Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Ever Run Into Your Ex?

I know the interwebz are full of listicles on how to Clairvoyantly Uncouple for the Children. But they never include the kind of advice you really need. Like a mantra of positivity so you’ll forget that time he screwed hookers while you were 7 months pregnant.

So today’s Friday Challenge is to share the time you stood tall after having to face your ex or Schmoopie.

Mr. CL also offered this twisted suggestion — or share the time you failed miserably at this.

Was there glorious meh? Fifty-yard death stares? Vomiting on someone’s party shoes?

We all know how hard it is to brighten up when the turd arrives in the punchbowl. For anyone who has 14 years of hostage drop-offs child exchanges ahead of you, please be assured that meh is real. You CAN rewire all those neural networks to yawn at their idiocy instead of cowering in a corner away from it. But it takes time — and really, who wants to do this work? To get over phobias, you’re supposed to expose yourself to them. Touch a spider, drive over a bridge, ride in the airplane.

Great. Now what if that spider BIT you, the bridge collapsed, and the airplane crashed into a ball of flames. Would you want to go anywhere NEAR that shit?

But chumps, this is what we’re called upon to do — gain a life. Triumph over fuckwits. Ascribe them non-meaning. Feed no kibbles.

How’d you do it?


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Really want to see some answers here. I just was looking at Linked In and saw pictures of him from behind. At a party I might have gone to and in a field I started to enter as I started to get a life, before I knew about Schmoops. I had told him all about it. Then COVID. Now things are opening up again and just when I might want to network again – there he is. He used me. He uses others. Everyone is a stepping stone. He’s got nothing but contempt for them behind their backs. I don’t want him driving me out of my own new life. How do I manage it when I run into him in this small space where everyone knows everyone? My default is snark. But that’s kibbles. We have the same last name. We will get the awkward “any relation?” If I look right through him that makes me look like I’m angry or hurt still. Just another shit sandwich. Any advice?

        • You could change your name creatively without making it legal, by dropping your last name and using your middle name instead. Or switching the two around.

          I always thought changing names when you got married was stupid. I’m so glad I didn’t!

          • Me too. Saved me a whole lot of legal/paperwork aggravation plus I’ll never have anyone ask if I know or are related to the ex & his family.

    • This happens to be one of the issues I have been able to do well.

      DDay was 11 years ago.
      For those that don’t know my story – long marriage, 2 kids in college at the time, discovered multiple year affair with his law partner and what I thought was a family friend. Kids knew her since they were quite young and she was at significant family occasions. We even vacationed together. Luckily, she was single and there are no kids together. If they’re married, it’s a secret.

      I was able not to see him post divorce for a little bit. College graduations were done on separate days and I had the kids for all holidays. She was NEVER allowed to be anywhere the kids or me.

      One son’s wedding was interesting. I split the cost of the wedding with the brides family so I could have input. I relented to put his name of the invitation and agreed to walk our son down the aisle together as per my son’s request. During the ceremony he had to stand slightly behind me. Not noticeable to anyone else but I didn’t want him in my line of sight.
      The reality was I only focused on my son as we walked down the aisle and totally forgot ex was on the other side. My son picked a song that I used to sing to him at night when he was little to surprise me so I sung my way down the aisle.

      He had an assigned time for a few posed photos with his sons and daughter-in-law. That was it.

      I hired an event planner whose only job was to make sure he and his family stayed on their side of the room at the reception and stayed away from my friends and my family.

      But when I did see him, I put on a bright smile, congratulated him and kept on moving. Or just smiled, nodded and continued walking.

      Then came the grandkids…the only rule at the birth celebration was that he couldn’t bring her. I smiled, congratulated him and kept on mingling. I even asked the photographer to take a photo of the 4 grandparents!

      I’m sometimes present when he sees his grandchild. Again, big smile, “how are you”, small talk and walk away.

      There will be more weddings and grandchildren and their birthday parties.. I decided that I will live by Michelle Obama’s saying “when they go low, we go high”.

      I have so much to be proud of! How I conducted myself during the marriage, the dedicated and sane wife, daughter-in-law and sister-in-law I was. The amazing mom and friend I am. I will NEVER let him set me off publicly and always want to be seen outwardly as gracious and polite. I treat him like a stranger.

      My inside thoughts are mine and can be as mean-spirited or meh as I feel at the time.

      Chumps should always hold their heads up high at public events. YOU are the success one who honored and kept your promises. YOU are the ones who can be counted on.

      Treat them as strangers at business events or running into them at functions or restaurants. Smile, nod and move on!

      • Same here Rebecca, on the inside I can get dark, (that is only for my best friend or CN) but on the outside perfectly composed. I didn’t see them often, but when I did I never gave them the satisfaction of any reaction other than a nod or a quick hi.

        Luckily for me our son was fully emancipated when the discard happened. So, I didn’t have to deal with the FW. Also, quite frankly at the time the whore never really entered my mind except in terms of she was just the whore. I am sure she wasn’t the first, and certainly not the last, but she was the whore in place when he did the discard.

        I think having small kids and being tied to them must be the worst.

        • Susie Lee,
          It is the worst. Mine: an 18 yr prison sentence as the nightmare began before my pregnancy (Dday was when my baby was 3.5 months old). My sweet little guy is 3 yrs old now. #15yearstogo. My heart just aches at the losses, the grief, the ignorance of society at large to recognize the injustice.

          • I am so sorry you dealt with that. I have always thought men who would do that to wife who are young mothers are the worst.

            Unfortunately, usually when we find out our husbands have been cheating, they have been doing it for years.

            My H was by his own admission a cheater throughout our marriage. He seemed to take great pleasure in telling me that. I didn’t know it until the last few months of a 21 year marriage. And I didn’t have a clue how deep in he was with the whore, I began to figure it out when I had credit card and bank histories run after he left.

            I only found out when he wanted me to find out. I think he was trying to get me to kick him out, so he could “start dating” schmoopie because his awful wife kicked him out. But, I didn’t, I was quite frankly walking around in a daze, then I am pretty sure someone outed him and all hell broke loose. She was his direct report on a police dept.

            I am certain he cheated when my son was a baby, I know he did in Vietnam, and I suspected a couple times after he got home. But, I put it up to youthful stupidity and I really though he grew up and seemed to be committed. He wasn’t.

            I was just easy to fool. He used my trust to the ultimate. He kept me busy not only at home, but doing volunteer work to help his career, while he danced. Oh how fun that must have been for him. At least for a season.

      • Oh my.. I can’t and won’t do that. It’s only been 7 yrs since my cheating ex-wife and I divorced and I can’t stand being in the same room as her. It upsets me just thinking about that sort of situation. I guess not enough time has past yet.

    • Pretend like he doesn’t exist. I treat mine like the invisible man. He is of no consequence to me. Don’t know him. Moving on. I changed my name back too. What a pain, but feels like freedom.

    • Ignore, ignore, ignore!!
      If anyone asks about relation, just say no. Period.
      If at a function and he becomes impossible to ignore, I’m afraid you may need to leave.
      I’m so sorry. It sucks.

    • 1. Legally change your name back. ASAP. It’s freeing.

      2. Try mentally envisioning him as an ex co-worker who annoyed the crap outta you but that you [barely] tolerate out of professional courtesy.

      • Changing one’s name back is not that easy. Married 35 years, and married in college (insane, I know).

        So my college degree, my law degree, all my military records & medical records, social security card (which I had to change to HIS name when we moved to CA– crazy), my passport, my bar memberships ALL in the DOCTOR’s surname.

        Plus all my credit cards, my IDs, so, it’s a huge HUGE ass hassle.

        OH for sure, socially – I use my own name, but legally, — I hereby state – changing my name in ALL forms back to MY NAME

        is my 2021 resolution!!!

        PS I will never take another person’s name unless they’re famous AND very rich (and even then…probably not).

        • I was married for 34 years. During that time I had over 8000 high school students and the only people who know me by my maiden name are from high school and college. I would have to explain my name change to everyone. It would be such a hassle to change my name on all my accounts. It’s just not worth the effort. I have used my married name much longer than my maiden name. If asked am I related I simply say No or He’s my ex depending on who is asking.

      • Same here! He always harboured resentment about it, apparently, despite me adding it as a middle name for our ten-year anniversary.

        I’m sure it’s one of his many excuses for cheating: “Oh, I knew YOU were never fully committed all along, since you didn’t take my name.”

    • I just love the title of this column. Ever run into my ex? I’m just glad that I never ran OVER him!

  • You could change your name legally, or just go back to your maiden name, if that’s different.

    As for looking through the fuckwit, I think that denotes contempt and disdain, rather than anger or hurt.
    Good luck. Xx

  • OM was at her house for kid exchange. She was gathering things inside. I looked him straight in the eye abs asked him how he was doing. I smiled. Said I was doing great. NEVER thought I’d do that in the beginning of chumpdom!! With my XW I realized that you never look them in the eyes. Eternal pools of darkness and shrivels me right back to being her toy. Look at their shoes. Look at the sky. Look away!

        • Especially in court when you can’t afford to get rattled. Never talk to them or look at them before a proceeding. After all, it’s not a social occasion.

  • CL, you have a knack for coming up with these right on the heels of the topic happening to me.

    I’ve seen and spoken to KK maybe 3 times in the past 4 years, even though she lives one town over and our daughters (now 18 and 17) are on a week on/ week off cycle with them. Everything is done through Our Family Wizard, despite her attempts to “get together as a family” on some supposed urgency or because it’s “what’s best for the girls.”

    Recently there’s been a few issues as E the Elder figures out where she wants to start college in the fall, and of course money is the issue. We hit an impasse concerning transparency (how much KK can or is willing to contribute) so I was forced to ask her to meet me in a local parking lot to try and get some traction.

    It was an extremely polite, cordial, productive first 12 minutes — it actually gave me a glimmer of hope something resembling a “new start” for us.

    But alas, the girl just can’t help being what she is.

    She insisted that “we all get together as a family so we can start her college life off on a happy, united front.” I responded that a united front could be achieved without any dinner or meeting. She didn’t like that, then repeated her oft-delivered line about how “you always do what’s right for you, never what’s right for your daughter.”

    I tried to return to the college financing topic, then she said, “UX, it’s been FIVE YEARS. I really think it’s time you pulled the stick out of your ass.” I said, “The conversation is over. Let me know what you’re willing to co-sign for.” As I got back into my car she called me an asshole, and as I started the car she was still yelling things at me (couldn’t hear over the engine and car radio.)

    She is what she is. I knew going in that she’d downshift to her natural state, I and knew what my words and actions when she did.

    Meh is bliss.

    • Ugh. She torpedoed the happy, united front of a real, loving, functional family, then calls you an asshole for not wanting to create a false image of that. I hate these lying perverts for whom the image is everything.

      Not at meh. But proud of every chump who is.

    • Damn. I always wondered what would happen. Haven’t seen ex for 5 years other than court.

      Proof positive the crazy controller is always there.

      So proud of your mighty response!!!

    • “UX, it’s been FIVE YEARS. I really think it’s time you pulled the stick out of your ass.”

      Wow. Just wow.

      • Yeah, like there’s an expiration date on trauma and hurt and family destruction.

        But give KK her due. She’s laser-focused on getting that “happy family” image going.

    • I’m sorry you have to still contend with that UXworld. KK is a special flavor of fuckwit. And it sounds like you already knew what she would do and how she would respond although you tried for your daughter.

    • STBXW would want to “talk”. Within 5-10 minutes she would begin to insult me. I would say, “I am not going to listen to this” and calmly get up and walk away. After happening twice I refused further conversations and required email only. During a regretable wreckoncilliation attempt, she brought this up as me “refusing to communicate as adults.” She just acts out her self loathing.

    • OK, you should have responded: “what’s best for our daughter is she knows how and what will be paid for college so she can make cohesive decisions about which school to pick. *Not* that we play happy family for an evening.”

      I still have 3 years away from college for my oldest and I’m not even going to approach Dracula. He won’t pay for braces or preventative dental care, he sure as hell is not going to pay for college. He’ll send him a t-shirt when he’s off to college and then declare to all of his Flying Monkeys “see, I paid for college!”

      • Ideally, sure — but not engaging is always the best policy with people like this. It only drags things further down into the mud, and I don’t have the time or inclination for that.

        • Agreed.

          I only ever delve into the mud when Dracula tries to pull the “think of what’s best for the children!” argument. From the man who moved 2,000 miles away from his 7 year old & 3 year old. Who tried to find an airline who would let a 3 year old (who was still in diapers), fly 2,000 miles unaccompanied. Who in 7 years, has only been employed about 16 months of it and is almost $30,000 in arrears in child support. I could go on…

          Yes, please lecture ME, Dracula, about what is best for the children!

          • “Who would let a 3 year old (who was still in diapers), fly 2,000 miles unaccompanied.”

            Dear God. The man is a fucking *monster*!!! ????????

          • Whoa, Chris W, we have some crazy parallels going on here. Mine moved 2,000 miles away from his 1 year old & 2 year old. And, in 7 years, has only been employed about 2.5 years of it and is around $57,000 in arrears in child support. He has the balls to pull the “think of what’s best for the children!” argument from time to time, but hasn’t scraped together the cash to come see them in 6 years. They still cry themselves to sleep trying to figure out if Skype dad is a real dad, because don’t real dads show up? The unbelievable balls to utter the words ‘what’s best for the children’ when they weren’t (and aren’t) on his radar is just mind blowing. The irony of it would almost be funny/comical if it weren’t so infuriating and toxically unjust. So sorry you can relate!

      • Just make sure you are the parent who has the IRS deductions so you can file for financial aid.

        And a parent who can afford it and won’t pay for braces? That’s a bad person.

        • FW said these gems: Kids don’t need cars. If they wanna go to college they can take loans. Braces are cosmetic, not a necessity.

          This is from a man that makes $147k a year, has no debt snd travels the world first class with his mistress.

        • I’ve been doing FAFSAs with my kids for years. It’s filed under the parent with the lower income regardless of who claimed the IRS deduction to increase the opportunity for aid. That being said, always instruct your children to keep your financial info private, and that includes from your ex. My divorce decree requires me to share my tax returns with Asshat. It does not require me to share the details of all my assets, which are on the FAFSA.

      • From what I understand, newhusbands XW is worth $1M range and she refused to pay anything for their child’s college.

    • Why is it always its been (insert years here) get over it, or you should be over it, stop carrying the hate with you. I just want to scream! Did you live with a POS narcissist for 26 years and go through what I went through? then shut the fuck up, but then I look like I am jealous, or I can’t get passed it, blah blah! I have not seen him for five years. He did not come to his grandson 1st birthday party and has skipped the last two birthdays for his other grandson. My kids notice. I just try and be there for them, and pretend he does not exist.

      • No one should ever give you a timeline for healing. Ever!
        There is no expiration date on pain.
        Their treatment of us was life-altering, horrific and there are no excuses. I will never be the same person I was and, after so much time, I’m not sure I will ever heal from this deep pain.

        That’s why we come here where we can scream and rant and let it out. This space is safe. We are understood. We are loved by a community of strangers who understand.

        Chump Nation let’s me put on that brave mask when I have to because you all let me know I am not walking this unwanted path alone.

        • Rebecca,
          No, you are NOT alone. We’ve got your back. Excellent way of putting things. Thank you for stating things so well. Lots of love and hugs to you and your family.

        • Rebecca, you’ve said exactly what I’m feeling. Thank you.

          I was married 23 years. 4 years now since DDay, and the Decree Absolute was January 2019, yet I still feel the pain and hurt, and wonder if I always will.

          God, I hope not. Now there is some hope/moves towards lifting of Covid restrictions I’m pinning all my faith on gaining a life, but I think there will always be the sheer stabbing pain of betrayal lurking. Sigh.

          • My dday was 16 years ago and I cant remember what the pain felt like anymore. It was Godawful for a long time, but no more. I still live in the house he bought (its nice) during wreckonciliation…a few minutes ago, I was swinging on the swingset looking at the beautiful sky and remarking to myself that I own a forest.

            Im happy and life is good

          • I’m similar, 20yrs married he left to live with her at the beginning of lockdown March 20. I managed to get the divorce sorted quickly all done in 6 months. Then I caught COVID and was at deaths door. Now is not a great time to see a future, my life was turned upside down, then COVID gave it a great big stir. I was doing ok, got through the 12 month mark, then from nowhere dreamt about him leaving me. It’s really sent me off kilter, so I came here to reassure myself it’s ok.

      • On the one-year anniversary of DDay, my MIL announced to me (via text) that it had been a year, and I should be over it already.

        I was married to her FW-son for 35 years.

        Also, how she thinks she has a pulse on my emotional state is a puzzle to me. I’m NC with her and her cheater son. Unless, of course, by “get over it” she means the resumption of relations with the two of them, which is SO narcissistic.

        • Ugh. Not one single one of fucktard’s family ever reached out to me in any way, they totally ghosted me.

          But at least I never had to try and deal with that kind of mindfuckery from them. Hugs, hun. Xx

    • What an entitled twat.

      Here’s the nut: [ We hit an impasse concerning transparency (how much KK can or is willing to contribute.) ]
      If she truly wanted to pay, she would have settled this without an in-person. These masters of chaos always want to change the rules/plan/agreement in midstream. The in-person was a ruse for more abuse.

      Always the false narrative: “a happy, united front.”
      [ I tried to return to the college financing topic. ] That was not her topic.
      Always the disordered vampire.

      “The conversation is over. Let me know what you’re willing to co-sign for.”
      A perfect ending to her manipulations. She thought she had the fish on the hook but Oh No! Her ass is burnt.

      Well done UX.

      • I think KK is so determined to drag UX into this “happy, united front” bullshit because what she actually wants is an opportunity to parade her ‘union’ with the Chlorine special/carrot singer/purple dildo in front of his face, and rub his nose in it, hoping he’ll squirm.

        As you say, if she really wanted to pay, she would do so, without all this fucked malarkey.

        What a revolting piece of work she is. UX is steadfast, and how she hates it. ????????

        • That may be a very small part of it. I think it has more to do with the fact that, apparently, the Chlorine Special and his ex get along fabulously . . . as in, they do holidays and life events for his boys all together as “one big extended family.” (They even all went on a 2-week trip to Israel in 2019, and KK was furious that I wouldn’t give up my first choice of vacation weeks and allow our daughters to join them. I took the girls to Europe instead.)

          She blames this entirely on me (of course), but I think there’s a part of her that’s oh so afraid of the world thinking that the animosity between us may be in large part due to her — which it is — that she wants to mitigate perception damage. She can’t bear the thought of anyone “catching on” that she’s a fuckwit.

          So no — I don’t think she’s especially interested in parading anything in front of me. I think it’s part jealousy that CS is on good terms with his ex, and partly another means of triangulation. If she and my daughter (and maybe CS) can all get me in a room together, maybe I’ll succumb to any steadfastness I have about being financially responsible about college, and not simply roll over to whatever they think is best.

          • I think you’ve got it spot on, UX.

            How frustrated that poor cow must be at your refusal to play her facile games. More power to tour elbow, sir! ????????????

          • UX, my take is a much simpler explanation: she’s disordered.

            Disordered people by definition don’t operate in the world like healthy normal adults.

            Bravo for your “the conversation is over” response to her crabby toddler-like behavior.

    • Good for you, UX! 5 years and you are fuckwit free in the head. You didn’t succumb at all. We’re all proud of you. And of course, want to emulate you.

    • That’s an inspiring tale, Ux. My own heart started beating faster at the end, so I was impressed by your cool. I’m going to channel that – engine and music in my own little bubble – should the need ever arise. Here’s to hoping it won’t, but it’s a small circle.

      • Yes exactly.

        I didn’t have CL in real time, but I accepted who he was and that he was not going to change after giving him a chance that lasted one week. He hadn’t changed, he was just manipulating me for his own purpose. Luckily I figured it out pretty quickly.

        After that I knew he would never change, and I could accept it because I knew I couldn’t change either. I could never do to anyone what he did to me, I couldn’t change that about me any more than he could change who he was/had become (doesn’t really matter which) It was always part of his character or he couldn’t have done it.

  • Omg; I can answer this for all of us.
    He was 40 years of my life, I was a great wife, talented in our business and basically framed his entire existence. At 60; after a year grooming his young (36) SAHMM neighbour; together they put both their families in the blender. She was working in our business and they were both as nasty as they could be. I endured intense character assassination and hatred. I knew the day I walked; I would always be better off. I would thrive and he would dive. Remember the Lola Doctrine: cheaters always trade down!
    I have continued to work in that business, my surname change is official this week, my divorce will be granted 11 May 2021.
    I set myself a task! To practice resonance! Because resonance is positive and creates change. Dissonance is negative and pulls you down.
    Each one of us is a far better person. Put your hand on your heart, stand strong and look to your new bright horizon. It isn’t easy; sometimes we need our tribe to help us! BUT YOU WILL!
    I took a 6 month contract in January; & you buys her daily coffee from the business where I work! Legs Open!
    She started coming I asking questions about me. My entire workforce protected and supported me. I decided I had to rise up and face it. The shit show has nothing to do with the business where I work. I decided I would step up and serve her. It actually rattled her. She rings to place her order and as I answer the phone she hangs up (I know her number).
    She has been gone from my Ex Husband’s life now for 3 & a half years. She will be a histrionic idiot till the day she dies & so will he.
    I’ve sold my business, bought a commercial building to start a new business; I’ve retrained as a Clinical Nutritionist. My life has joy and it’s full.
    My advice: stand tall and proud and stare them down. You are so much more!

    • My second daughter gets married tomorrow and I will walk her to the start of her new chapter. I will stand proud and strong. I will never slink into a room like a beaten dog (he does!); I need never feel deep shame about my actions.
      I have to face my Ex regularly, I am active and visible in my community. I will always have to share space with him, within my 3 adult daughter’s lives.
      My sacred space is my heart. You can lose everything but only you, can give you away! Never give it away!
      He is as deep as a puddle; his life is empty, fake and soulless. THATS NO LEGACY TO LEAVE!

  • OW dumped my ex (cheated on him) after three years and then rented a house further up the mountain at the back of my house for her and her new BF. My Nigerian friend had the one and only little bar/café in the village and I would occasionally see OW there downing her 1 litre bottle of whiskey. The good thing is I was often coming home from work so was dressed up and had make-up on and she always looked like she’d just come out of the cow shed. She was 13 years younger than me but a real dog. I was 51 when he left and she was 38 BUT it was great seeing her again not so long again as she hit 50 and I actually asked my friend if she was pregnant because she’d piled the pounds on – menopause I guess. Wonder how she’s enjoying that. I just used to stick my nose in the air and ignore her – she was definitely uncomfortable around me though. I’ve written this before but one time, before the divorce, I spotted my ex in the ho-bar in town so as I’d just come back from the theatre and was dressed up I decided to go in there and have a look at “the competition” as I’d never seen her (that’s when I realized he’d shacked up with a dog. She saw me immediately and ran out the door. It felt pretty good I can tell you!

    • Very likely the pregnant look is liver bloat from drinking. We alcoholics don’t age well if we don’t get sober.

      On the other hand, the years fall off your face if you stop drinking. There is no downside to sobriety and not drinking is the best kept anti-aging beauty secret I know.

      Mr. X’s Craigslist Sole Mate is likely a practicing alcoholic and though eleven years younger than me, this would definitely make her a lower companion.

      But some people prefer being anesthetized, so maybe she’s his “sole mate” after all.

    • Longtime lurker, here.

      If it’s one thing that rubs me wrong on this site, it’s the snarking on people’s weight, beauty/lack thereof and age.

      I understand why people do it, but it rubs me the wrong way all the same.

      • I understand the desire/urge, but it bothers me too sometimes. I like how the Lola Doctrine defines ‘trading down’ not in terms of appearance, income, status, etc, but strictly in terms of shitty character and actions that reflect that.

      • This may not be the site for you.

        This is a place where hurt and healing betrayed spouses can be themselves and say what they need to say.

        • Thanks, Susie Lee, but I’ve been on this site for a few years – I’ll make the decision whether it’s right for me or not. I’ve found a lot of hope and healing here, and I don’t think that mocking people or otherwise undercutting them because of their weight, appearance, job, race, lack of hair, age, economic status, etc. is useful.

          Just mock them for being assholes.

          • Glad you found help and healing. And just as you make the decision on what is right for you, so will others.

            I hope folks will speak their mind here, just as you have.

            It is not up to you or me to tell others what speech they can use for their own healing.

            • Right, and I certainly can’t imagine telling anyone that “This isn’t the site for them,” just because I disagree with something they say. Unless they’re an OW or OM or someone who wants to peddle RIC crap – then, yes, this isn’t the site for them.

              Also, saying that something “bothers me” is not the same as telling people what speech to use. It bothers me because I wonder if snarking about people’s weight, baldness/thinning hair, health issues, low-income neighborhoods, job status, etc., hurts others on the site.

              • I take what I want from the blog and leave the rest. A few times I’ve read comments and felt a sting ???? of personal attack. Like a hand reached out of my device and slapped me.And then realize they have a right to their opinion and experience, just as I do.

                I wrote in my journal this week “I may not be a genius or great beauty but you know what else I’m not ? A doormat.”

            • I said this may not be the site for you, not I didn’t say it wasn’t the site for you.

              Also I apologize if I misunderstood you, I took “Just mock them for being assholes.” as telling someone how they should respond to their situation.

              I will always stand for the betrayed. It is not up to me to determine what language or emotions are useful to them. Many of us have been bad mouthed, and stolen from, by not only our FWs, but also their accomplices. The fact that a BS holds the AP responsible for their part does not mean we don’t hold the FW responsible.

              For me I sucked it up and kept my mouth shut, wish I had access to a forum like this to get out my frustrations in real time. I did have a close friend and my brother, so that helped. And that is what CN is for many BS’s a close friend, they can let loose to.

              • “I take what I want from the blog and leave the rest. A few times I’ve read comments and felt a sting ???? of personal attack. Like a hand reached out of my device and slapped me.And then realize they have a right to their opinion and experience, just as I do.”

                Exactly SPBAS. I am old now and the girls are sagging a bit, (wish I was 40 again) so I get a twinge every once in a while by a comment. But, it isn’t about me, it is about a hurting betrayed person trying to claw their way back to feeling human again.

      • I’m no oil painting and I could do with losing 40 lbs myself but she’s still fat-ankled skank in my view! Sorry if it offends you!

        • Yep, the skank in my case was a short fat little troll. I mean it is what it is. If it offends someone, they can just be offended.

          I think it takes a lot of gall to come to a site specifically designed as a forum for betrayed and destroyed spouses to talk openly etc, and try to police their words. But that is just my opinion and they have theirs.

      • I agree with you about the appearance, size and other name-shaming.

        I ignore it when I come across it as I think everyone has their own path to healing.

        Hope you can do the same and focus on the responses that help you!

        In my case the other woman is attractive, keeps herself in shape and is smart.

        I believe she has a psychological issue to be in public for so many years with her affair partner and his wife and kids. But I don’t care or think much about her at all.

        My issue is and always will be about the man who made and broke his promises and vows.

        • This is not just to Rebecca but to all:

          When they are terribly hurt by infidelity, it’s pretty understandable that chumps find negative things to say about their cheating Xs and the APs. Some of those things involve looks, education, career, body type and character. I always read that as a stage that chumps go through, when they are focused on “Why is he/she better than I am?” and “What does Cheater see in the AP?” and “Why wasn’t I enough?”

          At least for me, when I started recovering from the trauma, I wasn’t focused on any aspect of MOW’s appearance, character or financial situation. I think it took me about a year to get there, and I wasn’t married to Jackass.

          I get it why some people here are offended by comments on APs’ appearance. I do not, however, think those comments represent a general attack on body type or appearance. And I hope we all err on the side of generosity toward the Chumps who haven’t got to Meh yet. It’s a long road and not an easy one.

          Just my opinion.

          • Susie and fellow chumps, in my opinion, trauma accomplices are open targets on this site.
            Beauty is is the eye of the beholder. We may love and find extreme beauty in our best friend who has same physical appearance as the cheating partner who helped bulldoze our life. We don’t hate imperfect physical appearance (we are imperfect), we hate the selfish fucks who inserted themselves into our life.
            In my case, the OW is extremely outwardly attractive and accomplished. I wish I could criticize superficial details about her.

            My friends with the most empathy have been fine with all kinds of terms that would generally offend them. But they get it. Those with less empathy or attachments to cheaters they made excuses for in their own life, tried to tone down my language.
            I have found that any close person who judged the expression of my pain, or made unhelpful comments, had a family member or friend etc. who had one point in their life been a cheater. Then it’s like they took my opinions personally.
            Just as speakers such as Tony Robbins use inflammatory language for effect in their seminars, chumps say what they want to get their message across. It’s not really about judging physical appearance ….that’s just surface talk.
            Besides the point, but I really don’t get being offended by comments about the cheating partner’s age? So many women ( like me) are left for younger women….and society discriminates against older people not younger….

            • I agree with all.

              In my case I remember wishing the OW had been a 20 year old hottie, or even a 35 year old hottie, because in my mind I could have understood that. (though I now realize, it would have hurt the same) But, when she turned out to be a visually unappealing woman with obviously low morals, I was kind of left thinking WTH.

              But, she was his employee, I am sure she knew her craft as he was not her first married man rodeo. Nor do I think she was his first whore. I am guessing she was the first one he could not easily dump, given him being her boss. I am also guessing he enjoyed the sense of power in the situation. I am pretty sure I know (after the fact) when it first started, Hindsight revealed the red flags, and also he was having a ball, and strutting around like a peacock. He was also until the last few months with me, having great sex with me, Trust me I didn’t have to beg.

              When I first met her I honestly didn’t think she looked horrible. Just an overweight middle age woman, with a reasonable pleasant face. But, she turned ugly fast when I found out what was going on.

              Then I pretty much (in real time) deleted her from my mind and she just became the last whore standing.

              She became an object to me with no right to any respect from me. Because after all, that is how they treated me. It was my way of coping. I didn’t feel any obligation to show any respect, in fact any acknowledgement at all to the whore. Given I didn’t have CL, or any other resources to understand how really common they both were, it worked for me.

              I had to deal with the whoremonger, and get my legal separation in place, so I had to deal with him.

              So yes betrayed are going through hell, if a few arrows (that don’t hit the target) slung at the whore/whoremongers makes them feel better; more power to them. I think CN acts as sort of a safe haven and best friend for a lot of folks.

              Given many situations of BS’s, they can’t say anything in public because they are in such a dangerous tenuous situation. So getting it out on this forum can help them a lot.

        • MrWonderful hooked up with OW of all types. When I first discovered, I would look at the pics of them and focus on how I was better than them – younger, thinner, smarter, etc. But in time, none of the descriptors mattered. And that is why I don’t focus on them now. If I feel I must describe the OW based on their looks, I feel like I am then trying to tell myself repeatedly that I should have won the pick me dance. If I describe the OW that way, I am in fact still pick me dancing and telling myself that I am the winner.

          Some of his OW knew he was married. Others didn’t. In my mind, those who knew are in the category of people lacking character and morals. But ultimately, I am better off removing FW/klootzak (still giggle at that word) from my life because I don’t want to wake up every day and spend my life with someone who lacks character and morals and is an abusive person. I couldn’t care less what OW he runs off into the sunset with or what they look like. It’s irrelevant.

          Those chumps who use such language are still expressing hurt. They are still struggling maybe with not having been the chosen one. It’s like little kids whose feelings are hurt on the playground and punch back with, “Oh yeah? Well… you’re ugly!” That kind of thinking might help one self-soothe at first but when one is growing in getting a life, they move beyond it. Or I hope so.

          • ‘ It’s like little kids whose feelings are hurt on the playground and punch back with, “Oh yeah? Well… you’re ugly!”
            That’s a really condescending and patronizing comment. Apples to oranges.
            Feelings hurt on the playground is not anywhere near a family being destroyed, financial loss and your children scarred for life…. I could go on and on… all from the person you gave your heart and years to, and trusted the most in the world.
            It’s perfectly fine and legit to be put off by comments about looks. I’m sure most of these chumps would never even talk about looks in a different context.
            But personally I laugh a little each time I read one of my fellow chumps in this context use « rat faced whore. »
            I just wish the chumps who don’t like it would stop judging and using pop psychology to analyze why some chumps choose to pick on the looks or status or whatever… of the person who was a co-conspirator in their abuse. It’s one thing to not like it and say so, it’s another to sound superior.

            It’s Chump Lady’s site and she doesn’t seem to mind.

            Many chumps feel we have earned the right to use our words against the cheating partner -in this anonymous place designed for us. It doesn’t involve the OW or OM -they are not invited here to read what we think.
            In other words let chumps be snarky towards people who helped abuse them, but how about chumps stop judging other chumps?
            The OW/OM don’t read our comments. But we read your comments. I think chumps have been judged enough by their FW.
            Please keep your analysis of the chumps emotional maturity, moralizing and hand slapping to yourself.
            My 2 cents.

            • Thank you Zip, I wanted to say something, but decided I would likely mess it up.

              I absolutely love “rat faced whore” For me not because of the whore, but it describes exactly how after a single incident I viewed my ex FW. He just looked like a big rat. That was huge for me. It was like I was saying to my self “really Susie, this is who you lost, you are so lucky”

              As for the whores many of us suffered the indignities of them coming into our homes, sitting at our tables at work Christmas parties (????‍♀️) We know our FWs and their whores talked horrible about us, stole money from us, attempted to turn our children against us. etc. A big salute to all FWs and the dirty azzed whores they rode in on (????).

      • Most cheaters/affair partners tend to be quite pleased with themselves and whether deliberate or not attempt to make the chump feel beneath them or bad about themselves. I believe when chumps make remarks on the cheater or affair partners looks, age, weight, etc. it is more along the lines of calling them out or setting their delusional asses straight. They are not trying to offend anyone but the cheaters.

      • Is it offensive to say someone’s beautiful?

        I would never say to a person, “you’re ugly” (unless it was the rat faced whore????????), but not to acknowledge that some people are more attractive than others strikes me as rather silly.

  • At first it was hard; lots of gritted teeth, short conversations, and very little interactions.

    But time helps. Now 4-ish years out, I can see what a numbskull she is and how contrived her life is. She no longer scares me.

    I can walk (or call) rt up, discuss what needs to be talked about and move on.

    So, hang in there. Keep moving. Someday you’ll can’t understand why you even started dating in the first place.

    That’s what this is all about!

  • One thought–sometimes meh is not truly possible, especially if your EX was violent. I am fortunate to have a sister-in-law who cheerfully tags along to graduations and other big events where my EX might be present. This happens less than once a year as my EX doesn’t do much parenting, but I am grateful to my sister-in-law for being willing to do this anytime I ask.

    Her role is to head him off if he tries to talk with me, make sure I don’t have to walk back to the car alone, speak up and say “I’m recording this conversation EX,” or otherwise make it clear to him that he cannot use the child’s event to threaten or intimidate me because she is serving as witness. My EX likes drama. He would have no compunctions about making a scene and blaming me (See, kids, your Mom ruined graduation!), but, so far, he has found it impossible to pull this stunt when my sister-in-law is there. And since she is a great aunt to the kids at many other occasions as well, he cannot make a persuasive case that she shouldn’t be there. Complaining about the kids having relatives cheering for them makes him look like a jackass even in the kids’ eyes–they know she is my friend and does lots of things with me and for them on ordinary days of the week (unlike him).

    An additional plus is that I don’t have to sit alone at these big, life events, something I still find hard in my very family-oriented community where most people arrive in multi-generational groups of 4-10 to cheer on a kid at a soccer game (pre-Covid days!).

    • This is a mighty win. A SIL who has your back and is there for you and your kids. Hugs – violence against partners (or ex-partners) is too common and real.

  • UX, I think you handled that *brilliantly*. (not sure why you felt meeting her would do any good, though).

    Well, as you note, the Kunty Kibbler (*love* that name????) behaved according to form. What’s amazing to me is that, after *5* years, *she* is still attempting to triangulate, and scoop up kibbles.

    Given that, perhaps you should try to put things on a legal basis? I’m in the UK, so don’t know how American law works, but I would think, as your daughters mother, she has a legal obligation to contribute to their education. Perhaps a lawyer’s letter emphasising that might finally shut down her shenanigans?

    Best if luck.

    • In the US, neither parent can be required to contribute to their kid’s college education (I had my ex’s contribution written into our divorce settlement in order to be able to legally enforce it). If the non-custodial parent will not contribute, the kiddo needs to apply to FAFSA-only colleges in the US if financial aid is needed; many of the privates, however, require the CSS and then you have to get the ex to submit financial aid paperwork, taxes, etc. for the ex and any new spouse (and even then the college will expect a contribution from the ex that cannot be legally compelled).

      • Yes. Get it written into the divorce.

        We have an agreement in the settlement, and XW is paying her share of current costs, but I am sure she wouldn’t if it weren’t in the divorce. XW has since stated that the settlement is unfair because my parents have more money than hers (doubtful) and will pay for our kids’ college costs (definitely not true). They will always find a way to argue that they’re not responsible, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone except themselves. Get it in writing.

        • They always find a way to cast themselves as the ones getting screwed…just not the way they actually were getting screwed!

          My ex ended up with more than 50% of the marital assets (because of a strategic choice I made about selling him the house, that I made as, and consider the price of, freedom) but thinks he was hard done by because I took a very small bite out of his retirement fund ($5 thousand!).

          • Right? My ex got all the marital property, the investment properties, the River property, the boat, the car etc and I got a small apartment sized house that was worth about forty thousand dollars. But, yet he got screwed.

            He came off really well in the settlement, and he knows it; I am ok with that because I got what I needed; but dang these guys are nasty.

            Oh and he and schmoops after they married within a few years racked up over 250 thousand dollars in gambling debts, had to file bankruptcy and lost their house. I guess that was my fault too. He could have become a millionaire had he played his finances right, but he chose to try to get rich quick.

            • I’ve known people to go bust from gambling and I don’t get it. I’ve never been a gambler but it does not take a genius to work out why Las Vegas casinos and here in the UK why bookmakers never go out off business and are on every UK street corner…… the house never loses!

              • Yep, and it honestly confounded me. I really don’t know schmoops, but I would have never thought he would be that stupid. His sister told me a few weeks ago that she (schmoops) loved gambling too, and she did a lot of online gambling, so who knows. Either way I am glad I was not in the mix of it.

                I went to Las Vegas a couple time with my now H, once for work the other time to meet his brother and wife there. Both times I bought 20 dollars worth of nickles, lost them and spent the rest of the time people watching and walking around with my sister in law.

                Our husbands gambled a little more, but not a lot. Neither of them are big gamblers.

              • Viva Las Vegas ! It’s such a unique (bizarre, IMO) place I’m glad I experienced it once.

  • I walked over to my favorite fancy coffee shop/italian bakery around the corner from my house. As I’m about to enter I glance over at the outdoor patio and see that OW (now 2nd wife) is sitting there with another person. I turned around and walked in the other direction. I still wish I had just gone in and gotten my g-d iced coffee. It felt like a failure to let her ruin the treat I’d been looking forward to all day! Minor in the grand scheme of things – no hair pulling or police lol – but still a reminder that I’m not completely MEH.

    • You were caught off guard and did very well protecting yourself. You can make a plan and rehearse for next time! I’m giving you an A+ and a gold star.

      • ????

        Yep, you do the4 best you can, then do better as time goes on.

        Honestly, I only saw my ex fw a few times through the years at grandchildrens events etc. The last time was at my granddaughters high school graduation. They were already there sitting my my son, I sat with my husband in front of my son. I nodded a Hi, and never looked at them again. They were acting like asses as they are (nothing to do with me).

        Honestly, my son said later he was just enduring, as he was embarrassed by them. I don’t know if she brought him down to her level, or if he was always at that level (I suspect that) but they definitely deserved each other.

        I don’t think we ever have to even acknowledge them again if that is part of our meh. In my case through the years, I would always nod or say Hi. Schmoops would usually respond, but he wouldn’t even look at me if he could avoid it. He was enmeshed in the stink he had created.

        I never had any desire to carry on a conversation with either of them.

    • I feel like this too… that THEY (Stunted XH and OW) don’t deserve to be in public spaces. I know that is not true and so I’m not at meh, but I feel you. I too, however, avoid places where I see them first and they don’t see me sometimes.

      • Again, that is excellent self protection. Walking away and not engaging takes a LOT of strength and it’s the number one best way to respond according to what I learned in domestic violence prevention courses. Infidelity is top level provocation which all too often results in homicide or suicide.
        You get an A+ and a gold star for walking away.

        • VH, do you have links to statistics about infidelity and suicide? Divorce, major life transitions, early-life trauma, etc. are frequently cited as risk factors, but not infidelity. I found this surprising and did a little bit of internet “research”; turns out, there’s not much out there, at least that I could find. (And why are all infidelity studies on college kids? Sucks to be cheated on, but it’s not the same as being chumped.). I did find a few articles that made me wonder whether ‘divorce’ often means ‘major betrayal/abuse/infidelity resulting in divorce.’ My gut says yes, but I really have no idea. Any insight appreciated.

          • I wonder how data would be compiled for such a study. Suicide notes mentioning the infidelity would have to be collected. ????

          • B&R:

            There is older data on women who found out their husbands were transvestites, that show a 2-3% mortality rate. That’s for suicide in the first 5 years after Dday.

            The real mortality rate of betrayal is much higher, in my view, because partners
            get seriously ill from the stress. Immune disorders and cancer.

            This used to be researched but now is not because it is considered too judgy. God forbid we judge anyone for anything. Even though it isn’t X behavior, it is keeping a secret sexual life from your partner and all the resulting lies and betrayals associated with that. Plus, of course, the DARVOing and contempt, finding out you didn’t even understand your own life, and were despised and betrayed instead of loved and protected. Dante put people who betrayed those who loved them in the lowest rung of hell for a reason.

          • I can’t cite statistics and they don’t matter to me because one suicide or homicide related to infidelity is too many.

            Googling “homicide infidelity” or “suicide infidelity” turns up lots of reading material on the subject.

            I learned here that the feelings I had after being cheated on were common. It’s not hard for me to believe that there are a lot of people that acted on them. Thankfully by the grace of God I have not.

            There is a difference between being cheated on and being chumped? I don’t understand what that means.

            • I wonder if that means being chumped is having your resources used, being abused etc is being chumped, while being cheated on like a college boyfriend/girlfriend might, with no combined resourses etc wouldn’t be chumped.

              Not saying I agree, just wonder if that it what it means.

              I do think there has to be a big difference between being cheated on before marriage/cohabitation where the lives are intermingled for a long time and a dating situation, where they have not co mingled lives to any large degree yet.

              • My uni magazine interviewed a former football and lacrosse star (he was a bmoc-big man on campus) in a recent issue. I remember this man had a girlfriend and at least one side piece, E., a friend of a friend. She was playing the “pick me dance” hard. She contracted pelvic inflammatory disease from bm. She never married or had children. His girlfriend did though, with another man.

  • I see my ex running from time to time because we’re both runners and we only live a few miles apart. When I moved out I wanted my kids (they’re not his) to stay in their school.

    Ex was always very conflict avoidant and was overly concerned with being seen as a nice and stand up guy. Except he was neither….he was nasty and passive aggressive and would then play dumb because he was too much of a coward to own anything. He was also trash who kept his 5 times married ex gf on the side our entire relationship and lied through his teeth about everything, then threatened ME with divorce when I wouldn’t just let it go.

    Needless to say I took him up on the offer, which it turned out he didn’t really want, but I digress.

    Ex is unaccustomed to being called out on his shit because he’s so phony and likes to play dumb. One day we were running towards each other but the sun was in my eyes so I didn’t realize it was him. I crossed the street….it was a small residential street, because Covid had become a thing and we were all giving each other space.

    When he realized I’d just crossed the street he gave me one of his nasty fuck you laughs that he would usually follow up with playing dumb and asking how you are in his phony, full of shit way. Well this time I wasn’t in the mood for his shit so I flipped him off and said quite loudly “why don’t you fuck right off”.

    Coward turned his head away and kept going. Of course later on I got a text telling me that he still cares about me and doesn’t understand my anger and hostility. Then he wished me a nice day.

    Ha ha ha….phony shitty toupee wearing conflict avoidant passive aggressive coward MO. I laughed the rest of the day and told my gf’s all about it….everyone got a good laugh. They all know who he is.

    • Well played.

      “…he still cares about me and doesn’t understand my anger and hostility.”

      Why do they all seem so fucking clueless?

      • He’s not that clueless. It’s part of his MO of being a prick followed by playing dumb and wishing you a nice day. This way he can try to maintain a nice guy image by pointing out that he wished you a nice day and he has no idea why you’d be upset.

        I have it on good authority that he doesn’t fool as many people as he thinks. LOL.

      • Mine told me the same thing two nights ago. Apparently he has a bad memory and cannot remember or outright denied many incidents I reminded him of. Whatever.

        • It’s Over when you say it is. You call the shots now and you don’t have to take any more abuse. No amount of reason will get through to a lying cheater, and you will continue to hear the same word salad as long as you give it space. Do you really believe that FW has to be reminded of the betrayals and broken promises, or is something else going on? (Manipulation, blame shifting, gaslighting, etc.) I’m not saying this critically, I’m only saying it because I was in your position very recently and it was extremely painful and still haunts me. Sounds like you’re doing a good job getting out of it, and I hope you’re able to cut contact sooner than I was. Hang in there!

    • “always very conflict avoidant and was overly concerned with being seen as a nice and stand up guy. Except he was neither….he was nasty and passive aggressive and would then play dumb because he was too much of a coward to own anything.”

      Kim, your ex sounds exactly like my STBX. I would have described him the same way. I got chills reading your post. They are such fucked up people. Looking forward to being away and free of my disordered spouse.

      • I’m 2 1/2 years out from being free of mine and my only regret is that I didn’t get rid of him sooner.

        My boys and I do whatever we want and don’t worry about offending his highness.

        I feel kind of bad for him now. He’s so surface and phony that he’s unable to bond with anyone…..I imagine it’s a lonely way to live.

        And he’s alone. He has one self absorbed daughter who has her own family; she was always kind of snotty to me and excluded me from things but also cried when I left…..probably because she doesn’t want him bothering her.

        He has a couple of brothers on the opposite coast and his dad who’s almost 93.

        He’s so stupid. If he’d treated me better he’d have me and my boys; they are now 20 and almost 18 and have nothing to do with him. His whore lives in another state so he has to be content with texts and phone calls and an occasional visit where she no doubt lies to her hb.

        Oh well….I guess it saves him viagara money ????

    • I have one of those, Got what you wanted but don’t want what you got. He asked for the divorce, when I filed he COULD NOT BELIEVE that I went to a lawyer (even though he went to one first) and I walked out on his ass within three weeks. As he claimed, I took every living thing from the house – kids and dog. No I didn’t, I left the house plants, which he eventually killed.

      • The ex told me he’d move me and the kids out and he had better not come home to a gdamed empty house. It was only half empty when we finally left.I mistakenly met with him soon after leaving but prior to me having everything go through attorneys and he talked “at” me for his standard two hour hostage speeches. He said he had a conversation with a guy complaining about his life. The ex tried to one up him and proceeded to tell me that he told him, “That was nothing. My wife left me and I have nothing because she took everything I owned.” I thought really??? You are talking to me…about me….and it is a flat out lie.

      • Mine woke me up to ask for a divorce on May 1 then looked stunned when after months of inaction I filed for divorce myself in mid-July. Then and only then did Nitwit think to suggest marriage counseling. I don’t think he liked shrinks. Certainly the one he went to seemed to see through his antics and repeatedly told me not all abuse is physical. But faced with the possibility of having to do his own laundry and taxes he decided it was worth it. Except he was no longer the one in control. I had already decided I could not and no longer wanted to save my marriage.

        Thank God for his hesitancy about MC. It saved me from being sucked into the RIC as many chumps on here were.

        “A divorce is what you wanted and a divorce is what you’re getting” became my new mantra-like response to anything he said to try to hoover me back in.

        • “Except he was no longer the one in control. I had already decided I could not and no longer wanted to save my marriage.”
          This is key. Love your mantra, too.

          • Thanks. I got it from the novel “Ladies’ Night” by Mary Kay Andrews. It’s pretty much the fiction version of LACGAL. A bunch of (mostly) female chumps do some very un-Meh things to their cheating spouses and are sent to counseling by a misogynistic family court judge and bond over the experience. As a mystery it’s only okay but spot-on characterization of cheaters and chumps.

    • My cheater is EXACTLY the same with the nice guy fraud act! Of course being a covert narc he actually believes he’s a nice guy.

      His favorite go to response is “good for you”. Said not in a sarcastic tone, but a narc “I’m a nice guy” I am supportive of all grand time.

      Hard to describe right, it’s just so false and off putting. Everything is this weird generic greeting. Robotic like he has memorized a few social sayings and chooses a response from a drop down box.

      • Yes! To all of this. Mine is the SAME way. Always with the fake nice guy – “I hope you’re well.” etc. etc. He has so many people snowed including himself. But, there are also more people that see thru it now and have no time for him. Lifelong friends have said no more.
        It’s been just over two months since I’ve had to see him in person. I’m not looking forward to the day we run into each other…. I’ve been successful in not responding to his attempts at contact thanks to Chump Lady and all of you!

        • Mine was a “nice guy” too! It just makes me cringe, if only people knew what he’s really like!

          In our relationship with he would never say anything that could be explicitly be seen as objectively insulting. Instead he was a king in silent treatments and circular argumentation. This kept me in it for a long time, as I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt and thought he just may be shy etc, *because he seemed so nice*. -__-

          Today the idea of running into him is so repulsive that I actually try avoiding his neighbourhood as much as possible (and my best friends live there, which kinda sucks). He’s probably got a new baby by now with a random woman he got pregnant just months after wanting one with me – and imagining seeing this baby kind of adds to the trauma, I have to admit.

      • F&L – I know what you mean that the covert narc nice-guys are really hard to describe. What they do (or don’t do) looks perfectly reasonable to anyone else, and it’s easy to look as if you’re the crazy or bitter one if you react against it. I know that my greatest battle now is to really keep a hold of myself around him and people who know him so that I don’t provide ammunition to be used against me.

        This “nice guy” has never admitted to his affair (and that there was more than one but the OW he left for was the one that lasted the longest) and still maintains that they were only ever friends. Yet, I have the binder full of emails from his secret email account with OW that proves his affair, but I have never told him about it because it’s given me a lot of edge with knowing when he lies. People aren’t there when he tells me that he has no money and rhymes off a long list of things he’s given up in order to make ends meet, but then I learn how he went on a trip to Vegas the week later (we live in Canada). People don’t notice that he never thanks me for anything (occasionally for something minor but never acknowledges anything major), nor says happy birthday to me on the days that he has seen me to do a kid drop off (nor wished me a happy Mother’s Day when I got the kids from him).

        But, I’m aware of all the mirco-aggressions. I see the man behind mask, and he knows it too.

        It’s been a lot of work in counselling (and still working on it) to reach a point where I stay grounded and treat him with the civility I would accord any acquaintance I know. Time has helped and life has gone really well. There is much to be grateful for. If there was a “winner” to be declared in this whole mess, it would be me in terms of having retained the respect of everyone we know, including my in-laws and his own friends whose wives have remained my friends. When I need to see him at drop-offs or pick-ups I psyche myself up with all the ways my life is good so that I am in a really good state of mind when I see him.

        If he were truly happy with himself and his life choices, he would be able to be decent and humble. Three years since he’s left, I assume he is still with the OW. The kids never see her (there was a few months about 1.5 years ago that he tried a handful of play dates with OW). His family have never met her. The friend’s wives say their husbands rarely see him and never say if he talks about OW. One of them has told me that the only thing that her husband has ever said is, “Boy did he really fuck up his life. Glad that OptionNoMore is happy and looking great. She should be.”

        I have never run into this woman or the two of them together. Don’t know what would happen, but I’m sure that I would stand very tall and look this woman right in the eye to see if she could even look at me. I’ve debated whether I would say, “Hi, I’m the wife that was at home with the kids every time he went out to have his fun. I hear that that fun was you.” However, I mostly figure why bother with anything at all. Beyond that.

  • Yes! About 2 months after my Sparkled*ck left me for his co worker schmoopie, I ran into them at an art festival that I attend every year without fail with my daughter and he brought her there. Weird thing was that they weren’t walking close, holding hands or even participating in anything. I don’t know if they saw me, but I ignored him and happily covered myself in chalk drawings while they looked like fake ass celebrity couple strangers, shades on a cloudy day and all. (My story was one of Chump Lady’s UBT’s “I made a list.”).

  • I don’t run into my ex cheaterspouse, but I do happen across him online sometimes. I don’t use my real name online so it is easy to sidebar and retreat.

    I do run into other exes, though, and here’s a thing nobody has said yet: Job 1 is to practice kind, forgiving thoughts toward yourself for feeling that terrible feeling that arises when it happens.

    I think one of the biggest battles we fight in this kind of scenario is expecting a lot more neutrality from ourselves than is reasonable given the kind of harm we have endured. Of COURSE I lose my shit a little when I’m around a known abuser! I SHOULD feel super terrible in that space! It isn’t any failure on my part that I feel incredibly bad to be around an ex. It makes absolute valid sense. We split up for real reasons.

    So if the first thing I do is forgive and validate myself for all the bad feelings I’m feeling, then it becomes a LOT easier to keep my head as I navigate the swim through the pool of horse shit it is to be around an a person who has harmed me, and maybe those I love, in the past. An abuser is the jerk, not me. I have nothing to be ashamed about, and I don’t owe that person one damn thing, including neutrality, and including remaining present.

    Take care of you. Your ex won’t, so it’s your task. Do what you need to do to take care of you as much as you can, and expect that you’ll feel awful and need processing time afterward. That’s reasonable and there’s no failure in it. ♥️

    • Amiisfree,

      Great advice. I especially appreciate this:

      “Job 1 is to practice kind, forgiving thoughts toward yourself for feeling that terrible feeling that arises when it happens.”

      I haven’t encountered my ex yet and dread the moment. I’ll try to hold my head high, as others have suggested, but I know I’ll feel terrible. And maybe I’ll ignore him or run to the bathroom or do any number of things that aren’t considered stereotypically “mighty.” I don’t know. Above all, I will try to forgive myself for whatever happens, knowing that it’s tough to encounter an abuser. If he’s with his OW, then I’m sure I will hate that even though I know cognitively that they are the ones who should feel “bad.”

    • Thank you for this post. I’m only at the beginning of the this but I think your post will be very helpful in the future. Especially this “ the first thing I do is forgive and validate myself for all the bad feelings I’m feeling, then it becomes a LOT easier”.

      Thank you.

    • EXACTLY.

      “Feeling nothing” is the specialty of cheaters.

      “Feeling nothing” takes a lot of time for someone whose emotional wiring is intact. And not quite ever getting there is normal too.

      I’ve achieved neutrality/feeling nothing with past boyfriends who cheated and it took a long time in those much less serious situations. It’s important for me to maintain realistic expectations of myself in this one. I’d LOVE to feel nothing right now but that’s just not reality. And my feelings have nothing to do with loving him or wanting to be with him. I don’t. They have everything to do with being in the presence of someone who abused me, assaulted me, attacked me, and soul-murdered me in a huge way. And hurt my child!

      I may never achieve “feeling nothing” in this case and that’s OK.

      • VH,

        I’m with you on this!
        If “feeling nothing” never happens, then so be it.

        In my view, “meh” doesn’t mean “feel nothing.” You feel but can keep moving on.

        I can’t imagine a future where I’ll “feel nothing” if I bump into my ex. I moved to another state for many reasons: 1. to be near my kiddos, 2. to have a new start!, and 3. to minimize the chance that I would bump into him.


      • “In my view, “meh” doesn’t mean “feel nothing.” You feel but can keep moving on.”

        Exactly. As a BS many many years out, I don’t think I would want to be the person who feels nothing. I do believe my ex was the type of person who could cut off his feelings to do whatever he wanted. He spent the rest of his life post D, trying to buy some4thing to make himself happy. There is no indication he ever found “it”.

        I struggle with hurt now and again, just as my sweet H I am sure does over his ex hurting him. But, we have had a life of loving and living together for 26 years. I prefer folks who can feel.

  • I have so many stories of chance encounters… maybe because I live in a small town or maybe because Stunted XH just has no clue. It seems like I run into him or OW almost once a week… for some reason they always try to sneak into this one brewery where I meet girlfriends after workout class every week (on a night that Stunted XH has the kids too).

    But the best was last summer. For a couple months it seemed like I kept running into him all over town last summer, and I was so sick of trying to avoid him. Then one evening at like 7pm I was biking with the kids at an Open Space park – the only car in the lot. And who pulls up to this lot 4-5 miles out of town? Stunted XH and his AP/OW. She was dropping him off on his bike so he could ride back to town. Well, I just turned with my youngest and started biking away. Stunted XH came over and says, “Hi, Downtoearth.” Pause – then when I didn’t respond, rudely said, “I SAID HI! I know you heard me!” And I lost it on him… his condescension and all the times of him just acting like he did nothing wrong and the town is his got to me. So I quietly, but firmly said, “Oh, I heard you for sure. I was ignoring you. I don’t want to ever be around you, you can’t read my obvious social cues on that, so I’ll just tell you! I would be so happy if you just fell off the face of the earth. I’m so sick of you existing.”

    And then I rode away with my youngest – as Stunted XH yelled after, “Oh real mature to tell me to fall off the face of the earth.” I didn’t turn or look back, just kept riding. I regret that my youngest likely heard (was only 20-30 ft away), but I also appreciate that my kid didn’t seem to care to even say “hi” to his dad when he was having fun with me.

    So my story isn’t one of mighty no contact. But it felt so good. And somehow when Stunted XH or OW see me, they don’t approach or act like they belong in a place anymore. Sometimes OW slinks out now trying not to be noticed.

  • There was D day. We were living in a townhouse on a beautiful harbor in a foreign country, and we had just bought one of the penthouses in the same complex. He had gone back home for 10 days, and while he was away, I’d spent the time making the penthouse look gorgeous. I painted, changed knobs and repaired things… it was beautiful! He came home, announced that he was not happy, and moved up there with shmoopie, and they were just a courtyard away. They had floor to ceiling windows and I they would sit at the table late at night, talking late into the evenings. Then they’d turn off the kitchen lights, walk through the living room, turn those lights off, and adjourn to the bedroom. She would go to the window, hit the button, and the blinds would go down. It was the big moment of my day. Many nights I fell asleep watching.

    My brother was visiting from out of town on D day, so he knew all about it. (I had to tell him, it made me violently ill, and we had scheduled to do a glass-blowing workshop. We went to the workshop, but I was sick the whole time, running to the restroom to throw up. I blew a vase that was all black glass…)

    I called my brother after a week or so, and said, “I can’t take myself away from the window.” He said, “good, you need to watch or else you won’t believe it’s happening.”

    After D day, we had company scheduled to come from out of town; two batches. I couldn’t tell anyone that he left, or what was going on. I acted as if he was out of town.

    I finally told my daughters after 3 weeks. And then my mother. She invited me to come home and stay with her for a while, but I decided to stay where I was. I got busy. I went to a divorce recovery group right away. The facilitator there said, “how long have you been divorced?” I said, “oh, I’m not divorced.” But you’re planning a divorce? I said, “yes.” He said, “how long have you been planning it?” I said, “since Saturday night.” It was Monday night.

    I joined a church on Wednesday and while I was there, I joined two or three bible study groups that met at night. I signed up for a class at the local community college, at night, and I joined a few other groups. I had a group to go to every evening, and a few during the day.

    After a few months, there was Thanksgiving, and my daughters wanted me to come home, and my mother did, too. My mom said, “stay as long as you want.” The divorce financial stuff was looking kind of fishy, so I decided to go home and stay with my mom and work on it. It was good to be with my family.

    I stayed for three months. I found that I had a resistance to going back to my home. I couldn’t figure out what was causing the resistance, and one day while I was driving on the freeway, it came to me. I couldn’t go back because I didn’t know how it would all turn out. Would we ever get back together? I wanted to know that then. I wanted to know it before I went home. Could I dare to hope?

    Then, because I found the thought that was bothering me, I analyzed it. “Do I really want to know the future?” I asked myself. “Do I really want to know when I will die, and when all my loved ones will die?” No, I did not. “Is the future set in stone?” was the next question. And I reasoned that it was not. “Well how does the future come to be?” And the answer to that thought set me free… “The future is comprised of the tiny daily decisions that we make every single day, all day long.” I reasoned that even ex-man didn’t know the future. We would forge the future with our tiny, daily decisions. And we would see.

    So I went back home. I decided that I would “live largely.” I would not take into consideration where my ex and his woman might be at any given time. I would go wherever I wanted to go and I would shmooze around with whomever I pleased. I had done nothing wrong. I’d been a great wife. Always up for everything. Even-keeled, sweet natured, I had no regrets and there was no reason at all that he needed to leave and go get “his needs met.” I was highly sensual and I decided that I didn’t need a T-shirt to tell the world that, “Yes, he left me but the sex was good.” The world should not jump to any conclusions about what happened and why he left. And I would hold my head high, There was a pub there in the neighborhood that we always went to for dinner on our travel days. I wanted so much to go there. It was our tradition.

    So in the spirit of holding my head high, and forging the future with my tiny daily decisions, and going wherever I wanted to go, I decided to go. I don’t know why, but I took a shower, did my hair, and put on a new blouse and looked in the mirror and thought, “Good.” My mom called and said, “Did you make it home? I was thinking, you should go ahead and go to that pub!” And I was out the door.

    I sat at one of the long bars in the middle of the room. There was a man sitting next to me, and every now and then he would give me a glance. It was so good to be there! I was enjoying myself immensely, eating my favorite dish and drinking my favorite wine. The man’s girlfriend went to the ladies room, and he looked at me and said, “Hi, would you like to go out sometime?” And I said, “is that your girlfriend who just went to the restroom?” And he said “yes.” I just looked away.

    And right in that instant, my eyes, rather glazed by what had just happened, looking across the room, and found a face. I thought, “Now I might go out with THAT guy…” and as I looked, the face became familiar, and I realized it was my EX!!! I didn’t recognize him at first because he had on a new pair of glasses and his hair was long.

    I didn’t panic. I just sat there, enjoying my food. It was the first time I had ever seen the Other Woman. She was pretty. And oh, my, his son was there from New York! I hadn’t seen his son in years! They were with three or four other people in a group of 6 or 7.

    And suddenly they all stood up and started walking my way. I looked elsewhere. They came around behind me and stood there, talking. I could hear their conversation. I didn’t look backwards. The son came over next to me and I could have reached out and touched him.

    And then they left.

    Nothing happened.

    My tiny, daily decision to go where I wanted to go and do what I wanted to do, and hold my head up high gave me SO MUCH POWER. And I survived an encounter. (Or a near encounter.) I was all over that town after that… smiling and meeting people and making new friends, and after about six months, I began to feel sorry for my ex, that he settled so quickly. There was a world out there, with so many interesting, amazing people! He should have done some investigating, if he really wanted his freedom…

    I had mine.

      • Awwww… thank you! It was a northerly place and it was September when he left, so it started getting dark at about 4:30pm. I’m a night owl and I discovered, on Sunday night after he left on Saturday night, that I would need some plans going forward, to deal with 8 hours of darkness. So… plans I made! And it went well for me… 🙂

    • You are so right about freedom. There is no freedom in jumping from one person to the next. I often say that my ex is now serving a different master. He settled on the first woman who showed him attention.

      And what kind of woman is she? Someone who thinks it’s okay to entertain a married man for over 21 months (that’s how long the affair was before my ex left me to be with this woman). Someone who herself cheated on her own husband numerous times. Someone who assaulted her own husband in front of their three children and was arrested; the no contact order put in place as a result is what finally ended their marriage. Someone who was reported on numerous cheater/homewrecker websites by the girlfriend of one of the men she was having an affair with when married. A woman who decided when she had three young children and no job of her own that marital funds would be best spent on getting breast implants and then buying a Harley Davidson so she can be free (and the trauma-blind husband obliged). A woman embroiled in a long divorce battle with the father of the three children as she tried to gain custody and extract as much money as she could. It was reported to the ex’s family that she was heard saying that when she’d done with that family, she’ll never need to work another day of her life. But, my ex believes she’s been the victim in all of these circumstances and that he’s her hero and knight in shining armour.

      Poor idiot. He’s not a hero, but a fool being used by a narcissist bigger than him. Good luck with that.

      I am so glad to be free, doing my own thing, nothing to hide or be ashamed of. When COVID settles down, I’m readying myself to start dating. Not seeking the love of my life or anything, but looking to just get out there, meet people, enjoy myself. I’m okay on my own, and I don’t have to be validated by a man. There will be no desperately hanging on to someone just because he’s shown me attention. What I hope for is good company, good conversation, something to do. If I find the love of my life, great! If I don’t, then I’m just glad for the opportunity of having spent some time with someone you was fun and interesting for a while. What I won’t do is embroil myself in someone else’s mess or try to fix anyone else. If there is major drama attached to this man that he has not settled or put it in its proper box, I finish my drink and wish him well as I move on. That’s freedom.

  • The Predatory Opportunistic Parasite (POP) was all about appearances and the illusion he was a wealthy, influential man of the world. He was none of those things but he fooled a lot of people.

    Months after I’d had his worthless, cheating, physically abusive ass evicted from my home, I had an errand to do at a shopping center far from my home, one I’d never been to before. I was taking a short cut through the parking lot, which took me along the front of Walmart. I stopped at the cross walk to let folks pass and who walked past the front of my car? 15 feet away from me….

    POP! Pushing a line of carts back into the store. There is NO question in my mind that he saw me stopped at the cross walk-my car is unmistakable–he used it as a babe magnet for his harem (and when attempting a hover had actually said he ‘missed it’. Not me, the car) When stressed, he had a very unusual thing he would do with his hand–twisting his wrist in a circular motion. His wrist was doing the twist.

    There he was. The guy who formerly had a closet full of designer clothes, shoes and 3 custom tuxes collecting the carts in Walmart’s parking lot. He never in a million years would have imagined I’d know about it. I never thought I’d see anything like it but I’m sure glad I did.

    Needless to say, it put pep in my step that day and remains one of my fondest memories of him.

  • I watched a documentary about the effects of trauma on police officers (Code 9: Officer Needs Assistance). It gave me perspective on how to continue to face the perpetrator I married, who stuck bayonets in me, who handed a quiver of bayonets to his female lower companions who gladly stuck a bunch in me, who intentionally destroyed our marriage and family, who blew a big giant gaping wound of a hole in my life. With a child and a business we both own, I cannot get completely away in the foreseeable future.

    Not one time during the 27 years I was with him can I remember running into him when we were both out of the house. I have run into him four times since he left. All four times he was alone. All four times I headed in the opposite direction before I even had a chance to think of what to do. Those are some great instincts I have.

    So taking a cue from the men and women in blue, I have an imaginary service weapon and a badge (Chump Nation officer, not Marriage Police officer). I can practice speaking and acting in a way to de-escalate the situation and not hand him any ammo. I can go to therapy and come here to debrief and process my experience and trauma. Helping other chumps is a big part of my recovery from this. I’ve met a few fellow chumps here and we talk on the phone and help each other.

    I have found it helpful to have a plan for if I run into him/them and rehearse it. There is a LOT of power in not saying anything and walking away. That is the most powerful thing I can do IMHO.

    • PS….I don’t own my child….I just read what I wrote and it sounds like I said I own my child! I HAVE a child and OWN a business with him…..

    • Yup, gray rock, just nod and keep walking.

      Or say Aloha … but make sure you have a devious grin on your face as if you know something he doesn’t.

        • VH you are very welcome,

          A few years ago I had a friend who decided that he wanted to move on from our friendship for a variety of reasons, he said by email that he was sorry but the friendship just wasn’t working for him anymore yada yada yada. I just replied ‘Adios!’

          Years later I bumped into him on the street and he said that he found my farewell salute rather rude and cheeky.

          LOL, that was my point !

          • ????????????

            What a pompous arsehole. I expect what he’d wanted was an angst ridden series of emails from you, begging him to reconsider. Because he’s so important.

            Instead, he got “adios!”. Love it! ????

            • Right, in many ways like so many of our FWs. Wah, you went on with your life, you didn’t try to get me back, etc.

              Pompous asshole pretty much says it.

  • Saw mine at the grocery several months ago and yelled a cheerful hello to him and blew on by. When at first mimicked the hello but when he realized it was me (face mask) gave me the 50 yard death stare. ???? After all the grief and trauma it felt really good that I seem to have more of an effect on him.

    • Love it!

      They absolutely HATE it if you seem cheerful, and especially if you are chuckling.

      Picture them there with a limp dick and grin.

  • I have two
    After several manipulations including getting a realtor to say he had an offer for our house( I said send it to me and crickets). He also said he would get the money from the Jews and then the Russians ( his words not mine and he wasn’t getting any mortgage because you need a job to get a mortgage), Anyhoo,, I finally bought him out of our house and 3 months later I sold it for $250k more than he was paid out on as there was a very short real estate bubble ( 8 weeks). Boy was he pissed!

    The second one is one day when he was at our property( there was a shop there he “worked” in and my lawyer said I couldn’t prevent that since he still owned the place). He regularly just walked in to the house too and did so one day to scream at me. Then he screamed that why do you think I’m seeing a doctor I can’t get it up as he walked out the door. I calmly said”funny, you never had that issue with me” and closed the door. BOOM! I had to only imagine the stunned look on his face as i immediately turned my back and started laughing my head off. Boy did that feel good!

  • I don’t run into my ex anymore as I have gone totally no contact due to his nice guy act and image maintenance since he left me for one of the school mum nearly 4 years ago. Why on earth he thinks we could be friends after the year long affair he had with her behind my back involving my children is beyond me. I do however still have to come face to face with said girlfriend now at school a couple of times a week, as all our children go to the same school. Talk about s£#ting on your own doorstep. I did want to run away from it all and moves my children to a different school but decided to hold my head high. Only another 3 years until I don’t have to see either of them anymore and can totally move on with my life without any triggers. It can’t come soon enough x

  • Ever run into your ex ? With your SUV ??

    No really, when I see him I get very absorbed by my cell phone, talking and laughing with the imaginary person on the other end.

  • Let’s just say my ex put me through the ringer. I had my kids completely alienated from me, accused of bank fraud, forced to sell our dream home, just to name a few. He also had someone steal my dog from my backyard when I left town and refused to return despite the police calling him insisting he do so. Sadly I could go on and on describing the torment. To this day I’m not exactly sure why he set out to destroy me considering he abandoned me and our kids for himself and the young OW.
    One night, three years into our contentious divorce, I am leaving my boyfriend’s house and before I get into my car, and I see my stolen dog being walked by my awful ex and the more disgusting OW. My dog is desperate to see me but he won’t let me touch her. I try my best, but then my ex shouts out loudly and embarrassingly “who are you?” over and over. The OW decides to join in and calls me a “Crazy Bitch”. It was right out of a Jerry Springer episode. The good news is that my boyfriend managed to film all of their pathetic behavior and I got my dog and more importantly my kids back!
    I am now married to that amazing man and my kids have grown and have seen through most of their father’s evil tactics. The last I heard my ex has dumped the OW at least three times and they have a completely toxic relationship. As for me, I found a pair of socks while holiday shopping that say “crazy bitch” on them and wear them proudly.

    • The next time someone calls me a bitch I’m telling them, “I am not a bitch. I am THE bitch.” As in the original, the alpha, the bitch to end all bitches.

    • My goodness. Every time I come here, my faith in humanity wanes with how badly y’all have been treated.

      Cheers to keeping hope alive and being married to an excellent partner.

    • I know that it’s no good to try to untangle the skein of things our ex’s do, but I can’t help but ask, “Why do so many leave decent marriages and break up families, but then hang on to dear life with toxic, dysfunctional affair partners after they leave the marriage?”

      It’s so messed up. I take as evidence of why I should be grateful he left. Man’s rejection is God’ protection.

      • I can only give my op of course, but I think in large part because they do know how royally they have fucked up their lives, and they are desperately trying to prove to others and more-so themselves, “nope, I am ok; I made the right choice etc”

        So many of them live lives of quiet desperation, making one stupid decision after the other to fix something that they so obviously napalmed (their own life).

        • Susie I agree, especially when it was a work affair ect. More reason to justify.
          I think a similar question is why do so many FW’s become contemptuous towards their betrayed spouse when we show anger?
          Some of them like to keep that good person appearance, but some of them show bitterness and anger… as if the betrayed spouse MADE them fuck everything up. They turn themselves into the big victim and have ongoing bitterness towards the formerly loving and faithful partner.
          It’s really unbelievable.

        • My Cheater Narc Ex made it clear that he never intended Affair #2 to be a ‘long-term relationship’, but he stuck with her anyway, since I wouldn’t take him back.

          In his case, I think part of this was because he hates hates hates to be alone and doesn’t really know how to relate to other people. He needed a place to land, because he’d burned every single bridge here, and Shmoopie conveniently lived in another major city, so he could just pull up roots and start afresh where no one knew him or would suspect his lies (‘I don’t see my kids because …. parental alienation!’). Plus being in a ‘serious relationship’ with her allowed him to act like his fucking around that 2nd time wasn’t the stupidest thing he’d ever done. It was twu lurv, don’cha know?

          He stayed with her for I’m thinking 3 years. Until she dumped him. For another man. Twice.

      • Option, I think this is where the rule is sunk costs applies “a prior investment in one option leads to a continuous investment in that option, despite not being the best decision.”
        Or as my fuckwit said ‘it was already done.’
        Impression management to the extreme…. they already look like idiots for playing so frivolously with peoples lives and creating all kinds of destruction and losses… They’re going to keep trying to justify their actions …

        • ????

          Yep in my fws case he had several years to go before he could retire. (about 12) If he was going to get through them, he had to convince himself and others that he had not royally fucked up his life. Despite, he got busted, lost his cushy office, blew up his political connections etc. She just had to be worth it.

          I just found out recently that he retired early, which surprised me; so keeping up the pretense likely wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

      • Recently I have been trawling Prof Sam Vaknin a psychoanalyst, who has a complicated theory:people of this ilk,narcs and the personality disordered need this destructive dissolution in order to feel ,im not sure what?o.k?reborn?alive?So would possibly crave toxic dysfunctional,cheating relationships?

  • It was almost exactly a year since the divorce was final and not quite 18 months since DDay. I was unexpectedly in one of those big box warehouse stores. As I wandered down an outside aisle navigating my way to the bottled water, my peripheral vision caught my ex and his Craiglist now-wife in one of the aisles. I had seen plenty of naked pictures of her when I happened across his secret email account a month or so after DDay, but I had never seen her in person. I grabbed a case of bottled water and my heart was racing. I texted my mom and my sister. I didn’t know whether to hide in an aisle or leave the store as fast as I could. A few minutes later, I saw them at the self checkout. Phew…I had a visual on their location. And then I got bold. I didn’t want to hide. I wanted to face this fear and feeling straight on. So I pushed my cart over to them. I stood there for an awkward beat while they were both bent over their cart seeming to be overly interested in it’s contents and probably trying to avoid looking up and seeing me. Finally, I said ‘hi’ to the ex. He just stared at me like a deer in the headlights. He didn’t speak. The Craiglsit now-wife says, “You must be OnMyWayToMeh”. I said ‘yes’ and reached my hand out to shake hers. As I shook her hand, I thanked her for taking ex off my hands; that it was the best thing that has happened to me. She muttered out a weak ‘welcome’ and I turned around and wheeled my cart away. That was so liberating! She’s nothing special and he’s a coward.

  • A few years after the divorce I remarried and one year later moved 75 miles away. Chances of bumping into her are slim, although we live in a famous wine region town. I have only seen her at the three weddings of our kids. She wants to make nice, but I have her on hard ignore. Not mean, just business and then back to ignore. I am happiest leaving her in the past.

    • I like that phrase ‘hard ignore’ – thanks! Hard ignore is exactly what I do when I have to see the X on those rare occasions for my kids events. If he talks I respond politely (cool, wow, bummer) – and then back to hard ignore. Then he usually leaves because he’s uncomfortable.

  • For anyone here with a Nice Guy/Gal X, I watched the new John Wayne Gacy documentary on Peacock TV.

    He got away with his crimes for so long because everyone thought he was Such A Nice Guy.

    Nice guys don’t lie. Con artists “nice guy” people into falling for their schemes.

    Wonderful people don’t screw around with married people, and wonderful married people don’t screw around.

    As a chump, you have the 411 on who they really are. Trust yourself, Luke Skywalker!

  • Kinda the other way around for me.

    When Mme YogaPants finally moved out she asked if we could still be friends – which got her a blank stare. She back-pedaled to ask if I would be able to be friendly if we happened to be at a common event like a marriage or baptism. Another blank stare and the word “no”.

    Time passes – our son boomerangs back home with me after school and so interacts with his mother from time to time. She parks around the corner and he has to go there to meet up with her. A couple of times she’s with OM and he’s driving and they park across the street – I suppose to show off how he’s “won”.

    A couple of times we have random encounters. Once I was walking out of the garage and she’s pulling up in front of the house to pick up our son – she literally burns rubber getting out of there and around the corner. One other time I was out for a walk along a country road and she pulls up to a stop sign – vroom – other direction.

    I stayed in the marital home which used to be her pride and joy. A couple of years ago I had a short-term relationship where the woman lived here for a couple of months (long story). My ex was spotted lurking in the shrubberies in the garden centre across the street where she called our son to go over. Now she lived in an apartment and presumably didn’t need any plants – but it was still hilarious. We figured she was checking out the replacement.

    If I did have to deal with her – and again – 5 years out and I think I’ve sent her one email in the last year or so about some furniture I was getting rid of to see if she wanted it – no contact is great for those of us that can achieve it.

    I was talking to a neighbour and former “bestie” of her’s the other day and she’s cut all of those people out of her life too and avoids them. I was once told that she has a narrative that she left for vague undefined reasons, not the ones that her ex-husband says. But small town, tight-knit community – everyone knows and she can’t claim otherwise.


    • It’s strange though that these cheaters discard us in the cruelest manner than seem obsessed with not wanting us to move on without them. I’ve noticed on Facebook I’m getting friend suggestions from people I’ve never been friends with and have no connections at all to but they happen to know my ex wife. It’s sad and pathetic really. I’ve blocked her on everything and don’t talk to her but yet I get people clearly having a little spy on me to see what I’m doing. Like get a life.

  • Next week will be two months since I’ve seen my ex wife. Next week will also be one month since divorce was finalised. Lucky for me I moved an hour away from the family home and she has no connections to my area so it’s extremely unlikely I’d ever see her.

  • The latest family event where FW granted us with his presence was My grand daughters 5 yo bday in Jan. (First one he has attended in 2+yrs.). I went to a part of the house away from him and was talking to other family when he intentionally found me and gave me a wave and greeting. I nodded. He then asked about my puppy (how did he know I got a puppy?). I gave him a 5 word answer. That was it for the rest of the party. I saw him make a few trips to the bar -always had a drink in his hand. And during present opening he stood right behind me-creeped me out. Then I left. My son asked me about our interaction and I just said, I don’t have anything to say to someone who abused me and threw my family under the bus. I’m sorry my son is uncomfortable and that FW is, I didnt create the problem and I’m not going to make nice to make FW feel “comfortable. He didn’t show for the March bday party. It makes me sad for my sons,

    • I feel this so much. I have 2 grandchildren and 2 on the way. We were always very close and would celebrate all of our birthdays together. But I will have to tell my children that if they invite FW I wouldn’t be able to attend. I know I shouldn’t make them choose but I would be an anxious wreck. I am only 6 months in so maybe my feelings will change, but I doubt it! He abused me so badly and continues to do so – well he still tries too. My story is not unique. Everyone here has suffered the same, it makes me so sad. I’m still currently in the divorce grinder…

  • I remember one of my proudest moments. I have remarried. My wife wanted to see Little Women last year before COVID. So my wife, MIL, my wife’s friend and I went. Guess who was there? My XW, my kids, and friends who dumped me during the smear campaign. There was friends who hadn’t taken her side also. We talked with those friends for a while afterwards. My ex came up to our group and joined the conversation. I acted like she was just some acquaintance of mine. Didn’t bother me one bit! I sensed that my kids were proud of me.

    I live in a suburb of well over a 100,000 and have ran into my ex at restaurants and driving around the city. But I just smile and wave. ????????????

  • I gray rocked him and he didn’t like it one bit, but to be fair, I really was more meh about him. I saw my stbx at one of our kids soccer games and at the first one, I talked to him a little bit as he sat down right next to me. He’s 55 and kept texting and smiling at his texts with the OW. My thoughts were “how did I stay so long with someone so childish and mean spirited ?” .

    The second game I saw him at, he handed me some divorce paperwork and I didn’t even look at him but thanked him. Ignored him the whole game and didn’t even look his way. As we were leaving, he says “did you get the paperwork I gave you?” Huh?? You actually handed it to me before the game, so yes. All I was thinking was him saying “look at me, look at me” and how pathetic he was.

    • Wow. He really is a piece of work. Talk about not just stabbing but twisting the knife. If he had a shred of decency he would have not sat next to you while texting OW but instead he went over the top texting just so you would be aware. Then he hands you divorce documents at your kid’s soccer game? Oh and just in case you weren’t thinking about it he had to remind you before leaving. The OW deserves him…

  • I am one year out from D-Day, divorce was final a couple of months ago. Schmoopie has started posting cute couple photos on fb even though she has yet to file for her divorce. The first time I ran into one of these photos a nearly lost it. Such an overwhelm of pain and emotion.

    Now, curiously, I find the photos fascinating. He’s really ugly. Like, I would have always told you he was a nice looking guy…… but, now I can really see him without any rose colored glasses and he’s not. He’s grown out his beard and he’s giving his best, “fuck you – I will do what I want” look at the camera. Like a defiant 7th grader. And schmoopie is all smiley and happy and I look at her and think, “you are so stupid.”

    Getting closer to Tuesday!

    • Yeah, I noticed that too and it’s a good sign. They only looked so good to us because we loved them. I love your description of his “You’re not the boss of me” stare. What a tool.
      The jerk has also grown a beard, not cut his hair in forever, and looks like a homeless guy now. Good luck to him finding another schmoopie. Even the one he had found him a bore. I was actually the only person in his life who didn’t consider him a bore and wasn’t just using him. You have to be a moron to throw that away for a lame fantasy. Fuckwits have the emotional intelligence of dung beetles.

    • Unfortunately they are not all ugly. Nitwit looks like a model. My mother, by no means a fan of his, even suggested he take up modeling once. It would suit his lazy temperament, how hard can it be to wear clothes? He was too lazy even to do that!

      I just remind myself that the external in no way guarantees a beautiful soul resides within. Or any soul really. I now look at him the way I would at butter gone rancid, except that butter is a useful thing to have around the house, which is more than can be said about him. Some day his face will match his personality but by the time that day comes I will have reached Meh.

  • You all are stronger than I was. My shrink told me to not “runaway”. That I needed to face the triggers. Well like CL said I did not want to be anywhere near him/the trauma so I left the state. I knew I had to heal before I could face the “triggers”. It worked for me perfectly. I was able to find a place in a small mountain town and work out my issues. When I did go back to pack my things it was a year later. I met him for coffee and it was like I was staring at a perfect whole in his head and could see through it! He talked non stop about him for over 30 minutes. I just sat there with a blank look and never said a word. I got up went to our home where movers were waiting to pack my things up. Packed up and left. I have not seen him again and hope I never do. I am not sure after a 45 year marriage you ever truly ever get over the trauma. I still do not want to ever go back to the city where we lived. It has been 4 years since DDay. It takes time.

    • COFox,

      I disagree. You ARE strong!!! It takes guts to move away and to do what’s best for you. And it shows a certain kind of mighty that you were able to meet with him for coffee prior to your move!

      So many of us don’t want to go back to the scene of the crime/trauma and avoid it if we can. Good luck!

  • Actually, I usually don’t mind seeing the jerk, so we are not NC. He was whacko for a while due to a bad reaction to an SSRI but is better now. He does favors for me and as long as he’s not being criticized, he’s polite, congenial and does what I want. If his massive (and justified) personal insecurity is not triggered we get along fine. He takes the dog to the vet, takes the car to the shop for me, stuff like that. I might as well use him since he sure as hell used me. I’m not in danger of being hoovered back to the fool. He has absolutely no game. He ingratiates himself to no avail and it’s quite amusing.

    • OHFFS,

      This is how I feel. They’re so kind and tactful about it, but I’m pretty sure every single one of my friends is terrified he’s going to hoover me back in since we text and talk on the phone.

      I’m not worried. Not in the slightest. We have an entire ocean between us now, but that’s just an added plus.

      • They could only hoover us back if we actually wanted them back, right? Been there, done that, and no thanks. They aren’t going to get character transplants and become relationship material.

      • I remember my poor dad was petrified I would take him back. He kept calling me (he lived several states away) saying “Susie, you can’t go back to that, you will be miserable the rest of your life” “walk away” etc.

        When he went on his apology tour to my dads house, and my brothers house, my dad told him “God will forgive you if you repent and straighten up” “but you can’t ever go back to your old life, it is gone.” By then I knew I would never go back, but poor dad wasn’t taking any chances.

        • Yup. Thanks, guys. ???????? Amending this to say that:

          a) The last few months as ‘friends’ has turned out to be the long con I suspected the whole time. I forgot how much his lying disgusts me and interferes with my ability to respect him.


          b) I need to curb my neediness and desire to have someone listen to all my ravings and problems. He may have been faking again, but he certainly was a devoted and attentive listener. ????

          • Ah, that sucks. They’re all such frauds. The way I look at is I don’t really care if he’s faking so long as I get some use out of him. I do think it’s a mistake to try to be friends. A real friend would never have treated you so horribly. So I just treat the jerk like a personal assistant, investing no emotion in any interaction.

            • I agree, if it is working for the BS, go for it.

              In my case, I couldn’t dare ask him for any favors, he uses favors like currency. He would have wanted something out of it. In the beginning, he would use it to convince folks that we parted amicably, after a while he would have wanted sex.

              No doubt in my mind he would have loved for me and schmoops to switch places. I mean he was going to cheat on schmoops anyway when the buzz wore off. What better buzz than having the ex wife as the new side piece. Among others I am sure.

              • I think for me it was a bit of that. It was convenient. While people were understandably worried, they didn’t realize that I never, EVER, let my guard down the whole time we reconnected. If now my gut tells me something feels off, I don’t need another reason. And if I’d considered going back to him, I decided I’d need an actual miracle from God. Trusting in God—not him.

              • And definitely helps that he’s so far away in terms of limiting his ability to manipulate. Not sure if this is true (considering the source) but as a convicted felon and lifelong registered sex offender, he says he’s not allowed to leave the US. Even if he did, it would be a lot of work for absolutely no payout. Right now, honestly, I’m more concerned about the Catholic pastor he’s bamboozled into thinking he’s a completely changed, reformed man. He was charged with indecency with a child. He got 8 years but the prosecutor wanted to lock him up until the day he died. Yet the most he’s admitted to Father (and myself, after initially claiming his ex-wife framed him and he was completely innocent) is that he took a bunch of naked pictures, and never touched her. Really? Does pornography work that way—where they’re content to just look? I just don’t see this going well if he’s lying to Father. (Duper’s delight). He’s been made a lector at this church and at another, and given the keys to both of them (at the second church it was a parishioner, not the pastor, who gave him the key). Father is convinced I simply have ‘trust issues.’ Um…yeah! Based on other things we recently discussed, I know he’s still lying; why WOULD I trust him?? ???? Maybe I’m wrong, but I just keep thinking: I know what the next scandal in the Catholic Church will be…. ????????????‍♀️

  • This column couldn’t have come at a better time. Ex and Sparkle Tits (new wife) had been living 30 miles away, but after loosing the school choice battle in court, moved back to town. Obviously, this is great for my child, but I’m admittedly a touch anxious about the increased likelihood of running into them unexpectedly. When I know I’ll see them, I’m fine. However, seeing them do happy family stuff at the park, or a restaurant, will likely throw me for a loop. He loves to push the we’re such a happy family narrative hard. Logically, I know that’s not necessarily true (my daughter is not all sunshine & rainbows when she talks about her time over there). Emotionally though, it’s still a painful reminder of how easy the discard and replacement of me was. (Yes, yes… I know this proves how much HE sucks & indicative of HIS poor character and inability to bond, but it takes some time to talk myself through all that when those feelings hit.)

    • ((CurlyChump))

      Trust that they suck is certainly true, but dang it takes a while to really know it through and through.

      I love sparkle tits, even more than sparkle twat.

  • I am NC with ex and have the best, mightiest, most improbably story that makes me glow every time I think about it!

    I used to push my cart through Target terrified that I’d run into ex and ow and then be utterly humiliated and fall into a blubbering heap in the shampoo aisle. Like, every time I went out in public I was on guard. They had it all. I was painfully lonely and duped–so awkward and conspicuously scorned.

    Several months after I met Awesome Boyfriend, some 3+ years after Dday, it was a Friday (cue harps.) AB was scheduled to visit later in the evening after work, and I was prepping. I’d finished a workout at the gym (part of my mightiness project) and ducked into the local Trader Joe’s for dinner fixin’s in my toitest workout gear on the way back home. I was in my late 40s at the time. Sweat was dried, but I was a bit of a mess, albeit, imo, a mighty mess. I made my way down the frozen food section with my cart, and suddenly was 10 feet away, face-to-face with the ex. Eyes popping, instantly I skeeeeerted my cart in a 180 and headed back to where I’d come from, and made a quick right down the liquor aisle, when who should I then face, ironically? My beloved divorce attorney! OMG! All I could do was shiver and laugh and point over to my right and gasp, “You’ll never believe who I just ran into! My ex is right over there! And you are STILL the BEST money I ever spent!” She laughed, I laughed, and Awesome Boyfriend had a very good night.

    Love to all my brothers and sisters here at Chump Nation. You can do it!

  • She turned up with shmoopie on two different holidays of mine, the sort of holiday we used to do together. The first was months after our split when she knew I would be there at one point she just stared for some time into the cafe where I was eating. The second was 2-3 years later when I was with someone else but also with a group who knew her. They went over to speak with her and in order to take their drinks order after some delay I went over spoke to my friends and trying to be reasonable just said hello to her and schmoopie/ now husband. Neither would speak to me or even look me in the eye, you would have thought it had been me that had been unfaithful with their reaction.

  • Did you hear about the woman who got bit by a rattlesnake, managed to get to the hospital and was successfully treated and upon recovery the first question she asked was ” where can I get another rattlesnake?” NO, me either.

  • Since the divorce, now two-and-a-half years ago, I haven’t run into him, and he remains a trigger. I am on high internal alert, and never go to the one grocery store he favors without scanning the lot for his car (mostly I shop at stores other than that one); if I see it, I turn around and go elsewhere, or come back later.

    The one time I’ve seen him after the divorce I just grey rocked it/him. But that “not reacting” cost me, and I felt that shook feeling later when I was safely away from him.

    Now that circumstances allow (both pandemic and personal), I have begun looking for a place to live away from this town, so that I never have to see him again. Out of sight, out of mind.

  • I wrote in back in February – I believe it was the 8th – You can find my letter and Chump Lady’s response under “Does Social Media Encourage Cheating”. Right before Thanksgiving I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me with multiple people online. One of the incidents that I was made aware of from somebody completely across the country (I’m sure there were many more) were where he was sending videos of himself JO into a trash can and asking if they were interested in an online sexual relationship. All the while he was telling me how madly in love with me he was and that I was the only one. Anyhow, in February I was devastated when I found out he already had a new boyfriend and had taken him to the same place he took me for our first trip together. I wanted him back even, but I have finally gotten to a place of Meh. It takes time for sure, but when you take a step back and really examine the facts: Cheating, Lying, Moving on to a new person so quickly, it really starts to disgust you. Now I look back and think to myself OH GOD, what was I thinking. Just focus on the sick shit they did and realize it’s a character defect that will never change. Eventually this new relationship will become stale. The shine will wear off of his new toy just like it did with me and the new guy will be stuck the same lying, cheating asshole. If your character is low enough to do it once, it’s low enough to do it twice. Better him than me! So glad I found my meh and gained a life! Stick to the process, remind yourself of the facts, understand it will take time…and keep it movin!

  • Have not seen my XH after he sat me down 7 month’s ago and tell me that he was a cheater and has been for years with multiple women and say all sorts of horrible mean things.

    He did not show up for the final divorce hearing. He ghosted me and my children and doubt that we will see him again or hear from again.

    • So sorry you went through that.

      It is hard to find out that most of our lives were a lie on one side. I am years out and have had a good life with a wonderful new marriage. But, some hurts leave scars, and that is ok. We all have scars, some scars are worse than others.

      I hope before long you are involved in a great new life, if you are not already.

      In my case showing up at court was not required, so I didn’t show. Don’t know if he did or not.

      I am so glad CL is here for newly minted chumps. I found her when I was researching NPDs, because the ex FW blew up his relationship with our son. I was just curious about these types of personalities. Dang I wish I had CL in real time.

      So now I just hope to maybe be of small help to those in the fresh hell of infidelity.

      I know if you have young children, it just makes it harder. For me his leaving and initially not wanting a recon was the best thing he could have ever done for me. Unfortunately for me, had he wanted to come back; I likely would have let him. At least in the beginning.

      • He never wanted to reconcile. Did not care. Just skip off into sunset. I wrote a letter to CL on 3 september 2020.

        • I read that.

          I just honestly don’t know how these guys can do this to a family.

          Even if they no longer love the spouse, just the history should garner them a little respect in the leaving process, but most times it doesn’t. We are left wondering if they went mad, or if we are crazy.

          I hope you are feeling a little better, and then even better each day. I know it will take a long time to get through it.

  • My therapist worked with me to help me feel safe when I had to see him in court a few years after we left. I didn’t dissolve into a puddle when I saw him. He asked me which room we were in and I gave him the same dead eye stare he gave me for years and walked on by. He fake cried on the stand that we wouldn’t speak to him anymore.
    Unfortunately, I’m in the process of gathering documentation for court in a few weeks where he filed against me. It was a matter of when not if he was going to do this. It has sent me down the depression and fear rabbit hole again at the thought of seeing him and having to defend myself. The judicial system does not help or recognize the trauma it causes people who have been abused. The problem is that I know he’ll do this again if he doesn’t get the outcome he wants. I’m so thankful that I kept the previous documents because I seriously wanted a huge bonfire after the last court date.

    • The memory of those dead shark eyes is haunting.

      I honestly don’t know how they do it. I went through it many years ago before CL. I honestly just thought it was hi8s hatred for me, I had no way of knowing how common the tactic was. I am sorry, but there has to be a manual somewhere.

    • “The judicial system does not help or recognize the trauma it causes people who have been abused. ”

      So true and so wrong that it is that way.

  • I celebrate the little “wins” I get.

    > He tried to make it look to our daughter that I wasn’t supporting her when I said that her $200k college fund needed to cover her living expenses as well. He agreed to a top-tier school where she didn’t get any financial aid or merit scholorship. I explained to my daughter that her college fund pays for tuition and instead of child support, he pays her living expenses directly. She’s fine with it. She knows he makes 2x me and lives with the OW who makes as much as he does.

    > He used to call me Nickles because I can be frugal. Now he comes to me asking for $100 here and there when he can justify it. He reduced her allowance and has been more cost conscious with her expenses. So it’s not always Disneyland Dad anymore.

    > I revel when I catch him in a lie. When I questioned something saying he lies to me, his response was “Well I wouldn’t lie about this.” And he got busted for an email saying the CPA suggested something when he didn’t — the CPA told him to back off. In hindsight, I realize he blamed things on his divorce attorney that were decisions he made.

    I’ve had to dramatically downsize my home, but my overall lifestyle has improved. Less stress, more fun!

  • Luckily, I don’t have to meet any of them.
    They got a chance to meet me once, when he returned our baby. I was waiting in front of the building.
    I found out later that she stooped and hid by the bushes so I won’t see her.
    At least she knows her place!

  • I just ran into OW at the grocery store the day before Christmas Eve. It was a place she never shops at. Ex was out of town and she was shopping for Christmas dinner for him, I’m sure. Everyone was pandemic-masked but I can always identify faces (like CL, I draw people… it makes you pretty good at facial recognition even with details obscured). She was walking right towards me and my boyfriend (we’ve been together 4 years). She didn’t recognize me. I said brightly “Hi Emily! How are you?” She smiled and thought she knew me… then she realized. We kept walking. She tends to be very skittish and strange. I’m sure she had nightmares afterwards. I’m mostly meh… but would prefer not to run into either of them at all.

  • I only saw my ex at court, where he always turned up at the last minute looking dishevelled. As the court stuff went on for over 2.5 years, I ended up being a pro at ignoring him.
    One time he sat right behind me in the courtroom I absolutely refused to move or turn round, despite being able to hear his breathing.
    On the day of the trial he requested a face to face meeting before hand , I refused to give him kibbles, so sent my lawyer. I also refused to look at him or acknowledge his presence.

    Unfortunately we are still attached by 2 houses so the fw is still not completely out of my life but I refuse to be part of his games, triangulation or a kibble dispenser.

    After the crap he pulled, he doesnt deserve a single moment of my time or kindness.

  • I bumped into fucktard in the supermarket, while the divorce was ongoing. He opened his mouth to say something, but I just calmly said, “I have nothing to say to you, and if you have anything to say to me, you can say it through my solicitor”.

    Then I walked to the cashier, pulled out my kindle, and started reading. He had followed me, and I could feel his eyes boring into my back, but I just kept on reading. Eventually he slouched off. ????????????????

    Now I’ve moved to a different county, he doesn’t know where I live but if I was ever unlucky enough to bump into him, I’d just look straight through him.

    • I always think of my experience with my FW when I caught him and the whore at our River Property.

      Up to then, I was of course devastated, and I think I still retained my love image of him (in my head) of when we were together. He wasn’t real tall, but he was strong and had the biggest blue eyes, and big dimples.

      Anyway, I walked in the cabin and there they both were. I had knocked on the door, but I also had a key and I had as much right there as he did as my name was on the loan, not hers. I was in tears and I asked “why are you doing this to us” He just shrugged and said, “this is who I am”. Instantly, I looked at him, I can remember kind of blinking my eyes and it is like he shrunk into this tiny little man, his head was ducked; and he looked like an over sized rat.

      Every time I read your description of the rat faced whore, I think of that. It was starling at the time, but kind of funny now. She really did deserve him way more than I did.

      At the same time his mother, who was the reason we came to the property (she wanted her vacuum back) was chasing the whore around the trailer saying “you should be ashamed of yourself” Good times.

        • It is. And it was indeed who he was. He went on with the rest of his life to prove it.

          For a while I convinced myself he wasn’t always that person, but he likely was.

          • One thing you can take comfort in from his sentence “this is who I am” is that he will be the same with the next partner.

            • Oh for sure, he was even worse to her. She went years without health insurance because didn’t want to pay the premium. He had insurance through his work, but he only bought the plan for him. I could give you lots of examples. In the end a year before he died he bought a huge ass new RV, and he died in January and left her in debt for it, with nothing but her SS to pay for it. No savings.

              I only know because my son told me. She was no picnic either, she and the ex destroyed their relationship with my son and his family. Through their own actions. My son re developed somewhat of a relationship with his dad, but the daughter in law refused to have anything to do with either of them. She had very good reasons.

              I just wish newly minted chumps could know, that except for rare circumstances, these low life’s rain hell down upon themselves. As CL says, they don’t get character transplants.

              As crazy as it sounds, I kind of feel sorry for her; but she did know what she was getting. She had that advantage over me.

      • “This is who I am”- probably one of the few times in your marriage he ever told you the truth.

        I’ve heard other chumps talk about how their cheater appears less attractive after D-Day. Sadly that has never happened to me. My ex was and remains model-gorgeous, at least on the outside. On the inside he is still a putrid dead thing. I’m convinced there is a portrait of him rotting in some attic or other but more likely this is because we are only in our early 30’s. His lazy lifestyle of video game binges, an irregular sleep cycle, and junk food hasn’t had a chance to catch up with him yet.

        Good for your ex-MIL for telling the OW what’s what!

    • Dear 6

      This is one of my biggest fears/anxieties (call it what you will)..bumping into ex while I am in the supermarket or the local shopping centre.

      Adding to the anxiety is if I were to see him with the OW or if I see them together and she is pregnant (we has been trying for a child).

      What would I do? I have visions of myself completely ignoring them, them going home and falling apart. These thoughts keep me up at night!

      You mentioned you moved to another country which is exactly what I am thinking about doing.

      I just don’t want HIM to be the sole reason I left. I need to leave because I genuinely want to leave. Not feel like I was pushed.

      Did you struggle with this dialogue yourself? Was it something you were considering for a while?

      I admire your courage to move abroad and gain a life and I’m sorry your ex was a fuckwit.

      • Hi, Morrychump, I *think* you were replying to me, Chumpnomore6?

        I’m a UK chump, I think you might have misread my post; I moved to another *county* not *country*. In the UK we have counties, not States. Although I believe there are counties *within* states in the US.

        “I just don’t want HIM to be the sole reason I left. I need to leave because I genuinely want to leave. Not feel like I was pushed.

        Did you struggle with this dialogue yourself? Was it something you were considering for a while?”

        To answer your question, I don’t think being ‘pushed’ is at all relevant; what is important is doing what you feel is best for *you*. I moved because I wanted to get away from memories and places associated with the fucktard, to gain a life far away from what had been. I did it because I felt it was best for *me*; considerations of being ‘pushed’, simply didn’t enter into my decision, neither was there any “struggle” involved – I decided as soon as I started divorce proceedings that when it ended I would start a new life, in new surroundings.

        I think you need to stop thinking about your life decisions in terms of what he, or anyone else thinks. He is now totally irrelevant; it’s all about *you*, and what’s good for *you*. There is *no* reason for you to feel ‘pushed’ because of a fucktard – if you feel moving away is good for you, then do it. What a piece of shit feels, thinks, ruminates, or craps out is *nothing* to do with you anymore, and nor is what anyone else thinks!

        Embrace freedom! Besy of luck to you hun, you do *you*. ????????????Xx

        • Good post.

          ” I decided as soon as I started divorce proceedings that when it ended I would start a new life, in new surroundings.”

          I kind of did the same thing, only in terms of job locations vs counties, or states. I was working for DoD at a facility near my marriage home when Dday hit. It was an Army facility. Once Dday hit, I actively started applying for a new position for the Navy on the other side of the city. Now that may not seem like far, and it wasn’t, but it kind of became my line in the sand.

          I didn’t know when or if I would get picked up, but I had decided after about three months after Dday that if I did that would be a whole new life, and I wouldn’t under any circumstances go back to the old life. So about 7 months after Dday (we had been legally separated six months) low and behold, I got offered a positon.

          I took it and it just seemed to be a whole new life, I kept my word to myself and though fw did circle back after I changed the facility where I worked. I said no thanks, and I was out.

          Again, not the same as moving to a new county or state (though I did that five years later) it was still taking me completely out of my old life, kind of a line in the sand.

          And yes it does not matter what anyone thinks of our decisions, it is about us. Give them the same consideration in our decision making as they and the whores they rode in on did when they did what they wanted. None.

        • Thank you 6.

          You are indeed correct. I did misread your post (long day). I thought you meant countries.

          I too am in the UK so should have read it properly (country vs county!!).

          Thank you for the post. This is what I struggle with…making decisions on how HE will perceive them but then I realise (rational part of the brain) that is a redundant task.

          He didn’t think for one moment how his choices would impact me (while I was going through fertility treatment). If he knew he wanted out why let me go through all that. I find it cruel.

          Thanks again. If restrictions ease up in the UK, maybe our paths will cross.

          • Dear Morry,

            I am so sorry that bastard cheated on you whilst you were undergoing fertility treatment, so cruel and cold.

            But that is who they are. There are chumps here who have gone through the same, also
            chumps who were cheated on when they were pregnant, chumps who were cheated on when they had a newborn. There is no depths of arseholery these fucktards won’t descend to in order to get what they want. I’m so sorry you went through that. ((hugs)).

            Come here often, Chumps on here are wise, supportive, and full of snark. ????????.

            Read through the archives, you’ll find many stories similar to yours. Also read LACGAL, if you haven’t already.

            It sounds as if this is all very recent and raw, that’s why you are still struggling with what that evil fucker might think about what you do. Give yourself time, it *will* get better. xx

            Also, if you were having fertility treatments, you are still young; you have a whole life ahead of you, unencumbered with a selfish, lying cheating fuckwit.

            Do ask Tracy for my email address if you’d like – as we’re both in the UK, perhaps we could meet up once restrictions are lifted if we’re anywhere near to each other.

            You take care of *you*. ????

  • Nitwit got the marital residence and I moved 30 miles away, so the chances of my running into him by chance at the grocery store are marginal.

    The last time I saw him in person was a couple of weeks after I had moved out. I had to retrieve a few things of mine I had forgotten to pack the last time. I had no idea what he would do or how I would react so I asked my dad to accompany me and conveniently “forgot” to tell Nitwit I would not be coming alone. My turn for duper’s delight, I guess.

    Anyway, what surprised me was how different the condo looked from when I had lived there. On one hand this was to be expected. I had brought most of the furniture to the marriage and had taken it with me upon leaving. But to see my former living and dining area so tastefully furnished in so short a time was surprising. It made me wonder if there was trouble between him and the OW and he was now trying to lure yet another woman in. Then I went into the bedroom and saw that it was the same cluttered mess it always was. Which is a great metaphor for the “man” himself: a glittering facade concealing the disorder within.

    I got my things, chatted of inconsequential things with him and my dad, then left. At no point did I feel anything more than if he had been a perfect stranger who had found my possessions in the street.

  • What I appreciate is that my friends and siblings have played out how they will react if they bump into the FW. These reactions range from ignoring him, giving him the finger, hitting him, yelling at him etc…

    It feels good to have a support team.

    Ps. I’m sure they won’t resort to hitting, but I appreciate and identify with the urge. My peeps!!!

    • Yeah, for me it’s not the whacked-out sexual behavior that’s most difficult to handle. It’s the blame-shifting that makes me want to punch FWs and their assorted flying monkeys. So much so that at times I’ve considered a punching bag to help deal with my frustration in a healthy (and safe) way. ????

      Feels great when people ‘get it’. Amen. Hugs, Spinach! ????????????

  • We were using my therapist’s office as a drop off point for him to return a few heirlooms. Since i lived a few hours away by then, I got there early, so parked off to the side and waited for the all clear (we weren’t supposed to interact). My therapist let me know soon after that he had said he was running late (as usual) so I waited more. He showed up…with HER. I didn’t know what I’d feel when i saw him, so I was glad to not feel anything. It helped he didn’t look like the man I fell in love with, as he was well-covered in tattoos, which i hate. When i saw her I gasped because her online pics are skillfully taken and cropped so you get the wrong impression about how she looks. When i saw them together, I was outside my car, and I ran to the nearby SUV and hid behind it, panting and in shock. Panic attack. I felt really angry deep underneath that she was touching MY STUFF, but after I hid I couldn’t move. Couldn’t til they left in his car.

    A friend told me that he brought her on purpose as probably a shield against me/my therapist (who he knew quite well and also fooled during my 5 years of partner of sex addict therapy and his time manipulating every therapist he and I saw).

    It felt good to see her dressed terribly, looking nothing like her online image. I felt angry that they had MY cats and wouldn’t even let me have them for a few months. I felt relieved a bit that I was done with his fucked up family, his ironic mishandling of his money (he does financial stuff for work!), and forcing patience on myself while waiting for his therapy to take affect- when you practice a better self a few hours a week and actively work against that better self the rest of the time it never sticks. I wish i had known he was double-crossing..

    Anyway, it wasn’t a good response on my part. My therapist had offered her office to wait in and while I can picture the telling off I wanted to give them had we met by accident because he was late, the sad reality is I would have frozen, fainted, cried, and been too vulnerable in front of people who should only ever get “black rock” from me.

  • Unfortunately I have young children, so I have the joy of encountering FW regularly. Fortunately, he’s working overseas for the military (& overseas military OW), so it’s mostly Skype contact.

    Yesterday I was helping him get the kids accounts for a game they all wanted to play online. After the kids chose their screen names, FW asked “what should my name be?” I very nearly burst out laughing before catching myself. The possibilities are endless! MajorDick or SergeantSparkledick? F-14FuckWit? HogansHoes?

    Luckily my brain regained control before I said anything, and I walked away. And luckily I always stay off-screen so he couldn’t see me visibly struggling not to laugh. No need to poke the fragile ego.

  • It took me several days to formulate a response to this. I would like to say that I had some type of successful meeting where I walked away feeling whole and secure. Unfortunately that has not been the case for me.

    I’ve been going through the divorce for over a year. I’m on my third restraining order. Every time I see a black car that looks like his I have a little panic attack. If a man’s driving it I have a big panic attack.

    Before I park at work I always look around the parking lot to make sure his car is not there. Once I was walking through the grocery store that we used to go to and I got in the card section and I swear to God he was standing there but of course it wasn’t him, but I did an absolute about face and went the other way and was out of that store in 5 minutes. I’ve gone back to that store a couple of times but every time it’s tense.

    I have 13 months before my graduation of my daughter from high school and I can move away from where I live now. I promised her I would stay until she graduates. Everything in me wants to flee. But I just have to stand and fight.

    Whenever I pray about this I think about God telling the israelites, ” stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. ”

    I’m trying real hard not to pray to ask God to kick his ass. But yeah kind of.

  • Every time I see this cartoon, I think of “Bitch Be Gone” spray ????????????????????

  • >