Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, Is this weird?

Dear Chump Lady,

I’ve recently just attended the baby shower of a fellow chump friend that I met recently. She told me the story of her past chumpdom and she now has a new partner and baby on the way. All lovely, but…

in attendance at her baby shower was her first husband’s affair partner.

Apparently, the first husband got this OW pregnant during the affair. The OW decided to stay with her own husband, but my friend and then-husband wreckonciled and she later ended up getting pregnant as well.

My friend would often look after her own baby and OW’s baby while her husband was out philandering. Don’t know how it can get anymore chumpy than that!

Anyway, of course the cheater husband wasn’t getting enough kibbles and moved on to Affair Partner 2. My friend finally ended it, but is now ‘good friends’ with Affair Partner 1 (the one who had her husband’s baby if you follow me), which is why she was at my friend’s baby shower.

Am I being a stick in the mud for thinking it is strange to be friends with the AP?

Thanks for your insight!

Sincerely,

Stick in the Mud

Dear Stick,

Are you sure inviting your ex-husband’s former mistress to your baby shower isn’t one of those weird games? Like wrapping each other in toilet paper? Or spinning the baby bottle? Maybe it was a treasure hunt? Perhaps the woman sitting next to you brought the uncle who molested her.

Ruling that out, yes, it’s weird. At least it’s weird to me, but consider that I’m not exactly in step with the Conscious Uncoupling zeitgeist.

There’s letting bygones be bygones and then there’s sharing Thanksgiving with the guy who once shoved you in a locker. I don’t really want to feign a mutuality that doesn’t exist, you know?

(Which reminds me of that time Michael Moore got Yugoslavian diplomats together to explain Bosnia by dividing a pizza.)

Out of all the people on the planet to be friends with, she chose the person who fucked her husband and left her alone to babysit. That’s some fucked up shit.

But it occurs to me that this might just be some Jedi-level masterful passive aggression. Think about it. (Okay, think like a disordered wingnut for a moment.)

I fuck your husband, but that’s not humiliating enough — do our babysitting. Chump can’t say no, there’s a poor innocent lamb who needs caring for. Do It For The Children!

Aren’t we modern?

Now, your friend’s star is ascending. OW’s relationship status is God-knows-what. (Is she with her poor chumpy husband still? was she dumped?) And your friend can REVEL in her superiority and good fortune. Who best to invite to witness her triumph? The OW!

It’s a frenemy masterstroke!

The other way to interpret this (and it’s not either/or — could be a mix of both) — is she’s more deeply chumpy than most chumps. Her spackle includes:

1.) The OW got cheated on too. Ergo it’s equivalent. Ergo we share the bond of One Bad Cheater. #sisterhood This totally ignores that OW was also a cheater, to her own husband, and to the chump in question.

2.) Anyone can be my friend. Are you nice to me? Do you just pretend? Doesn’t matter. I feel obligated to be super nice in return. Come to my baby shower! Hey, didn’t you just meet this person?

3.) My child must have a relationship with her half-sibling and that’s more important than my feelings or boundaries. Noble. But shared DNA is often overrated. Also, you could presumably have the child in your child’s life without mom, and it can happen on Dad’s time. Also, the chump is producing another half-sibling for her child, so there’s plenty of family to go around.

I know I’m leaving out the possibility that OW is just a really stellar person and the life of any baby shower. Maybe she spins baby bottles with gusto. I don’t know.

But I think it’s okay to judge people by the company they keep. I’d take a long look at this and ask yourself if you share the same values as your new friend. And if you too aren’t suffering a bit from Anyone Can Be My Friend-itis.

Be choosey. Your friend is a living example of what happens when you aren’t. You get invited to tea parties with tiered trays of shit sandwiches.

 

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.
    • I’ve become friends with the other OW of the last year (been split 8 months) but she’s not the one I thought I caught him cheating with (that’s been going for 4 years). She was cheated on by her husband years ago and was led to believe we had split up a year ago. There’s some red flags, big ones, she chose to ignore, like we were still living in same house (always check that one out with the crazy psycho ex wife no matter how crazy and psycho you’ve been told she is chumps). But I’m not actually too fussed if she did know we were together. Because I got closure, and her reason for finally contacting me was noble (he was cheating on her with, surprise, the OW of last four years who had been relegated to decoy status for me to keep me off the trail of his new main supply, my now friend. She checked if I had the kids the night before, I didn’t, which connected the dots of all those times he had the kids over the last year in my week of primary care, which according to the other OW was practically every other other week, but which in reality was never on my week on primary care).

      Tbh I’m not sure I could stare down the barrel of the final mechanics of seperation im about to go through without having this inside knowledge of what he’s actually been up to. It’s dark believe me and my kids definitely shouldn’t be around him. It’s created drama, drama I was happy not having in my life for 6 months, but I’ve got the skills now (thanks CN and UBT) to not get too caught up with it and every harassment by text message I get is just a gift for me and my kids as I confront the prospect of family court.

      I thought he used me, but he used someone else too. More so. That stops me from going along with his nice guy act and setting myself up for the devalue that comes like clockwork two days later every time it hits (I diary that shit and it’s predictable af now. I never fell for the nice guy act just let it wash over me (because not going along with it resulted in more drama). Having someone else who knows him without his mask on really is a gift as well. I was starting to wallow, wanting to keep the peace and maybe never settling in property so he could keep one foot in the door. Closure is a rarity with these clowns, and I’m lucky I got it albeit from a bizarre source that even more bizarrely I like and enjoy the company of. It helps that she’s been here too, Chumped by her own husband, and we are both very conscious of the fact that for our friendship to last, we will need to find other things to talk about. And on mutual agreement, if we don’t, then we won’t continue to be friends.

      It’s like watching a romcom with a girlfriend, but it has a macabre noir edge about it, cos we were both the main stars at some point as well.

      We both take pleasure in knowing how much drama and how many trust issues the OW of past 4 years is working through. Oh yeah, my friend confronted them both and I let her know she was just a decoy for his actual gf he hooked up with when the 4 year affair got her BFF to tell me all about it so I’d leave about 8 months before I actually left! I didn’t leave then because I wanted hard evidence (they both denied it) so I waited for 6 months while telling him we were over but still didn’t leave (I wasn’t going to leave my home). Waiting paid off for me. He lined up his other OW at this point while keeping 4 year OW as a decoy. Now they are shacked up together on swinging sites picking up guys for DP and anal (I kid you not). Which isn’t far off the moves he made on me when I caught him cheating 7 times over last 7 years!

      Having this knowledge means I’ll never miss him, never be sad I lost him (actually I dumped him, finally) and yes I should have had that confidence to leave much much sooner. But I didn’t. I was well and truly a Chump, very good supply. And I’ve learned my lesson and have someone to talk to who gets it and has seen his toxic discard first hand. We laugh. We keep revealing falsities (mirroring through triangulation) between what he would tell me (astrology is full of shit and I don’t believe it) and her (the stars reveal all). And we laugh some more at the ridiculousness of it all.

      Online validation is great and all. I couldn’t have done this without CN, but having a real life person who knows and has seen his true self? That’s priceless.

      • I totally agree with you on this! It happened to me also. The main OW and I made contact in light of all the other OWs and both of us have never been saner! Comparing the lies and the stories is the best way to heal and move on and there is power in numbers!

        • Yay I’m not alone! I usually post as NenaB but didn’t want to be recognised 😎 Maybe this approach is just good for Nina’s/Nena’s 🥴

          • This approach worked wonders for me! A narcissistic gaslighter will have you questioning your own sanity because that’s how they survive! When confronted with truth they go a little crazy and become nasty! Having the back up of someone else who knows exactly what they are like is better than therapy!

  • Yep. I’ve seen this. Visiting a friend/acquaintance I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, and one of her ‘good’ friends was coming over. Her little boy kept saying his sister was coming over…. I was thinking it was one of those cute things little kids say… Good friend arrives and they both talk about deadbeat cheater’s missing support payments, and how he’s moved on to another chick. I felt like I was transported to Jerry Springer, but without the throwing chairs.

  • In my book, the only things worse than a Cheater, is a murderer or rapist. I figure I could get over anything else. But, I wouldn’t invite the burglar who stole my TV over to watch the Super Bowl.

  • Even though I was a truly fabulous wife, I would have been a dreadful XW…no no and no to all that modern “lets just act happy now” blah blah. I would have kept up my “What you did will never be OK” schtick forever.

    • I am with you, UNM! Meh has its place but I will also be content to remain “bitter” about the X Asshat.

      He is not welcome in mine or my daughters’ lives, even an orbiting existence from him is a pain in the ass. I will toe that line forever and never make nice with the cheating, lying coward who abandoned me.

      My grandchildren and great grandchildren will know what he did to their grandma (age-appropriate, in appropriate language, as in, he abandoned me for a woman half our age but see how grandma is a mighty badass anyway).

      It is not bitter, it is vigilance. Evil has no place in our lives and we will not welcome it in the door.

    • I’m with you on this, and luckily for me so is my ex’s family. Sixteen months out and he’s still with her. But her existence doesn’t even get breathed at any of his family gatherings, nor around my children.

      Don’t know how he manages that with her. I guess she’s okay with still being kept the dirty little secret even though he left me to be with her.

      It is possible that they hang on to some notion that if they let enough time pass, everyone will just get worn down and accept their relationship? Not happening ever.

      • Ex’s family is not on my side, in fact I am receiving a polite silent treatment since I initiated the divorce (eyeroll).

        I have been NC for a long time now, but OW was moved into our home pretty much the minute I left….but that was it. Our mutual friends, and the relatives that I still spoke to had not even heard of her even six months after D Day/several months of her living with Ex.

        I think maybe he expected to make all new friends instead of having to explain his sudden wife-appliance swap to the existing people in his life. So ridiculous. It made me suspect that maybe he feels just the teeniest bit ashamed. I hope so.

  • You don’t know what’s going through your friends head. The first ow has some nerve, the husband wasn’t a catch was he. He’s on his second ow. People do have warped ideas my ex’s ow, asked me to feel sorry for her. Hold on, she choose drugs, alcohol, she told terrible lies about abuse. She even abused me, the ow was probably manipulative, as was, is her husband. Its a terrible situation.

  • My XW got pregnant from her AP. I most definitely wouldn’t have anything to do with the married man he had an affair with. No way!!! Totally weird. But my XW has a best friend who is friends with one of her XH’s affair partners. “Because of the kids”. I thought it was weird before I knew I was a chump. 🙄🙄🙄

  • You ever see the movie “The Other Woman”? Very funny and its also far-fetched. This reminds me of that movie. Fantasy much?

    • I was thinking that. Maybe these two women are now teaming up against the X. They have something in common in that they have both been left with a child and chumped by him.

      However, that does not negate the fact that the 2nd woman is the OW. It’s a false equivalency. Sure both of them could call each other occasionally to strategize against the X as he’s riding off into the sunset with OW2 or 3 or 4 or whatever…but the way I see it, screw the OW. When you are the chumped wife, look after yourself and leave the rest to fend for themselves. Keep them out of your baby shower.

      BTW – Isn’t a baby shower a one time deal? Or with each new daddy you get to have another shower? I’m so confused about etiquette these days.

  • Oh yuck. Noooooo….

    This feels like a case of : “We have to be so modern and evolved that we are not bothered by infidelity and can be friends now.”

    No, that woman stabbed her in the back. You don’t break bread with traitors.

    • Agreed! If my husband’s OW approached me with anything, it would take all my strength not to pull her greasy little hairs from her head. It’s not maturity to invite the OW in your life, it’s toxicity. I’m thinking the most logical explanation is low self-esteem, and also thinking “the more friends I have the more valuable I am.” She doesn’t respect herself at all.

  • The whole business of conscious uncoupling is baffling to me so being friends with the person who assisted in blowing up your life is equally puzzling.

    By chump Lady standards, my ex barely registers on the disordered meter. (Especially when compared to KK) Even so, I haven’t said two words to him since 2014. I’m not even mad at him anymore but I don’t see the point of asking the scorpion if he’d like a ride across the pond, thus giving him a second shot at me. That extends to the OWife too.

    You don’t ask the mugger to drop by for a visit after they beat you up and steal your money. No difference with people that betray you.

    So yeah, to answer the OP’s question. It’s weird! Very weird!!

    • EXACTLY! A Switzer-friend has been trying to get me to hold hands and sing Kumbaya with OWhore since Fucktard dumped HER. As in, we have so much in COMMON! And obviously similar taste in men!

      I told her that if someone stole my car and then they totaled it, I would not want to commiserate and be friends with them just because we have similar taste in automobiles!

    • This. Why give someone another chance to hurt you when they’ve shown you how good they are at it. I’ve got some ex-friends who just wouldn’t or couldn’t understand this concept, saying things like “now that it’s all over, maybe you two can be friends.” Ummmm, no. And I’m pretty sure we’re not friends anymore either,

    • I completely agree. Does it bother people to know that if they’re caught being completely selfish and destructive, there are people out there who would never talk to them again? Does it make them feel better when they see chumps making nice with cheaters? I have to wonder how many of these people are screw-ups in their private lives, and it makes them feel relief when they see horrible people being accepted rather than shunned.

      Treating my ex-cheater as though he is dead to me is one of the best things I could have done for myself. I can’t imagine how miserable I’d feel if I were pretending that everything was cool and that we were still good friends. As far as I know, I only get one shot at this life. I’m not wasting it on people who act as though my feelings are of no consequence to them.

  • (Apologies in advance for the abbreviations — hopefully you can follow along)

    Just last night I had a meet-up with my ex-BIL (KK’s sister’s husband) and was filled in a little about life in the KK/Chlorine Special existence, most of which pleased me to no end.

    One anecdote had to do with last Xmas, when CS’s ex-wife and his boys (Jewish) were invited over to spend the day and have a “first Christmas” with our girls and KK’s family.

    Ex-BIL made a point of specifying how CS’s ex (cheated on while KK and CS were first taking up) was “fantastic” all day –friendly, engaging, etc. — while CS was being “his typical douche-y self.”

    All of which is to say: I think some chumps are either naturally inclined, or have been conditioned, to do all of the heavy lifting for their cheaters and the OM/OWs, even to the extent of this type of post-divorce hand-holding and Cumbaya-ing.

    I’m just thankful I’m not one of them.

    • If there is one 42 years-old reference I don’t mind losing it’s the Switzerland, mooching, freeloader, entitled in-laws from sparkledick’s side.

      I ran into ex-douche bag, moronic BIL’s futile, spoiled wife at a mutual friend’s memorial service (turns out my friend’s family detests her. I wonder why?) and she, who never gave me a phone call or sent a card, who made huge fights with everyone about the pettiest things, came to greet me as a beloved, long lost relative. Probably for image management? I looked at her in disgust, gave her a WTF look and walked on. She just stood there with jaw hanging.

  • Stick, I’m exhausted just reading about all that sturm und drang. I sure as hell wouldn’t consider inviting it into my life! You should probably rethink that friendship. There are a whole bunch of us chumps who value a drama free existence. Find one of us to pal around with.

  • Trust your gut!!!

    This is just one f*cked up circle jerk. Honestly – did she have to give herself an at home lobotomy to think that being friend’s with OW after the fact is a great idea?!?!

    Let’s model our disorder to the children and make it all seem normal – so that they can go on to lead chumpy lives later on.

    I think it’s fair to take a large step back from this friendship.

    You don’t have to send her hate mail, just find better friends.

  • I think it’s a fancy tray of sh@t sandwiches.
    But I’m left behind no child support no shared parenting, all the debt of his failed business 3 lovely kids (who I am completely dedicated to)
    With no dating in my future

    Sitting in judgement of the bizarre f@cking rituals of the adult human has left me out of finding someone.

    Finding a drama free date seems so far off…

    • I hear you. I feel exactly the same that I can no longer understand what passes for normal behaviour when it comes to adult relationships. I know that in time I will realise that not everyone is disordered and frankly scary but I need to come out from under that rock and then I will have found meh. It’s like how do the people in the scenario above actually manage to do this and carry on like nothing has happened? It takes quite an astounding amount of self-deception I think. That kind of behaviour has thrown me completely off course. I didn’t use to have that in my life. And doing my very best to make sure I don’t moving forward and neither does my daughter.

        • My daughter came home on Friday from school with the news (grade six discussion ) that girl Ms Dad was dating Boy Js Mom… two kids in her class- she was promptly told by Child L that they weren’t dating just f@cking…that Boy Js Mum was F@cking all the single Dads….

          Hello?

    • I’ve come to accept that I probably will not partner up again. Or date. And I’m fine with that. I’m actually quite content with raising my kids and making sure they have the best that I can give. I don’t want anybody to mess up what we have, and what I have worked so hard to achieve. It’s not worth it. I’m not completely opposed to the idea of dating/meeting somebody, but I’m just not interested. It’s not important to me right now. The kids are my life, and that’s what I focus on. Some people might think that’s sad. But I actually feel rather empowered.

      There are losers absolutely everywhere I look. It would have to take a pretty special guy to grab my attention these days. Don’t see it happening, and am totally fine with that 💚

      • LHATA, I 100% agree with you – I feel exactly the same way. My kids are my world, and when they’re grown and flown, I’ll do my life. I’m fine and happier on my own.

      • Thanks for that comment. I think about having a boyfriend, but you’re absolutely right about the potential consequences of meeting a loser. Having a boyfriend isn’t worth potential drama and taking away the peaceful life I’ve built with my kids. They feel safe, supported, and loved, and I don’t want to worry about getting together with some doofus who pretends that he’s decent and caring but is actually disordered and is looking for someone to pick up his dirty socks and cook his dinners. I met a couple on a dating site that were like that– no thanks (and no thanks to online dating as well)!

      • I am in the same boat here…i have no interest in dating or anything like that. The guys I have come into contact with on one dating site are such losers and I will not waste anymore of my precious time with guys like that when i can give myself and my kids 1000000% of me and i dont have to compromise. I worked so hard at my marriage with Karate Kid (he went to Okinawa on military orders and dumped me and the kids for a Japanese chick-lol) that i have nothing left for anyone much less some dude who is not family…#boundaries #justthethreeofus #eventhedogsdontremeberhim #singlebutnotavailable #thisis44

    • Same here. It’s often a relief to find out I’m not the only one in this situation. Triple life he led, failed business, thousands in debt, abandoned children. I hold it all together. No time to do anything and when I do I’m too exhausted!

  • My thoughts exactly. There is NO WAY IN HELL I will ever socialize with anyone who actively plotted to destroy my intact family, my childrens’ innocence and sense of security. One effect of all that happened is that my friend picker has changed: I pruned a lot of so-called friends (and some blood relatives) from my inner circle after DDay. I cannot stand to spend one minute of this remaining life with cheaters or cheater-apologists. It’s my life and I will live it my way. This is part of my “building a life” effort.

  • Whatever she’s done, she hasn’t fixed her picker. She still, at best, tolerates people who abuse her, and at worst, seeks their approval. I think this is just another level of pick-me dancing: “Cheater, look at us! We can bond over the babies…”

    • So very much this.

      I have to say the worst was when the hostess served a cake in the shape of a sitting toddler. Yep, we ate the cake.

    • OMG, yes! All that cloyingly cheap sentiment, silly decorations, the oohing and ahhing over every gift, the stupid games like putting all the gift bows on the mom to be’s tummy (WTF?), and the general air of fakeness. I’ve never been to one that wasn’t like that except for the one I organized for my daughter. We went to a nice restaurant and had some great food and a lot of laughs. The gifts were opened at home after the party.

      A traditional baby shower with the slut who helped break up your marriage in attendance sounds like the 9th circle of hell.

    • I love baby showers!!! I totally love gushing over baby stuff and welcoming a new babe and supporting mom and all that.

      But I draw the line at Baby Precious, Mr and Mrs Twatwaffles progeny. I’m sure she’s lovely and it’s not her fault both of her parents are fuckwits, but I’m not gushing or sending presents or encouraging my daughters to love their (supposed) sister. I keep any statements on the child strictly Grey rock… ( wow, awesome, aww too bad) and that is IT. If my daughters start complaining about having to care for her ( she has cerebral palsy) I will step in. If Bonus Imposter is any kind of decent mother, she will spend the bulk of her time caring for that child and not trying to be mommy to mine. She’s already using her to boost her image on Instagram and pretending what a wonderful blended family their infidelity has forced together. Puke.

      I absolutely CANNOT imagine attending a baby shower with her. Gag!

  • My ex’s first AP has reached out to me via Facebook. (My ex “cheated” on their 10 year relationship with the second AP who he is now living with— all while still married to me.) Wants to be friends. I was polite but brief in my response. No thank you.

    Meanwhile, the second AP before we were divorced insisted on talking to me on the phone. (I initially refused but ex kept screaming “fuck you” at me and I capitulated in order to get him to stop.) Anyway- AP#2 told me she wanted to be a “resource” to me. She’d been divorced 3 times and I think she was offering her “support” to help me get through the divorce of my then husband – so that a) she could sleep with him without guilt and b) to do impression management: see how kind she is? (Ex thinks I’m pretty selfish because no, I do NOT want her support and no I do NOT want to see her/meet her or be friends with her. He also thinks my adult age daughters are pretty selfish for not wanting to see her either. Poor schmoopie, he has said several times. She feels soooo rejected.)

    I’ve never spoken to her again. They live in another state. I’ve made it clear that he can see the kids whenever he manages to travel here, but that schmoopie will never be welcome. He still has this ideal where we are all best friends, that the two of them can come for Thanksgiving, that a threesome is not out of the question. (I am not exaggerating.)

    Um, no. Not in a hundred thousand years.

  • WOW – so wish I had a bucket of popcorn to enjoy while watching the shit show at THAT baby shower.

    Yes, it is weird. Back to our regular programming where Chumps gain a life 🙂

  • THERE IS something to be said about being civil, especially where children are concerned. This is not the “pain olympics”, but as well as the chumped, no one suffers more than kids in these shit shows.

    THAT being said, there is another, even more important survival skill that can and should be taught to kids – personal and social boundaries. I hope, long term, my now adult daughters will see my approach to NO contact with XH and mistress is the best option for recovery.

    I do not “forgive and forget” this situation, I don’t even pretend to try, but I did show by example how to pick pup, dust off and carry on as an independent.

    • Yeah, I could see this as a “well, the kids shouldn’t be deprived of a sibling they’ve known since birth just because I don’t like the mom” thing. Best friends with the AP? Nope.

      • I disagree. I think the less bonding my girls have with their supposed sister, the better. Ex is going to check out of that relationship and create more pain when they don’t see their kids they bonded with and aren’t related to as well as Baby Precious.

        I’m not facilitating their future heartbreak.

    • “…there is another, even more important survival skill that can and should be taught to kids – personal and social boundaries.”

      Yes! I’ve known people who have grown up in this weird mix of dysfunctional but “friendly” relationships with people who have in some way wronged them or their family…philandering fathers floating in and out, mistresses and half siblings strewn about. To say these people are a little messed up by all this is an understatement. Why do that to your kids?

      And why subject yourself to watching someone screw up their kids like that? Say your piece to your friend and move on.

  • Maybe it’s one of those Art of War moments when the enemy of my enemy is my friend. My sister attended a family party and met the OW who was attending with my ex. I conveniently got ill and missed it. Anyway, my sister comes back and tells me the OW seemed nice and if it wasn’t for my ex, ‘you two would probably be friends.’ And maybe I am a stick in the mud, but the OW this wasn’t her first office married man affair and she had kids by three different men. She’s not my kind of person. Just another stupid thing my sister has blithely told me since my DD.

    • I’m sure your sister would feel differently if it was her man OW has been spreading for. Her actions immediately render her ‘not nice’.

      • Ah yes, the oh so “helpful” remarks. It is abuse, pure and simple. I have avoided the in-laws completely in order to not have to hear their nonsense. I know they would defend the cheater and try to get me to stay with him. Even my own mother and brother did that, and they were quite nasty about it. So I avoid them as well. They later apologized, but now that I know they are capable of kicking me when I’m lying on the floor bleeding, I will never trust them or feel the same way about them again. Abusers, begone!

    • Good heavens!

      I am reminded of a story my ex-cousin in law told me before anyone knew that CheaterX was a cheater. Anyway, CheaterX’s father was also a cheater, and one day OW was standing in the street outside of CheaterX’s parents’ home. CheaterX’s mother ran out and harangued the OW, telling her never to step foot on the property again.

      Apparently CheaterX’s father told his wife that he was sure that she’d like OW; she was a Christian, church-going lady.

      In retrospect, the incident is really creepy because OW would have had no reason to be at CheaterX’s mother’s house. His father had a job in a city 2.5 hours away and would spend the week there, coming home only on weekends. CheaterX’s father must have brought OW there.

      Maybe he thought they could all be friends?

    • Trudy, I’m glad you’re not letting you sister get to you. OW is not a good person, she’s a predator. That’s the same type that came on to my husband at work. She needs a conquest. The whole “she seems nice” is an act to lure people in so she can victimize them. Nice people don’t try to steal other people’s spouses.

  • There’s no mention of the OW’s husband. She cheated and had a child with your first husband then reconciled with her husband? I’m wondering if he knew it wasn’t his child.

    Yesterday I attended a cookout celebrating my daughter’s new boyfriend’s birthday. Present was his father, his partner (younger AP) and his mother who has numerous health issues and is disabled. The fathers best friend and his X were also present yet didn’t speak. This guy made a point to flirt with me and I ignored. I happened upon another sad sausage who went into explaining his story of his kids stepmother whom he divorced, helping his adult daughter move out of state to her mothers. He appeared to enjoy the fact that the stepmother (AP) had to engage in the shit sandwich.

    In November I was invited to My daughters house for Thanksgiving dinner. The Invite was framed In a way that told me the limited would be invited also, however vague. It forced me to ask whether they would be present and I was told it would be my choice whether or not to attend. I did not attend. I made it clear at that time that I would not be attending any events at her house if he were present to protect myself.

    When I was invited to the cookout I decided to ask whether or not he would be invited and I was told yes he will be invited to all of my events at my home however, he would not be attending this event.

    I refuse to normalize, maintain his image, or pretend that we can all be present together as a family. He is no longer my family, he is not my friend, And I’ve chosen to protect myself and live my life free of abuse. Previously I did attend a wedding and ignored him and had a great time. I also attended a funeral and ignored him. It’s not my job to make him feel comfortable.

    • I did the same with my sister in law(ex). I won’t deliberately go to anything he’s at unless I must. My kids already know events have to be celebrated separately.

  • I would never be friends with Skankella. Sad we used to hang out as tennagers. She would ride my horse and we would trail ride together. She would stay over my house many weekends to get away from her abusive mother. Her mother used to drink and take pills and verbally and physically abuse her. We lost track of each other when I got married. Fast forward 10 years she bought the home next to my in-laws. Her daughter and my children played together. She got a divorce and moved 45 min. away. Lost contact again.

    Her and my husband started to talk on facebook. Then well you know what happened. I have no interest in being friends with a person who knowingly cheated with my husband. With a women who did not give at rats ass who she hurt as long as she benefited. Being friends with Skankella would be like petting a Vipar. She can keep her venom to herself.

  • Over the years, I’ve come to observe that there are some people who seem to welcome/enjoy/seek out drama.
    It’s typically people who go around saying, “I’m drama free!” or “I hate drama!” Whereas people that don’t actively keep drama in their lives don’t go around announcing it.

    For some people, living in a three ring circus seems to add value or excitement. I’m with most of you-I’ll take the quiet, dull boring any day!

    • Exactly so. I’m wary of anybody who says things like that. Why even bring it up if it isn’t part of your life?
      I’m also wary of single men looking for dates who insist they “aren’t into drama” or “don’t want drama queens”. Those are manipulators who do things to create drama, then accuse their SO of being a drama queen for having a completely normal reaction to the jerk’s behavior. I see a lot of that on dating site profiles. Avoid such men like the plague they are.

    • Oh, I’ve been publicly accused of creating drama. When the Bonus Imposter scheduled a birthday party for Baby Precious, during a time that the court specifically set aside for me with my girls, so they couldn’t attend, she accused me of creating ‘adult drama’ by refusing to let them go. In fact I didn’t refuse. Their father never asked me, but that didn’t stop the two of them from posting all over Facebook I “wouldn’t allow them to go to their sister’s party.”

  • My ex tried to get me to skype/email his long-distance EA partner(s) – he even sent me emails they wrote to him “to show me they weren’t a threat to (our) ‘primary’ relationship” – you see, the ex is polyamorous and wanted all of his harem to Just Get Along. Except I refused to play, and bounced.

    I can’t fathom why I’d consider an AP a friend or have any need to communicate.

  • It’s not just f*cjed up it’s sad. This woman was mentally abused and can’t seem to find her worth.

  • It’s been said on this site before that “The Thing does what the Thing does”. This OW has shown that she likes to eat off of the chump’s plate. “Chump sloppy seconds? Mmmmm, don’t mind if I do!” Chump better protect herself from this OW trying to get crumbs from Chump’s new relationship. OW will not change her lousy character.

    The Chump befriended a dangerous Cobra, one that’s already attacked her and her family, and now she’s doubting that it’s a venomous Cobra. Seems like the Chump might still be a wee bit Codependent.

  • That is so sad. Chump has no self-esteem remaining. Another scalp hanging from Perel’s belt.

    Who volunteers for this amount of drama unless they have picked up a flea infestation from their disordered life?

  • Could this be a case of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. If you’re at my baby shower you can’t be out with my new husband.

    It might also be a case of “if OW sees what a good person I am and how devoted I am to my husband she won’t try and seduce him away”. I made that misstate with Ex’s EA partner thinking that would make her back off. Nope. She continued to come on to him until he finally blew her off. At the time I thought it was because he loved me (yay! I won the pick me dance), but now I know that it really is just because he got bored of her before things had a chance to get that far. Anyway, it doesn’t help to make friends with the AP because their motivations have nothing to do with you or what they think of you.

  • It sounds like at first the Shower Chump and OW were competing over the same guy. Now, apparently, they’re competing over who can out-empathize with each other…? Let’s hope there was plenty of Chardonnay at that party.

  • Well, I think it is weird too. I wouldn’t try and make friends with Schmoopie and quite frankly the feeling is mutual. We have avoided each other quite effectively ever since DDay. It is only Ex who seems to think we should be friends or at least civil (for the children) and I am sure that this bothers Schmoopie as much as it bothers me. She is generally rational even if she is a selfish slut with no morals. If the letter writer is uncomfortable being around this friend and her OW, then she is within her rights to distance herself from this friend. There is nothing wrong with avoiding situations that make one uncomfortable.

    That being said, I don’t think she or any of us should be passing judgement on the friend. We don’t know what her motivations are. She is clearly doing what she thinks is best for her and/or her children and it isn’t our place to decide what works for her. If this situation appears to be causing her pain and her friends are concerned about that some advice and reminders that she doesn’t owe the OW anything may be warranted but it is up to her whether or not to listen. If she asks for comfort, advice or support it can be given with the suggestion that perhaps being friends with OW is not in her best interests if it causes her pain. If she is content with the situation, however, then it isn’t anybody else’s business who she chooses to befriend disordered or not. Those who think that makes her too weird to befriend don’t have to be her friends. To the letter writer I would say, keep this friend at a distance if her other friends make you uncomfortable but there is no need to judge beyond that. If it is too much drama for you, step away.

    There are probably people in CN who would look askance at the fact that I still talk (civilly) to my ex. I have my reasons for doing so because it makes my life and the lives of my children easier in a number of ways. In my particular situation that works best and being “nice” pays (literally and figuratively). Those who are completely no contact and go through Family Wizard have their reasons for doing so and that works best for them. Those people might have a hard time understanding why I still talk to my ex and might think I am a delusional fool who is still pick me dancing. This is not the case, but anyone who has an ex who is trying to destroy them in any way he/she can and talking to them is dangerous, might have a hard time understanding that my situation is different.

  • It’s not just weird. It’s sick. I can’t help but think it is actually something the cheater insists on and is therefore abusive. If this was my friend, I would find out if she is being coerced into it.

  • Oh, gag. Interesting that I just had an exchange (this morning) with a Dutch friend of mine who explained that she is leaving her husband (who has been cheating on her) for another man, but that they are “all friends” and just went to dinner together. “They all get along”. She, her new man, her husband, and his OW.

    No, I don’t want to know how they “do it in Europe”.

    The OW in my case is an ex-pat living in France. She was friends with me as long as she was banging my husband, which, of course, I knew nothing about.

    I am trying to maintain respect for her as a scientist, but, knowing how deceptive and manipulative she has been in her relationships, it makes me call into question her objectivity with scientific data.

    • Yeah, fuck a bunch of European “modern, relaxed attitudes” about devastating betrayal, lying, and risking your spouse’s health. These acts are wrong and the people who do such things should be treated as the creeps and abusers they are and shunned by society.
      Esther effing Perel and her thinkalikes can kiss my North American ass. They can consider me “puritanical” and “unevolved” all they like but I will always believe it’s appropriate to judge wrongdoers.

      • This stuffs all “eye of the beholder.” If you never valued or honored physical/sexual and emotional commitment and loyalty in the first place, then it cannot be broken. In that case, all these people are, in essence, swingers. And, sure, they probably don’t feel the pain us loyal and committed chumps feel. Their partner leaving to screw someone else met their expectations, wherein ours doing the same shattered ours.

        I live in a world in which partners are not disposable or interchangeable. I guess I’m not at all European. lol

    • I think sometimes that some cultures simply have different expectations of marriage than most of us here in the US have. It may be more of a business arrangement for them once the romance wears off and they never expected it to be “forever”, at least not the romantic side. If the original chump wasn’t blindsided, hadn’t expected forever and wasn’t really that attached to her husband by the time he cheated, then perhaps nobody did get hurt and it really is no big deal. Most of us on this site, however, were blindsided. We actually thought the vows meant something and were lead to believe it meant something to our cheaters as well. We were faithful and we did have expectations of fidelity, felt betrayed by infidelity and our spouses had no reason to think that we wouldn’t be hurt by it. I know we have chumps from all over the world coming here so us Americans must not be the only ones with such “puritanical” expectations.

      • Yeah, an arrangement. That is so depressing. That’s what OW in my case called what she had with her husband. The problem was that she failed to inform him of it. I helpfully did it for her. 😁

        Why bother to marry for any reason but genuine love? What’s the point? If it’s for the purpose of raising children, you need to love each other to model a loving relationship to your kids. Then these clowns who married for the wrong reasons blow everything up and scar their kids for life. People really do suck.

    • I lived in France and had a very difficult time swallowing the laissez-faire attitude toward affairs. I try to take cultural differences with a pinch of salt, but I could never stomach that one. Broken hearts and STDs hurt no matter the language.

  • So much of the public rhetoric is Goop-ish, be besties with every one or you’re bitter. Be ok with what happens because HAPPINESS or you’re bitter. Accept it’s just natural and monogamy isn’t realistic, or you’re bitter.

    We all know how hard it is that navigate this shitstorm with the traditional “resources “.

    That said, yes totally weird and there is no way I could be in the same room.

    Of course, I’m bitter.

    • Yea well hurt makes one bitter. I had a friend who left her husband–no cheating or other abuse, just your basic differences and wanting something new. They’ve stayed friends. She has had difficulty understanding why I can’t with my ex, hence why she’s not longer my friend.

      I think unless you’ve experienced the devastation of betrayal and felt so out of control of your life as a result, you can’t fathom that hurt. Not excusing those who accuse of being “bitter Betties,” but how could they possible know?! Of course, they COULD just be good and empathetic friends an support our choices to extract ourselves from the cluster fuck that are our exes!

      • What people like your friend fail to grasp is the sense of betrayal that accompanies infidelity. If two people mutually agree that it isn’t working at the same time and both want to move on then “conscious uncoupling” probably can work really well but when one side lies and cheats and betrays the other it isn’t so easy.

        This is often the case even if infidelity isn’t a part of it. If you thought the vows meant forever and your spouse just leaves because he/she is bored of you and you haven’t done anything abusive, you would likely still feel hurt, betrayed and confused. I am sure I would have but at least I would have had a bit more respect for ex and I would have avoided the pain of watching him wooing another woman in front of my face when I was still coming to grips with his loss of affection for me. It might still have hurt to see that happen later, but by then maybe there would have been more time to process the original hurt and there would have been more degrees of separation. I also might have been farther along in finding new romance of my own and, therefore, less affected by his new love interest. That’s all speculation, however. Maybe there are people out there who were left without an AP who wish there was one because that would make it easier to explain.

        • YES to all of this!

          This is something you tried t explain (in vain of course) to cheater himself when he whined about “why can’t we be friends?”

          Because you don’t lie, betray, and destroy your friend. There are honest and ethical ways of leaving a relationship, ESPECIALLY when you have kids together.

          This wasn’t drifting a part, it was blowing up the ship.

        • I’ve often wondered about this: would I be on speaking terms with XW if she had just said “I need something else” – put in some reasonable attempt at making the marriage work – and then we’d divorced honestly. It’s impossible to know for sure, of course, but I think I’d have been hurt but not angry. I really believe we’d have a different relationship now; for one thing, I wouldn’t be always on the alert for her next betrayal.

          The best evidence I have (though I acknowledge it’s not the same as a 17-year marriage and three kids): I have no anger, bitterness or hostility towards any of my ex-girlfriends before XW. I’m not in particularly close contact with them, but we cross paths every once in a while and have a coffee and chat like regular people.

          The deceit and betrayal really pushed some deep, primal buttons in me. There must be some primitive id-level response to having your trust betrayed. I know there’s fundamental research about fairness in primates (monkeys will refuse to perform tasks for food if they see another monkey is getting better food for the same work), but I’ve never heard about anyone investigating betrayal in other primates. I bet it’s there too: it just make sense for there to be a primitive drive to punish agreement-breaking in social animals. Anyone out there know of any?

          • “I know there’s fundamental research about fairness in primates (monkeys will refuse to perform tasks for food if they see another monkey is getting better food for the same work), but I’ve never heard about anyone investigating betrayal in other primates.”

            They will get very upset with the other monkey who got the better reward for the same work; that may be a particular flavor of betrayal.

          • “Hurt but not angry.”

            I think that is exactly it. I’m so angry and it hasn’t subsided. I am (was) a very passive person so the anger is very hard to deal with because I’ve never felt true anger before.

            Your point about not holding anger for past relationships because there wasn’t the deceit and betrayal is an excellent point.

    • I agree, I’ve felt a lot of pressure to not be bitter or contemptuous as it made me feel like a bad person.

      No one was ever directly critical of me but it seems that society lavishly praises those that can all be buddy buddy ‘for the kids’.

      My STBX has started asking me to spend time together as a ‘a family’ for my daughter’s sake. What?! We’re not one family anymore. In my head, unfortunately, my daughter now has two separate families and that was not by my choice. He wants happy family time without any responsibility to be faithful or committed to me as a partner.

  • If this came from a Hollywood writer, or William Shakespeare, I’d look at it and say, “No, sorry, I can’t suspend disbelief. This is just too unrealistic.” Yet, here it is, again demonstrating that life is stranger than fiction.

    Bottom line, actions speak louder than words, and who you stay friends with is definitely an action.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

  • Stick, Count me as another stick in the mud.

    And to our French chumps, I’m so sorry about Notre Dame. Talking about lost references!

  • I am pretty sure I would never be friends with OW. When I suspected fuckwit of cheating again I went to her house and walked in the door without knocking. Found them in bed and I started to punch her and not him. It was the most anger I ever felt. I unfortunately stayed another 7 years eating shit sandwiches and the pick me Dance. Ugh I still have some ptsd from that experience. WTF was wrong with me why didn’t I leave😭. Definitely not sorry I hit her. And I hope I never see her again.

    • It really is too bad you didn’t punch him too. In the nuts preferably. I understand why you didn’t, however.

  • Myself I would be tickled if the ex’s OW got 100 lashes for her participation in deceiving me. And him 200.

    IN no way would I want to socialize with the likes of her. The fact that he was shitty to both of us does not bond or endear me to her.

  • AP Baby Shower Gift List (gifts sent via post)

    Paternity Test (two tests included-Bonus!)
    Spy Shop Gift Card
    Penicillin
    Kleenex (One Case)
    Celexa (30 day supply)
    “Clone my iPhone” app
    Photo Album: “Baby’s missed moments with Daddy”

  • So many good points here. Bottom line is that this may be noble on the part of the chump having the baby shower. Or it may be she wasn’t invested in the first marriage as someone pointed out. Or it may be the ultimate passive aggressive win as CL suggested…but one thing is for sure….it isn’t the standard reaction of someone who was truly betrayed and blindsided as so many of us have been. So the author of the letter is not a stick in the mud, but rather having a normal reaction to this situation. To someone who has never been a chump, it may just seem like some unbelievable scenario in a romantic comedy. To someone who has been chumped, it can be extremely irksome because-as someone pointed out in this thread-we chumps are inundated with a lot of judgmental comments from those who have never been betrayed about how you are supposed to handle the utter upheaval of our lives. And there are a plethora of online psych blogs about how we should all befriend our betrayers for the “kids’ sake” or just to “take the high road”. So perhaps this situation is going to irritate a fellow chump more than it might another person. But it’s still f##king weird!

  • “Perhaps the woman sitting next to you brought the uncle who molested her.”

    CL, way to reframe accurately! Truth!

    Thanks for the belly laugh! You are a snark superheroine.

  • I see no Sun Tzu move here.

    I do see someone who’s absorbed unhelpful ideas about friendship.

    There’s also a slightly icky sister-wives thing as well.

  • If I ever decided to have fun, which is tempting, I may try to help the OW feel welcome around me. (she used to be a good friend) . I could invite her over for some “Help” brownies and present her with a real purty kids’ bike (rusty of course) and tell her she must need a new town bike.

  • Nope. Nopity. No. Not me.
    I keep my circle tight with good people with good character and morals.
    Cheaters are not welcome.
    In my circle, there is a woman I’ll call J. I have worked with J. for the past 14 years now.
    From the time I started working there, I was already divorced from exh1, but he would come by my workplace to see about DS, and J. would comment to about how good-looking she thought exh1 was
    For about four years or so, this would happen on seldom occaisons.
    Then, about five years ago, DS2 started attending my school, so exh1 came around again (our sons are 4 years apart). The “crush” J. had on exh1 resurfaced but I told her I wanted her to stop saying stuff like that because exh1 and I were not on good terms, and he is not a good person, periodttttt
    DS2 because like her little “helper” and she would “help us out” and drop DS off to exh1’s for me on exh1’s days since we had no contact.
    Oh, how stupid. I was.
    Yep. Found out that she and exh1 had been lovers for about six months when I found out.
    I. Was. Livid.
    Cut ties with her. Was total grey rock with her and still am at work.
    She was then and still is married to a total chump of more than 35 years now. Exh1 was her 10th affair, but she says she actually fell in love with him
    About two weeks after I found out, exh1 dumped her for the OW he was seeing behind J.’s back, who became exh1’s OWife #4, and then he dumped her and married the OW in that marriage OWife#5

    Can’t make this shit up
    J. still shows up occasionally at social events and such, but I ignore her.

  • I can imagine lots of bad reasons for these two women to be friends, but not very many good ones.

    Mostly, I think it is often just easier to bond with someone else over a shared bad behavior than to work toward a new and better behavior.

    Drunks look for other people who drink too much. Drug addicts surround themselves with other users. The line between people who understand your pain and can help you heal it and those who understand your pain and feed it can be hard to distinguish–especially when you aren’t looking.

    So instead of putting down the cocktail or the pill or the belief that being in a couple is worth any price, both of them can complain about how terrible the Cheater was.

    It sounds like a lot of drama–perhaps skipping the next get-together with these women is the healthiest approach.

  • That baby shower scenario is not only weird, it’s fucked up. You might as well serve the new husband to the OW on a silver tray with a cupcake in his mouth.

  • That is definitely weird. This isn’t a “for the sake of the children” event. This is a private event. If her pig of an ex-husband and the slore want their kids to know one another – then do it on his time.

    For a chump to do it is like painting your teeth and lips with radium despite KNOWING that it will cause your jaw to fall off (Phossy jaw if you want to find photos) and you will suffer a horrifying death.

    So there is something off with that particular chump. She’s getting some sort of toxic kibbles of her own (I’m so cool! New Age! European and mature!) and doesn’t want to give them up.

  • This screams spackle to me. It also shouts “he is still central”! Between them they’re gifting the ex extra juicy kibbles. He’s probably loving it. Makes me feel sick just thinking of it. He knows they get together to “bitch about him”… silly silly women still stuck with him in the forefront of their minds.

    The point of moving on, is to remove his source of attention. No-one gets to meh whilst still feeding the beast ANY form of attention. When the next other women is dumped are they going to let her “join the I HATE X club”? Complete with secret passwords and fridge magnets?

    The whole “be friends” afterward bulldust, is a ploy to keep the scumbag central. To minimise the dysfunction and normalize crappy behaviour as “ok”. It’s not OK. It’s not just weird, it’s trying to make abuse normal.

    I’d struggle to keep my mouth shut in this situation. Tracy had it with the comment about the lady sitting next to you bringing the uncle who molested her. Being friends with rapists, molesters, wife bashers, con men who steal from little old ladies, and the like is not just weird!!! It’s more than weird. Waaaaayyyyy more than weird.

    Avoid this so called friend. They keep company with people who actively hurt other people. For appearances. For image. They excuse really bad behaviour and poor character. Steer clear, for your own wellbeing.

    Rant over!

  • >