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Dear Chump Lady, He wants a character reference

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Hi Chump Lady,

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,

SummerGirl

Dear SummerGirl,

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…

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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.
  • Oh my sweet Summer Girl, there can be no character reference where there is no character. I can only hope that Summer Girl followed Chump Lady’s advice and denied that disordered freak of a wasband any kibbles in the form of a character reference. Also I doubt that he just met that divorced woman with three kids only two weeks before she moved in with two kids. Don’t ever believe a liar. You will just get lied to again.

  • Triangulation alert! He’s flying solo now that you’re not waiting in the wings anymore & his new “relationship” just isn’t filling him up cuz there’s no one doing the pick me dance. Don’t take the bait SummerGirl, it’ll drive him insane wondering what you might have said.

  • This one sounds like a good Fun Friday… If you were to give references for cheater they would run like…

    Fried Friday!

  • I like when my ex says “stop living in the past, I’ve changed and only live in the present now”.
    Explain that to kids who are scared of his past alcoholic abusive behavior. My guess is they’re supposed to forget about it and think he’s Mr. Wonderful now? FML
    Still drinks smh

    • Yes, Keepmovingforward. My wasband loves to say “that was then, this is now”. Infuriates me to no end. Yeah, so our 3 kids are supposed to overlook the fact that you threw us away so you could go live in your dead parents house with your hunting and drinking buddy for months with minimal contact with us. I’m sorry but that behavior will not be forgotten by saying “that was then”.

    • My ex says this too! “If you want to continue to live in the past, that’s your choice.” Uhh, no. How about I continue to let the past inform the present. That’s called wisdom…

      • It seems to me I remember a comedy bit where someone was told to stop living in the past, and they punched the person who said it. When the punched person complained, the puncher said, “Hey, it’s in the past – stop living in the past!”

    • A Chump cannot forget the past because a Chump has a heart and a conscience.
      A cheater lives for the moment, a cheater lives for instant gratification, of whatever he/she wants in that moment.
      A cheater has no heart, a cheater has no conscience.
      BIG difference!

  • This is the ultimate cheater move, it’s a test.
    He wants the new woman to know and subscribe to the truth, because if she accepts this, it proves her boundaries are total crap and he gets the green light. That’s why he’s all for SummerGirl telling the truth, the worse, the better.

    • Yup – two people pulled me aside to tell me the truth about cheater, and I did the “Oh no. He’s totally changed now. With me, it’s different!” routine. Love conquers all.

      When DDay rolled around (inevitably), he said that I had known the truth about him and chosen to ignore it.

      Duh! When they tell you who they are, believe them.

      • I’m not sure he wants the OW to listen to the truth — just to hear it. That way, when she’s floored by his behavior sometime in the future, he can crow that she knew what to expect before she married him.

  • Hmm, sounds like a set up. If his new girlfriend wants to know about his character she can ask you herself. I am sure the girlfriend already knows what kind of guy he is. And her character is sure in the toilet. She cheated with a married man while she was married. Sounds like they are made for each other. If you contact the girlfriend it will be twisted around. You will most likely be betrayed as the bitter, angry ex who just can’t move on.

    • This.

      She already knows the character of the man. He’s a man who likes to cheat with other people’s wives, and she’s a cheater who cheats with other people’s husbands.

      What more is there to say?

      • The only reason to go would be if you could get something out of it you want (bargaining) and then go and then get there and say absolutely nothing and then maybe barf on her shoes, apologise cause you are a bit unwell and leave.

        And never speak of it again. But yeah I’m truth what goes through their heads, honestly. He might as well just get a character reference out of a Christmas cracker.

  • I know this ran before so maybe I’m too late but just, no! Nothing good comes of this. At best he has totally snowed her and she really believes he’s a changed man. At worst (and most likely) he’s made you the hypotenuse in his whacked out love triangle. He already has this woman pick-me-dancing if he wants her to speak to you. It’s not your circus or your monkeys anymore. Stay away from the geometry and live your best life.

  • If this happened to me, it would be very hard to turn down the chance to armchair-therapize the OW. That is who this woman is, right? (If she’s not an AP then doesn’t she deserve to know the guy is a louse straight up?) I find dumb, disordered people’s brains fascinating, but you have to be careful. The conversation can’t be about things as they relate to you. Let her vent to you. Then ask questions like a therapist would, like, “and how does that make you feel?” “what are you worried will happen?” “what do you think it says about your relationship that you are asking me for advice?” Don’t make statements about your ex. Don’t relate any of your personal experiences. Don’t give any personal info or details. if they ask personal questions, deflect by asking, “Is that his version? What do you think happened?” And then at the end of the hour say, “I just remembered something, and now I’ve got to go… do that.”
    And to play on advanced difficulty make her pay for your time, like by buying you lunch… at a place that you pay up front, not where the check comes at the end!
    It’s just a fantasy, however. Not a good idea in practice. Even still, this is a good way to approach any conversation you might be roped into with a disordered type, where still you want to appear cordial. Keep it all about them, keep it distant and don’t give them any ammunition.

    • Although I’d only consider talking to her if she showed up herself. If my ex asked me to do anything the answer would be *click*

  • This is clearly a quest for kibbles, likely for them both. I mean really? She wants to know what kind of guy he is when he moved in with her two weeks after getting kicked out? Don’t give them the drama they crave. I would ignore the message altogether. I wish we could get an update on this story since it’s a rerun.

  • Why in the world would you have anything to do with being the third side of a triangle with him? Goes against overcoming chumpdom 101.

    What does he want you to say, “yes, i was a horrible wife and drove him to cheat, but without me, he is a changed man and with a goddesss like you, your life together will be a constant festival of joy beyond measure?

    Fuck him and what settlement forces you to meet once a month to discuss it? Modern technology has made no contact remarkably easy, use it! I have a college age son and can’t figure out what issues need to be discussed in person unless ds has severe disabilities. Let son communicate with the fuckwit and again gray rock email works great.

    Sounds like he is messing with you and you are unknowingly pick me dancing for the fuckwit.

    • Totally agree FeelingIt. Two of my three kids are “emancipated” in college. Hallelujah! I can’t even remember the last time I needed to talk to ex about my oldest. And for the second one, a freshman, last time we “talked” 6 months ago was about her newly established college bursar account and that was via an email that included her. Any communication about the youngest pertains to health issues or logistics. Our court orders are clear. No meetings necessary.

      • I agree. If Summergirl even has to think about his request and she meets him every month, shes doing a kibbles dance.

    • “yes, I was a horrible wife and drove him to cheat, but without me, he is a changed man and with a goddess like you, your life together will be a constant festival of joy beyond measure” Actually, I think that would be a great response to any Schmoopie who came to you for advice. If she wasn’t a knowing OW then she might get the point. If she was a knowing OW she’ll either pick up on the sarcasm and be as offended as she deserves, or she’ll think you are serious and you can get a good chuckle out of how dim she is and be glad you are no longer tied to a man who would want a woman like that.

  • “I have this weakness of trying to speak truth to stupid.” I need that quote as an inspirational poster!

    I fought for years thinking if I could just say the right thing then I could get my ex-wife to understand. Even after many years of trying, I would still be shocked at some of the responses I’d get. I could come to her extremely excited to present an idea that I was sure would be a perfect solution for some minor issue we had, only to have her blow up because she felt it was an attack on her.

    One thing I’ve learned about speaking truth to stupid is that the outcome is almost always completely different than anything healthy people can imagine. Sometimes it will even turn into a shockingly toxic situation.

    The temptation will always be with me, but the best course of action for me is to avoid it like a rabid animal.

    • I did this for a couple of years, too – tried to clear up misunderstandings, thinking that a simple exchange would clear the air and reduce the hostility in our post-divorce relationship. It *never* worked, not even once. After a while – before I gave up completely – I used to run this little game with myself where I mentally played out her possible reactions to something I said; I would craft as neutral a statement as possible (no “you” statements, no thoughts or motivations attributed to her, only simple statements of fact or of my opinion, as mildly expressed as possible) and then mentally scroll through all the ways she could misconstrue it and twist it around to be my fault. Though I knew she would escalate somehow, I was unable to predict exactly how she would escalate. Eventually I gave up, and now I just accept that whenever I write her an email there is a good chance that I’ll get some out-of-left-field response that makes everything my fault.

      The last time this happened, I declined to let her schedule our youngest to come to her house to play with her stepkid (AP’s kid) during my custody time. XW accused me of deliberately undermining her blending of the family by scheduling a competing playdate with the “other stepbrother”, adding that she knew about him because kids talk and did I really think I could keep him hidden? In other words, in order to make my refusal MY fault, she conjured up a parallel universe in which I am secretly married and trying to competitively outblend my stealth family. She’s not normally delusional like this, but when someone says “no” to her she really has trouble accepting it. She has a work colleague who disagrees with her frequently; she believes he is literally insane (she accused him of being bipolar) because she can’t imagine someone would rationally, reasonably have a different perspective than her own.

      • Wow, IG, that’s… fascinating. She’s such a good liar, she can make up lies that other people are telling her.
        When my ex starts to make a conversation into a confrontation, I just start saying, “sure, I guess.” I don’t have the emotional energy to argue with someone so fundamentally different, so devoid of perspective and empathy.

      • That’s hysterical. That’s almost as out there as accusing your ex of joining ISIS. Apparently she knows more about your love life than you do.

        • That wasn’t even the end of the conversation. After confirming with my son that he would like to see his stepsister (AP’s daughter), I offered that they could have a playdate at my house. Because, you know, I’m not actually trying to sabotage the relationship between the kids, who are blameless in all this. XW refused, saying it was “too weird” that I was being nice about it. (I think she doesn’t distinguish between my attitude towards the perpetrators (her and AP) and the victims (kids and OBS)). Actually, she counteroffered that we could all go to a playground where I could meet the AP and spend the afternoon getting to know him. Yes, she moved from “I scheduled our son to come to my house on your time without informing you” to “well, how about you spend your morning with the guy who broke up our marriage, in front of the kids so you have to play nice.”

          I didn’t go for that, so now I’m the bad guy who wouldn’t let them play together. Because, you know, she’d already informed the kids that they had a playdate scheduled. Did I mention that we’re talking about the morning before our regular Sunday transition, when they’d start a week together, so this whole exchange was literally about moving up the kids’ meeting time by 8 hours?

            • OBS = Other Betrayed Spouse. AP’s XW.

              OBS is awesome, though she lives 1000 miles away so I’ve never actually met her in person. One of the reasons I was comfortable inviting stepkid to my house is that I’d been texting with OBS (stepkid’s mother) during this entire exchange. We pretty regularly vent to each other about our exes.

      • OMG I have a chumped male friend who is getting the same from his cheater ex-wife. He’s even asked me to help him write the occasional email, so that he can feel confident that what he’s saying is reasonable and clearly communicated. I’ll read and re-read, and it’s a perfectly nice email. Then, I’m stunned by the response. Wow!

        The reality is that she’s convinced of her rightness. He’s the terrible father. He’s selfish. He’s lazy. He’s a stalker. He’s not to be trusted. And, even though she was the cheater who had the affair partner sleeping over with the kids home within a month of imploding the marriage and he was living with her within a few months, she will take whatever is written to her by him to somehow be a reflection of any of the one things she things about him. She thinks he is the narcissist, which I find hilarious.

        My ex has said and done some truly ridiculous things as a result of cheating. He’s still not really functioning normally, and maybe never will. But my friend’s cheater ex…the histrionics are equally entertaining and disturbing. And, she’s a really well-educated woman, which makes her even more dangerous in how she executes her accusations.

        • Sound exactly like my XW. She’s picked up on some of the lingo (including some used here pretty regularly) and throws it back at me. Once I agreed to something XW had asked for (because I thought it was in the kids’ best interest) and she was angry with me for saying yes, accusing me of only doing it out of “image management”.

  • Met w stbxh this past week. Varying degrees of silent rage charm sad sausage channel.
    No contact. Customer service grey rock.

    I’m not good at seeing the person behind the mask.
    I’m still wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt.
    And be courteous and human.
    They are not.

    You’re playing cards. Don’t let him know you know it’s a game and don’t let him know that you know how to play.
    It’s all a game with these people; they are constantly scanning you for weakness for how they can further exploit and use your good energy.

  • I imagine SummerGirl had been slipping away from his control-grasp (hooray!) and this stupid request was his way of trying to drag her back in via triangulation and some weird kind of “proxy pick-me dancing.” It’s so painfully obvious and desperate.

    I see this is a rerun, so I hope Summer ignored this attention-seeking mess.

  • If she wants to know about his background why doesn’t she just ask him? Maybe she realises he lies. Maybe he told her you lie. All sounds like manipulation to me.

    The only reason I would meet the OW in my case is if it directly involved my kids. Never needed to as they have never met her.

    No one gave you a heads up on his character- you found out the hard way. Why should you help the OW? I don’t suppose they ever thought kindly about you.

  • SweetPotatoFlakes,
    Oh, YES,YES, YES.
    Like you, I thought if I can just put the words together well, if I can just put the words together perfectly, he will get it, he will see, he will understand.
    Nope, when our perfect, heartfelt, words come out, they hit a barrier, a rock solid hard barrier, a cement wall, which is a cheater/narc’s heart. The words might as well be written and ripped up, shredded, in tiny pieces, and placed in the trash can, as there is no way to put them back together perfectly to be understood.
    So very very painful, yet true.
    (I have lost count of how many times I tried).

    • Me too 100%. Rumplestiltskin scenario … just find the *right* words, and the scales would fall from his eyes and our marriage would transform into a magical and happy ever-after thing.

      So I just kept trying with different combinations of words. For years and years and years.

      Even after Dday he was saying dumb stuff like: “Communication has always been a strength of ours”. Argh. Truth to stupid. Not even the same language. I spoke sense and honesty and my words went thru the delusion filter and got shredded into meaningless burble.

    • It isn’t just words it’s actions too. No matter what I did or didn’t do he always interpreted it in the most negative way he could. The very things I did out of love for him or in attempt to improve his life would be the very things he would resent as proof that I didn’t love him. I kept trying to get it right and kept getting it wrong. I thought I must be the most incompetent person in the world. It took until months past DDay and well into divorce before I figured out that he was the problem, not me.

  • My opinion: it’s boundary time.

    Why do you and your ex still get together in person, with a child who is a legal adult and a completed divorce in place? Once a month? To coordinate settlement money and legal paperwork?

    See, I am willing to bet it’s an old habit, this one-on-one coordinating, and it’s a habit that gives your ex the impression that all’s good and keeps you in relationship with him in a dysfunctional way.

    I’m sure there would be a conversation between us where you explained that you two stay in touch this way because, reasons, and I’m not here to judge that. I’m only saying this:

    I believe he’s asking because he can plainly see that the door is open to ask. The fact that you would even consider participating in any relationship of his in any capacity shows your boundary is very blurry.

    Do you way to have an ongoing relationship with your ex? I don’t.

    If you must coordinate on things for, reasons, you have lots of opportunities to set clear, immovable boundaries around what you will, and will not, tolerate and do.

    From my POV, “we aren’t married and we aren’t best friends and I have no intention of getting involved in any romantic relationships of yours in any way shape or form so stop asking” is a solid start.

    That’s my opinion. You have total decision making power regarding whether it applies to you. In any case, I hope thinking it through is helpful.

    • Oh, and here’s an afterthought…

      Picture yourself dating a new beau. Things seem to be going well. Then he tells you he cheated previously, but he’s really done the work and gets all the reasons why it sucked and won’t do it again. Orange flag, but he seems so sincere…

      Then he says “I want you to talk to my ex, who I meet with regularly (because, reasons) so she can tell you intimate things about our past and present relationships.”

      I… Uh… Ew.

      Inappropriate level of intimacy with the ex, anyone?

      Yeah. EW!

      If that red flag doesn’t make her run away screaming before you open your mouth to take a breath, she’s beyond your help.

      EW!

  • After being a stay at home Mom for 11 years, and five kids, with a 3 month old when I found out about the cheating- I have worked hard, and am now in graduate school for Speech Language Pathology. I have about 18 months left in my program. During this time my ex has had another kid with a 22 year old woman. I don’t care or really ask what is going on- but I have gathered that they are still not exclusive, and there is lots of drama around their relationship. Recently he told me that I would be a great mentor for said girlfriend. Ha! I have a feeling she is going to have to learn the hard way like I did!

    • Anna,
      You just keep on being Mighty.
      As if, you would ever mentor his “girlfriend”
      You are so far above them. Stay there!

      You are amazing,
      Kudos to a wonderful, present, sane, loving, parent!

  • “My opinion: it’s boundary time.

    Why do you and your ex still get together in person, with a child who is a legal adult and a completed divorce in place? Once a month? To coordinate settlement money and legal paperwork?

    See, I am willing to bet it’s an old habit, this one-on-one coordinating, and it’s a habit that gives your ex the impression that all’s good and keeps you in relationship with him in a dysfunctional way.”

    THIS
    THIS
    THIS

  • Early on before I learned my lesson about pain shopping, I had created a false account on FB to spy. I noticed that the OW has posted that the Dickhead is a prince that stole her heart.

    Reference – he’s a cheater, he doesn’t understand basic human emotion, he’s a taker, he only gives when he needs an advantage, he’s boring, he’s unsupportive, he’s extremely selfish and very self-centered, he’s mentally abusive, he had no good long-lasting relationships not even with his own children, and again, he’s a cheater. He’s not a prince. He is, and will always be, a piece of shit:

  • I smell triangulation and kibbles. Ur ex is not ur problem and neither is this other ADULT woman. I really don’t think there is much adulting going on between those two. Like cl said step aside and let the Karma bus hit them both. Can’t fix narcissist personality disorder. Keep moving forward and just watch from the rear view mirror. No more living in the past ur not going that way ur moving onward and up. 🌈

  • Discussing your ex with his new woman will just give him the centrality that he loves.

    Good attention or bad attention, it feeds his ego. I would say no. He is your past and he needs to start staying there.

  • My ex moved back to the States in 2015 and obviously has a new doctor to deal with his diagnosed bipolar (although I SWEAR he also has borderline personality disorder too as he ticks every single box). But, whatever! He sent me an email a couple of years ago asking me to put together a timeline of when he started mistreating me, anything I could think of, as requested by his new doctor. Take 2 minutes or take 2 months! And I was actually going to do it! First thought was “right, now I’m gonna let that fucker have it”. Then I thought no, he is the father of my kids and I don’t want to push him over the edge, more for their sakes than for his. So then I was thinking how I could say EVERYTHING that I had to say without pushing him over said edge. It would have taken time but I do actually have a document drafted over six months detailing every single incident – and it makes horrendous reading. After six months I gave it up because it was just more of the same! But in the end I just thought “fuck it, why should I waste any more of my time and energy on him”. So I never did it! Let Schmoopie “figure it all out”!

    • What doctor would make such an outrageously painful request of an ex-spouse? That’s extremely unethical and I call bullshit. It’s more likely cheater himself was trolling for kibbles because he couldn’t remember all the rotten things he’d done. He wanted to smirk about how powerful and central he was when he did all the things that hurt you, and he wanted you to feel it all over again. Fuck that guy! Do you know for a fact that this doctor even exists and has diagnosed him as bipolar?
      I’m glad you didn’t do what he wanted. Good thinking.

      • I never thought of it in that light to be honest. But yes he was diagnosed bipolar while still living in Europe and was indeed invalided out of his job because of it. His argument was that the new doctor in the US wanted to get some idea of the timeline when his behaviour became more outrageous. But in the end I didn’t want the headache!

  • My wasband asked me to do the same. He said he had already been completely honest with her so he wasnt worried about what I would say. They went as far as to, out of blue after NC for 2 months, to be sitting in front of my home, then messaging asking if we could all talk. At 11pm! I did not respond, he apologized and they left. The next day I told him I wanted no part of whatever it is they think they will accomplish by said conversation, let alone in my own home. She took my old house now she wants to taint my new one? No thank you. It may seem like it wouldn’t hurt anything because you may feel over it but it will stir up some emotions, that are unnecessary for you to go through and you have been through quite enough. I agree with CL, his character speaks for itself.

    • OMG ChumpNoMore! THAT. IS. INSANE. Those two wacko’s have nothing better to do at 11pm but to drive over to your house – out of the blue – and ask to speak with you?! I am dumbfounded at their entitlement to think that this is even remotely okay. That is next level scary crazy. If they are that emotionally unstable to think that showing up at 11pm to the ex’s house is okay; I shudder to think how it would have gone if you had let them in.

  • Ahhh…the liar who embraces the truth after his tangled web is revealed. I heard that one a lot. He used it to say unpleasant things that didn’t need to be said because “he didn’t lie anymore”. Except when he instructed the kids not to tell me he brought his affair partner on an overseas vacation with them. Or not to tell me his girlfriend was pregnant. And to just ignore me when I ask him to provide his recent pay stubs to me, per our marital settlement agreement, so that we can adjust the child support accordingly. Nope. The truth is still a malleable thing for him.

    • Ugh, what a creep! I despise their fake “honesty”. They are only “honest” about things that will hurt you and don’t really need to be said. They are never honest about things that will expose the depth of their disgusting behaviour.

      My cheater had no problem offering me the information that he “loved” schmoopie, preferred her over me, considered her sexier, that she made him “feel alive”, and that I was just plan b, but lied about almost everything else, things that were vitally important for me to know, like the fact that he’d been planning to divorce me as soon as he could afford to and hadn’t wanted to be with me anymore since around 2009.

      Now that he has nobody, he conveniently realizes his “love” for schmoopie wasn’t real and that he rejected me for the wrong reasons. Until he gets a new schmoop, of course, in which case I’ll be considered the enemy again and THIS time, it will be really be twu wuv. I fully expect him to attempt more triangulation even though we have broken up. I am primed to ignore and laugh at it.

      Basically, they do not have adult emotional intelligence or adult emotional maturity and they never will.

  • I would rather eat cat shit with a knitting needle than spend 10 seconds with my ex.

    Hopefully, Summer took CL’s advice and ended the meetings (Kibblepalooza).

  • I suffer from the same problem Chump Lady does. I try to speak truth to stupid. I know my problem started when I was a child, because my father, who will be 88 soon, has lived a life without acknowledging ever making a mistake, or ever apologizing to anyone for anything. Amazing, I know, but also very confusing for a child. He also catalogs and regurgitates every mistake or misdemeanor I ever made (and my siblings, too!). He brings these up at inappropriate times, and draws inaccurate conclusions, proudly and loudly. Example? No, you cannot take the car to drive to the mall. You are only 17, and have only had your license a year, and then you told me you were going to your friend’s house down the block, but you actually visited the friend who was 2 blocks and across the street to play. You were 10 then, and you are the same now.

    So I wanted to believe people could learn and grow from their mistakes, and were capable of change. I feel I have learned many things since being born, and should not be held accountable for errors in judgement I made as a child. I also feel the need to justify and defend my actions. Unlike my father I admit to mistakes, have apologized to my children, spouses, and friends when I did make an error. I foolishly expected others to be like me, and not like my father. I accepted the fact that he was crazy, and mean spirited, finally, when I was in my 30’s. Yes, a slow learner when it comes to seeing red flags and giving second, third . . . chances to those who do not deserve them.

    I also tried to speak the truth to OW. Bad mistake. They are not concerned with the truth, they already decided it was ok to be OW. The woman the father of my children married was originally my nail technician, and she heard stories about what went on in my life (You know, beauty parlor talk, where the truth often comes out about relationships) before she ever met the man. She still fell for “I’m a changed man.” She wanted to believe that crap. I believe she has regrets (according to my children) but I have no mercy for her. She was a grown woman with plenty of her own regrets and should have known better. Evidently the desire to believe you are special overrides any other evidence you may have to the contrary.

    So the point is (sorry it took so long to get here), don’t waste your time. truth is wasted on special idiots. They reap the consequences of their own stupidity. It is your job to save you, they are responsible for their own lives.

  • My serial cheater, pathological liar, serial rapist, serial statutory rapist, “sex addict”, psychopathic narcissist ex actually put me as a reference for job applications! This is after I broke up with her and had been no contact for nearly a year at that point. I know because the job called me to ask about her!!

    After a lot of self reflection, I decided not to respond to the reference request at all. I figured it was possible that word could get back to my ex and my ex is dangerous.

    Probably no response says it all anyways.

  • Don’t talk to her. She probably won’t believe any of your story but if she does then she’ll twist it around and decide that you caused him to do all of it.

    I had one of my ex’s love scam victims contact me after I dumped him because she had a feeling that she was being played. The abusive and controlling woman (me) was finally out of the picture, but their relationship still wasn’t progressing to the next stage.

    I told her the truth. She was one of many lonely and vulnerable women he pretends to have romantic feelings for but manages to lie his way out of having to have sex with then claims to be in an abusive relationship with financial problems to get their pity and then scam them out of gifts, favors, and money.

    She didn’t want to hear it, none of it. I was lying. He escaped and I couldn’t control him any more so I was getting back at him by slandering him.

    And if she confronted him about it, he probably used it to point out how psycho I was.

    There’s no point in talking to their new love interests. While they’re in with the cheater they won’t believe it, if they want to commiserate after they leave the cheater it’s dragging you back into the crazy. No/low contact extends to other people in the cheaters life.

  • Human resource management never says the ex employee was a shitbag. Just how long he works and his rate of pay. They have boundaries. They know there is nothing good to come of the conversation. They’ve moved on and hired a new person. And if the ex was a dirtbag, they won’t rehire them. Like Tracy, I think it’s number three and it will just hurt you.

  • “Classy is when you have a lot to say but choose to remain silent in front of fools”

    Don’t. Everything you say WILL be used against you. Heck, he may even attempt to secretly videotape it just to prove you’re the crazy XW. Also, your son lives with him and you have no idea what he will say:
    1) Your mom approves of this relationship
    2) Your mom is doing everything to destroy your dad’s happiness
    3) Your mom is still angry and isn’t moving on–exactly why I needed to leave her
    4) Your mom purposely sabotaged my new relationship
    5) Make one up!

    The truth will come out, and you can’t be implicated. These narcs are always 5 steps ahead and anything you say, will come back to bite you.

    Pretend the OW is the bathroom mirror and tell her exactly what you’d like to say. Then put in a “balloon” and send it her way. I’ve sent my OW so many balloons, and I know quite a few have reached the “honeymooners” because he looks like hell. I was going to send his first mistress’ (they are still instagraming and she’s even commented on my daughter’s photos) husband tons of correspondence between the two, but I’ve released that anger and I’ve gotten “the spider off my chest”. It feels so much lighter.

    For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17

  • I will say that once the other woman starts to see his tricks, then it can be fun to talk with her. She’ll spill a lot of beans…..including how he convinced her the the wifey was insane. Especially good if he’s cakewalking or has a few other side piece snackcakes.

  • My ex still insists on me talking to each new woman he is SOO IN WUV with. I have trouble calling them schmoopie because he’s already been dumped by the ones he cheated with because we have a disabled son he will inevitably leave her to take care of I have exactly one conversation with each new gal. It consists of the same rundown I would give any new teacher or care provider for my son. Nothing else. The disordered ones always try to talk about my ex, I shut any attempts at that down with I think it’s best you speak directly to Ex about things that concern you two. The decent ones never ask. Unfortunately I the decent ones also dump him the fastest.
    In brief moments I am not proud of, I occasionally think about volunteering all sorts of positive (but of course untrue) info about in hopes of keeping a decent woman around for my son’s sake. I can’t do it though. It’s not even for any Nobel reason. I would choke on the words

  • If new GF was truly a post-divorce GF (not an AP), I would be tempted to give her some information as long as I was prepared to stay calm and to exit at the first sign of defense of the cheater. It may not deter the GF from marrying the fuckwit, but at least it would plant the seed so she could be aware of cheater’s activities.

  • Nothing will say what an ass he was to you by your refusal to speak of him. It says that you want nothing to do with him in any form.
    If she so wanted to know she’d have found you on her own. So he’s the go – between. Consider the source.

    • True Mandie, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cheater has told new supply that you are ‘dying to meet her’ or warning her that you are wanting to get up in her face, so that when you approach she thinks you’re unhinged. I’d bet the context has been tweaked somewhat.

  • No contact is the rule except kid related communications. Why help out a jerk ?

    I briefly dated a narcopath until I ghosted him. His true nature seeped out and the proverbial straw was his theft of my credit card number during an overnight for my birthday. We “weren’t a match”.

    Out of curiosity, I contacted his second wife and one of her sons via social media to find out what really happened. She blocked me but her son responded. The response was hilarious.

    My question “What really happened between your mother and Judas Jack ? I don’t think I got the whole truth. ”

    Son “Divorce. He was unemployed for 8 of 10 years of marriage and a porn addict. He’s a sociopath. Liar, 0 common sense and a terrible partner. He’s definitely the victim of every situation. Man child ! He watched porn all day while mom worked. She paid his 2 kids child support and alamony until their devorce. He broke her financially and mentally.” Vastly different from what he told me (no mention of ANY unemployment). The barnacle was looking for a new financial boat to latch onto.

    Can’t make this stuff up. I’ve noticed that a lot of people lie-it’s hilarious. Thinking of three people I grew up with that were expelled from posh east coast boarding schools (Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville and Westminster) for drug use yet claim to have graduated from said schools.

    My alma mater did an extensive search for a new president of the colleges, hired him and then had to fire him because parts of his dissertation were plagiarized. Somebody blew the whistle.

    People see what they want to. Don’t waste any of your precious time with a cheater’s impression management.

  • I’d tell ex “You got a new sheriff in town? Better watch out, she’s investigating you? Gonna lock you up in her prison?” Make it a joke, with a point. And then decline to talk to her. Let her do her own investigations. She knew he was married with kids and cheated. He has a rap sheet. Sounds like a loving, relationship built on a foundation of trust. But putting it in his head that she’s on the marriage police, will hasten her karma.

  • Hijacking the end of this thread to vent. Exhole showed up for ds’s MRI appointment today. As what was supposed to be a 45 min on and out stretched into it’s 3rd hour he decided it would be the perfect time to chat me up about all the positive changes he’s making in his life. I just walked away. I went into the ladies room when he started to follow me. What I wanted to do was scream at him why on Earth would you imagine I have any interest in you ever, no less when my kid is in the hospital for tests? I believe I won grey rock today. At least I am awarding myself the prize in my mind

    • I hereby award you, TooSmartForThisShit, this solid very dull and boring Grey Rock medal for your personal act of heroism in the face of extreme provocation. TooSnartForThisShit did not rise to the incessant droning of her wasband. She did not throat punch that bitch. She rose above her natural inclination to retaliate and grey rocked him. She also used the available terrain to evade the enemy. As a member of a grateful Chump Nation, I salute you.

    • Hope everything turns out alright for your daughter. Hugs.

      At our house closing, as I sat by myself on one side of the lobby and he sat on the other talking with the realtor, I wanted to yell, do you ever shut up? The constant rambling was so tiresome.

  • Too Smart, I vote you win. Bummer day and asshole ex gets shut down!
    I pray it never happens to you again, but if so, it will be easier next time.
    #buildinggreyrockmuscles

  • ‘I have this weakness of trying to speak truth to stupid.’

    I was in a conversation with my dog groomer just this morning about the exact same topic and she has never read CL but knows from her own personal experience that ANYTHING she says will be weaponized somehow and she really ‘gets it’ whereas I still think I have Super Chump Powers too BUT I listen to my wise friends so…

    I go along with what CL suggested. ‘Let sleeping whores lie.’

  • “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.”

    Chump lady I’d not seen this post before had me grinning like a loon.
    I actually think you are on to something here, a niche market. You could sell kit sets with all the goodies needed. Kind of like the RCI do but ….in reverse….kinda (scratches head) 🤔It could end up being a “thing” chumps could send the next in line reviews about whichever model they had. Kinda like apple does with their updates

    You know like … I had module 0.1 – worked well when new but faded quickly once in operation Or – worked for years with only the odd glitch until a nasty virus was downloaded with a suspicious add on.. grrr
    Or … I had module 0.3 – showed promise in the beginning but was a bit slow in a lot of areas… disappointing
    This system could also help chumps with their pickers, as serial cheaters would come with a dossier from Past chumps…. a fore warning ⚠️
    Just think of the potential…….. leopards…… spots ……… stuff

    As for summer girl I hope she didn’t engage with this stupidity. If he was really a reformed module 0.2 no reviews should have been necessary!

  • This is an interesting column given what is going on in our country right now. What does Donald Trump and Rudi Guliani have in common? They both cheat on their spouses – three times. How bad? Trump cheated on wife number 3 while she was pregnant and within the first year of the birth of their child with a porn star and a porn model. Rudi announced his divorce from his second wife on TV without telling her first then spent some time arguing over whether his affair partner can visit him at the city mansion he lived in with his soon to be ex-wife. Watching Trump, and now Rudi, behave as they are it is hard not to think of them as narcassitic cheaters using all of the “plays-in-the-book” cheaters use to defend themselves that are all discussed on this site. All the while asking us for a character reference when we get to vote in 2020.

  • My take? This cheater loves the triangle, and he wants to set up a triangle, with SummerGirl on one side and the OW on the other. How delicious the kibbles are with the OW and the X are in the same room.

    And boy–it’s asking for trouble to meet with an X and talk anything but necessary business. Money can be transferred without contact. Business can be done by email.

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