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Coronavirus Hoovering?

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Hi Chump Lady,

Do you think that toxic relationships can be re-started — years later after both of you have had other partners and lived separate lives?

So many of my exes are reaching out to me during this COVID time… I find it fascinating and traumatizing. What are your thoughts?

Too Many Bad Options

Dear Too Many Bad Options,

You’ve heard about the run on toilet paper? Well, apparently there’s an international shortage of ego kibbles.

Supply chains are cut off, so narcissists have to improvise. There was a time a person could “work late at the office” or dash out for 5-hour pack of cigarettes. Now quarantined interminably with the same jigsaw puzzle, cheaters are losing their collective minds. Desperate for kibble supply, they’re manufacturing it themselves with ordinary house stuffs.

Narcissist to toaster oven: “Hey, how you been? Miss me?”

Zzzzzzttt! (fritz!)

They must turn to exes.

Do you think that toxic relationships can be re-started — years later after both of you have had other partners and lived separate lives?

Sure. Fires can still be ignited. For the insurance money. Do you want to live in a charred hull? All sorts of awful things can be restarted! War. Plague. Voter suppression.

Dear God, don’t even consider this! If you’ve heard from a toxic ex right now, you’re bottom barrel kibble supply.

You’ve probably got some chumpy thoughts, like, “Oh, now he’s All Alone! Regretting his life choices! Sobbing into his jigsaw puzzle! And he rues the day he ever hurt me!”

Next, some emotional We’re All In This Together public service announcement comes on the airwaves, the tearful grandmothers, the health care worker struggling for oxygen, the reunited puppy — and you think — that could be us. Two people overcome by emotion, realizing ALL WE HAVE and ALL WE COULD LOSE!

And you’d be an idiot chump projecting your values on to someone who has demonstrated to you (painfully, humiliatingly) that they do not share your values. Of fidelity, sacrifice, and a greater love than oneself.

What are your thoughts?

Did they mail it?

There’s a toilet paper shortage. Recycle.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • There is all sorts of schmaltzy sentimentality floating about these days.

    These people are exes. Flushed from your life. To give them any access to your life is like celebrating when the drains don’t and suddenly the contents of the sewer are flooding your home.

    Don’t buy whatever they’re selling. Their minds are hog lagoons. Don’t set sail!

    • Call a plumber! Fix the dang drain to get the sewage moving in the correct direction, out of the House! Get it away from you now!!

    • My ex is working from home and he just sent me a narcissist rant about how are son is overweight and out of shape and how I should be exercising him and watching his caloric intake. First thing I thought of was our son doesn’t need body image issues and he doesn’t have control over me when I have our son. Oh, done many things to make me want to text him concerning our son but he’s a narc and it would just be fuel.

      I didn’t respond because he’s an asshole and it would just be kibbles. I guess he’s not getting enough attention from affair partner during quarantine. He needs to back to work so he doesn’t narc out for kibbles.

      I’m pretty sure I’ll get a ranting text about how I ignore him or don’t communicate quickly enough to answer his texts.

      Our son must have given him a narcissistic injury while on a bike ride.

      Ex is starving for attention. Sucks!

      • I don’t know how old your son is it’s not uncommon for boys on the cusp of adolescence to pudge out a bit. (Ammunition for not letting your ex’s comment on your son get under your skin.)

        • Your absolutely right about the pudge thing..the bodie knows what it is doing. Cutting calories and forcing teens to loose weight during this period does irreversible long term damage to their entire body. The weight gain is the bodies way of sustaining itself through the growth spurt that is coming in the next few months to a year. When that storage is denied the growth spurt will still happen only the child will not reach his full height and will be plagued with spine and joint issues as well as vascular problems. My son packed on the weight around age 13..I fed him healthy choses and explained what his body was doing and not to let anyone shame him for chunky. My boy is now 16 and 6 feet tall and 140lbs. He grew more than half a foot over his summer break. The credit goes to genetics and a smart mom..I am under 5 feet and his dad is 5 feet 5inches..and asian. My great grandmother was 6.5 feet and grandfather was also 6.5 feet…I understand we live in a society of thin is beautiful but I refused to make weight at that age an issue. I now have a tall handsome young man that understands where some weight issues come from and noone deserves to be shamed for it especially not from his father.

          • My son did the same thing at that age; he’d grow out sideways a little bit, then grow up a little bit, repeat. At 17 he was over six ft tall and weighed about 150# . He’s never suffered from weight problems. Stand back and watch is a good rule.

          • Nobody2U i can confirm. My mother was obsessed with skinny. I was a size 8 (which is a 6 i think in the US), and my sister was a six (4 in the US). I was treated as the fatty and was given overly healthy stuff, no junk at all. Why wasnt i my sisters size. Probably because we were two completely different builds. She ends up fine. I end up with 3 curves in my spine, brittle bones and awful arthritis which has resulted in lots of surgery and procedures. I can assure you, i am now very fat as i cannot get around at all. My mums head nearly explodes when she sees me eating chocolate

      • You’re ex is absolutely welcome to go and do training with his son, buy him plenty of fruits and vegetables and go regularly hiking with him etc.

      • What did he think you were going to do? Hook up a stationary bike to a generator and lash his feet to the pedals?

        What an asshole. Glad you ignored that offer to fuck up your kid per his orders.

      • you should be ”exercising him” like… a pudgy labrador retriever? Okkkkaayyy.

        Very odd word choice on his part.

        Now, a bit of exercise for *everyone* is a great thing, in pursuit of feeling better, calmer, sleeping well. Unless your son’s paediatrician has indicated his weight is of any concern, then all is well. Even if he has, the time is not now to address it meaningfully.

  • I have a friend who has narcissistic leanings (which I’m usually able to overlook) and she does spiritual “counseling” for a living – meaning she is always the center of attention, all spiritual guidance comes from her, she’s basically doing a performance for her clients, etc. Well, her business is closed so she is craving the kibbles and attention of her audience, and the only thing she can do is post videos of herself talking every day on her Facebook page. As you said, the supply chains are cut and so narcissists have to improvise.

  • Now I’m feeling extremely fortunate. Apparently Fuckup built up a large enough network of exes, alternate kibble dispensers, farm team kibble dispensers, and what have you, that he hasn’t felt the need to bug me. On the one hand it’s a little hurtful, but on the other, who needs the mindfuck on top of everything else?

  • People who sniff out exes are usually lazy and looking for an easy, familiar score.

    If you want to be an easy familiar score then by all means get involved with a toxic ex.

    • Brilliant response, Kim. Ugh. So true.
      They cannot exist without triangles, can they? If not her, then her son!
      I say, “Less triangles, more COWBELL.”

  • toxic people arrive in every good persons life.
    People who are happy are those who remove the toxic people swiftly.

    Was it on this site that I read that toxic people will go to anyone, any port in a storm, and the difference is in who lets them stay around?

  • Do you think a toxic relationship can be re-started? Why the hell would you want to do something like that?

    Isolation is tough but being forced into isolation with an emotional black hole is not worth the cost.

  • AH HA! My ex hadn’t reached out to me in months, and all of a sudden popped back up. I thought maybe he was stressed or…whatever. I ignored it, and I am so glad I did. Yes, makes total sense after reading this. Thank you Chump Lady.

    • Mine tried after the virus stuff started.

      He’s 65 and living by himself….I guess his out of town whore ex gf that he kept around our entire relationship can’t keep him company while locked down in another state.

      Dumbass….I hope it was worth it. He never thought I’d divorce him…he has a majorly inflated sense of what he offers.

    • Mine never knew me after he abandoned me.

      Yet, suddenly after the Covid-19 thing ~ he texts me saying he is thinking about me and hope I stay safe.

      WTF?

      I simply texted back, Thanks.

      Nothing more for me to say.

      But I still wonder, WTF?

  • Not me thankfully.

    But unfortunately she has been hoovering the ever loving sh*t out of our 2 adult children and our youngest, who lives with me.

    🙁

    • Mine has also reached out to the adult kids that have had nothing to do with him for FIVE years.
      Whatever.

      • My adult kids are the same! They want nothing to do with their cheater dad. My youngest (26) actually told me that if I ever resume ties with him, she’ll disown me, too. Yikes!

        I shouldn’t make assumptions about your situation, but I suspect it might be like mine because I think adult kids sometimes accept the cheater parent if they had a good relationship all along, but they don’t if the relationship growing up was not good. And that’s the situation with their father. He thinks he was a great dad, but he wasn’t. What a narcissist! I even warned him throughout the years, and he never saw that there was a problem.

        So basically my kids were almost relieved when we learned of the 2 1/2 year affair, and I left the toxic jerk. They tell me that before D-Day they tolerated him because we came as a kind of package deal. Two for one.

        What I wonder is if my STBX gets it now. I mean, his three kids have gone 100% no contact. He hasn’t seen his grandchild for 6 months. She’ll be a year old soon and just started walking. I can’t imagine not having my kids in my life. In fact, I just moved to be near them.

        I know he feels he’s being unfairly punished. “I only did one thing wrong!” That’s what he says. A 2 1/2 year affair!! Trips! Hotel rooms! Sleeping in our bed! The number of lies alone is staggering.

        So it’s interesting to me that your kids have had no contact in five years. Do they ever speak of him? How is that going?

        • Sadly, she is working on the assumption that if she pretends that she did nothing wrong for long enough, then they will forget all of the lies, deception, manipulation, cheating and theft (from them and from me). That way she won’t have to apologise or make amends.

          Fortunately, our children (even the 16 year old) see her for what she is; an irrelevance.

        • I can only imagine the amount of “you’re so toxic and vindictive scorned wife that is alienating your kids BS” you’re probably getting. It’s amazing the high standards we are supposed to keep when they can kill kittens and , we’ll, that’s how they are. But it could be so much worse if “your kids were to live with one unhappy parent”. Yes, God forbid an adult man having to think about his own kids before engaging in an affair. Ugh.

  • “Toilet paper shortage,” I love it!

    I haven’t heard from my cheater ex wife, but I did hear from my last ex girlfriend. She broke things off as she said she was hoping to find a more physically attractive man. What the eff?
    A couple of weeks ago, she contacted me. I didn’t take the bait, as I’m still as ugly as ever :D.

    • Traveling the World, Keep that sense of humor! Made me laugh out loud (some of it from shock at what she said to you–but why should I be surprised? That’s them…

    • Traveling the World, omg that is really awful. When Chump Lady starts her dating app, we can meet. I am looking for a less attractive man. My Mr Cheater pants was a chick magnet and there was a constant supply, he bathed in the attention. I ended up with bad body image, topped with low self esteem . So I’m fairly attractive, but believe that I’m not. I hope you do not listen to her on any level. I agree with Lulutoo, thanks for the laugh! Also, “kibble – loss” … priceless.

      • Every narc can make you feel like the ugliest creature.. I was getting married at 25- smart, funny, attractive blonde with a bottomless patience and a degree…
        I ended up as an overweight woman with no self esteem, feeling like a fat ugly monster, responsible not only for the non-existing sex life ( no one wants to sleep with an ugly woman) but also for my h’s low performance ( due to my appearance)
        Oh my 🤯such a mind fuck….

        Every normal man would be happy to have me
        ( now I know) my sex life was healthy, my needs were healthy…. normal man would be over the moon…. unfortunately I married a fucked up narc.

        It takes forever to regain the strengths, womanhood, but I’m getting there.

        • I hear you. Wasband’s performance problems were because I sniped and nagged too much.
          Not because of his morbid obesity, uncontrolled blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle, eating all junk food, and lack of testosterone.
          Not at all.

        • And x1000 yes to “every normal man would be happy to have me, normal men would be over the moon…”
          I was so surprised when I started to meet normal men!
          The narcs really do a number on your brain.

          Solidarity, sister!

  • Yeah, my STBX is showing the stress of kibble-loss. (We are both women.) I moved out in mid-March, right before everything shut down. STBX hasn’t hoovered yet, but unfortunately we’ve had to have a lot of contact due to sharing custody during the stay-in-place order. Actually, the custody arrangement with my younger daughter got derailed last week when my older daughter developed symptoms of the virus. I am really not keen on contracting it before better treatment options are available, so I’ve had DD8 with me all week instead of passing off last Saturday, and the two of us are steering clear of STBX and DD18 for now. STBX is on board with this plan but still whinges a lot about it.

    Yesterday, DD8 and I went over to the other house to drop something off, and STBX came outside in a mask to give DD8 a hug. (At first, DD8 didn’t want to hug her, lol!) As she was hugging DD8, STBX said, “Ah, human contact!” Behold, kibbles made flesh.

    Both STBX and DD18 are going to get tested for Covid-19 today. We live in a very affluent suburb, but they will still have to drive over 2 hours roundtrip to get tested, and the only reason they qualify for testing is that they both have asthma. (Interestingly, they have to drive to a much LESS affluent suburb to get tested. The only testing in our county at this point is if you are admitted to the hospital with very severe complications. This is a serious problem for accurate data collection and for re-opening businesses anytime soon!) If it were me, I would not worry about the testing and just presume that DD18 has the virus – to be confirmed by antibody tests when they’re available – but she has OCD and anxiety, and apparently can’t stand not knowing whether she has it.

    STBX thinks that she might have had very mild symptoms early last week, before DD18 became symptomatic, and I’ve been wondering where STBX might have picked up the virus if indeed she had it. We have discussed (in custody therapy) the fact that I would prefer STBX not to date other people until our divorce is finalized, and that horizon sadly has gotten pushed back due to this shutdown. STBX said she would abide by my request, though she’s clearly chomping at the bit to get back in the saddle (to mix my metaphors). STBX even wants to put a positive spin on dating WAY too soon (by any objective measure), by saying that she thinks she needs to work on her boundaries by testing them out with other people!! Lol, we’ll see how that works out! Anyway, the thought has crossed my mind that STBX might have contracted the virus by “testing boundaries” with someone already, while we were all supposed to be sheltering at home. I’ll never know the truth of that, because she would never admit it if I asked her. But it’s an interesting thought. She’s certainly going to be hurting badly if she has to go many more months without sexy kibbles – though she’s got her band of trusty flying monkey toxic friends and family to keep her afloat for now. If it turns out she HAS had the virus and now has immunity, I shudder to think what she might choose to do in the next few months.

    But as for hoovering: she couldn’t pay me to go back, at this point! I was just thinking that I should stop thanking her for doing basic childcare logistics, because it feeds her kibbles and makes her think I’m okay with her BS, which I emphatically am not. Stay strong, OP and CN!

    • So, she thinks of people instrumentally, as things with which she can “test out her boundaries.” How narcissistic of her. Sounds more like she wants to test out her ability to bulldoze other people’s boundaries.

      • Yes, yes, she does! She used both me AND the AP during her most recent affair – pretty explicitly, though she kept hiding behind the “you knew what you were getting into all along” excuse with the AP. (I have read the 490+ page dump of texts between STBX and the AP, so I have a very clear sense of what a screwed-up dynamic that was. I’m sure a lot of cheaters pretty explicitly string along their APs for cake.) And STBX has no problem using my parents, who live near us while her family lives 2000 miles away, under the excuse that their help is “for the kids.”
        The biggest shocker to me after D-Day #2 was how terrible STBX’s boundaries are, all around. She seemed to honestly have no idea where she ends and other people begin – it turns out that she had been resenting the hell out of my inability to read her mind, and didn’t “feel the love” unless I expressed it in EXACTLY the way she wanted. But she never *told* me what she was looking for, of course – apparently kibbles don’t feel as authentic if she has to talk about them!

        So yes, STBX could use some boundary work, but starting with herself! I stopped untangling the skein a while ago, but at one point after D-Day #2, I read Craig Malkin’s “Rethinking Narcissism” to try to understand a little better what was happening. He points out that overt (malignant) narcissists treat people like insects to be crushed under their shoes, while covert narcs treat other people like instruments of their will. Ding, ding! My STBX fits the latter description to a T. But when STBX took the diagnostic test in the Malkin book, out of idle interest and to humor me, she came out on the “echoist” side of the scale – in other words, the opposite of narcissistic. 1) As with most pop psych books, Malkin’s diagnostics might not be very useful in practice, and 2) maybe STBX IS an echoist most of the time, but has what Malkin calls “need panic” when she can’t ignore her own needs any longer. I also suspect that she might have complex PTSD from growing up with a malignant narcissist for a mother (and an emotionally absent father), and my understanding is that adult manifestations of C-PTSD can resemble Borderline Personality Disorder. STBX pretty clearly doesn’t have full-blown BPD (as does my aunt, so I know what it looks like), but her issues with boundaries and kibbles are very BPD-like.

        Okay, no more untangling! (Washing my hands of it, along with Covid-19.) Whatever STBX’s toxic brew may be, I have ample evidence that she’s not capable of dealing with it on her own, and will just keep using other people for sh*ts & kibbles until the cows come home. I refuse to be instrumentalized! (And my parents have had it, too, though it was harder for them, since they saw mostly the public face, not all the 24/7 fuckedupedness behind closed doors.)

        All best to you. There will never be a dearth of material for narcissist-spotters in the modern world…

        • LezChump,

          Having been married to a pathological liar (and he was so damn good at it that I was clueless about this for YEARS), I would highly doubt the results of that self-diagnostic test your STBX took. All cheaters are liars to some degree. Some of the lies, I believe, are told to themselves.

    • I’m sorry she did that to you, that is absolutely putting you at risk of contracting the virus–hugs are absolutely not ok!! Please be careful. You really should self isolate for 2 weeks after that. I know our rules are different in Canada but it seems to be working to flatten the curve here.

      • Thanks for your concern, NewLady. I have allowed DD8 a little hugging with STBX this week, as long as there’s a mask on, because this process really is very hard for DD8, who does not know why we are divorcing. STBX is very bonded with my daughters; I now see that she actively uses them for kibble supply, but my kids will just have to learn how to maintain healthy boundaries with her in the future. We told the kids about the divorce the last weekend of February – we had to plan that timing for reasons unrelated to the pandemic – and then I moved to this apartment less than two weeks later, and then everything closed down. All the co-parenting through separation/divorce advice I’ve seen starts with item #1: keep your kids’ routines intact as much as possible. So much for that! The entire world as we know it has imploded, and DD8 can’t even have playdates, or invite friends/family over to see the new apartment. I know it’s not the pain Olympics, but there aren’t a lot of chumps who’ve had to deal with this unique set of circumstances in helping their kids through a very traumatic disruption in their early lives.

        And it’s frankly a little hard to know what to do, re: contact guidelines under these circumstances. I balked at sharing a Passover Seder with STBX and DD18 last Thursday, the day after DD18 first started exhibiting symptoms – but she was feeling a little better that day, and it was a complicated situation. DD8 and I did join them for the Seder meal, and started quarantining in earnest the next day, after DD18 took a turn for the worse. To her credit, DD18 was very careful about washing hands etc. when we were over for the meal. As it happens, I’ve also read a lot of research suggesting that the virus gets shed most actively when people are really symptomatic, coughing on things, etc. – and DD18 was not doing that during the meal. Nor was STBX doing that when she was hugging DD8.

        Though I will have to knock wood after typing this, DD8 and I are doing fine so far – so sign of illness in either of us, a full week after we shared the Seder meal. So I hope we lucked out and dodged a bullet, despite allowing a few hugs (with PPE) now and then to help DD8 get through this tough time.

        All best to you in Canada! It’s been a cold week here in the northern States, I hope spring is coming to stay for you up north as well! Good weather makes the rest of it much more bearable.

  • I haven’t gotten tearful appeals for me, but for AP-now-husband.

    It’s so hard on XW with her true love 1000 miles away that she is putting pressure on me to change custody so that she can travel more. Yes, her reaction to the global pandemic and shelter-in-place orders is to demand I make it *easier* for her to go visit him in New York (yes, the epicenter of coronavirus in the US).

    To top it off, she told me that she’ll be gone during one of her custody weeks regardless, and threatened to take the kids with her. She explicitly admitted that she thinks it’s dangerous to travel, but since not going to see him is “not an option” for her, she’ll shlep the kids along unless I agree to take them. In a way, the most bizarre part of her blackmail is that it’s so unnecessary. I *want* to see my kids. Our main point of conflict is that I refuse to give up time with them – not that I refuse to take them. In 100+ times that she’s asked me to take the kids over the years, only *once* have I said no (because I was literally out of town, which obviously isn’t going to happen in this instance), so the whole threat was completely pointless.

    End of rant.

    • Involuntary Georgian – The bloom must be off the rose in her new marriage. If she knows it’s not safe, but plans to travel to a virus hotspot anyway, she’s worried that he’ll find a new ‘twu wuv’ in a more accessible location.

      She’s obviously not getting enough attention during these troubled times. Would probably also like to hear YOU express concern for her health – my advice? Happily agree to keep the kids and wish her a good trip. That’ll frost her! It’s a win-win.

    • Involuntary Georgian, her “week” in NY with her twu wuv turns into 3 weeks with your kids for you! 1 week away for her + 2 week mandatory quarantine when she returns lol! Of course you should not mention that until she returns 😘

      • Very good. And I hope XW catches a non-fatal version of Covid-19 to boot, so that she’s miserable the entire 3 weeks.

  • There are approximately 7 billion people on the planet. More arrive every second of every day.

    7,000,000,000 – 1 = 6,999,999,999

    Even if we were the last two on Earth I would run from him. A dog that mauled me is not my friend.

    • TYPO…

      8,000,000,000 people on the planet right now.

      8,000,000,000 – 1 = 7,999,999,999

      Even better.

  • This column is very timely for me because my STBX mother-in-law, also a narcissist, left me this voicemail this week: (Feel free to help me UBT the shit out of it!)

    “Hello LNDT, the is MIL and I just wanted to let you know that I have lost four of my family members, one in January, one in February, one in March and my brother now in April and I don’t know whether you have known that or not. But, I just wanted to call and tell you. Apparently, you don’t know or it isn’t concerning to you. Anyway, he is my bother, I know if you had lost your brother I would have called and said my condolence.
    I did see where you sent condolence to _______ (the son of the brother who died). But, you know, I want to tell you something Between you and STBX relationship, I had nothing to do with that. I’ve always stayed out of your relationship and for you to treat me like you don’t care anymore really hurts me. Because I care for you and I called you and everything. It just makes me wonder what I’ve done that you con’t care about me anymore, because I’m not that type of person (choking up). I care about the people I love and so I just hope that you will give me a call or if you don’t I will know that you really aren’t concerned about me anymore.
    So you have a good day. I love you still and I still want to be connected with you. But you know I just wanted to express that and you have that choice whether you want to be Not thank you know you have a good day. Hope it isn’t real cold up there. I hear it it’s kind of cool up there so have a good day. Love you. Bye Bye.”

    Background: STBX had 9 month affair, moved out the second I found out and confronted him last May to be with OW. MIL was supportive at first, but has, naturally, let him visit and has now met OW. We are still in divorce negotiations.
    MIL has always been difficult and needs to be center of attention.
    BTW – the brother passed away on Easter. Voicemail was left on Tuesday, just 2 days later.

    My reply was by e-mail yesterday:

    Dear MIL (and FIL),

    I received your message yesterday and decided to respond via e-mail.

    First, I DID want to express my condolences for the losses in your family. I was only aware of 2 that I can remember. That is a lot in just a few months. I am sure it must be sad for you to say goodbye to so many family members especially when you can’t be there in person to fellowship.

    Second, after much thought and reflection, I have decided I need to distance myself from the whole STBX family for a while. That is why I haven’t called or reached out. I have my own healing journey to go through and don’t have extra emotional energy to give away. I hope you will respect my decision and understand this is about my own healing, not anything you have done or not done,

    Thank you,

    LNTD

    • Interesting. I like your response. When my cheating whore ex wife split my ex mil cut me off just as fast as her daughter did, as well as my ex FIL. These are people that were “family” for 24 years. Really wisened me up about people, family and relationships. As far as I’m concerned the only people who truly have my back are my brother and and my own children. Non blood relatives can turn on you in a second without a care in the world

      • For me it was 20 years. My “upper middle class down to earth do not give a rats ass about the Joneses parents” were not good enough for my FIL and he always thought his son could do better. Basically kick me out of their house like I was nothing. He shows up with new “girlfriend” cough OW cough, they embrace her just to make me feel even worse. Turns out she comes from a poor family and fakes very well. Dad went to jail 3 times. My FIL finds out. Now my ex is desperate because he thinks he needs to marry her to save face and from what I hear his father is cursing the day his son got her. Oh, karma…

    • LNTD – “I have my own healing journey to go through and don’t have extra emotional energy to give away. I hope you will respect my decision and understand this is about my own healing, not anything you have done or not done.” Very reasonable response.

      Recently I was told by someone that I hurt her by distancing myself. I nicely explained that we all handle things differently. I wanted to say its not about you boo. Lol…

    • Great response!! My MIL also is reaching out. Wants me to call etc… She’s a narcissist like her son. I’ve just stopped replying to her texts. Figured “no contact” works on her son, it should work on her, too. But then this chump started to feel bad for her. She’s 88 and in an assisted living facility during the pandemic, so, on Easter (she’s super religious), when she pleaded with me to send her a text. I just wrote this: “Happy Easter. I hope you have a good day.” I’m sure she thought it was too curt and businesslike (my intention, of course).

      Note: We were married for 35 years. MIL met with the OW only two weeks after STBX confessed! And she basically told me to forgive and get over it right around that time. When I said I needed time to process and grieve and that her son was a man of low character, she started to sing church hymns. Swear to God. While I was talking, she started in on “A Mighty Fortress” or whatever it was. We were in a restaurant. I had just taken her to her doctor’s appointment. Yep, this chump took her to her doctor’s appointment while STBX was driving to another state to meet the AP’s parents. Never again.

      • Ugh the Jesus Cheater Choir. Ya it didn’t take me long to cut off the in-laws right after I cut off the ex, better to cut the entire cord. I’m sure the In-laws Welcomed her AP with open arms, I didn’t stick around to ask.

  • No hoover but a nasty POS ex

    I went out last week to my garden and his wedding ring was on my door step !!

    I divorced him 5 months ago he has since had a baby and got married to his AP so he’s gone out of his way to hurt me again .

    The surprising thing is , it never hurt me I just picked it up put it in the bin and carried on doing my gardening

      • For anyone who’s wondering what to do with their rings or gets a ring back from a turd like this one — I sold my rings and donated the proceeds to the Chump Lady blog. Felt amazing and cleansed those ghosts!

        • I sold all mine and bought a Labrador puppy.
          That fog has brought me more joy in 3 years than my ex did in 20.
          Best thing I ever did.

          • Awesome! I didn’t realize she left her ring till I found it in a little jewelry box she left in my sock drawer on the way out apparently. I took it to the pawn shop and sold it and took my daughter out for a nice dinner and I believe I spent the rest on vodka lol

            • I gave my wedding ring to my aunt who has had stage 4 leukemia for a few years. This aunt’s partner died several years ago, mother (my grandmother) died 1.5 years ago, and only child (my newlywed 30-year-old cousin who is 20 years my junior) died 1.5 years ago from cancer (not leukemia). Giving my aunt the diamond and sapphire ring given to be my consistently abusive husband after he left was the least I could do for my aunt. I didn’t want the bad reminder and figured that my unfortunate aunt could either wear the ring or use the money for her leukemia treatment.

    • Leaving the wedding ring on your door step is your ex lashing out. Definitely angry. Apparently having a baby and marrying the AP has not made him happy.

      • I just don’t get it though

        He’s been gone over a year not a single peep he could have binned that ring anywhere at any time . He could have put it in a skip , in the sea , in a field , down a drain or chucked it out his car window or as CL says sold it ( I’m guessing babies are not cheap )
        I just don’t understand why he’s put it on my door step ??

        I took a picture and put it on CL reddit forum the overriding thought was his new wife put it there but who knows !

        • Even if his new wife placed it on your door step it means all is not well in their home. Content, happy people do not feel the need to intentionally seek someone out to “stick it to them”. Here you are going about your business, out of the picture for a year and either your ex or his AP felt the need to get your attention. A very desperate act. I swear relationships that start out as an affair do not do well when the drama and the thrill of the clandestine meet ups is gone.

          • I completely agree with KB22!!! All is not well in cheaterland. Happy people don’t act this way. All the fun of sneaking around is a faint memory. Sparkles have fallen off the turd.

    • Wow, Karen, your ex is really a piece of work. Kudos to you for getting rid of him as quickly as you did. Keep working on you, and your garden : )

  • Yep……loss of kibble. My XW has now had my daughter to her home 4 times in the past 10 days. This hasn’t happened since she left with the AP in 2017. Maybe……maybe 4 times per year, never 4 times in 10 days. My daughter is happy about it, but I know that with this type of behavior from my XW there is always an agenda…….or just loss of kibble. I never thought of it as loss of kibble until todays posting here. My sister did say “she must be bored”. How bad is it that boredom is what it takes for her mother to want to see her? Fucking fuckwits!

  • You did wrong. You should have sold the ring and spend the money on some sexy and fit guy (or just ugly and pleasant).

  • Oh yes! I received a message that said ‘We are midst a global pandemic. The world is in chaos. And we are approaching a time in religion of death and rebirth…blah blah blah..my family needs me. please let me come home.’ Jesus cheating, fear mongering, gaslighting and emotional blackmail all rolled into one.

      • Jesus doesn’t want him and hell already has too many of his kind. Suck it up buttercup; you ditched your kibble family and the cake bakeries are all closed! 😂. I don’t know why the Christmas carol “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” keeps replaying in my head 🧐😆

  • How to fuel the ever loving triangulation to fuel the chaos takes little effort. It’s like throwing darts and seeing which one lands. Yup, late night calls to adult children lights the spark rattling the sluts cage. Who were you talking to? I doubt anyone’s available so why not stir the pot.

  • XAss hasn’t reached out to kibble, not since the last time he contacted me to give me stupid/wrong advice he gave us on how to avoid covid19 – after returning from taking our son across country over spring break and we were quarantined – and I called him out (the health care worker!) on giving us this useless (and unsolicited) information.

    But he did find a reason to try to upset my calm and peaceful environment yesterday. I don’t think it will have the effect he intended though. (insert satisfied chuckle.)

    I had been thinking recently of putting the paperwork through to have the custody support order re-evaluated but have been procrastinating, as working with our state’s CSSD is a frustrating process. I am supposed to file that I got a raise, but I only make about $20 more per pay check then I had been, so my contribution calculation won’t really change. But I am fairly sure XAss has received significant pay increases since we separated. (As well as hid money from me during the divorce process.)

    During the custody issue, I got royally screwed and somehow (though making 30k /yr) ended up OWING XAss who makes ~70k /year, over $2,000.00 for support “over-payment”. I opted to have my monthly child support ‘payment’ credited back to him. I finally have paid that off and now his payments of $71 / mo is to start back up to me. CSSD sent out the notice last week and yesterday I got the phone call…..What is this all about? Don’t I know that the “algorithms need to be re-calculated” and asking me to explain it to him.

    I acted like I was annoyed with him and told him that if felt a need to have the custody agreement re-evaluated he could contact his attorney, CSSD, and get that ball rolling. I then hung up on him.

    LMAO – Be careful what you ask for ’cause you just might get it XAss! Yeah, he’s going to be wishing that he left that stone un-turned. I’ll be sure to request the past 3 years of his tax returns be reviewed. And really, he’s thinks paying me less than $75/mo for his son is TOO MUCH?! Every time I have to deal with XAss he reminds me of just how selfish and self-centered he really is.

    • $71.00 per month!!!! What the hell kind of support is that?!! I pay $85.00 for a 26 lb of dog food every month for one dog. Never mind the other expenses. Even if the court mandated the amount he should be ashamed.

  • My ex of three years also sent an email stating how he is not sure how he is going to make it through the COVID-19 crisis and ” just know how much I love you”. What a POS! Married 45 years and he never said “I love you”, too busy being a serial cheater. He is damaged goods. I agree with Velvet – if he was the last man standing on earth I would run the other way! I will never respond to any contact from him. Amazing how they all follow a similar pattern.

  • I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT if POP were to be dumb enough to contact me under the guise of ‘pandemic concern’.

    Considering the lengthy record of assaults and other bad behavior he directed at me AND the fact that he’s currently awaiting criminal arraignment for what appears to have been a rather violent assault of a woman last month (and it appears a gun was in the mix which truly blows my mind as he’d never previously been around a gun when I knew him)—I could compound his woes exponentially with a simple phone call.

    He knows that I know my way around the legal system–and that I am not shy about using that knowledge.

  • My shit cheater ex has been hovering. I caved and responded. Same ol shit though. He is reaching out to me and others. Just looking for kibbles. There is nothing to work with here. When the crisis is over, he will be radio silent. I don’t know why I felt guilty by choosing not to respond. He didn’t feel guilty about lying and gaslighting me as well as putting my health at risk.

    I’m smart. I know his attention will be gone when this is over. I actually don’t care but I do find responding makes me feel bad about myself. It’s like I’m walking into a trap. I know better but chose to do it anyway.

    • RatTrap, write yourself a note clearly stating what you felt before responding to hm, and what you felt afterwards. Then clearly label those feelings; you feel guilt because you are a polite and kind person, but he is taking advantage of that. Remind yourself; I always do respond to REASONABLE people. But not to this manipulative person who just wants to use me to get his ego boost. I will feel crummy afterwards if I respond, because that’s how it feels to be treated like an object, not a person.

      Then promise yourself that no matter WHAT he says, you will wait 24 hs before deciding whether to respond or not. My Ex would alternate between charm, self-pity and rage, with the occasional VERY provocative misinterpretation thrown in, so I had to have a general rule. I also created the habit of writing out what I’d LIKE to tell him, but not sending it.

      It takes practice to get good at No Contact. But it feels SO GREAT when you do!

    • This covid crisis must be taking its toll on cheaters in all sort of ways.
      No more working late or golfing trips or being caught out where you have no need to be. Think of all the poor APs here. Why is there no government support being set up to help them through?
      The post D day lovers who are now set up together in a cosy love nest may be finding that it’s not all candlelit dinners and passion as they self isolate on furlough.
      Divorces are being delayed too.
      This crisis is going to produce a whole lot of d days, new chumps, kibbles shortage, nostalgia, and will be a boon to the reconciliation brigade as affairs are flushed out.

  • Fucktard slime ball ex couldn’t hoover even if he wanted to, he’s blocked on everything, I have a new email address he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t know where I live. 😁😝

    I just thank God daily I’m not quarantined with the scumbag, knowing what a filthy tempered misery guts he’ll be in this situation – nope, that’s all for the rat faced whore to put up with, not me! 🐀😂

  • Based on my stbx’s behavior, there is still plenty of kibble to be had on Tinder. Apparently a deadly pandemic isn’t stopping everyone from wanting to exchange bodily fluids with strangers. It’s horrifying and why I won’t let her visit the dogs any more.

  • The way I see it we all only need one asshole so why even entertain getting involved with one?

    I am only 2 months away from leaving my STBX after a 6 year (second) marriage. No infidelity but lots of gaslighting and bending over backwards (& me with no background in gymnastics).

    I cry a lot because I miss what I thought we could have been. I had to leave because I was in danger of losing my 2 teenaged children. They couldn’t stand watching and didn’t know how to help. All they wanted was for me to be happy.

    I have moments of clarity but come every day for support from my fellow chumps. Thank you all so much!

    I’m working on living up to my chump name 🤔😊

  • I have the X blocked by every communication channel possible, so he can’t contact me, but- I dreamed last night I was stuck out of town and needed a ride to get to the airport. He showed up and offered me a ride. I said no, then searched for a ride from anyone, even strangers, then decided to walk, all to make sure I avoided any sort of help from him. Makes me proud to be strong, even in my dreams. It was one of his tactics to keep me stuck and feeling like I would be lost without him. So glad I got him out of my life before this happened. I can only imagine the hell he would have put me through.

  • The traffic on the internet sex hook up sites is probably getting slow, very few people want to meet up with strangers given the virus. So…. ex’s may be circling back to chumps for a roll in the hay. And people are low on money, so they will make nice with an ex to get a loan or a place to live.

    These people are pure parasites and need a host.

  • I used to work on construction when I was a kid. My job at times was repetitive swinging a sledgehammer using a pick axe pulling cable lines . One day I was shoveling a large pile of dirt and my supervisor tapped on my shoulder and said ” Hey I’ve been standing here for 20 minutes and you’ve hit me with that shovel at least 10 times!” I said geeze I would have moved after the first time. Move after the first time

  • Yup, the ex is trying to reconnect a la Covid. Nope, never! Cheaters NEVER evolve beyond that in the life that they are living. Maybe in another life later.

  • I have the opposite- complete ghosting. I was waiting for a text just to check that at the very least I was okay having our daughter non-stop for all this time. How’s she doing? Is she managing to study online? Are you being safe? Do you have enough supplies to look after her well? Is she stressed or anxious? NOTHING. Not a fucking word.

    • Same here. STBXH seems to be grey rocking me. .He only responds to direct questions but when I forwarded info about a shared asset he didn’t reply. He will message me if it concerns something I need to take action about. I told a separation was necessary but he wanted to file so that we could separate assets, even though he insisted he doesn’t want a divorce. We agreed on the assets but it’s not official as there are no signatures or wittnesses. Basically it’s me taking his word on what he owns.

      • Same. My ex won’t disclose his income or assets. I can take him to court but I’m not sure it’s worth it. It’s just power and control.

    • For me it was 20 years. My “upper middle class down to earth do not give a rats ass about the Joneses parents” were not good enough for my FIL and he always thought his son could do better. Basically kick me out of their house like I was nothing. He shows up with new “girlfriend” cough OW cough, they embrace her just to make me feel even worse. Turns out she comes from a poor family and fakes very well. Dad went to jail 3 times. My FIL finds out. Now my ex is desperate because he thinks he needs to marry her to save face and from what I hear his father is cursing the day his son got her. Oh, karma…

  • I COVID 19 proofed myself from any unwanted Hoover before we were even thrown into isolation. Months ago I blocked him on my phone, no more sappy texts or voicemails, I unfriended him on FB and he knows better than to come to my house again as my strapping son is staying with me. He won’t show up at my work place again because I’m not there. No fear of receiving any email from the moron because he only knows how to open an email not send one. Idiot.

  • A guy I had a very brief relationship with in 2017 – who now has a girlfriend – dropped a ‘hint’ that he is ‘selectively self-isolating’ right now, during a recent text exchange we had. The reason for that text exchange in the first place: my dad’s rapidly declining health. So he was offering up some grief-relief services. What a prince.

  • Opinions please – I’m locked down but I figured if I went out in my car and didn’t get out it was pretty much the same as being in the house….
    My other half left me in the most despicable way about 18 months ago and I’ve been so tied up in divorce, paying ‘it’ off and having a complete breakdown that being locked down has been a bit of a break if I’m honest. Just such a shame that I had to get an enforced break in such a terrible way….. We shall overcome!
    I always wanted to let schmoopie’s other half know what they were up to so decided to wait outside schmoopie’s place of work and followed them to find out where they lived so I could pop back when they were at work and leave the relevant text trail print outs and itemised phone records etc in an envelope for schmoopie’s other half.
    I lost them halfway through the journey.
    Not sure next time (or if there should be a next time….!) whether to leave my details so they can contact me and I can put them in touch with this site and answer any questions they may have.
    Is the following from place of work to home psychotic and weird or is it acceptable in terms of it’s for a greater good?
    I have no wish for contact of ANY kind with schmoopie, and indeed have realised, albeit recently, that I wouldn’t take ex back now. And don’t want aaaany contact with ex either. So it’s not for that purpose if any of you were wondering if there is some latent desire to make contact with either of them.
    Pick me danced like craaaazy for nearly a year ☹️
    Anyway, your thoughts please!

    • I can’t really say that’s the best way. Can you just mail them to the place of business? But maybe put them inside something wrapped inside some kind of warning? So they don’t open it at work and do god only knows what? It’s a shame there isn’t an easier way.
      I’d also consider your motive. Make sure you aren’t doing it just to hurt Schmoopie.
      There’s no good way to tell them but would you want it done that way?

    • Please don’t stoop to their level. Keep your head high and your self-respect too.
      Keep your dignity. Following them home is definitely in the crazy category (sorry).

  • My ex needs attention so badly, he went out and got himself a new puppy. Mind you, our 9 year old dog (that goes back and forth with the children) was so ill 2 weeks ago, I had to take him to the emergency vet after he came back from ex-douches house yelping in pain and couldn’t walk. I literally thought he was dying.

    No feel good kibbles in that! Solution =new puppy! Now that has value ! Social media likes 👍… $$$ cha-Ching $$$. What a great way to coerce your college age animal lovers to come to their house “they don’t have to follow the parenting plan!” They don’t have to, but why encourage them to leave their siblings? …. because “he gets the sadz when he’s by himself” NEW PUPPY in pics with your kids that you still haven’t payed child support for … omg the kibbles! Such a great dad! Kibbles, kibbles, kibbles!

    Puke 🤮

    • So, he paid for a new puppy but not for his children?

      Also, what did the vet say was wrong with the dog? Sounds to me like it was kicked or something.

  • LOL…. NONE of my ex’s are reaching out to me. Zero.

    I wouldn’t mind some kibbles myself… just the kind I would get from telling them to fuck off.

    But nope….no exes wanting to desperately reconnect with me. I must just be too damn mean.

    • You and me both. I’m delighted.

      In fact, quite the opposite’s been happening: I’ve been having Zoom catchups with some wonderful people I haven’t seen for years.

      We’d been planning to see each other at different times in real life, but this has brought us all to the one place and we’ve been having a ball.

  • How many toxic exes can one have???????
    I only have 1 toxic ex and 2 very lovely exes (that I’m not in touch with either).
    If you keep having so many relationships with toxic men, maybe make better choices in future.

    • “How many toxic exes can one have???????
      I only have 1 toxic ex and 2 very lovely exes (that I’m not in touch with either).
      If you keep having so many relationships with toxic men, maybe make better choices in future.”

      That’s nice for you. Congratulations. But I think you will find that some people make their way here because their picker is broken. They choose poorly more than once, and they’re only just coming to grips with the reasons why.

      And generally we don’t slap those people down; we show them some love and patience while they’re trying to sort their shit out. It takes time to do this.

      Everyone here wants to make better choices in future. Maybe people out there slapped YOU down and said ‘I don’t have ANY toxic exes; you need to lift your game’. I’m certain that would have stung, if it happened.

      Maybe try paying it forward here. Some of our wisest contributors have been burned more than once.

    • You know Kate, it’s not like people come attached with person specifications or tattooed foreheads: I’m highly toxic, stay away. Without such specifications it’s difficult and often impossible to make an informed choice (because highly toxic people are very good at pretending and manipulating). So, please stop this ‘choice’ nonsense. Nobody goes into a relationship knowing they’re going to be mistreated, beaten, lied to etc. We also don’t control other people and so we don’t have ‘choice’ over their behaviour.

      I’m writing this as a person who hasn’t really had a toxic ex.

      • Thanks for the support and validation on this! Pointing fault at my choices is not necessary – I do this to myself all the time anyway.

        Compassion for the win. 🙂

  • High school ex reached out to thank me for posting my high school senior picture on Facebook. He is redeemed, he said, because his latest girlfriend finally understands what he saw in me–I was beautiful back then! She saw nothing attractive in my current pics so had doubts about his choices.
    This ex cheated relentlessly on wives 1 and 2, remains married yet living apart and goes through women rapidly. Thank goodness we never married.

  • ” I’d also consider your motive. Make sure you aren’t doing it just to hurt Schmoopie. ”

    Not sure if this “Schmoopie” is in another relationship or not. But if they are. How about doing it for the Chumps benefit? I can assure you, more than half the people here wish someone had told them. Very rarely does this ever hurt the AP.

  • I don’t know what to make of this scenario, perhaps it’s a hoover? Help me out Chump Nation! I’ve received several texts this year from STBXDick, re: finalizing divorce. I did not respond because a) I just negotiated and won settlement from Company Jan. 2nd, and I was exhausted from the long court battle. 2) I didn’t feel like it, and 3) My Dad had a stroke Dec. 26th and I’d been back east for 3 weeks in January 2020 moving parents to assisted living/cleaning out their apartment and selling their car. Returned home to the PNW just as Coronavirus was getting going. Travel ill advised, assisted living locking down, hospital also allowing no visitors. It’s been a rough combination of circumstances and some very long weeks.
    Unfortunately, my Dad lost his battle last week, April 7th.
    So, one of my adult kids informs STBX of this and I get a short text from STBX sending his condolences and admiration for my Dad. I do not reply to this, don’t see a question in there.
    I get a phonecall from Safeway to see if I’ll be home to take delivery of some flowers. Sure, where else would I be?? So I’m looking forward to this, thinking my DD is such a dear. The flowers arrive, I unwrap them and they are from STBXDICK!!!!!
    He snuck past my 100% No-Contact/blocked everywhere filters and got through, inside my home.
    UGH!!! I moved them outside, they don’t belong in my house. I feel a bit violated, tbh.
    I don’t need to be consoled by that asshole. It is unappreciated.
    My sister thinks I’m overreacting, and I kind of am.
    I went from anticipating a nice surprise, level 7good, to feeling the mindfuck of DICK forcing his way into my world again, level 2bad. And I’m very much still grieving 🙁
    Maybe I’m just being ridiculous…?

    • The damage these devils inflict on us. Even flowers become something negative. How insane is that? I’m sorry for your loss, times are already difficult and so sorry you have more things on top of everything else. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re “overreacting”, trauma is hard and we all have different ways of reacting. But, of course try to be aware of your behavior so it doesn’t damage yourself. Aside from that, whatever his motives I would have taken the flowers. I love love flowers and no asshole in the world would make me throw them away. But trust your own instincts and do whatever you think it’s right for you to deal with your pain. They take away so much from us but our pain is OURS to do what we feel like it.

      • Thank you Sadsadchump, I appreciate your kind words and perspective! I don’t want all this to change me into that negative person. I was emotionally overloaded and that move just toppled my Jenga tower. Upon reflection, I decided to move the flowers outside to the patio table, under a light rain, but still in view if I choose. They deserve to open and offer up their beauty to the whole universe, including my Dad. I could not bring my self to toss them out, but they couldn’t stay inside with me. HOW they arrived is just a stupid detail I’ve forgotten about by now…. Striving for meh.

  • Sorry to hear about disrespectful, entitled behavior from some of the abusive exes of some of the posters.

    None of my (bad) exes has tried to hoover me during the pandemic. (Seems as though most of them married young, brilliant beauty queens (often rich), so they have neither the need nor the desire to contact me.) My abusive ex-husband, now unemployed as the touring music business has gone silent and will probably not resume work for many months to years, has used his loads of free time to harass me, although several years ago, following years of adultery with prostitutes, co-workers, bosses, both male and female, he left me, not the other way around. He used to harass me about not earning more to pay him alimony and child support, although he earned 10 times what I did. (Grad student researchers don’t earn nearly as much as rock stars.) Now that he is out of work, he, for free, is making a video on what might be a toxic waste dump in his neighborhood but doing nothing to try to earn any money to support our kids. (In spite of working a few white collar jobs and raising our kids over 80% of the time, I am on welfare.) Although I can appreciate making a video for ‘the greater good,’ I find it ironic that for years he threatened to take me back to court for not earning more money and now that I work more than he does he expects our kids and me to live on fumes and when I occasionally politely ask him what he is doing to help our family, he mocks me and implies that I am a gold digger. Yeah, a gold digger that has slept on the floor of her kids’ room for the last few years. I am sad to admit that I wish that my last partner, my post-separation boyfriend/guy who I thought was my friend for 30 years but turned out to be dishonest, invalidating and cruel, would return. He won’t return as he left me nearly three years ago to marry his rich young Ms. Universe work subordinate. I have read that social distancing due to the pandemic will likely be required until at least 2022, two years from now. It seems unlikely that we will have a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 for at least a couple of years, likely longer. I feel really lonely and really sad now. (Also scared of running out of money as I am working and saving as much as possible but still can’t cover rent and other recurring basic expenses.) So it looks as though single people who already had a tough time finding a decent mate pre-pandemic (e.g., a lot of middle-aged and older women) will not be able to have social interaction outside of a computer screen for years. In my work as a consultant to nonprofit agencies, I don’t get to form long-term bonds to people. Many of the people I work with are fairly nice people but have serious long-standing addictions and have been in prison, so it would be tough to bond with them in a healthy, mutually beneficial way as we have had very different life experiences and thus don’t really ‘get’ each other. How are other people handling this thought of not having any face-to-face social (dating/mating) interaction for many years, maybe forever?

    • I guess the good news is that most of us are no longer living with abusers and partners who chronically disrespect us. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

  • My ex requested to be my friend on FB. I was flattered and decided to write an email explaining why I didn’t think we should be FB friends (I’m happily married, they aren’t). I use an email address I had from 10 yrs ago, and thank God, it didn’t go through. I regretted my attempt to break the no-contact rule, and nearly resorting to my old chumpy self. That bit of insanity overwith, I denied the friend request and had a glass of wine.

  • Yayyyy what a fun post! I hadn’t considered that last week’s email from my ex was a COVID 19 hoover attempt–but that’s exactly what it was. I only saw a few words of the email…something about, “I’m praying for you….” I deleted it without reading. Don’t care. Meh.

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