go out tonight or that my daughter has to take money for her school trip because that means our relationship has lost the magic and he’ll start pulling away.

      Tossers.

    • There is nothing wrong with dating people younger than you, I really hated that line in the response.

      • Sure there is nothing wrong with it but why brag about it? It just feels like one more dig to those who were cheated on with a younger woman. Is that something you are proud of? Yeah, I feel the opposite. Man dates younger woman. Cool. Wow. Thanks for the dig so you can inflate your ego.

    • nobody is going to sue you, but it seems like a bit of a creepy power play to only be willing to consider dating younger women. especially if you see dating younger women as gaining you some advantage or making you in some way better. its almost like women are a means to an end instead of actual people. kind of a red flag tbh.

  • I will admit to having done this too. I wouldn’t say Schmoopie is prettier than me but she is sparklier. She socializes more and she has better fashion sense. She speaks four languages and I only speak three. She is a good housekeeper and volunteers with the PTA. She has five children I only had three (Ex wanted four or more). She was a SAHM, I had a career (Ex resented my career). I am good at math, but she is the expert in grammar and ex was impressed by that. I have always been a terrible speller. She is also tall. I probably would not have noticed that one if she hadn’t made such a big deal over it in a conversation we had back before I know she was fucking my husband “I am tall, I am proud of being tall. Gosh you are so short”. Ex is tall. She also has straight hair. I probably wouldn’t have noticed that either if ex hadn’t remarked in a derogatory way a month or so before DD “Gosh your hair is poufy. You look like you have an afro” (not that there is anything wrong with afros, it was the way he said it). I was thinking “well no wonder he prefers her” and I was pick me dancing like mad even though I knew it was hopeless because how can same old same old compete with new and shiny? I felt she really was an upgrade.

    It wasn’t until my Dad made the remark “this woman sounds like a total looser” and the MC remarked in our one on one session “you are an accomplished woman” that I started making comparisons in the opposite direction. She has good fashion sense because she is willing to spend her ex husband’s money on expensive clothes and hairstyling. When she socializes it’s always about her. She loves to talk about herself and she never shuts up. This is likely true no matter which of those four languages she is speaking. She has time to housekeep and volunteer with the PTA because she has never held a job in spite of her degree from an Ivy League university and her perfect grammar. This also left her time to have those five children who she neglected while carrying on an affair with ex. Being tall and having straight hair are not accomplishments.

    Meanwhile, I have degrees from MIT and Penn State and I used them to form a successful career in engineering while simultaneously raising three children and at least keeping the house sanitary. I am a low maintenance partner. I am friendly to everybody who doesn’t give me reason not to be, but I am genuine. I am not trying to impress people with sparkles. I was also the girl scout Cookie Mom for five years, I spent one semester tutoring a grade school child, and I was an assistant coach to an “Odyssey of the Mind” team. The volunteering had to go by the wayside when my ex chose to leave his high paying job and I started working 40-50 hours a week to support us. When my ex wanted to move half way across the country, I had no trouble finding a job in the state where he wanted to live because of my impressive resume and good references. Oh yeah, and I am not a cheater and I don’t go around fucking other people’s husbands and tearing families apart. I am the impressive one. Schmoopie, not so much. Ex traded tarnished silver for fool’s gold and he thinks he got a good deal. He’s an idiot and I am well rid of him.

    • I should add that I also used to compare myself negatively to ex. I thought he was the better person. I no longer think that. He definitely has more in common with Schmoopie.

    • I love this. Everyone of us should have a version of this in writing that we read when we start to compare.

  • This is one of those “silver lining” posts for me. I may have had the dark cloud of suck that my ex was a porn addicted, stripper fucking, lying, cheating, abuser who risked both my health and my financial well being with his stripper habit but hey, silver lining, I NEVER have to worry about unfavorably comparing myself to his former OW or his current fiance. She is a former (maybe) stripper who listed “fluffer” as her occupation on a linkedin profile, lost custody of her kids presumably due to her occupation and drug usage, racked up some felony drug charges while living with my ex, and has a VERY unfortunate tattoo that is supposed to be flames coming from her vajayjay which actually look more like crab claws (either way – associating flames or crab claws with your love box seems like a bad idea). 😀 #winningwithouttrying

    • I couldn’t help but laugh out loud reading your vajayjay story. Just as funny today as it was the first time I read it. Crab claws around your love box or flames? decisions, decisions. think I’ll pass and go plain Jane.

    • Off the subject but a tattoo shocker. I once saw woman pushing a stroller with two small boys in it. As she walked away I noticed she had a tattoo between her shirt and pants (sometimes called a Tramp stamp) that said “SEXUAL BEAST” in large letters. I was wondering how she would explain that one day to her boys.
      This stripper OW with a veejayjay tattoo sounds like a real heap of class.

      • Here’s a career tip for young people – look into tattoo removal specialties. There will be a high demand for it in about 10 years.

  • Four years out, I don’t think often of Hannibal Lecher or his OW (he is with the last of many in the marriage). But when I do, I am tempted to compare myself to her, per the following:

    OW:
    submissive to Hannibal (by all accounts)
    had to go on anti-depressants after a year of living with him

    forced to split time with her children with the ex-husband she left for Hannibal

    travels all over the world to exotic destinations, staying in fancy hotels and eating in excellent restaurants, but she is trapped in those hotel rooms with HIM and his moody silences and disapproving looks (and I remember what that is like. No thanks!)

    Me:
    not submissive in the slightest

    both my daughters look to me for support, and youngest refuses to see Hannibal

    when I travel, I do so with upbeat people whom I genuinely care about, and who care about me

    happy, and content that my integrity never allowed me to sleep with a married person, nor break up two families

    • But how do you recognise a fake person, I never expected my ex to cheat, he was yhe most religious person I knew and a do gooder, the first person to help in a community service, first to try to show sympathy yo someone, until I saw videos of jim with the OW, I never would have expected him to cheat..and now I am thinking of meeting people and my fear is how do I recognise a person like him…

      • My XH was, very obviously a narcissist asshole, so all D-day confirmed was that he was even worse than I thought.

        However, an XBF I dated for 18+ months gave me some insight to answer your question. We were very close, he appeared to have excellent values, and a good relationship with his son. Turned out to be a closet alcohol abuser (NEVER saw him drunk in 18 months), closet smoker, and was not transparent about his contact with other women (as I had asked him to be). Once I caught him in 2 lies back to back, he broke up with me by email without talking to me rather than confront the conflict. It took 18 months for the mask to drop, and it only did because I paid attention to small things and refused to spackle.

        Based on that experience, here is what I would say about detecting a deceptive person based on subtle cues:
        1-If someone seems too good to be true, they are. Everyone has flaws, and if a person isn’t willing to state a significant flaw, then either they are a liar, a narcissist, or too unself-aware to be a good partner.

        2-Small lies are often covering up larger ones (boy, did I learn that lesson in spades; XBF lied about smoking and then felt guilty so he told me, but neglected to state he was also abusing alcohol and using opiates).

        3-Trickle truth. If you ask a person a question, and over time discover that they have only given a partial truth, RUN. Neither deceptive people, cheaters, nor conflict avoidant people can provide you with a healthy relationship.

        4-They seem too happy or content, even when bad things happen to them–this is an indication that their impression management is more important than the truth. (E.g., on first date, XBF indicated the state legislature had abolished his agency and so he would be out of a job in a few months. Yet, he was cheerful and optimistic. Normal people who are not sporting a mask would admit some amount worry.)

        5-Have trouble reciprocating true intimacy. At any point, if you express strong feelings for a person but only get a tepid response back, it means the person either has avoidant attachment style, or does not reciprocate your feelings. In either case, it’s a sign you will not get out of the relationship what you put into it.

        a few other pointers (not necessarily based on my personal experience with either cheater or XBF):

        6-Pay attention to how they treat underlings, like waiters, clerks, subordinates at work.

        7-For people who are do-gooders, see if they are willing to do favors for near-strangers at the expense of the people close to them–this reeks of impression management and a desire to appear a “good” person. Truly good people put their inner circle first. (E.g., if charity work comes at the expense of helping a spouse with child care or household chores, the person is “good” more on the surface than based on any depth).

        Hope this helps, and I’m sure CN can add to my list.

        • That said, there is no sure way of detecting a cheater because they come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. But paying attention to behaviors over words will often allow you to spot a deceiver within an 18 month-2 year period (about as long as one person can keep up with a mask).

          Thus, be sure that you are strong enough to withstand a painful breakup before you start dating after divorce.

          • Steven Covey talks about this in “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” He makes the point that many people find it easier to save the world than to give their spouse and kids the love and attention they need.

        • This should be a laminated pocket guide and we should buy lots of copies for all of our friends so you get royalties!

        • Excellent list, Tempest!!

          I would add that re #6 (treatment of wait staff and subordinates at work), it’s not just an attitude of superiority/disdain to watch out for.

          I noticed for years (but spackled – “it must be a southern thing”) that Python called waitresses “dear” (I was sitting right there, so he couldn’t be flirting, right?). And he’d “help” subordinate damsels in distress (spackling again – “he’s handy and can fix things”).

          These are tells. I just couldn’t see them for what they were at the time.

        • “ I’m not interested in finding new women anymore… I’m done with it”
          My h told me after 17 years of marriage during which he fucked whoever was willing or paid, while I was running our family under impression of being in monogamous relationship. Add to the picture years of rejection- huh
          17 years later, he decides that he had enough fun, so I was supposed to continue being good wife and maid and make his life comfortable.

          Fuck you….
          Won’t happen.

          Btw. He was offended (!) when I told him that what he said was one of the most disrespectful things he ever said to me.
          He was scratching his head…why?

          🤦‍♀️

      • Too much religion is your red flag
        I’m an atheist but I can clearly see when people are genuinely devout. Those who flaunt their religion and are hyperactive in it are simply managing impressions, intensively building their religious facade to hide behind it or in rare cases, are crazy. It’s a bit like with honesty, they don’t go around the world explaining how honest they are, they simply live their honesty.

  • My situation is different because insofar as I know, my ex didn’t cheat on me with a human – he was just a disordered alcoholic (in essence he cheated on his whole family by choosing beer over us). Sometimes I refer to the beer as “his ugly German GF, Anheuser Busch” (no offense intended to our German Chump friends). There wasn’t even anything to compare to – he just preferred being left alone to get drunk and have no hassling from me and my 3 hapless daughters. In a way it was even harder than being left for another woman. Aside from getting warm and flat, beer never seems to lose its appeal. I will say that the woman he is living with seems a bit of a downgrade – she lives with him in our house, which I took good care of but now looks like a hovel. They never venture out even for church and he doesn’t see his kids. Apparently that’s fine with her. I’m just glad I’m outta there before he could drag me down more.

    • We all think it would be better if…but it really doesn’t matter. It all sucks. When someone who used to love you finds someone or something he/she loves more than you, and the kids too when you have them, it hurts and it is hard to make sense of it when you know you did your best to be a loving partner. How could something else take priority in their minds?

      What does beer have that you don’t? Nothing really. You are better than beer, but you were also a part of the life he was trying to escape (through no fault of yours). Beer offered that escape. Well, he got it, beer didn’t make it better, and now there is no going back. Consequences.

    • I write here about two relationships, my marriage to XH the substance abuser (whiskey, beer, wine, pills, etc.) and Jackass the narcissistic cheater. It was all the same. I was in two relationships with people who just aren’t available as partners. As you point out, the drinker is having an affair with a substance. Jackass had his MOW. And both of them were using something outside themselves to shift their feelings of emptiness and unhappiness and inadequacy. Both lied to cover up what they were doing. Both blamed me, for everything. It was just far more clear-cut to me that the MOW meant ending the relationship. It took a lot longer for me to leave the drinker.

      • Raises hand- first married to a charming alcoholic. Second marriage ten years later to narcissitic cheater.
        #2 didn’t drink- but there were SO MANY overlaps, I thought maybe it was me…
        Turns out it’s all the same kind of disorder. Selfishness and addicted to the Outside. Other people are just useful scapegoats and wife appliances – However, the alcoholic can hit bottom and become a great human being (or die). The N cheater, nope. Not ever going to happen.

        • I just saved myself some time and married to a man who was both a once – high functioning alcoholic and serial cheater. 😀 This describes him perfectly: “…using something outside themselves to shift their feelings of emptiness and unhappiness and inadequacy. Both lied to cover up what they were doing. Both blamed me, for everything.” I spent decades trying to bolster Ex’s inadequacies both real and imagined. CONSTANTLY telling him how wonderful he was in every aspect. In the end, hearing it from me wasn’t enough for him. He had to pay all his stripper “girlfriends” to tell him what a stud he was, what a good guy he was for being “nice to them” (he had their flower preferences listed in his phone contacts but in 30 years never bothered to ask me mine), etc. Well, now he gets to spend the rest of his life searching for a kibble high and I’ll spend the rest of mine being relieved his fragile ego is no longer my problem.

          • Yep mine too. A violent alcoholic sadly. I remember coming home from a rugby match with my kids one Saturday after I had been to the recycling (so no empty bottles in the garage). Came back and there he was with 16 empty beer bottles and half way through a litre of whiskey – at least that was what the cops counted when I called them out to him kicking off!

          • I’ve been reading this site daily for 2 years now and am still continually surprised at the how much these characters have in common. Mine wasn’t an alcoholic but everything else you wrote about the ego bolstering down to the flower preferences of his massage parlor friends could have been written about my ex. Uncanny.

  • But how do you recognise a fake person, I never expected my ex to cheat, he was yhe most religious person I knew and a do gooder, the first person to help in a community service, first to try to show sympathy yo someone, until I saw videos of jim with the OW, I never would have expected him to cheat..and now I am thinking of meeting people and my fear is how do I recognise a person like him…

    • I dunno, Inar. I wish I knew. After DDay, I was determined to find out how I could have been so naive, so blind. There are a lot of sights devoted to red-flags, and my cheater had every one of them: a super-sized ego, passion junkie, highly intelligent, traveled a lot, parents who cheated, you name it. When he did anything, he wanted – deserved – accolades, and that included volunteer work.

      It seems to me that, as difficult as it may be, if you find somebody you are truly interested in, give the relationship at least a year before you go all in, so that any red flags might be uncovered during that time. And don’t spackle. Whatever you do, don’t spackle. God knows I should own stock in the stuff.

    • Sometimes it really isn’t easy and it can come on very gradually so that it takes a long time to notice and is easily dismissed until you can’t ignore it any longer. By that time you are usually invested enough that just walking away is no longer so simple.

      The fist signs I had (several years after marriage) were hints of selfishness or an entitled sort. These traits grew more dominant over time as he became more and more frustrated that his life didn’t match his fantasies.

      He was also insecure which played a role as well and manifested early but not in a way I recognized as leading to poor character. Not all disordered people will have this trait. Some, in fact, seem to be the opposite. I think those ones are probably easier to spot, however.

    • Caring about reciprocity in relationships. It’s easy to be a do-gooder. It’s not easy to day after day pay attention to doing your share in the home, and that’s not just cutting grass on the weekends or doing the cooking every day. There’s laundry. Unloading the dishwasher or washing the dishes. it’s cleaning up a mess. It’s watching the kids while the other person goes to the gym or gets on the treadmill. It’s doing unto others what we want for ourselves.

      One thing that makes me confident about the Very Kind Man is he always pulls his own weight. He does his share. I cook, he cooks, we clean up. I can feed his dog if he goes out for the day. He’ll cat-sit with the kitten. I’ll drive him to pick up his car at the garage and he’ll do that for me. Reciprocity. And it’s not a thrash to work that stuff out. It’s just what’s expected, by both of us. And if one of us can’t do something for the other because of work, that’s OK so long as it doesn’t become the norm that work is an excuse to avoid supporting the other person.

  • I never compared myself to the OW/AD. She is older and sleezy. Narcissitic is an understatement. Never compare yourself to trash. Remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. All too true here in CN. My younger kids won’t even discuss her with the ex, and my oldest has now been left out in the cold after being his biggest supporter of his happiness. He wrote a later a while back to my younger 2 that had us all laughing hysterically. Talk about a history rewrite. He even had the nerve to accuse me filing first. Which I did, after he told me he had “moved on” and found someone else, and expected me to file. I did, and then he flew into a narcissistic rage.

    If you turned into a frumpy housewife, then you can return to your former self. All without his entitled ass trying to obstruct your efforts. As for the AD (affair down), we call her “Hagalicious”, let her have him and all that comes with him. My ex now looks as old as she does, and has lost most of his hair to boot. He looks unhappy and awful, so cheers to them. He used to be a handsome guy, now he doesn’t look anything like he did while we were married. Karma is a ruthless, cold bitch. Just let her do her job.

  • I’ve never compared myself to the whore. I know very little about her except she bangs men in committed relationships, has two children and lives in the same town. I know his family despises her, oh well!


    • That said, there is no sure way of detecting a cheater because they come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. But paying attention to behaviors over words will often allow you to spot a deceiver within an 18 month-2 year period (about as long as one person can keep up with a mask”

      So true Tempest. And yes to all of the above especially the small lies covering up others.

      One of the biggest ones I missed with the Limited was his subtle complaining style to cover his inadequacies. This was especially true when others earned what he wanted through hard work. Everything, had to come easily. He belittled those who earned what he expected to come with ease just because….entitlement.

  • I wish I could remember who said it on here, but this is one of my favorites. “My past is her future now.” Knowing skankboy, I’ll bet it is, “my past is her present now.”

  • Rumorhasit,

    Such a rich subject here. My ex-wife is/was attractive, smart, a tireless volunteer, accomplished, super sparkly and cheated on me with the Truvago male version of herself. It was like a knife in the chest and I could not steer my thoughts away from comparing myself to him when it was all uncovered seven years ago. My thoughts go out to you because this phase stinks.

    The sparkly narcissist is tough, because there are a lot of people who do like and admire them for their accomplishments, and you can’t help but feel like a loser, or that you are wrong. Remember, narcissists are lacking, you turn over that rock and it is not pretty. You have so much more than this woman has.

    It is all truly surface, because as many have pointed out, their actual dishonestly, deception and cruelty makes her incredibly foul and ugly. In other words she is a fucking monster, what kind of person is able to pull that kind of crap?

    Karma may or may not deliver some sort of perfect tasty piece of schadenfreude to this cheater couple (full body herpes for both), but I guarantee you’ll end up seeing that they have chosen their own piece of hell and you will move on.

    • so true — the sparkle is a veneer. I told my STBX that he “was not pretty he just looks that way”. He is all about dressing the right way and drinking the best wine. Who gives a shit. Yes, he looks great but he is still rotten underneath (and who wants something that is rotten on the inside).

  • Intellectually I understand all that is being posted on the board today. Comparing serves no purpose because, hey cheaters gonna cheat and AP’s stats boil down to whomever was available at the time.

    However, my cheaters OW is 12 years younger than me (making that 18 years younger than cheater), washboard abs, big tatas, vegetarian, yoga pant wearing, free love and “open” relationship “free thinker”.

    Hard to not compare and feel like my expiration date just passed.

    As cheater himself said longingly: “she’s just SO young”.

    WTF am I supposed to do with that EXCEPT compare?

    • The age gap means that she won’t get any of his cultural references and is probably using him as a meal ticket, not as a true partner. Nothing for you to feel bad about there. None of the things you listed about her make her a good person, they make her a sparkly turd. A turd that glitters is still a turd.

    • She’s so gullible and sounds like self centered. I’m a pudgy, middle aged momma. Dr. Cheaterpants, kids, and I went on a sports trip for DD13 at the time. One of the other mommas went who is divorced and ‘perfect’ in every way–she’s a fitness instructor, nails always done, hair bleached, walks around in yoga pants constantly, and a huge flirt. Widely known she had multiple affairs before she divorced and is now living with some dude and subjecting her 3 kids to constant turnover in the house. On this trip, cheater made some sort of comment to me about how she really takes care of herself. I more than agreed with him and also told him it takes a lot of time and energy to look like that. That’s time and energy she’s not putting towards a spouse or kids. So yes, no mommy body for her. Meanwhile her chump ex husband who has a real job is always picking up the kids, doing all the adulting and she’s doing a lot of ho’ing. She’s super sparkly though.

      I wonder at what point those sparkles fade F & L? Sometimes one wants to flop their arse on the couch drinking a beer and eating pizza. That free love sounds great until you find out she’s banging a buddy that she thinks she’s trading up for!!

    • How long do you think this sparkly youngster will stick with your ex who’s fast aging, will soon if not already bore her with aches and ills while she’s still young? And in constant search for free love? Unless he’s rich, not long. Why do so many of you think that an older guy is always a catch to be kept? I dont get it. He’s older and getting older, as we all are and soon his expiration date will come, too, unless there’re proper feelings and bonds between the partners. Free love isn’t such type of partnership.

  • Totally off topic but I’m pretty psyched about this. The Bloggess is going to open a book store in San Antonio, she is looking for places and suggestions about it. If you have never read her books, you really should, and her blog is also helpful if you are depressed or have other issues. So check it out and if you know of a cool spot for her book store, let her know!! 🙂

    https://thebloggess.com/2019/04/02/hello-big-announcement-get-ready/

  • @rumorhasit, sorry no offense but your list of OW accomplishments are dismal at best. Your x loser didn’t hook up with her for any of those accomplishments. She was easy, loose, no morals, no respect, that other stuff is what she does to try to fit into “normal”. Never!!! and he will 100% screw around on her too, she’s NOT special!

  • I am glad that many posters here are healthfully dealing with the issue of comparison with an affair partner.

    Not exactly the same thing, but 1.5 years after my last partner, who I thought I knew for 30 years and loved more than anyone, leaving me for and marrying his young, childless, slim, brilliant, wealthy, super-successful, ‘all that’ work subordinate, I do NOT compare favorably to my last partner’s now wife on any front I can think of! I am an exhausted, divorced (my abusive, adulterous husband left nearly five years ago), quite wrinkled, over 50 year old mother of young (middle school) kids, one with special needs. I am currently unemployed, living with my parents (in a much worse school district), and don’t know what I will do to support my family. (No job offers. Trying to start my own business but have not generated any revenue. Alimony will probably end this summer.) So I sadly concur with people who say that my last partner traded way up. Lucky him. Some people, friends, have told me, not exactly in these words. that my last partner was out of my league—much better than me. He also told me that when he left the last time. All quite painful. I am almost too worn out to compare and contrast me with last partner’s new (second) wife any more—I guess that struggling to survive can do that to someone.

    • This is just not true, RockStar. How is being “childless” while you have children “trading up”? That’s only true for a man who doesn’t want children. You’re tired. You’re struggling. But comparing yourself to someone whose real life you don’t see, whose life is a fantasy of good things, is not helpful. As I’ve said many times before, your former boyfriend (I wouldn’t call him a partner, since a partner picks up their half of the load) abused you. I don’t think he’s a prize. The fact that he has economic security is certainly a plus for him; the fact that you are struggling is difficult for you. That doesn’t mean he’s better than you or his GF is better than you.

      • Thanks, LAJ. You’re right. My last boyfriend repeatedly lied and insulted me over years—ar least on paper, I dom’t consider someone who does that a prize. Actually, my boyfriend wanted children, his own biological children, which a young childless woman (his now wife) could give him but I could not while he and I were ‘togerher’ (already 49 by then). You’re part of an amazing ‘coaching team’ that helps the fighter get back in the ring and go another round! I MUST for my children.

        • OMG. Your cheating ex dared to say he was out of your league and your boyfriend insulted you? I’m so sorry. But no, your ex did NOT trade up because his wife is a heartless, homewrecking bitch. What really matters is character, not youth and slimness or any of that shallow crap. You are head and shoulders above her. Never, ever doubt that. ❤ You will eventually get a job. In the meantime, can you not go to court to get an order to continue alimony? Surely he can’t get away with this after 30 years together. Aren’t you legally entitled to half his income for as long as you were together in your jurisdiction? This is outrageous!

          • Thanks for writing, Chumperella,

            To clarify, my husband and I met and married in late thirties and were married for 9.5 years according to Court’s definition of length of marriage. As we were married for less than 10 years according to that definition, my ex-husband needs to pay me for only one half the length of the marriage, thus 4.7 years and that period ends this summer. My ex-husband did not marry any of his affair partners/prostitutes with whom he had sex while we were married and has not re-married. According to him, in the 4.5 years since he left, he’s dated approximately 40 people/year, I guess a total of nearly 200 people since we legally separated. (I didn’t ask him; he volunteered this information.)

            I met my now ex-boyfriend in undergrad over 30 years ago (he was 17; I was a few years older). We started dating in late forties. 1.5 years ago, he left me for the last time for his work subordinate. He married her last year. I suspect that they have a child now or will soon. He would do anything for his now wife.

            I need to focus on helping my children survive. I just need to keep searching for ways to generate income–continue sending out job applications, trying to create a revenue-generating business, and minimizing expenses (paying for only fixed expenses (car insurance, life insurance), and cheapest groceries I can find). For my kids’ sake, I cannot give up. Until a few years ago, I never thought that I would have multiple degrees/credentials in quantitative fields but not be able to support my small family! Never dreamed that free meals at school and government-sponsored health insurance would become a reality for my family. I often feel numb and exhausted.

            • Oh, I see. I feel for what you’re going through. Before I met the ex I was a single mom on public assistance while I was trying to finish school, so I know the drill. It is indeed exhausting and demoralizing.

              Surely some employer will see your value. Please keep us updated on your progress.

    • RSW, that comparative analysis -believing the other women were better kept me stuck for the greater part of my life. You’ve been measuring your self worth on it for way too long. It took me 41 years to find the truth.

      Pick yourself because you’ve given all of these assholes your power for way too long. Stop using others words, actions, and disorder to define your life. Use this opportunity and your energy to achieve your goals. You’re worth it.

      That pain is so real. Vow to fight for yourself. Leave them behind.

      • Doingme,

        You sound very introspective and resilient! Thank you for sharing your fighting spirit! You are right–I have let other people, especially intimate partners, define me for way, way too long! I am going to use all my energy to generate income for my family–even if it means for the next few decades working all night scrubbing toilets and developing a business during the daytime while my kids are at school. The prospect feels exhausting, but what choice is there?

  • It’s all surface, for show. Inside she’s a black hole. Forget that silly cow. You’re head and shoulders above any homewrecker.

    Now in my case I kind of have the opposite problem; wondering how in the hell my ex could blow up our family over such a nothing person. No sparkles at all, just a dumb, unattractive alcoholic with a dull personality and a hideously self-centered, manipulative nature. He thought THAT was better than me? I am still at WTF about that, probably always will be. It shows how little that bastard thought of me that he’d risk breaking my heart and losing me for that worthless piece of trash. He didn’t even get sex from her after the first few months. It was all about the fun of screwing chumpy me over. Well, fuck both of them. They found out I’m not as chumpy as they thought. 😈

      • Thank you for your kindness, RSW. It helps to know that there are plenty of good people like you out there. Thankfully, we are not doomed to have to deal with fuckwits like those sad folks who swallowed the RIC nonsense and are still with their abusive partners.

  • Here’s the thing about Sparkles. They are just sparkles. You can put glitter on a turd but that doesn’t make it a cupcake.

    Oh she sells cookies, she clips coupons (Oh wow. Yay for her…she is probably also the person that holds up the line at the grocery store while she fishes them out of her purse and complains to the manager when they’re all expired. I don’t know this, but that’s what I’m picturing because why not.)

    Don’t compare yourself to this. Why?

    Because people who do good deeds in the sight of others, but then fuck someone else’s husband behind closed doors are not really good people. They’re turds covered in glitter. People who only do good things when others can see it. Look how good of a person I am! Does everyone see? Are you all looking? CAN YOU SEE HOW GOOD I AM!!?

    It’s shit.

    You have value to your son. That’s VALUE. It doesn’t matter if the whole world sees it. Your son does.

    It doesn’t matter if the whole community doesn’t know if you volunteer sometimes. The people who need the food bank know. That’s value.

    OW is all flash and no substance. The troop-leading, community organizing, CPR-teaching, coupon queen isn’t the real her. The real her is the fake friend who backstabs and fucks other people’s husbands. She needs to wrap herself in publiclly-noticed glory to cover the fact that she’s a heartless backstabber.

    The real you is the woman who has value to her child and who helps at the food pantry when she can. That is FAR more truly good and altruistic. Because it’s not a public image. It’s reality.

  • Ex’s first AP that I’m aware of is a Mom of three, has a full time job as a professor, is an attorney, a triathlete, she participates in at least one triathlon a month. Ex told me when he left that he wanted
    something “different.” There couldn’t be anything more different between me and this AP.
    I’ve been a start at home Mom for the entirety of our marriage, the Scholastic Book Lady for the elementary school, volunteer. I’m an expert at putting others needs before my own.
    I’ll never enter a triathlon and have no desire to, I sacrificed my career so ex could advance in his, my degree is worthless since it’s been so many years since I graduated.
    AP is apparently successful in her careers, working our and preparing for her triathlons requires a lot of time, so do relationships with men. Where do her kids fit in to her schedule? Is she enjoying being a Mom while traveling to the next triathlon?
    Are her children enjoying having a Mom that’s never around, and preoccupied with scheduling her next triathlon or date with a married man? My guess is no.
    She has to be removed from her children and too self absorbed to notice her children are growing up without her,
    I’d rather spend time with my kids and make family memories. I’ve compared myself to her in that I could be in better shape, I wish I had stuck with my career. I can work on my fitness, I trusted my ex that I wouldn’t need my career because his was “our” career. These are regrets, not an excuse for ex to leave our marriage and shatter our sons life for something different. If these are things he wanted in a wife he should have thought about these things 25 years ago before we married. I have different priorities, quite frankly I like mine better, I’m a lot more fun and have a better personality.
    There’s the next AP who was married with 2 children while seeing ex. Her children were involved in activities on weekends which involved parents usually support. AP was busy supporting ex on weekends to watch her children’s sporting events. AP began working out with ex and looks good physically. She’s obsessed with her appearance and getting older. Another sparkly turd without morals. Again, I can always work out, but she will never get back the time she was spent with another woman’s husband to be with her children.
    I prefer my values, I believe I have better personality.
    She also gets the joy of spending her life with ex and all the misery that goes with it once the honeymoon phase fizzles out. He gets stuck with an aging woman who thinks of only herself.

    Beth, I read the “fluffers” are the girls in strip clubs that clean the poles in-between sets for the strippers. These gals have standards and demand a clean pole. That’s where the Fluffers step in with their spray bottles of Windex and cleaning rag.

    To add to Tempests list, a huge read flag or warning is the guy who lectures on how honest he is, or that he’s a man of integrity. Anyone who is honest or a man of integrity doesn’t need to tell you, it’s in their actions. Actions speak louder than words.
    Another warning sign is showing a lack of empathy when someone is hurt or is suffering from a misfortune in their life.
    Also the woe is me syndrome, feeling sorry for themselves, they’re always doing everything at work and no one appreciates them..

  • Thanks, Chumperella. Now in my fifties, recruiters in broad daylight (at job fairs) are telling me that I am too old. I am getting no phone call for interviews. It’s scary.

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