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‘He Brought His Girlfriend And I Lost My Meh’

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Dear Chump Lady,

I’ve done a ton of work on myself, I’m slowly reaching meh, and I’m practicing no contact as much as is possible when doing shared care/parenting with a disordered cheater fucktoid.

But then I find myself in a situation like today —  youngest child’s school concert and cheater fucktoid rocks up with 20+ years younger than me “partner.” (They met online, she lives halfway around the world and they’ve seen each other physically for the second time in 12 months) and youngest child spends the entire time he performs making eye contact with them and I may as well not exist. I then react by approaching fucktoid, telling him it’s disgusting for him to bring “girlfriend” to concert and generally make an arse of myself.

I thought I was doing so well. That I’d reached a place of peace and couldn’t care less what he did. but clearly, I was and am affected. How do I move on?

Help!

Specialist in Hope

Dear Hope,

Nothing will make you lose your meh quicker than co-parenting with a fuckwit. It is the 18-year-long shit sandwich. You hope to God you get one of those conscious uncouplings, where everyone abides by court orders, pays support, and close encounters are like friendly hostage drop-offs, but NO. You got a fuckwit. I’m sorry.

My husband calls these sorts of unwelcome people situations “the turd in the punchbowl.” I hope the visual helps you. It sums up the revulsion and incongruity of having awfulness in what should be a celebratory occasion. Oh God, Turd brought his teenage girlfriend to a children’s concert. Imagine him floating in a sea of sherbet and 7-up.

Co-parenting with a fuckwit means you’re going to probably have a lot of turd-in-the-punchbowl moments. So steel yourself. You got broadsided this time, but after awhile with more exposure, you get a kind of turd aversion therapy thing going. Oh, it’s you again. Whatever.

You’re not there yet. It’s okay. We ALL lose our cool sometimes. You know what the right thing to do here is — suck it up and endure. Reject drama. Reject him. And fake your meh, even if you have to chew through a leather strap.

It takes an enormous amount of strength to do this. If it makes you feel any better, I still struggle and I’m past the 18 year mark. My son’s fuckwit father showed up at his college move-in day after ignoring him for YEARS, rejecting visits, running up thousands in unpaid back child support, dropping kid from his court-ordered health insurance, and generally being an all around negligent, horrible person. Fuckwit wants the parenting victory lap with none of the work.

Here’s what I wanted to do at that parent convocation —  scream at the top of my lungs THIS MAN IS A FRAUD! THE DEADBEAT ASSHOLE HASN’T SEEN HIS KID IN YEARS! HAS NOT PAID ONE DIME OF HIS TUITION AND OWES ME CHILD SUPPORT! BUT HE WOULD LIKE YOU ALL TO BELIEVE HE IS ONE OF YOU LOVING, SUPPORTIVE PARENTS HERE TODAY. SPIT ON HIM! REVILE HIM! SHAME HIM!

No. Instead I turned around and drove home. And let him sit in that hot, sweaty tent to listen to canned speeches without my presence.

Was it fair? Hell no. I took two days off work, packed all my son’s stuff, loaded it, unloaded it, folded his socks, made his bed… oh right, and generally raised him by myself for 19 years. But whatever. I wasn’t drinking turd punch that day.

My point is, I fucked up many times on the imperfect path to meh. You will too.

How do I move on?

You forgive yourself. You’re making the best of a horrible situation. Be kind to yourself.

Who knows the motivations of turds in punchbowls? Maybe your ex wanted to get a rise from you. Maybe he’s just narcissistically oblivious and your melt down was an added kibble high for him. Maybe Schmoopie really enjoys the warbling of small children at school assemblies? (Doubtful.)

My guess is your ex misses the pick me dance. There’s poor Schmoopie, having to do impression management, sitting on a metal folding chair for hours, so she can prove to her long-distantant fuckbuddy that she’s worthy. There’s you, recently traumatized by betrayal, having to put up with them both. There’s your son, probably reeling from a divorce, desperate for any attention from his father, even if comes with a side of teenage Schmoopie. There’s you again feeling the injustice of the imbalance.

And there is Sir Turd reveling in his centrality.

Well, fuck him, Hope. Next time, don’t react. Let that cup of shit punch pass you by.

This is a rerun. I hope Hope is at meh. As for me, that kid graduated college (no fuckwit there, thanks COVID), and he’s launched nicely into adulthood.

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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.
  • I’d love to see an update from Hope, fingers crossed she sees this!

    ChumpLady, did/does your son know his dad is a fuckwit? I’m curious to how he dealt with this absent parent showing up out of the blue for college drop-off. Does he know how things went down when he was just a baby?

    • He calls his father “bio dad” and Mr. CL and me his “parents.” I think that pretty much sums it up. He’s a young adult. If he sees his father, I don’t ask. It’s his relationship to work out. Per the showing up, he’s rolled with it. No drama. But no real relationship either. It’s like a weird distant uncle.

      • That sums up the relationship two of my three sons have with their father. Emphasis on “weird and distant.” They do not engage. As far as my third son, he has struggled with mental health issues his whole life and his father still emotionally abuses the shit out of him. Son is 25, so I have to zip the lip and listen to the predictable bullshit.

      • Hilarious. My daughter did the same. She was once on the phone with her bio-dad, and, asked what she was doing, told him, “I’m out to dinner with my parents.” Tee hee.

    • NWF,

      Most kids are pretty perceptive; frequently more perceptive than we give them credit for. I am pretty sure that CL’s son will have worked it out by then.

      The tricky bit – for them and us – is, having worked it out, working out a strategy for how to deal with it.

  • I haven’t had to have any major ‘turd in punchbowl’ moments YET but have skirted around a few and I have a mantra. When my lovely girl seems to be in awe of the OW and all she has to offer I say to myself. THAT DOESNT MEAN SHE DOESN’T VALUE YOU MORE. The few times where I’ve had to come face to face with the OW they have been brief encounters, some not planned but my mantra then is THIS IS MUCH MORE AWKWARD FOR YOU THAN IT IS FOR ME. I AM NOT THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO FEEL ASHAMED.

    These encounters are all horrible let’s face it. Last night I was having a lovely lovely evening with my daughter before bed, she goes to bed and sends her usual text to her dad (she had left her Fitbit in my room so I saw the notification) and then one to the OW saying how much she loves her. All I could do not to throw up and this happens all the time. Back to my mantras…..

    • “I am not the one that needs to feel ashamed.”

      I love this, and am going to adopt it for use whenever I see my ex (not often, thank dog), supplementing with “I am the one living an honest life.”

    • ((((DGC))))
      How could your child not love YOU, her real Mother, best!
      You, the present, sane, loving parent.
      You have a genuine heart of gold!

      • DGC, I bet your daughter is pressured (subtly or not) to say “I love you.” Either way it hurts and it sucks. Love to you the quality parent.

        • Oh she soooo is, when you think your Daddy might leave you will do what it takes to make sure everyone is happy right. I think she genuinely likes her, won’t believe anything about what really happened but that’s for later on when she’s older, if she wants to know.

          Weirdly I almost fancy the challenge of going somewhere where the OW is now, I know you would be able to cut the air with a knife but once you get your mindset into the one where you have the power and that they should feel like shit it’s quite empowering.

          I ran into her on the train once, she got off that train soooo fast and ran to the barriers and then looked back at me. Heh heh. Run bitch run. There was some element of it that was quite fun.

    • My kids have text reasonably frequently with AP (now stepfather) and his kids (now step siblings). It does feel like a betrayal at times, and I get flashes of anger when I stumble across some of the messages, but (1) it doesn’t mean they don’t love me. It’s better that they have a decent relationship with AP for as long as he’s in their life, than that they hate him. Also (2) I have no problem with the step siblings. I’m glad they get along and enjoy their time together. This proves to me that my problem is NOT with my kids having another life outside of their time with me, it’s with them having it with the particular person who had an affair with my wife and broke up my marriage.

      The word “bitter” gets thrown around a lot, but I can tell from observing my own reactions that I am only angry with the particular people who betrayed me (XW and AP), not the rest of the world around them. To me, this is a reasonable way to distinguish bitterness from justifiable anger. I have to do a certain amount of self-analysis like this because XW continues to accuse me of various personal failings, so I periodically check my own moral compass to see whether she’s correct. Almost invariably, she isn’t.)

      • IG,

        I too am frequently on the receiving end of accusations of being bitter; invariably when I enforce an entirely reasonable boundary. Ex-Mrs LFTT does not handle being told “No” at all well.

        Similarly, when I get accused of personal failings, I can be pretty sure that it is Ex-Mrs LFTT projecting her problems onto me. She is much more comfortable with holding me responsible for the causes and consequences of her failings than she is looking in a mirror once in a while.

        I am thankful that the kids (now 24, 21 and 17) stayed with me. Their exposure to Ex-Mrs LFTT’s AP (who she now lives with) has been fairly limited. All three flat refuse to visit her at the house she lives in with him (he is broke, has a drink problem and is twice divorced), and they are very selective about attending any event that he will be at. Their choices, their decisions, their lives.

        Stay strong.

        LFTT

      • Someone on CL, I don’t recall who, said “I don’t measure my worth by those who’s moral compass points to zero.”

        When a woman who cheated on you and broke up your family for a schmoopie accuses you of moral failings, she’s got no room to speak. She has a moral compass that points to zero.

        But it is always good to figure out the differences between bitterness and justified anger, because that word does get thrown around a lot. I think bitterness would be trying to use your kids against your ex, influence them to hate her, etc. Justified anger is recognizing that it isn’t their fault, nor was it their stepsibling’s faults, and allowing them to figure out their own relationships with their stepsiblings and adapt to this new dynamic in their lives, but still not engaging or being friendly or welcoming to the ex who cheated and destroyed the family dynamic they already had. These kids wouldn’t have to adapt to anything new if she hadn’t decided to set off a bomb on you. You can be angry about that.

        • Kara,

          I would never use my kids (the eldest two are now adults, the youngest will be so in a year) against my Ex. The behaviours that I try to model to them are all about doing what is right, rather than just doing what is easy or gives a short term payoff. In fact, I’ve gone out of my way to ensure that they have some kind of relationship with her despite everything.

          It has been a hard road, but I can look myself in the mirror, which is important to me.

          LFTT

  • Losing your meh occasionally is in the eye of the beholder. I was just thinking how, back when I was shy, I admired people in real life or characters in films who lost their shit and went on well warranted tirades because I didn’t lnow how to do this. Think Mira Sorvino in Summer of Sam. It looks like a super power to someone tongue-tied.

    But the same thing seems rash to someone who becomes skilled in the verbal blowout because it wears thin. At some point I had to shed “shy” because my job required it. Turns out I have talent for tirade when needed. But then, from that perspective, silence seemed all the more golden.

    Anyway, for anyone who’s cringeing and wants to fall into a hole in the earth’s crust and disappear over periodic loss of meh and shoots their mouth off, just imagine the wallflower onlooker who thinks they’re seeing a July 4th fireworks display. For anyone tonge-tied in a moment they wish they could muster a string of zingers, imagine the mouthy onlooker who’s admiring your stoicism.

    Eventually one develops an individual meh style. Takes practice.

  • When I first came here, shortly after the bomb-blast, Meh seemed to be a destination, and if I did the work, became grey-rock or whatever, I’d get there and all would be ok.

    It kinda is.

    But its also like yoga; at first you just want to stretch and bend a tad, but little by little, you start new routines and think differently and yoga becomes who you are, but you never quite reach “perfect yoga”.

  • I truly hope that I can have this much restraint when the time comes when I see my ex and his co-worker gf around my children. I do hope that I can be still in my heart and realize that she gave me a gift by taking him out of my life. The problem in my own head is seeing my children act casual with them (fake it maybe). Sometimes I can hardly even hear their names out of my children’s mouths, I’m definitely not at MEH yet but I’m hopeful for it because I never deserved this hurt. You amaze me every day CL, so thankful to see you so happy and I hope to be that way someday not only for myself but for my children. Xo sweet

    • ((((SweetChumpgirl)))
      ( I love your name, it suits you to a T)
      You are right, you never deserved this.
      When the time comes you will “be still in your heart” because that is the kind of person you are, a genuine, present, sane, loving parent.
      Please try to imagine a whole army of CN gathered around you, in your time of need. We are all on your side SweetChumpgirl. You got this.
      Oxo’s
      peacekeeper

      • Peacekeeper, I have been coming here for 4 years and see you respond so lovingly, truthfully to not only me but other chumps like me. You have wonderful gifts showing ppl who they are. I appreciate you so much and thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. I was going down the rabbit hole with my feelings and you literally pulled me out and over. I can’t convey the gratitude I have for you and CN. I literally keeps me moving forward and makes me smile, ty! xoxo sweet

    • “she gave me a gift by taking him out of my life.”

      This is so true for many of us. It is hard to see at first. It took me several years to get that. Because we have a son, I know how their life has gone, and it would have been a horrible life for me. Just one example, they spend most of their time in an old RV. (we are both retired now) I am sure he like’s that, as his dream was to actually buy a boat and live on a boat. Unfortunately, he/and schmoopie ran up massive gambling debts and lost the ability to buy a boat suitable to live on, (schmoopie quit working due to health issues) so I guess the RV is the substitute. I had already told him that living on a boat (with no house) was not going to happen for me. That is likely one of the reasons he started shopping for a replacement. 🙂 Heck I even gave him the boat we had in our divorce, but he lost that too.

      I can not think of anything worse than spending my time in an RV. Because, I know who would have been doing all the work “serving” him. As that is the only way one could live with him. I think Schmoopie deserves that privilege way more than I do. When they are not in the RV, they live in an old fixer upper mobile home in FL. I am well aware of his “fixer upper” skills, so yeah; hard no on that one too.

      Schmoopie already lived in a trailer when they were fucking behind my back, so she was used to it. (don’t come a knocking, when the trailer is rocking).

      My husband and I live in our boring paid for little brick house, and when we go on a trip, we stay in a motel if we need lodging. I don’t have to cook. That works for me.

      • Funny you say this because I was truly considering buying an RV and I live in Florida. I’m outside most of them time though. It’s still an idea rumbling in my head some days lol. Consider who you would be living with. I think you would literally live anywhere without him in your life. That is the magic about divorce. You decided to not accept that behavior any longer and built yourself a better life without him in it. Life is still great! Xo sweet

        • Oh I get that folks love their RVs. Just not my thing. I went along with it and boating for the years my son was growing up, and I did it for my ex and for my so. I know they enjoyed it.

          I even learned to water ski, that was fun at the time.

          Just don’t want to spend my old age at a camp site.

          My son still love it and nature. He and his wife go out when they can. He likes it more than she does, but she goes for him. But, he also does things she likes to do. So there is give and take.

          For me, it was always just what he wanted to do. I didn’t think about it much then, until I got older. It was just the way it was. He wouldn’t even go to my office Christmas parties as “he didn’t like that stuff” But, I always went to his. I guess that was different.

  • “Nothing will make you lose your meh quicker than co-parenting with a fuckwit.”

    This is truth. I’m certain that I would be at Meh by now if I weren’t co-parenting with my Ex. Even though in my case “co”parenting means that we’re both the biological parents of my kids; I do all of the actual parenting, while my Ex takes credit for everything.

    Co-parenting with a cheater is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

    • Agreed. Co-parenting with a cheater is definitely the gift that keeps on giving. However in my case, as I watch the relationship between dad and his son dissolve, I feel more and more like I’m watching it all at a distance. We separated in 2015 — or more accurately, he walked out on us and moved directly in with his coworker and her 2 sons. We divorced in 2016… and they are still together (more than 5 years). For the first 4 years, ex tried to prove he was super dad and that he was quickly melding the 2 families…. immediately calling her sons our boy’s “brothers.” Meanwhile son was 9 when dad walked out and went through serious trauma with me. Now as a young teen about to turn 15, he has zero respect for dad…hates OW and her kids. And this year I had to go through lawyers to get son permission to not visit his dad when things were going sideways (dad locking him out of the house, dad shoving, hitting, and slamming son down). Once that was in place, dad no longer could take pleasure in taking out his narcissistic abuse on son, so he hasn’t seen son almost at all. Even without COVID, ex doesn’t want son over the house anymore. Ex has to protect schmoopie. When I see ex and OW now, I am not just at meh….I feel like I’m looking at them from afar. They are getting further and further away. Yet we live less than 2 miles apart and we run into each other here and there. Not that my meh is perfect… I still get weirded out at times. F*** them both

  • These fuckwit morons don’t get it. Remember these are the same idiots who abandoned their responsibilities and family for a fuck! They don’t connect, they don’t feel, they don’t self reflect, they don’t …on and on. They show up at these events purely to make themselves feel like they are not the really the vile people they know they are. They are to be pitied, they were born without the ability to love themselves or others. They think love is a just a good fuck.
    My xdaughter-in- law showed up at the graduation of her son. She was angry I was there with son and his other 2 children as she couldn’t sit with us. Her response to my granddaughter ” who invited her, I wanted to sit with my family” The family she abandoned. They just don’t get it.
    Off topic, yesterday’s post re “looking after sick cheater”. 3 months after my idiot cheater left for his OW he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. At the time, I was still reeling from the fact this fuckwit had abandoned me after 40 years of marriage.
    to this day well intentioned people suggest to me that it was the brain tumour that made him do it. I quickly correct them and explain that he was just a cheater with cancer. Fortunately for me I had found CL and CN and didn’t fall for the guilt and
    volunteer to look after him. He died a year later and I feel no guilt or really anything else about him. I’m at Meh when it comes to him.
    A friend once told me ” many people live in Hell and it’s right between their own ears” Life is too short, give up on these losers and love yourself and the people who love you. Hugs to all.

    • Silver queen… love your name and comment. I’d add one suggested correction: the whores were not “good fucks.” They were simply willing to be part of the triangle(s) set up by cheater who loves the thrill.

      There is no way the actual sex between XH and AP could rival what I “thought” we had in our sex life— 25 years of frequent, passionate, inventive experiences together. XH was young and healthy in our marriage. Now he’s grossly obese and alcoholic — gets drunk nightly, smokes pot every day and eats poorly and no exercise. AP is much younger and because she’s caught him cheating multiple times and kids say they fight 24/7. I’m sure she doesn’t find him a good fuck any longer. He’s cheap too— no sugar daddy, which is what she wanted…..they got what they deserved. Each other.

      • “.they got what they deserved. Each other.”

        They absolutely do. I think for those that think they lost something, they need to remember if their FW ended up with the adultery partner, overwhelmingly that makes them one of the lucky chumps, as there is no escaping for the FW. Regardless of how they might try to hide it.

      • You’re right I should have said a “cheap” fuck. I am dating myself, as I come from the era where “good” didn’t always mean fine. Like a “good slap” or a good dose of the cold” I stand corrected.

  • Well I am pretty much at meh except for when sparkledick does crap to our middle, vulnerable (Asperger’s) son. Like he did last week: he DID NOT get off his butt to go pick up prescription for son having panic attacks (son does not drive) and instead gave him a sleeping pill.

    There is this awful businessman in my country who owns a chain of department stores that sell the cheapest crap ever (I have NEVER even been inside one, much less given him my money). He puts up these life-size Statues of Liberty in front of all the stores. Well, I read in the paper that he had this super cheesy superhero toy made to his image (he has very conspicuous features). I feel so tempted to buy one to give to sparkledick as a secret santa gift. Should I?

    • Well, I bought an ornament from Calamityware that has flying monkeys on it and am giving that to my ex sister in law for a stocking gift as my own private joke.

    • ClearWaters,
      unfortunately, your fuckwit idiot won’t get the message. They are perfect in their minds. It’s very difficult when you have a Special needs child and you are parenting with a fuckwit. Don’t look to the idiot for any help. He won’t give it. Sadly, you can’t depend on him for anything even for his child. Hugs

    • Instead of spending any money, take a picture of it, print out at Walgreens, and make a Christmas card out of it.
      Mail with a stamp for $.55 anonymous.

    • Skipping over the shitty superhero action figures…

      Your ex gave your ASD son a SLEEPING PILL instead of his prescribed anxiety medication?!?!?!

      I have a few questions: How old is your son, what’s the custody agreement, does your son take other medications, and did you document this situation?

      Going off only what’s in your post, I don’t fully understand the situation, but I would count that as endangering your son with his laziness. Sleeping pills aren’t to be fucked with and they’re not substitutes for anxiety medications. What would your ex have done had your son had a reaction or a drug interaction with any other medications he may take?

      Sorry but that stood out to me as extremely risky and careless by your ex.

      • Kara I just saw your post now. My son is an adult, lives with this father because he is too anxious to leave the city where he grew up. I agree, it was totally irresponsible. My blood is still boiling. I made sure my son knows who he can count on. I could almost hear the knot in his throat when I let him know that his father had the time to get off his butt to pick up prescription for him. But. Did. Not. I told him so that he would not fall for this dangerous irresponsibility again

  • “He had the advantage always enjoyed by the inconstant parent, of not being there to be found imperfect.”

    – Tobias Wolff, “This Boy’s Life”

    • Pretty much. My split is recent and I’m noticing now. Fortunately for now my son and I have a strong enough relationship to be able to talk things through after an argument, but his dad is now “cool dad” who doesn’t have to do anything other than take our 14 yo out to dinner once or twice a week, and has now started to buy him presents that look more like guilty bribes. Ex doesn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting, and mundane things.

      Mind you, not that he ever did much anyway. He travelled a lot for work and I was the sahm who did 80% of it anyway, but at least sometimes he had to be around for homework and son doing the teenage thing.

    • Yea, this works. Spent many nights crying alone over it all after a shared event, but I’ll be damned if I was gonna give my ex the satisfaction of anything but grey rock.

      It also helps to remind yourself that their showboating is desperately impression mgmt, they live sad and inauthentic lives.

  • Sometimes throwing out a good beat down feels good and sometimes the other side needs to hear it. Mine was a quiet covert narc and it humiliated him. I needed him to stop bringing her over to his apartment where I could see his curtains close . . . you know the rest. We lived in the same complex and I was the audience who saw it happen right out my window all the time. Guess they got the idea and started going over to her place, as I never saw her again. Apparently Shmoopie felt “threatened.” So what. Mostly, yes, keep your cool and fein indifference, but with certain types and in certain situations it can be ok and sometimes even necessary to confront, be firm, and not back down.

  • I am not at Meh. Not even close. We have trial next week over a year after D-day. One thing I’ve been practicing though is faking meh in front of ex. I actually learned how to do this from him. He would act like he was so happy without a care in the world, life is good! And this would piss me off to no end.

    So now I’ve taken some lessons from the jerk and give him the same attitude when I see him. Lots of smiles at our baby, upbeat and positive. I don’t actually talk to him much but I just act like things are great. He may not notice but it actually makes me feel more powerful than when I’d have an angry scowl on my face in front of him.

    • Best of luck.

      I never had to go to court, I wonder if being a little sad and broken up might be the best for you. Bit of sympathy from the judge?

      Just pondering, I really don’t know how these things work. In my case my lawyer did all the court stuff, and I didn’t have to be there. I don’t know if my ex showed up or not. He likely did as he was a controller. My lawyer had all the dirt that the ex heaped on me.

      The only thing I regret is that I didn’t go for the whole three years of legal separation instead of a year. Actually my ex would have likely been ok with that. Given him more time to not marry schmoopie. (he was the one that delayed the final divorce for the last six months of the year we were separated.

      • Thank you! My judge is tough, it’s going to be a hard day I just want to effectively communicate what need to. Thankfully I don’t have to do anything but tell the truth, ex has a lot to cover up and worry up

    • Jo, when I got married there was a family feud over money in FW’s family. Split the family right down the middle (it was sad actually as they were a nice family). At family weddings etc. my MIL and her niece and a few others would always make a point of bursting out laughing, like they were having the best time or telling wonderful jokes, whenever one of the “opposing team” walked past and it really needled them! I’m glad to say it was all sorted eventually but that fake laughter really got to the other team!

  • Try to remember that these old scumbags who show up with 20 somethings years younger women look ridiculous and are often the butt of private jokes.

    People know what’s going on.

    My ex hb was 20 years older then me and while we weren’t cheating on anyone….we were both divorced….i know for a fact there were jokes and whispers. Mostly about him, but I’m sure comments about possibly daddy issues on my end were made. I didn’t have daddy issues, but i did have other issues I’ve since dealt with.

    When we split up our neighbors did not know about his cheating on me, but lots of comments were made about the age difference. People know that’s problematic.

    So sit back and have a private chuckle.

  • I don’t know many, if any, individuals that feel nothing when in the presence of the arsonist who burned their house down, their rapist, the person who embezzled major funds, the person who murdered their loved ones. Etc. I think feeling completely neutral in the presence of someone who perpetrated a massive violation against you is an unreasonable expectation.

    I am sure it’s possible to feel completely neutral in the presence of your perpetrator, but there is certainly nothing wrong with anyone who doesn’t, even years later.

    I was sexually abused at age 12. I am now 57. The perp is still alive and I still have plenty of feelings around it. The difference is the frequency, the intensity, and how long they last.

    Having a self-care PLAN for when I get triggered is ESSENTIAL for abuse and trauma recovery. How I feel is not within my control. HOW I RESPOND is. My response is an indicator of my healing. My feelings tell part of that story, but aren’t facts. His last birthday I thought very little of him, but if I saw him with the Craigslist “Sole Mate” I would probably have a major tsunami of feelings.

    I reach for my PHONE and call a trusted friend instead of reaching for my Louisville Slugger.

    I’m not responsible for the conversation or the movie that starts playing in my head. I’m responsible for my words and actions. ACT AS IF has been a lifesaver.

    • That makes a lot of sense.

      The few times I have been in the presence of ex/schmoopie, I am not embarrassed, or falling apart or anything, but I am always glad when I can make a graceful exit. I suffered a trauma, and the perps are standing right in front of me. Perfectly natural to feel weird.

    • Velvet Hammer I look forward to your comments. I read them everyday. I am 2 years from D day still working through a messy divorce after 44 years with a PD abuser. The things you say really hit home. Thanks.

    • “ I think feeling completely neutral in the presence of someone who perpetrated a massive violation against you is an unreasonable expectation.”

      Masterpiece.

      I’m not going to pretend or fake meh to get back at the cheater. I refuse to be a fraud like the cheaters.

  • “I may as well not exist.”

    Hell no! From my experience children as well as adult children have little in common with the cheating parent. When it comes to relationships they are on the sidelines detached from the important day to day life experiences. That gap widens as time goes on.

    • This.

      Gap really widens when the adult child holds his/her own child and realizes they were shafted by their own parent.

  • Perfect post for me today. My ex’s new wife called my kids (21 & 23) yesterday. They have met her a couple of times but have no relationship with their dad and had no idea that it was her when she called. They did not respond to the Zoom wedding invitation this summer. Anyway, the new wife called my kids out of the blue and told them she was giving a party for x’s 60th birthday. She plans to read out nice messages about him from people and would they like to write something?

    My son said no, he has no relationship with his dad and that would be too weird and inappropriate. My daughter said no, and by the way, could you please ask your parents to stop saying bad things about my mom? The new wife was shocked (SHOCKED I tell you) and said she never knew they were saying anything at all. Reminding them that their dad is the real victim here, she said he couldn’t sleep he was so upset about how much he misses them and loves them. (He has seen them once in the last 2 years). She never asked if my kids were sleeping well. She told my daughter that her dad had cheated on her mom and she had a GREAT relationship with him and she is so glad she has that relationship. She also offered some advice about how my daughter could heal the relationship (no ultimatums she suggested) WTF?
    Both my kids were shaken up a bit, but I was WAY more shaken. My peace shattered, walking around muttering about what I’d like to say to her, had to take a sleeping pill….

    I feel better today, but is was a wakeup call to see how quickly I let them have the power to take away my peace. I have to work today and everyday to breath, read CL, tell myself some inspiring truths about how lucky I am to be away from all of that.
    Brutal day that reminded me of how I felt EVERY day those first couple of years. I feel for the chumps in early days who experience that sort of suffering every day.

    So new chumps, the suffering gets less and less as time moves on. Out-of-the-blue contact can really set you back – the difference is now I should feel back to normal much much sooner. (((((Hugs to early days chumps))))

    • ^^ Their dad is the real victim here ^^

      They.don’t.change. Also, Schmoopie has swallowed the whole 3 channels of a narcissist from her upbringing. She probably knows no other type. Maybe, just maybe, she is also a narc?

      • Statistically, “mate poachers” score high on dark triad traits, particularly narcissism and psychopathy, so it’s not so much a question of “if” they’re disordered personalities but more “what type.”

        I agree with the discouragement of skein untangling here if the untangling is about “fixing” cheaters or making cheaters central. But for reasons of emotional and even sometimes physical safety, knowing thy enemy– at least in a cold, clinical sense– can remove the element of surprise from some of the gruesome things these types commonly get up to.

        Turf grabbing is a typical borderline or narcissistic trait. Some will keep compulsively circling back around where they’re not wanted trying to force the victim into feigning truce or further isolate the victim by luring away the victim’s supporters. To a borderline or narc, the truth is only what they can make others believe is the truth. They’ll continue trying to get people to follow their preferred script until it becomes clear that this will never happen. Then they either go Rambo or they fuck off and disappear.

        To a normal person, the behavior is baffling. I worked as an advocate for victims of DV for five years and have seen the circling/turf grabbing thing over and over. It always helped survivors to read up on criminology and brace for the bizarre crap the perps and their flying monkeys (batterers typically have flying monkeys) would do next. Criminal psych serms to be chillingly relevant to cheater and poacher mentality too.

        • Your first sentence is interesting.

          In my schmoopie case, she has been nasty as all get out to our son and his family. Though he is to blame for letting it happen, she has been the instigator in the animosity that blew up FW’s relationship with our son. I would never let my husband, nor he let me treat each others kids the way they treated my son and his wife. The bitch had the gall to say my daughter in law was not a good mother, (among many other insults) because she didn’t like something my granddaughter was wearing. My daughter in law is one of the most devoted mothers I know, and she/and son raised two beautiful children who will be graduating from college this next year. Granddaughter in the spring and grandson in the fall.

          Schmoopie, raised two boys (high school drop outs) who are both awful, and can’t keep a job. Plus schmoopie was fucking my husband while her then teen boys were sleeping in the other room of their trailer. She had another son, but he tragically died in a motorcycle accident a few years ago (DUI). He also was very troubled.

          • Susie— The fabricated “bad parent” projections should be studied too. Typical. Cheater’s triangulating narc mom tried to lay that on me for years and ended up grazing her own son in the process. She made the mistake of finally spreading this bit of poison to the wrong people and they told on her, blowing up her entire family. That was the last time she ever saw her grandchildren. For me it was like an exorcism. Wee! No more awkward in-law visits biting my tongue until it bled while enduring constant passive aggressive putdowns.

            No surprise that, other than seeming to attend to her son’s education, she had nearly starved him as a kid by putting him on her new age cult diet. He gained 40 LBs of muscle within two months of leaving home on discovering the wonders of adequate protein. She also told him to “forgive” the family friend who raped him at age 17. The family friend ran in groovy circles and she apparently didn’t want to lose the social connection. She countered her monstrous selfishness by being one of those people who cries on a dime if confronted about her own bad behavior, then systematically destroys the reputation of the critic by disparaging their character to anyone who would listen. “Vulnerable” narcissist in a nutshell.

            Come to think of it, she had certain side chick qualities too. In her work within an NGO, she reported to her then-teen kids– in a breathless, fluttery tone, teenage tone– that she “fell in love” all the time with the (usually married) douchebag international power brokers she interfaced closely with. One in particular was an infamous philanderer whose widow wrote a book about it.

            With the exception of her equally trollish, bird-brained, social climber friends (one of whose daughters had been a heroin addict and her son nearly died of pancreatitis from the Ritalin she dosed him with since age 8. Great parenting, huh?), MIL-from-hell hated all women, particularly any woman his son took up with. But I think her hatred towards me was particularly intense because we could not have been more different. Aside from refusing to take a stand for her own son when he was victimized, she defended men who beat their wives (because she knew a few who were politically advantageous to her), which is also akin to “rape myth acceptance.” Meanwhile I volunteered as and advocate for victims of rape and domestic abuse and had spent my career since college fighting harassment.

            We were natural enemies. Therefore, I had to be a “bad mother.” But funny how my kids never starved and, when two were mistreated by staff in one school, I went to war against the district. MIL-from-hell’s response to the conflict with the school was to claim that I had invented it “just to get attention.” She could have asked her own grandchildren about what happened but couldn’t be bothered since it would conflict with her narrative. The kids never even asked about her when she was cut out despite her occasional showy grandmotherly displays. She’d failed to make any kind of impression on them. Love bombing doesn’t seem work so well on children who are actually loved, just like kids who typically eat a wholesome diet don’t show much interest in junk food.

            Talk about “Vichy” women. Some seem to compulsively facilitate evil and work against normal decency. If there’s a wrong side of something, they’ll always be on it like they’re following some program set in childhood. The most empathy I can show the woman is that I believe she must have suffered some horrendous betrayal in childhood. All the more reason to protect children from exposure to monsters and creeps.

            • It does seem that FW and schmoopie need a common enemy and since I am no longer available, I guess the natural progression was my son. After all, he is much more like me, than his dad. His dad used to brag about that, back before he and schmoopie fell in twu luv and I turned into a monster, that he never loved.

        • Mate poachers are bottom feeders.

          It’s helping me a lot to think of him as a low value person with a low value woman who likes to fuck other people’s husbands – rather than a high value person that I lost.

    • The UMITTIGATED GAUL to put the responsibility of a healthy parent-child relationship on the child! These fuckers have no self-reflection or shame.

  • If the ex goes to a child event, you cannot stop him. He is the other bio parent. If he insists on bringing his current Other, that is his plus one. They are doing this for impression management, they want to appear to be splendid people. The only thing that I hate is when they want to sit with you. There are many chairs available. Please sit elsewhere and do not ruin this occasion for me. But no, impression management.

    They want to say to the world, “see, we are friends.” No, we are not friends. We co-parented a child. I have had to sit thru several occasions like this. I am polite, but distant. I do not talk to the Oher du jour. We are not friends. I answer questions with minimal answers. I just want them to leave me alone. Unfortunately no one understands my Garbo feelings.

    What we really want, of course, is for our children to see the fuckwit for what he is. But they cannot, that is Dad to the children. As they get older and wiser, he may become “just Dad”. Dad will never be you. It takes time for children to appreciate anything their parents do for them. You provided for them, that was your job. Appreciation takes seeing parents from a distance, and comparing you to other parents they see. Appreciation takes learning about the letdown of living in this world. Children will form their own opinions, and they do not have your perspective.

    If any of the “Others” feel threatened by you, that may mean they have some sense of how inappropriate it is for them to be there. Seriously, what are you going to do, stand up and tell some true story and embarrass your children? Not the time or place. If they want to pretend to love your children, let them. There will come a time when your children will be able to see how sincere the love is. You probably won’t be there. You cannot protect your children from everything. You cannot even protect yourself. Just try to maintain your dignity, and live your life. Take comfort in the fact that most of your life is lived far away from the fuckwit.

    Someone said “Living well is the best revenge.” Maybe so. Living like a sane person is certainly more comfortable. Not letting a fuckwit ruin your day is certainly more enjoyable. It takes time and practice, but it can be done. You know the truth, what others may think really doesn’t matter. Hang in there!

  • Bet ya this – OW isn’t much of a catch in her native land to her native potential mates. Or, she’s hoping for a Visa….

    A friend’s ex left her for a Caribbean Schmoopie Queen, 20+ years younger and was head-to-toe a street walker type. Bandage dresses up to her privates with 5+ inch heels, ironed hair, stupid pouty lips, fake eyelashes….. Their posts on Facebook were a good laugh as he’s the very pudgy, balding middle aged man. They’d hook up a few times in Singapore and all….and, then school plays… He’d profess it was “twu luv.” Anyone who made a snarky comment was met with his undying declaration for his Schmoopie who was a “hard working, single mom.” Lust is blind. Last year, I noticed he wasn’t posting pictures of her…..apparently, she moved on to $$$$ greener (and less pudgy grey) pastures. It lasted less than a year. And, she got a few international trips out of it!

    Wait for it, Karma..

  • This just happened to me last Saturday and I still feel sad and down today. FW came to an event DD was featured in with live-in whore, whom my DD has never even met, but certainly seen from afar. Then he proceeded to coerce DS to sit with them! DS did meet whore by accident during the divorce. I was planning to sit with son, and was so hurt. (Though I didn’t say so of course.)

    Final DD Aug 2015 (20 year serial cheater.) Divorce Nov 2016. So nearly 4 years free. Though I see glimpses of meh I tend to get set back pretty damn easily…. just feels like yet another failure to add to the list. Like ignoring red flags and try to help him and fix or marriage for 20 years.

    He sees (young adult) kids 2-3 times per year, no help with education or expenses, yet new car every 2 years, fancy vacations, you know the drill, with the final ho-worker. He doesn’t even take them out to eat, just a stop by with a cheap, inappropriate bday gift for example or show up at an event they’re in. It’s followed by elaborate FB posts insinuating how close they are. Gag!

    I hear he was cheating on whore before Covid, and she probably cheats on him. But I doubt they care as they’re so sexually enlightened. She lives in his nice new home and gets all her expenses paid so she’s happy with the arrangement. He get raunchy sex and the image of being coupled and he’s happy with that.

    Kids claim to be disgusted by him and certainly don’t go over there, but won’t cut any ties, make boundaries, won’t defend themselves against his re-writing history, (and don’t defend me either.) They kind of cower to his moods and seem happy when they get any attention that is relatively neutral or positive. My concern is that they are now 19 and 22. I don’t want them to get hurt, take on ANY of his traits, or get sucked into sociopathic charming act only to be used as a pawn later. He is a very, very talented sociopath and Oscar-worthy liar.

    They witnessed some really fucked up abuse in the bad year, threated me several times, punching doors, drunken rages calling me a “fucking bitch I’m going to put you through the wall” I could go on and on. I guess I thought by these ages they might no contact him or at least stand up to things like sitting with him for the “image game.” I feel hurt of course, but more importantly I worry about their boundaries and about if they might turn to being like him.

    He is working on them bit by bit to pull them into his façade and new family. They don’t see it or perhaps don’t mind, I don’t even know which, but it makes me worried. And if I’m honest, it makes me sad, especially when I see how the other young adult kids in these stories stand up for themselves and their chump parent.

    • Beenchumped. I’m sorry your ex’s triangulation and image management with the kids hurt so much. I get you want them to go no-contact. But it’s a fairly natural drive to want your parent to love you (even a shitty parent). My former MIL very much wished her sons would go no-contact with their dad after he cheated on her and left her for another woman after 25 years. The oldest had very little to do with dad for a long time and shunned the other woman for a long time, but after having kids he lets his Dad be grandpa to them. The middle (my ex) hated what his dad did for years, but still wanted a relationship with him. Turns out, he followed in his footsteps (thankfully after only 7 years with me instead of 26). I have no idea what the youngest thinks of his dad, but he did move across the country the moment he was done with school. I think that says something. As much as you want your kids to fight for you, remember they’re fighting their own battle with their own, different experience. By the way, I don’t think there’s anything my ex-MIL could have done to keep my ex from being like his dad. Maybe at worst she normalized the lying and self-centeredness by staying with exFIL for so long, but it’s hard to let go of the ideal nuclear family (and she was a SAHM, so probably afraid of being financially vulnerable). I don’t blame her for my ex’s moral shortcomings.

    • Been chumped,
      I understand exactly your feelings. As I said in an earlier post cheater left and 3 months later diagnosed with brain tumour. It was a second marriage 40 years. I had 3 children when we married. I didn’t have any children with cheater. They are now adults 50,54, 57. When Cheater died a year later my eldest daughter decided to organize his funeral. I wasn’t even aware he had died as I was completely no contact. Not only did she organize the funeral but had her husband do the eulogy and coerced some of my family into attending.
      When I found out ,I was completely devastated It was like a second D-Day betrayal. I understand that her relationship was different than mine and could appreciated that she and my other children might want to attend his funeral but this was a true slap in the face. She even took grandchildren to meet whore.
      My daughter lives in another country and our relationship is now almost non-exsistant. I have tried to look at this from her perspective and also as her mother and the notion that it’s my responsibility to “reconcile” this relationship. The sad truth is, I don’t want to reconcile. If she had gone to the funeral and left it at that I could accept it but the humiliation that she caused me (I won’t go into details) is just too much to accept. My other children understand my feelings and support me. I am a mother but I am also a woman with feelings and this treatment was not acceptable to me. Life goes on with or without cheaters and children. I would never in my wildest dreams thought any of this could happen to me but it did and I have survived. I am grateful for the love of my family and friends who stood with me.
      I’m done with the crying.

      • I can so relate.
        There are disordered people in the world and sometimes they are in our families.
        As difficult as it is, cutting the ties that bind is a freeing experience and removes the toxic.
        It’s better to regroup your pod to not include those who are the negative black holes of suck itude.
        Life is too precious to waste on getting hurt feelings from people who just don’t give a damn about me.
        Rather, I can decide to detach as a healthy option for the relationship. That means no more talking about or condemning. Just the basic acceptance of the reality and choosing how to proceed.

        • “. That means no more talking about or condemning. Just the basic acceptance of the reality and choosing how to proceed”. excellent advise!

    • 19 and 22 are still figuring things out.
      They can’t unknow and unsee the things they know and see.
      Keep in mind disordered cheaters are good at the charm channel and working their kids in order to support a false narrative is gaslighting.
      Difficult to figure out.
      Keep on getting a life that doesn’t depend on your kids as your emotional support. Mine weren’t able to give that at those ages. And don’t forget the damage that fuckwits do to the children.
      Get help yourself in therapy or in groups like AlAnon or divorce groups and keep living your own awesome life. The kids will come around.

  • Chump Lady-that college move-in day thing sounds like something my ex would pull. Which is why, I suppose, I read your book like it was the Bible.

  • I was really pissed off that he wouldn’t give me the divorce I’d been asking for for ages and yet he had already moved in with the skank from the ho bar. I was nowhere near meh because of this and yet I’m usually so laid back I could fall over. So I decided to fake it too. I’ve written about this before but one night as I was coming back from the theatre I spotted him in the ho bar, so as I was all dressed up I parked and sacheyed in there like the Queen of Sheba (although my heart was thumping). I just wanted to have a look at what he’d left me for (man-oh-man did he trade down). I guess everyone in the ho bar thought there was going to be a cat fight (as if I’d fight THAT over HIM!!!) but when she saw me she ran out the door. He didn’t see me immediately but his eyeballs were out on stalks when he spotted me. I walked over to the bar, ordered a tonic water and told the bartender to put the bill on “my husband’s tab” and sacheyed back out of there! I have no idea why I did it (except I wanted to see what the fat-ankled skank looked like), my heart was thumping but damn I carried it off. So yep, fake it till you make it – it works (and they HATE it)!

  • I kept having to look back at today’s cartoon image, expecting it to change to a “turd in the punchbowl” with 7-Up and floating sherbet! 🤣
    My parents had a Christmas party the first Saturday of December for as long as I can remember (25+ years) and the Southern Comfort punch always took center stage on the dining room table, with a jello-mold ice ring with maraschino cherries frozen in and sherbet floating in the center. Never did I picture a turd floating in there as well, but now I’ll never forget that image!

    Get doodling, CL!! 🤣

    • Ha, it is a good image.

      I always think of the saying: “when two women fight over a turd, the one who wins; loses” I think CL said that, but not sure.

      I got the biggest kick out of my FW who before the divorce was final, decided he would go to counseling. I went to the meeting with the preacher who was going to recommend the counselor for us. FW was sitting there all smug, and basically stating what my faults were and what would happen, and that “he couldn’t make any promises”

      After a bit of that, I just looked at the preacher and said “I think we are done here, thank you for your time”

      The preacher called me later and said, he didn’t say the things I thought he would say. I said “really? ” he said exactly what I thought he would say”

      He even had the preacher fooled, though not for long.

  • I’m in the situation where my daughter (14) refuses to meet the girlfriend, and it’s been over a year. This is causing serious issues for her father, of course, because he wants to have a happy little family with the girlfriend. Trouble is, her dad thinks this is my fault, that I’ve “poisoned” my daughter against the girlfriend. I get letters about this through his lawyer and he is threatening to take me to court (be my guest). My daughter is grossed out at the thought of meeting her. I did what Chump Lady said and I told my daughter, “your dad has a girlfriend and that is a deal breaker for me”. Nothing more. It’s absolute hell to have him in the background having these tantrums about me and how I’ve ruined his relationship with his daughter. Quite obviously, he’s done this to himself. Does anyone else have this situation? And if so, what do you do?

    • When it comes to the fuckwit, the best response is “I’m sorry you feel that way.” and nothing else. No commentary whatsoever and no defending yourself.

      On the legal front, depending on where you live, 14 year olds can testify on their own behalf regarding their custody arrangements, so if he actually tries to take you to court….he might get burnt by that quite badly.

    • My X used to say that I’m “turning him into a Momma’s boy” of our son since way before we even broke up. When the kid exercises his independence and doesn’t want to do something that X really wants to do, its not that the kid doesn’t want to do it, its I’ve turned the kid against him. Whatever. If my boy is a Momma’s boy, then maybe he’ll have something his father doesn’t – a respect and liking for woman.

      • Such typical fuckwit behavior – passive aggressive insults. Instead of being a good father and working on his relationship with his son, he wants to force the child into seeking a relationship with the fuckwit through insults and intimidation. Somehow, this is logical to these psychos.

    • Any judge who has or ever had a 14-year old girl would know how hard it is to get them to make the bed and put the cell phone aside, let alone to think what we want them to think. It would take a massive brainwashing campaign to do that, and although some Chumps have experienced this to some degree or another, I”m quite sure your DD14 could set a judge and her father straight. I’d pay to see that.

      • LovedaJackass, Yes to that! My lawyer just scratches her head and says, “no judge would want the courts to be clogged up with a case of a 14 year old who doesn’t want to live with her cheating father.” Ha! Exactly. I’m so tired of his shit. Today, after writing this, I found out via my daughter that her father has now moved out of the school zone, leaving it now up to me to stay in the school zone. Typical. He has been begging for her to live with him during the week, and now she can’t without consequences to her schooling (quite strict in this country). As for the brainwashing – he’s an expert at that. His favourite move is being the big, fat, baby victim. Classic.

    • I am sorry you are going through this. Ignore the tantrums and the background noise. I highly doubt that your daughter’s disinterest in meeting the tramp is anything that could go before a judge. Your husband managed to burn the bridge to his daughter on his own. Not your problem.

    • This! Same situation for me and my son at the time was 14. All I explained at the time was that his father had a girlfriend and that is a deal breaker for me. My XH made lots of threats and blamed me when he couldn’t repair the relationship with his son and when our son wouldn’t meet the new girlfriend. My son finally met a new, new, new girlfriend (there were many) at 16 and said, “OK, I met your girlfriend now. Can we now spend some time alone together?”. XH got pissed, blames me again and now they don’t speak to each other. My son is nearly 18 now. I have always encouraged a healthy relationship and I explain to my son that his relationship with his father is his to figure out. Foolishchump is spot on…anytime XH blames me or makes a comment, I respond with “I’m sorry you feel that way, you are entitled to your opinions.”.

      • The trouble is that it’s not possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who is fundamentally disordered.

        Any attempts at having a relationship with the disordered just leaves you exposed to abuse. So your son is actually pretty wise to have walked away – a healthy self protective and sanity protecting move. Sometimes the healthiest relationship is having none.

      • Thanks for the comments and advice everyone. I guess we’re just the punching bag for everything, and they love to blame us for their mistakes. My ex oddly expected there would be no consequences for him leaving me for someone else. The funny thing is, I don’t think he actually wants to do the parenting – it will be a drag on his lifestyle. My poor daughter just wants to have a relationship with him, without pressure of meeting the whorey girlfriend! If she did meet her, there is no guarantee they would all be a loving family together…it’s just one more of his many fantasies.

      • I wouldn’t even say “I’m sorry you feel that way..”. I would say, “Bummer you feel that way, you are entitled to your opinions.” You have nothing to be “sorry” about!

  • He’s cheap and taking her on a cheap date to make it seem like things are serious, that he’s into his kid, and that he’s deeper than he is. The future faking game.

    The chump played her role perfectly as the crazy ex “who can’t move on.” And the cheater got to be central.

    The art of war: Know your enemy.
    Then you have a better chance of prevailing in this war. When you are parallel parenting with a fuckwit you are in a war.
    Meh doesn’t happen easily when you’re in a war.

  • XW ruined any chance of letting my kids have a relationship w/her AP, because she had the audacity to introduce them to him in-person as her “co-worker/friend” while on a family vacation. He then has the audacity to ask my daughter what kind of car she wants to be driving once she gets her license, then tops it off by commenting to her that he can “get her whatever car she wants.” Trying to buy my kids affection? And…did I mention this incident happened while XW and I were still married? My kids are teens, and to this day, that comment made by him, and the reality of knowing who he is now, is creepy to them. Nonetheless, nothing for me to worry about anymore. But, since I’ve never met the other guy, too early to tell how I’d react if I ever met him in person.

  • I think this is one of those moments where us Chumps have to remember to be kind and nice to ourselves.

    What I mean is that seeing an ex with someone else, even when there is no cheating, no hard feelings, is liable to make your heart skip a beat. It’s liable to stir up some old emotions. It’s just not a pleasant or jolly experience in most cases.

    So rather than focusing on the fuckwit, perhaps it’s better to acknowledge our own humanity in this, that the icky feeling in the pit of your stomach is normal and that it will pass. Meanwhile, go home and cry, or eat some chocolate ice cream with a glass of wine, or both, or indulge in a bubble bath and some me time even if for a few minutes. Give yourself permission to be upset and then let it go.

    Remember that at the end of the day when people break up, they move on to other relationships regardless of how that break up came about. Whether it’s fuckwit and schmoopie, or fuckwit and someone else, or fuckwit and barely legal, those women are nothing more than the next victim on the list. You are the lucky one who escaped, so pat yourself on the back for that and remind yourself of that as needed. Eventually that message does sink in. Meanwhile, be good to yourself.

  • How sad it is that I feel just relief that my son has showed almost no interest in walking for his (high school) graduation next spring. Means my ex might not come. Fingers crossed!!

    Hoping to avoid the drama of ex shoving the AP/wife down my kids’ throats – which is what he does every single damn time he comes to visit the kids on holidays, birthdays or whatever. He is simply incapable of not making it about her.

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