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Should I Write the OW?

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband left “temporarily” two years ago after my teenagers confronted him about his chronic emotional and verbal abuse. After a weird few weeks, he started accepting he had a problem and swore he wanted to get back together. He also swore the woman he moved in with was a lesbian roommate. I’ll never be sure.

After 18 months living apart, but still dating and sleeping together, he finally had me convinced he was serious but when I held him accountable for some promises he made, suddenly he was ready to split. He never filed for divorce — but said as long as we are married with no separation agreement he didn’t have to support me financially. Scared, I got a lawyer and filed. We still had sex occasionally. He ran hot and cold for about 7 months, when I finally found he’d had a serious girlfriend for that whole time. He told my teenagers about her months ago and told them not to tell me. They had been anxious for months, not wanting to do his dirty work, not wanting to betray me.

I doubt Schmoops knows he was with me too all those months. He lied so convincingly to me. Now he’s playing victim because when he was running hot and cold I would send him long angry texts – repressed anger from 18 years of being a doormat. Has lectured me about boundaries for all these months because I didn’t stop sending him texts when he told me to. You know what crossing a boundary is? INFIDELITY.

Anyway, he was master of cake. I don’t want him. She’s welcome to him but also I want to tell her he was with me, because she probably got lied to as well. And I want to thank her for dating a married father of 6 and helping hurt my children. I want to tell her he was emotionally, verbally, financially abusive for years. She has three young kids, and he can’t even be responsible for his own. Nothing more heartbreaking than having a 19 year old young man tearfully apologize for not telling his mom that his dad has a girlfriend.

We were separated long enough that it almost seems strange to feel this betrayed but I do. He literally drove 13 hours to introduce her to his family in Quebec just two weeks after I filed for divorce. (The kids pieced that together from her Facebook posts. Gross.) He came right over to my house when he came back and was all over me. More gross.

He had honest options. Instead he blamed his lawyer for telling him not to tell me. Telling his kids and not me was much worse. Now they have to deal with Schmoops and be polite?? How fair is that?

I’m so angry and he’s acting like the victim here. I’m trying every day to get my own life back, but I feel like she invaded my life and I want to push the fuck back. Blow him in. About the overlap. The abuse. The money. The kids’ pain. I have no contact with Sparkleturd and have spent a lot of time and tears accepting that he sucks, that any attention I pay him will only serve to make him feel more important, that he has no empathy or remorse. But I’m also done done done being a doormat.

Advice?

Delayed Chump

Dear Delayed Chump,

No, don’t tell the “lesbian roommate.” She’s well aware he’s a cheater. She won the pick-me dance, so let her have her fuckwit prize.

She’s not the problem here. (I’m not saying she’s a good person, she sucks.) She didn’t “invade” your life — your soon-to-be-ex-husband invited her into the Solid Gold Pick-Me Dance troupe. I promise she’s not the only Rockette. A guy who loves cake this perversely is a guy with a line-up.

You’ll notice he invited her to meet the extended family after you filed for divorce. He needs someone to star as Respectable Relationship Front. You — rightfully, sanely! — bowed out.

So let her have the overlap, abuse, and pain. No tag backs.

I’m more concerned about your children.

He told my teenagers about her months ago and told them not to tell me.

This is heinous. Making a child conspire against their chump parent, conspire in the abuse of that parent, it abuses them too. No one discusses this in the The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants Affairs Are Exuberant Acts of Defiance Infidelity Discourse.

Cheaters introduce children to affair partners all the time (and co-workers, and neighbors, and all sorts of people in the chump’s intimate circle) and press them into silence. And the mind-bending thing is that most people ACCEPT it!

We have to give children a break, because they are put in a horrific position. Now they have to carry the weight of Don’t Hurt Mommy! And they don’t have the agency to fight back. Children are dependent on their parents. They love their parents. This is such an epic mindfuck.

They had been anxious for months, not wanting to do his dirty work, not wanting to betray me.

Of course. And I wonder if when they confronted him on that “emotional abuse” before he moved out, if they didn’t know about the cheating then too?

I hate this guy for you.

I’m so angry and he’s acting like the victim here.

Well of course he is. You took away his cake.

I’m trying every day to get my own life back, but I feel like she invaded my life and I want to push the fuck back. Blow him in.

You know what will blow him in? Letting him enjoy all the natural consequences of his monstrous behavior. Stand BACK. Let the lawyers do their thing. Get a divorce settlement. Rock your new life. Let him lose the respect of his children. Let the arc of justice BEND. It’s a long arc.

If you wrote her, they’d both just get kibbles. The pick me dance would be restored. You think you’re saying “fuck off” but she’ll feel the centrality. Ooh, you care! 

Seeing as he loves secrecy and all, why don’t you keep this little “overlap” secret from Schmoops? You’ve extracted yourself. Let that shit detonate from a distance.

No contact!

((Hugs.))

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Hey – not only should you let the lawyers do their jobs, consider getting your kids and yourself into a family therapist.

    They need to rid themselves of the toxicity of their father. To make them his secret-keeper and to burden them with knowledge of his AFFAIR is SICK.

    I am so sorry he did this to you and I’m infuriated he tainted his kids’ with this intimate knowledge too. Abuse is never limited to just the spouse/partner, it infects and colors ALL their relationships with everybody. But this is grooming/abuse writ large.

    Help them learn how to stand up to their father and anyone else who is abusing them on any level.

    May your divorce be final soon, may he pay his child support on time and in full every single month without nasty comments and may his dick melt off.

    • I am a chump in her early 50’s, now divorced. No children. Marriage less than 15 years.
      Today’s post hit on something I am struggling with to this day.
      My parents kept me and my sister in a cross-mindfuck. Meaning, each of them lied to us for his/her own gain about my father’s double life, with children. They made us part of a negotiation to which we never consented. They made us subliminally feel that we did consent, shifting the blame of their conduct onto us.
      We never consented. Yet they ambushed us with situations that were moments through which they made us dirty. Social situations -and really our life in general- in which we found ourselves dirtied because we were there not knowing what was going on behind our backs. What highs they must have gotten. And the gloaters all around us, what fun. Voyeurism of the highest degree.
      What they engaged in is corruption. They make you believe you gave up your integrity.
      My grandfather tried to stop them but being unsuccessful died of a broken heart shortly after.
      The consequences for our lives have been beyond severe.
      When I read these things where children get used in such heinous ways my heart breaks.

      • That is horrible, Im sorry you suffered it.

        Being a chump revealed things about life that Ihad not understood before. My father does not like children and rarely did together stuff with us. I walked around with a wonderfully warm memory of him eagerly asking me to come on an errand with him when I was 11…we went to the liquor store and came home. I was 40 before I realized that was pathetic.

        anywho. My dad came to meet a beautiful divorcee with a daughter near my age. On a Saturday, dad and I went to her house to help her rake leaves leaving mom at home. We raked then came inside and they chatted and laughed for a LONG time. Now I realize that I was just an alibi. Mom knew he was smitten with her …I came home one day to find she had cried all day. Mom was a selfish viper but still didnt deserve that.

        Try your best to forgive yourself …CL is right, we had no agency and were manipulated.

    • I agree but be careful. Two psychologists I’ve seen (one for treatment and one for legal purposes) were keen to excuse/downplay the sneaky behaviour of my ex (introducing her to the kids and telling them to lie to me about it – mine were 5 and 6 – this was in contravention of a parenting plan that cost us $3000 at mediation to create). They saw the kids’ right to have an untainted image of their father as more important than the truth…. which makes no sense because their dad had tainted them when asking them to lie about meeting the OW. My usual psychologist recognised it for what it was: abuse. So did my lawyer. But there are some wishy-washy therapists out there. Get a good one and don’t tolerate a bad one.

  • Might as well write to Hurricane Katrina or the caronavirus: they have as much empathy for their victims as cheaters and APs. As CL says, focus on your kids: They have been hurt, and you can help them heal. I went through something similar with my sons (12 and 17 when everything blew up). It’s a long game (Think 5 or 10 years), but they can truly end up in a better place.

  • I’m about a year out from D-day- I filed for divorce last week on the first day I was legally able to. Life on the other side- there aren’t words for how much better it is (though I wouldn’t have believed that a year ago- hugs if it’s still fresh for you). I read this site everyday to help me process. A year out, the pain is a little duller and I can read these posts with such clarity. Every cheater is the exact fucking same. A different flavor, but all shit ice cream. It’s amazing to me. Absolutely amazing. They never deserved us, chumps. If you’re in the thick, it gets better. That doesn’t make what you’re going through right now easier, but I need you to know that every one of these jokers? They don’t deserve a tear from you. RUN and don’t look back.

    • What LIFE said!! I am one year out from D-Day this Monday……30 year marriage….exit/abandonment affair for STBXH…..Read this site EVERY DAY…it WILL help you process…it DOES get better, slowly, over time….you WILL process with more clarity every day….Be good to yourself….Focus on Family Healing …you and your children DESERVE MORE.

  • It is never a good idea to contact the OW. She knew he was married and did not care. If you contact her she will only play the victim and mahke you out as the crazy wife. She is not worth your time. Let her have the abusive pig. I made the mistake and contacted Skankella when I first found out. I messaged her via facebook. She denied anything was going on. Told me to prove it. Forwarded all the messages to my husband. Then reported my facebook account as fake. About a year ago I received a text from her(someone was spreading her number all over the place). The text said”Stop spreading my number all over the place. I have proof it is you. And I will press charges. Remember BITCH we will meet up someday.” Not that it matters I was not the one spreading her number. She probably was screwing some other womens man. I never responded. You can not reason with the OW. They do not think like us Chumps. Let her have your STBX. She will eventually get the karma she deserves.

    • I forgot to add. Maybe it would be best to get your children counseling. And get a good lawyer and make sure your husband has to pay child support. And maybe supervised visits for you minor children. He most likely will continue with the mind games. All contact should be through the lawyers only. He can’t be trusted protect yourself and your children.

  • Definitely time to get the family counseling! Especially the older ones that were forced into being the secret squirrels. They need to know that they should have NEVER been put in that situation and that they are now old enough to tell their “Dad” how they feel about that. The older ones also have the right to tell him no, they dont want to see him.

    Now for you. You have your attorney. Good! Focus on yourself and your kids! Your new life doesn’t have to center around an abusive asshole anymore. Those kids get the best gift they could ever get from this, a mom that loves and cares for them as a Mother should!

  • Don’t bother telling the other woman. I was in a similar situation, got the chance to tell
    this girl what he’d been doing to both of us, showed her proof so she didn’t think I was just lying, We were actively trying to have a baby before I found this out. So I thought I was doing her a favor by letting her know. She was 24 he is 40 with kids and all. My words to her were you’re not married to him, you don’t have kids with him, you’re young, run the other way while you can! Well turns out she did not care and actually got pregnant by him about two months after our conversation and met my kids right after that. Fun fun. He makes a good living so this is my assumption of why she is with him in the first place. But anyway ya so don’t bother. You’re best bet it to thank the lord he is no longer your problem and live your cheater free life In peace. I wasted 12 years of my life being married to that asshole and a a couple more years thinking he had an epiphany and wanted to change and fix our family. All those couple years did was give him more opportunities to cheat on me and now I have to deal with this little bitch around my kids. That little skank can have him and continue to be cheated on by him while she sits at home with that baby she purposely had. She wanted my old life well she got it.

    • “She wanted my old life well she got it.”

      Such an excellent point. My STBX’s AP worked with my husband. She was an HR manager and targeted him because her biological clock was ticking and she wanted a baby. She knew what he earned and probably figured he was available because he worked in Switzerland while my daughter and I continued to live in our home in London. This went on for 10 years.

      She used ovulation tests as birth control and low and behold, got pregnant in 3 weeks. Went on about how she was strong enough to raise the baby alone so would be keeping it.

      So how did this play out? First the wreckonciliation where he tried to stay with me while being with her on a monthly basis because they had to have a relationship as “parents”. After finding a stash of emails to myriad APs going back 20 years, I decided to divorce him. He immediately went back to her. She WON!

      What does she have now? Well he visits her every other week (he was with me every week for the 10 years). He lost his job over this affair but is still living in Switzerland and has no intention of moving to Vienna where she lives. He texts me constantly except on the weekends he is in Vienna. He said before that I was his life partner and we would find our way back to each other a couple of years after our divorce (WTF?). I can only assume he is keeping me warm for his eventual return. She is complaining that he only shows up a couple of times a month for a few days and she has to raise her daughter alone. Poor thing. There was no way she could have predicted that!

      Thing is, I barely miss him. I realise now that I in fact raised our daughter alone. All he did was the laundry and send some money. She has the pound shop version of my life. She is welcome to it.

      • So why are you still texting him? Sounds like you’re still very much entangled in his life and know WAY too much about their relationship.

        • This is my question. If you allow him to text you, you are entertaining his hopes for a reconciliation.

          This man is a gummy worm. No contact is your friend. You need to detox from his abuse.

      • WomBatMom,

        Right now it probably gives you a little bit of much needed satisfaction to find out, via him texting you, that things aren’t so rosey for xh & ow. Even though you wouldn’t consider it now, him telling you he wants you back some day is a little tiny boost to the pain & hurt as well. It feels good to know xh is SEEMINGLY regretting shitting on you & f’ing up your life. Ok, you’ve gotten a tad bit of satisfaction from his texts. NOW it’s time to BLOCK HIM & GO GREY ROCK!

        You are giving him kibbles he doesn’t deserve. You continue to communicate with him, or at the least he knows you’re reading the texts he sends you. Regardless of what you say to him, he thinks he still has you hooked & on the line for him to pull back in later. And really, he does. Otherwise, you wouldn’t still be texting with him. Think about how much he fooled you before. These assholes are masters at twisting shit in your head. He still has a possibility of manipulating you since you’re still texting with him. Don’t let him have even the slightest chance of working his way back into your heart & head (it can happen)!

        Look into Parenting Software due to your child & ONLY communicate through that. By continuing to text with him, he still has a hold on you & can get back into your head. He doesn’t even deserve your time or attention (even negative) anyway. Take it from all of us who have been there & found out the hard way — you need to stop texting with him & go grey rock NOW for your own good.

        • Yes Rose Thorns. I found I had to go no contact to really detach and move on with my life. Keeping that line of communication open is kibbles for him and keeps you emotionally invested, however slightly.

        • This. Even if WombatMom isn’t responding to the unwanted texts, the texts are still little stink bombs into her life, keeping him some real estate in her head.

        • Actually, most of what I know, I found out in the trove of emails I found. However, I have to text him because I need to negotiate the financial settlement. The only person more abusive and incompetent than my husband was my lawyer. I fired her and will negotiate on my own behalf. I can’t afford a new one now and I am done paying thousands upon thousands to have a lawyer basically tell me to sign over everything to my pathetic husband.

          Lawyers have no clue about how pensions work and mine has spent zero time looking at the spreadsheets I provided outlining the situation and gives me generic advice (more like chastising) based on what I can only assume is contempt for me. STBX is agreeing to what I am proposing and even if he doesn’t, I can walk away with what I have and be better off than what my lawyer suggests.

          As for parenting software, this is totally unnecessary. My daughter won’t see him, he doesn’t come here to see her and he lives in another country. I will let him see her any time but it isn’t going to happen. The courts don’t set out these conditions, we agree them between us, so I don’t have to worry here. If my daughter were forced to see him or risk being taken from me, she would go and just ignore him. For now he is respecting her wishes.

          I do find it astounding, however, that my husband has only the most basic responsibility to provide for her. Just food and some clothes. Keeping a roof over our heads is apparently 100% my responsibility. If I am homeless, I don’t know how I am supposed to take care of her but I was told that was just how it is.

          I don’t really understand how you can only get divorced with cause but then this has virtually ZERO impact on the settlement. They try to tell me that England is the best place in the world to get divorced but I just don’t see it. If he is to blame, I have to raise the kid alone, pay for 90% of her expenses myself and we have equal assets, why do I have to give him half my pensions from before we met? Especially when I have 5 fewer years to make up for lost pensions? Even my husband isn’t this bad and only my lawyer is threatening me not to negotiate too good a deal (anything more than the absolute minimum child support).

          No contact only works if you can trust the people around you to act in your best interests. I have found that not to be the case. I only trust myself now so until this is finalised, I have to keep him on side and avoid provoking him.

          • Actually, there is one good thing about this situation. No one is saying my husband can have 50% custody. Whoever came up with that idea is an idiot and likely doing untold damage to an entire generation of kids with divorced parents.

            I was one of these and my sister and I agree that we would have hated having to spend half our time with our dad, especially at the ages we were when he left (9 and 11). We saw him occasionally but he was abusive and we were thrilled when he moved out. We now have a decent relationship with him but having to run back and forth during our teen years would have been catastrophic.

            It is hard to predict how things might have turned out but I doubt I would have gone on to get an engineering degree and and MBA. Teen age years were extremely difficult and I think I would have ended up on drugs and a drop out if I had had to live with him (like my step brother who did live with him ended up.)

  • Delayed Chump: “He told my teenagers about her months ago and told them not to tell me.”
    Chump Lady: “This is heinous. Making a child conspire against their chump parent, conspire in the abuse of that parent, it abuses them too. ….. I hate this guy for you.”

    I hate him too, DC.

    Sparkledick took my Asperger son to his favorite national park (son was 30 then) while I was travelling for work. He showed up with OW and her 4 kids by 3 different men.

    Son felt so humiliated (“he thinks I’m an idiot, like a dog who wouldn’t know the difference”) but did not tell me because he was afraid his “father” would throw him out of the house and son is highly avoidant of ANY kind of change. Change terrifies him.

    Son finally blew up 3 years later and that was my D-Day. Before there was just the “verbal abuse” and things taking out bank loans in my name and lying about it and me spackling all the while. By the way, sparkle-father told son he had done something “very serious” to his family. Oh how I hate the fuckwit!

    Well, DC, son still lives with his lazy, demagogue “father” and is getting worse because of this situation, in spite of all his talents.

    So, my advice is to work on making your children feel as safe and as guilt-free as possible. If it can be managed legally I would also keep them no contact with this shallow moral moron.

    You are much better off.

  • My situation was a bit different. He left and filed but kept coming around. After about two years I got a call from a girl. He has been seeing her. She didn’t know he was ever married. She didn’t know he was still seeing me. We confronted him together. I now know he probably LOVED this but at the time I thought we were getting him. We both went no contact and she got another guy. I eventually went back due to love bombing and because we had a child together. Another kid and 30 more years of him cheating and I’m finally done. But those years were a terrible waste. He’s a terrible excuse for a human being. He STILL tries to suck me back in but I now see him for what he is. No contact is best. Just live your best life. It’s the best revenge!

  • I could of written this letter 5 years ago.
    Left me for the latest schmoopie, tried to see us both to see who would dance the best, lied to our kids.
    Ugh.
    I had a phone confrontation with the schmoopie one day.I had called my ex about something regarding our teenage daughter, and she answered the phone. I asked her to put him on the phone, and she proceeded to confront me about what I was calling for. I knew that this was my opportunity to say whatever I wanted to say, but instead I just said “listen, please keep my number. One day you’re going to want to call me.“ She pressed and I told her he was seeing me when he should of been in the most blissful time of the relationship with her.
    She confronted him, he told her ( because I had text receipts to back up my story) that he only did those things with me to grease the wheels of our divorce so that he could be with her. He told her that if I thought he was still invested in me that I might be more reasonable in our settlement. She believed him, they are still together and planning to be married in April.
    I have heard through the grapevine that he’s seeing someone besides her, but I have no clue if it’s true.
    I would just like to say, when it comes to facing consequences….my ex faced none. He did suffer financially, I didn’t settle easily. But, our children have not spoken to him in five years, he bought a house and moved in with her and is raising her children with her. He’s basically just compartmentalized his life with his biological children and put it on the non-existent shelf.
    He basically has blocked out his old life and totally created a new one, zero regret.
    Fucking weird.
    So, that being said, I don’t know how my ex feels when he’s lying awake at night. I do know on the surface it just looks like he has no concern for anything that he lost, he’s just moved on to an entirely new existence. He’s like those guys that have another family somewhere and you find out he’s got a wife and kids someplace and you are like “wtf??”
    I don’t think that my ex cares about losing his life, I think he cares that it makes them look bad. I think that’s where any investment in his old life ends.
    Do not contact her, no good can come of this. These cheaters are crafty fuckers, he’ll have her convinced that he’s perfect and you’re crazy before she even gets the envelope open, and she’s just as horrible as him anyway.
    Hugs to you.

    • This looks like my future. My daughter won’t speak to my STBX and I am not sure she ever will. If she does, I expect it will be as an adult many years from now.

      When I try to understand my husband, the model of a separate life somewhere makes the most sense to me. Whatever life we had, it was good and I think he liked it. But that was only one of his lives and there was a whole other person living a parallel life for the 20 years we were together. I have no idea who that guy is. He has tried to rationalise his behaviour but honestly, I don’t think he has any answers.

      He does seem to be trying to invert the relationship. Now AP is the primary relationship and he is trying to turn me into the affair. It isn’t working but it seems that is what he is doing. I think he has no other model for how to live. It is strange and I will never understand it.

      • WomBatMom,

        Following up on what I replied to you above…

        I totally get why you’re probably continuing contact with xh. I needed to understand why. I needed some answers. I felt like I had to find out details so I could get it. I didn’t think I could let it go until I understood it & him. I don’t know if this is the same for you or not but, it sounds like it might be.

        Save yourself years more of your attempt to “untangel the skein of his fuckupedness”! Let me tell you how that ends (in my experience & thousands more on here). It ends with you not ever getting it. It ends with you being even more confused & bewildered by it all. It ends with more heart ache.

        You’re NEVER going to understand it or him. Cheaters will never make sense to us chumps. There really is no rhyme or reason to it. He’s fucked up! End of story. Save yourself the years I wasted trying to understand him through attempts of continuing communication. He’s never going to be able to explain it to you. You’ll never understand or get it that way. He doesn’t even get it himself. And he doesn’t even care to. You’re best hope is to keep reading here & reading books recommended on this site.

    • I think your ex will eventually get his comeuppance. However, I get your bafflement with your ex not seeming to have an issue that he lost his own kids. Amazing how these disordered individuals can block or just flat out not care. I am assuming the AP’s kids are quite young. Wait till they hit their teens and become royal pains in the ass. Hard enough when it is your own flesh and blood but someone else’s? By then the love stuff (or whatever) will have well worn off and it will not be pretty. Your ex will resent the brats, the expense and the AP, now OWife will resent any interference with HER kids. God help him if he stops doling out money. This will not be a Brady Bunch episode but still, get the popcorn.

  • No contact with your soon to be ex AND the OW!!!
    Please 🙏🏻

    I had to go to the OW, who the kids and I knew well for years, to find out the truth about the affair. He wouldn’t admit it but she was happy to. Haven’t spoken to her since. Either have my kids.

    1. It sounds like you children may be old enough to have some say in seeing the OW or not. Find out from your lawyer. My kids refused to ever see her; she has never been to a single event where he had to show up. That was is our rule. When he comes to see his grandchild or to his son’s wedding, he cannot bring her. That to me is the best revenge! She is still “hidden” 10 years later. Must piss her off and that’s OK with me.

    2. Going into a legal battle it won’t do your character any good to show yourself as spiteful or crazy. And nothing you can say will make it into her rock of a brain. She isn’t your problem.

    No Contact! Worth repeating that phrase constantly.

    Make a deal with yourself that 5 or 10 years post-divorce you can contact her then if so inclined. With that time distance, you won’t even care if you out your post-divorce focus into gaining a life.

    If you polled Chump Nation, I doubt if you will find too many people that didn’t regret holding back on contacting any APs.

    Put it all in a journal to pull out when you feel weak.

    Hang in there and keep reading CL for strength.

  • The fact that he forced your children to conspire against you!!! I almost vomited after reading that. What kind of human being, much less THEIR FATHER, manipulates any child this way?? There is a special place in hell reserved for this guy. I Am glad you have a lawyer and hope you find a good therapist to help y’all navigate this terror.

  • I just read the headline and had one thing to say:

    “No.”

    Now I’ll read the whole piece and we’ll see if I change my mind. 😆

    • After reading: Still no.

      I mean, when a chump has a D-Day and becomes fully aware that the AP doesn’t know they are an AP, a very brief informative statement to the AP (preferably either verbal or anonymous) MIGHT be in order on principle. Outside of that, though…

      No.

      For all the reasons CL stated. Your feelings of injustice and anger at bring abused are valid, but work them out in therapy or with friends, not with the APs, says me.

  • No Contact really does wonders, but it takes a long time until you feel the actual disconnect. 18 years with kids is a long time. No Contact helps chip away at that “trauma bonding” as it’s called. It just takes time and discipline. Every time you break NC, it’s like a step backwards.

    • Dear Delayed, you are expecting to be able to appeal to a whore’s better nature. She doesn’t have one, or she wouldn’t be fucking your husband. Don’t do her any favors. Let her figure this out on her own. Don’t think you will make her see the evil of her whorish ways. You can’t protect her either, just like you couldn’t protect yourself from his lies and manipulation. Let that whore go, leave her be to be a whore.

      Put all your energy into yourself. The very best revenge is complete and utter nuclear winter No Contact.

  • Your be surprised what shit Cheaters and. Ow, get up to. My exs ow blew my daughter a kiss and said she was going to be her auntie, daughter said I don’t know you, why are you talking to me, I was with daughters at the time.
    My ex and ow deserved each other..
    My daughter was 5 at the time and had, special needs.

  • “Never interrupt your enemy when he [she] is making a mistake.”

    -Napoleon Bonaparte

    Tattoo on the back of your hand that you write or dial a phone with.

    The way to win this game is DON’T PLAY.

  • I have had my DD 18 in tears tonight because she misses her Dad and wants to have a relationship with him again. She chose to go no contact with him on Christmas Eve when he gave her the most heinous reasons for cheating on me 6 times; I wouldn’t have sex with him, I withheld sex from him because I was punishing him for cheating after d-day 1, his therapists made him think it was ok to cheat, the first couple of times weren’t cheating because they didn’t end in sex and I deprived him of affection so he had to get it elsewhere. And after all that bullshit, he told her that she is the only thing keeping him alive so she can’t leave him.

    Thankfully, she could see through the lies, gaslighting and manipulation and I have done my best to undo the damage his words have caused but I do worry about what has seeped into her subconscious, like ‘she has to have sex with someone so they won’t cheat on her’ or that ‘it’s not cheating if you don’t have sex’. I don’t actually believe he said any of this to deliberately hurt her but he is just so fucked in the head and he can’t seem to get that damn mask to fit anymore now that it has fallen off.

    Side note, During a very rare phone conversation regarding our settlement, I took the opportunity to tell him how disgusted and angry I was that he told her I wouldn’t have sex with him and he said that she was lying, he even brought up a time in her childhood where she had lied to assassinate the character of his own daughter.

    • I hope you can get your daughter a therapist if she is interested. The harsh truth she needs to wrap her head around is that he will never stop lying. She can have a relationship with him, but she has to accept that either she must limit the trust she extends to him or be hurt again. If you love rattlesnakes, you either only enjoy them with a sturdy glass wall between the venomous creature or you handle them knowing you’ll be bitten sooner or later. Of course, some of us just conclude we’d rather not keep company with snakes, but abandoning a parent is terribly hard for most kids, even teenagers.

      I am sorry for you watching your child wrestle with the pain of all of this.

      • I think therapy is a must in this case. Kids can learn a lot from talking to and interacting with a wise and caring adult with no agenda other than their well-being and growth.

    • For sure have her go to therapy if she isn’t already. If she is, tell her therapist what your evil ex is saying to her. Is he telling your daughter that she is the only thing keeping him alive? That’s abusive. Horribly awful. My stupid husband was telling our daughter, who was 10 at the time, that she was his guardian angel, because she alerted me to the fact that he was overdosing. She should never have been put in that position in the first place. If he were a decent dad, he wouldn’t have been using heroin.

  • I dunno, I’d give her a quick infodump of “now you know, what you choose to do is your business,” for 2 reasons.

    1.) Ezekiel 3:18-19. Basically, if you know someone’s doing something wrong and you don’t give them the heads-up, you’re partially responsible for what happens to them. But if you warn them and they choose to ignore you, you are absolved of any guilt for what happens to them. Considering that you two were living apart, it’s possible she got conned by him, same as you. I’d give her the heads-up just so I could feel completely absolved of what happens to her next.

    2.) Your kids will bear the brunt of the secret if you don’t tell. While having to keep Dad’s girlfriend secret from mom is far worse, keeping secrets from the GF will still be stressful to them. Dad’s going to force them to make nice with this woman and let her be part of the family while knowing that she’s in the dark about a lot of stuff. Telling her the truth takes away the pressure on your sons to, yet again, lie for their father.

    • No absolutely no. She doesn’t owe the ow anything. And again no, she’s not responsible for what happened to the other woman.

      Your focus is you and your children. Also, they’re old enough to avoid the ow. Nobody should feel any sense of responsibility for the ow after being betrayed, gaslighted, abused.

      Look forward and let them deal with their own mess.

      NO CONTACT!

    • I think this is a great point, Traffic. I think speaking up is a valid response with the agenda you are advocating.

    • No, I don’t care what Ezekiel says, nobody is responsible for other people’s actions (or feelings). Thinking that leads directly into chumpdom.

      She should explain to her children, of whom at least some are adults, that they don’t need to lie to space or protect somebody’s feelings. Again, they aren’t responsible for her wellbeing.

      • No one is responsible for another person’s behavior or feelings. That is a fact.

        That being said, there is validity in speaking up. There are a number of alcoholics and addicts in recovery today because I said something.

        I myself had no idea there was such a thing as an emotional affair until someone spoke up.
        (I was not the involved party….a friend was and the topic came up in conversation).

        I am also at peace around a number of deaths and tragic circumstances because I spoke up. They chose not to listen but at least I said something.

        I am a big advocate of “if you see something, say something.” when harm to others can result. And there my power ends.

        Saying nothing to the affair accomplice is just as valid. Everyone needs to decide for themselves.

    • Traffic Spiral, Yes, you make a good point and I think each chump should consider which side of the debate they fall on. And each circumstance is different. I get the NC side and it is valid and wise, but I needed to speak the truth. Lies and secrecy took away many years of my life – the life I thought I was living had no relation to the reality of what was going on in my home and my marriage. It’s a terrible shock, and one of the ways I have recovered is by speaking the truth. For me it is the most empowering way to put that past behind me. A chump who speaks up needs to do so carefully and wisely – or the cultural narrative of “angry bitter ex-wife” will come back to bite.

      • If the OW is an unknowing OW, then I see the merit in telling them in a brief, succinct way. No drama, no accusations, no “how hurt I am at being betrayed.” Just the facts, ma’am.

        Knowing OW? You can’t help them.

    • I emailed OW to tell her that the ex was lying to her. That we weren’t separated. I partially did it to burst her bubble, and partially to warn her. I’m not ashamed of doing it. Why be an accomplice to him tricking other women? Do it if you want, then go no contact. My ex lied to her and told her that we were separated, and I was the one wanting to end things with him. No way was I going to let him get away with that shit.

      You have to decide what is right for you. But it’s a ‘do it once and be done with it’. In my opinion anyway.

      • Talking to ow is just a way of staying in the tangle imo. It’s often exactly to ” burst the bubble” of the ow. I often find that chump are made to feel guilty about deciding to walk their own way. They’re told “but it will hurt the children!” That’s just wrong to put a chump in this situtation when we all no that walking away is the best solution. Honestly, we have no clue whether the ow is knowing or not, but most certainly no one should feel guilt about not wanting any contact with ap.

  • This letter brings up so much hurt. Hugs.. stay strong and do not worry about writing the other woman, like they say it is not that she does not know, she does not care. I found out the hard way. I got reminded that the marriage had been over for years (her understanding) when I reached out to his ho worker. He was seeing several others too, so she was dropped soon after for the younger one he married after the divorce was final.

    My Ex had at least 3 different affairs while we were married, I found out after d-day, once I filed for divorce it felt like the information did not stop coming. I remember being overwhelmed and feeling stupid but kept moving forward. What brought me to me knees and 3 years of counseling was finding out that when he was alone with them, he started telling my 6 and 7 year old boys that he was going to divorce me some day. (yep, it happened during the times of affairs), he would introduce them to the flavor of the time. So they lived their whole childhood knowing it was going to blow up. For 8 years I fought schools and my oldest sons battles because they told me something was wrong with my child (adhd or anger issues … ) it turned out to be because he was being abused by his father. He hated me for making his father want a divorce and could not figure out why I kept telling his father I loved him.

    I never even had a clue, he would be out in the garage with them ranting about hating me, and then come in and kiss me and tell me I took such good care of them. My son said he felt like I was lying to him his whole childhood. My youngest quit talking almost completely at 6 years of age and we (doctors and I) could not figure out why. How could a father watch this and not put two and two together.

    All this came out when we separated at d-day when the boys seen how shocked I was, they were so angry with me and it was a tough couple of months because they were going to live with him and leave me. But once things were honest between us, things started to make more sense and I got the three of us in counseling right away and within 6 months we had
    made peace and started working on us. It has been 4 years since the divorce and I feel like this year is the first year we are starting to really live again.

    We are a real family now and have been NC for 4 years. My oldest is so peaceful it is great to see him without his stress and anxiety and my youngest son is talking and learning to connect again. I feel like they blossomed after he moved out. This is hard for me, it is my shame that I did not see what was happening under my roof. The doctors we visited for 8 years and all the therapy for both sons just so a dick-less wonder could get his jollies. No care to the damage he did the three people in this world that really loved him. Of course it would not have happened if I would have worked more and taken better care of him.

    Ex does not have any interest in his sons and has remarried one of his girlfriends with her children to take over and make him look good. Like Paintwidow’s story, his life is good without us, he has more money now, travels a lot and his younger wife came with a huge social circle to party with. We are OK with him not caring as long as he leaves us alone. When he cancelled their health insurance he made sure to use his work address so they do not even know where he lives.

    NC and time are what is needed for clarity (meh).

    • BestMe–what a horrible story; I’m so sorry your sons had to live through years of mindfuckery, and glad that sane mom put them on the path to healing. Hugs.

  • Dear Delayed Chump,

    Ignore the Other Woman. She is not the one who trashed your life. Your husband is the one who did that. The OW is just happens to be the piece of scum he did it with. She’s not special. It could have been any piece of scum he bumped into.

    I have 5 kids, and my oldest had been telling me to divorce her father for years because of his emotional and verbal abuse. I finally pulled the trigger when he started cheating. It’s been nearly 9 years since the divorce was final. The ex didn’t marry the other woman. They broke up before the divorce was complete. He married someone else and is cheating on her. Fortunately, he is not my problem.

    My problem is dealing with the aftermath for me and my children. Four of the kids are no contact with their father. Sadly, the fifth one is a lot like him. The kids and I have done a lot of healing in the years since the divorce, but we all have issues. I wish I had divorced him sooner. The kids who were the youngest at the time of the divorce are doing better than the ones who spent more years living with that nightmare.

    Delayed Chump, you are in a really, really awful place right now. It WILL get better, but it will take time. The path to a better place is through no contact, a financially good divorce, and therapy. One day you will be happy that your ex is not your problem. Stay strong and keep moving forward.

  • Don’t contact the OW. Just don’t engage at all. Go no contact. Your stbx, THRIVES on drama, and the pick me dance, so don’t feed that monster. I ended up writing my ex’s AP, ONLY because he JUST WOULDN’T GO AWAY. This poor man was so smitten with my ex, he just kept texting and calling, trying to convince my ex that they belonged together. By that time, my husband and I were already on the outs, but just for fun, I wrote the AP back, to let him know that my ex clearly didn’t feel the same way, since there were at least 4 other men in different states that he had long term relationships with and swore his love to as well. It HAD to hurt, and I’m not proud of it, but this fuckwit and my ex was so enamored with each other, they took each other’s last names for the 4 years of their 5 year affair (BLECHH). My ex found out and was horrified. “why did you have to hurt him, omg, I’m hurting here too, this is difficult for me too” (insert eye roll…).

  • Women who know they are dating a married man have created some type of an alternative world in their mind where the man is a prize, and you just want your prize back. They love to believe any and all lies about you, because they think they are somehow superior to you, and they are “winning,” They never believe that he will cheat on them, for some reason, even if they find out he has cheated before.

    If they do not know he is married, I think someone should tell them. That is the time they can make an informed decision, and where they will act with character, or confirm they do not have character. I believe if you stay with a man who told you he was not married, but you find out he is, that you have chosen pain, and all the consequences that go with the pain.

    Involving the children in his deception is vile. There is nothing I can think of to excuse this behavior. Also taking her to meet the parents 2 weeks after the divorce is filed is vile. Are the parents supposed to be so stupid they cannot put two and two together? What is the hurry? If the parents don’t care, then you have a clear indication of where the ex got his values.

    If a woman is keeping quiet so that her married lover can cheat a better settlement out of his wife, she should pay close attention, because that is exactly how he will treat her in the future. Also, take note of all his cheating strategies. They will be used again, too. The delusion is very strong in theses folks. Cheaters cheat, and those who steal feel entitled to steal. They have no remorse for their actions, although I have heard some wailing and screaming when it is their turn to be betrayed.

    I always wonder if the tingle that cheaters enjoy when they cheat is worth it when the consequences arrive. Was it worth half of your retirement, losing your home, losing the trust and respect of your children, and some of your friends and family? I know the chump also loses out on some of these things, but it is not by the chump’s choice. It is like being hit by lightening for the chump — an unexpected,, terrible accident. There is a difference when bad things happen to good people. Good people should be offered a hand up, bad people should suffer the consequences of their bad choices.

  • Delayed, you aren’t alone. My 4 kids also discovered their cheating dad and he threatened them if they told me. Middle daughter (15) was so traumatized that she tried to commit suicide and almost succeeded. After 18 weeks of wreconciliation and epic pick me dancing including the horizontal kind where he gave me a STI, I finally had had enough and told him to GTFO. I did contact the OW and her father, a psychiatrist. She was still living at home when it started— goldigging whore. I blamed her. But then other women of all ages came forward with proof he had been cheating with many women for at least 20 years of our 25 years— nothing was as it seemed — one big con. He was angry and abusive physically and mentally to Me and the kids for years. I got divorced 3 years ago and am no contact. Kids Who are young adults now have a very shaky relationship with him mainly about getting money from him for college. Despite a lot of counseling they are all scarred and impacted by the terrible dynamics.

    He still lives with young OW but has been cheating on her for years— my friend even recently saw his active profile on Bumble! Ewwww…..

    Thank god not my monkey not my circus.

    I wish there were do-overs in life.

  • What a POS. It still amazes me how someone can go from Devoted Husband to See Ya in a matter of moments. I’m still reeling from it myself.

    I tried getting rid of TwinkleDick’s lying, cancer-faking, two-faced SparkleTwat because I didn’t want her around my kids. I can’t keep them from their father but I at least thought I could keep them away from someone without any character. Yeah, that shit blew up in my face.

    I’ve learned to let them self-destruct in their own. I’ve completely pulled back and have gone as low contact as possible. I even gave them back the fake “we wish you such happiness” Christmas card with a lousy $10 gift card in it and told them thanks but no thanks, I don’t feel comfortable accepting gifts from two lying assholes (ok, I kept the “lying assholes” part to myself).

    I’m letting my lawyer do the work and she’s doing an amazing job. I’m focusing on living my life without them and raising my kids. They’ll ruin their own lives all by themselves without help from me. They can’t help it. Plus, karma is my BFF!

  • I can’t begin to tell you how many emails I wrote to the OW… but how many did I send… ZERO. Because while she has her own moral compass issues, my cheater was a cheater before her… during her… and after her.

    I think want you want is to have your self-righteous anger about this whole shitshow validated… and you do deserve that… but you won’t get that validation from a OW/OM. They. Won’t. Get. IT… until IT happens to them someday (which it will).

    I’d keep the focus more on supporting your kids who were duped into lying for dear old Dad… because they need your attention and love more than the OW needs a rant from you that just confirms to her all the gaslighting she’s been hearing about how very awful you are to your poor, timid, forest creature, soon to be X.

    Keep coming back here… you can vent to us all you want. We get it… we get you… and our kids do too. One sane parent, one good lawyer, one bright future. That’s the plan. You can do it.

  • Any advice here for when STBX introduces toddler aged children to AP? Teenagers can make their own decisions and spot BS from a mile away. But little people…?

    • Hang onto the evidence/divorce papers. Someday, they may go through that box. Or they’ll ask. Or they won’t NEED to ask because he’s gotten yet another divorce, possibly one more after that, etc.

      There is nothing you can really say – yet. Nor should you – yet. His character is likely to shine through as the years go by and they’ll simply regard him as no great loss.

      Hugs to you, Tiredmama.

    • You can try to get a rule put into your settlement/custody agreement that neither of you can introduce the children to an alternate partner until the relationship is at least 6/9/12 months old. It’s hard to enforce, but worth putting into the legal document. Chances are that STBX will violate other aspects of a custody arrangement, so document (and having that stipulation would mean you will have more to document in order to potentially get more custody).

  • I have known someone who was unaware that he was cast in the role of OM. When he discovered that the woman he’d been seeing for over a year was married with children, he was devastated and nauseous. He’s in therapy due to the damage to his ability to enter into relationships.

    So yeah, if you’re 100% certain that the AP has zero idea that they’re an AP, drop the AP a line but be as bare-bones as possible and don’t press beyond the initial contact. The vast majority of APs know they’re APs, and you don’t want to give them more kibble than necessary.

    I’m more concerned about the emotional impact that your STBXH has heaped on your children! How dare he weaponize their fear of hurting you! Definitely get them into therapy, and get some yourself. After having been emotionally abused for so long, you’ll all need help navigating through all that and establishing a more normal pattern–at least among you and your children.

    Sadly, their relationships with their father is theirs to manage. Depending on their ages and the laws in your area governing divorce and custody, they may have to spend time with him. Therapy can at least help them set boundaries and establish coping mechanisms.

    I hope you’ve lawyered up and can take this Fuckwit to the cleaners.

  • Do not reach out to OW. Never ever ever.

    First is that OW is not a chump like you. She knows what she is doing and she is doing it consciously, deliberately, and intentionally. AP’s are typically just as messed up or even more messed up than fuckwits.

    Second, any ideas that you’ll blow up fuckwit’s cozy life with OW is wrong. It will not blow it up at all, it will just push them closer together. You reaching out with terrible stories will confirm for the OW all the lies fuckwit has told her about you – crazy, bitter, vindictive, etc, etc, etc. You will validate their relationship, validate all his lies, actually let OW sleep well at night thinking she is right to “save” the poor man from evil wife. Do not validate.

    Third is learn to believe what you know about fuckwit. He did not have surgery and had a new brain inserted. Meaning that it’s only a matter of time before all the lies, abuse, gaslighting, etc, etc, etc becomes OW’s life and reality. The sparkle will wear off and she’ll be left with exactly what she deserves – a loser. Leave her to her just rewards.

    Bottom line – not your circus, not your monkeys. Spend that care and energy on your kids and healing their wounds – they need you now more than ever.

  • “Has lectured me about boundaries for all these months because I didn’t stop sending him texts when he told me to. You know what crossing a boundary is? INFIDELITY.”

    ^^^ This. My ex also complained that I “disparaged his relationship” with the AP. !!!!!!

    My 21-year-old is studying overseas this semester. I just learned that my ex is going to go visit him … and take AP. It will be the first time she’s met either of my kids, who know about the affair (ex told them so he could explain how he already had a girlfriend to go visit long before we were even divorced.)

    I know I can’t do anything … but is there anything I can do? Say? Should do or say to my son or daughter? I hate him for doing this to all of us and it’s hard to sort out what’s a legitimate concern for my son.

    Good luck, Delayed Chump. My ex’s OW knew my ex had a wife and children, and she had a husband of her own. My therapist congratulated me the other day for my “restraint” in not contacting her, but it feels like it would be humiliating to me. I’d rather take out an ad in the newspaper.

    • If your son doesn’t know AP will be accompanying your X, then let him know. Sadly, adult children will need to navigate their relationship with the cheater themselves (though you can be there to listen if son/daughter are distressed by contact with X).

    • Really stinks but you can’t do or say anything, unless as Tempest stated, your son is unaware the OW skank will be accompanying dear old Dad. Even then all you can do is say OW will be going to visit as well and you are sorry he has to deal with OW being with his Dad. Keep up the restraint, it makes you the sane parent and believe me that is what your kids need at this time. Your ex bringing OW along is pathetic and he may be egging you on to make a scene, don’t do it. Cheaters thrive off the drama and this speaks volumes for OW as well. If she had a shred of decency she’d tell your ex that it would be best, all things considered, if he had a one on one visit with his son.

  • 1. Don’t text the guy anymore. Go No Contact. If he wants to talk to you before the divorce has been final, tell him to talk through his lawyers or with the lawyers present.

    2. Don’t sleep with the guy anymore for obvious reasons.

    3. Get checked for STDs. I assume he was sleeping with both you and the OW. Who knows what he may have contracted and passed along.

    4. Get your kids into counseling. They should never be involved in a war between adults/parents.

    5. Don’t contact the OW. It does you no good. Even if you think it’d be a relief for you to voice your disgust and anguish, it can come back to cause you more harm than good especially if divorce isn’t final.

    6. Write a letter to the OW, but don’t send it. Write tons of letters. Read them then burn/discard them.

    7. Fight for everything and budge on nothing. If it’s rightfully yours, legally, then take that shit but do it through lawyers.

    You want to regain your life? Move on and away now. Consider them nonexistent. You don’t text or talk to nonexistent things. Focus on your next half step. Then focus on your next full step, then the step after that. Don’t look back. If you need validation, keep posting here and on the Facebook group. Block/delete the guy on all social media platforms. Do what you can to prevent yourself from contacting him. If he or the OW finds you and is able to contact you, don’t reply. Just because a trash can makes some noise, doesn’t mean you start conversing with it.

    Shit sucks. We know. Whether it is tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years or at their deathbeds, karma/justice or whatever you want to call it will come around and hit them in the face.

    My Ex cheated on me. She broke our family up as well as the AP’s family. Gave every reason in the cheater playbook. She had such great luck in life. Things always went well for her. But you know what? I found out that last year, she went to the doctors 3-4 times to get checked for STDs and already 1-2 times this year because her Grand Canyon (coochie) had problems – whether it was infection or irritation. Results came back clean with the exception of 1-2 unexplainable warts (lol). Even if STD tests came back clean, the stress, time and energy worrying about that is just a small bit of justice/karma that will hit her in the long run.

    • RE: JB’s #6

      GREAT advice! I wrote countless email messages to my cheater’s OW, BUT I kept them all in my “drafts” folder! (Still amazed that I had the willpower to do that even when she and my husband began living together immediately after D-Day)

      OW had been engaged for a mere week or so when she was caught with my husband by her then fiancé who immediately kicked her to the curb. This fellow chump revealed to me that his ex (OW) is a narcissist and that her kryptonite is being ignored. Using that tidbit of intel was what prevented me from responding to her MULTIPLE attempts to contact me via phone, text, email, etc.

  • You could talk to this woman all day long but he has already told her everything she needs to hear to counter any truth you could tell. It’s not worth your time, it’s better to clip your toenails or bathe a hamster.

  • I contacted three OW. One of them lied on behalf of cheater. One of them didn’t believe me and then publicly accused me of abusing HER. And the other lied of behalf of cheater AND then also publicly accused me of abusing her. (I was very kind and respectful to all btw. In all cases I took the position of assuming they must not know about me.)

  • It’s often so very hard not to contact the ow sometimes. You want to release what was done to you & make sure the ow knows what a dipshit be is. Doesn’t work. Fuckwit has already told her his narrative (where you are the horrible one & he’s just a victim) & she believes it. Nothing you say will change her mind. She’ll soon find out what she really got. She won’t believe it until she experiences it though.

    I made the mistake of letting ow know what a Whitehead she got & then warning his next 2 victims about him, not wanting them to have to go through what I did. My thinking was that I was giving them the warning I wish I had gotten. They didn’t believe my warnings. I was just the bitter wife to them. My warnings seemed to actually push them closer to him & he sure enjoyed the triangulation.

    What ended up happening from this contact & my concern for them (& their kids) is that each of these 3 women came running to me for help when he ended up abusing them, as I warned them he would. What a tangled mess that ended up being. One got back with him several times even after I helped her. I finally realized that his victim list was going to be endless & that I couldn’t save everyone. Besides, my attempts at saving them didn’t work most of the time anyway. I had to just focus on continuing to save myself & my own kids.

    Right now you think if she knew all he has done & how it has hurt you & your kids it would make a difference. Believe me, it wont. You will initially feel a little bit better to release this crap to her but in the end, it will only come backbto hurt you more. Take it from those of us who have been there & done that. Resist the urge to contact or have any communication with the ow in any way. Nothing good will come of it. Only more shit sandwiches for you & your kids will be the result.

  • “A guy that likes cake this perversely has a line up”
    Back before I knew of Chump lady and I was trying to untangle the cheater’s skein, I noticed my ex was calling multiple women, to include his recent schmoopie, and talking to them on the phone for hours. Of course I looked them up, some I had heard of, some I didn’t. It’s is incredible behavior.
    I stopped untangling and dropped him from my account.
    Great advice for this mama chump, good luck to you!

  • I very much struggle with this same thing. I want to contact the OM and say “Congratulations! You are now that guy. The guy who slept with a married woman breaking up a marriage and emotionally shattered two small children. You are FOREVER…THAT…GUY.”

    I haven’t. and I probably won’t…..PROBABLY.

    I realize he isn’t the one to blame. Except maybe he is a little….*UGH*

    I want to so bad.

    • Mine XW did the same thing and I do blame them both. They conspired to steal and decimate a family. They got it done and took hundreds of thousands of dollars. My sons college fund included and didnt blink an eye. Had it put in the divorce papers that she was not responsible for any expenses regarding my children but wanted and got 50% custody. I saved for that woman and my family my whole life and they now use it to go to Disney 3 and 4 times a year, the two of them, adults without taking any children. Fucktards!

    • Why would you say he isn’t to blame? Maybe she’s *more* to blame, but blame isn’t some limited resource where assigning some to her means less to him. They can both be to blame!

      You’re now divorced (or divorcing), I hope. Are you going around sleeping with other men’s wives? No, right? Because you know it’s a shitty thing to do.

      • Yes divorced and yes he is to blame because it’s a small town and the both knew exactly what they were doing. He even talked to me about my son while their affair was going on. Telling me what a good kid he was. He is a good kid and has never spoken a word to his mothers new husband since she left but he tried to befriend my son before any of us knew what was goi g on. They married immediately after the divorce. He has lots of history including a rape charge. It’s so crazy to me because at one time she was a very good person it seemed. Now she’s just like her new husband. A crook and a liar all the time every time.

  • When my father first decided to cheat on my mother, his first attempt was with my best friend. She didn’t want anything to do with me after that. A few months later, my father offered me money to keep my mother company on New Year’s eve while he went to a party with his new girlfriend. I was a teenager at the time. I didn’t tell my mother for decades, waiting until I knew for sure it could no longer hurt her. Your ex doesn’t deserve you OR his kids; I’m glad you’re making progress toward a better future for all of you. Your kids will be okay sooner or later, and it will help them to see you moving forward.

  • It’s been 5 years since I divorced my cheater kid’s dad, and he’s remarried to the cunt that he left me for; and the mother fucker is still occasionally sending me texts about how he would take me back in a heartbeat, (I’m thinking, “You take Me back? You mean its the other way around.”) How many times I thought of sending her all the texts to me of his professed love, while he’s married to her; because I want her to feel the same hurt and betrayal that I felt when they blew up my marriage years ago; however, she knew what she was getting herself into when she chose to be with a married man. He actually introduced my child and me to her before I knew they were sleeping together. Plus, I could really care less anymore, because I know if I send her those texts, she would think I’m not over it, and I pulled out of that shit show years ago and have been happily meh for the last two. I actually felt sorry for the OW at one point because I figured he was feeding her the same bullshit, he was feeding me. Fuck that cunt, she deserves her karma. Guarantee that the OP’s cheater’s OW knows they are still married; and if she didn’t or he told her the usual b.s. about how him and the wife ‘are practically roommates,’ then she’s an idiot for getting into a relationship with a man who is still legally attached, with children. These people! Something seriously wrong.

  • “I’m more concerned about your children.”

    This. Is. The. Most. Important. Thing.

    You can do some things to help them. First, model what it means to refuse to be in a triangle. Ruminating on and writing to the OW(s) is signing up to stay in the pick-me dance. We all know what it feels like to despise the OWs and want them to be run over by the karma bus. But writing to them just reinforces the centrality of these narcissistic, selfish, entitle cheaters. So don’t talk about your STBX with the kids. Don’t talk about the OW. And start the long process of learning to be “mentally” no contact with STBX and his various other women. Peace comes from not caring what either of them do.

    Second, give some thought to therapy for the kids to work through what has happened. Choosing the right therapist would be key. You want someone who deeply believes that what your STBX did was really really wrong but who also has some good ideas about helping kids see healthy ways to navigate contact with their toxic father. And therapy will help you, too, to vent your anger about what has happened, to help you resist the “write the OW ideas” and to learn how to model healthy boundaries for the kids and to have them for yourself.

  • Some of the best legal advice I’ve been given during my divorce actually came from the paralegal. She’s saved my sanity!
    1. Go No PHYSICAL Contact as soon as divorce papers are filed. No handshakes, goodbye hugs, parting kiss on the cheek, nothing—Especially if you’ve claimed adultery in a “fault” state. Sex after filing papers can negate an adultery claim. Don’t give him any reason to think that door is open. (That was easy for me. Just the thought of the skanks he’d been with made my skin crawl.)
    2. Go No Contact (verbal, messaging, etc.) as quickly as possible. (Best thing I did next to filing for divorce.)
    3. Fantasize about confronting the OW all you want, but know reality will never give you the moment you envision. If she cared one whit about what you had to say, she never would have packed her bags for that weekend getaway.
    4. Festering over the OW only gives him power. If you need to show your crazy, save it for the lawyer’s office. That’s one of the things you’re paying him/her to do— keeping you from giving your STBX any reason to file for custody, restraining order, whatever.
    5. The less you show you care about the other woman, the more frustrated the STBX will become. A calm and cool demeanor will always score points with the court.

  • I probably won’t be popular for saying this but I can’t find anything in the letter to suggest the OW knew she was dating a man who was still married. Delayed Chump says her STBX is a really convincing liar, so how do we know the OW isn’t just another chump?
    He could have told her they were divorced or separated or whatever he wanted and then forbade her from asking the teens (to avoid upsetting them or whatever BS reason) the way he’s forbidden them from telling their own mother about the OW. If he had his own flat separate from the wife how would she know different?
    I say this as someone who was the victim of a con artist who had a wife tucked away but told me he was separated and went to HUGE lengths to preserve the lie. He even got his own parents in on the act to prop up his lies (both to me and to the wife). He fooled not just me, but my whole family that he was a straight up honest guy. If I had known he was still married, I wouldn’t have touched him with a 10 ft barge pole but the truth is the vast majority of single people you meet over a certain age are either divorced/ widowed/ pretending to be single.
    It was only once myself and the secret wife spoke to each other we both managed to put together the missing pieces of the puzzle and realise what a lying shitbag he’d really been.
    I’m happy to be corrected if there’s some crucial piece of evidence I missed that says she was in the know.
    That said, I would not contact the OW in any form that could be used in evidence against you. Nothing that’s written down.

  • I want to thank everyone for all the support. I’ve toiled away in practical isolation with this – so having these responses means a great deal to me. I have a therapist, which is helpful, and I’m also in the strange predicament of having been isolated for a long time for some predictable reasons (Sparkles didn’t like my friends or like when I left the house) and also because I’ve spent a prescient few years working on my own business – from home. Also, things went down hill in my marriage and that’s hard to explain when you used to seem like such a solid couple.

    To clarify, the “lesbian roommate” is not the new OW. There were plenty of clues that the LR was also an OW, but honestly, I guess I felt like it is ridiculous to cheat when we were separated when you can just say you are dating. It would have hurt, but it would have been honest. It’s not even the other person in this case that hurt as much as the purposeful deception – and involving my kids, who are really shell-shocked.

    I do think the OW doesn’t know there was overlap. He revealed his new position on how “we tried a couple of times but ultimately he decided getting back together was not the right choice for him” in our last email exchange. I stopped any in person contact in December, have had no email contact since Jan 31 – he’s blocked on all social media. We had our first court appearance last week and I didn’t acknowledge him or look at him.

    I am still considering contacting her with very basic facts – not to blow up her world, or to hurt her – I’m sort of getting past my anger at her because I’m sure he lied really convincingly. The only reason I might contact her is so that my children don’t have to walk into a situation where they know she’s been lied to and they know they are expected by their dad to keep up appearances. They will not want to be props in his deception with her, just as they were with me.

    Of course she’s been told I’m crazy/jealous/angry – and she will likely see what I write as having to do with that. But she does have three little kids, and she’ll find out eventually. My therapist said that I’m not responsible for her – and I do see that it is just part of my desire to control some of the fall out.

    I am doing better than I was when I wrote CL – so that’s good. I have days when I feel solid and other days when I’m back in the emotional soup. It’s just a lot to look at – much worse than I realized in many ways. I also am sort of taking stock of the things I did well over the last few years. I focused on myself and not him in many ways, which must have been very frustrating for him, but really, he was such a bad husband and father. So hard to live with. So depressing to be around. So the road ahead is hard – but not as hard without him in many ways as with him – as long as I see him for who he is and not who I thought he was. That’s been a terrible loss – the idea of him. But it was just an idea, not reality.

    Thank you to everyone who replied – and thank you to CL for the awesome book that helped me regain my sanity.

  • Going “No Contact” is the best advice and it is also empowering. My mother gave me this advice long ago when dealing with a 2-timing girlfriend and a few bad breakups. She told me to never ever let them or any of their friends see that it bothered me in the least (this after she caught me bawling my eyes out in my room). It really helped me recover quickly and move on, and I’m sure it frustrated the ex-gfs just a little because it denied them kibbles, LOL.

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