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UBT: The Huggy Ex and the OW

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Dear Chump Lady,

I’ve had minimal contact with my ex until recently, when he started dropping round my house on a Tuesday while the kids are at school, (I’ve had to drop work hours due to COVID), purportedly to ‘catch up’. But he quickly resumed laying on the charm with the aim of seducing me.

I can proudly report I was not seduced. In fact I was so annoyed by his insistence that I keep our meetings secret that I texted his partner (the original OW, the person he left me and the kids for) telling her exactly what he was up to. I also mentioned that he’d been trying it on with several other women while seeing her, while still with me.

This was her response. (I have changed his name to ‘Creep’):

—————-

I understand that Creep is a very affectionate person and likes to hug people. I have no problem with this. It’s an innate part of his personality and I wouldn’t want to change that. I’m sorry you have mistaken this affection as an indication that he’s ‘coming on to you’. He really isn’t, nor has he been ‘coming on to’ the myriad of other women he’s shown affection to, before or since we’ve been together.

Pre-lockdown he would quite regularly stop in the street and chat with women he knows, and openly hug them in front of me. This doesn’t bother me because most of the time he can’t even remember their names. But he stops to chat because he is genuinely happy to see them and to enquire after their well being. You should probably learn that not every man that hugs you is trying to get in your knickers.

In the time that we’ve been together I have been 100% confident of Creep’s fidelity and entirely confident in the strength of our relationship. I have never once believed that he was attempting to cheat on me, emotionally or physically.
I love Creep deeply, more than I have ever loved anyone and my relationship with him is the best relationship I’ve ever had. He feels the same way. We are best friends and the best of lovers and there’s no way he would flippantly risk damaging the bond we have. I’m sorry if you have a problem understanding that.

Creep has been to see you once on a Tuesday after dropping the kids off at school. Because he was genuinely concerned for your well being. He didn’t tell me about it because he didn’t think I would understand why he would want to spend any more time with you than he had to.
We have since discussed why this was the wrong thing to do, he is suitably contrite and you can rest assured it won’t be happening again.

Creep tried to do a kind thing for you but you have thrown it straight back in his face by trying to cause a rift in our relationship.

Your actions have completely negated the kindness Creep tried to show you and you have reinforced in his mind my own confusion over why he would want to spend time with you.

—–‐—-‐

I’m not going to reply to her, it’s pretty obvious she’s in full on denial (I recognise this phase very well and sympathise… to a small degree.) But I’m glad the Tuesday visits from Creep are going to stop now.

Thanks,

tmesis

Dear Tmesis,

You don’t need to out your ex to his current Schmoopie to keep him from visiting you. (Although it would deny the Universal Bullshit Translator of fodder today.) You just need to enforce your own boundaries. Having kids together does NOT give him the right to just “drop by.” This is why we have court orders on child custody and security systems. (I’m reminded of those boiling cauldrons of oil castles defended their perimeters with…)

Your ex Creep is shameless. I’m glad you won’t keep his secrets, or be his Tuesday hypotenuse, but telling the Other Woman he hits on everything is just goading her into the pick me dance. Ooh! You care! You must really want him! You’re just trying to break them up!

No contact. No contact. No contact.

She’ll figure it out eventually. Painfully. She might even stick out her atrocious choice in fuckwits. Let her. No tag backs.

Now to feed the UBT…

I understand that Creep is a very affectionate person and likes to hug people. I have no problem with this.

I have a huge problem with this, but I’ll be goddamned if I’d tell you.

It’s an innate part of his personality and I wouldn’t want to change that.

I would tether his dick to a bedpost if I could.

I’m sorry you have mistaken this affection as an indication that he’s ‘coming on to you’. He really isn’t, nor has he been ‘coming on to’ the myriad of other women he’s shown affection to, before or since we’ve been together.

I know because my GPS tracking system would never lie. It’s not like he could take a different car, or chew off his ankle monitor. I would know.

Pre-lockdown he would quite regularly stop in the street and chat with women he knows, and openly hug them in front of me.

Mmm. This shit sandwich tastes delicious.

This doesn’t bother me because most of the time he can’t even remember their names.

He lists them in his cell phone as “Rupert.”

But he stops to chat because he is genuinely happy to see them and to enquire after their well-being.

Some of them require home visits. To take their temperatures. See if they’re stocked up on chicken broth and vitamins. That kind of thing.

You should probably learn that not every man that hugs you is trying to get in your knickers.

You should probably learn that I’m deeply insecure that he’s been in your knickers. And produced children with you. And if he so much as grazes your shoulder I will rip your fucking face off.

In the time that we’ve been together I have been 100% confident of Creep’s fidelity and entirely confident in the strength of our relationship. I have never once believed that he was attempting to cheat on me, emotionally or physically.

I’m super special. In fact, I am 100% confident that I am more special than you are. And entirely confident that special people are never cheated on.

I love Creep deeply,

Unlike you, which is why you got cheated on.

more than I have ever loved anyone and my relationship with him is the best relationship I’ve ever had.

I feel it important to tell you that my relationship with the father of your children is the best relationship of my entire life.

#thanksforasking

He feels the same way.

He only lies to you.

We are best friends and the best of lovers and there’s no way he would flippantly risk damaging the bond we have.

Just because he flippantly damaged the bond he had with his children and you doesn’t at all mean he’s a Flippant Damager of People. See “special” above.

I’m sorry if you have a problem understanding that.

I’m sorry I’m dim. I’m just dazzled by my own exceptionalism.

Creep has been to see you once on a Tuesday after dropping the kids off at school. Because he was genuinely concerned for your well being.

How could you get through a Tuesday without his all-important help? Do you have enough vitamins?

He didn’t tell me about it because he didn’t think I would understand why he would want to spend any more time with you than he had to.

He didn’t tell me about it because I am 100% confident in his fidelity and he’d like to keep it that way.

#SSSHhhhhh

We have since discussed why this was the wrong thing to do, he is suitably contrite and you can rest assured it won’t be happening again.

I tethered that dick with a clove hitch, and it’s not coming loose now.

#sailorsknots

It won’t be happening again.

Creep tried to do a kind thing for you but you have thrown it straight back in his face by trying to cause a rift in our relationship.

I WON THE TURD. HE IS MINE.

Your actions have completely negated the kindness Creep tried to show you

Unlike fucking around and abandonment, which could never negate kindness.

and you have reinforced in his mind my own confusion over why he would want to spend time with you.

He doesn’t know why he’d want to spend time with you! He’s reinforced my confusion.

Is your name Rupert?

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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.
  • Even if the OW wasn’t involved, this still sets off all my alarm bells as a true crime fan – if he’s not dropping off the children, the ex has no good reason to be at T’s house, and I’m gonna second what CL says about security systems.

  • I would like to suggest that if you respond, you don’t do it with words, but just send her a picture of the Nile. It may go right over her head, which makes it even funnier. She knows damn well he’s a cheater and it shows in how needlessly emphatic she is in that note. She sounds desperate and in a permanent pick me dance. So she’s getting her just desserts. No need to ever contact her again.

    So why aren’t you NC with Creep, anyway? Time to put that in place, because you know he’ll circle back when Schmoopie isn’t dancing quite so frantically. I’m thinking he hits on other women (and she admits he does so quite openly) in order to get her to up her game. Twerk on, Schmoopie. Meanwhile you will be gaining a life that does NOT have room for fuckwits “dropping by for a chat” in it. Being friendly with your betrayer is not how you heal.

    • “Being friendly with your betrayer is not how you heal.”

      Exactly, I don’t get the need for that. In large these people treat the Chumps with utmost disrespect. In many cases including mine, the only thing he could have done worse is murder me. He gaslighted, insulted, lied, verbally abused me, stole marital funds to “date” his whore(s) while he couldn’t even be bothered to remember my birthday.

      Then when he wanted to come back, oh I only did all that shit to make you hate me, so you would throw me out. Well success, fuckwit.

      (Note: he never really wanted me back, only to keep me unstable in case he still needed to use me. Quite frankly, I think he wanted me to delay the divorce, so he wouldn’t have to marry schmoopie so quick. He never got his freedom, he married schmoopie six weeks after our divorce was final. I didn’t get remarried for years. He wanted his freedom, and I am the one who was freed. Funny how that works out sometimes.}

      Then said: “I hope we can be friends, when this is all over” Fucking sadistic monster. No thanks. Nor will I be friends with Hitler if he came back to life.

      I don’t speak ill of him to my son, (fully grown) that is as good as it gets. Though if my son asked me a question, I will answer honestly.

      • Susie,

        “…the only thing he could have done worse is murder me.”

        Yeah.

        I also think you make a good point that one of the reasons to string along the spouse is to avoid having to commit to the OW (in addition to prolonging the pick-me dance). Once again we see that these cheaters use people for their own purposes. I’m glad you deprived him of his freedom. I hope he and the OWife are living the dream (I mean, nightmare) they created for themselves. More importantly, it sounds as if you’ve gained a life separate from this monster. Kudos!

        • True dat. They also pretend to want you back so as to have a plan b ready when things go south with Schmoopie. They anticipate this because they know what they have with the AP is just a fantasy. They prefer to live on Fantasy Island than to be a decent human being. Fuck ’em all.

        • I can’t say whether they are happy or not. I do know he started cheating on her within two years. She caught him and likely he took it further underground. She had that on me, she knew what he was capable of doing so she caught him after a few times. The daughter in law said she left him, but came right back. He had taken her out of poverty, so she wasn’t about to let that go.

          Then a few years in they gambled their way into bankruptcy, destroyed their relationship with his (my) son. Moved to FL, now I hear they moved to AZ. Guess they just continue to shit where they live and have to move on. Maybe they are living the dream, but it sounds like a nightmare to me.

      • Yep. They’re always trying these cognitive tricks for self-deception. They know perfectly well that if we treated them that way, there’s not a chance in hell they would want to be friends. They offer this friendship crap to you in the hope that if you agree, that is you agreeing that what they did to you wasn’t so bad and was all for the best.
        Their lives are one pathetic lie after another.

        I like the Hitler analogy. I sarcastically thanked my “friendly” cheater for treating me better than Hitler treated Jews. I said that he didn’t kill my body, just my soul. He didn’t throw me in the gas oven, he just made me want to stick my head in one.
        If nothing else, he got the point. It takes a hell of a dramatic analogy to get through to cheater.

        • “They offer this friendship crap to you in the hope that if you agree, that is you agreeing that what they did to you wasn’t so bad and was all for the best.
          Their lives are one pathetic lie after another.”

          So true!

        • The offer of friendship thing is so true and it serves another purpose, if they are friends with you then they are a decent person, or at least it looks that way to all the external observers including the next Shmoopie.

          Tinman wanted to be friends… and by be friends I mean wanted to spend an hour or more expounding on Shmoopies virtues and the many many ways in which she was AMAZING, but the second that I mentioned I was starting to date again (6 months after the separation) he suddenly had to get off the phone… busy busy! Then 6 months after that he stood in my front yard screaming about how I am a slut and a c-word among other things and I need to get STD checked… I had to move because I just couldn’t face my neighbours after that.

          “Friendship” is just another term for drawing you back into the screwed up web of lies and abuse.

          • I think my FW was gob smacked when I went out on my first date six months after we were legally separated. He ran his license number, and came by while I was working in my flower garden, to tell me “that guy is too old for you” I was 40 and date was 50. He wasn’t too old at all.

            I had been asked out before, but was not interested until I met this guy. I had moved to a different work facility and met him. He saw my 20 year old son’s picture on my desk in his AF uniform. Since he was retired AF, we started talking. I didn’t date him until a month after we met. Dated him for almost five years, engaged for two of those years. Then we got married. Still crazy about him many years later.

            I honestly think my ex FW thought I would wither away and pine for him the rest of my life. Guess again ass wipe. The ego of these cheaters is astounding.

        • Yep.

          I just spent over a year, (maybe much longer) screwing you over, using our assets to “date”, gaslighting you, devaluing you, lying to you and about you, starting one fight after the other, as an excuse to leave, etc, but when this messy divorce is over, I hope we can hang out as friends. Let bygones be bygones.

          Ass wipe.

      • Excellent post.

        I also will not be friends with my ex. NO. THANK. YOU.

        She also gaslighted the marriage and she refused to leave the house after I caught her cheating. She remained in the house and dated the OG for four months. She knew it killed my soul to see that happening. She didn’t care. “Sadistic” is the perfect descriptor.

      • Good point. I mean we as faithful chumps do the same. The only difference is, she knew what he was when she picked him up. Evidently she thought SHE could change a snake. She can’t.

        • True, but whores have to dance extra hard to get a scumbag to leave the comfort and benefits of his wife appliance.

          And if they fail they can’t pretend they were ever anything but a cheap piece of ass, so they’re extra invested.

          • Omg I love that. I laughed so hard. I once heard the skank say to my husband that he works way to hard ( before I realized he was so enamored with her puppy dog ness toward him). Now I just think .. man you gave up everything and retirement is gonna be awhile since you now have to support her. And she is trying so hard to make him happy cuz she left her husband and no where else to go. She can keep his sorry ass and try to keep him happy. Glad it isn’t me. Me..I’m going golfing

  • “…because most of the time he can’t even remember their names.”

    And since when does creep needs to know names to get what he wants??

    • Don’t need to know their name to solicit and accept their kibbles. Gag. Nothing but a user. This was the line that sickened and triggered me most.

      • Sometimes its better if you don’t know nanes.

        It’s well known among the smarter drug dealers that when they sell drugs they don’t want to know who you are and they don’t want you knowing who they are. This way nobody can rat anyone out.

        Same logic.

    • “Oh, hey there. Didn’t we fuck a few weeks ago? I’m such a big goof, so bad with names. Hey, gimme a hug. My girlfriend over there won’t mind. She knows what a warm, affectionate guy I am. We have an understanding, if you catch my drift. We just don’t talk about it, so shhhhh. Hahaha! You’re awesome.”

      • What a touchy-feely creep! These aren’t innocent hugs. These are cop-a-feel (or preludes-to-a-kiss-and-more) embraces. He must think the ladies love it. Ugh! I really hate this type.

        • Yes! I’m sure those poor women think he’s a creep. Who wants a big hug from some random acquaintance that can’t even remember their name? Bet they make fun of him at his job.

          • Woah, wait a minute there. You’re giving Creep *far* too much credit in assuming he has a job. He and Schmoopie get by on benefits and child maintenance paid by her other children’s respective fathers.

            • They’re living off of the money she gets from her kids’ respective fathers?? Wow. Just wow.

              Tmesis, you are SO well rid of this guy.

              • One of the fathers literally gave them a car!!!

                (Sorry, I know that 2 is usually 1 too many exclamation marks, but in this case I feel 3 is quite conservative.)

                To be fair to Creep, Covid ruined hospitality over here. He did work beforehand, but only a few hours a week. Schmoopie hasn’t worked in years.

                That was one of the things that upset me most: It was bad enough that he left me and the kids, but I could have understood if Schmoopie was so much more wonderful. Instead:

                1. I have a job; she’s hasn’t.
                2. I have a good degree; she hasn’t.
                3. All my kids are Creep’s kids.
                4. I am slimmer and younger.

                The only thing she tops me on is:

                5. She loves Creep! Whereas I think he’s a sack of shit.

          • I really can’t stand these guys who feel they have a license to hug every woman.

            My MIL re-married in her 70s after her first husband died.

            The new husband, also in his 70s at the time, was a greeter at their church. He hugged every woman who walked in. They called him “the hugger in chief.” I remember asking, “What if the woman doesn’t want to be hugged?” He seemed perplexed by my question and didn’t answer.

            This guy hugged me closely when I first met him. I felt my breasts squeezing against his chest. He also hugged my daughters who were 10 and 16 at the time. All of us hated it.

            Sooo, the next time we met them, I took him aside (“I need to have a word with you”) and told him that “we don’t want to hug, that it makes us uncomfortable. Never do that again.”

            He was taken aback. My MIL was pissed at me.

            And I felt mighty!

            • Way to go! Never a better time to Model to your daughters that they get to see who touches them and how. My grandmother dated a man after my grandpa died who liked to hug like that, and it was basically getting felt up. It was the worst.

              His feelings are not more important than you and your daughter’s physical and mental safety. Well done for protecting them and yourself.

      • Yep.

        I am sure the ex FW told schmoopie we had stopped having sex. Lie, even by his own time line; sex between us did not stop until two days before D day.

        Oh, I knew something was up, but attributed it to work, because that is what he said when questioned. Sex between us did not even slow down until about three months before Dday. In fact he was randier than usual, which I guess is normal. illicit sex revs up the old engine. At least that is what I have read, have not participated in it myself. Unless you count, sex in the ocean on the beach and other such spots with my ex fuckwit husband. I don’t count that.

    • I was thinking, he hugs people because he genuinely cares about them but he can’t remember their names? Wow, denial runs deep with this OW.

        • Thanks Queen! This was taken 2 years ago, after I fled my toxic abusive future ex. I was a dead woman walking, he almost broke my spirit. I went to my brother’s place in upstate NY and started climbing peaks and regaining my spirit and my strength! My old faithful girl Fiona, 11 at the time (black lab) scrambled up every one of those peaks with me, never leaving my side along with the goofball chocolate guy.

          FW followed me to another state, managed to convince me he’d changed – and then just found out he had been having an affair for years! Sigh.

          Fiona stayed with me until she couldn’t any more (last June), Teddy the chocolate still my emotional support dog.

    • Also, her illogic is staggering. He doesn’t even know their names, she says, but he is genuinely concerned with their welfare and asks about their families?

      Nah. He’s one of those glad-handers whose expressions of interest are nothing but one of the sentences he’s memorized and trots out at appropriate moments, so he can communicate what a caring guy he is…and test the waters to see how the target responds.

    • Right?

      Oh I pick-me danced in the beginning. but, not long after he moved out; I was disgusted, with him and ashamed that I did that.

      When I saw him a few years after the divorce, (at my grandsons birthday party) he wouldn’t even look me in the eyes, and to me he looked like a giant rat, I mean he physically looked like a rat to me. He bore no resemblance to the man I thought I knew.

      I do believe he had lost the thrill of schmoopie, as he had no issue looking at me at all during his year of disrespecting and dumping me. He was having a blast then, and my feelings/humanity didn’t harsh his mellow at all. In fact if phycologists are right, I even added to his thrill with schmoopie.

    • My question is: How is he often stopping to “chat” on the street with women he knows…when he doesn’t know their names?

      I smell bullshit…

  • She seems perfectly reasonable.

    “Why, of course, this is a misunderstanding and you are bitter. Creep is really a nice guy. That’s why women want to hug him…sooo lovable. (In the streets, no less, in front of me – that’s transparency…) Now you’ve gone and made him confused. But it’s my confusion he’s confused about. He’s kind, and you don’t get that. I’m confused, but very able to clear this up for you and him. I’m fine. Really.”

  • CL and her UBT kill another OW’s La La Land fantasy with chilly reality! My favorite is:
    OW:
    “But he stops to chat because he is genuinely happy to see them and to enquire after their well-being”.
    UBT:
    “Some of them require home visits. To take their temperatures. See if they’re stocked up on chicken broth and vitamins. That kind of thing”.
    It is all just kindness you could never understand!
    The skill of graduate level BS is hard to believe with these people! OW was likely proud of this diatribe.

    • Right? Of course, it is all perfectly dignified.

      Just like my ex brought Schmoopie to our house to visit with me. (after all she was his employee) and I really needed to be nice to his employee. And as an ignorant chump, I was nice as pie. Why I even offered her a beverage.

      I am betting this schmoopie was brought around the Chump, before the big reveal too. Of course, that is different. SHE, has the magic twat that will keep him honest.

  • Tmesis, don’t let this creep or any other creep across your threshold. Make it a point of pride that creeps are not allowed in your home. Boundaries are your friend.

    I know you can’t cut the creep totally out of your life because you share children. But all interactions should be about the children. Nothing else. If he asks how you are doing, he’s over the line and it’s time to shut him down.

  • This letter is a perfect illustration of Schmoopie-thought. Only Schmoopie understands unconditional love, she is the lighthouse of fidelity for the wayward spouse, the ex has just illustrated the judgy behavior that drove him from her arms into the great love with Schmoops!

    The attitude that the ex is just trying to cause trouble, because she wants him back is troubling, too. It is sad to me that women distrust each other so much that they believe these things about each other. Yes, I have experienced “mean girl” behavior. I just find it sad. Why can’t we learn to compete with each other in healthy ways, like playing sports, or performing arts, or fundraising for good causes? If you think about it logistically, the Me Too movement would never happen if women did not acknowledge a common experience with men as sexual predators. Not all men, of course, but a significant number of believable, similar stories. I have talked to a few men about my experiences in the workplace, and they find them difficult to believe. They don’t want to think my experiences are relatively mild, or common. They are not anomalies. They would rather believe women are too sensitive and emotional. To believe otherwise shakes some of their basic foundations, They ask the old questions, “Did you report it?”, “Why not?” They didn’t want to hear the answers, “No,” and “Because it wouldn’t do any good, and I needed to work,”

    We cannot force another person to believe in something they do not want to believe, and we are not responsible for other people’s poor choices. There is an expression, if you do not listen to the warning, pain will find another way to teach you the truth. Can you imagine how much more painful it is for someone who has been warned about the danger but refuses to believe, if there is a moment of revelation? On the news this morning there was a report of people who are in the hospital dying of covid-19, who still deny its existence. Will their families, and friends also deny what killed them? Will the grief be denied, too? Yes, we will all die eventually, but do we need to die because we refuse to recognize the truth?

    You can tell another chump about chumplady, but you cannot force them to believe. If they want to believe myths and the RIC, they will follow that path. There will always be people who promote snake oil as a cure all. Use your effort for something more likely to succeed!

  • You can’t be “seduced” if you don’t let Dickweed in the door.

    You can’t be “seduced” if you are no contact.

    My question is: Why do you let him in? Jackass couldn’t get in my door if he brought a team of Navy Seals with him. Or “Bull Durham” era Kevin Costner. I might let Costner in, though.

    NO CONTACT. Look hard at why you are permitting this.

    • When my SIL was chumped about 12 years ago, she gave her cheating ex a key (yes, a key!) to her condo. I was and still am shocked by that, although I’m trying to be understanding because I’ve done some head-scratching shit myself.

      I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to slam that physical door. And, in her case, they had a couple of young teens, so I guess she rationalized this open-door policy because of them.

      In my case, I had no problem slamming the actual house door on my ex, although slamming the door on my thoughts isn’t so easy. He has a key to my mind and keeps waltzing in at all hours, without even knocking! Damn him.

      • Gave him a key? I had the locks changed three days after I was served divorce papers, even though he threatened to have me arrested!

        The key to your mind is precious. No, unfortunately a locksmith cannot help with that one.

        • I had the locks changed too. It was illegal, as we were not yet legally separated, though we were about a week later. I just told hi8m to call a cop. (he was a cop) I told him if he gave me any trouble, I would call the mayor, and ask for his help.

          The Mayor was already pissed at him for fucking his direct report and causing him a public relations nightmare. He had just promoted him and another guy to Captains about a year earlier. The other cop was fucking a female cop. They both got busted back to Lt, and put back out on the street. He lost his cushy office position. Lol, hope the fuckfest was worth it. I beet he at least wished he had chosen a good looking young girl, instead of a frumpy 35 year old woman with a pot belly, two big azzed lazy boys, and one 10 year old boy.

          Funny thing was when he told me about her, he said he had been “dating” this “girl”. That mare had not seen girl in many moons. I guess that just shows how thick the adultery fog was. Even one of the other cops said: Geese, I thought the idea was to trade up, not down.

          Ass wipe is lucky he didn’t get fired. If it had been just a couple years later, he likely would have been.

    • LOL – I was thinking – the SEALS can come on in and “rescue” me anytime – But XAss keeps his sorry ass outside! LOL

    • I would let “Bull Durham” era Kevin Costner in, any day. Actually, in my aging years I would also let “Yellowstone” Kevin Costner in as well. Except – isn’t he a cheater?

      • Yeah, but I wouldn’t mind looking at him for a while. He can sit over in my meditation chair and scroll on his phone while I grade papers. If he brings pie, that’s a plus.

        • Spat my drink out, now laughing out loud and the dog is looking at me, questioningly. May have to watch Yellowstone tonight – riding a horse is better than scrolling a phone 🤠.

          Thanks for this – needed it! Filed today and all over the map emotionally. I think Kevin Costner can help.

          • I recently read an inspiring obituary for Elisha Kitchen from Michigan that mentioned a random act of kindness by Kevin Costner. In 1992 (same year that The Bodyguard was released), he called then 10 year old Elisha and spoke to her for over an hour. As a child, Elisha had suffered severe injuries when a vehicle ignored her school bus’s flashing lights and she was struck while exiting the bus. Elisha’s journey was detailed in her obituary as well as that phone call her family recalled from 28 years earlier. Something about this obit stayed with me for days – both Elisha’s fighting spirit and the little blurb about Costner reaching out to her. You never know what impact you can make on someone else’s life.

    • Was thinking the same thing. The author seems to still need some boundary work. Understandable. It’s a steep learning curve.

    • Once my ex moved out, I wouldn’t let him come back in the house. He came by on a regular basis to try to talk to me if I saw him outside, but by then; I had no interest (I was still hurting, but of course didn’t tell him that) and he usually left are a couple dead pan responses to his comments.

      He gave up his right to know anything about me once he left me for schmoopie. I gave him one more chance, a couple weeks after we were legally separated, but of course he blew that chance. He never wanted me back, he just wanted to keep me destabilized and hoping. After all, he might be able to get rid of schmoopie at some point, and he would need a soft place to land. I figured that out pretty quickly, (thank God) and that was before CH came along.

  • “Never interfere when your enemy is making a mistake.”

    – Napoleon

    Nothing says “good riddance” like NO CONTACT.

    • Exactly. “If he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you.” He’s already in that process with schmoopie. Let it play out. Don’t give her a heads up.

      She isn’t going to believe you anyway, as evidenced by this self-aggrandizing reply. You know what he’s doing, he knows what he’s doing. It isn’t your problem if the OW wants to try to pretend she’s too Speshul to have it happen to her. He’ll go ahead and be his cheater-self whether you rebuff him or not. If it isn’t you he’s trying to seduce, it will be someone else. And someone else, and someone else. Eventually Schmoopie will find herself in the position of the Other Woman who is shocked there’s other Other Women.

      Let her. Right now she thinks she’s the Speshul One He Changed For. That’s not going to last. You know it won’t. You don’t need to tangle yourself in it for that to happen.

      • My therapist told me ages ago “don’t ruin the surprise!”

        Heheheheh. I LOVE that.

        Why on earth would I give either of them a heads up? It’s way better if they find out for themselves that they are both lemons.

        Cheaters don’t change. They just swap in a new part and an affair accomplice is a seriously defective and ignorant one.

  • Haha! Well, that is quite the PSA on why it is a bad idea to marry a cheater. She thinks she sounds so mature, and she really just sounds delusional. “Sure, he kept secrets from me about going to see his ex-wife, but that’s because he is a nice guy who CARES! And yes, sure, he hugs other women inappropriately, sometimes even right in front of me, but that’s because he’s a nice guy who CARES!” She is so stupid that she might actually go to her grave believing her own bullshit.

    • This is why believing that the X and the Schmoopie are so amazingly happy. This woman is clearly in total denial about X’s character. X is already trolling for more side pieces. We may not always get a ring-side seat to the Fuckwit Thunderdome, but we can be sure that people who solves their emotional and character issues by cheating don’t suddenly become ideal partners. They don’t suddenly discover how to find happiness within themselves.

        • I second that!

          It’s been three years, and I’m just starting to see Tuesday in the horizon. It takes time. Especially when you were married for a couple decades and had children together. But it comes. Believe it.

      • This is why believing that the X and the Schmoopie are so amazingly happy is such a foolish idea.

        *I have no idea what happened to the end of that sentence. Sorry! I worry I am getting dementia!

        • Lol. I knew what you meant. Actually, I somehow filled in the words myself without realizing it–my own little senior moment perhaps.

    • Yep and “He didn’t tell me about it because he didn’t think I would understand why he would want to spend any more time with you than he had to.”

      That is pretty much what all cheaters and liars tell the schmoopies “she doesn’t understand me”

      • She’s SO delusional. I also think the length of her reply shows that she’s put A LOT of time and effort into her response.
        All the little barbs about how it’s the best relationship that he’s ever had- she clearly sees you as a HUGE threat.

  • Disengage. Now you’ve given them both something to laugh about and especially given him something to feel superior about. You fed her need for drama and his ego. Please don’t feed the monkeys, just quietly leave the circus tent.

    Best of luck

    • 👍

      I remember once, the ex FW (after he left for schmoopie) came back by and said schmoopie was getting some calls from someone. I said “I never once called her, I wouldn’t give either one of you the satisfaction, and you know it” He knew, and he shut up and it all went away.

      Hell, I only called him a couple times and only about business. I certainly had not interest in what they were doing. I could barely function, and their canoodling was not something I need to hear about.

      Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t just make it up, to try to get a reaction out of me. I suspect it bothered him that once he left; I didn’t “fight” for him. I figured out fairly quickly that she deserved him way more than I did. Oh, I was still plenty hurt and destroyed; but I knew that he was not someone I wanted/needed back in my life.

      My own (grown, age 20) son warned me about letting him come back for that one week, I should have listened. His statement when I told him we were going to try again was: “be careful Mom, I love Dad, but he is messed up”

  • Thesis – Barricade the door. Ignore him ringing the doorbell or knocking. But if he tries to enter play the sound of a shotgun blast. Setting up a few discreet outdoor speakers, just for Fuckwit, isn’t that hard.

  • Imagine thinking you won some great prize when in fact you’re attached to a f**kwit. Plus this OW doth protest too much. I think she knows deep down (or as deep as she can go) that she’s in for a world of hurt when he cheats on her. It’s almost too obvious.

    Sometimes when people behave badly out in the open (hugging these women), it can not seem so bad. I mean, if it were bad, surely he would hide it (#seeTrump).

    Tmesis, you’re the winner here (as much as it hurts like hell).

    And these entitled, no-boundary, cheaters don’t change for their new conquests. I would argue that they are emboldened. Once they cross that rubicon, why not keep exploring what’s on the other side.

    So, as others have advised, block her and block him. Don’t allow visits. Boundaries! They feed off of your concern/engagement.

    Good luck!

    p.s. #sailorsknots OMG!!! 😂 Thanks, CL!!

  • Let’s be practical about this.

    Leaving aside the immense hypocrisy and the blatant condescension in the OW’s response to Tmesis, what has actually happened? Tmesis witnessed the behavior that destroyed her marriage, and tipped off the vulnerable person. I’m sure she wishes someone had done the same for her years ago, and she stuck to her principles and did for another what she wishes had been done for her (even though the other is an amoral home wrecker). Tmesis didn’t get the satisfaction of an apology and an admission of wrongdoing from the OW (quite the contrary, in fact), but hopefully Tmesis has clued into the fact that you can’t rely on external validation to manage your own personal morality, and doesn’t care. You can only do what you think is right for yourself, and expecting others to recognize and validate your choices (particularly when the other has already abundantly demonstrated her low moral character) is a fool’s errand.

    Even more practically, the particular behavior that triggered this whole unfortunate episode (XH stopping by and trying to get into her pants) will likely come to a swift halt. Moreover, the OW will burdened with monitoring XH and ensuring that he stays away. What better outcome could we hope for? The emotional burden has been shifted from Tmesis to the OW, the behavior will stop, and Tmesis doesn’t need to worry about being complicit (by omission) in OW’s future devastation when XH betrays her. It sounds like a win to me.

    I feel I should acknowledge that Tmesis is a better person than I. I’m pretty sure (through roundabout means) that former AP / now husband is cheating with (or preparing to cheat with) a newly minted divorcee who is younger, prettier, wealthier than my XW, but I haven’t tipped off my XW.

    • This is a good observation. I would be less worried if the Tuesday visit scenario didn’t scream “pick-me dance.”

    • I guess everyone has to make their own decision, that is true.

      I didn’t tell FWs schmoopie about all the times he circled back to me wanting to talk about making it work. I am ok with that. I owed her nothing, and she knew what he was when she picked him up. (I didn’t) He cheated on her within two years according to my daughter in law (who has never shown an indication of being a liar) By then, I wasn’t happy about it, nor did I care. It was simply, no surprise there. She took him back several times. She was never going to actually leave, as she needed his paycheck to live above the poverty line.

      I assume she knew about the time I let him come back shortly after we were legally separated, but who knows what story he told her. I kicked him out after six days. He contacted me at least three times after that, once had the preacher set up a meeting. I went just to see what he had to say, I wasn’t surprised; it was mostly this is what you Susie need to do to win me back. I listened a bit, then said to the preacher; thanks for your time; but we are done here and I walked out. Asshole actually said to me “Of course I can’t make any promises” I just stared at him and then looked at the preacher.

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

    • Nah. OW isn’t a “vulnerable person.” She knew that the guy was a cheater from the beginning. She got her “tip-off” about his love of cheating when she first got his “tip” “off” ifyaknowwhatImean.

      And using OW to keep her ex away is a short-term solution that causes long-term problems. LW needs to learn how to assert her own boundaries and no engage with her ex, even when he reaches out to her. Otherwise the ex will go right back to doing this the next time he feels like stirring up drama with OW.

  • I love how Tuesday(s) immediately became only 1 Tuesday because he said so!

    And the hugging – he likes and cares for these unnamable woman enough to stop and get a hug in the street, but not enough to remember their names? Sure, uh huh – If he doesn’t remember their names its because after a while it gets challenging keeping it all straight and its just easier to call them all Sweetheart or Darlin’.

    Jeesh.

    • That’s exactly what I’m thinking. He doesn’t even remember their names but he knows them enough to stop them in the street to hug them and ask about their well-being?

      Yeah…nnnnooo that doesn’t add up.

  • This letter is a gem. “I am special. You are not. That is why you got cheated on.” It is that type of delusion that makes OWs so dangerous; they have a huge capacity Dir lying to themselves and too much naive Ed’s to see beyond there own temporary happiness. As the wife of ex wife, you will almost always be considered the crazy one. They probably have been told right from the beginning that you are mean, difficult, abusive, and insane. They cannot admit that he is wrong, because it would make their house crumble.

    They are not happy. Their love is not better. They are just more about instant gratification and denial.

    https://notmymonkeys.net/blog/oh-good-they-are-happy

    • Hey Inescapable!
      You are mighty. Tuesday will come.
      I am one year from D-Day today and Tuesday came sometime 3 months ago…

      Sending you a virtual hug

  • Another CL classic. Thanks CL and UBT for making me laugh so hard this morning that my sides hurt. These FWs have zero originality and are 100 percent predictable with the BS they spew. No contact is the best contact!

  • No more drop-bys or non childcare related chats. It may feel satisfying in the moment to yank OW’s chain, but it just feeds into the ex’s addiction to attention and damages your overall well being.

    OW is garden variety: she knows that he’s window shopping for new cake but in her delusional mind, that means extra spackling in a desperate effort to prevent him from outsourcing.

  • Bravo! Don’t be fooled by the smug letter attempting to you put you in your place. Schmoopie is livid! The letter response was waaay too long for someone confident in her relationship. The pathetic explanations and taking every shot she could at you spoke volumes. It was far easier for her to pretend Creepy was the love of her life before you sent the text. I am quite sure all the red flags were flying all over the place but she was/is on a mission to ignore the obvious signs that Creepy is a two timing asswipe. She will now hang on for dear life. Every time Creepy walks out the door her stomach will be in knots. Every time he stays late at work, takes longer than he should on an errand, she’ll break out into a cold sweat with worry. Schmoopie’s imagination will be in overdrive. Creepy will feel suffocated, if he doesn’t already and look for someone who is not a clingy, hot mess.

    • The mere fact that she bothered to reply at all shows her lack of confidence in Creepo and their relationship. I know I would never respond to some crazy woman (if I believed she was a crazy woman) making accusations. But I would never be caught dead with a married man.
      On the flip side, my ex wasn’t allowed in the house, and when he would hit on me, I didn’t give the whole a heads-up because I felt that two cheaters deserved each other. She might have actually broken up with him if I’d warned her. That would leave him free to find some innocent victim.

      • I was just thinking about how I would have reacted if the OW had sent me a message while I was pick me dancing with my then husband. I know now that he attempted to break from her a few times to try to work things out with me. It never lasted. But, what if I had received some letter from her saying “BTW, he’s been coming around my place again.”

        First, I would never, ever have replied to her, justified myself, defended anything. I wouldn’t invite more of her into my life.

        Second, I would have freaked out on my husband. If he managed to explain everything away, which he did at that time, I know that I would have been sick about it. More suspicious. More frantic.

        I can’t imagine that this woman is now going to love pick up and drop off days when he has the kids. Bet you that she’ll suddenly be a regular passenger in the car soon to observe what happens at the ex-wife’s house when he goes with the kids.

        On the one hand, it would be so fun to play with this woman. But, on the other hand, why bother. Just sit back with some popcorn and watch the scenery instead.

  • My BIL used to do this. His dream was exes with benefits. Just send her a big LOL back. Wow she’s his new sucker. She so deserves it

  • Has anyone else every noticed that the relationships that started out with the couple obnoxiously broadcasting their true love to anyone that will listen always ends up a train wreck?

  • Chump from the OP here. Thank you Chump Lady for your terrific UBT.

    A lot of you are saying I should go no contact & shouldn’t have let Creep in my home to begin with. I know. I do know. I’d say the same thing to someone else who was in my shoes. But honestly? Zero regrets. I got Creep off my back and big laughs at the same time. I’m not bothered if Schmoopie thinks I’m pick-me dancing: I wouldn’t touch Creep with a barge pole. My friends and I fell about laughing at Schmoopie’s reply. It’s been fun.

    No contact going forward is for sure the right path though.

    • Tmesis,

      Glad you got a laugh out of the OW’s letter and that your head is in the right place!

      Kudos to you! And thanks for giving the UBT so much to work with here.

  • Thank you for sending CL this letter, Tmesis–so much of this made me laugh.

    I also appreciated your explanation that you had changed your EX’s name to Creep in the letter. I just couldn’t help imagining how much simpler life would be if all the cheating jerks had self-explanatory names. Centuries ago, Smith was a blacksmith, and Baker could be relied on for bread. Too bad we can’t just eliminate the bad partners by checking out their names and refusing to get involved with those named Liar, Thief, Jackass, and Creep!

    My biggest chuckle came from the OW’s assertion that Creep hugs all kinds of women in the street without even recalling their names. Yep, that would be so reassuring. So much better to have an indiscriminate cheater than a particular one.

    I hope every day without him is brighter for you!

  • My ex father in law was always buttering strangers up: “Thank you for holding the door sir, you are a true gentleman. There’s so few of us left.” chortle chortle. The fifteen hundredth time you hear it, it’s not charming, it’s a cynical schtick. My ex did it too. Overly gracious to everyone. Thanking service workers on my behalf before I had a chance to. Jumping up to pick up a pen that was dropped. Obsequious. Sometimes he’d pull out some folksy saying, like “I remember when I was knee high to a grasshopper….” and it was just so cringey. Little did I know that their awkwardness was because they had no human souls and were just mimicking what they though nice people do. The whole time, they were both living lies, sneaking around, and soliciting sex online from strangers. I’m just glad I’m nothing like my ex mother in law, who signed up for it all and pretends to be perfect Christian wife who is superior to everyone.

    • Oh my goodness, I know exactly what you are talking about with the overly gracious gestures! Until now, I could never identify why the hairs on my neck stood up around such people.

  • I am glad she let the OW know. Why hide this predatory behavior?

    It will be like a bomb with a very long fuse in OW’s fetid little mind. He didn’t tell her he was doing this. It will eat at the bich.

  • Well played, Tmesis. The OW’s response is amusing, and now she gets to play the he-didn’t-tell-me-about-this-what-else-don’t-I-know-game.

  • I am sending you a virtual recliner and some popcorn. Settle back. There’s a comedy out there just percolating along. The shit will hit the fan at some point. Let us know when that happens.

  • I have never seen or spoken to the OW, but I needed this. I had a backslide on my progress towards “Meh” today. Nitwit got to keep our condo and the place I’m renting now is a lot smaller and noisier. I actually found myself longing for the condo and wondering if I made the right decision, although I wouldn’t go so far as to say I missed Nitwit. Fortunately I’m now listening to Christmas carols and that cheered me up.

    Thank you CL and CN, for reminding me that the world of nitwits and APs is not a world we chumps want to touch with someone else’s 10 foot pole.

    • I remember being so lonely after FW moved out. For about three weeks or so, then I realized that I was no lonelier than I had been for the last year we were together. The only difference is, I knew what he was doing after he left. I wondered how he could just stay gone and not miss me. Then I realized he had detached from me while we were still married, I was the only one still attached. Plus, he was having his honeymoon I assume with schmoopie.

      Then something happened, because he came by to tell me he was going to marry schmoopie, and wanted a divorce. So he left. Yet he didn’t file. I had ordered some purchase histories from the credit card I cancelled, and it showed a lot of purchases for a woman and clothes for boys. Our son was grown.

      So I called him and said why haven’t you filed. He said I was going to let you do that. I said, no you will do it as you are the one wanting the divorce; and you will call our son and tell him what you have done. (son was in another state in AF). He said “I don’t want to hurt you” I said “that ship has sailed” you need to file and we need to get our finances separated. I didn’t tell him I had the charge history.

      So he finally filed. I was going to contact schmoopie if he wouldn’t file and be polite, but tell her to give him the message that he needs to file and get this thing going.

      What he didn’t know was he was going to be on the hook for six months of a legal separation with him paying for my house payment, car payment, and my electric bill, we had electric heat. He thought the divorce would be final in two months.

      But, after the six months were up, then he started stalling, so it took a full year. I was able to recoup the money he spent on schmoopie and her boys, (or at least what I knew about) and enough to cover my legal expenses. I honestly think he would have been ok with another year, if I had asked for that. I just don’t think he was in any hurry to marry her for some reason.

    • I hear you. I miss my home so much. I was a SAHM and could not pay the mortgage so he got the house.
      I cry when I think about how I brought my babies home from the hospital to that house, how I watched it being built and had previously never ever dreamed I could have a brand new house. How I planted the yard and garden myself, how I landscaped and lovingly tended it. Now he’s let it all go to shit. A metaphor for our marriage, for sure.
      I dream about buying it back one day, after he loses it to foreclosure. But it would need so much work done to it.
      Also I must keep in mind: there are precious memories in that house, but it’s also the house where I was repeatedly sexually assaulted, emotionally, mentally and financially abused.
      My moldy little basement apartment may be frustrating and humiliating to live in, but at least it is safe. No one gets abused here. Assault of any kind does not happen in my home. Finally.

  • I have read this thing three times. She comes across as someone a bubble shy of plumb. Her boundaries are so low he won’t even stub his toe stepping over them. I cannot understand how she thinks this letter shows either one in a good light.

    • “A bubble shy of plumb”: I have never heard this before but it sounds amusing. What do plumbs have to do with bubbles? Please explain, if you would.

      • A plumb is a balancing tool that holds a bubble on the inside to see the balance. If the plumb is not there, it is useless.

  • I came away wondering what tmesis was thinking. I guess I’m thinking she had a failure in her no contact efforts and will improve. No contact includes giving fodder to anyone siding with the cheater.

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