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Coronavirus and Co-Parenting with Fuckwits

Hello Chump Lady,

I was married for 17 years, together 19. Left him in 2015, divorced 2016. I lived with him in a very remote place in rural coastal Alaska, to a small town southwest of here. I left because his job is the health care worker in a small native village no way I could stay in that community full of flying monkeys, but more importantly, my son needed a healthy community and a good school, and I needed more opportunities of every stripe.

We split custody. I have my son from Christmas (we switch holiday years) to July. Part of the 50/50 custody agreement is that I let my X have the kid for spring break so I can have an equal amount of time in the fall when he is with his father. Along comes COVID-19.

My X decided that for spring break this year he is going to take our son to Texas to an private exotic game ranch to hunt. As the epidemic begins ramping up, I express concern about these travel plans. I am ignored, blown off, told not to worry. I ask that he stay in state instead of traveling Outside (as we say here in AK). Nope, not a chance. He did agree to not take the kid Costco’ing, Wallmarting, etc. but I have no way of knowing how faithful he was to that agreement (he’s a shopper!). I hesitate to ask the kid as I don’t want to put him in the middle and I know for a fact the X tells his son not to tell me anything.

My X’s need to not change his plans, take our son through 3 airports, twice, including Seattle and Dallas-Ft. Worth, so he can go on a Bucket List hunt — risking our individual health as well as our communities, is a perfect example of why we are no longer married. Asshole X tells me that he has all sorts of disinfectants and medical supplies with him, they will be fine. I ask “Do you have a thermometer?” Crickets. Did I mention he is a health aide???

I work for the Forest Service. I run the front reception desk at our small district office. We aren’t getting clear decision making from above. Some people in the office are teleworking, some aren’t. Some are social distancing, some aren’t. I have to report to work. I am disinfecting everything I that stands still and some things that won’t!!

When my son returns to my custody on Sunday (please God let that happen smoothly) I will have to quarantine us for at least 2 weeks. Luckily my supervisor is fully supportive and encouraging of that plan and I will be able to work from home, even though I am not in a position that teleworks. Our small city is shutting down and preparing for worse case scenario and our small hospital gets overrun. We aren’t on the road system. If weather comes in, planes aren’t flying. People will die in this community.

Tracy, is it wrong of me to wish my X to come down with a very very severe case of crud? (It doesn’t even have to be Coronovirus, a really bad stomach flu will do.) After my son is back with me safe of course. I don’t want the X to die, I just want him to wish he was dead. Just a little. For like a solid week or two.

My story is a classic example of entitlement, selfishness and disregard for his son’s (and everyone else’s) safety. I’ve kept my attorney appraised of these happenings in case I ever have the ability to take him back to court, she’s made a file for it “Covid-19 X”.

Thanks,

Kate

Dear Kate,

I’m sorry. If ever the pain of co-parenting with fuckwits was put into starker relief, it’s this crisis.

Ignoring experts because Fuckwit Knows Better? Check.

Swanning off in flamboyant disregard of everyone’s wishes because You’re Not the Boss of Me? Check.

Minimizing your REASONABLE concerns for safety? Check.

Doing whatever the fuck they want to, who cares who it hurts, because hey! shiny thing!? Check.

Letting you play the part of Mean, Mean Mommy to his Disney Parent? Check.

Sticking you with the clean-up and consequences?  Check again.

My god, Kate, we’ve all been there. Substitute some other horror — driving drunk, locking your kid in the car alone, dumping kids off with distant relatives/passing acquaintance/hobo they once tripped over — we get it.

The world assumes good intent of parents. That they have the primal impulse to care about their offspring and guard them from all harm. That they’re selfless instead of selfish. That there is a reason to appeal to. A better self.

No. What this crisis is demonstrating is what we chumps have known all along — there are narcissistic fuckwits out there who don’t give a flip for anyone’s health and well-being. They’d trade their own mothers for a magic jelly bean. Hell, they’d trade their mothers for a licorice jellybean.

(Or they’d dump all their stock and profit from your misery… Forgive me, I’ve been reading the news headlines.)

Kate, I can’t give you any advice, as you’ve done exactly what I would’ve suggested — you documented this for your lawyer. I’d write to your ex and spell out EXACTLY what damages his spring break lark has cost you and your son. You’re much nicer than me wishing ex the stomach flu. I was hoping one of his Texas safari animals might gore him, or he falls backwards into a manure lagoon. Is eaten by armadillos. Beset upon by fire ants. I can think of a hundred Texas tortures. (Traffic… I-35…)

Suffice it to say, I despise him for you.

I hate the feelings of powerlessness we are all feeling right now. I hate that he took a difficult situation and made it that much harder.

Let me offer my validation that he sucks, and that you are the Sane and Mighty Parent.

Big hugs to all the parents who care. To the single parents who are juggling this homeschool-while-teleworking nightmare. Hold your babies close.

And a pox on fuckwits.

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.
  • Mine won’t social distance and it’s bad here in Canada. His daughter cut him off—he’s not allowed to go to her place. Neither am I and I have a worsening cough and congestion and not enough kits to test me. I’m scared.

    • NewLady 15, it is appropriate to be scared. I’m scared too. It is an incredible bitch to have seasonal allergies during this pandemic. I get sick every March when the trees bud and bloom. I usually wind up pumped full of steroids and taking antibiotics for the secondary infections. Now I’m scared to go to the Dr.

      I’m compromising by taking my temperature and Continuing to staying home. I’m so sorry you are sick and scared. I’m sending you my very best wishes for a quick recuperation. Big hugs and internet love to you.

      • Thank you thirty three years. I’m on hold with telehealth and a doctor friend of mine is coming over later to check my lungs. My real fear is for my community because I’m such a social animal lots of people could have been exposed before I self isolated including some with cancer.

      • Thank you Thirty three years a chump I’m on hold with telehealth and a doctor friend of mine is coming over later to check my lungs. My real fear is for my community because I’m such a social animal lots of people could have been exposed before I self isolated including some with cancer.

        • Fingers crossed that it is your usual springtime miseries and nothing novel. I hope you feel better soon.

          • Update—it’s pneumonia but was caught early. Not covid. Antibiotics and complete isolation. Just waiting for meds to be delivered, i was seen immediately and had results in an hour.

            • That is a blessing you don’t have COVID, but pneumonia is bad. Blessing you were treated early. Hats off to our healthcare worker heros.

            • So pleased you’ve bern diagnosed and treated promptly, Newlady. Please please look after yourself and let others help you, get well soon! X

      • Glad you are not in the grips of Covid, NewLady
        30 years I am right there with you on the allergies and scared as all get out I won’t recognize a bad situation because the pollen is so incredibly bad right now that I will blow off signs of actual illness.

  • Kate, you aren’t alone in wishing for natural and logical consequences for your xhole. I want that too. I also want you to receive nice casserole, and a sympathy card. A lovely floral arrangement would be appropriate. Id love to offer you my congratulations, I mean condolences.

    I think this is a normal response to this entitled fuckwit endangering all of us. His choices will have disastrous consequences. I’m praying he faces the consequences and not the innocent victims of his betrayal.

    Thank you for self quarantining. You are the sane parent.

    • you are not alone. During this time I have wished bad things on the AP. She works at Dell and travels all over the world, so I have been – “come on CoronaVirus” To her. I am wishing she gets it and expires. Then the cheater can grieve the loss of poor poor heifer Schmoopie. Oh the grieving widower. People have told me that’s mean, but I don’t see it that way! They are not chumps so do not know. And our fearless leader dreamed of gutting her x with a fish knife so, it’s in our blood.

      • “I have been Come on Coronavirus to her.” I found this so hilarious that I literally LOL! Thanks you!

      • Holy Moly. I thought I was the only one. I’m still feeling a little guilty for thinking like that but glad to know I’m in good company.

      • I’m sorry but that is way too far. Wishing literal death on anyone during a global pandemic? Too far, and much much too soon. Not cool.

        • We’ve all had fantasies about the fuckwits dying. But it’s usually something abstract and unlikely such as “I wish he’d fall off a cliff. Or I wish he’d get hit by a bus”.

          But the Coronavirus is a real threat. Wasband would never fall off a cliff because we live in a very flat area. But Wasband could get Coronavirus.

          Do I really, really want him to die, or is it a revenge fantasy? It’s a revenge fantasy. It would really mess up my kids if he died.

          BUT- do I entertain my revenge fantasies in spite of it? Yes I do. It’s a coping mechanism. Wishing the coronavirus on someone is just upping the ante in your fantasy.

  • Your ex sucks but you are not alone. Over the last weeks so many messages have been coming in from my friends how their fuckwits are planning to go in trips to countries now locked up or to the pool. Children reporting their dads made them climb the playground fence and so on.
    Here in Germany, we’re facing to not be able to leave our homes only for basic needs. And some oh so witty people have come up with saying it’s a basic need if the seperated parent to have the child. So hell to not moving kids around unnecessarily while out numbers are tripling each day. Fuckwits NEED to take the kids into their home with schmoopie. Corona is not the boss of ME.

    My personal Corona Fuckwit parenting episode includes that I asked fuckwit to visit kid here and make use of our big garden and the fact that we live rural with low numbers. But no he’d rather keep her locked inside in the city. I have also asked him to try and limit back and forth and organising in a way that I don’t have to go to the city because I’m high risk group due to chronic illness with compromised immune system. He repeated it didn’t make any sense to HIM.

    People of good character show up in a crisis (my new neighbour who gave me medical mascs and desinfectant – his last supply), fuckwits just show themselves up in a different way.

      • Yep. One’s true character usually comes out during crisis. If things are going good & smooth, no problem. Aa soon as there’s a bump in the road (i.e. chump health issue, financial problems, ect) & it’s fucwit’s turn to step up? Usually doesn’t happen. They flee instead, or cheat. Most likely both. But boy-oh-boy if they’re the one with the health issue, you better be ready to serve & take care of them.

        My xh cheated & left after I became disabled & all my saves money was gone (after I had more-less supported him for years & years). He was a total asshole during the divorce & did all he possibly could to make it even harder on me & our kids. It was utter hell too. Then he falls off his $1200 bicycle (after buying his kids used $10 ones btw) & breaks his collar bone. (He was most likely drunk at the time.) Idk why it still surprised me that he was all poor poor him & obviously hinting that I should take care of him. It infuriated me is what it did. He expected our kids to feel sorry for him & give him emotional support too. Note that he wasn’t ever there for them when they were sick – ever! In fact, if one even got a cold when with him he immediately called me to come pick them both up right away. Couldn’t be bothered or change any of his plans don’t ya know.

        He ended up getting one of his many previous ow to take care of him, with the promise of getting back with her. How did he repay her for months of her sacrificing & nursing him back to health? Yep, he cheated on her & dumped her shortly after.

        If any of our x’s or stbx’s come down with the coronavirus, I bet 9.999/10 of them would expect us to sacrifice our own health & that of our families to take care of them. They wouldn’t give asking us to do that a second thought. The chance that they would do the same for us? Hahahaha!

        • Oh ya, how could I forget … when I became so I’ll that I almost died, did he help in even a small way? Of course not. He took the opportunity instead to kick me when I was down & go after full custody of our kids! Note he didn’t care about our kids, he just didn’t want to pay child support. He expected his live in gf to take care of them. This was done after I was in the clear as far as dying but needed at least a few weeks to recuperate from surgery. Judge didn’t give him full custody so what was xh response? Yep, he sent kids back to me full time immediately, even though I had several surgeries to go through. How did I possibly ever think this man had a heart at one time? He never did. A crisis while we were dating & seeing how he responded would have been a blessing in disguise. If only.

          • I’ve been feeling really afraid without my ex. I’m still grieving the fantasy life I thought I had. Even though he was a hardcore cheating fuckwit, he was really good at taking care of me and protecting our family. I know-his protection wasn’t real in the way it matters. But during a crisis he would have been amazing, he always was during our 25 years together. Now I’m alone and really feeling vulnerable. He’s given all his love and protection to his AP. He won’t talk to me so I have no idea how he’s handling the virus and our daughter. Usually he’ll have an overly militaristic style plan and put on a good show so he looks like the badass protector. It’s just….he’s not protecting me and he’d love nothing more than to see me fail.
            Any words of encouragement out there?
            Feeling abandoned

            • You are capable of more than you can imagine.
              Maybe if you mentally go through what you feel vulnerable to, you can plan for how to deal with that scenario.
              Having a plan doesn’t stop a bad thing from happening but it makes responding to a bad thing easier.

            • Same, so very exactly the same. I’ve been looking for encouragement as well; just someone to say “It’s going to be ok, you’re going to be ok” and my friends and family are great in trying to do that. I just feel so exposed and vulnerable right now. Ping-ponging between sadness and fear and rage.

              At the risk of sounding trite, I can’t tell you for sure everything is going to be 100% ok as I don’t know the particulars of your situation. But I can tell you that you are not alone in feeling this way. And I can also say that us chumps have been through some shit and we still wake up every day and do our best to take that step forward, right? You’ve got this. Take good care of yourself. Give yourself loads and heaps of kindness. Above all stay safe and well – you are important and needed. Sending you a socially distant hug and thank you for expressing my feelings so succinctly. xoxo

            • Chumptastic,
              Poignantly said. I can relate. I still dream about my last partner, who is living it up with his beautiful, young second wife. I miss him and loving companionship, although he was never truly dedicatedly to me. I don’t like being alone, even when the world is not going through a crisis, but I tell myself that this is a growth experience—I will learn a lot about me and others—and it is time for me to be a hero. I am fairly sick, but I am going to try to work as much as I can without contaminating others.

              • Thanks for the love all! And if we survive being chumped and dumped we can survive anything. It’s got to be worse pain than Covid 😘💪🏻.
                ((Hugs))

            • I grieve that life like crazy and sometimes I’m not sure I’ll survive. The love he used to show now became hate that hurts like a thousand knives. You’re not alone and we will go through this!

            • I also tend to sometimes have those fantasy thoughts, Chumptastic. My therapist has helped me understand better how we as humans are wired for connection. It’s perfectly normal to crave a relationship. Add to that complications because of trauma-bonding so classily associated with narcissistic relationships and it becomes even more complicated.
              I have promised myself that I will write down and actually DO the coping mechanisms that have served me so well these last few years. For me that means “The 3 Ws: water, walk, the word”. I know it might seem a little dumb, but for me trying to drink enough water (which generally makes me more aware of what I’m eating! Lol), taking walks (or any exercise), and reading the Word are the things that bring me peace and comfort.
              But my NUMBER ONE coping mechanism during the pandemic? When I realized I was craving and missing him I just imagined what it would ACTUALLY be like to be cooped up in the same house with him for an extended period of time. OMG! No way is that better!! Throw 2 teens into the mix just to make it a little more tense.
              As it is, I’m in pajamas watching crap TV, my teens and I enjoyed an awesome breakfast, and now we are enjoying a fabulous relaxing peaceful Sunday afternoon. Not a single eggshell in sight.
              My thoughts are with you. Focus on that which you can control. One day at a time. You’ve got this!!

    • Get your child back for your custody time, then refuse to exchange anymore until this virus has receded. Let him get a lawyer after you!

    • I am new to this….. but my fuckwit of a wife just walked out the door with a new hairdo I paid for to go see her new xhole boyfriend. This all happened in the last 6 weeks. Found a vibrator right where my daughter can see it. She is the most awful person and this is after 20 years of marriage. It’s early for me and it’s literally day to day but honestly I wish nothing but bad things and pray the virus gets her and her new ahole… this site has been and is the most accurate representation of all my feelings. I support you all. Best wishes and I would do anything to help out those who dealt or are dealing with this.

      • I have a million dollar life insurance policy on my ex. Do I wish him an untimely demise? Absolutely. Would I ever act on such a fantasy? No. Unlike my ex, who feels entitled to act on his. I no longer hope for a karma bus, though. Unfortunately, only the good die young.

  • Yes, my case isn’t quite as extreme but I’m pretty terrified too. My ex and his gf are posting pics bragging about being out in crowded bars, which (because of visitation) renders my entire household’s social distancing useless. May the people who put their need for constant attention above the needs of small children die a most painful, horrible death.

    • Based on that can your attorney get an emergency hearing (Skype?) and change custody? Or am I incredibly naive and hopeful? This is a goddamn pandemic and children are NOT magically immune and are AWESOME asymptomatic carriers.

      • I doubt it would do much except rack up attorney bills. Her xh is in the medical field after all. However, if she would have refused to let her child go on the trip out of the country, I doubt her xh could have done anything about it. Most decrees state both parents need to agree on out of state travel.

        Of course I don’t know for sure but, I would think most Judges and related wouldn’t hold it against one parent for being protective of their kids due to the crisis. If anything, I would think they would be a little appalled at those who aren’t. They’ve shut most schools & all down after all. Then again, I’ve been wrong before about the legal system, social services, etc doing what’s just. I doubt I am this time though as, the cronoavirus is a serious matter. SO FUCK THE FUCKWITS & KEEP YOUR KIDS (& yourself) SAFE!

        • I agree. When the courts reopen the real issues will need to be heard. Withholding visitation because you have proof your ex is violating the new state and local safety ordinances won’t register as a valid complaint. And I doubt you’ll be the only single parent having kept your kid safe this way.

          • The key is to document that these fools are disobeying the rules put in place to prevent the spread of this virus. If no pictures, etc. are available send an e-mail, laying out things like,”After a mandatory quarantine was ordered, you disobeyed that order, and went to a pool party with 100 other people in close proximity. Until you comply with the quarantine, our child will not be visiting you.”

            If x knows you are particularly vulnerable to infection because of a health condition, include that fact. The bottom line is even one person who is non-compliant can infect an entire household. This virus is definitely “clustering”, which means there is usually a commonality among those infected. Many people are going to be surprised to learn that their activities put them directly in harm’s way of this pandemic.

            In my community, we are seeing country clubs, gated communities, gyms, and, of course (sadly) assisted care facilities hit hardest. At first, we wondered about the country clubs until we thought about it. Most folks who live in those communities have the money to travel out of country, as do their children, tend socialize with others in that community, use the same gyms, often eat at the country club dining rooms regularly, play bridge, with one another, etc. Who would have though that a community designed to keep others out would actually put its inhabitants at greater risk? (Sorry for the digression).

            Those people who refuse to put the health of their minor children above their pleasure trips are going to have a very rude awakening when they are required to explain their actions to a judge. Sure, some people will become infected despite their best efforts. But a medical professional who should know better? I cannot imagine any judge approving of such behavior. As with all issues which may make their way to a judge, document, document, document!

            For those having to teach their children remotely, be sure to keep tabs on whether x is doing their part to keep the kids current with their schoolwork, too. Narcs hate being responsible for anything, particularly repetitious responsibilities!

    • There’s no way in hell I’d be handing over my children to him. The police would have to pull them away from me. No way. No judge would fault you in a time like this. You’re responsibility is to your children. You’re are their advocate first and at all times.

  • May he come down with dick-melt disease and at least pneumonia.

    I am so glad you have a sane supervisor. May no one get it despite the real risk and predictions. Be like Ragusa during the outbreaks of Black Death.

    Meanwhile – if you can find them and MUST go out, welder face shields may also minimize droplet spread. If you cough or sneeze, drop your chin to your chest to minimize aerosol range still further. Think of it as your public life behind a sneeze guard. Keeps you from touching your face too.

  • Schools have closed for 3 months in England. Shops are horrendous, kids don’t want to stay with ex. Daughters exams are cancelled, so their using their mocks instead. Queues’ up to 50 people outside supermarkets. Year 11 daughter won’t go back to school till September. Same as year 9 daughter
    All public attractions are closed, apart from parks

    • I’m stunned at the difference Susan. I’m in France and in total lockdown but we can go to supermarket etc with a signed paper. Miserable but shops are ok.

  • My fuckwit told me on Monday that he was going to “be careful” and didn’t want to have contact with kids since he had a meeting on Friday with someone who had recently traveled from a high risk county (I have an email from him documenting this). Tuesday afternoon, I came home from therapy and checking in on my 89 yo father to find him inside the house and visiting with the kids. WTF?

    I emailed him again asking him to clarify what his exposure risk was so I knew if we had been exposed. I also stressed if my father gets exposed and develops COVID-19 it will likely kill him. The first line in his response is “Chill”. He then says he hasn’t been exposed and he has been working from home for over a week. Again, WTF?

    I emailed him regarding setting and maintaining a consistent schedule for our 16yo daughter with ADD. I outlined my thoughts for the next week: structure is needed for ADD kids, she should be up by 10am checking school email, we should be checking up with her, she should be going to bed at a reasonable hour and she can TRY not taking meds while home (her request) but if she is off focus and her grades drop she should go back on. His response – she is old enough to manage this herself and HE would never force her to take her meds — it’s abusive! And then some thinly veiled jabs at me as sprinkles on top of the cake.

    Fuckwit also texted me and asked me to buy him lightbulbs the next time I go to Costco.

    OMFG.

    • Digital Chump,

      As Tracy says, these fuckwits are *lying liars who lie*….. We can’t believe ANYTHING they say.

      It is a matter of life or death for us and our loved ones.

    • They are such clueless shits, aren’t they? Whenever I would text (b4 CN) something important about our kids to xh, like our son having a med change, he usually just didn’t respond. And of course, wouldn’t follow any changes. There were 100’s of times like these.

      A few that stick out was once he just didn’t give our son his meds before school (including antibiotics for ear infection) because, “He didn’t want to take them so I didn’t make him.”

      Another time I reminded xh for at least the tenth time that son had to do his homework before school the next day. His response was, “He doesn’t want to. How am I supposed to make him.” (Yes, it was a statement not a question. And btw, our son was only 8 years old at the time.) Clueless fuckwits!

      • We are still married and the house is marital property. My attorney says I have a “right to privacy” and says that he is working on it.

        STBX says as long as his name is on the mortgage he can come and go from the house as he pleases. However, he had told my son to NOT tell me where he lives. He was *not* happy when I told him I knew where he moved to. (FYI – if you don’t want me to know, don’t pay the rent out of a joint account.)

        What really burns me is that I know all this game playing is kibbles for him. It exhausts me – having to try to extrapolate and predict the next chess move with him using our kids as the pawns. I hate it – it’s like being pulled to the dark side.

        • When my xh walked out to go live with ow (Dday), I changed the locks a week later. When he asked for the rest of his clothes, I took them all (in black trash bags) & put them in his truck at work. About 3 months after this, he notified the Sheriff he was coming to get his things & asked him to be here because I might be difficult and angry. You think? Lol Of course xh hadnt asked or even just told me beforehand.

          Sheriff showed up before xh & asked my side first. When he found out it had been months since xh left, he said it was a matter for th courts. He blocked our driveway so xh couldn’t even pull in. Xh came down the road with 2 trucks pulling trailers to hall his junk off. He even had the gall to bring the OW! I couldn’t even believe he would bring the ow with both me & our kids there as well! Thank goodness that Sheriff showed up early or I just might have not been able to stop myself (I’m sure this is what xh was hoping for.) He had his attorney get a court order that nothing could leave the property until the divorce was final. He did this so I couldn’t get rid of or sell any of his junk. Like I would have even bothered to – ha!

          Over the next year apparently xh had came a few times when he knew I was gone & took things from outside, the shed, & RV (on an average in the country). I didn’t find this out until ow told me when they broke up. (Done even though note that HE got the court order nothing could leave. Apparently, that didn’t apply to him, just me. So that was illegal on his part. Later proved at the divorce. Of course, he got no consequences for doing this.)

          Around a year later (divorce took over 2 years), xh actually broke in, again when he knew I’d be gone (had to tell him taking kids out of state to see my family). He stole my things, money that my dad left our kids on his death bed (with their names on it & clearly stated from who), and did damage to the house breaking in. The kicker was that he had gone through everything in my dest & all my personal papers. He found out everything I had on him for the divorce, all the communication & such with my divorce attorney, etc.

          When I reported the break in, the same Sheriff was able to prove it & took the matter to the County Attorney. That Sheriff returned a few days later with his head hung. He couldn’t even believe that no charges could be filed because we were still legally married (even though house was paid for by me, only in my name, & he hadnt lived there for over a year).

          My own divorce attorney actually first advised me to let it go. No way! I couldn’t go into his place, why should he get to with mine. He wasn’t paying mortgage or any bills on my house. How could him breaking in & stealing even from our kids be ok? I didn’t feel safe that he could LEGALLY come into my house at anytime he wanted. Wtf? That was one time I even stood up to my own attorney & insisted something be done. She ended up filing for an “EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION ORDER” which stated he could not come on the property. It cost me at least $1200 in legal fees to get this but, I needed it for my piece of mind.

          If you’re able to, I highly suggest you (& others here) get an “EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION ORDER” so your stbx cant come & go as they please & take whatever the f*** they want to. If others are able to ask their attorney for this, it can probably be given at the initial Temporary Hearing. That way, it shouldn’t cost much to get.

          Even for those out there who don’t think they’ll have a problem, get it anyway! I had no idea the true evil I was facing that had been hid behind a mask until I filed for divorce. I hope this information/story helps someone out there. I sure wish I had been clued in before it was too late.

  • Tracy,

    Feel free to isolate this message from the public. It’s mainly for you or your administrators.

    I feel that there is way too much personal identifiable information in this submission.

    The communities are small up there. There are only so many forest offices, only so many women who work the front desk with ex’s working in health care in nearby native reserves.

    This does not ring as a good idea to me. Not for her and not as a practice, for anyone on this website.

    If I may suggest, a few protocols be put into place to protect against this. Tell people not to give identifying information in their letters. When they do anyways, change the details before publishing or remove those details. I would also pull this letter offline right now. I would not risk drawing further attention to her vulnerability by editing the details out after its already been posted, but maybe that would work fine. It doesn’t seem that her fuckwit is the most dangerous sort roaming this planet.

    Website glitches happen and the good people on your website will certainly be forgiving if this whole page mysteriously disappears.

    Keep up the good work. Thank you for giving courage and strength and often a good smirk at reality to those who need it. Like me.

    • What are you on about Safety First? No names, no specific dates, no places have been mentioned, how on earth will anyone work out who, where or what?

      • Even if somebody figures out, so what? LW hasn’t done anything illegal or litigation. Except that her ex is travelling around, potentially spreading infection. Oh, and exposing those communities he usually works with to his potential viruses, too. If you ask me, somebody should report him.

        • I really don’t care if I am ‘outed’, which is why I used my first name instead of my alias in the letter.

          So many people have protected and enabled my X over the years to do what he does and I’ve choked it down to not make waves, not create ‘drama’ for him. But you know, what? This is literally life and death for more than just me and my kid.

          I wonder how his supervisors are going to deal with this. Will he self quarantine on return to the village? Will he continue to see patients? Will the organization be able to bring in relief for him to serve the community while he’s not at work?

          I am just thanking the Goddess that this I have my kid until the summer, but come July, when this situation is still with us, then what??

          • If being “outed” is the only concern for your situation then maybe waving my little warning flag is overly cautious in your case.

            I wish you the best as you navigate through this tricky challenge. You sound like a strong and capable woman.

            • “It doesn’t seem that her fuckwit is the most dangerous sort roaming this planet.” This really isn’t for any of us to decide.

            • Another point I thought of; X doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. He thinks I’m overreacting. Though he’s blocked me, [don’t care and don’t troll him], I’m sure he’s been busy posting pictures all over FB of himself and his son on their Texas exotic game adventure. So its not like he trying to hide what he’s doing. If by some strange chance he finds out about this post and gets pissed. Well too bad – soo sad. Karma’s a bitch and I like to think of her as a friend. And I’ll NEVER protect X’s image ever again.

          • Hugs to you, Skunkcabbage, all best wishes and thanks for the work you do. Having visited Alaska, though just once, I’m in awe of your beautiful state, and you.

        • I agree. I would be all for reporting him for his careless behaviour.

          Well, I don’t consider myself a paranoid person but I can imagine several negative consequences for the sender. I won’t contribute them into being by giving them expression into form and font here.

          Stay safe and be well in this challenging time!

          • Regular commenters here probably don’t care who reads their posts, exes or anyone else. I know I don’t.
            I knew the letter writer was Skunkcabbage. It is no secret she lives in a small Alaskan village.
            Kate, I personally think you are a badass!!

            • Awww – I certainly don’t feel like one. It’s been a hard slog, and just when I think I’ve found “meh”, X pulls shit like this and I want to hit upside his head with my cast iron skillet!

              Thank you for your support, it means more than I can say.

    • I understand your concern, but keep in mind that many people already modify details before they post (change a child’s age or gender, change a job title, etc.), and Tracy may do so as part of her practice as well. I think masking one’s identity is most common with people who have violent spouses or EXes, but, I agree, it is a best practice for everyone.

      • Agreed.
        I would redo and send by email if there was a button for undoing that. ControlAltDeleteSendByEmailInstead

    • I redacted several details and OP asked me to run the letter. I do try to take these things into consideration. Once it’s published, it doesn’t “disappear” on the internet, even if I take down the page. (Not that I would, that’s a rare situation and I don’t think it is warranted here.)

      • Glad to hear that.

        I agree it’s a solid practice for every letter and I am happy to hear you considered that.. Not only for the obvious reasons that the contributor might be aware of when they send it along to be posted, but because there may be unintended deleterious consequences later.

        Sounds like she’s not concerned about being identified anyways as per her comment above. Maybe my insight was simply overly cautious. Seems to be in the air 🙂

  • Eerily, creepily similar X? Check.

    I woke up last week with the realization that his hobbies of Hooters, Craigslist Casual Encounters, Tinder, and massage parlors, which I doubt he has given up, could actually kill us.

    Here’s how I operate:
    1) Recognize I am in new territory with zero experience of how to handle.

    2) Call therapist for suggestion on how to handle.

    I have done this since October of 1985.

    She absolutely validated my concerns. She green-lighted speaking up. I already was OK with it but with a loose cannon for an XH who detonated our life and who is still a hazard to everyone’s health on all levels, I want Right Thing To Do backup.

    His response?

    He rolled his eyes as he minimized and dismissed my concern. The same man who gifted me with herpes.

    Confirmation why we are divorcing. Total oblivion to how he harms others.

    I then realized that this is how he has responded to me MOST OF THE TIME. ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING. OUR ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP.
    AND I DIDN’T SEE IT BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED IN MY FAMILY OF ORIGIN.

    More dots connected!! For ME!!

    You CAN tell your children how to keep themselves safe when they are with the other parent. I’d also call the lawyers involved….this is brand new territory for them too. And the threat is real.

    I live in the Bay Area in Marin County. We have been sheltered in place all week. These are very real concerns, especially with Xspouses who have already proven their total and complete lack of concern for anyone but themselves and their reckless, risky, destructive hobbies.

  • Thankfully, my ex has enough of a sense of self-preservation and impression management that she’s heeding the warnings (at least, she says she is – who knows about the on-the-ground reality? The dichotomy between the two was the story of our divorce). What it has done, however, is brought out the Pity Party in full force with a side-serving of blameshifting in an attempt to twist my arm. It’s like D-Day #26 all over again. Happy Days!

    Ex obviously doesn’t want to be looking after the kids full time and needs my support. What doesn’t seem to have occurred is that’s a perfectly sensible thing to consider and discuss in a mature fashion. So instead I get pleading on one hand and “it’s your fault we’re not behaving like a happy family” on the other. Well, actually, no. The reason we don’t socialise is because when we tried to you kept lying and taking advantage. C’est la vie…

  • Update for CN. I’m in the hospital respiratory waiting room, abundance of caution. The mask and gloves are my look for the day. Getting a chest X-ray to check got pneumonia.

  • Update for CN. I’m in the hospital respiratory waiting room, abundance of caution. The mask and gloves are my look for the day. Getting a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia.

    • NewLady15,

      You’re in such a scary situation. We may only be able to be with you via the internet but, we are with you! You’ve been through enough already. You don’t need & most definately don’t deserve this!

      Thoughts are with you in hoping for the best possible outcome. Please update us when you’re able to.

  • Yup, my ex allowed our son to smoke pot/tobacco in his house from the age of 14, and to engage in sex with a girl of 16 in his room. All authorities I called blew me off, and he tried to paint me as unstable. Now he is pot dependant and still a smoker and lives a useless life with ex. At some point we have to let it go a bit, as my therapist says our kids have to make their own journey. But it’s a bitter pill.

    • Wow Mitz, I am in the same boat with my teenage son. They have to find their way. He lives with his dad too and idolizes him

    • Mitz, ex did the same with our son. Ex suddenly paid attention to our son, made promises and gave him $$, then had him emancipated at 16, Ex gave our son the apartment he rented while ex stayed with AP. He told our son they’d be like “college room mates”. Just what every 16 year old boy needs. Not a father offering guidance and boundaries but an Animal House college room mate.
      Our son went from being a straight A honor student to a risk of not graduating high school. Ex was fully aware of our son’s pot smoking, failing grades, and lack of personal grooming. I brought it up to Ex and he laughed in my face and told me to quit creating drama. Went to court and the judge ruled that Ex take our son to therapy.
      Follow up, ex didn’t take him to therapy because he said our son didn’t want to go. Judge did nothing.
      Today at 27 my son has a menial job, lives in a gang infested neighborhood, smokes pot and plays video games.
      Ex’s gf didn’t want our son living in the apartment so father of the year, while our son was attending college and working made him move. Clearly his son isn’t priority.
      I believe that ex was jealous of our son and is enjoying seeing him not succeeding.

      • So sad to hear about your experiences Brit. Both for your son’s sake and yours. This probably doesn’t help much but, you’re not alone in your experience with the court.

        Pay a lot of money to an attorney and spend a lot of time getting a judge to make a court order (about something any normal parent would automatically do/or not do. Judge gives order, fuckwit doesn’t follow it.

        Take fuckwit back to court (even more $ you don’t have to spare). Judge tells fuckwit to follow the order & that’s it – no consequences what-so-ever.

        Fuckwit of course still doesn’t follow order. Judge still does nothing. So very infuriating!!! Where are the consequences for the fuckwits verses more shit sandwiches for their victims.

        • I have $40k in legal bills that proves you right. As someone once said: a court order is only as good as the person receiving it.

          I would have spent more $ if I thought it would make a difference, instead he loves the game and the attention. For my own sanity I have to pretend he doesn’t exist and the kids are fine when they go to him every other week. I have to be sane and happy so the kids will see that my way of being is rewarding and worthwhile as they grow up and make choices about who they want to be. Yes

  • I have the opposite “problem”. My X does the panic thing. She’s all about control and anxiety. Its how she gets her attention.

    You know what? I kinda don’t care; I mean .. the kids are “safe” and I don’t get hooked anymore.

    All the closer to Meh. And its lovely as f!

  • In my province, schools are currently out of session for the week on March Break. The government has called off schools for two weeks following and are calling on the province to practice extreme social distancing in order to allow the province to get a grip on the spread of the virus in order to not overstress our universal health care system and allow the government to decide on next steps.

    My ex and I are both lucky to have employers that have granted us the whole time off with full pay. However, the OW that the ex is still with is an aesthetician who works out of her home and through a rented room in a spa. The government hasn’t mandated a shutdown of these facilities, however, Public Health has given strong warnings that continuing these services is unsafe. I’m sure that stronger government mandates are coming as four provinces in my country have already declared a state of emergency and three provinces have already announced to schools are closed for the rest of school year.

    In the midst of all this, I just learned that my ex is still spending nights at the OW when he doesn’t have the kids and that she is still seeing clients in her home. I’ve enlisted my lawyer now in helping me guide my communication with my ex to implore that he follows the government guidelines for social distancing from all non-essential social interactions until the prescribed date of April 5th. The lawyer has recommended “educational” links with the intent of “informing” my ex as much as possible. Meanwhile, we’re waiting for the government’s first move. She is trying to provide my ex the opportunity to do the right thing on his own, while also ensuring that we’re documenting all the efforts and getting his lack of cooperation back in writing. If compliance does not come through, she things we may have a case for an emergency court hearing to protect the kids from contact, which may currently be done via teleconferencing or videoconferening with a judge.

    In the meantime, my lawyer asked that I recruit his family members, which I already did. His sister is extremely alarmed and has had some serious conversations with his mother about what the risk of his exposure might mean. Yesterday, his mother called him and brought up the other woman’s job (keep in mind that in the two years since he left the marriage to be with this woman, the family has made it clear that they will never accept an adulterous relationship, so this woman is never discussed in the family and he continues to live his double-life). He admitted to his mother that the OW is still seeing clients, so she expressed her dismay at his choice to still spend time with this woman despite what the government is asking of us. He would not commit to a change to his mother. Yet, he goes over to his elderly parents (early 80s and mom just survived cancer last summer) to take out their garbage, etc.

    Anyways, I just wanted to communicate the steps that I am taking with the aid of my lawyer for others to consider doing. What is happening now is very new to family courts and there are a lot of questions about what is to happen in the case of parents who are taking risks with their children’s lives in the middle of a pandemic.

    1) Send “educational” emails making requests for safety of the other parent. Keep the tone concerning for their well-being and the well-being of the kids and the extended family. Include hyperlinks to back up your point.

    2) Clearly state that you would like an answer from them about their commitment to safety measures. Tell them you want it in writing as soon as possible so that you can make decisions on your end appropriately.

    3) If they provide justification for not complying in response, reply educationally with some more links to academic/governmental articles that demonstrate how their reasoning is not sound. Invite them to research more.

    4) In all written communication, emphasize that you hope that you both can be on the “same page” regarding the safety of the children, that you understand that making the changes that the government is asking for is difficult for everyone, point out that things are rapidly changing and new information is constantly emerging that makes it difficult for everyone to accept the seriousness of the issue. Appear that you are inviting your ex to engage in a conversation to increase awareness of the situation so that you both can make the best decision together for your children.

    6) Be clear in outlining the measures you are taking in your home and the commitment you are making to keep the children safe.

    7) If you can, contact his family and warn them that he is making decisions that are putting them at risk, if he is around them at all.

    My ex returns the kids to me this morning and will not see the until next Tuesday. As I said, my lawyer is standing by to see what the next few days unfolds before making a recommendation to pursue this further legally. Hopefully, the government mandates an official shutdown of these services (in Toronto, they’ve already shut down all bars and no more in-restaurant of in-cafe service, just take-out or delivery)

    The lawyer understands that this will likely be the first case of its kind brought before a judge in our municipality, and so she wants to make sure that ducks are being lined up, but most especially that my ex is given every opportunity to do the right thing back with all the research that would end up being used before a judge.

    Hope this helps others. I cannot begrudge anyone their need to make a living. But there is a difference between the sacrifice made of essential workers, and the choice to partake in non-essential social relations during a period of time that the government has asked citizens to stay home. What my ex is choosing to do is foolish. I cannot understand why staying away until April the 5th is so hard for him. Surely his “twu wuv” can withstand the test of time, or can it?

    • This is all reasonable, but it takes time to follow these steps, during which your children are at risk of being exposed to the virus.

      I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to keep my kids and tell my ex that his unsafe practices have mandated my actions. And then let the ex go to the court to fight it. I’m not urging this course of action to anyone, or saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying I’d draw the line elsewhere.

      • I would love to be able take that stance. What may result legally is a phone call by my ex to the police where he can present that I am in violation of the access arrangement. The police tell me that I have to hand over the kids or I face consequences, which I assume is to arrested. Then, where does that leave me kids? Right back at their dad’s house, at a greater risk of exposure.

        Guess it’s really not such a shock that selfish cheaters would choose to take this stance during a time like this. God forbid they do something that would be a sacrifice on their part for the sake of the greater good, just in case.

  • My ex went from raging at me when I told him I was anxious about him taking the kids to a family birthday party on Sunday to now insisting I have a bug out plan in case society falls into riots and mobs. One day I was overreacting because I was concerned about my asthmatic daughter and the next I’m under reacting because I’m not demanding the doctor pre-prescribe antibiotics for pneumonia (that wouldn’t work anyway because it’s a virus). At least he’s moved from lalalala to overly cautious, so that’s good. I’ll take the rages for not agreeing to his draconian methods over him taking the kids everywhere though. I just have whiplash from his change of direction.

    Sending all of CN love and patience.

  • I have to be the Devil’s advocate on this.

    I PROBABLY wouldn’t fly, but I think the whole public reaction is overkill. If it isn’t it is counter evolutionary. More on that in a bit.

    First a short list of some of what the experts have given us over the years. The opiod crisis. Super germs through the over use of antibiotics. Formula is healthier than breast milk. Carcinogenic hydrongenated vegetable oil is healthier than butter. Thalidemide and much much more. They have a tendency to down play their failures or spin them as a success.

    It is unfortunate but true but when evolution releases a virus on population it kills and sickens who it is going sicken and the surviving population is immunized and stronger. I tend to agree with those who theorize by constantly subverting the process is how we have come to have so many autoimmune disorders these days.

    I am not against precaution, but if we destroy the ecomomy in the process surviving may not be that much fun.

    I have often wondered what is the evolutionary purpose fuckwits. Perhaps they are the ones willing to do the dirtywork in evolutionary survival crisis.

    • IMO, whatever one personally believes, acting against public health advice to minimize contact right now would be reckless and foolish. The evidence of infections rates right now is evidence that we are not just seeing health professionals engaging in spin. The question isn’t whether this is an evolutionary more; it’s that too many people sick at one time will overwhelm the health system and more people will die than would otherwise die–including health care professionals. Herd immunity doesn’t require everyone who gets the disease die from it.

    • You don’t *have* to…

      Bottom line, our writer is worried about her child. No argument that boils down to “you should worry less about your child and I will determine how much risk your child should bear” is reasonable or likely to inspire the worried parent to worry less. And that is really the point of today’s post.

      Look, you’re an adult. If you’re not concerned, feel free to self-isolate in a warehouse full of other people who aren’t concerned. Long as you don’t increase risk for the rest of us, especially the vulnerable, you’re welcome to philosophize all you want. (Just please stick to your warehouse so the rest of us can help keep the hospitals emptier longer.)

      I don’t think it’s likely you’ll get a positive response to this on a site full of people who have been gaslit for years by being told they are overreacting and not looking at the big picture as clearly as you are. Especially true when we are talking about a narcissistic ex putting a kid at risk.

    • Coronavirus is not vegetable oil.

      It’s deadly and unprecedented and there is a reason things are shutting down. It’s not hype.

      FWIW, my grandfather’s mother died when he was 6 months old from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. My great-grandfather was widowed at 27 with 3 small children. He married his wife’s sister (Theresa), also widowed in her 20s with a child because of the flu. They combined families and took care of the other widowed sister and her family. (More flu death.)

      The whole thing was so traumatic that no one spoke of it. My grandfather grew up thinking his aunt was his mother. Never saw a picture of his mother until he was an adult. The pain of all of it went down generations. I’m named after Theresa — the surviving aunt. My mother’s “grandma.”

      It’s still within my family’s memory of what it is to be decimated by an epidemic. We’ve come a long way since 1918, but I take this VERY seriously. Listen to scientists and don’t spackle.

      • These “fact based objectivity” (ha, btw) stories such as CL shared are very important imho. Much of our society today are so worry free because they never had any personal experience about such things. They’re just things in history to many.

        My Uncle was a perfectly healthy boy when he got polio at the age of 10 (late 1930’s). From 10 until his death at age 57 he was in state facility. Polio not only took the use of his legs but the incredibly high fever from it burned his brain. (That’s how it was always described to me.) It basically took his life. His intended life at least.

        I’m the 7th child so my parents were older when they had me (36 & 40). I’m also an older parent (37 & 40 when I had my kids). When it was time for my daughter to get her polio shot, her pediatrician was all prepared to sit down & spend a lot of time trying to convince me to let him give her the polio vaccine. I told him he didn’t need to and to just go ahead and give it to her. He was relieved but surprised.

        The pediatrician told me that nowadays he has to almost sell many parents on giving their babies polio shots. He has to be armed and ready with a lot of research to convince them. He said that’s because most (especially younger) parents have never known anyone who had polio. The biggest response he gets is something like, “Polio hasn’t been around for decades. Why should I worry about that now?” His response is always, “Why do you think it hasn’t been around for decades? Because now we vaccinate for it, that’s why.”

        Granted, my story isn’t totally related to the discussion. What is though is that new dangerous viruses (such as polio at the time & corona now) happen. Many people who don’t have any personal experience with viruses being deadly in the past tend to downplay them thinking, “They’re just being ridiculously cautious. Nothing’s going to happen to me or my family.” Those of us who have these “fact based objectivity” stories to share know better. And those who take warnings seriously, especially possible death risks to their children, realize that better safe then sorry is a cliche for a reason. Imho of course.

        • And gosh, they still don’t understand the connection between polio and Parkinson’s Disease later in life. Just get the shot!

      • Thank you Chump Lady for all you are doing and your insights. Scary times and feeling alone makes its 100 times worse. Amazing how some people can just stop caring. Will never understand.

    • Jeff, there is now concern that about 20% of survivors will have compromised organs. This virus is acting like the killer in 1917. That virus nearly disappeared in hot weather only to come back and kill millions. Guess who died. Young adults.
      We in the West are so damn entitled. I just heard it’s party hardy on spring break in Florida.

    • Antibiotic resistance continues to be a huge public health problem. Margarine is now produced in a way that is indeed better than butter. Thalidomide is excellent treatment for some cancers. A lot is scares haven’t turned into tragedies precisely because awareness was raised and the problem got solved . It’s not that ozone layer was never a problem. It’s that countries stepped together and resolved the problem.

      I’m currently the third week in isolation. I was no- infection I’ll the first two weeks, and now we all have to stay at home. It might continue foe weeks or months. It’s killing me because I’m an extrovert and I was planning to go in holidays. But I’m staying at home even though I’m not in a ‘death zone’ because I don’t want to endanger other people.

      F**k selfish people.

    • Hi Jeff,

      I became handicapped in May 2015 as a result of pneumonia. I became handicapped; I was unable to walk. Motor damage and could not lift my feet from the ground, wiggle
      my toes, etc. I looked at my legs and ankles and feet and they would not do what I wanted them to do. I was in horrific nerve pain and on a cocktail of heavy painkillers. My feet and parts of my arms and legs and other areas of my body became numb. I have not yet fully recovered and the neurologist (Harvard trained) does not know if, when, or how much I ever will.
      It’s called post-infectious neuropathy.

      I have no idea how or from whom I got pneumonia that caused it.

      If this had ever happened to you, and I suspect from your post that it hasn’t, you might feel very differently. I sure as heck would not want this to happen to my daughter either. I didn’t know it was possible before it happened to me.

      I am also a friend of a brilliant epidemiologist, Dr. Mary Croughan, formerly at UCSF and now at UNLV. Her PhD was on the 1918 pandemic. I can assure you this is the real McCoy.

      With all due respect, your attitude is dangerous.

    • Amen. But good luck getting any agreement from the group that is overly hysterical. There’s common sense stuff and then there’s “Oh, let’s freak out and shut down the economy and the world and operate like it’s doomsday.” It’s not. My cheating ex wife was convinced she had a brain tumor, convinced she had MS, convinced she had liver cancer, and another plethora of lies she’s tell us or herself. Of course, she thinks the world is ending and she gets to not give the kids back when it’s my turn to have them again (we do 50/50 custody) because of course, they’d get it. Just this weekend, she said she thinks my kids have coronavirus to “You might have coronavirus.”

      Never underestimate someone’s ability to weaponize anything for their own selfish purposes. I failed to mention my ex does everything she can to try and alter the custody schedule so it can match up with her AP’s custody schedule. I deal with this all the time.

  • My narcissist brother , his horrible wife and their 4 kids ( all under 12) are some of the assholes you are seeing on the news at Clearwater Beach , Fl . His 11 year old has a compromised immune system . His response to my mom
    when she questioned him about going “ We arent staying inside , being bored over Spring Break !” And “ it’s fake news “
    I haven’t spoken to him in over 2 years ….this confirms it was the right decision.

    • Christina,

      My ex-husband also told me that scenes of visitors of crowded beaches during spring break and interviews with these people constituted fake news, and as long as Trump said we would be OK we would be fine (although my entertainer ex-husband will have no income again until the touring season restarts, at least six months from now). I worry about child support as I do not have a roommate, I was earning virtually nothing even before the outbreak, and my income, as I am paid hourly and cannot do all the work from home, will likely drop significantly during the outbreak. Values of my retirement funds and kids’ college funds have plummeted, and I have virtually no pension and no social security.
      My ex-husband insisted on taking our kids to a ski resort for spring break, even though he and our kids might spend time with hundreds or thousands of other people at a lodge. Thankfully, the ski resorts shut down last week.

    • They will be bored now. As of 7 pm Friday night, all beaches are closed, all bars and gyms are closed, restaraunts are to go or delivery only. Streets have been empty for a week now. From what I am seeing, it’s m0ostly tourists out and about. The majority of us locals are hunkered down.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you Tracy and ChumpLandia! I am “Kate”, I’ve been reading and posting here under the name Skunkcabbage for about 3 years now. I wrote this in a hurry yesterday morning before heading into work. I thought Tracy must be getting hundreds of letters like mine from us chumps who are stilling dealing with major fuckwits, I didn’t think she’d actually publish it!

    I’m counting the days until my son returns. He will be traveling all day from before dawn on Sunday to arriving here late Sunday afternoon. Praying all flights go smoothly! I don’t think my son, who is 15, quite realizes the direness of the situation. I can only be thankful that they were mostly out in the country this week, but I don’t know who they are staying with, how many people, etc. The unknowns make this so much harder.

    Thank you again all. You are my lifeline!

  • This post is a GODSEND!!!

    I too live in the San Francisco Bay Area where notifications of “shelter in place” started early. My exhole works out of SFO, told me last Friday and his attorney he went to the doctor for a “headache” and the doctor put him on self-quarantine. I have my 8 yo kid in my care til Monday. Let the lies begin….my ex hates the doctor. Would not go to the doctor for a headache. We had a settlement conference scheduled for next Thursday about property. My lawyer thinks he wanted out of it.

    Flash forward to Sunday evening. We are shelter in place. I text him about Monday and tell him I do not feel comfortable exchanging my kid if he is self quarantined by doctors orders. He claims he is going to work, he is healthy and demands that “I am not co-parenting” and he will “be at my house Monday morning with officials” I said he can have our kid as soon as I see proof from his doctor he is “clear”

    Thank goodness my lawyer was checking emails Sunday night. I emailed him again about putting our kid at risk. My attorney sent a email to his attorney to talk sense into him. (His attorney was panicking too because they met in person prior to this). I called the sheriff ahead of time if I ignored the order based on the current community crisis and courts are closed. Sadly, I have to follow the order. Although the deputy couldn’t understand why(we all know here)

    As all of you know you feel completely helpless in this situation. Its already hard with deadlines, schoolwork, can’t leave the house, no toilet paper. To have to deal with this stress on top of the lawyer bills.

    Luckily, his lawyer talked sense into him and he stopped the demands and then changed his tune, better be safe crap. Sadly, he only called our kid once and only attempted facetime once this whole week. Did not pick up when we called back.

    Only to receive an email next day on Tuesday from his attorney saying he went to the doctor because the airport required it to get “tested” from every employee, he panicked, I am not being understanding that he does not have a work from home job, I am overreacting email. STORY CHANGED. Um, right.

    So here we are at another exchange date(friday) today and no doctors proof. Why? He lied. He lied about all of it. Even came by the house to get things in the garage yesterday. We stayed in with the doors shut. Brought my poor son with him, disobeying shelter in place laws. Got camping gear. Ok….

    SFO has the own screening. They are not really taking care of their employees sadly. EVERYONE and their grandma knows not anyone can be tested. You have to have the symptoms. All of it makes me puke.

    Thank goodness my wine club sent me a case yesterday. Never Ends!!

    I pray for everyone here to be healthy. New lady too! Big hugs to all going through the extra drama with their narcissistic assholes.

    • Oh Darlin’ I so feel for you! Hang in there.

      I think maybe we all should start crafting home made voodoo dolls and start sticking pins. Probably won’t work, but it might make us feel better!

      Hugs

    • SuperColossalChump,

      Oh I so get what you’re going through. It’s mind boggling! He went to the doc for a headache yet, could rarely get him to go in the past. Isn’t that convenient. Surprising how when that story didn’t go quite as planned he suddenly changed his tune. Yet, the courts allow this crap. Ugh!

      When our court date for divorce was to happen (an hour drive away), I heard snow might come in the night before. So I drove to my parents farm the day before since they lived a lot closer. I hate driving in snow. I was ready to go. It didn’t look too awful (this coming from a wimpy driver in bad weather conditions).

      My ex however cancelled saying he was worried about driving in the snow to get there. This from a man who’s an armature Storm.Chaser, always lived to go out 4 wheeling in the snow & mud, would still go out driving when everything was shut down and advisory warnings were out to stay home (usually taking my car & wrecking it one of those times, which didn’t stop in from doing it again & again). You get the picture. Ya, he was too scared to drive to court because it snowed.

      On my way home the next day (with my kids in the mini van as well) my wheel almost fell off. I was told that it looked like someone had loosened all the lug nuts & that couldn’t happen as it did unless it was intentional. No, it couldn’t be proved it was him of course. Divorce court was scheduled for two long months later (after already being almost 2 years).

      So ya, your stbx is full of total crap! The kicker is that they’re often allowed to keep f’ing with us legally as well, at our expense. At least it sounds like you have a decent attorney on your side doing what they can to try and protect you. Be thankful for that.

  • I feel for you Kate and everyone who’s had to coparent with €£¥*^#!. There’s nothing worse than coparenting with a character flawed STUBBORN ass.
    I remember my kids being returned with serious sunburns, head to toe black fly bites, a concussion because EX thought there was no need for a helmet while skating, skiing without helmets because he didn’t use a helmet when he was a kid, playing in the grass right after he had just sprayed( chemicals were we’re still being used then)…. Being left with a strange cat lady – when I had already said I will always take the kids if you need to leave them with someone. Took them cliff jumping when one had been seriously hurt in the head during sports the day before. She wasn’t showing symptoms immediately but he didn’t use common sense and wait at least a day. She suffered through a serious concussion for 3 years – undoubtably made worse because of the cliff jumping the day after trauma to her head. It was always like trying to be reasonable with a wall.
    Nothing as frightening as the virus…

  • I have looked at as many sources as I can and the one thing every doctor online has said is that this thing is after your lungs. If you feel anything in or about your lungs go somewhere, find a doctor. If you have a very high fever or headache go somewhere, find a doctor. This virus is mutating and from what I can read it’s getting meaner. Please everyone stays safe.
    If you vape, stop. If you smoke, stop.

  • What’s with the silence? I have majority parenting time, and so I’m handling the kids at home with the schools closed while trying to work and entertain/educate them. Plus we have a medically fragile child. And nothing, not a word from him asking them how they are, if they need anything, how I’m handling it. I know we’re not married anymore and he loves not supporting me and withholding, but what about his kids’ well-being?

    It frustrates me because during our marriage I was always the one who stayed home when a kid was sick, school was out, etc. and my career suffered for it while he just assumed I had it covered and went about his business adding more projects and man sports and man trips. But at least he had moments of being a good father, now he is completely absent.

    It’s a crisis and he can’t man up enough to send me a text about the kids’ well being while I put on my big girl panties and text him about the kids when needed after he dragged me through the mud with cheating and running off with the twit?

    • MovinON – I have the kids 65-68% of the time. Not once in the last two years has my ex just done a “check-in” that all is okay, whether it’s been a major ice storm or after informing him that one of the kids is sick. Even the day that he told the kids that he had gotten his own place and was moving out, he left a couple of hours later and didn’t even call that night to find out how the kids did the rest of the day. We have a son with Autism, and half the time I get ghosted by him when I send him email updates about our son’s schooling, spec.ed., therapies. At best, I get a “thanks for letting me know” or “sounds good to me” when I ask him for his thoughts on what I have presented.

      He knows that my mother has been quite ill, but has never asked about her. He knows that my best friend’s husband just died of of a failed heart transplant, doesn’t ask me to pass along his condolences.

      Meanwhile, I have his parents over for dinner every couple of months. I’m in touch with all my sisters-in-law and keep up more on everyone’s well-being than he does his own family. When his buddy’s dad died, I called his friend to offer my condolences.

      It’s all part of the discard, and I suspect his own bitterness. He is not a naturally empathetic person, only with those with whom he is infatuated.

      However, irksome it is, I have come to appreciate that he really just leaves me the F*&^ alone. Thank God. I do my thing with the kids, raising them well I hope with good morals and making the tough calls, and he just minds them during his allotted time. Glad he’s not breathing down my neck. I have reached a point now where I just go ahead and do what I think is best for the kids, and then send him an email with the appearance that I’m seeking his counsel or to keep him updated. Boom. Can’t accuse me of alienating him.

      I hope that you reach the point where you can also feel relief that he’s disconnected more than he is connected. The kids will eventually see the difference. That you are the parent who actually parents. You will be the go-to in the years to come. You will be the first phone call when the grandchild is born. You will always matter.

      Hang in there. You are mighty.

      • Wow, so similar! When they walk away, they walk away from everything. I’m still wrapping my head around that and that the man I knew is no longer. I don’t know why I’m still surprised by the “OK” response, but it does upset me less and less.

        I too reached out to his family on their birthdays and holidays the year after the affair and abandonment, for the kids sake, and heard nothing back from them, which made me feel doubly chumped. But hey, at least I’m the better person.

        I’m also trying to turn my mindset into I’ve got this and will make decisions on my own, too. In some ways it’s freeing and I don’t look to him for the farce of co-parenting. Is that really an all or nothing proposition? Either you’re both wading through the difficulties of co-parenting or there’s no contact, no in between.

        • Are you familiar with the term “parallel” parenting? Once I learned that co-parenting wasn’t really going to be possible and learned about parallel parenting, I started on the road of lowering my expectations of my kids’ father. I parent my way, do what I know is right, and try to be enough. He does what he does. There are times that I step up and say something, or involve a family counsellor to do it, but that is because our son has Autism and needs more structure that his father doesn’t always provide. But, I have the kids almost 2/3 of the time, so I make due.

          My barometer with the kids and the time spent with the father is such, they were fed, they were bathed, they were safe, he did a little something with them, they came home and appear satisfied, then I’m good. My kids are 9 and 11, so they are at an age that they enjoy whatever they are doing with their dad because they’re just glad to be with him. That’ll likely change as they get older, but we’ll deal with that when we get there.

          Embrace the parallel parenting.

    • That hurts a lot, and that is their intention. The worst part is that there is no acknowledgment that I still bust my ass to support his career since I’m a SAHM. Trying to go back to work but my resume is basically crickets. Only criticism, meanness, and beautiful posts on twitter about how “wonderful it is to be able to be home with family!” and ” This virus is teaching all of us the true value of family” I just want to puke!

  • “You CAN tell your children how to keep themselves safe when they are with the other parent. I’d also call the lawyers involved….this is brand new territory for them too. And the threat is real.”
    I WANT TO SUGGEST TO EVERYONE TO SEND THIS POST TO THEIR LAWYERS and inform them of how the character disordered patterns “you’re not the boss of me” are life and death during a pandemic.
    Thanks so much for this post today dear Kate (and Tracey!!!)

  • Wow, I thought I was the only one stressing here.

    The military shut down all PCS movements for active-duty servicemembers from all CDC Level 3 countries a few days ago. (NOT Level 2, though.)

    Ex is living in an Asian country that just went from Level 2 to 3, and he’s supposed to be PCSing to the US in a week.

    Now I don’t know if he’ll be here or not (because the military notice came before the shift to the CDC level in his country), but I do know that if he’s here, he’ll be screaming bloody murder that I’m not honoring court-ordered parenting time. Because … science is NOTHING compared to “a father’s love”.

    You know. The love from the same father who would come home and play guitar for hours while I was caring for a newborn 24/7.

    • I think that so far, of all of our cases, yours is the strongest in demanding that 14 days pass after he returns to the country before he can see the kids. In my country, everyone returning from out-of-country is being required to self-isolate for this period of time.

      Perhaps, get on this right away with your lawyer and connect with the military. What are the expectations of the military of personnel returning from overseas, particularly Asia? I wonder if your lawyer would advise that a letter be sent sooner, rather than later, to your spouse stating that after he has been back in the country for 14 days without presenting symptoms (and backed by a physician), he will then be able to see the children physically. Then, also state all the ways that you will ensure child contact with him during that time (via video, phone, etc.) so that it looks like you will make every effort to support the parent-child relationship during that 14 day period.

  • My Exhole gets our 14 yr old daughter every other weekend and I won’t let her go until this is all over with. He has never been able to make common sense decisions… On top of that he is a full-time firefighter/EMT and always has to ask me how much Tylenol he should give her! Not to mention his exposure risk is very high because of his job.
    Thankfully, court order states I make the decisions & if he disagrees, he can take me to court.

    • Wow! Your daughter is also old enough now to make her own decision and not have the legal system forcing you to allow her to go when the father demands.

      Mine are 9 and 11. I’m stuck. If they were teens, I would explain the situation about their father and the risk being caused by the choice he is making in the hopes that the kids would choose to self-isolate with me for the period of time the government is requesting for now.

      I’m so glad that you have recourse.

      • mine are same exact age. sucks. And my lawyer is the worst ever. Courts are closed. Don’t see a way out for now.

  • I think that so far, of all of our cases, yours is the strongest in demanding that 14 days pass after he returns to the country before he can see the kids. In my country, everyone returning from out-of-country is being required to self-isolate for this period of time.

    Perhaps, get on this right away with your lawyer and connect with the military. What are the expectations of the military of personnel returning from overseas, particularly Asia? I wonder if your lawyer would advise that a letter be sent sooner, rather than later, to your spouse stating that after he has been back in the country for 14 days without presenting symptoms (and backed by a physician), he will then be able to see the children physically. Then, also state all the ways that you will ensure child contact with him during that time (via video, phone, etc.) so that it looks like you will make every effort to support the parent-child relationship during that 14 day period.

  • Looong time reader here, 1st post. I have benefitted from the collective wisdom of CL & CN, learning things not taught by parents, and have come to feel deep affection for many of you, like we are good friends, as I’m familiar with your stories of heart break. My story is similar, but I’m mostly over the paralyzing sadness & betrayal. The motivation to post today is to share some basic beneficial tidbits to strengthen the immune system. I hope I’m not out of line, because it’s off Chump- topic. As an alternative health care provider, using nutrition as a primary weapon,
    1) we become an optimal host for pathogens if we become Nutritionally deficient
    2) chemical/pharmaceuticals are No defense against Nutritional deficiencies
    3) Refined, processed, hydrogenated, pasteurized, genetically modified, and preserved what-used-to-be-from the food chain is semi-nutritional Starvation!
    4) pathogens can not live in certain pH environs. Recommend drinking apple cider vinegar twice a day, adults 2 Tbsp, kids 2 teasps to support proper pH.
    5) need to be calcium, Vit C and E, selenium, and essential fatty acids sufficient From the Food Chain and not synthetic. It’s worth the research to know & understand the difference
    I have the heart of a Chump, and would like to help if possible. Circling Chump Lady and Chump Nation with White Light.

  • * should have read apple cider vinegar mixed with water, diluted to taste, but use no honey, nor sweetner

  • Thanks for the suggestions Jose-Anne. We need all we can get during this time. Glad to hear your “voice” on here.

    I never heard not to mix apple cider vinegar w/honey or sugar. That’s what I always do, though I don’t take it often. Not sure if I can stomach it w/o so.e kind of sweetener. Not even 100% real honey? (I’m talking honey straight off the farm.)

    Also, should this be taken everyday, esp considering the virus out there? (I have a serious lung condition as a result of histoplasmosis).

  • Wow to this how frighteningly similarly reckless & selfish these cheaters are. Hope your son returns well and you’ll be safe together soon. I would also vote for reporting him.

    Here in Spain where isolation is becoming more strict by every day that passes I have not been outside with my 3yr old toddler already for a week. Unfortunately we’re still in the same flat with cheater stbx. The divorce settlement was just signed by both of us but was not yet presented in court to make it official (this is the procedure for an amicable divorce here..) and there were some repair works that just got finished in my new rental apartment, but I couldn’t yet move all my stuff there before the confinement got strict. Everything has come to an halt as none of this is essential activity while the pandemic is ongoing.

    But boy it’s hard to live with someone who shows with every act of communication, action or inaction his little regard for us.

    Friday night comes, he is washing his hair (almost never happened before) and then announces he’s going to his sister’s until Sunday (yeah right, he was always complaining having to go there to visit, more when having to stay overnight..). All while the police and military are on the roads to prevent people going around without a good reason. He thinks he’s immune and I’m overreacting of course. A little defiance to an authority has always got him excited as well. What can I say, just feeling so powerless….as I have no way of controlling who he sees or what he does, but will be stuck living here with him probably all the way this situation will continue. He even rolls his eyes to me if I ask him to easy his hands after arriving home.

      • Haha… I’d wish. I think the police is too civil for that. However there could be a considerable fine he has to pay in case of getting caught. I just hope he gets home without getting the virus somewhere.

  • Off-topic:
    Does someone know how I can get rid of the avatar photo? I don’t know how if it’s associated to my gmail account exactly or why it appears while commenting on here. Although there’s a small chance the stbx or other acquaintances will read me on here, but I’m not yet ready to be public with my real image writing on this subject.

    • Confused from Europe,

      I’m a total techno dumb shit. Since no one else has answered you yet though, I can at least tell you how I changed my profile pic.

      Click on your profile pic. Click on Edit Prfile. Scroll down to your profile pic & click on change your profile pic.

      That worked for me. Hope it does for you too.

      • Thank you RoseThorns! Do you mean inside my e-mail profile? The thing is this picture is not what I have in my Gmail account actually. It just shows up while commenting on here… I’ll try that anyway, let’s see if it helps. If not, I just have to not care if someone recognizes me.. I’m sorry for being such a techno dumb as well 😂.

        • Ok, so I think I did it. Yay! It was a photo associated to gravatar and WordPress accounts I had forgot existed and that at some point were associated with my usual email account. Thank you again for pointing me towards a solution.

  • I’m so devastated, please accept a big hug from someone that truly understands. He just took my kids, he wanted them last week after 6 countries in 2 weeks and straight from the airport. I said no, next morning an email accusing of parental alienation. Then, the whole week of silence. Asking if they could go to see him since he has no symptoms, he has been bugging the kids saying I am lying, make too much ado about nothing, etc. “Of course I did not engage in anything that would make me at risk.” 15 min after he leaves with the girls a friend tells me that her husband saw him at a party in another COuntry. This was in the news, 25 people sick after attending that party, this was one day before he came and wanted to pick them up. I’m overreacting of course. And then when asked where he was the last two weeks by my lawyer he says the city where his lovely howorker and “girlfriend” more like mistress because we were still married lives. Just to gloat. I hate my life so much, I hate this man, I hate that I was fooled for so long. I just want my kids with me now.

    • Hugs. I’m 9 hours away from my boy being home. I haven’t heard one word how their travels are going. I texted last night, checking in. I got “ok” back and that’s it.

  • Dr Narc has used the Coronavirus so:
    – he doesn’t pick up his gear from the garage so it can be painted
    – he won’t contact the bank regarding the mortgage while we try to sell the house in this uncertain environment
    – he can abuse me for not being smart enough to manage my finances to cover the mortgage on my own

    Any possible excuse to shift blame onto me 🙄

  • I’m a chump. I deal with an incredible narcissistic ex wife. I’ve had my kids and tried to exchange them with her earlier this week and she chose to work instead. Then when it was my time to get them, she didn’t want to give them back as she needs to “quarantine them.” They can be quarantined with me. I won’t take them out.

    I’m not traveling or taking them anywhere but some of the hysteria has to calm down. The main reason my ex wanted to keep them was to get back on track to match with her AP’s child custody schedule but cited the coronavirus as her excuse to try and prevent me from seeing the kids.

  • Mine took my three small girls on an over night playdate with cousins. I was appauled for some reason. I called my lawyer…I can’t do anything but call the police. I can’t do that to my kids but I have it documented. I await their safe arrival back home. I can deny him a visit in two weeks though. I’m not sure what I’ll do…I don’t to hurt them more than they have been.

    • I’m sorry so because someone doesn’t operate with the same hysteria as you, they should not be allowed to see their kids? I’m a chump too who deals with a woman who gave up seeing her kids full-time but the idea that someone gets to keep my kids from me is bullshit.

      • I find your repeated use of the word “hysteria” as inflammatory. You are using it to be dismissive toward women that are expressing a very real, scientific based, concern. It is a reminder for all of us that someone being a chump doesn’t preclude them from being a mysoginist.

    • C and all of CN, if you are in contact with political leaders or advisors: the German chancellor has proclaimed for all of Germany that no one is allowed to be in public places outside of the home with more than one person who is not a regular member of the household. Furthermore that ALL contacts, also inside the home should be minimised to people who share a regular household. This is the only regulation that makes sense regarding infection risk. Cheaters and schmoopies matching children up with theirs and other extended family are in breach of the law here now. It’s been held that this is an offense and if there are any symptoms such as coughing or flu, it’s actually a crime. Due to no tests available, everyone displaying such symptoms will be advised to quarantine. Breach of quarantine may result in prison.

  • More than 13 thousand people and counting didn’t die of hysteria. Of course you can see your children, you just shouldn’t take them to crowded places or see grandpa and grandma (which you say, you aren’t ). Oh, and complying with the authorities might also help. Hopefully, it’ll be soon over.

  • Better be sure what the law is before withholding custody. Here it has been stated that courts will not look favorably on the parent doing that. If you are truly co parenting with a fuckwit you will be glad for this as fuckwits I know are trying to use it as a way to keep children away from chumps. They don’t even have valid reasons.

  • Kid is home. He traveled through 5 different airports to do it. Told me the airports were eerily empty. TSA was making people space out. He wore a mask the whole time, touched as little as possible and disinfected as much as possible. Anchorage went into hunker -down mode at 10 pm last night. (Meanwhile our Gov is still asking State employees to report to work. WTF?#AnotherReason4RecallDunleavy)

    I met him outside the terminal with Purell and hugs. Came home, decontaminated, and now its a two week wait to see if we are both clear. The house is stocked with food and supplies. We should be alright. (But I may have to up my internet capability for us both to work and play at home at the same time!)

    The community is all hunkering down, as we have one small hospital, no ventilators and not on the road system. Most of us have been through shit like this before; its remote Alaska, we are used to taking care of each other/ourselves, so we are better prepared than most. Three out of 5 of my neighbors are all quarantining. Very quiet around. We are getting out for walks and stuff, and waving at each other from a safe distance, contacting each other through social media to be sure we’re all doing ok physically and mentally.

    As for the X, he expressed surprise at these quick developments everyone is taking. Seemed caught off guard that everything was closed/restricted, there were no places to go eat (other than take out). As a health care worker he is mandated to self-quarantine for at least 2 weeks on his return to his community. I feel sorry for his relief, who will have to stay longer, or they will have to find someone else willing to come out, or the village will have no hands on health care.

    Ah, consequences. There’s a lot of psychological consequences for him returning to the village as a possible vector too. There are many Elders who remember the epidemics that ravaged the villages in the last century. Small pox, tuberculosis, and the epidemic that started our world famous sled dog race the Iditarod which was an effort to bring diphtheria vaccine to Nome and the surrounding villages.

    Hang in there people. We will make it out the other side.

    Hugs to all.

  • Like many of you on this site, I was chumped, rechumped, and then triple chumped. My naiveté still astounds me. I finally figured the whole mess out and doubled down and got myself an excellent lawyer. Idiot tried to hire my lawyer, he obviously did not read the fine lettering when he was served.

    Anyway, this just may put a small smile on the face of some of you. He got this AWESOME new job, he was going to be the ‘toast of the town’, the ‘wolf of wallstreet’! Yes, that is right…..he moved to NYC. The epicenter of all of this nightmare.This was literally days before disaster struck.

    I will say, I love NYC. One of my favorite places on earth, and I am sad for the people who are sick. I am aware that this could be me as well. But I am happy that for once my lying (stole all of our retirement), cheating, alcoholic narcissist is in the midst of this nightmare. It feels like divine retribution. Even if he doesn’t get sick. He and schmoopie won’t be out dining on my retirement money….not yet anyway. He won’t be supporting her shopping addiction…for now. I go to court in May for initial hearing…..that will stall some of the money being spent.

    He doesn’t see our teenaged son as it is, but there is no way in God’s green earth that I would let my son travel to that area of the country, let alone get on a plane. Of course, my daughter who is 18 did. And I have had to learn to ‘live and let live’. It has not been an easy time for anyone and my prayers are going out to those of you who have to co-parent with an idiot. They all seem the same…very selfish and unaware that their actions harm other people. No-one in their right mind would take a kid to an airport right now, let alone out in public. I am surprised being in a remote area of Alaska that Skunkcabbage did not arrange for a grizzly bear to eat her x right on the spot.

    Hang in there. Stay safe and for God’s sake obey the quarantine as much as you can. New evidence is suggesting it is becoming more virulent.

    • “I am surprised being in a remote area of Alaska that Skunkcabbage did not arrange for a grizzly bear to eat her x right on the spot.”

      A girl can hope, but then again, I wouldn’t wish that kind of indigestion on a poor Griz.

  • A cheater who ignores social distancing protocol and endangers his son during a pandemic to go on a canned hunt? I’m happy to hope he dies of covid-19 on your behalf if you’re worried that would make you a bad person.

    Your son will probably be fine, since the virus affects children less severely. But shooting trapped exotic animals with his asshole dad will probably have some negative psychological effects.

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