I was married for 25+ years to a serial cheater, liar, sex addict, abuser, manipulator (yeah, he was all that and a bag of chips). I finally threw him out last summer and we were divorced last fall — best thing I ever did.
We haven’t communicated much (a good thing), but we do meet briefly once a month or so, to coordinate a monthly settlement payment and legal paperwork. Also, our college age son is living at his dad’s house, and we’ve had to discuss issues about him.
Like so many cheaters — less than two weeks after being tossed from my house, my ex moved in with another woman with several kids, who is still in the process of a divorce. He love bombed her, rushed the relationship, and told our friends and family that he was thinking about marrying/buying a house with her, that they were “meant to be” — all after supposedly only knowing her a few weeks. I’ve just stayed out of it figuring he is still the same old loser he’s always been.
Last time we talked, though, he out of the blue asked, “Would you be willing to talk to my new girlfriend? She wants to communicate with you about what kind of person I am, and learn more about my background.”
After picking my jaw off the floor, I said, “Are you sure about that? Because I wouldn’t lie to her about anything. At all.”
He said, “I know, I’m not asking you to.” He claims he has been totally honest with her and that he is a changed man.
I told him I’d have to think about it. Some part of me feels like “Yes! Time to release the truth hounds! Maybe this woman/victim can be saved from throwing away years of life, love and trust on this truly awful human being.”
But mostly I think I am just being played somehow, since he is the one asking and since she has clearly rushed into things, too. I think they’ll just write it off as “see how crazy the ex-wife is?”
Should I just walk away? Or should I have “the talk” with the new woman in his life about what I really think of him and what kind of person he is, if the opportunity arises?
Thanks a million,
Oh man. You asked the wrong person. I have a big mouth. I would relish nothing more than to provide a character reference for a “serial cheater, liar, sex addict, abuser, manipulator.” I would probably come armed with PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheets, flip charts and a whole freaking multimedia display complete with laser pointer. She could take the whole mess — his dating profiles, porn, furtive emails, decades of double life evidence — home in a monogrammed duffle bag.
But I have the nagging feeling this is the wrong thing to do, as delicious and irresistible as it would be. See, SummerGirl, I have this weakness of trying to speak truth to stupid. At the end of the day, I’m still a big chump, and think I possess superpowers that compel people to do The Right Thing. (The thing I want them to do, of course. I’m noble that way… [cough].)
All the evidence points to the fact that she knows exactly who he is, a cheater. It’s just that she, like countless affair partners before her, thinks that she’s Special. Oh no, he’s a changed man. It’s different with her. Her love is the perfect love that can save him. You were awful and you misunderstood him, but she is the Fated One, whom the heavens bless. This relationship is a guaranteed train wreck, but no, They Love Against the Odds and they will win!
Truth meet Stupid.
Was it a coincidence that she divorced at just the same time you threw him out? Is there a dating site for recent divorcees who want to shack up together in under two weeks? No, SummerGirl. She’s just another OW, and you don’t owe her anything. Except to stand by and let karma flatten her.
Your ex is a practiced manipulator. I can’t untangle the skein, but I can guess at a couple motivations for such a stupid request. a) He’s so narcissistically delusional he thinks you’d really tell her how wonderful he is, and it would be extra kibbles for him. b) He’d like you to come across as upset and angry to his Schmoopie about their affair, so he gets the hit of how naughty they are. And you unwittingly add that extra frisson of torridness to their love life. c) He wants you to play straight man to the No, He’s Really Changed! routine.
I think it’s “c.” I imagine such an encounter would go like this — you would present evidence to her that he’s every bit the disordered wingnut and she would go “Oh no. He’s totally changed now. With me, it’s different!” And then she might trot out the incredible character changing remedies they’ve tried — He read a book! He went to counseling! He had past life regression therapy! Then with great condescension she would “apologize” for taking him from you. You’ll just have to understand SummerGirl, that it was bigger than them both, and you failed to love him the way she loves him.
I think you’ve got better things to do than listen to her crap. They’re two people doing crazy, irresponsible shit. Because they want to. They’re either self-destructive, narcissistic, delusional, or all three. I’m sorry children are involved. That makes me want to pull out the super suit and cape and save her from her stupidity, but it’s a force bigger than us both. The stupidity cannot be denied.
SummerGirl, I think the way to play this is leave them the hell alone. Go no contact (or minimal contact, considering your son.) If he asks? Your reply is:
“I’ve got nothing to say. I think your character speaks for itself.”
And then stand back and get on with your life. I hear the whistle of the karma train…
This one ran before. Home soon…