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‘Why Does My Ex Want to Be Friends?’

Stay friendsDear Chump Lady,

Can you please tell me why cheaters so badly want to remain friends?

A little background information — my ex-husband and I were married for 16 years, have 2 kids (15 & 12), have been separated for a little over 2 years, divorced for one.

I found out 2 days before our daughter’s 13th birthday that he was cheating on me with a woman from work (also married, 10 years younger, 2 small kids).

It slowly came out (mostly through his brother) that he had been cheating on me for much of our marriage (lots of one night stands, etc). He moved directly in with the OW upon moving out of our house. Lived with her for 3 months, proclaimed her crazy and moved out from her, talked about reconciling with me, got back together with her, bought a house with her last summer, and they are now planning to get married.

He stopped seeing our daughter in January (because she was being difficult about going to their house and he gave her an ultimatum that she either acts like a perfect child and comes there or has no relationship with him at all) and stopped seeing our son in September (because he was crying because he missed me when he was there on weekends and ex got mad that he doesn’t miss him when our son is with me).

I have been as no contact with him as possible — only emailing bills and things. He has consistently been trying to shove their relationship in my face — trying to force situations where I have to see them/talk to them/look at them (at drop offs in the past, at kids’ sporting events which he periodically attends). And last night I got this text from him:

“I saw this picture today and I wanted to share it with you. I really hope that the new year 2020, can bring a fresh start, and moving past our feelings towards each other for (daughter) and (son).”

The picture was of 4 adults wearing t-shirts that said “mom, step dad, dad, step mom” standing with a little girl holding a trophy with the caption:

“This is not weird or awkward. This is how it SHOULD be! It’s not about the adults but the kids [Ex highlighted this]. The kids watch our behaviors and listen to how we speak to and interact with each other and they need to see support! Their mommy and daddy’s significant other IS an important person in their life and all involved adults need to be able to communicate and interact with each other [also highlighted by ex]. So frustrating when the adults can’t see that and act childish and stand-offish.”

One other note, I am not dating anyone nor do I have any dating plans in the imminent future.

Please give me the reality check I need that I am not a horrible, bitter, unforgiving shrew who can’t put my own feelings aside for the sake of the kids. And please tell me why he so badly wants to shove their relationship in my face and make me be their friend.

Sincerely,

Trying to live my own life

Dear Trying,

He doesn’t really want to be your friend. He wants a hypotenuse to bang his triangle with.

He had the OW and you to triangulate with, plus all the attendant drama with two families to break up. Divorced now, you have a new life and a choice — you can react to his drama (i.e., I Have A Very Important Shaming Meme to Share!) or you can empty the crumb tray in the toaster. Or brush the cat. Is your car inspection sticker due? Really, whatever mental energy you’re giving his fuckwittery could be used to power small engines. (Is there a solar cell for this yet? Clean energy peeps, get on this. Channel the power of fuckwits. It’s a limitless power source.)

But, but… THE CHILDREN!

Yes. Raise them. Sane parent them. Get the scheduling software.

Being Friends For The Children is not required. Following court orders is required. Not muttering curses within earshot of minors or stabbing little effigies are required. You know, civility.

Friendship is something else entirely. The poet Walt Whitman said a friend is someone you can be your most “sincere” self with. My guess is that your authentic, sincere self does not respect a man who cheats and lies, or the woman who helped break up your marriage. You sincerely do not like these people and three minutes in their company, one year out, probably makes you break out in hives.

He’s not asking for friendship, but impression management, and when you’re a shallow as a puddle of piss, to him it’s pretty much the same thing. So he’s probably confused on the subject. Anyway, “friendship” is not your problem — managing child-sharing with this guy is your problem.

He stopped seeing our daughter in January (because she was being difficult about going to their house and he gave her an ultimatum that she either acts like a perfect child and comes there or has no relationship with him at all)

Have you talked to your lawyer about this? Documented it in your child sharing software? At 15 is your daughter legally old enough to decide her level of involvement with her dad and overnights? These are legal questions for a legal professional. I don’t know the answers to these things.

You’re not obliged to accept your ex’s creepy For The Children! narrative, but you are obliged to follow custody orders.

As the sane parent, it’s a balancing act when a child falls out with the Fuckwit parent. On the one hand, you get it — I know that fuckwit — on the other hand you don’t get it — children tend to love their parents, even the fuckwit ones, and they have to work out their relationships themselves. You want to support your daughter — “Perfection is not required” — but you also don’t want to triangulate with what goes on over there.

My usual caveats here are the SERIOUS issues (and sadly, we have cases of this here at CN) — addiction? abuse? sex offenders? — inform the authorities. Everything else, chalk up to Life with a Fuckwit. It’s survivable, especially when you have a Sane Parent (you!) to love.

You can’t make a unilateral decision to not let a child see a parent, however fuckwitted they are. (Ask me how I know.) You have to follow the court order — unless your child is at an age where they can decide these things. (Every state is different.)

Another thing to balance — how litigious everyone is. Does Mr. Whoresalot have the disposable income to argue about custody in court? If so, you better have clean hands, Trying. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.

He hasn’t seen his daughter in a YEAR? I would have every email or text exchange where you TRIED to uphold the ordered visit, and WHY it didn’t happen.

and stopped seeing our son in September (because he was crying because he missed me when he was there on weekends and ex got mad that he doesn’t miss him when our son is with me).

My takeaway from what you wrote is that he’s willfully NOT seeing his children (despite a recent custody order?) and has blameshifting excuses about their behavior that justifies his own?

Yeah, what a pal.

He has consistently been trying to shove their relationship in my face — trying to force situations where I have to see them/talk to them/look at them (at drop offs in the past, at kids’ sporting events which he periodically attends)

Look, he’s a serial cheater. Time to pity the idiot who “won” him and see yourself and the kids as liberated. Let him “shove” his relationship status in your face — whatever. Good luck with that, Toots. If he shows up at the occasional sporting event, okay. He should, he’s a father. And he can pay the child support and do the other adulting too. You don’t control him showing up on neutral ground like school. You do control your reaction — so don’t have one. NO KIBBLES.

As for the meme he sent you. Come on, consider the source. Would you take fashion tips from a hobo? You’re going to take parenting advice from a fuckwit?

“This is not weird or awkward. This is how it SHOULD be! It’s not about the adults but the kids [Ex highlighted this].

Yes, what teenager doesn’t thrill to wear matching t-shirts with their parent.

The kids watch our behaviors and listen to how we speak to and interact with each other and they need to see support!

Dad is a serial cheater. What does he need support with? Crafting dating profiles?

Kids do watch behaviors. Model sanity and not taking the bait.

Their mommy and daddy’s significant other IS an important person in their life

Key word “significant.” Until the next one rotates through. Who’s the lucky match this week? I would greet the latest Schmoopie like the meter reader.

and all involved adults need to be able to communicate and interact with each other [also highlighted by ex].

See “scheduling software.” He can use it, or he can STFU.

So frustrating when the adults can’t see that and act childish and stand-offish.”

So frustrating when adults communicate via passive aggressive meme and demand “friendship” — because nothing says “I want to spend more time with you” than divorce.

Please give me the reality check I need that I am not a horrible, bitter, unforgiving shrew who can’t put my own feelings aside for the sake of the kids.

You’re not horrible. You’re navigating a really difficult, painful situation that two fuckwits created. I’m sure it’s not the first or last difficult, painful situation your ex will create. I predict that soon he’ll be sending his “Friendship” meme to his next ex-wife… and the one after that…. and the one after that.

Keep rocking your new life.

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.
  • My ex said I was his friend, considering he’s incapable of the truth he’s a fuckwit. Its image management.
    The ow “won” him in your case,he’s not a prize is he.
    The best revenge is to live your life well.
    When they see your upset they actually enjoy your misery.
    Sad bastards

  • Friendship is earned. We’re all taught that growing up. The entitlement in these people is strong.

    My ex was similar, and I think a large part of it was impression mgmt. But also, he truly didn’t think he behaved poorly so…why wouldn’t I be his friend?!? The justification in these people is also strong.

    Sounds like you have healthy boundaries…mighty!

    • This is exactly my STBXH.

      Image management: “See-I’m not the bad guy because my ex and I are still friends!!!

      He also didn’t think he did anything wrong.

      Unbelievable…

    • I agree that it is all about impression management. Wearing such a ridiculous t-shirt is akin to posting posed pictures on Facebook–it’s shallow, contrived, and as empty as he is. Sometimes I think that when cheaters keep circling back like vultures looking for one last morsel of flesh, they are really just trying to combat the uncomfortable feeling the vacuum in their souls creates…they don’t understand it, can’t name it, would never analyze it, and want those “left behind” to fill it back up for them…it’s borrowed substance (or taken by force, held hostage, and pistol whipped). I get it though, it’s so hard to believe that the person you created lives with is such an empty vessel.

  • It seems to me that he wants you to fix his relationship with the children. He doesn’t want to be your friend he wants you to be his advocate. His relationship with the children is his responsibility. He has to foster a relationship and rebuild the trust he has lost. Cheaters seem to think they work in a vacuum and that the only person affected is the spouse. Children are part of the equation and they were cheated on too. NOT YOUR JOB!!
    I also believe as a sane parent you should not bad-mouth nor discourage his relationship with the kids. As hard as it is, you have to be neutral when it comes to him. And the kids should not be your therapist. Other than that the burden is on him to prove to the kids he can be trusted.

    • Seems to me he’s blaming her for his crappy relationship with his children. CL was right that it was a shaming move.

    • I agree. The UBT of this is “I was really hoping you’d guilt and gaslight the kids into forgetting what a terrible parent I am – because doing it myself seems like too much work and actually being a better person is out of the question.”

      • THIS! I stopped spackling and doing his parenting for him once we separated, but actually did as much as I could to support the kids’ relationship with Cheater Narc, up to and including encouraging them to attend family therapy with him after he abandoned them to move to Shmoopieville (then came crawling back when she dumped him for another man), and encouraging them to continue to see him regularly (they accepted once a month for a few hours) after that, to give him a chance to rebuild the relationship and the trust.

        Result? After just a couple of months, he started demanding that their relationship ‘go back to normal’ immediately, and his frustration and self-focus continued to be so strong that the kids eventually stopped seeing him at all.

        But, whose fault is that? MINE. Because I must have bad-mouthed and influenced them.

        “I was really hoping you’d guilt and gaslight the kids into forgetting what a terrible parent I am – because doing it myself seems like too much work and actually being a better person is out of the question.”

    • Neutral is one strategy. Truthful is another.

      Read this in the old forum:
      “I am not a protector of disorder anymore”

      Love that sentence.

  • Would you want to be friends with someone who lied and cheats? I do not think he wants to be friends. He wants to use the friend card to get something for himself. He has showed you what kind of person he is. Now you know what he can do with his friendship request. I would only communicate via email. And only about the children. Do not give him any private information about yourself. He will use that against you. You owe nothing to this cheating asshole.

  • I have seen that picture also. My response is that those people in the picture divorced on good terms not because the husband was cheating and fucking around with her BEFORE they divorced. The dad did not betray the mom and they divorced before he married stepmom. Dad is not just shacking up with stepmom, and they all work together for the child. That only happens when dad doesn’t lie, cheat and betray which is why you cant have that kind of relationship with him.

    Good luck

  • My ex would like to be friends too. I’m not even sure that he doesn’t believe he NEVER hit me (too many negatives?) OK, it may well be that he has erased all memories of his beating me from his mind. Maybe that is HIS truth I don’t know or care anymore. And he may be deluding himself that he moved in with Schmoopie AFTER we decided to get a divorce. When I pointed out to him that he stopped coming home in January 2010 (moved in with Schmoopie) with nary a word to me before mid-February he “couldn’t remember that”. I just replied it was a good thing he introduced her to our boys beforehand then, AND bought them with him to “explain” the situation mid-February. And now I think he would like to be friends because yet again the poor bunny doesn’t seem happy. Not my monkey folks!

    • Yes, I want to be friends crap. About 3 months before Dday my ex said to me “if we would ever get divorced we would still be friends.” I told him if we would divorce I would not be his friend and never talk to him or want to see him again. At the time I thought the statement was odd. I know now he already checked out of the marriage and was maybe giving me a hint. Or wanting to see my reaction. He would also throughout his affair with Skankella ask me if I really loved him. I suspect he asked me that to justify his cheating. These fuckwits just do not understand why us chumps do not want to be friends. They live in their own reality.

    • “OK, it may well be that he has erased all memories of his beating me from his mind.”

      The fastest “memory edit” I’ve seen is just under a minute. I repeated what my ex-wife just said and she gave an Oscar winning, dramatic performance of how she “never said that”. Went as far as sobbing tears, hyperventilating, and falling to the floor.

      I’m with you; I used to wonder if they really believed what they were saying. I’m glad I don’t care anymore!

      • If it weren’t such a horrible situation it would be comedy gold wouldn’t it. We had a psychopathic boss for 4 horrendous years and she could do the falling on the floor sobbing bit too in the blink of an eye, then get up and walk in to a meeting!

        • I have a stepdaughter that could do that. Sobbing, tears, etc., and when I called her out on her dramatics, those tears dried up instantly. She talked like it didn’t happen. Had I not been the one interacting with her, I would not have believed someone could be so two-faced. And she thought nothing of her bizarre behavior. She got it all from the dick-ex. I do believe that narcissism is an inherited trait.

          • So do I and it worries me for my kids.
            Ex once cursed at me and I called him on it immediately. His retort? I never said that.
            A broken mind is an awful thing.

        • Yes! There is a Season 1 episode of the Netflix series “Mindhunter” where the FBI agent investigating a murder of a young woman in small town PA discusses the manipulation phenomenon of psychopathic tears/ crying they can turn off and on very suddenly.

      • Been there too, SweetPotato.

        Fuckup once told me I was being “arrogant and condescending.” Moments later he said something arrogant and condescending, so I said, “NOW who’s being arrogant and condescending?” He stopped and looked at me in shock, then went bonkers. How DARE I call him names like that, he said, then added: “It just goes to show that you have no leg to stand on in your argument, so you have to resort to personal attacks.” (FYI, I hadn’t realized we were arguing.)

        When I reminded him that he’d just called me those EXACT names, and that I was using HIS words, he looked genuinely blank: “I didn’t say that. I would never say something like that.”

        It was a standout among many bizarre, crazy-making interactions during the eighteen months of “wreckonciliation.” So glad I’m out of that. So. glad.

        • “I didn’t say that. I would never say something like that.”

          I’ve heard those exact words. They usually were followed with “I can’t believe you think that I’m capable of saying something like that. What’s wrong with you?”.

          When it was a week or more after the fact, it really would make me doubt my memory. When she once denied saying something within one minute of saying it, I knew I wasn’t dealing with a mentally healthy person. Crazy making indeed!

          • Exactly. But it makes me wonder: do they literally, consciously decide to change the story when it no longer suits their narrative (i.e. one minute after the words leave their mouths and they dislike your reaction?) Or does something shut off in those tiny brains (“Error! Filename must not contain illegal characters!”) when something doesn’t suit their version of reality?

            • I tried to reply to your post and it got stuck at the bottom of the page 🙄.

              Short answer…they probably know, but it really depends on the underlying issues.

      • Deny, deny, deny.

        These cheaters and their denials.

        I’ve played that stupid, bang your head against the wall games with my STBXH.

        I guess I’m always in disbelief that someone can not only lie-but also NEVER own their mistakes…

      • “””I repeated what my ex-wife just said and she gave an Oscar winning, dramatic performance of how she “never said that”. Went as far as sobbing tears, hyperventilating, and falling to the floor.”””

        In a nutshell, the false narrative defended.

      • my ex used to say the craziest shit, go in the kitchen and drink a glass of milk, come back in the living room and argue the exact opposite from what he was originally arguing. it was crazy making at it finest. when I pointed out his original statements he would look at me as if “I” was nuts and say “I need to start taping these damn conversations.

        They do this on purpose. its designed to keep you on edge, questioning your own sanity, and to get away with anything they might accidently slip and say. by then a pattern has been established. its like nailing jello to a wall.

        no one ever really knew what ex’s stance or true opinion was on anything. that way he never had to be forced to support his opinions. or prove anything. he would just go off into screaming tangents when you tried to have a sane discussion.

  • Dear Trying,

    It seems fuckwit has an Ebola-biosafety level 4 of narcissism and spoiled-bratitis. Plus addiction to cake. He really does want it all.

    It also seems that he doesn’t give a shit about his children: I bet he can’t stand OW’s kids (they are …. small), but now that he is stuck with them, he needs his kids to buffer things. So build a safety perimeter for you and your children as per CL’s advice.

    You are not a shrew. You just suck at image management and providing comfort for fuckwits.

    Keep watching that meme with the guy playing the triangle…. It’s hilarious. Happy dimwit-free 2020.

    • So true!! My demon ex isn’t a huge fan of kids either. Hell, he avoided seeing our kid for almost a year so I can only imagine how he was treating the ho’s kid. I feel sorry for the kids. Here we have washed our hands of all their bullshit and the kids are stuck with their crazy ass narc parent from now till death do they part. The kids really have the bad end of the stick. They have to have visitation with these cretons and the the fools they find to love them and the kids witness it all.

      • Raquel, this is so true. My daughter has repeatedly begged me to take him back. Guess why?! YOU are much happier now without daddy but I have to always go and see him. Before, it was okay for me. You and me were together and daddy was reading the newspaper, watching TV or sleeping on the couch. I didn’t mind him that way. Now he even says, he can take care of me when I’m sick. I have the worst life of everyone.

        It’s still so hard for me to not be fake friends for her sake. Go along on their outings and stuff. The last time we were traveling she went all over the airport on her little scooter telling everyone, eventhough I live with my mom,I hardly see her because I always have to stay in the apartment with dad. My daddy made a terrible mistake and lied to my mom. When he came home late from work, he didn’t come from work, he came from his girlfriend!

        We do get a lot of kind words from strangers. Male and female. People have even offered to testify her desperation and tears. Her dad never took any interest in her before break-up. She has no connection to him.

        And yes, it’s all about impression management. At the last school function he held a chair for me next to him, eventhough I told him, I refuse to sit next to you. I just showed up 5 minutes late, so I had to stand with the late comers close to the door.

        The picture with the happy family sweaters is basically reason of state here in Germany. They call it patchwork family and there’s only shiny propaganda on the media which isn’t reflected in real life or studies at all. For us German chumps , we feel like we are being gaslit on every public level.

        When other split up families approach me and say, we ALSO have a patchwork situation,I reply, oh that’s great, I’ve chosen parallel parenting.

        Ex wants to play the patchwork/friends card so badly. Well,I turned it right on to him. I often pick my daughter up from school with my boyfriend. She lives him and parades him around. He shakes hands with everyone. Ex heard about it the first time at a kids birthday party we both attended. The host (innocently) told him, oh and we were thrilled to meet your daughter’s mom’s partner the other day. Isn’t he great with the little one?!
        Ex had to bite his tongue and smile.
        Since ex is alone without his ho-worker now, him and his parents are not so much into patchwork anymore. They criticised me for letting my daughter be with my boyfriend while I saw to it that she never met the ho-worker. I told them flat out, you know what, your arguments for kids meeting their parents partner were really convincing in the end. Just coincided with ho-worker exciting the stage. Too bad.

  • Hi Tracy, I love your blog and almost everything you have ever said, and it helped massively when my husband left me. I have only one problem with what you write, which is how often you refer to that poisoned umbrella. My sister’s husband was the guy famously killed on Westminster Bridge (Georgi Markov) and it actually WASNT a poisoned umbrella. It’s pretty much accepted that the assassin shot a pellet into his thigh using a medical gun, and hid the action behind an umbrella. Thought I’d just set the record straight.

    • OMG! I’m terribly sorry about the loss of your BIL by some Putin thug.

      Thanks for setting the record straight. As an assassination technique (umbrella?) it’s memorable, which is probably why it’s stuck in my writerly memory bank, but I will dislodge it.

    • Wow, Lucy, what a connection! In the 80s I used ricin in my research. And I always would remember Georgi Markov and so was extremely careful. In those days ricin was not a controlled substance for research, today it is.
      I hope your sister is doing well. Maybe she will take some comfort in knowing that Japanese scientists thought about how ricin worked on Markov and used the information to invent a cool way to make proteins in a test tube.

    • How tragic. Such a nightmare for the family, I am sorry.

      I am afraid there is a social short hand for this and it will always be an umbrella, much like Mama Cass’ ham sandwich. That is how it goes and the specific details get totally lost as irrelevant.

      • Well, Tracy is wonderful and her reply to my text was very kind, but yes, everyone uses the story as a sort of shorthand, and there’s no stopping that.It will go on forever.
        My sister seems happy now but it has cast a long shadow over her life, and she has never remarried. It has been very hard on her daughter not having a father.
        That’s amazing about the ricin research. They said at the time that the ricin in the pellet had been genetically engineered so that even if the doctors had realised Georgi had been poisoned they wouldn’t have been able to make an antidote in time.

  • I wish I had encouraging words, Trying. I’m still dealing with this shit almost 4 years post-DDay (see below).

    I cannot advocate more strongly for using scheduling software to keep track of all events, messages/notifications sent to him (and his responses), etc. It’s the only chance you have at protecting yourself and keeping him accountable. My most recent examples (both within the past week):

    1. KK assumed she would have extra time with our daughters this week because of some supposed oversight on my part: “(The girls) have indicated they preferred to stay with me, their bonus dad, and step brothers until Tuesday. If you want them to be with you tomorrow that’s your issue to take up with the girls (ages 17 and 15 BTW, who have some autonomy over deciding where they stay).”

    I had to “remind” her — by cutting and pasting snippets of an exchange we had in October — that there was no oversight on my part and that she explicitly agreed that she would not have extra time with them this week.

    2. She sent me this just this morning: “I see you’ve planned some business travel in April during your time with the girls. I am sure you’ll find arrangements for them, as you made these plans without consulting me, and it is vacation week.”

    Again, I had to “remind” her of a message I sent her in November — by cutting and pasting the exact exchange — that I have business travel scheduled in April and would be needing coverage.

    Yours will either pout or rage for being held accountable. They don’t like agreements, rules, contracts, anything that threatens their sense of entitlement.

      • Spot on, CL. KK just now sent me the following, explaining why she will not be accommodating coverage for my April business travel (lesson for new chumps — setting boundaries sometimes means rage x 10):

        “Maybe if over these past four years you have been a more kind, caring, understanding, flexible, I would be more willing to work with you. You have made our children feel horrible, you have gone out of your way to do everything you can to be cruel and mean and petty.

        You need to take a step back and look at what you are doing. You need to take care of yourself. Your mental health. I worry for you and your future relationship with your children if you continue to act in this manner. Until you are willing to be a little more kind and caring and considerate of other people’s needs, mainly your children’s, I will not be tolerant of this behavior.”

        • Wow.

          Only 3 more year of having to co-parent with KK and shes’s got it turned up to 11, doesn’t she?

          You’ve made the “children” (her) feel terrible, you unkind oaf. She isn’t going to “help” you anymore…and you still “need” her help, dammit!

        • Yeah def keep that exchange. She is refusing coverage now and when you find alternative arrangements she’ll cry foul that you didn’t let her have the time with the kids.

          I don’t get this shite! Cheaters get what they want with the new shiny partner and alive happy life but then they won’t just go away and hush. Always saying “let go” and don’t be bitter and petty, but then they create drama and are the ones that won’t let us go.

          I commend your seeming infinite ability to remain calm and carefully controlled in these exchanges. I struggle daily to not take the bait and I’ve got at least a decade left to “coparent”.

          • Oh my goodness! I ask that all the time! You got everything you wanted now why can’t you just leave me alone?

            And he’s also accused me of playing the victim and told me how I’m hurting the kids by not agreeing to have dinner with him and schmoopie.

        • Just wondering if your kids could stay by themselves while you travel for business since they are 17 and 15? I too had to travel for work some and allowed my kids (same age) to stay a few nights by themselves. Of course my 17 year old could drive, had numbers of adults close by, Life 360, etc. I know it depends on where you live, the maturity of the kids, and many other things. But thought it might help solve your problem if doable.

        • They are 15 & 17 now, legally can they stay at home alone (I realize it may be a bad idea for hundreds of other reasons)? Can they stay with friends or extended family instead? Get to know some cousins, or a great-aunt?

          KK continues to be the birch that won’t quit. 3 years and then you can excise and cauterize her from your life. May the software keep you semi-sane until then!

        • She only has 48 hours left to get that sex podcast off the ground so you simply must understand how terribly busy she is.

          “Bonus dad” OMG, as if his existence is somehow to their benefit. All the other rando hook up dudes were just bonus people their mom was schtuping. For their benefit.

        • April. Four months away!

          Bet they have friends who would host each of them for a while, eh? I’m betting there are lots of other options with this much lead time.

          It’s funny to me that KK thinks you would rather see the kids stay with her than somewhere that isn’t a 24 hour sexploitathon.

          Bottom line is, you have a nice bit of “blah blah blah I’m not watching them blah blah blah” from KK, and that’s all the answer you need to move on without further coordinating. The rest of the B.S. that comes flying out of KK is just extraneous crap. Document, ignore the B.S., and make new plans, grateful that the new plans are probably better for the kids anyway, says me.

        • Laughing so hard! Our ex’s must exchange notes-I’ve gotten almost exact message. Only one year out and 10 years to go. Learning to have nerves of steel. They are so predictable.

        • KK,
          Your false narrative nonwithstanding, you will accommodate the girls to stay with you during the business trip in April. I will make other arrangements.

  • My ex-husband (married 17 years) cheated on me with our 23 year old nanny. We have been divorced 7 months now. Oh— he’s 40 years old and I share custody of our 3 kids with him. He now refers to his girlfriend as his “long term partner and co-parent.” He is a total narcissist and loves that the kids like spending time with her- I call their house the Fanatay Land of Fuckwits. She moved in with him and her own illegitimate child. Now he wants me to coparent with her and in a few days he leaves for 3 weeks to go to India. I can’t stand that the kids will be there during this time—it comes out to 7 days with her— but it is all legal according to my lawyer. He loves the drama and recently had the nerve to email me and declare that the situation makes him uncomfortable. My counselor told me to step away and let her take care of 4 kids in a shitty townhouse while he is gone and see how she likes it. Even with two years of counseling— he left in early 2018- a wonderful boyfriend, lots of new hobbies— it still hurts and he still wants to be friends and shoves their relationship in my face.

      • I don’t recommend this, because drama, but nonetheless it would be hilarious if you kept referring to her as “the nanny”. 😂

      • I still refer to my XH’s last AP (by my count, she was #14) as “Married Howorker”, even though he married her 2 years ago. She deserves zero respect from me (this is the cheating skank who has the exact same first name, same middle name, and now, same last name as me).

        • I say own your name. You will always be the first and she’s just cold leftover countertop seconds. Every time he says her name, he’s saying your name. Annoying for her, not you.

          My middle name is same as Mrs. Howorker, so my Ex wrote out my full name on every snail mail letter, every email, every check, every correspondence from his attorney, on and on. After several months of intentionally messing up by spousal support, I had my attorney send a letter specifically stating all future deposits had to have my full name. Low & behold, next month’s check excluded my middle name. It’s amazing how much these guys waste their time & energy playing childish games.

    • See the reason for the fuckwit’s choices here and see how you’ve been LIBERATED. Single Mom/Former Nanny AP Stepmoms who are only 23 years old are, of course, super naive due to their relative lack of life experiences, plus they are economically trapped via employment opportunities such that they very useful to the disordered in that they’ll have to provide the fuckwit with full Bang Nanny McChef Maid services plus impression management, and they need no training by lazy fuckwits to step into their role in the fuckwit’s house. Barf!

      When we look at their USE dispassionately I think it helps a little bit to understand you were never the problem. Here’s to all of us chumps finding authentic, reciprocal friendships where nobody is calculating our usefulness in 2020!

      • Yes I agree! Now she is 25 and he gets a full time live in servant! He used to travel a lot during the end of our marriage and I resented watching the kids alone because he also wanted me to work full time. He wanted it all. His live in nanny OW doesn’t work.

        • Honesty, she still works as the nanny, she just has another 40 year old child. I wouldn’t think twice about letting her have the kids those 7 days. You go get a pedicure and do a wonderful meal with you BF. You deserve it.

          • Yes I think I will. My boyfriend is very supportive. And yes she still is the nanny just now her work for my ex husband is unpaid. My ex wrote me and had the nerve to say he trusts her completely all while saying publically that I neglect our children. He is an absolute jerk!

            • Better yet– TAKE A TRIP with your new boyfriend. Really treat yourself and take your mind off things.

  • On another note . . . when did the term “Bonus Dad/Mom” become a thing?

    Trying’s “four happy adults” anecdote screams “bonus parents,” and KK has recently taken to referring to the Chlorine Special as my daughter’s “Bonus Dad” (though, if you look closely, his sons are “step brothers,” not “bonus brothers” — which is no doubt intended to be a dig at me).

    My guess is that the term “Bonus Dad/Mom” is something invented and advocated by the RIC. For the children, of course.

    • I am a bonus Dad.
      I earned the title by being there for my wife’s 12 year old son when his fuckwit father abandoned their relationship. For me, it wasn’t an RIC invention, it was about loving my wife’s kids as a father when their biological one was a self absorbed narc.
      You don’t get the title legitimately by pulling on a T-shirt. You get it by doing it.

      • Funny. My ex wifes home wrecking AP gave himself the title of Bonus Dad and my ex couldn’t understand my issue with that. Even though in our court papers we agreed that our kids only had 1 mom and 1 dad.
        Guess I’m childish then
        No doubt my ex is telling everyone how I’m not stepping up and asswhipe is, in my place

    • I “loathe” bonus mom. I absolutely detest that term. It reeks of boundary less relationships that do not belong To the people claiming them.

      That bitch is NOT my girls’ “mom” by any stretch of the imagination. She did not come by that relationship with my girls honestly, she’s a whore who shacked up with their whoring father and she does not deserve the title of mom to MY kids because she has leg spreading skills.

      Can you tell it infuriates me?

    • My ex’s new wife appliance calls herself “Bonus mom” she testified at our custody hearing where she called MY kids her “bonus daughters.” Puke. This is why I call her the Bonus Imposter, among other things.

      I LOATHE the idea of cheating assholes designating that onto themselves. It attempts to give an air of legitimacy to the relationship between them and the kids of the people they cheated with and pretends to try and make everyone one big happy family.

      It’s a Pinterest generation of inspirational meme work and humble brag that is disingenuous and works to blur the boundaries of infidelity and blurs the boundaries of authentic relationships.

      • Oh my OW loves a Pinterest meme/cliche. But is quite prepared to lie to my daughter’s face except to tell her I am a horrible person and what kind of person could say mean things about another. But the image of caring, loving instragram meme writing bullshit is off the scale.

        My ex has already referred to her as my daughter’s ‘guardian’ – hmmmm, didn’t get that memo.

        Sadly my daughter is lapping it up and it’s affecting things between us I fear and sometimes it feels like I should tie myself into knots to put things right but this is just the same as giving them legitimacy and agency. I just have to hope the mask finally slips.

    • I’ve never heard the term “bonus dad/mom,” but it sure doesn’t apply to an AP who tore the original family apart. My bio-father was a serial cheater who eventually dumped my mom for one of his APs. She was an ice-cold woman who never had children of her own and bitterly resented that my brothers and I existed. She used to say that our every-other-weekend visitations were really just my mother sending us to “spy on her and bio-dad.” Needless to say, once I was 13 and old enough to state my wishes, I stopped those visitations. I only heard from my bio-father a few times after that before he died in his early 60s.

      My mother, on the other hand, married a wonderful man a few years after her divorce. My step-dad raised me from 8 years old, and referred to me as his “acquired daughter,” a title I wore with pride. I miss him still; he died 16 years ago, which spared him the disgust of seeing what I went through when divorcing my cheating, narcissistic, filth of a first husband.

    • The Swedish comedy, “Bonus Family”, is hilarious. I had never heard the term. Apparently, it is the European way of saying step family. Stepbrothers are bonus brothers, bonus mom has a bonus daughter…and so on.

      • Swedish chump here, and you are correct. “Bonus” is a widely used term in blended families in Sweden, and generally carries no inherently negative connotation.
        My theory is that Swedes tend to use “bonus” because “step” implies marriage. And that’s not always applicable.
        My last ex and I lived together for two years. We used the term “bonus” and everyone liked it.

    • Regardless of what they want to call themselves at their own house, isn’t it generally true that the only person you’re required to do business with is the child’s other actual bio or legal parent?

      I may be talking nonsense, and maybe it’s different in different places…

      It just seems to me that in terms of co-parenting from different residences, that duty remains with the actual parents. So the rest of it is just their attempt at some artificial construct.

      I knew a guy once who remarried and his new wife decided the three of them were a team – like “Team Narwhal” or whatever – in order to cut the actual mom out of their “team”. It was ugly, and the child resented the crap out of it once he got to be about middle school age or so.

      Many kids see through that crap once they are old enough, it seems.

  • My ex-wife went from the entitled drama queen that I always saw to the persona that is reserved for everyone else. That was what still fucks with me. She can be nice to me while getting divorced, but can’t when we were married? I imagine it was all the evidence she knew I could use against her that allowed it all to go smoothly (for the most part). Still messes with my head.

    Oh, she still slips up but not too often. Mostly it’s that creepy “rainbows and sunshine” persona that I see. She’s going to act like she’s a close friend of mine no matter what. Maybe a day or two of rage or self-pity, but then right back to top shelf charm. The thing is, I think it makes me look like the grouch to our kid and everyone else. I think I’m being realistic and not sugar coating life, but there are a lot of people who only care about the sugar coated version.

    I had to sugar coat with my family this Christmas. They know it’s still difficult for me and that I’m participating out of obligation. They had zero tolerance for my stretched thin nerves. I made the mistake of saying “would you please use your inside voice or go outside” when a kid was yelling at the top of his lungs and the parents were just rolling their eyes. Even though I asked nicely, apparently I deeply offended the parents and hurt the kids feelings. That whole side of the family left without saying a word to me and I got a nasty phonecall later.

    Maybe I should drink some of this “rainbows and sunshine” Kool-aid and be just as fake as my ex. She doesn’t offend anyone (that doesn’t know her really well). She’s everyone’s friend.

    • Yes, it’s another way to abuse us. They act friendly and kind when there is an audience. Making us look like miserable grudge holders.

      • She takes it a step further, Mitz. She acts friendly and kind even without an audience. Makes me want to doubt my sanity. I know that she sucks, but I feel like the crazy one. When we were married, I was the only one that saw her bad side. Now that we’re divorced, that bad side is gone. Well, reduced 85 to 90 percent of the prior level.

        It’s like the ex I could have as a friend (don’t want to) is the spouse I wished I had.

        • Don’t even know if it’s intentional to mess with you, I think it’s just the face she has for strangers and acquaintances. It’s how they keep people at a distance. You are now in the external friend category so you get the friendly nice gal mask she presents to others in that situation.

          These are inauthentic people with no true sense of self.

          • That’s exactly with I think it is Fearful&loathing! Unfortunately, since I truly trust that she sucks, it also has the added effect of messing with my head.

            It’s like in those movies where a character is a known psychopath, but is in a public situation and the main character has to act like they are not. My brain reacts exactly how an audience would react…it keeps repeating “get out of there”!

            • You know it’s just an act.
              She just figured she gets better social acceptance acting a Saint.
              Don’t worry your head.
              See her ‘nice’ and raise her 20.
              She can’t fck with your head like you can fck with hers. You come from a place of awareness.
              And hey! Own that bit of grumpy!

            • SweetPotato, one more reason to NEVER spend more than one minute in her presence, EVER. And I would respond to her ‘friendly and nice’ stupid shit facade by being as FAKE as possible w/her. Nice BIG smile, ‘Hi!’ then turn away and ignore her.

              Your kids need to know that while you will always be POLITE, it isn’t healthy to be friendly with people who have hurt us and betrayed us. That for THEIR SAKES you will always be civil, but for your own health and well-being, you will not chat w/their mother, spend time w/her, or act like you are friends when you are NOT. Tell them, too, that you expect the same of them going forward in their lives; someone hurts them very much, they should not be ‘friends’ or act friendly with them.

              Don’t worry, her true character will come through again in a while. How long did she treat you well for? And wait ’til your kids are teens, with opinions of their own and attitude.

        • I think that would freak me out. I was always most worried when he was happy and nice -usually meant something bad was coming. I’m lucky my Ex does the usual combination of sad, rage, and fabulousness. Permanent fabulousness would drive me pretty crazy. That’s some next level manipulation.

    • When you were married you were a “guaranteed” and therefore “safe” person, and therefore there was no reason for her to treat you well. In her eyes you were hers to abuse–and blame. Now that you’re divorced, you are both a person from whom she may need something, as well as someone who knows what she is really like, and therefore might reveal the truth about her. So in her eyes you must both be appeased–with good behavior–as well as groomed–so if she needs anything you’ll be willing to get it–but you are no doubt still being blamed, and she is also faking out other people with her impression management self. All that sparkling she’s doing is a way to convince other people that all along you were the bad one and she the good. The shit sandwich here is that whatever you do to try to convince them will only make you look bad in their eyes. This is exactly what happened to me, and the only way I could find to get out from under it is to cut off contact with people (former colleagues and Switzerland friends) I could, and minimize contact with people I couldn’t (family) while simultaneously setting strong and self-protective boundaries.

      I suggest that next time a family occasion comes up, you celebrate it with the family in a separate celebration.

      • The family celebration was all on my side of the family. I have absolutely nothing to do with ex’s side.

        On my side, most of my siblings really don’t want to hear anything about my divorce. They have an “it happens” attitude. I have one sister that is really wonderfully supportive. Another sister (the deeply offended one) has the attitude of “you’re not the only person in this family that has problems…we have problems too”. Their “problems” mostly come from a mountain of debt that they struggle to pay off since they spend money like it’s water.

        I think the next couple of years I will avoid the massive Christmas get-together. Try to plan it where I can drop by for a bit then have to leave.

        • The other problem is they are raising entitled kids because of lack of boundaries and therefore getting no respect from them. You setting up a boundary was interpreted as pointing out their failure. Which it is of course but was not your intent to do so

      • SPF,
        I am divorcing a fuckwit who personifies everything you just said about your ex. No one would believe me if I told them he is an emotional abuser, manipulator and deviant. I, too, trust that he sucks, but I am so nervous about our court hearings and whether his snow job(s) will work. We have a 21-month old and I am a stay-at home mom but filed any way. Right now he is pleasant and courteous but it never lasts. The mask always slips and helps to remind me that I am making the right decision.

        They delight in keeping us off balance. He is notorious for saying, “I wouldn’t do that” when confronted with something he actually DID. They are truly disordered.

        • SO MUCH THIS…it was like my ex-wife

          was talking about herself in this weird Third Person pattern

          “Those aren’t my words”

          “Does that sound like something I would do?”

          “I don’t see myself doing that”

          ….but in the end, she was doing ALL of it & more

          i feel pretty good about how i called her out

          pretty much every time it was about something serious

          but they really are just projecting a Simulated Personality Hologram

          and when you cut that power & see the deformed monster that lies beneath

          #yowch

          but far better a lifetime as the Betrayed

          than a single hour as the Betrayer

          stay mighty, people!

        • IVote, document document document. Print out every mean or snarky or demanding thing he’s said in a text or e-mail. Write down, w/dates, every thing he’s said or agreed to or changed his mind about in the past. Document EVERY SINGLE SLIP of that mask.

          Make sure your lawyer knows to FIGHT HARD for parenting software, and never communicate with him any other way – that way EVERYTHING is documented.

          These assholes can’t behave well for all that long.

        • The “I would never…” comment must be in the liars & cheaters handbook. I heard it all the time after confronting X about something he did do or say.
          I finally came to the conclusion that he rationalized that his denial was not really be a lie because he did not come right out and say a bold faced lie by saying, ” I DID NOT…”.
          “Would never” is not concrete. Therefore, its meaning can be interpreted differently.
          I think it’s also an attempt to turn the table on us and make us feel guilty or crazy for accusing them (gaslighting).
          I know X hid a lot of lies behind the ” I would never” statement.

    • My dad is like this. Most people think he is this great guy, including most of his family. The only people who see him for who he really is are those of us who have experienced his narcissism and sociopathic behavior, and who refuse to let the wool be pulled over their eyes.

      Good people don’t cheat on their spouses, drive the family into debt, play mind games with their kids in an effort to get back at the ex who had the balls to stand up to them, ban their children from their homes, drop their kids entirely for over 20 years while blaming the kids. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is what I tell people who gush about my father. This is also what I tell people who are completely shocked that he has kids he never mentioned.

      I am not surprised that my father did not tell people he had kids for over 20 years. It would mess up his image if he had to explain why he had no relationship with us.

      His family members who think he shoots rainbows out of his ass refuse to see the truth,and tell me its my fault. They know better than to blame my mom. I only deal with them every few years, when I have to see them at weddings or funerals. I am in touch with the other family members who see my father for who he really is, and who were there for me and my brother.

      • Been through the same with my father, and now watching my four kids deal with it with theirs. It was encouraging to read your post. Stay strong 💜

    • Sweet Potato-
      Consider that she is playing for the audience in her own head. My ex is a sociopath (I don’t say that lightly) and he is always playing a game, the actor in his own drama. I suspect it is partly so he can replay it in his mind to bolster up his own self image.
      I think it is also so that when he lies to others about how he treated me, it can be more convincing. The best lie is a partial truth. Then, like a method actor, he can convincingly go on (to others and himself) about how nice he was to me in that specific interaction (conveniently forgetting the interactions where he was abusive and did things like physically threaten me, for example). For my ex, it is a way for him to be a better liar with others.
      It also really messes with your mind. I would constantly be looking over my shoulders (is there someone else in the room???) I would ask him “who are you even talking to? We both know you are lying. So who is this performance FOR anyway?” This was before I went MC.
      In my ex’s case it made him a much more convincing sad sausage while with others if he could actually recall having these pretend conversations with me (while crying softly of course 🙄), his friends wondering how I could be such a bitch. And bonus points- my ex could say- “that conversation really did happen- go ask Boudicca herself!”
      The only solution-
      No contact. No contact. No contact.

    • Take a very close look at that branch of the fanily who had such an exagerated reaction to your requesting the kid behave themselves. It’s very telling that they were allowing the kid to trample everyone elses boundaries by being disruptive and the moment someone requests others are taken into account (or tries to impose a boundary) that person is socially ostracised/punished.

    • My ex is a total angel in public. he orchestrated so many things to make me be seen as the real problem. the OW, new wife, has on her FB “I believe in biblical marriage, one man one woman, for life”….while screwing my husband in my bed and making a deceitful friendship with my son that totally destroyed my former wonderful relationship with him before we knew she was dads GF in order to be accepted in my place. piano player at church. you cant make this shit up. i spent my entire life loving people, making them more comfortable, and teaching the bible. his smear campaign made me into the cruelest, most selfishly evil bitch that’s ever graced the earth. a total ‘flio the script’. in over 50 years no one has ever actually seen me be that person, but somehow they all believe it. I had to just finally tell people, including my kids, “tell it any way you want to”.

      I moved, went no contact with the entire lot. now he’ll have to find a new victim. I’m no longer the family, or community, punching bag. Apparently I’m too f’d up to breathe…so now I do my breathing elsewhere.

      • “I believe in biblical marriage, one man one woman, for life” — That is some serious cognitive dissonance. It is so unjust that you were demoted from Wife Appliance to Punching Bag. A community Punching Bag! That was literally diabolical. You likely already know this, but will repeat: The disordered are unacquainted with truth. There is no truth, there is only image management. There is no love, there is only use. Megakudos to you for refusing to be used any more.

  • “They live in their own reality”
    I think what Cuzchmp wrote is spot on.
    AND, their reality is so different from our’s.
    Hell, my cheater also told me I would really like the ow, she was a lot like me and oh so nice.

    Once a cheater makes the decision to cheat and leave his/her partner for someone else I believe whatever they think or whatever they want is just that, their wants, their needs.
    Their children do NOT come first. They never have and they never will.
    He fathers from a distance, and it is catching up to him, leaving the children miles away from his heart.
    He created that distance. No amount of fake friendship will correct that. He has to live with this.
    Meanwhile, YOU, Dear Trying, are MIGHTY!
    Keep on being the present, sane, loving parent, their MOM!
    Stay strong.
    YOU are a hero to CN.

    • Peacekeeper, thank you for your comment. I greatly appreciate your kind words and encouragement. And what you said about him fathering from a distance and no amount of fake friendship can fix that are right on and just what I needed to hear!

  • How it ”should be” includes not endlessly cheating on the person you promised to remain committed to for life in a legally and spiritually binding contract, so there’s that.

    But yes, of course marriages end, sometimes for quite sad but understandable good reasons, where the erstwhile partners *over time* are able to be better friends and co-parents than they ever were as a married couple, and I genuinely applaud that. It’s great and when it works, that’s truly good.

    However. This usually takes years and years, even when no one cheated or lied relentlessly, no one betrayed and made a total fool of their trusting spouse and traumatised their children. Did he move in with his OW and then dump her and then go back *for the kids*? Did he stick his dick in strange pussy randomly for years *for the kids*? No?

    You are doing what you can *for the kids* to give them a stable, loving home, with boundaries (some of them not-fun and involving doing homework and eating green vegetables). You are modelling reasonable behaviour. Yes, this does include being basically civil and courteous, in upholding custody and visitation arrangements as they occur and in communicating anything regarding *the kids* in a timely manner.

    That is all.

    That aside, he can fuck off.

  • This sounds like my ex. A few months after he had moved in with co-worker he brought her to our child’s piano recital at school. No shame. No soul. And they love drama. They can’t feel real emotions. The only way to feel is through drama and adrenalin rushes. I found my ex’s 12 step journal from 20 years ago for addiction. He wrote that people are objects to used. He is a drama king. He will instigate drama to have fun. Will get revenge when he doesn’t get his way….. They know what they’re doing.

    He did a thorough job on his step work for which I am grateful . No chance of doing a spackle after what I read.
    He did want to change at the time, but then he got bored with stability and integrity.

    You cannot reason or negotiate with that.

    Chump Lady is right on the money as usual.

    And I am free.

    It’s just so hard watching your kids suffer. My ex brought our child home in the middle of the night ffom camping when she told him she didn’t like what he did. He punished her for 8 months not talking to her. She was 13. They are e evil.

    • “He got bored with stability and integrity” — that is a compelling turn of phrase, and such a great way to describe what these disordered people do. Yes, they are evil. Hope your daughter is healing and eventually sees that he is abusive like that globally to everyone in time. Hugs!

      • She is healing, thank you so much. She’s 16 now and she sees. Her dad is seeing her again and things are much better.

        I laughed at the comments above. I thought my ex had a brain tumor.

        Hugs to everyone.

    • Nomorecamping
      “It’s just so hard watching your kids suffer.” THIS.

      I’ve worked on this for over 2 years & my therapist reassures me that they will eventually figure it out.

      Trust that he only punished himself, as he showed his true character to his daughter all by himself. Your daughter knows how her father will react to her–doesn’t bode well for their future relationship. She knows where home is–wherever YOU are.

      • She figured it out. Thanks. She is so strong and beautiful. She went through hell for a while. Counseling helped.

        Ex blew up our family and then told us to go to counseling.

        They will figure it out. Kids are so smart. Hugs!!

    • My ex wife did the same. She literally brought her AP to a Christmas play my son and I were in in December 2018(she had just left on November 2nd, 2018; when she left, she said it was because she “needed a break “ and as staying at moms. ).

      I was dumbfounded and called her. She said he was a “friend.” Pick Ne Dancing me believed it. A day later, her brother told me the truth-she was living with the guy and there had been at least one other.

      And despite her son asking her not to bring this guy to his shows because it upset him, she continued to do so, ignoring his feelings about it.

      • They are so cold. The kids are confused and distressed – My ex said his parents cheated and he got over it – our daughter can get over it, too.
        No soul. Hope your family is recovering.

    • nomorecamping- ah…the recital situation. CL posted my letter about that very thing. I think I was a little too whiny on Chump Nation back then, but it still was a sucky situation. In his case, he had “asked if I’d mind” to which I had said “yes, I would” (with some extra editorials in there that CL suggested I refrain from next time). In the end, he didn’t bring her– or himself– and led my daughter to believe I “wouldn’t let him come” if he brought her. She was 16 then (now 17) and has since realized that it was his choice not to come, and she understands that he loves her as much as he can love anyone other than himself. He has always opted not to attend her performances when it isn’t completely convenient for him (and still continues to do so), regardless of me or the OW. I don’t know if it is worse for them to blatantly ostracize the kids for having an opinion (as yours did) or passively dismiss them (as mine did). But the lack of a happy post-divorce situation is on the cheating ass that created the situation-that’s for sure.

      • Sorry you had to go through that. He got mad that his parents asked me to sit with them. He has punished them for t h at, too.

  • “He’s not asking for friendship, but impression management, and when you’re a shallow as a puddle of piss, to him it’s pretty much the same thing. So he’s probably confused on the subject.”

    Bravo. EXACTLY this!

  • Haha yeah. Nope. Ain’t never happening for me, even after 16 years. (I can’t believe it’s been that long… life has been so peaceful!)

    My ex just had fantasies of being “friends” I think simply because it would assuage his feelings of guilt and make him look like he was the “better man.” (He gave everyone the story about me being a shrew and what I bitch I was. So fucking what…)

    Sorry, but friends don’t cheat. Friends don’t lie. Friends have your back. Friends help you.

    And if they don’t even have the balls to apologize? BS. Mine would not directly admit what he did. The closest he came was to tell me “Even IF I did the ultimate bad thing, I did it for ME.” Seriously? Nah. That’s not a friend. That’s a self-centered narcissistic ahole.

  • THIS. My cheater spent most of his time telling me how much I suck. It was his way of justifying how poorly he was treating me. When we split and he begged for friendship, I said Why? I have loads of friends and they never say how terrible I am. Why would I want to be friends with someone who says and thinks such awful things about me??

    Also, I agree with impression management being the driving force – although I still don’t understand why if there aren’t children or shared friendships to impress. My cheater actually said to me “I’ve never had anyone hate me before and I don’t like how it feels”.

    • “I’ve never had anyone hate me before”

      That he knows of…

      “And I don’t like how it feels.”

      Should have thought about that before he cheated.

      • Kara- hahahahahaha -right, no one hates him. He just became a selfish, cheating liar with you? Right. I don’t know him, but I hate him.

      • Dear Trying,
        That stupid meme and his sanctimonious suggestions to you are just tools in the passive-aggressive narcissist’s box, handed to them by psychobabble of the “RIC”. Certainly there are couples that split up and remain friends. But the idea that the modern world is moving toward this blended family because it is a good thing….that’s just BS. When people decide to get married and raise a family, and they don’t do it spuriously, trying to keep the commitment and not flit about wherever your genitals take you is not old-fashioned. Reconcilable differences happen in relationships all the time. Irreconcilable differences, popping up years after marriage and kids, are really not that common. But when those differences are things like one person prefers to have sex with people under 30 for all eternity, prefers multiple partners, or decides that commitment isn’t for him/her, it kind of smells more like selfishness than a true difference. And when one party is deliberately hiding their different views on these things from the other because (enter tiny violin) society might judge them, well …being loathed by your ex is what you get. Sometimes neither partner is truly committed and they both want this happy blended family. They aren’t behaving better for the kids–they are showing the kids a different view of commitment and family. You don’t ever have to show your kids that lying and cheating are wrong. And you don’t have to cover your cheater’s crimes for them. That’s BS.

      • yeah, my Busted Cheater (44F) was FLOORED

        when people actively started shunning her at school

        after i explained to our concerned and supportive peer group

        the grim set of facts that meant Mommy Moved Out

        turns out Good Moms hate #whores

        who blow up their own families…WHO KNEW?!?!

        her: “they’re not allowed to judge me!”

        me: “hon, they actually are. it’s really quite legal”

        her: “b-b-but they don’t know the real me”

        me: “and there you disagree: they think they DO know the real you, and are letting you know they don’t LIKE the real you by shooting you nasty looks.”

        her: “b-b-but they don’t know the whole story”

        me: “you not getting this conceptually, but you need to understand they ARE IN THEIR OWN STORY…that their story no longer includes being nice to you because of what you DID IN YOUR STORY”

        and i swear for a quick second, as she tilted her head

        like a not very bright cocker spaniel that keeps eating it’s own shit

        i thought she was about to understand that other people exist, truly exist

        and that she MIGHT be about experience Empathy for the Very First Time

        but the (admittedly dim) light flickered out, and the shark eyes were back

        as she just started bitching about how all those bitches are fat

        and short and fat and dumb and fuck them. those fat fatties

      • Exactly Mitz.

        They’re not looking to be friends, they’re looking for absolution. It’s not a big deal if it “all worked out in the end!” Because then the love story of schmoopie can have it’s romanticism and “proof” that they were meant to be because hey, the ex wife is okay with it now and the kids are happy then it’s not that bad that I cheated right???? RIGHT???

        Yeah no. That’s not how this shit works.

        Any compulsively cheating ex that wants to “be friends” is looking for a reason to not look and feel like an asshole. They know society will judge them and they feel guilt, so instead of doing literally any of the right things (generous divorce settlement, no contact except for upholding parental responsibilities, etc) they look for anything to relieve it for their own sake. Being friends is the ultimate relief of guilt for a cheater. It’s still all about them, what they want, and feeding their ego.

        • My ex was stupid enough to listen to a friend’s story of having cheated and think it could go that way for him, too! This guy’s wife kicked him out, she did almost all the work of raising their kids (of course!) and the kids never knew why they split up (of course). Then 15 years after the divorce, Cheater and Chump met up again, started dating, and re-married. He moved back into the house he’d moved out of! And kids were all raised and moved out by then, easy peasy! Now everybody lives happily ever after!

          Yup, my Ex thought it could go like that for him, too! Uh, no. I actually kinda wish I’d asked him whether he thought things would go for him like they did for Serge. When he said yes, I could have responded; ‘well, it’s less shocking that Lise took Serge back. He’s actually an interesting and fun guy.’ (‘Cause my Ex SO isn’t, and he knows it!!!)

      • Yep, I totally agree. If we can laugh and chit-chat about dumb shit then that little time I left you to go move in with my side ho couldn’t have been soooooo bad. And that time I asked our son to move in with us after the first visit, it wasn’t such a bad idea, right? You know I’m in luuuuuuv with the woman of my dreams!!! *PUKE* These people are insane.

    • “I’ve never had anyone hate me before and I don’t like how it feels”. That gave me chills. This was something else I never could understand.

      My ex-wife will act like it’s torture to her if I’m mad at her. Even now, she will occasionally ask me if I’m mad at her. She was perfectly willing to do very unacceptable things that would make anyone angry, but would freak out when I got angry.

      Shortly after we were married, an old boyfriend of hers came into town. She told me he invited her to the movies and she wanted to go. I refused…full stop…absolutely not. She then clarified that she wasn’t asking if she could go. She was telling me she was going to go, but she didn’t want me to be mad about it.

      That’s right! She felt entitled to go with him and for me to not treat her like I was angry, because she didn’t like the way it felt when I was angry at her. Never dawned on her to not do the inappropriate things that would make anyone angry.

      I nearly lost it over that one. I called a divorce lawyer and left a message but didn’t follow through. We had only been married for a couple of months at that point and felt a wave of shame over the thought of seeking a divorce so quickly. I should have seen her behavior for what it was and ran as far away as I could.

      • Whoa…. Mine asked to take a female friend of his to dinner while we were married. I was 8 months pregnant. I told him no. He knew that I did not like her and it seemed she had a mini crush on him.
        He went anyhow.
        I later saw the text message where he told her that I did not agree to it but that he would ‘take care of me’.
        A friend saw them out together that night and told me that her bf commented and said that they looked too cozy.
        These people have no boundaries.
        They don’t need understanding or even love.
        They will ride over anyone to get what they want. So save your empathy/sympathy, etc.

        • Exactly! I saw an message from my ex to a former boyfriend who had asked if she wanted to come to a party he was throwing. He specifically asked to not bring me. She said something along the lines of “SPF will have a problem with that… it’ll make things difficult for me if I came”. Yeah, she went anyway. Acted like I was an abusive, controlling asshole when I got mad that she went.

          That’s one of the messages I have saved to remind me of who she really is.

    • “Why would I want to be friends with someone who says and thinks such awful things about me?”

      Absolutely this. My ex also voiced his hope, during the divorce process, that we could be “friends.” I think he was playing on the hopium I’d been smoking for three years before I decided enough was enough, although he was conveniently forgetting the things he’d said, thought, and done.

      While I privately thought exactly what you’ve written, I also realized that it was a ploy; he was trying to manipulate me in the divorce process so I would give him what he wanted (and not what the law said was equitable). He also wanted to be “friends” as in “friends with benefits.”

      I ignored his “friend request.” And several other attempts to soften me up and hoover me, and eventually he got the message, did the calculation, and stopped.

  • What I find interesting about this letter is he gave your daughter, who is 15 now, an ultimatum. Act like a perfect child and go along with his schmoopie life, or never see him.

    And it seems that she has chosen to never see him.

    To her, not seeing him at all appears to be preferable to spending time around him and OW. That says a LOT about him.

    It also says a lot that a 12 year old boy would be upset missing his mother, and not miss his father.

    Kids aren’t dumb. Even younger children figure out what’s up. Sounds like you have some smart ones. They know who the sane parent is and they’re not willing to accept the bullshit of daddy’s new girlfriend.

    Good on them.

  • I’m struggling with what to tell my adult children about why their father’s behavior prevents me from having any type of relationship with him. They are now 20 & 23 (18 & 20 at the time), so are entering into their adult lives. They have no idea about the sexual abuse & illegal drug usage, among so much other bad behavior. They see it purely through a “dad left mom for another woman” prism so now that the divorce is final, why can’t mom be friends with dad? What’s wrong with her? Poor dad.

    • I get this a ton.
      Im not exactly in the same story, but we have parallels. My kids (19&15) don’t know about the affair (as far as I know). When things fell apart, there was no easy way to explain it.

      Now I think its okay they don’t as I don’t yet have a way to finish this phrase: “We divorced because your mother had an affair and thank goodness because now ____________”.

      Im working on the ending to that phrase. And they’re settling in with the two-houses, college life, etc.. They’re into her a ton now. And today’s post is really relevant to me.

      Maybe we both are working on finishing our phrases and then it will be revealed. Maybe it won’t. I sometimes don’t know.

    • They are old enough to know the truth. He’s obviously a potentially dangerous person, so I’d tell them for their own protection.
      Give them an overview of him being abusive and a drug user, without traumatizing them with the gory details.

  • Whenever my STBXH whines about how he wants to be friends with me-I just say:

    “Friends don’t treat friends this way.”

    And as for the kids’ sporting events? I told him he’s not allowed to sit near me. He wanders around looking for people to talk to while I am surrounded by all of my friends.

    And it feels GOOOOOOD!!!!

    • Funny, my ex purposely waits for my friends and I to sit down at sporting events and then he and schmoopie sit right next to us. He’s done it multiple times, even when there are plenty of other seats. This is what I mean about shoving his relationship in my face. He also corners my friends and introduces schmoopie and tries to talk to them. He has no friends. All of the friends we had were really my friends.

      • Trying, he’s pathetic. Keep reminding yourself of that. I hope your friends snub him completely or are just barely civil. I’d start bringing a HUGE bag, just stuffed w/crumpled paper, to those events. Sit with a friend on one side of you and that bag on the seat on your other side. Maybe bring another one for your friend to put on their other side, too!

        My Ex came to our daughter’s birthday party, less than a year after I found out about Affair #2 and kicked him out. The parents who had been our friends came in, greeted him civilly, then all came and sat around me and chatted. Did my soul so much good! He looked exxxtreeeemeeelly uncomfortable.

        I don’t know how they think others will see their behaviour. I guess because it’s AOK and fully justified in THEIR minds, it will be fine in everyone else’s. I confronted Cheater Narc about this second affair in mid-June. Just before the July 1st long weekend, I told him I’d be taking the kids to my sister’s at the lake, as usual. He said he thought he’d go too. I just said no, but should have reminded him that my brother-in-law has guns, and that he was looking a lot like a wild turkey at that point.

        Most of ‘our’ friends were my friends; I later learned that a lot of them tolerated him, for the kids and me. But even the two friends of his own he did have, Cheater Narc completely ghosted when I told him I knew about the cheating. One he’d been friends for 15 years! I guess nobody has any value in his life, beyond whatever use he has for them in the moment.

      • Trying-my ex brought his whore to my boys’ football game-stood in front of all of my friends on the bleachers-DURING the game because they arrived late-and announced that his whore was with him and wanted to introduce me.

        I felt like saying, “No need-we met at your office 12 years ago and you introduced me then.”

        But-instead I told him to wait, they sat down behind me-and 20 minutes I turned around with a big smile on my face and said, “Hi-I’m Stephanie.”

        I didn’t say “Nice to meet you” on purpose.

        He also threw a party at my old house to introduce her to all of our friends. The friends that attended-I am no longer friends with…

  • My ex does the same thing. My kids are both 8 and under, so I have a long way to go. I do worry when the “father” puts this kind of crap in writing. I don’t know how it will read in front of a judge when we will inevitably go back to court, as my Mr Whoresalot does have the disposable income for attnys. He did very well in the end of the settlement due to me being too eager to end things. How does all the name calling and mud slinging (think words and phrases like parental alienation, vindictive, combative, my demands). I never talk to him unless it’s in writing. Once I backed out of his driveway at an exchange because he was walking towards my car, and I documented this, copying to my attny. How does this read to a judge? He might think there’s more there than there is, just because my ex puts these kind of words in writing.

    • Judges have seen a LOT of this crap, and they’re not stupid – mostly. The only real risk is that some judges are also cheaters and crap parents. But if you have a lawyer who is used to dealing w/this kind of crap, and you’re documenting everything, you are FINE. Even when judges do believe in parental alienation (which does occasionally occur, but is MUCH less common than just crap parenting by the ‘alienated’ parent), it takes a LOT to show that is occurring. Those idiots can throw around all the words they like; as long as you can show you are abiding by the parenting agreement and he can’t show you’re actively bad-mouthing your Ex to your kids, you’re fine.

      So make a decision that until he actually takes you back to court, you won’t worry about what crap he’s saying. If he does take you to court, contact Tempest through CL; she has great info about dealing w/this crap, and has the credentials to back it up.

  • My ex is “disappointed” that I won’t be friends with Schmoopie. In an email he sent to her but copied me on, he told me how generous she was for wanting to be my friend and how horrible I was for refusing her offer.

    Yeah, when hell freezes over. Meanwhile, I ignore her completely and grey rock him. Their narcissism is through the roof on this.

    • Generous?? You’ve got to be shittin’ me!! The ho my ex is with knows better than to try to befriend me. He’s nuts and so is she.

    • Oh puke!

      Schmoopie is now a martyr???

      PULEEZE!

      But I get it-my ex’s Schmoopie helped him understand why I’m on Lexapro (he told me I had to get off of it because my sex drive was too low)-wow, thank you, whore! I’m so glad you could “help” me! I owe you! Here-take my husband! Sorry he’s not wrapped and tied up with a pretty bow-I’m using rush delivery!

      How would we all survive without these dickless buttmunchers and their side pieces?

  • That picture is awesome but I’d bet you a million buck that the marriage failure did not result from infidelity. Only a complete fucking moron with close to zero emotional intelligence would think that they (ex POS and. homewrecking whorebag) and the former spouse (single or w a partner) could ever resemble that photo. SMH they never cease to amaze with their utter lack of understanding of how morally bankrupt cheating is or that it’s a complete roadblock to an amicable divorce. NEWSFLASH ASSHOLES if you start to feel attracted to someone who is not your partner – you end the relationship THEN you seek a new one NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. 😂😂😂

    • Funny, because the ex POS, once told a cashier as we were checking out that he was very high in emotional intelligence. I looked at him like he was nuts, and this was before I knew about all the infidelity!

  • “He doesn’t really want to be your friend. He wants a hypotenuse to bang his triangle with.”

    ” I would greet the latest Schmoopie like the meter reader”

    Good lord, you’re on fire today, ChumpLady. I laughed so hard I cried!

  • They are 15 & 17 now, legally can they stay at home alone (I realize it may be a bad idea for hundreds of other reasons)? Can they stay with friends or extended family instead? Get to know some cousins, or a great-aunt?

    KK continues to be the birch that won’t quit. 3 years and then you can excise and cauterize her from your life. May the software keep you semi-sane until then!

  • You do realize he sent you that picture so he can show the court what a great dad he is. Do not Ever respond to these setups. Just follow the court order. In my state a 14 year old can make the decision about visitation.

    I wonder which one of the ultra maroons looked for that picture. I am so cynical that I figure it’s all about child support. Just follow the money.

  • Before and during divorce proceedings, they want to be friends because they hope to butter you up and screw you financially. After divorce, they want to be friends because that shows the world, “See? What I did wasn’t bad at all and I’m not a bad person; after all, she’s still friends with me, proving my point.”

    Neither of those scenarios are to the chump’s advantage, only to the cheaters.

  • Ex only wants to be friends in front of an audience such as our daughters stage performances. Then he tries to show others how all is forgotten and I try and avoid him.

    Oddly he has never pushed Schmoopie on to the kids even though they’ve been together 3 years. My 16 and 21 year old made it clear she was not a part of their lives and he has kept it that way. If anything he seems to like the time alone with them now.

    His parents are the opposite. Impression management is so important to them they dropped their grandchildren as they didn’t like their boundaries and the fact they had not accepted their ‘new family’. No true loving grandparents would do that. How sad they miss out on two great kids.

  • Trying to live own life, your ex’s affair was exciting due to all the secrecy and running around behind your back. Skank AP thought she was winning a catch and was able to feel special as he picked her over you! They desperately need you for the sick triangle to sustain the relationship drama. Without the drama what else do they have? Nothing. Reality and boring day to day living is for the “not special” schmucks. Narcissists need drama and chaos. Don’t give it to them and if the opportunity arises (don’t force) tell him you are glad he has found someone on his level that he can relate to and eventually you hope to find someone on your level and will never lower the bar again. Something like that…..and then go no contact. His relationship with the kids, is HIS relationship with the kids and he’ll have to navigate on his own.

  • Isn’t the phrase “can’t we all just be friends,” a comedy tag line? I am very careful about choosing friends. When I married I thought we were friends. I was wrong. We divorced because I found out that I had misjudged the person I thought was my friend and I had mistakenly believed we shared values. The friendship was over. I had to co-parent, that was a legal obligation as well as a moral one, and when he defaulted on co-parenting, I picked up the slack. That was for the children, he was the one who lost out on those opportunities. In the long run, I believe the kids do figure it out, but they may miss nuance. You may need to be the sane parent, that doesn’t mean you will always be the popular parent.

    I have terminated friendships for much less than the grievances I had for terminating the marriage. I do not feel you owe another person friendship. I have told long term friends of mine that we have differences of opinion, but I am still willing to be their friend, if they can accept that we have differences of opinion. My college friends tell me they want me to be on face book, and I tell hem they will have to live with the disappointment, but we can still be friends if they want to actually communicate with me by phone or email, or text. If this is too much trouble, then I haven’t lost much, have I? Just because your ex decides to have a relationship, or marry someone (not necessarily Schmoopie) does not mean you have to be friends. You can be civil and maintain social distance.

    We may not be able to choose our blood relations, but we can choose how or if we socially interact with them. People who tell other people who they should love, or be friends with, need to study up on the concept of free will. You are free to express an opinion. I do not have to agree with it just because you expressed it. I am not allowed to run over you with my car if I do not like your opinion, but I can walk away and try not to engage at all if I do not care to hear more.

    My ex still tells my sons I don’t want him to be happy, and I don’t want to be friends. My sons are adults. I tell them I do not care if he is happy, or not, I don’t want to know, nor do I care about his happiness, That is his problem, not mine. As for friendship, no, sorry, he does not meet any of my criteria for friendship. He is my ex spouse, that’s it. His wife is his wife. She does not meet my criteria for friendship either. She is not a Schmoopie, but I don’t care for her anyway. The answer to “can’t we all just be friends?” is NO.

  • I read his actions as passive aggressive rage. He’ll show you! How dare you not want him back after the little matter if the relationship-long cheating?! What, you’re not interested, after I dumped crazy Schmoopie and cane swooping back to declare that It Was Always You? I’ll show you! I’ll marry her to show that it was all worth it (she’s the only one who will hAve me) and tell everyone that you still pine after me. The only trouble is that you’re not acting the part and neither are the children. So here’s where my rage and indignation come in. If you won’t be reasonable then I need to provoke you so that YOU look like the asshole who won’t think of the children and then at least I still can tell Schmoopie that it’s because you’re jealous and still love me because I’m such a catch. In my mind.

  • He keeps shoving her in your face and shaming you for a situation *he* caused because he’s an abusive, triangulating creep.
    He’s jealous that the kids love you more and is hoping you will cause them to validate his ego by being buddy-buddy with him and encouraging them to do the same. That way he doesn’t have to face what a shit father he is and that he has lost them due to his own selfishness.
    Hell no, don’t be “friends” with this massively entitled asshat. He wants you to put the official ex-wife stamp of approval on his despicable walking out out on his family for a person he himself said is crazy. By you showing there’s no hard feelings and ordering the kids to do the same you would make him look and feel better. Not your responsibility.
    Better option; show no feelings at all. Do not respond to his passive-aggressive memes and ignore both him and crazypants at sporting events. He’ll try to shame you for that, but don’t cave. Remember, he *chose* to stop seeing the kids because they refused to kiss his ass and pretend they aren’t traumatized by what he did. If the refusal to see them goes on long enough, it may be considered child abandonment, depending in your jurisdiction. Check with your lawyer and document everything.

    Your ex is one of the most classic narcissists I’ve ever heard of on this site, and that’s saying a lot.

  • Model self-respect for the kids by doing exactly what you are doing—someone disrespects you that much they don’t deserve your friendship or attention.

  • I’ve really wondered that too. I’ve asked a couple of professionals and they both said “it depends”. Some know and are aware that the masked slipped, but view such a slip as “life threatening” that it is covered up at all costs. One said to imagine your a kid and you just got caught in a lie. The fear of being found out is overwhelming. Now amplify that fear to “if I confess I’ll die” levels and you get an idea of what’s happening. Other may not even feel a reaction at all when they deny. They’ve done it so much, for so long, it’s an unconscious habit.

    Both seemed to agree that most were somewhat conscious of it, otherwise they would do it just as often in groups. In a group it’s impossible to get away with it. After two or more people all agree that someone did or said something, the lie falls apart. I’ve actually heard my ex do it in a group a couple of times. It’s hilarious to hear a chorus of people all respond to her denial of saying something with “yes, you did”.

    Now, if my ex hits me with “I never said that” I simply say ok if I have no proof. If I have proof, I forward it to her. She usually responds with “that’s not what I meant to say”. SMH

    • I have had to say many times in response, “then by all means, say what you mean and mean what you say!”
      *Insert blank stare here*

  • To me this sounds like easing their conscience. What does it say when they leave and never look back? Then when you are forced to see each other(daughter’s wedding) he completely ignores you and pretends like you are invisible . That’s a whole different mindfuck like you’re not even worth a second thought.

    • They really do know how to grab you by the throat, but it only works if you let it. I believe it’s referred to here as ‘meh.’

      I have a long row to hoe, but once I changed my mindset and stopped living and dying by what he says, and started advocating for me – It’s as if the world righted itself. Screw him it just shows how messed up he is to continue to treat you with contempt.

    • Ironbutterfly, to them you are NOT worth a second thought. NOBODY IS. People are just objects to them (yes, even each other), so when you are no longer useful as an object, you become irrelevant. And if they have to prove to themselves that they are superior, you are invisible!

      The key here is to realize that HE IS NOT THE JUDGE OF YOUR VALUE. YOU need to know your value, and YOU need to have and KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON your relationships with people who know your value.

      He was once the center of your world, of course his opinion of you was important, that’s natural and healthy. He then showed you he actually is. That person is incapable of seeing your intrinsic value as a human being, he’s incapable of seeing that value in anyone. (And because he’s incapable, he doesn’t believe it when anybody else can see that value, either.)

  • Ha! This is my ex-husband too. Only he doesn’t try to include the ho he left for. Nope, he just sends me friendly texts far too often that I’m sure she wouldn’t be happy to know about. I’ve asked myself a million times why this is happening now right after our high-drama (because of him) divorce. He was evil and awful for two years until it became final. Then he started with the nice shit. I don’t get it, but it further proves his psychopathy. I’m not interested in being friendly with him. I’m very flat (Gray Rock) with my responses to him. He’s no doubt a narc and I’m not about to play in his triangulation games or whatever other psycho bullshit he has up his sleeve. My days of being played by that fool are long over.

    • It actually aggravates my ex very much when I just respond to his messages with fine, yes, no, ok. He has actually yelled at me several times for not addressing him with common courtesies like good morning. He gets mad that I don’t include small talk in my messages and am just business.

      • Dear No longer: My ex used to do the same thing.
        He wants me to write in complete sentences.
        Just ignore him!

      • Yeah, too bad for him. Tough shit. And all that.

        My Ex too got pissed when I started using BIFF communication (see Bill Eddy for that, especially the book ‘It’s All Your Fault’). So I started adding ‘Hi, ‘ to the beginning of my e-mails, and ‘bye’ to the end. OOOOOOOOHHHH!!! He hated that even more. So I still do it. 😉

  • Trying to Live My Own Life,

    Sorry that your ex is a colossal jerk.

    My ex-husband, abuser and serial adulterer (with prostitutes, men, women, etc.), told me at the end of the three-year (nearly 20 hearing) long divorce process instigated by him with false accusations against me of various reprehensible felonies and a request to the Court to keep me at least 100 feet away from our kids, the ones I raised mostly alone, that cost my $100K, ‘Now we can be friends.’ I was unemployed and wiped out. Still attempting to slightly recover five years later. How do you even respond?

  • Talk to your lawyer immediately and document the dates and your attempts to contact your ex about visitation.

    In Louisiana, the judge will hold YOU in contempt along with attorney fees, court costs and the JAIL time.

    Even with the facts your ex caused this estrangement with his children, the COURT will turn it on you and take your children away from their secure, safe, healthy homes and loving parent. It’s called FALSE parent alienation claims!!

  • Right before my ex husband left me he told me he was getting a vasectomy to go have sex with his OW nanny. He actually asked me go drive him to his appointment and got irritated with me when I refused. Then he told our kids- ages 11, 8 and 2 at the time: daddy is getting an important medical procedure. No wonder I still have nightmares. That is a narcissist. And he still wants to be friends!

    • No Longer,
      I have two kids with my now ex-husband. While my now ex-husband was having an affair with one his OWs, my husband’s OW told my husband to impregnate her and then get a vasectomy. He went through with the vasectomy, thank goodness! I don’t want any more kids to suffer my now ex-husband as a father.

  • He doesn’t want to be your friend. He wants to use you and force you to accept his new relationship so he can improve his relationship with his kids. He chose the skank over everyone. He has a fucking asshole who deserves zero communication from you.

    Don’t even acknowledge him or the stupid picture. Accept he is a total selfish jackass. He uses people. You are just a pawn in his impression management game. He definitely does not want to be your friend.

    Sorry. My ex is always trying to the hero with me and I just ignore him. He deserves to be in jail for the sick twisted mind games he played on me not to mention jeopardizing my health with his undisclosed venereal disease. Trust us: your husband is just as disordered as everyones’ exes on this blog. You are sane because you can’t wreckoncile this mental mind crap in your head. Just trust that it doesn’t make sense for a reason. He doesn’t fool anyone. What a joke he is.

    Happy New Year and know it does get better.

    • Thanks for the pep talk! I screen shotted it and plan to reread it whenever I get down or sucked into his nonsense!

      • Dear Trying to live my life: Hang in there!
        We are all here for you and everyone else here at CN
        that have narcissist “we want to be friends exes.”
        It is all impression management and they are truly disordered.
        When my almost 4 year old had corrective eye surgery about a month ago,
        I had to be in the waiting room/recovery room with my ex husband for hours on end.
        When the surgeon came in and said that our son was under anesthesia I started crying
        because it was so intense and scary to know my son was getting surgery. My narcissist ex actually said to me: “You must be crying for me since I am here.” Such a jackass!

      • I’ve been out of my disordered relations for a year and a half now. I was crushed and I’m pretty sure suffered from PTSD from all the crazy lies and horrendous acts of mental abuse, cheating, denial, gaslighting and just pure meanness. I was always too smart for him and his bullshit, but I just wanted to believe he loved me. I had to finally just accept the truth but it did not mean I got over him and what happened to me. I do believe accepting that some people are really just shitty, lack a conscience / moral compass and they will do whatever they want regardless of who they hurt. It’s not normal behavior; it’s truly disordered. Everyone preaches no contact as the savior and it’s true. Basically, you just don’t engage in the drama and our silence drives these cheaters/narcs nuts. Honestly, they hate when they no longer can control us. Your ex is trying to control you yet again. I’m glad you are smart and came to CL to get her take on his nonsense. She nailed it like she always does. Your ex is a really bad person and super manipulative. He can’t fool you anymore. And it does get better, it just happens over time – with no contact – and just living and working on yourself. In the meantime, be good to yourself.

        I’m going to keep you in my thoughts and send you good energy and peace.

    • Thanks Sara K! Yes, they are disordered. But they
      really do want to be friends it seems. There are so many crazy things
      my ex did, but this one stands out too: 6 months after he left he wrote me a goodbye
      letter and told me he hopes I find a new husband soon. IT was unbelievable!
      And then we I started dating and he find out, of course he was jealous. Sent me a text
      and told me (3 weeks before the divorce was finalized) that I was a “married woman in an
      open romantic relationship!”

      • Please don’t mistake “wanting to be friends” for wanting to control you. Your last story sounds extremely manipulative. And it appears he is successful in playing mind games with you. Just know cheating is a choice. Your ex made a choice and it wasn’t you. That is all you really need to know. He doesn’t want to be your friend. He wants cake. He is a jackass just like everyone else, but you are not choosing to believe it.

        I hope you see the difference

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