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Dear Chump Lady, I can’t compete with their fabulousness

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jealousyDear Chump Lady,

Here’s my tale of woe.

After thirteen years and four children, my husband decided apropos of nothing to leave me for his ‘girlfriend’ of one month who happens to have no kids but many, many tens of millions of dollars.

There was no talk of reconciliation (except for three absolute bullshit marriage counselling attempts where he didn’t disclose why he suddenly wanted a divorce) , no unicorn chasing, no chance to even audition for the pick-me dance finale.

It was over, he was gone, just like that. Our marriage had been, in my eyes, a very good one, and we were financially extremely well-off, but not quite millionaires. I had been his cheerleader our whole marriage, and had supported him and his career to an extent which is almost laughable now. (He is a public figure.) I also worked full time and looked after every aspect of our home and child-rearing.

Anyway, he married Ms Money-Bags, the week our divorce was finalised, in a ceremony to which the children were not invited but the media were. I’ve then endured countless public iterations of how their love is real, and worth hurting people for (specifically, worth hurting me for). Imagine, if you don’t mind, a small-scale to what Jennifer Aniston went through, and then add four kids. They have access to the children 13% of the time (their choice — I live in a 50/50 state).

This has been going on now for years. I am constantly subjected to ever-shinier accounts through the media of how They Are The Best Couple Ever!!! And frankly, not only is it incredibly embarrassing, it also makes me feel like a complete loser, as they live in a house worth five million bucks with a god-damned waterslide, with matching Maseratis in the driveway and dress my kids in designer clothes (that they’re not allowed to bring home to my house), while I struggle as a single mom. (Yes, he pays the state-mandated child support, which is 2% of his annual income.) I work full time in an extremely demanding role (I’m a litigator). I have tried to move on romantically but frankly I don’t trust my own choices and anyway, I hardly have the time to try to date and the only men who hit on me are married. Ugh.

And so I feel really bad about myself, because my life doesn’t compare to theirs. It seems there is no justice in the world. How do I get over this feeling of absolute rejection, and of being a total unlovable loser, and move on in my life? The constant media about their fabulous life (which I have actually asked him to put a stop to, to no avail) is crushing my soul.

Super Chump

Dear Super Chump,

Hey, at least you have a soul to crush, which is more than I can say about your ex and Ms. Moneybags.

What a lovely couple! He walks out on a wife and a passel of small children, and she finances his desertion! But hey, they’re enviable because they have a $5 million dollar home and flash cars in the driveway? And 24/7 media coverage?

Seriously, think about what kind of people you’re envying here — people who dress children up as props, but don’t invite them to their significant life events. People with millions to spare who budget 2 percent of ONE salary toward child support. You wish to compare yourself to them?

What are your values, Super Chump? Yes, on the Maserati index you’re a great big loser. On the Mightiness Scale of Raising My Children Without Any Help from a Cheating Fuckwit, you’re a winner.

It’s all in how you frame it. Who would you rather be?

Look, I know it sucks. I know you want some cosmic justice. It would be nice if all the media coverage was over what an utter douchebag your ex is versus his Constant Fabulousness. But really — do you think anyone who knows your story, who is worth knowing, doesn’t know they both suck epically? Is there any public figure who isn’t despised or snarked about, even by those closest in his or her circle? Why are you buying the spin?

Perhaps you think at some level you were inadequate. Well, yes, Super Chump, yes you were inadequate. I’m sorry, your kibbles cannot compare with the kibbles of a Bazillionairess. She’s got you beat. If you traffic in kibbles — the currency of narcissism — she wins.

But kibbles are not the same thing as love. Love is respectful. Love is generous. Love commits. Love doesn’t abandon its children. The man simply didn’t love you. He’s a person who traffics in kibbles. You probably thought, as many of us do, that if you flung enough kibbles at him, if you were super-duper cheerleader to his accomplishments, he would return the favor — that he would love you. But instead he just took your kibbles (thank you very much), pocketed them, and found better kibble sources elsewhere.

He sucks! A tree should fall on his head! He should be indicted! Exposed as the fraud that he is!

And it’s been a couple years and that hasn’t happened yet. Oh well, it probably will. Give it some time. Maybe it won’t happen. Doesn’t matter. YOU matter. Get on with your life and let that man be a stranger to you. I know that is hard when you co-parent, but seriously, just imagine he’s a Lithuanian oligarch, with garish taste in home-furnishings and a pet tiger. A rich freak in a far-off land whose life doesn’t concern you.

Because your ex is just some rich freak whose life doesn’t concern you. Your children have to navigate that personal landscape and the best way you can help them is to be the Sane Parent. Model your values. Be resilient. Show them every day how you have their backs. Teach them the difference between real love and kibbles.

And teach yourself too.

Good luck, SC.

This one ran previously. 

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I remember this, I sooooo wanted to know who it was so that I could have a look.

    I hope it went ok for you Super Chump

  • Don’t let their narcissistic values rub off on you. And that might happen, cause as someone here said (pardon me, I don’t remember their name!) “you can’t get through chumpdom without picking up a maladaptive strategy or two”.

    But at the end of the day, be glad you’re doing you, and the rest of this corrupted world be damned.
    13% kids’ time, means you get 87% chance of imparting your values on those children rather than him. That alone is a huge win in my book!!

    Not that we’re here to “win”….

  • It can be frustrating when everything is being done for “show”. Some people love to live their lives from the outside, yet are empty on the inside. Sounds like your ex and rich wife. Having a whole ceremony without involving the kids…shady, selfish, deceitful. I admit that the elaborate lifestyle is probably a huge factor (besides how he ended things), but just remember you are a decent person and sadly the world we live in have accepted and glorifies affairs, deceit, and those who “are well off” despite their indiscretions. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But that’s where we are. You have to work on being good with who you are as a person.

    • Read “Runaway Husbands”. It’s a different kind of hell with the one who just gets up one day and runs away. No excuses, no closure, no apologies, just gone. *Poof*. There was No chance to figure out they were even unhappy.

      I’m so terribly sorry this happened to you. Money isn’t everything but it does help. Karma has a special place in hell for these ex’s. Cowards is what they are.

      • It is interesting all the different ways of leaving. My STBX didn’t run away. He stayed in the house (we are still here selling it) but he has given no excuses, no closure, and no apologies. Refuses to talk about and believes he has become a better person (those are his words). My STBX is the definition of a coward. Everything he has done has been for himself. Him staying in the house made it harder and more awkward for my sons and I. It is almost over :).

        As to the high living ex. I do dream of being rich because of the options you could have — travel anywhere and pick a job you love or volunteer. Having the love and respect of my children is worth more than a maserati. Stuff is stuff. All the media bs is just more image management. I equate it to being in high school and trying to be the cool kid. Lots of people do horrible things trying to be the cool kid. I am comfortable with who I am — not the most beautiful, unfortunately not artistic, hair is going super gray but I am kind, loyal, and dependable (something most cheaters aren’t).

        Love yourself and make your life what you want it. Try to avoid the circus around your ex. Good luck.

        • That is exactly how I feel. These people never left middle school and are still trying to be the cool kids. That is certainly the way it seemed to be with ex. He wants to impress the people who are impressed by shiny surface stuff. I felt like my nerd boyfriend left me for the cheerleader who he saw as a step up the social ladder. I never did like cheerleaders, however and I have no desire to be one. I am not the slightest bit interested in being more like Schmoopie or ex. He may have a shiny new circle of friends but he has lost the admiration and respect of a whole host of relatives and former friends (including me). They haven’t and probably never will mature emotionally. How sad.

          • My eldest son (27) recently said that his father’s ego (serial cheater) does not allow his father to grow & mature.
            It was an eye-opening comment for me.
            My kids are so much smarter than me. They teach me. 😊

          • Chumpinrecovery, I’ve had the thought that ex was behaving as if he was back in middle school or high school. He always complained about not being considered cool in high school and had this fantasy of going back to a high school reunion to show everyone how successful he is. He mentioned not being cool a number of times, enough to make me think it was weird and in my mind who cares. I don’t know if I was considered cool, probably not, I however never thought about it.
            Ex replaced me with his cheerleader, she’s shiny and new and he’s still a jackass.
            I’m also kind, honest, compassionate and trustworthy, Cheaters have none of these traits.
            As Tracy has said, they don’t automatically have a personality transplant once they’re with someone new. Cheaters don’t change.
            I regret the day I met Cheater and that I wasted so many years on a middle aged man with the personality of a middle school adolescent with a troubled childhood.

  • Things tend to look fabulous from the outside but inside reality tends to be different. Maybe AP doesn’t let him spend any money without her permission/she uses money to control him, etc….

    Each cheater has their wacko rationalizations for their cheating. Apparently XW couldn’t resist a young male with nice hair. Don’t let someone’s wacko ideas make you feel bad about yourself. I realize now XW would have cheated on ANYONE.

    • And I now know my XH would have cheated WITH anyone. He had a backup harem of women our entire 23 years together. I’m sure he still does. But I don’t care anymore. He’s no longer my problem to solve. 🙂

  • SC, you “asked for a break” from the constant media but no can do. So I take it they are inviting the media to everything. Living their fake lives for the media. What does that tell about them? I mean, who on this site would want to be one of the Kardashians? Not me, that’s for sure! I remember this running previously so I hope SC can give us an update on how they have belly-flopped already. Ya know, kinda like Brangelina. If not yet, just hang around and break out the popcorn!

  • What’s clear to me is who has the values here
    (Clue: her name is SuperChump).

    I admire your discretion on a blog in the face of their blatant and public display of BS.

    They can’t compare to YOU. With the same checkbook, YOU could buy what THEY have, but THEY can’t buy what YOU have.

    I’d rather have what YOU have. You are far richer than they are, believe me.

    Matching Maseratis? As a car girl in my heart of hearts, these people are bringing down the brand.
    😡

      • Great coaching!!!
        Love the quotes!!!
        I always get uplifted by you, Velvet Hammer❤
        Thank you!!!

      • That’s the deal. Don’t compare. Live your own life. Cherish what you have. Be your own bad self.

        • I am struggle with the injustice and feel so depleted and defeated, while he gets to “win” and go off to his fabulous new life and relationship. I’m stuck in the rubble, trying to pick up the pieces, to make sense of 25 years of lies and betrayals, and also deal with our child’s struggles from the fallout. I honestly thought that seeing his child suffer/struggle would be a wake up call as to how bad he has fucked things up, but he has shown no guilt, remorse, or shame for the damage he has done.

          • MehBeSoon
            I also thought once she saw her children struggling & suffering she would wake up. I was totally wrong. She has our 16 year old son telling me that I ruined our family and I’m the reason the kids are suffering. My son also told me he’s going to make sure my younger two kids won’t live with me.
            I had to resort to sending his texts over to my lawyer.

            • Wow. She must be an outright psychopath to use her own son to propagate malicious lies in order to keep you from your younger kids. I’m so sorry. Doesn’t your son know she cheated?

              • He believes her when she says their “just friends”. Even with him & his kids moved in. Even with him staying in her room. They both have told him what I’m pursuing in the finalization. And my son says I’m trying to “rape her for everything she has.”
                Married 18 years together 24 years. She was the breadwinner and she resigned from her position thinking she could avoid child support & maintenance. She fucked me over so of course I’m getting what I can.

              • We’re cheering for you, ChumpTight. We at CN believe what’s good for the goose is good for the gander… and vice versa, so go for that $!!

          • Yes, one would think the kids’ struggles would ring bells. My DD attempted suicide and texted her father “now you will listen bastard.” He did not come while she was in the hospital (he moved away) and 4 years later still blames me for her going NC with him.

            It’s all about them. They are the victims.

          • I told my STBX that he not only lied and betrayed me but the kids — he said “big deal I have been lying to my kids since they were 2” — nice!

  • In the Divorce Letter, my ex said “we don’t share the same values”. At the time it was a shock to see he thought that as I truly believed we did. But we don’t. And like the writer of this letter to CL, she doesn’t have the same values as her ex. He values what he looks like to the world. Money. Cheating. Dishonesty. Luxury houses and cars. Designer clothes. Being a public figure.

    According to her actions, Super Chump values family, marriage and working hard to be a supportive wife and great mom. I’d take the male version of Super Chump over the billionaire any day! I have said this to myself and others — I’d rather have been married to an average Joe who was honest, faithful and was reciprocal in a relationship, instead of the sparkly turd the ex turned out to be. He fooled me into believing we valued the same things. But we do not. His actions shows what he values.

    He’s now with a woman who deserves a sparkly turd. I’m guessing they have the same values as she didn’t think anything was wrong with dating and fucking a married man. I’m sure she fits in nicely with his family, because they always were all about how things look and also money. Money and having it was very big for my exes family. When my exes grandmother died. My exes mom said and I quote, “I gotta go out shopping for something SNAZZY to wear to the wake.” Yep! Her mom just died, but her biggest concern was how she was going to look at the wake.

    CL said in today’s post about reframing — “It’s all in how you frame it. Who would you rather be?” Well, I’ve been trying reframing things lately. I have lost a lot just like everyone else at CN. I had to grieve that huge lost and at times I still grieve what I thought my life was and was going to be in the future. Well, instead of focusing on all the losses, I’ve been focusing on what I’ve gained. For one, I don’t have to wait hand and foot on that asshole and is family of takers anymore! I have a ton of free time now FOR ME and I pretty much can do whatever I want now. I couldn’t when I was married, because taking care of him, plus my kids, plus the entire house and landscaping, plus the dog, planning every single family vacation pretty much on my own, going to work, and making sure we went to church each week and taking care of all the holidays and birthdays took up all my time and energy. I don’t have to do any of that anymore for him or his family. I’M FREE! I no longer have to have sex with that turd; feeling like I was being used, BECAUSE I WAS! And I no longer have to kiss him and if you ever kissed him, you’d know what a relief that is as he did something while kissing that totally turned me off. Ugh. Freedom from that mouth of his!!! Freedom from all his lies that drove me crazy and at times had me questioning my memory. Freedom from confusion. Freedom from sharing my husband with tons of “friends”. Leaving the cheater was easy, but gaining a life is hard work. I have felt a shift in how I view what happened, so I must be getting close to The Land of Meh. I’m guessing I’ll arrive there on a Tuesday. 🙂

    • My ex said something similar. “I just don’t think we have the same priorities”. Yeah, I guess he was right about that one (he isn’t always wrong).

      • My ex-cheater also told me we didn’t have the same values… when I asked what those were he said “being debt free, excelling at his job, etc”…. I looked at him like he had eight chicken heads growing out of his face and told him those aren’t values, those are goals! He said, “well, I guess we have different definitions of values then”. WUT THE?

        After that conversation, it was the first time I started to realize that he was an absolute moron (as opposed to being the great one who got away). It started me on the path to meh…. which I have not arrived yet, but I’m at least trodding the path 😊

    • Martha,
      I’m picturing this woman showing up at the funeral in a red dress or showing some leg or cleavage. Oh brother. Think Senator Ted Kennedy’s wife Joan showing up at Mary Jo Kopechne’s funeral in a white mini dress.

      ps For all the non US readers-Kennedy was drunk late one night ,drove off a bridge and left his passenger Kopechne to suffocate (not drown it turns out-there was an air pocket) in the car. He never called the police and somebody saw the car the following morning.

      • SPbaSaffa, well in all honesty she was not in red, showing lots of leg or cleavage. She was in her 70’s (I think) at the time, so she was dressed more conservatively, but “snazzy” for her. The comment just rubbed me the wrong way. It just seemed out of place for the occasion (death of her mother). But she was always about appearances. When she first met me, she liked me because of how I looked and the cute outfits that I had on. I was told this by her niece. And she was always commenting about my weight or what I was or was not eating. It was all very strange. Even my own family doesn’t say anything about my weight or my food consumption. Happy to be away from that crazy train of a family!

        Oh wow, I didn’t know that about Joan’s dress for the funeral. Yeah, white mini dress is totally inappropriate for a funeral and screams “look at me!”

  • SC, am betting that all this outward display of good living is only a the tip of the mindfuck iceberg.

    Watch your back.

    Sometimes sanity alone is not enough

  • What struck me in the letter is how easily you can “insert here” the reason – ‘cuz lets face it chumps… we’ve heard them all… but what rarely varies is the story around it… X wants to have minimal child support responsibility… X want to use image management to change the narrative (see how shiny we look at Disney, now go home to your Mother)… X thinks he DESERVES to go after this happiness and not honor his marital vows… X has zero moral character.

    The hardest thing we have to do as chumps is not look at what “they” are telling the world, but rather what are we telling ourselves:

    – Cheating does not make you a better person. Ergo cheating with a rich person doesn’t make you special.
    – Abandoning your children to go after a love that has no boundaries does not make you enlightened. It makes you narcissistic.
    – My worth is not attached to another person’s actions just because I’m married to them. I’m still me a- -nd they’re a cheating fuckwit.
    – Kids actually CAN have a better childhood with one sane parent vs. bearing witness to an abusive and lopsided power structure relationship (‘cuz trust me… kids know when someone is cheating and lying).
    – Divorcing a fuckwit and finding personal growth and happiness can and does happen (quite frequently if you go by the Chump stories here)

    I’m a little further out now (almost 5 years). I glance over at Mr. Sparkles life from time to time with his new GF (the OW caught him cheating on her and dumped him)… and I’m relieved. I don’t lay down at night with a cheater (you can still find his personal ads online)… my financial future is not tied to a man who is irresponsible with money (hookers and hotel rooms ain’t cheap). Did his narrative and shiny stick… nope. Never does chumps, never does.

  • This so resonates with me also. I have felt all you are feeling but please know that it is normal to feel that way but the truth is that it is not all good with them. Don’t believe for a second that these two disgusting people are having a wonderful life. We just tend to focus on what we think looks wonderful on the outside. Truth is they are both evil soulless people and every dog has its day. Don’t let them in your thoughts anymore, they don’t deserve it, instead think about how pathetic it must be for them if they suddenly lost everything material. They would just be two empty black miserable souls with absolutely nothing to offer anybody. You got it all !!!! They just got stuff to compensate for lack of character. You’re the winner here!!!

  • Even though this ran previously I hope Super Chump is still following- she has inspired me today. She is mighty. Her story of such injustice makes the collective voice of chumpdum that much louder and more powerful.

    Cheating is not ok.

    What happens behind closed doors doesn’t stay behind closed doors when lives get ruined by it- and often affected for generations (the children, then the grandchildren).

    When anyone is neutral about cheating, i.e. the public as a whole as in this story, then the institution of marriage becomes insignificant. In Super Chumps case, not only was the public neutral about cheating, they were down right condoning it. That happens ALL THE TIME.
    BUT- when the betrayed speaks up, like the gamer’s wife from yesterday’s post and like Super Chump– it starts to change the narrative. Anytime anyone in the public arena speaks up it gives a huge platform for support of the betrayed. Which is equivalent to supporting the integrity of marriage. These voices need to be heard more! Even more than the voices of the “twu luvs”

    Cheating is not ok. This level of injustice is not ok. The narrative is changing each time someone speaks out. To be neutral to cheating is to condone it. To condone it is to destroy the integrity of marriage–an institution that brings our whole culture stability, merit, growth, opportunity and principle.

  • I work with people like SC’s x and it sucks to watch, see and hear. There is an awful lot of behind the back talk about them, nothing to their faces. And usually it involves all sorts of unkind names not worth writing. People know. They really do. But they are cowards too. As for your kids, they will be alright, they know. But SC, it is time for some sports analogies for you. You just have to run your own race. Some people will be faster, some slower but it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you’re in the game and playing to the best of your ability. As the baseball pitchers say, you just have to trust your stuff. People notice you too and over time you will get all of the props you rightfully deserve for running your own race, trusting your stuff and staying on the field come hell or high-water. One final sports analogy, Yogi Berra once said, just because you’re in a slump doesn’t mean you can’t hit. You have to believe in yourself SC. You’re a litigator – probably incredibly good and a “go-to” pro at work. You’re raising 4 kids to be spectacular people one day. You have a home (bigger than a house) that is filled with love and support. You don’t need any new equipment – you’re doing great with what you have. Trust it.

  • He got the $ and the shallow fake life. You got the kids. You win. Seriously though, what lousy state do you live in that doesn’t give a hoot about the wellbeing of children when you have 83% custody/placement and they only mandate 2% of salary for four children. That is just so messed up. I am so glad I live where I do, they are much more generous with the child support.

    P.S. I hate politicians.

    • As a Frequent Flyer in Family Court, I can tell you that financial decisions in divorces are rarely governed by specific laws, they are governed by power in ‘negotiations.’

  • All this money and the best she could do was a guy who doesn’t really care for his 4 (four) children??? Once I read an article about a German super rich woman who bravely testified against a guy, an escorts who defrauded her. She was super rich, good looking (in her forties) and accomplished, too. When I saw his photo I couldn’t believe that she’d actually paid for him bc I wouldn’t even look at him for free. All that money and some women still end up with shit.

  • Consider yourself LUCKY. Most of us here that have to co-parent live in constant hell of the N’s that won’t leave us alone. That are constantly fighting us to have 50/50 (only so they don’t have to pay child support) With the time they do have with their children, the children suffer. All mine does is watch the Ipad and TV with very little interaction with N or OW.

    So, look at the positives. At least your’s pays child support and isn’t using all that money to take your kids away from you.

    Count those blessings!! Let him live his life and hopefully he’ll continue to ignore yours. Believe me life is Easier that way !

    Someday don’t worry. Karma will get them!

  • Super Chump, I always felt an affinity with you as a sister litigator and mom-of-four also. My X of 25 years, a very successful Big Law partner met a young goldigger on an elevator ride —his twu luv 4ever…. kids found evidence on Christmas and he turned on all of us with his venom and rage and was gone. Turns out he was also fucking an older client, someone I knew, who is batshit crazy, and some other woman. I’m sure now he was never who he said he was. It was all an elaborate con job. He too walked away from our children and lives a childless-lifestyle with trips all over the world. What a complete loser. He has nothing in common with me and nothing I want.

    I’m trying my best to build my new life and be the sane mom. So far (4.5 years in) I’m doing a great job but this is hard work somedays.

    SC, I hope you are well. I care!

    • I am a big fan of your’s MotherChumper99,
      You sure are Mighty!
      Much love to you and your precious Children! ❤️

    • I too am a litigator with 3 children, and was married to ex for 25 years when I uncovered an astonishing double life. When caught, ex walked away and immediately made plans to marry one of his AP’s. They now live in a million dollar mansion and apparently hold themselves out as simply fabulous human beings…and ex has nothing to do with our 3 children, has not seen any of them in years, has not seen youngest (now 19) since the day ex walked out 7+ years ago. I’ve attended high school, college, law school and grad school graduations alone, paid for everything, supported them financially and emotionally. I’m remarried to a much better man, but will probably be forever bewildered by what ex did and how he could abandon his own children (all 3 of whom absolutely rock). His loss, I know, but it’s a mindf*** of epic proportions,

  • Well, when his cranky ass turns old,
    she can spend her millions on purchasing designer attends for him,
    with matching wipes.

  • I wish we had “Where are they now?” posts to check up on some of these former chumps and see how they are doing (and if the karma bus has arrived yet too).

  • Okay, money matters. Having a place to live, food to eat, clothing, etc.–all that takes money.

    But being a good parent means more than waving around the big bucks. Here’s my anecdote for the day.

    One of my great-uncles owned a bar during the Depression. He made a lot of money for that era, so much money that when one of the kids had a birthday, they would come down to breakfast to find a $100 bill on their plate. Money was rolling in!

    But he was a lousy father. That money? In later years, when those children were grown and had children my age, they said that they’d have given all that money for a card that their father had picked out and signed.

    The money was the easy thing for him. The parenting part was not.

    It turned out their biological father died when they were still fairly young. Their mother remarried a successful barber, and while money was never lacking, it was never rolling in as it had previously. Their stepfather was a big, loud, and sometimes crass man who treated their mother like a queen and was a bazillion times better father to them than their own father had ever been.

  • There are a couple of issues braiding themselves together in this letter: one, is of course, the pain and suffering for the chump and kids after a jackass parasite cheater finds a new host; second is the terrible asymmetry created when the cheaters have resources they don’t share with the abandoned family; third, there are the bankrupt values that privilege mansions and Maseratis and vapid press coverage over love and commitment. In a way, SuperChump’s references to the breathless coverage of these two sociopaths explains why we need Chump Lady in the first place: the ignorant , fairy-tale media fueled worship of soul mater Schmoopies, especially if they are bazillionaires. Some rich bitch bought a sparkly husband. Soul mates! And in their 13% of custody, they show off kids in designer clothes they can’t wear in their real home. A veritable Potemkin family photo shoot.

    I can’t think of any life experience I’ve had that sharpened and clarified my values more than being betrayed and discarded by an empty disordered person. And one effect of having sharper values is seeing how shallow much of our culture is. To my mind, Bazillionairess are destroying the world in a hundred different ways, so I don’t find them attractive in any way. There’s a reason Jesus told his disciples that it was hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He meant, I think, that rich people often worship money and stuff. Back in the last century, Andrew Carnegie was so worried over his own soul, and the bodies of dead and maimed workers he built his empire on, that he started giving all his money away to create libraries and cultural centers that his workers had no time to visit.

    This is where gratitude comes in. This is where we get ruthless about sorting out what matters. Those kids, who need to know that money isn’t everything. The more chumps feel that money and stuff is “fabulousness” and that stepping up to be a single mom on a tight budget is being a “loser,” the more we risk teaching our kids those bankrupt values. Money doesn’t last. Often it’s put to work in ways that destroy the planet and the lives of the poor. It buys politicians and tears down whole forests and is currently devastating most of the species on our planet. The highest value is love–love for what is in front of us, every day, love that manifests in caring and growth, not a spread in Vanity Fair. The people we should value the most? The ones working every day to make life better for other people.

  • A box of Miss Clariol Havana Brown to dye a 50 year old man’s beard so people might stop thinking he is his own baby’s grandpa, or a 5 million dollar house with a fancy car parked in the driveway…. it all has the same purpose…image management. It’s not real or genuine, and it doesn’t last.

    WHere are you putting your treasure and investing it? What do YOU value? Roots eventually grow out, houses burn down and even the fanciest of cars rust out. Kids you have a parent they can count on? You can’t buy that, you grow it. When you are old, your children will care and comfort you. Your ex can take comfort in his car….

  • Happy people don’t feel the need to have media coverage broadcasting their tru luv. I would never be envious of anyone who was so into image management that they didn’t invite their own children to their wedding, they obviously didn’t want any reminders of how their relationship started.

  • In the final heart smashing scenes of “Terms of Endearment”, the feckless cheating lying “Flap” husband character is saying essentially good bye to his wife, Emma, played by Debra Winger in a hospital bed.

    She’s dying of cancer, dying young, with three small children. In a scene that is highly manipulative but works- she puts on make up ( like a high school play she jokes ) with her best friend to hide her pale cancer face to tell her children good bye. Forever.

    There is that shattering line to her oldest son who is on the cusp of surly adolescence and torn between insouciant disrespect and crying like a child:

    “One day you’re going to miss me.” She says to the boy.

    Now, why I am a blathering on about this?

    In that same flow of scenes, Flap comes in to dither about who gets the kids. Flap has essentially left her completely for a grad whore named Janice, and even structured their move so Janice could be at his new University Post. He constructed a life of 1 million lies for his wife.

    Emma- weak and pitiful from cancer says- Janice will not be around my kids- tired, sad but sure.

    Flap, sitting on her hospital bed and holding her hand says with all earnestness, even tenderly:

    She’s not that bad.

    No dreadful music cues that this is a villain. No character beats the sh*t out of him for such a monstrous act: Defending the honor of the other woman whore TO HIS WIFE as his wife is literally dying of cancer.

    The movie went on to win many Oscars. But this particular little horror show is not acknowledged in review I have read.

    As a chump, when you watch it now, you recoil at the cruelty of it.

    As much as we wish, society is 100 years behind us in accepting the emotional mental physical and financial devastation that adultery and cheating piles on the head of the victim like hot coals.

    Flap is not painted as an a sociopath who should be destroyed in cinematic justice. He’s painted as a bumbling fumbling flawed man. Who just made a mistake.

    The world still sees men who cheat with a wink wink and a nudge. The world will not validate your pain( only here).

    You have to go get a new life that rocks. It’s the only true cure. As my clients says in prison:

    You don’t even see them.

    • Emma was also an OW. Oh, but that was ok because her OM was a poor sad sausage who wasn’t getting enough at home. Does anybody care about his wife?

      • I know that. 🙄

        The point is that a man is passionately defending his OW to his young wife days from her death and it is accepted as normal. It doesn’t cause a gasp. It’s not deemed obscene.

        But in all honesty, and I don’t care what apocalyptic spasms this causes- I look back at all the opportunities I had to cheat on the Maggot and I did not-with regret.

        I wish I had. I wish I had found a bit of joy instead of losing three years, my job, money and my sanity to a monster. Who has

        Never
        Looked
        Back.

        The hysterical self righteous and pious posts on this site are such a turn off. Don’t waste your time frantically writing me back- I won’t be logging back in to read your illiterate and unenlightened come back’s. I actually have important things to do.

        You come here to offer sympathy to someone here – as this is a life threatening event- and some smart mouth INEVITABLY always has to chime in with the post that makes them seem better than anyone else.

        Saintly. Above reproach. Inhumanly perfect.

        It does make you understand and I know this is heresy on this site -as to why someone would want to leave them. Why someone would escape their smothering smug piety. Not everyone here- but a strong group.

        A small does of your personality in the posts is enough to make me cringe.

        So in advance- go fuck off. 😊😊😊
        Have a great day!!!

        • Oh no, you have it all wrong. It was ex who was the inhumanly perfect one not me. I couldn’t keep up. That’s why he left me. It’s all a matter of perspective (or maybe just priorities). 😉

        • My, aren’t We a delicate, special little snowflake, erupting over a comment about a *film* with such cruel and insane nonsense. If you really mean it when you say you’re not logging on ever again, thank you. However, I doubt you will be able to resist. This kind of behavior is very familiar to me. You seem like you could have borderline personality disorder. I’ve known several BPDs and this kind of out of proportion reactivity to something which a rational person would not consider the least bit offensive is typical of the disorder. They can’t bear to be disagreed with, even on trivial issues. They feel persecuted when it happens and turn on the person with ugliness and hatred. Somebody just points something out about a film character, and you shit all over her for it? Sheer kookery of the character disordered variety.

  • I don’t know how you do it CL but you must have a sixth sense or something because I really needed this today.

    Two days ago, I found out thru my daughters that their father and his OW/new wife have purchased a second home in sunny Florida. They have new cars (not mazaratis but NICE cars), a hot tub in their backyard, take nice vacations and have been able to make other extravagant purchases. And here I am doing the daily slog hoping to make ends meet and knowing I will NEVER have those things. The first thing that came to my mind was how on earth are shitty people like that rewarded for their bad behavior by being able to afford these EXTRA pleasures in life?? UGH!!! Meanwhile our daughters are forced to get student loans. I would (but can’t) help them with this expense. He could (but won’t) because he is selfish!

    I keep telling myself that he and his wife appliance may have material things but I have the love and RESPECT of my daughters which he will never have.

    • You have values. If you had money for a second home, you would wait to buy it until the kids finished college. It’s that simple.

      You love. You are capable of love.

      My role model for “extra pleasures in life” is my friend who was a Cambodian refugee. She walked across Cambodia with 5 small children to get them to a refugee camp in Laos after her husband was shot in the front yard during Pol Pot’s genocide. They waited for asylum in the U.S. and came here speaking no English. The kids and now grandkids? They own businesses, hold down good jobs, graduated from college. Her “extra pleasure” in life? Seeing her kids grow up. I’ve never once heard her complain about anything material. Plus this woman who never saw a turkey makes the best gravy at Thanksgiving.

      I wish we could see material things above and beyond our basic needs as weight to carry. It’s one thing for chumps who can’t make the rent or pay for car repairs to ask why the cheater won’t pay a little more to take care of the kids. It’s another thing not to see that their excessive life styles come at the expense of others. The more they have, the further they get from real happiness. They are living on a lower plane of existence, where stuff is the coin of the realm and spiritual values aren’t important. Our happiness comes when we don’t live on their plane.

    • Kimmy, you are better off. For a lot of us, divorce means taking our lifestyle down a notch or three. But in time, we sort out what is important, and that matters much more than any fancy window dressing. Just being able to make informed decisions based on verifiable facts was a luxury I hadn’t experienced in years. Having peace in my life was a fair trade for that nice house Cheater X got to keep. And, not surprisingly, it’s easier to live well and within my means without the financial drain of a fucktard keeping up with the Joneses.

      • Survivor……………I totally agree with you! The peace I gained in the divorce is worth the price I had to pay to get it. With the knowledge of his new vacation home came the realization that I had been lied to FOR YEARS about his income from his business. That hurts so very much and makes me feel very foolish (not just for being cheated on). All of his recent large purchases proves that he took advantage of my trust financially as well as emotionally. What a creep!!!

    • People who spend money on lavish things and lifestyles are trying to replace what is missing in their lives, namely love and meaningful connections to other people and or the world around them, with material things. They are trying to buy happiness, respect, and admiration but the things they can buy are a poor substitute for the real thing that can only be bought with genuine love, caring, goodwill and concern for others.

    • Someone who buys a second home and weasels out of educating their kids…that is some epic selfishness in my book. I lay no blame on parents who straight-up cant afford higher education but too many keep buying toys and let their kids drown in debt.

      Had a meeting with lawyer today to see if we have a case to force newhusbands XW to pay the half of college that was agreed upon in their divorce decree. She had a loophole built in that she only has to pay if she gets to pick the school and the XW picked nearby Bumfuck U even though D was accepted into a “Top 50 in the US” Univ. New-husband is paying for all of the costs of the better school. His D is his only child and this is important to him, so Im in full support. (It does help that he already saved the money for it).

      In the end, the XW will keep showing who she is. My stepdaughter said someday she hopes “to do something important like Unicornomore does”.

  • Hi, off topic. Remember that story I did on financial infidelity for AARP? (A member of CN is the lede!), it’s the subject of discussion at a new forum for The Girlfriend — and they’re looking for comments.

    I’d hazard a guess that most of us were chumped in more ways than one. Here’s a chance to change the narrative. You can comment here:
    https://community.aarp.org/t5/Friends-Family/My-Spouse-Cheated-On-Me-Financially-Is-This-More-Devastating/m-p/2142540?_ga=2.113303047.1091939470.1557840857-452202663.1556144281#M1990

  • This is precisely why adultery, abandonment, desertion, etc. should be severely punished through a divorce law that heavily sanctions the perpetrator.
    The wealth/income of the perpetrator’s new partner shoud be taken into account as well when it comes to the division of assets, alimony, etc.
    In this case chump should have gotten 100%.

    Or/and something codified as fraud should be introduced in the code of law for all these cases.
    Fraud it is; as fraud it should be inscribed in the law.

    • In CA, child support can be fixed on the incomes of BOTH parent and new spouse. So I don’t see why you can’t go back to court and request a larger amount based on actual percentage of custodial time.

      And remember: just because it’s all on camera doesn’t mean their life is all perfect.

      • I have serious issues with child support including the income of a new spouse.

        On the one hand, I get the desire in a situation where he marries the OW and she has to pay.
        However, all this will do will make it impossible for divorced people with kids to remarry.
        Who in their right mind would marry someone and then you suddenly have to pay a percentage of your income for kids that aren’t yours ?

        My Ex cheater took me to the cleaners in the divorce due to the current horrible divorce laws. Today she and the OM live high on the hog from my child support money driving brand new fancy cars, having a huge new house etc while I struggle and drive the same car that I’ve had for 11 years. Meanwhile if I don’t buy the kids clothes or pay for their summer camp, they go without. If she could get a penny of my wife’s income, we would be in court in a hot second.

        I feel for those of you reading this who got chumped and struggle financially. However if this ever went to the other states, anyone divorced with kids can forget about getting remarried until the kids are adults.

        I think personally that they should bring back the alienation of affection laws where if like in this case today someone steals your spouse, you can sue them for that.

        • You are right, Laughing Gator.

          Had not thought of the case you describe. And am sure there are all sorts of cases and nuances.

          What I was trying to express is that there should be some mechanism by which these people are brought to justice financially, and without it being costly for the chump.

          I am also of the opinion that if there were real cultural/social sanctioning, of infidelity, of abandoning spouse and children, it would likely go a long way, particularly since these individuals are so keen on protecting their image.

        • Aren’t there some jurisdictions where you can still do that? I agree that this should be universal.
          Why should the AP get away with her/his part in breaking up a family. It seems like the institution of the family is no longer valued. Neither is the institution of marriage. We live in a society built by and for ruthless narcissists.

          • There are. Sometimes they even win, but they are then pilloried by society for being bitter poor losers and/or controlling of the cheating spouse (he doesn’t own her, etc.). They forget that the cheating spouse had an agreement with the chump that was unilaterally broken with the encouragement of the AP without formal dissolution (ie. divorce). The cheating spouse will always claim the affair had nothing to do with falling out of love with the spouse and most people believe it. You have to have a thick skin to follow up something like that and just not care what other people think.

      • I am in CA, and I was not allowed to consider new spouses income.
        it goes on the form, but is not used to calculate child support.

        I see both sides. I wish it had been included in my situation, to demonstrate that my ex is not living a difficult (govt housing, no rent or utilities, etc).

  • Jack Welch, CEO of GE dumped his first wife, dumped his second wife, who had the wiles to get a HUGE chunk of his money and he married his third much younger wife after “falling” for her when she interviewed him. He is just so deep, isn’t he? We have so many examples of these creeps that get fawned over because they are rich that I give up.

    • Remember: rich people own mainstream media. So what we see is what they value. We do not have to participate in this low level of existence.

    • I wonder if the interview was with her accountant or landscaper or plumber if she would have fallen so hard. And I’m sure Jack Welch thinks she loves him and his awesomeness, not his bank account. There’s something about a dick being attached to an ATM that causes so much instant love.

  • Comparison is the killer of joy- Theodore Roosevelt.

    Someone else’s success is not your failure. There will ALWAYS be someone who is prettier, richer, thinner, whose kids go to better schools, get higher SAT scores, etc. than you, so get yourself to a point where you are proud of what YOU have done, of who YOU are, and leave the “I need external validation” people to eat each other.

    My ex had a 5 year affair ( one of many, sometimes concurrent..) with a more successful, more famous version of me (wow.. so sorry for ONLY being a published author and speaker in my field and supporting us while you worked at a nowhere job..*rolls eyes*.). He even made me watch his AP’s Documentary on PBS before I knew what was going on, and we talked about how smart this guy was, so I get how much it hurts to have it rubbed in your face, but trust me, the facade will come crashing down, it invariably does. The best revenge is by living your life well, being the consistent adult in your kids lives. Model the behavior you want them to emulate and don’t worry about competing, your kids will learn which parent they can turn to when the chips are down.

  • Whenever I encounter someone living what I call a “Puff-Puff Life” — those people who place unwarranted or excessive emphasis on money, economic position, political influence and/or social status yet they offer little in the way of real character — I do two things:

    (1) I remind myself that it’s nothing more than Impression Management.

    (2) I picture them with a bad case of food poisoning, complete with vomiting and explosive diarrhea… it really helps to level the playing field.

  • Yes, one would think the kids’ struggles would ring bells. My DD attempted suicide and texted her father “now you will listen bastard.” He did not come while she was in the hospital (he moved away) and 4 years later still blames me for her going NC with him.

    It’s all about them. They are the victims.

  • This is a little out of my character, but why not continuously out them? Why not continuously expose the truth on your FB posts or other social media? Why not continuously talk about the day to day of raising the children and shut that shiny crap down? I don’t know if I could do it but maybe a litigator can with her eloquence 😉

    • I sure as hell would. I’d be all over social media with it. If she just tells the truth and sticks to the facts of what happened, they would never be able to win a libel suit. She’s a litigator, so she knows the drill. I’m betting she’s collected evidence.
      Ms. Moneybags could throw all the money she has at it and they’d still lose. It could ruin them financially and that would be such sweet revenge. Without all that money, the gold-digging cheater wouldn’t stick around long.

  • Any man that walks away from a wife and four kids that he apparently wanted is a creep.

    The evil may appear to flourish. But they are heartless freaks. It’s all about possessions and money, relationships are interchangeable. Sad.

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