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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Dad’s day to all the chump men! Hope you’re out celebrating today and being celebrated.

If you’re going through the infidelity and divorce crucible right now, and the Hallmark bonhomie of Intact Family Celebrations turns you off, please know it gets better. Like I tell all the moms on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is your chance to celebrate YOUR way and make this day about YOU. (Yes, my chumpy friend, your needs don’t have to be microscopic on this or any other holiday.)

Thanks for all you do to be the Sane Parent. Thanks for setting a good example. Thanks for giving every straight woman and gay guy here hope that Good Men Exist. We love you and we wouldn’t be Chump Nation without you.

And a special shout out to my husband who is a wonderful father. To his corny jokes, to making Everything A Teaching Moment, to his love of baseball, popcorn, and BBQ, to his spoiling dogs to a ridiculous degree (he bakes them DOG CAKES for their birthdays!) to his being the sane guy who Shows Up — thank you. My own son’s father ghosted him (here’s to the healing powers of step fathers!) and today my son is proud to call my husband his parent.

Let’s share our Good Guy stories and show our appreciation for the awesome dads out there.

Happy Dad’s Day!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Thank you for letting us know we are not alone. I’m a year in, and my ex wife is, today, still threatening me and trying to give up custody of the kids at every turn. And the kicker is, it’s always done under the guise of being my fault.

  • Yep, happy Father’s Day to the good guys out there. Pretty much any many can father a child but it takes a real man to raise one, so cheers to you all!

  • A father ghosting a child…? We’re dealing with that too. As usual, if I didn’t do it then nothing got done. Not even his pretend parenting. How can one ignore such beautiful children?
    We, the sane parents are blessed. I hurt for my kids knowing they have a shit father. I now blame myself for that choice. I was in a fog for 20 years.
    I’m sorry they do not have a loving father to celebrate and bestow gifts upon. He probably wouldn’t have liked their gifts anyway….
    Least their grandpa (my dad) is amazing.

  • no-way, I’m going to wish you and all the single mothers out there raising their children without a father – a Huge Happy Fathers Day to you!

  • And to all those chump men out there who wanted to be a father …. It does get better. This is not the end. My story is I am remarried and a father to a girl by marriage. Can’t imagine my world without that beautiful munchkin! That only happened because I left a cheater. So, take heart and do not despair if you in the meaving part of it all.

  • And to all those chump men out there who wanted to be a father …. It does get better. This is not the end. My story is I am remarried and a father to a girl by marriage. Can’t imagine my world without that beautiful munchkin! That only happened because I left a cheater. So, take heart and do not despair if you in the meaving part of it all.

  • I’m actually finding Father’s Day harder than Mother’s Day … everyone posting pictures on Facebook of their fabulous husbands and fathers. My dad died a month after D-Day — thank goodness he never had to find out. And I fee fortunate to have had a dad like him who would have done anything for us and my mom in his quiet, understated, reclusive way. 🙂 Here’s to all the dads and moms who stick around and get it done. <3

    • This is one of the many reasons I got off FB and other social media. It got exhausting always seeing the “perfect family” scenario play out in snapshots and quotes. And no matter how you remind yourself that no family is perfect OR that your life is light years better than it was before OR that it’s OK to live a life different than others…it still feels like a kick in the pants, especially when you were one of those boring old monogamists who so wanted that simple, family life. So, I feel gratitude for what I have and happy for my friends that they were able to achieve that family life…and that’s way easier to do without the play-by-play on social media.

      • I’m 100% with you on that. Two years off social media now, best decision I ever made (after kicking out a cheater, of course).

    • Hilarious,
      Same here.
      My DD is with her dad (exh2/The Evil One) and the OWife/Mrs dumb-ass.
      I was asked in a group on Facebook what I gave exhs for Father’s Day — I gave two responses: 1. Same thing they’ve given me for Mother’s Day o er the last year’s — nothing; 2. My sons are grown with full-time jobs and homes of their own, they are more than capable of getting their dad something and DD has OWife to get him something.
      I did send TEO’s dad a card signed by DD and a gift certificate to a restaurant nearby their house.
      I’ve been home with the dog all day playing Candy Crush and Pet Rescue.
      Days like this suck for me. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

      • Wow, people asked you what you got him?! That’s crazy. Father’s Day wasn’t a big deal at all in our family so I didn’t expect the kick in the gut — I need to stop being so surprised by the emotional impact of every holiday!

      • I just finished a monthlong declutter- 3 carloads to the donation center and 6 cans of trash. Today I gave Ex a big box of his junk that I found during the cleanup, stuff he hasn’t seen in 9 years and never asked about. Happy Father’s Day Douchecanoe!

      • Ok, I was able to figure out the abbreviations (urban dictionary for DD, dear daughter) and finally guessed TEO (the evil one, right?). But would people posting w/uncommon abbreviations (at least for us relative newbies) please give at least one explanation/definition of their abbreviations so those abbreviation-challenged of us can get a better handle on what you’re trying to say? I really do want to understand what you’re saying.

        Either that, or maybe CL could add some of these to her list of terms page? I’m sorry, I know you have a ton going on CL. It’s just that either one of those things would make understanding what people are posting so much easier. I’m not trying to piss anyone off (especially CL). I simply thought if I’m thinking it, maybe others are, too.

  • Happy father’s day bros!
    What is it with these women who see us regular nice guys, average Jax types that sets us up for a backstabbing? Do they just think we’re too ordinary ( mine told her my so called ‘ friend’- ‘ sexually he’s just the same old thing’ )? Is there a sign taped to our backs that says ‘ cheaters stab here ‘? I asked my therapist how she could sit there and watch her ‘lover’ at cookouts drink with me (and his wife is there too) and not show not a hint of guilt? My ‘therapist’ said ‘ they’re just wired differently ‘! I’m still trying to figure that one out. How/when did they get ‘wired’ differently? Aren’t serial killers also ‘wired differently’? It’s mindboggling! Thank goodness for Chump lady and CN or I’d go bonkers! I’m glad I’m just an average Jax – I realize now that’s just what being REAL is. That’s what a real father is too!

    • I’m not a parent, but about a month in from DD and I had the same exact thought today! Did somebody put a sign on my back that says “chump”? Thanks for making me feel less alone. Thank goodness for CN is right.

      Happy Father’s Day!!

      • Well, we do, in fact, “wear a sign.” The narcs and rapists observe potential victims carefully before they go after their prey. When women go out in public, we are taught all these rules to keep ourselves safe from attackers. If we get assaulted, people question whether we were following the rules (walking alone at night? skirt length? etc.) After being chumped by TWO partners, I was convinced that I could no longer display kind, caring, compassionate, helpful behavior, because I was making myself a target, just as if I had worn an expensive ring and gotten robbed. This is how terrorists control their victims — they make us limit our own choices, police our own behavior, and blame ourselves for being victimized. Of course, even if you do everything you were supposed to do to prevent “enticing” a perpetrator to harm you, you can still get attacked (or cheated on). I value CL and this site so much because everyone works hard to challenge this situation and change it.

    • Well put @Jax and you’re pretty much right on the mark — these narcs (both genders) seem to sniff out us decent, hard-working, will-always-show-up-when-needed chumps and have the knack to love-bomb us into docility — however they can’t keep the mask up forever and eventually we’re just too boring (faithful) or whatever and off they go —and yep, I reckon they actually enjoy tormenting and humiliating us by parading the unknown AP right in front of us (in my personal case, I got conned into bringing the OM into my house as a ‘guest’ for a few days, letting him sleep there, play with my kids, drink my beer, having me cook for him — nope, I won’t ever forgive that for either of them)

      At least our kids have one sane parent that will always be there for them.

      P.S. Father’s Day was actually the previous Sunday here in EU and my kids brought me some lovely hand-made cards & gifts that they’d done in their school — those are the best gifts, the ones you make yourself — will be going up on the wall in my new place soon 🙂

    • Out from the Shadows,

      My God, you’ve struck nerve! My XW had an affair w/her (now) former boss, but also now full-time lover/condomate (he’s paying for the condo. Buying/paying for things is the only type of thing the rich prick bastard can do). I’m pretty sure from things the XW said (before she left me) that she thinks she and he are an “alpha” male and female, while I am just a “beta” or worse.

      Well, I’ve got news for her and him, and all like them. The whole “alpha” theory is incorrect. It’s been refuted by the person whose research w/wolves originally coined the term, who said a mistake was made in the research.

      I know this is generalizing, but for me it helps to think that what is going on is there are assholes/evil people and good people in this world, and all shades in-between. And those that tend more towards the asshole side see little to no problem in fucking over those closer to the good person side. Which can be further detailed in how/why they are assholes by personality disorders, mental problems, bad environments they were raised in, etc. But effectively, they’re assholes that are good at finding and manipulating those of us who assume the best in other people, until those people prove otherwise.

      I thoroughly believe and empathize w/you in the example you gave of the XW rubbing the AP right under your nose. Mine allowed our young son and I to go to a work-related hockey game (higher ed supporting their team), where she sat between me and her AP boss and talked the whole game w/him while I studied for a web development course during the game to try and find a better job to help please the wife and better support our family.

      At half-time (or a break), her AP boss had the gall (I later realized) to quiz me on what I was studying, how the course was going, etc. (did I mention he was the boss OVER the head of the higher ed institution where I was taking the course?) All while they both knew they were carrying on the affair behind my back and his wife’s. It hit me months later after D-day that they both acted as if everything was normal, and I suspected nothing (Academy Award performance by him. She just continued to be extremely cold to me, which had become the norm at that point). Who can do that w/out cracking their mask? Differently wired people, indeed.

      Let them and all like them long suffer each other’s fuckwittedness. I’m moving on to a much better life w/out both of them, but especially the XW. I hope you are, too. And I hope your kids appreciate you as much as they should.

      My two older girls recently told me that they can’t stand their mother’s AP. That he’s an idiot at trying to converse w/them (proof that a higher degree doesn’t guarantee you’re not one), and that the XW has accused them of not wanting her to be “happy.” They said their mother has definitely changed (something the XW personally told me about herself on D-day. It took me a while, but I finally admitted to her that she HAD changed, but had she changed for the better?) Now I realize she never really changed, she just let the mask drop. The one that I was too in love w/her to see.

      So, happy belated Father’s Day to you, and to all the other fathers out there trying to be the sane, normal father that cares about their kids in the wake of infidelity.

      • Excellent points — our exes didn’t really change, but just let the mask drop on who they really were

        I’d love to know about the incorrect “alpha” theory research @thelongrun — as a techie-male-chump that kind of thing fascinates me at the moment (or I admit a bit of an obsession as I continue to work my way through this). Maybe articles like this are a good start?

        Really crap what you had to deal with right literally in the seat next to you and fits the cheater gender profile too. The guy (her OM in this case) is quite capable of compartmentalising his idle chatting with you and the hidden secret of what he’s up to with your ex. While your ex wants to be ‘faithful’ to her OM and so is cold to you (I had that exact same coldness towards me too and when I found out exactly when the affair started I could see the precise change of behaviour, or as you said, the mask slipping away to reveal the true character). My mum recently said that ex appeared “difficult”, which is her polite way of saying she’s a heartless bitch. But as you said too, we were too in love with them, or rather had been effectively love-bombed to see the reality.

        A recent celebrity example of what your 2 girls expressed is Gwyneth ‘Goop’ Paltrow and her new beau. After the 2 cheaters got married they still can’t live in the same house as his 2 teenage daughters hate Goopy and refuse to create a ‘blended’ family with her.

        Happy Father’s Day to you too and to all !!!

  • Struggle that adult children think that their father is a good father. He broke up their family for a tramp from work. He is a typical
    Narc, do as I say not as I do!
    24 years of marriage and gets sympathy because he had been unhappy for a long time. He never mentioned his unhappiness to me and continued to make plans for our future until I discovered his deceitful behavior.

  • Hugs to all you Male Chumps. You’re in the minority, here, and valued like the rare jewels you are. Thank you for constantly reminding me that cheating isn’t a “man issue,” but rather a “flawed character issue.”

    • TorontoChump, I don’t think we’re actually in the minority here. Unless you mean specifically on CN. That might be true.

      But in the real world, I think the willingness to commit infidelity is somewhat evenly split between men and women. Women are gaining more observable power and recognition on the world stage (as they should as more than half the world’s population, not to mention it’s just the right, decent, humane way to coexist), and so the observable acts of infidelity by women are growing. Men have held more of the observable power and recognition for a long time, and so were the stereotype for infidelity because we were more in the spotlight, and had more power to do it. That’s starting to change.

      So I agree when you say it’s not a “man issue,” but a “flawed character issue.” Amen to that. And thanks for calling us rare jewels (although, to uphold my stereotype of manliness, could you instead say we’re
      Teslas, compared to the Yugos of our sex?). You, however, are a rare jewel for saying that. Happy sane, caring parent day to you, and to all females like you.

  • I’ll celebrate a REAL father–mine! Approaching 47, I discovered that my husband of almost 25 years had been cheating for over two years with a series of prostitutes and “lonely girlfriends” found through websites like backpage, friendfinder, Craigslist, and eroticmonkey. Ugh. When I told my dad his immediate reaction was a combination of complete shock (which validated me in the face of all the “you-must-have-suspected-something”) and total support! He even maintained a friendly face with the fuckwit while I worked through my denial and attempts to convince him how sparkly-special I was. Only after the support hearing–which my father financed–did he dare to tell me how relieved he is that I have finally recognized how much more I deserve and begun to give him glimpses of the brave and unique woman he raised. People say girls look to marry their fathers… I wish I had found a man who embodies the integrity, compassion, strength, gentleness, and respect that my father exudes–for my mom, for his two daughters, and for people in general. But it occurs to me that Chumps are usually accused of being “too nice” for their own good. I suspect a lot us have GREAT dads. I know that the example my father gave me probably added to my blindness that anyone could be so base and dishonorable. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to all of the good men out there; you are an inspiration and keep alive our faith in humanity.

  • Happy Father’s Day chumps!! You guessed it , we didn’t party enough because we were to busy working and raising our children. I gave and gave to this women, stopped hanging out with my friend, still it wasn’t enough WTF! Sacrificing ourselves for our children is what makes us who we are, not weak but a true father. God bless all of you chumps and keep moving forwards….

    • Rabbit007, you nailed it. After I dropped off the younger kids, I did their laundry and bought groceries for when I have them next.

  • My oldest, who is deployed with the Army FB messaged me. My second oldest, after reserve drills all weekend stopped by with a card signed by the other kids and a gift. Took the younger four to Mass with McDonald’s after. Good day.

    • Thingsthatmakemegrumpy, you are awesome father, keep doing what your doing brother. I’m very thankful to have such loving children, I just pray that my children don’t have the Mom’s traits. I always mention to my children to make wise choices in life, we all mistakes and that’s understood . No matter how much damage my x has caused , I will continue to move forwards and my kiddos come first in my life. Proud to be a chump and not a home wrecker!

  • I am a day late as I didn’t think to check ChumpLady yesterday but Happy Fathers Day to all of you chump Dads. Good father’s are priceless. Thank you for all that you d to help raise your children to be strong adults. For those whose ex’s are trying to sideline you, don’t give up. Keep trying to be as much of a Dad as you are able to your children and hopefully someday they will know you were always there for them.

  • Ah Father’s Day, the day that my Ex can try and twist a knife in me a little more. This is the 8th Fathers Day since the divorce but my Ex is nothing but hateful and predictable.

    My kids live 500 miles away with my Ex and their Stepfather/OM.
    Every Father’s Day a few days ahead of time she finds an excuse to punish them by confiscating their phones so that they can’t contact me. Next she puts on a big production with lots of pictures of the kids and the OM on Fathers Day on FB.
    Me ?? No cards, no letters, no texts no phone calls except a sweet card from my dog with my wife’s help. ????

    Later this week when they get their phones back, I will get calls and texts wishing me a Happy Fathers day from the kids.

    My point is for anyone going through this kind of painful nonsense, realize that as long as your kids love you that is all that matters despite what your hateful Ex does.

    • LG, your ex is pure evil. She is sick through and through to use your kids in such a twisted way.

      I’m so glad you’re not with her any more and are happily remarried. Someday the kids will know and see through it all.

  • My kids all know what their moms did. Their moms could give a shit. I too, was doing more than my share of child rearing and household chores etc. Worked extra jobs to try to keep up with their spending ( affairs cost, as does tanning, shopping sprees for 50 bikinis etc.)
    To this day, some 25 years from my first divorce and 13 from the second, neither has admitted or apologized. If the subject was ever brought up ( I stopped a long time ago), they deflect and flee.

  • Happy Father’s Day (belated) to all you wonderful Chumps who are showing up every day for your kids. We know the courts aren’t always fair to men in these situations and I just want you to know (from experience)… it isn’t always the number of days you get to spend with your child… but HOW you spend it with them. Don’t let court orders minimize your involvement… every extra curricular or school event is public access time… be there… show up to all 3 performances… your kids will notice.

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